Mama Red wanted to know how school was going. (Everyone wave at Mama Red. Who now is going to give me her opinion on her new nickname.)

In Comparative Counter Terrorism we really solved nothing, but it did spawn my favorite new game of “Spot the CCTV cameras!” I was outside St. James Palace, taking pictures of the guards (you can’t go in, because it is Prince Charles’ residence, but you can walk past). And I was looking around trying to spot the cameras in the area, and saw a bobbie (that’s a police officer) giving me a weird look. I smiled at him (sunnily) and realized that a) since I was obviously trying to look for the CCTV cameras, I probably looked like I wasn’t up to a lot of good, and b) since I was being really obvious about what I was doing, it probably also looked like I would not be very good at not being up to a lot of good.

I still think torture is completely unacceptable. As do I think that allowing police to drive up and down the street with a heat sensing thingie to try and figure out who might be growing marijuana in the basement is unacceptable. I did have one classmate that said it’s totally okay because that’s what police are there for and why should we protect criminals (a position I can actually respect, to the extent that he’s put some thought into it. And he had, a little, so.) and another who said “Well, since I don’t grow pot in MY basement, I’m not doing anything wrong, so why should I be bothered by it? They won’t scoop up me.”


Happily, she has no intention of working in the criminal justice system, on either side.

The biggest thing we’ve learned here is that the UK doesn’t have the exclusionary rule. If police collect evidence illegally, a judge can rule that the evidence is admissable, as long as it doesn’t affect the fairness of the trial.


When we broke up for our small groups, the US students were all like “WHUT” and the UK students were like “EXCLUDE WHUT”

(Also the UK procedures for an ID line up are a lot more fair to the defendant, since witness ID is so problematic anyway, I think this is good).

(Papa Red, it IS problematic. Really. We can discuss this later.)

(I can have WHOLE CONVERSATIONS with people when they aren’t even here. It saves a lot of time.)

So that’s school. My other story is not about school, it’s about this woman I met at Love Never Dies last night

(Capsule review of LND: Better than expected. It avoided the middle ground of being not bad enough to warrant the ticket price for trainwreck value, and not being good enough that it wasn’t worth the ticket price. It was about worth the ticket price. )

So there I was, waiting for the show to begin, and realizing I didn’t have a program, and I hear this older woman behind me going through the program with her husband saying things like “Oh, yes! We saw him in Les Miz!” and “Oh, we’ve seen her on the telly! Lovely voice.”

After the show, I went round to the stage door, because what the hell, you know? I knew where it was (it had been on a ghost tour I was on the other night) and hey, I know it’s done, because A-M had told me stories about waiting at West End stage doors for Judi- sorry, DAME Judi Dench.

And there was the little old lady, waiting eagerly, and while we were waiting for the actors to come out, she regaled me with stories from her SIXTY ONE YEARS of collecting autographs. She lives in Yorkshire with her (self-described) long suffering husband, and they come to London every so often and take in a batch of shows (today they are at Wimbeldon, tomorrow they are seeing Legally Blonde, which I am seeing on Monday). She was determined to get a certain member of the ensemble’s autograph, because she had seen him in several shows but he’d always managed to elude her.

At that point, one of the principals came out, and managed to not be recognized by anyone- except the little old lady from Yorkshire. Who took a few seconds to take stock of the situation, and went haring after her. And came back triumphant.

So then, as people would come out, she would accost them, peer at their face, turn to the appropriate page in the program, and get them to sign it. The members of the ensemble were always thrilled to oblige- they don’t have name parts, they are generally not known people, so giving autographs isn’t something they get to do. Then she would demand if this particular actor she wanted had snuck out when she wasn’t looking. “Oh he hasn’t? Oh, good. And does he still look like his picture?”

I asked her if I could take her picture, because she was an absolute hoot. She said “Well of course, dear. but I don’t understand why you’d want a picture of me!” (I haven’t downloaded it yet.) I then left to go find some dinner, leaving her waiting to get the autograph of Paul Farrell (if he happens to google his name, and missed her Friday night, he’ll now know. 😀 And if he didn’t miss her, I imagine that the others who she demanded information from have filled him in. But still, get his google stats up. I’M HELPING HIS CAREER OKAY). I hope she did.