Saturday, 25 October 2014

Summertime Is Through

So that's it then, today is officially the last day of British Summertime and the clocks go back and the nights begin to draw in.
I often get moaned at for saying i don't like the Summer so now the table has turned and it is the time for the others to moan about the rain and snow, the cold wind and the freezing temperatures.
The advantages of the Northern Hemisphere tilting away from the Sun is that we can now see sunrises where before it was only postmen and bakers who were up and about when the Sun came over the horizon.  
Another advantage is cold weather clothes so we are not subjected to bellies overhanging shorts while wearing socks with sandals. It's big coats, sensible shoes and big chunky jumpers for the next few months.
The next few months herald Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year while the Summer sees the only dates on the calendar ringed is the appointment at the doctor to get that sting that has erupted on your forearm looked at.
Finally, while Summer brings sun, sunburn, hot sleepless sticky nights and dodging wasps, Winter brings Snow and everyone from primary school children to brain surgeons stop what they are doing and smoosh their grinning faces against the windows to take in the falling flakes. Everyone loves Snow and try to get a day off work in August because there is too much sun!
Yes miserable summery type people will moan but that just means we know what to get them for Christmas - a light box.

Why Mars And Not The Moon?

The manned mission to Mars is proving a bit more problematic then just plonking 4 humans on the red planet and leaving to it as low gravity and cosmic rays are proving a problem.
'The human ability to conceive in reduced gravity is not known, neither is there enough research on whether a foetus can grow normally under these circumstances,” the scientists behind the Mars One mission have announced which puts a spanner in any colonisation plans.'
'Although performance of the sex act during a journey to Mars may require potentially complex sexual gymnastics' American neuropsychologist Rhawn Joseph said 'the concern is the dangers and risks space conditions pose to a potential baby and his surviving abilities'.
I am disappointed that since the 60's, when we first landed on the Moon, we seem to have done nothing with it since so no space stations or terraforming of the moons surface whatsoever.
Leaping straight to colonising Mars seems a bit of overstretch, trying it out on the moon would be much safer and easier to perform a rescue mission if required with a 4 days trip rather than 9 months.
That said, it is great that we are picking up the Space Exploration bug again but Mars does seem a case of running before we can walk when we have a perfectly good solar ball of rock almost on our doorstep when we we can practise and perfect our missions before turning our gaze to other planets.

Friday, 24 October 2014

China Launches World Bank Rival

In another step to taking over the whole shebang, China has launched a new World Bank rival with a memorandum of understanding signed with 21 Asian countries in Beijing Friday.
The bank is to offer financing for infrastructure projects in Asian countries but Australia, Indonesia and South Korea were absent from the signing ceremony following pressure from Washington.
 The Australian Financial Review said US Secretary of State John Kerry had personally asked Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to 'steer clear' from joining AIIB.
"Australia has been under pressure from the US for some time to not become a founding member of the bank and it is understood Mr. Kerry put the case directly to the prime minister when the pair met in Jakarta on Monday following the inauguration of Indonesian President Joko Widodo'.     
Matthew Goodman, scholar at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC believes the Bank 'represent the first serious institutional challenge to the global economic order'.
I'm not sure what this all means but it seems America is obviously rattled by China's latest move to lift itself into the global superpower so it must damaging to its plans.
According to economists, the reserve currency is the big one, remove that from America's greasy paws and the gigs up so this must be a step in that direction which is why Washington are worried.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Canada Joins Target List

Canada has always been overshadowed by its more gobby neighbour but somehow it has always managed to avoid being too closely entangled with the country it shared the top bit of North America with as the Americans decided there was not enough war in the world and decided to spend the last 200 years rectifying it.
Now it has become a target for terrorism after the Canadian military become involved as part of the American-led coalition currently bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.
Things will now change now and it is assumed that the Parliament will adopt the paranoid fortressing techniques that already seal the White House and the Houses of Parliament into a bubble of concrete and steel.
That could be why Canada was chosen as a target, it was always the softest and easiest target of the allies but things in Canada will change now that it has been bought into the fold which could prove a watershed moment for the Canadian politicians who, if they are like the US and UK who were never ones to waste a crisis, will bring in sweeping 'anti-terror' laws.
Canadians can expect to hear lines such as 'if you got nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear' and 'everything to keep you safe' from the mouths of the government as their rights and privacy are chipped away.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Gamergater Nerds

I did find the idea of hundreds of angry game playing nerds quite funny and now they have joined forces, called themselves Gamergaters and launched a crusade to rid the gaming world of the one thing that will always be out of their reach, females.
It all began after Zoe Quinn began trying to publish a text based game called Depression Quest which so outraged the gaming community because it isn't a real game, that they stopped fondling their joysticks long enough to harass Zoe by posting her address and home phone number and forcing her out of her home.
Not content with their work so far and spurred on by their victory, they have now set about cleaning up gaming journalism and describe themselves as a victimised demographic and have contacted advertisers on gaming websites that write less than complimentary things about gamers, they particularly dislike the description that they are angry, young, white males. 
So outraged where they that they created a female character called Vivian James as some sort of protest and in the time honoured tradition of pasty faced teenagers, the gaming boards filled up with angry, young white males at the bottom of the social pecking order fantasising about having sex with her.
The internet is one of the most widest channels to broadcast views with a degree of anonymity that has ever existed and is therefore bound to attract imbeciles of all types, it is just that this latest bunch are angry white males who are probably still living at home and who's only interaction with females is through video games and internet porn so they should be pitied because to quote someone famous, being attacked by them must be like being savaged by a dead sheep.
Probably the best way to repel them would have been for Zoe Quinn to have turned up on their doorstep, they would have ran a mile if a female actually tried to speak to the socially backward Gamergaters who's sex life seems to comprise of doing it with a cartoon they drew.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Quo's Greatest Hits

Looking through my record collection i have a few Greatest Hits albums and i may have been tempted by the new Status Quo Greatest Hits album until they committed the ultimate music band sin that raises many peoples hackles, putting new material on the Greatest Hits.
I am sure they are proud of the new songs and spent many hours refining the lyrics and fine tuning the chord changes but is it really down to the bands themselves to tell us what are their greatest hits?
Considering they have been around since the 60s they don't have a shortage of songs they could fill a CD with and i'm sure Quo fans would much prefer a couple of the old songs to ones they don't know which should be on the next album and not shoehorned into a compilation of their very best.
Knowing how the music industry mindset works, i assume the point is to encourage fans that already own the previous albums to purchase the Greatest Hits one as well just for the new songs on it.
It seems incredibly arrogant to me to include new songs which if they really were that good would stand up on their own and make an appearance on the Status Quo Greatest Hits Vol. 2.
It's as much a rip off as the 'Live Album' idea that crops it's ugly head up every now and then but that's a moan for another day.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Why Is Nobody Screaming At Obama?

Although nobody at the Nobel Committee will admit to it, when they handed the Prize for outstanding contributions in peace to Obama in 2009 it was much more to do with him not being George W Bush than anything which he contributed to peace.
Now that he has spent the last five years either bombing or threatening to bomb assorted countries around the World, the Committee would be justified in asking for their award back but they won't because for some reason Obama is still not seen as bad as his predecessor.
The same people who marched and waved banners decrying Bush for his actions in Afghanistan and Iraq seem less keen to berate the current American President for waging the kind of wars they should instinctively oppose.   
If this was George W. Bush launching these wars the streets would be flooded with screaming pacifists but as Obama is not a right wing evangelist, the anti-war crowd are not so quick to jump on a president who is supposedly on the same side even if he turned out to be just as quick to use the military as the man he replaced.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have just reported that the 400 drone strikes in Pakistan, a country that America is not even at war with, has killed 2,379 people of which 2,084 were not even combatants and the news didn't even make a splash.
Imagine if that kind of news came out when Bush was stomping around the globe, he was dodging shoes thrown at his head for less.     
The innocent people who die in wars are just as dead and homes are just as destroyed regardless if the Commander in Chief is a well spoken black man in a suit or a retarded cowboy in a stetson but those who screamed so loudly at the last President, seem to have lost there voice with this one.

Neck Tattoo's And Tunnel Earrings

I have nothing against tattoos, i have seen some very nice ones and some that seem to have been drawn on by a 3-year-old but there does seem to be an increasing trend of young people getting the tattoo on their necks or behind their ears.
I have colleagues with tattoo's on the arms and it isn't until you see them outside of work and in a t-shirt that you realise they are there as they are covered by shirt sleeves during the working day but short of wearing a scarf, it isn't easy to cover up a neck tattoo. 
It may look cool at 19 and you are a student but not quite such a good idea at times when you have to look professional such as at an interview or business meeting.
Same goes with the tunnel earrings which go inside the hole in the ear lobe and stretch it which is not a good look when you move out of academia and into the real world of work.
Get a tattoo by all means but get it where it can be covered up or exposed depending on the situation because getting on in work and life in general is hard enough and having a neck tattoo and huge great self-imposed holes in your earlobes is not going to make things any easier and i guarantee that when you are the other side of 30, you WILL regret it.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

400th Drone Strike In Pakistan

On October 11, the US carried out its 400th drone strike in northwest Pakistan since its strikes started there in 2004. In almost a decade, 2,379 people have been killed.  
US National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: 'Strikes were only carried out when there was near-certainty that no civilians would be killed. The death of innocent civilians is something that the US Government seeks to avoid if at all possible'.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as part of the Naming the Dead project which uses Pakistani government records to research those killed by American drone strikes reported that: 'Only 295 of the 2,379 dead were reported to be members of some kind of armed group'.
Obviously the White House's idea of 'near certainty' and 'avoiding the death of innocent civilians' is very much different to the rest of ours or maybe it sees a 12.5% success rate as a job going well.

Religion From 1534 In 2014

In 1534 King Henry VIII was forbid by the Catholic Church to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Ann Boleyn as they did not recognise or support divorce so he jabbed two chubby fingers at the Vatican and made up his own religion, The Church of England, took back the wedding ring from Catherine and  gave it to Ann and all lived happily ever after. Well Henry did, Ann had her head chopped off two years later but we can be thankful that the Catholic Church have moved with the times and are no longer struck it the bad old days of 480 years ago.
Now we have a Pope who is looking to modernise the Church and is speaking of acceptance of divorce but in the vote of the Catholic Church synod today, he was rebuffed by the senior clerics who want to keep the divorcee's out.
It appears Pope Francis's attempt to bring the Catholic Church closer to the 21st Century was foiled by the people who want to keep it in the 16th and another nail gets hammered into the coffin lid of religion who seems intent to make itself as irrelevant as possible to people in 2014.