Monday, 23 May 2016

Trump Leads Clinton In Polls

The latest presidential polling average shows the Republican candidate Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton by 0.2 percentage points.
While pundits never gave Trump a chance of becoming the Republican nomination, when he did they then said that he has no chance of becoming President but his chances of winning the White House seem to be rising November but with the election still six months away it could be too early to panic just yet.
The same pundits are now saying that when it comes down to it the racist, fear mongering, divisive, misogynistic Trump with his schoolyard bullying tactics and childish temper tantrums will still be trounced by Hillary and i agree because Sanders will soon have to concede the nomination and his supporters will have to decide whether to support Trump, abstain, vote 3rd party, or vote Clinton and my guess would be that most will find Trump so utterly disgusting a prospect that they will feel that they have no choice but to vote Clinton.
Meanwhile the International 'We don't want Trump to win' campaign was joined by North Korea of all places, with a spokesman for the Supreme Leader dismissing a meeting between them and Trump as 'nonsense' and 'useless'.
When even the harshest regime in the world are not keen to shake Trumps little hands then you know you are unpopular but while we may still laugh at the prospect of Trump becoming American leader, i think back to 2004 when it was inconceivable that Americans would vote George W Bush back into Office but they did so there is also the wonder of erratic American voting to throw into the mix.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Thank You Celebrities

I was starting to regret offering to stand in for the physics teacher last week especially as it was the week when i could only contact celebrities for advice, typically while explaining bosonic open string theory in 26-dimensional flat spacetime, i stupidly forgot the general element of the Fock-space, so i calmly excused myself and stood in the corridor wondering who i could phone to rescue me.
I decided to call Brian May as he has a PhD in astrophysics and he explained how i needed to  quantify the upper range and interpret them as classical fields representing the tachyon T , gauge field A and a ghost field. Doh, of course, thank Brian.
One student got so excited he fell off his chair and banged his head on the floor, an accident that he said was due to faulty seating equipment and he would sue the college for personal injury.
I excused myself again to check the law in this area with a celebrity with a law degree. Gerard Butler was busy, as was John Cleese and Fidel Castro but Julio Iglesias picked up and after a brief review he said that as the student was leaning back on the chair when he fell, it did not satisfy Clause 57(1) (b) of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 Act which requires a court to dismiss the whole of a personal injury claim if it is satisfied that the claimant was partly responsible for the accident.
Thanking Julio, i then went and told the student to shut up and find another chair. 
At the end of the day i went to drive home but found that my Greek imported NAMCO Pony-Citroën wouldn't start and when i found the picture of the the red flashing light on the dashboard in the users manual, discovered that this was all in Greek but i never panicked, simply made a call to Chris Martin who has a degree in Greek and read out the bits of the manual which he translated from the Greek 'apó venzíni' into the English 'out of petrol'. Doh again. 
At home i was asked to write a quick blog post about apostrophes but i know nothing about where the ' goes so mulled over the celebrities with English degrees who could help me. Hugh Laurie was out of town, David Duchovny was on set with Renee Zellwegar so they were both out, Chevy Chase wasn't taking calls and Stephen King scares me so i dialled the charming actor James Franco who was more than willing to help out and fifteen minutes later i was finished. Cheers James, and keep up the fine acting. 
My last job for the day was to finish my Tax Return but its so complicated and Mick Jagger may have a degree in finance but i can never understand a word he says but Lionel Richie made good use of his Economics degree and talked me through the finer points of claiming personal pension relief. I in turn advised him that he should answer his phone by saying 'Hello, is it me you're looking for?'
I then turned in for the night but couldn't resist one more call but David Boreanaz seems to have my number barred since he found out i was not ringing him to question him on his communications degree. Apparently the injunction lasts for 12 months. 
Finally, after an hour of tossing and turning and being unable to sleep, i made a call to Mathematics degree holder Mr T and asked him to explain calculus to me and within 30 seconds i was sleeping like a baby.

Back To The Hyperloop Drawing Board

The way we travel has come a long way from the days when a horse was the quickest way to get from A to B. We invented air balloons, bicycles, cars, trains, ships and aeroplanes but nothing new has come along for decades which is why there is much excitement over Hyperloop.
This is a transport system in which passengers are loaded into pods and fired through vacuum tubes at 700mph and initial practise runs have been encouraging.
The selling point is that journey times over long distances are drastically reduced but there is one small problem that the Hyperloop faces which could prove problematic, it can't go around corners.
As things stand, the Hyperloop tube would need go in an almost complete straight line from city to city which would of course mean either finding a route completely free of obstacles or slicing through something valued which would quickly lose it public support, especially if it is peoples homes or workplaces in the way.
They could slow the pods down so they can handle corners but that would be defeating the purpose so there may be some drawing boards being returned to before we are able to buy a Hyperloop ticket. 

1066 And All That

Strange how we are voting on whether to stay 'Europeans' or not as we observe the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings which saw the last Anglo-Saxon King and the coronation of the first proper King of England who was French.
The Battle of Hastings wasn't actually fought at Hastings, it all kicked off at a place called 'Battle' but the Battle of Battle just sounded silly so they went with the place were the Normans landed which was Hastings although they only ended up there because there ships were blown off course so we could have ended up with the Battle of Scratchy Bottom if the wind had been blowing in a different direction.
The English had days earlier fought off the Norwegians and while they were sent home to celebrate, the French pulled up with their invasion fleet and one arrow in the King's eye later, the rest is history.  
Historians say the conquest was a critical turning point in history and it certainly changed England who went from a Viking influenced living to a French one, the reason why so many of our words are French was because William made it the official language although only the nobility actually learned it, the general population stayed with whatever language they knew, non of that 'parlez vous Francaise' for them.   
William was known originally as William the Bastard so he must have been happy to change it to William the Conqueror which has a much better ring to it while poor old King Harold Godwinson is just known for jokes about getting an arrow in his eye (Watch out for those sharp arrows, they could have someones eye out).
What William did start was not actually having English people on the British throne, William's children followed on when he died (exploding on death he was so fat so the story goes) and it was French all the way until the Germans muscled in and then changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor (after the castle) during the first World War to sound less German.
The point is that before William it was Scandinavians, then came the French and then the Germans which all means that the British monarchy is a hotch-potch of everywhere else except Britain which may be worth considering if you are thinking about voting to leave the EU because you don't want to be ruled by foreigners, we have been ruled over by foreigners since before Billy the Bastard showed up 950 years ago.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Boomerang Brits

A little over 200 years ago, the Brits that landed in Australia were forced to stay there amidst animals and insects that would kill you as soon as look at you and through sweat, toil and tears, built a country that produced Paul Hogan and Kylie Minogue.
Today's Brits that step onto Australia's shark infested shores have the option to come back and they are doing so in there droves apparently with 50% of those who decided to emigrate making the return trip within five years.
The reasons most cited for UK migrants deciding the wide open spaces of Australia are not for them are surprising ranging from horrendous traffic jams, bad roads, cost of living, lack of jobs, weather (Sydney has double the annual rainfall of London), lack of public transport, poor quality housing, Australian TV, unfriendly locals and long working hours.
Not quite what you see in Neighbours and the returning Brits have earned the name 'Boomerang Poms', named after Australia's most famous invention, a bent stick.
I am sure that Australian migrants who make the move in the opposite directions also complain, they complain about everything else so it would be a shock if they never, but most surprising is Brits not abandoning Australia because almost everything over there has the potential to eat, sting, bite or inject poison into you and a visit to the dunny could very well be the last thing you ever do.

No Referendum Vote For Ex-Pats

Big vote coming up on June 23rd, a vote that could define the nation for this century so it is important that as many people as possible vote, the only exception is those that have flounced off abroad and they are the ones who are now whining that they won't get a say in which way Britain falls.
British expats even had the temerity to challenge the legal ruling that anyone who had lived outside of the country for 15 years lose the right to vote in a British election, a challenge that they lost.
The appeal had been brought by Harry Shindler who has lived in Italy for 35 years and and Jacquelyn MacLennan who upped sticks to Belgium in 1987.
'I am still waiting for the Government to tell us why British citizens in Europe can't vote in this referendum' said Mr Shindler so to clear it up for him and to save the Government the bother, i will  tell him.
You see Mr Shindler, you chose to leave this country, one that you now claim to have a say in deciding its future.
No you don't because i'm sorry if this country wasn't good enough for you 35 years ago but as you don't live here and don't have to deal with the consequences of the vote, you don't get a say in choosing its future.
I hope that clears up any misunderstandings.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

No Birdies At Muirfield

Women aren't allowed on Mount Athos in Greece for religious reasons. In fact, even female animals are banned and it is all due to a legend that the Virgin Mary herself was shipwrecked there and for 1,000 years other women have been excluded so the monks there can focus entirely on her.
Of course there are many examples of sexism in the Church but you also find a hotbed of bigoted males packing a putter and a 5-iron as the world of Golf also has a problem with 50% of the World's population.
Facing a choice of admitting women members to their club or being removed from hosting The Open, the members of Muirfield decided it was more important to keep women out and voted accordingly to which the Scottish club has now been removed from the roster of clubs which host the tournament.
The justification from the 'no' campaigners among the Muirfield members had cited concerns about slow play and making women 'feel uncomfortable' among the 'risks' of admitting female members.
I assume the cheque for Donald Trump's membership is already in the post.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Why Is NATO Still Poking Russia?

I don't understand the NATO strategy when it comes to dealing with Russia or what they hope to gain from today's military exercises in Estonia which take them all the way up to Russia’s border.
While tensions between Russia and the West are already tense, to act so provocatively on Russia's doorstep is not only dangerous but could so easily spin out of control.
The West are always in need of a bogeyman to justify spending hundreds of billions on weapons, listen to the UK's need to spend £130 billion to replace Trident as evidence, and the West have decided that Putin and Russia is it which flings us back to the Cold War years.
Moscow cannot be expected to just accept NATO expanding and holding military exercises all the way up to its borders and will retaliate as it feels boxed in so someone at NATO needs to show some common sense and stop poking a massive military power with a big stick because at some point it will bite back and the frightening consequences that holds.

Summer's Coming And So Is Zika

The World Health Organisation have said that the Zika virus could spread to Europe this summer with a moderate risk in Mediterranean countries such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece while the risk in the UK is low.
Zika has been linked to a rise in brain defects in babies and the virus has been seen in more than 50 countries during this outbreak.
WHO experts say the risk of spread increases in late spring and summer as mosquitoes carrying the virus become more active.  
Mosquitoes already have a bad reputation and could possibly be the most dangerous animals on the planet as an estimated 725,000 people are killed every year by mosquito-born diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis.
In the deadliest animals league, an estimated 50,000 people are killed every year by snakes, 55,000 killed by dogs (mostly rabies from bites), tsetse fly kills 10,000, crocodiles are estimated to kill about 1,000 humans per year, 500 people per year die by Rhino, 130 people killed by deer (rather a driver hitting them on roads), 53 people die each year because of an allergic reaction from bee stings, 35 are killed each year by ants, 30 by jellyfish, 22 by cows (either falling on people or being kicked), 20 by horses, 7 by spider bites and sharks kill on average 5 people per year.
You officially have less chance of making it out alive from a cow field then from swimming in shark infested waters.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

UK Abortions Increase

The number of abortions carried out in England and Wales last year was the highest in five years according to annual statistics released by the Department of Health, driven by an increase in women in their 30s and 40s who are terminating a pregnancy.
There was a 0.7% increase to 185,824 operations performed in 2015, and the largest number since the 189,931 carried out in 2011.
The figures show that abortions are becoming less common among women under 30 but more so among women aged 30 and over.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said: 'The last decade has seen a considerable rise in the proportion of women having terminations who are either in a relationship or married. Last year 70% of women ending a pregnancy were either married or had a partner'.
The BPAS are concerned that older women were finding it harder to access contraception because cuts to the sexual health services is restricting women’s access especially to the morning after pill, and because of the cost of the pill when bought over the counter from a chemist.    
The figures also show that 833 women travelled from Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK where abortion is still illegal, to England or Wales to have a termination in 2015.
As is so common with this Government who promise so much but deliver so little, ministers promised to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies three years ago but as the numbers of abortions are rising, and sexual health services are cut under the banner of austerity, something has gone very wrong as Conservative ideology leads to another part of the NHS left to whither away.