Friday, 31 October 2014

Pre-Inquiry Bad Smell

To lose one inquiry head is unfortunate but to then replace them with someone else with even closer links to those being inquired into smells of something much more rotton.
The inquiry was set up to look at how public bodies dealt with historic allegations of child sex abuse, following claims about paedophile's in powerful political positions in the 80s and 90s and establishment attempts to cover up their depraved actions.
First up was Lady Butler-Sloss who was forced to step down in July because her late brother, Lord Havers,
was attorney general during the period when many of the alleged offences are said to have taken place.
The Home Office then turned to Woolf who in turn has been forced out by the victims groups after it
emerged that she was a friend and neighbour of the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, whose role in dealing with allegations of child abuse in the 1980's is likely to come under intense scrutiny.
Before it has even began we are left with the feeling that far from a vigorous investigation into their fellow MPs, this is going to be a whitewash with very little naming and shaming and the blame put upon a few minor bad apples and the big fish slip away into the shadows with their reputations intact, a la the recent Iraq and expenses scandals.
And they wonder why nobody trust's politicians anymore.

Two Sentence Horror Stories

It's beginning to rain again. The drops are falling obliquely against the lamplight. It's probably falling all over the country. On the cities, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the graveyards, upon the crosses and headstones, upon all the living and the dead...and tonight the dead will be around to see it also because it's Halloween, when the dead visit the land of the living.
You can lock the door, stay inside and shut the horrors outside or you can come with me and step into the world where those who have left this world reign.
Take my hand, but beware because where we are going, everything can hurt you.

A girl heard her dad call her name to come downstairs. When she got onto the landing her dad grabbed her shoulder and said 'I heard that, too'.

'I feel so sleepy' my boyfriend whispered in my ear as he crawled into bed beside me last night. I woke up this morning clutching the suit that he had been buried in.

I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, 'Mummy, check for the bogeyman in the cupboard'. I smile and look in his cupboard and see him staring back at me curled up, shivering in the corner and whispering, 'Mummy, there's somebody on my bed'.

My daughter's screaming and crying in the middle of the night is keeping me awake. I visited her grave and asked her to stop but it hasn't help.

My sister told me that Mummy drowned her. Mummy says that I don’t have a sister.

The girl in my dream screamed, 'Don't answer the door'. I awoke suddenly and when it chimed again, i realised that it was the doorbell that had woken me.

I don’t know what’s more unsettling. The fact that my TV wakes me up at night or the fact that i unplug it before i go to bed. 

The longer I wore it the more it grew on me. The neighbour's daughter really did have such pretty skin.

I have been asked to put the mirrors back up around the house. Apparently they miss watching me.

I've always been okay with my brother crawling into bed with me because he was cold. What i don't like is the graveyard dirt he leaves on the sheets.

As i explained to the Officer, i was delighted that my wife has returned to her first love of cooking after her breakdown. It wasn't until after dinner that i noticed the empty pushchair by the oven and asked her where the baby was.

Daniel sat admiring his wife's face. He then decided to set it aside for dessert.

Mummy always tells me that i shouldn't talk to strangers. My other mummy in the cupboard tells me I should kill her.

I covered my ears to try and keep out the sound of the terrible, blood chilling noise coming from downstairs. I swear the first chance i get i will hide my husbands 'Best of Country & Western' CD. 

Warmest Halloween On Record

It really shouldn't be 23C on the last day of October but i spent my lunch hour in the park surrounded by sunbathers and people in shorts.
Forecasters had predicted a continuation of the mild weather that has already seen 2014 become the hottest on record but the temperatures will fall back to an average of 13C next week after the UK mercury crept higher than that in Cannes, Athens, Crete and Rome.
To balance it all, some long range forecasters are predicting heavy and persistent snow, freezing gales and sub-zero temperatures could hit the UK from November until March.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather said significant snowfall is likely in weeks with savage frosts and thick winter fogs and the possibility of thermometers dipping below the record -27.7C recorded in 1982.
Might be best to keep that summer duvet on the bed but keep the electric blanket on standby.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Gas Bills To Fall To All Time Low Anytime Soon?

UK gas prices plunged to a record low today fuel poverty remains rife in Britain, with 2 million households, 10% of the population, unable to afford adequate heating.
Having already issued the annual, pre-Winter threat that they may not be able to 'keep the lights on' the power companies are now facing a few tough questions regarding how come our bills are not coming down with the cost 25% cheaper than this time last year especially as this is the major justification of putting them up.
Blaming 'soaring wholesale energy prices' to raise their gas prices by 35% with immediate effect, suppliers explained that 'wholesale prices are just part of the bill and, although reduced pressure on the wholesale gas market is good news in the long term, companies buy energy days, weeks, months and even years in advance to protect customers from sudden changes in costs, and will have bought gas when prices were higher'.
All that must mean that when we get the gas they purchased days, weeks, months or even a few years ago our bills will be slashed and all our gas bills will plunge to an all-time low as well.
Anything else would make us think that they have been ripping us all all along.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

70's Soviet Technology Today

Thankfully it was an unmanned rocket that exploded this week and not a manned mission but there are quite a few parts to this story that seem to be going under the radar.
Firstly, the launching of the rockets is now the responsibility of a private company called Orbital while the rockets were ex-Soviet Union Antares rockets with AJ-26 engines from the 1970's.
So to put that all into focus, NASA scrapped their space program and the private sector was bought in so they didn't have to to depend on Russian rockets to send us into space and the private sector then buys old Soviet era rockets and put together a rocket that exploded when they tried to launch it.
With previous experience of the private sector, i would assume they tried to do it on the cheap and cut a few corners to save money and therefore make a nice profit and then...kaboom. 
With a straight face, Orbital are trying to pin the blame on the Russians and with a smiling face the Russians are pointing out that they stopped using these rockets in the 90's because they proved unreliable after several launch failures.
Apparently, Orbital bought 40 of them from the Soviets so the astronauts had better not be running out of anything up there on the Space Station because it might be a while yet before they get their fresh supplies.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

DIY Ghostbusting This Halloween

Way back in 1984, Ray Parker Jnr posed the question that 'If there's somethin' strange in your neighborhood, Who ya gonna call?
As we are fast approaching the one day of the year when the veil that separates the living and the dead is at its thinnest, Ray's question is even more relevant but as the emergency services are bound to be busy dealing with the multitude of calls that 'there's somethin'  weird an' it don't look good', we should be prepared to deal with the visit from one of the living dead ourselves. Luckily, we have decades of horror films to fall back on so here's a handy guide on the best way to stay safe this Halloween night.

By far the most popular Halloween character you may encounter is a Witch. Although they may possess the power to turn you into a frog, witches were killed by the thousand back in medieval times and are basically just warty women with pointy hats and a broom so if a woman with a big nose and dressed all in black climbs through your window on Halloween, a blunt object to the head should cool her heels permanently.

Vampires are the living dead, forced to feed on the livings blood. They fear sunlight, the cross, fire and a stake through their heart. Their weakness is they always only go for the neck jugular so either sleep with a stake within handy grasp or wear a neck brace.

Come the full moon anyone can change into a ferocious werewolf which can only be killed by a silver bullet. Unless there is a full moon this halloween evening you are safe from having your intestines being used to decorate your bedroom walls. If it is a full moon then a silver bullet is your only salvation so you better start melting down that cheap jewellery.

Demons come in many shapes and forms but they all have something in common, they can be killed in many ways from fire to decapitation. They may come from hell and be super strong but they tend to be easily distracted. The old "Look out, behind you" ploy will give you more than enough time to grab a handily concealed battle axe and remove it's ugly head.

Ghosts are just rubbish. They can’t hurt you and the only thing they can do is make scary noises. This can ruin a good night’s sleep, but it can’t hurt you.

Killer Clowns
A relative newcomer to the hall of horrors but though they may look funny with their squirty flowers and big red noses make no mistake, while some will do no more than honk their horn at you, others will rip off your head and spin it on a wobbly pole for the rest of eternity.  Luckily, clowns have a liking for oversized shoes which can be easily nailed to the ground and a good shove will render them useless although beware cream-pies, over-sized hammers or buckets of confetti in their hands as you make your escape

Zombies are the walking dead but their biggest drawback is they are as dumb as a post and unless you are wearing boots, trousers and a coat made from lead, you could easily outpace the slowcoaches before they get the chance to eat your brain. Fire or a bullet in the brain will stop them in their tracks.

Mummies are just zombies wrapped up in bandages, which makes it slower and more flammable than a regular zombie. Hopeless.

Probably the least welcome thing you could find looming over you in the dead of night is a robot. Whether they are cyborgs from the future, aliens or escapees from a local tourist attraction out to kill all of mankind, robots are notoriously hard to kill. Not only are they metallic, but they are always immensely strong and impervious to fire, bullets, hitting with blunt objects or swords and have clear, logical thought which anticipates your every move.
You cannot outrun it so the only chance you have is to confuse it's circuits with some bizarre and confusing logic that will fry it's computerised brain trying to figure out. Reading out the lyrics to any REM song will work fine.

If the abomination that has made the journey into our world is anything else, then i suggest taking up Ray Jnr's advice of picking up the phone and calling Ghostbusters although to be honest, you will probably be in 17 bits spread around the living room before the first ring.
Above all avoid cemetary's, spooky looking houses and haunted forests and you should stay safe this Halloween.

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.