Saturday, 3 December 2016

That's Gotta Hurt

Things that bite and sting are not such a problem for us Northern Hemispherers at this time of year but for those unlucky enough to be on the other side of the Equator its prime bitey, stingy time and an Australian man has just had his second brush with a spider who took exception to him urinating on his toilet bowl home and attacked the source.
For the second time, the man was turning up at his local hospital, pulling down his boxer shorts and asking his doctor to take a look.   
While a stung penis sounds very painful, science has found out that while a throbbing todger may hurt, there are more painful places for a spider to stick its fangs. 
Prof Adam Hart of the University of Gloucestershire said that fleshy parts of the body, where there's extra room to inject venom and greater capacity for swelling and areas with a lot of nerve endings are the most painful but one scientist, the stupid or brave Justin Schmidt, went above and beyond the call of duty and actually devised an experiment to establish which was the most painful part of the body to receive a sting - he inserted a bee's stinger into different parts of his own body and ranked the pain on a scale of one to 10.
The least painful locations, he found, were the upper arm, skull and tip of the middle toe while the worst were the nostril, the upper lip and the penis shaft.
While the Aussie with the rapidly swelling penis may have been uncomfortable, he was lucky the spider never made it to his nasal cavity but not as lucky as the doctor who had to treat him, lucky in that science has progressed enough that sucking the poison out of the site of the bite isn't the cure any longer.

War Against Christmas

Christians call it the reason for the season which means up until Jesus was born we only had Summer, Autumn and Spring but putting aside their lack of basic planetary science, the more religious amongst us have been rattling their rosary beads in annoyance that the Christ part of Christmas is being forgotten and the Prime Minister agrees, saying that we should no longer tolerate a situation in which people are afraid to mention Christmas.      
She has a point, the Tesco by me has the words 'CHRISTMAS' in six foot high red letters in their window, just imagine how big they would be if they wasn't afraid to mention it.
Despite the Christmas Trees in every office and enough tinsel decking the halls to reach Pluto, my colleagues and i at work have to lock ourselves in a cupboard and post a guard in order to discuss arrangements for the Office Christmas meal.
It’s a symbolic victory for Christmas that we are going out to celebrate Christmas at all, or to give it the proper name now that we daren’t seem to mention Christmas anymore, the 'Midwinter celebration of the Earth tilting to at the optimum angle to create minimum daylight lunch'. 
The Prime Minister is right though that nobody mentions Christmas anymore, in the Shopping Centre today only 90% of the shops staff wore Christmas jumpers or elf hats under banners proclaiming 'Christmas Special Offers' while asking me if i want a bag while Wizard wished it was a Christmas Everyday and Wham tunefully told us about what they did with their heart Last Christmas. 
'We want to ensure people are able to speak quite freely about Christmas' said the PM and i agree, we should be proud and celebrate Christianity and all that it stands for, minus the stoning gays to death and the whole God thing because that's just ridiculous.

Give Trump A Chance

He hasn't even planted his ample backside in the Oval Office chair yet and everyone is jumping all over Donald Trump as if he is going to usher in the end of the World.
Yes he comes across as childlike and a disaster waiting to happen but unlike Obama or Bush before him, he hasn't yet started any wars and isn't responsible for the deaths of untold hundreds of thousands and misery across the globe.
All we can do is give him a chance and wait and see what happens, he may surprise us and turn out to be the greatest thing that happens to the World.  
One thing we can anticipate is who he is surrounding himself with ready for when he gets handed the nuclear codes and the ability to put into practise all those things he has been promising.
Hmm...not looking too good is it.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

They Did It Again?

It has happened so many times now that when a member of the government walks along outside Downing Street with notes clearly on show to the array of cameramen waiting outside, you have to think that that it can't just be another accident.
When Parliamentary aide Julia Dockerill walked to number 10 this week with her handwritten notes on the government’s Brexit strategy on show, it seemed so obviously a set up.
Not only was the ring binder open on the page but it was on top of a pile of other correspondence and being carried so it faced the cameras.
It seems obvious that the Government is playing the media like a violin with this new method of leaking because nobody walks around with important papers like that and 'leaking' information which in this case is the Governments Brexit plans which follows weeks of accusations that the Government doesn't actually have one.
You would like to think that is was a set up because no one group of supposedly responsible people could be that stupid and incompetent over and over again with sensitive information.
If it is accidental then the Government need to invest in some briefcases, folders and large envelopes but as as we do seem to be being run by a complete of shower of idiots, it was more likely a deliberate ploy to undermine Brexit and also a very handy diversion for the snoopers charter that was slipped out today without much fanfare.

The ■■■■■■■ Law

Britain’s intelligence services have been given the most privacy-invading mass surveillance powers in the world after the Investigatory Powers Act became law today. 
The legislation, dubbed the ‘snooper’s charter,’ authorizes the ■■■■■■■ to hack into devices, networks computers and ■■■■■■■ which allows for large databases of personal information on UK citizens to be maintained and ■■■■■■■.
Internet, ■■■■■■■ and phone companies can be forced to allow authorities to access to our records on demand and ■■■■■■■ with ■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■■■.
That data could be anything from ■■■■■■■, internet search history, calls made and text messages sent, and will be available to a wide range of Government agencies such as ■■■■■■■, ■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■■■.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has hailed the legislation as 'world-leading' saying it provides ' substantial privacy protection'.
The Home Office says the new law allows the police, security and intelligence agencies to gather and access electronic communications.
Civil liberties group Liberty said '■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ which will ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■'.
It is a sad day when ■■■■■■■ has control over ■■■■■■■ and can use it to ■■■■■■■ or even ■■■■■■■, the ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■'s. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Man Of The People On His Gold Throne

President-elect Donald Trump has given his first televised interview since winning the electoral vote - sitting on a gold throne while continuing his man-of-the-people-standing-up-for-the-little-guy rhetoric.
Surrounded by his family, he continued with his 'i'm a family man' shtick which he certainly is as he has had three of them which is why he now has five children by three different women.
One of his children, Ivanka, continued the long held tradition of a Trump being made to look stupid on Twitter by posting a picture of her own child, Theodore, with the text 'Cannot believe that Theodore is eight months old today! Happy birthday little teddy bear!'
Americans, please meet the man and his family about to run your lives for the next four years which may not be a problem for some who have picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Trump in the election run up as there has been a wide-scale surge in police reports of racial slurs, hate speech, threats against minorities and attacks on African Americans, Muslims and gay people.
Good luck America, you are going to need it.

Mr Brexit?

During the Brexit debacle Nigel Farage was pushed out to the edge of things by his own side so far that if it wasn't for him posing infront of that Nazi style poster in the dog days of the campaign that you could be forgiven that he was even still around.
Despite that he was not slow in going over to America to shake Trump by his tiny little penis hand and take the accolades as 'Mr Brexit'.
If that isn't enough of a brass neck, he is now back over here telling us that he should be a special envoy to America as he 'knows Trump', that he has been apologising to his new American pals for how us Brits mocked the new President and how we should forgive him for the things he said during his Presidential campaign.
Laughably up his own backside, Farage has as no chance of becoming anything that represents Britain as he was dismissed as a racist and a fruitcake not so long ago by the UK Government which you may think will go down well with the racist fruitcake about to land in the White House but with Boris Johnson in the Foreign Office, we can't have two of them rattling around acting in our name.      
Then there is the apology on behalf of Great Britain because we made fun of the orange haired weirdo with the small penis hands and silly hair before the election. Maybe Nigel Farage has been in the US since so maybe he has not noticed that the mockery has continued long after the last voting machine was packed away.
What he should know, as he has had it through all his career, the British ability to furiously make fun of people is infinite and we will continue to mercilessly mock Trump before, during and long after his Presidency.
Finally, to overlook the boast about him sexually assaulting women and the racist and sexist language might be a bit of a stretch so if Nigel wants a job maybe he should be put in charge of changing Trumps Twitter password or just anything which will keep the idiot over there and away from the UK.
PS...and if you have an opening for Piers Morgan, you can have him back also.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Science Shows How To Argue With A Right Winger

Without science we would still think that the Earth was at the centre of the Solar System and the World was flat and now it has come up trumps again by showing us how to shut up a big mouth right winger in an argument.  
The secret, according to Robb Willer who is a professor of sociology and psychology at Stanford University, is to not bombard the opposition with facts and figures but to frame your argument in ways they understand which is to frame it in a way which resonates with their world view which means appealing to the firmly held right wing view of 'respect for authority'.
If you can somehow show that an ideal or person shows a lack of respect for authority then it will soften the right wingers view, not enough to get them to change their mind but enough to at least let you put your side for the argument across.
A current example is Donald Trump who appears to be much loved by the right, hated by the left, but if the argument is prefaced by the idea that he repeatedly behaved disloyally towards America to serve his own interests by dodging the Vietnam draft to follow his father into the development business, then you will receive a more sympathetic hearing from your opponent as you are directly playing into their 'disloyal to me and my country' alarm zone which will temper any following good things they feel about him.
This can be doubled up by making the right winger believe that they have reached the conclusion by themselves, then they will be putty in your hands.
An example is while debating with a racist, sexist or homophobe and nudging them into thinking they reached a conclusion themselves, so when the racists says something along the lines of 'all blacks are evil' ask the racist to recall a time when they were on the end of discrimination at school or at work because they were different and how you are fighting to change attitudes to end discrimination at work or school so they others would not have to ever feel like they did again.  
Somewhere inside that right wing head something should chime while thinking about their own experience and how others wrongly pre-judged or discriminated against them should lessen their own prejudices against others they consider different.
The professor also explains how to frame an argument to appeal to a left winger and sway or at least temper their argument but as a left winger myself we don't need to go there as we are never wrong anyway so i never read that bit.

Fidel Castro: Hero of Villain

Nobody seemed to split opinion quite like Fidel Castro who survived a reported 600 plus attempts on his life only to die of old age in his own bed. 
Nobody would disagree that the Batista Government that Castro and his cohorts removed was a brutally oppressive dictatorship, even John F Kennedy said that he approved of Castro's call for justice to rid Cuba of Batista and was 'in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries'.
Some of the first laws Castro introduced was to provide equality for black Cubans and greater rights for women but the problem seems to be what he did next.
Castro resented the backing that the US Government gave to the Batista Government and when he nationalised all U.S. property in Cuba, the Americans responded by freezing all Cuban assets on American soil, severed diplomatic ties and launched its long running sanctions on Cuba and backed an armed counter-revolutionary assault with the aim of ousting Castro.
All this forced Castro into the arms of the Soviet Union and cemented him and his regime as America's enemy on its doorstep. 
Castro undoubtedly raised living standards, reduced infant mortality and massively improved education, literacy and health care for all while the Cuban economy tanked but while raising living standards, in other ways he failed the very people he was freeing from tyranny with increasingly repressive tactics to enforce his grip on the country.  
His regime locked up thousands of homosexuals and dissenters in camps so it is hard to argue that what he replaced Batista with was much better.
What historians can and will argue about is how much he was to blame for the economic struggles that saw crime and prostitution rocket and force many thousands of others to flee and die via the perilous sea crossing to Florida.
The argument is that he was forced to become more hard line by the numerous failed CIA operations to topple him and America's economic and political sanctions to isolate Cuba.
Impossible to argue that American led sanctions didn't contribute to the country's economic failure but the argument is also being made that the blame falls squarely on Castro's shoulders for mismanaging the economy and he was far from a revolutionist who was always going to use the repressive policies to keep his iron grip on the country.
That is for Historians to argue over but the bottom line is at the end of his time did he improve things for his countrymen and in some ways he very much did but in some other ways he toppled a nasty, repressive regime only to replace it with another nasty, repressive regime.
To many on the left he is a hero purely because he continually foiled and thumbed his nose at the overbearing Americans but that is to overlook his many failings but to many of the right he was an evil villain but that overlooks the many successes and improvements he bought to his countrymen.

Avoiding Brexit (While Pretending Not To)

The most asked question i have heard over the past week from Europeans is why did Britain vote for Brexit?
The simple answer is because 52% of us are idiots but the more truthful one would be that a fair portion of that 52% were mis-informed, ignorant of what they were voting for or just swallowed the 'taking back control' lies.
The call for another referendum is growing louder and i support that especially now that the consequences are being spelt out and it isn't looking good for Britain so i'm hoping Theresa May kicks all this Article 50 nonsense into the long grass for it to be forgotten about.
It won't because we keep hearing about the 'will of the people' and how the 'people have spoken' but that isn't really true as it's the will of 17,410,742 or 51.89% of the country, the other 48.11% or 16,141,241 of us said we wanted to remain.
So while i would be quite happy for the Government to say that leaving the EU would be detrimental to the British interests so they won't do it, i wouldn't like to see another referendum as that smells of just keep going until we get the result we want.
My preferred tactic would be what the last Labour Government did regarding throwing in our lot with the European currency and leaving sterling for the Euro which was to have a set of secret 'tests' which were reviewed every once in a while and would only be enacted once the time was right.
As the time was never right we stayed with our pounds and pence so i say to Theresa May promise to ditch the EU at some point in the future but only when the time is right to prevent fatally damaging the British economy and force it back into another damaging recession.   
The 48% would be happy because we won't be going anywhere, the 52% will be happy because they will still seem to be getting their own way and because of that simple answer at the start of that second sentence at the top of the post.