Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Special Guest Blogger: Pythagoras

Yes, i was the guy who came up with the Pythagorean theorem you all learned in school where the square of the hypotenuse of a right angle
triangle is equal to the sum of the square of the other two sides, remember it now?
From its name, it's pretty easy to figure out who was the person to came up with it but although it may be my name on it, people were using it
for a thousand years before i wrote it down and slammed my name onto it.
I explained that all natural phenomena could be explained mathematically and was even a major inspiration for Plato's theories of democracy
but as loved as i am by nerds everywhere, my one regret is that my religion, Pythagoreanism, never really got off the ground.
The first part was fine, souls are reincarnated but the bit about beans being evil lost me many fans.
To worship at my temple you had to forgoe eating beans as well as be a vegetarian and be a pacifist but it was two of these things which actually got me killed.
My church was attacked by bean eating anti-Pythagoreans but rather than fight them (atheist remember), i ran away but my path was blocked by a bloody great bean field of all things and i refused to run through it, since doing so would violate my touching of the evil beans teachings,
so i stopped instead and my attackers caught up with me and killed me.
Still, my legacy is that if you look at a triangle and think ah, Pythagoras' theorem, a2 + b2 = c2, then you really missed out on a lot of fun behind the bike sheds during all those boring maths lessons.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Special Guest Blogger: Mark Twain

America doesn't have that many great writers, or rather not Southern Gentleman blessed with wit, humor and a killer mustache and a crisp white suit.
Apart from Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and person of colour Jim, i was friends with Nichol Tesla and even took part in some of his madcap electrical experiments including sitting in an oscilatting machine which put out high frequency current and an x-ray gun which he tested by firing directly at my brain.
Not saying it had anything to do with it but it sure made my death interesting, allowing me to predict it to the day.
Another friend of mine was former President Ulysses S. Grant and when he went bankrupt by sinking his money into some very dodgy investments i helped him publish his memoirs which made us both millions therefore allowing me to publish Huck Finn and the rest of the stories i became best known for.
Before that i was struggling myself until i hit upon the market of writing dirty stories for men's magazines, or squibs, essentially trashy short stories published in men's magazines with the the most (in)famous called '1601'.
It was so filthy that it wasn't even legal to print it until the overturning of obscenity laws in the 1960's and was a story of a conversation about farting and pubic hair between Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare, and the Queen of England.
As for my death, i said that as i was born within hours of Halley's Comet passing the earth, i would go to the great big steamboat in the sky with it also.
It was as much as a surprise to me when it showed up and hours later i died of a heart attack.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Dr Jenny Harries

Now is not the right time to be pouring vitriol on the politicians heads, Boris Johnson's woefully slow and confusing actions will be dredged over once the crisis is over but i do have to mention the deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, who is standing in for the Senior Medical Officer who is self-isolating after contracting Coronavirus himself.
She has been part of the Governments 5pm broadcasts for the past week or so and has come across as very calm and collected as she explains the advice that she and her team are giving to the Government but you would be forgiven for thinking that this Dr Jenny Harries is a completely different one to the one we saw a few weeks ago when the crisis began.
Then Dr Harries said cancelling outdoor events wasn’t necessary as: 'the virus doesn't last very long outdoors' therefore allowing the 250,000 racing fans to attend the Cheltenham Festival and announcing that other large sporting events: 'are not seen to be something which is going to have a big effect'.
She also said that she supported the government decision to keep schools open while schools across Europe began to close and in reply to former cabinet minister Rory Stewart’s call to close schools, said 'I would beg to differ with Mr Stewart'.
In response to criticism that NHS staff were screaming that they needed more Personal Protection Equipment, Dr Harries said that: 'the country has a perfectly adequate supply of PPE' and that 'there is kit available to go around the country'.
Not enough that the top three people in the country whose job includes advising the public how to avoid Covid-19 to ease the strain on the NHS have caught it themselves, the medical replacement was only weeks ago telling us the exact opposite of what she is telling us now.
It doesn't inspire confidence that the top team have a clue what they are doing and when we make it through the other side of the pandemic, it will be despite them rather than because of them.

No Tears For Loss Of BrightHouse

Our thoughts must be with the 2000 BrightHouse staff who have found themselves out of a job but nobody will be shedding a tear for the shop itself which was a cynical practise.
The shop sold electrical goods such as Washing machines, Televisions and Fridge Freezers on Higher Purchase to people who did not have the payment or credit rating to purchase upfront but they came with eye watering mark ups.
In an echo of the likes of Wonga and Quick Quid who had the same business model of lending and selling to the people who could least afford it, Brighthouse ran into financial problems when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) bought an end to their extortionate practices and fined them  £14.8 million for misselling goods on high-cost credit deals and not making correct checks that the lender can afford to make the repayments.
With many outstanding mis-selling claims against them, an administrator will now takeover the scores of mis-selling claims lodged against the firm however, claimants may have to wait longer for their compensation.
BrightHouse is another example of a company whose profits began to dry up when made to stop exploiting the low paid and jobless which showed how their business model worked all along so we should celebrate the demise of another yet deceitful, shameless business although that is tinged with sadness for the staff who today find themselves unemployed.

Special Guest Blogger: Henry VII

The last time i counted there were eight King Henry's but of all of them i'm the one that hardly gets a mention, Shakespeare wrote Henry four, five, six, eight but obviously defeating King Richard at Bosworth field and plucking Richard's crown in a hedge wasn't exciting enough to write a dumb play about.
Ending the wars of the roses wasn't good enough although to be fair it was quite confusing, damn near everyone involved was named either Edward, Henry or Richard with three Dukes of Somerset, three Princes of Wales (all Edwards), and five Kings of England.
I did lay the ground for everything that followed and making England rich and bought stability to our nation even if i spent a lot of time fighting off pretenders to the throne.
One of these was a little snot called Perkin Warbeck who said my throne was his, claiming he had been one of the Princes in the tower but was actually a Belgian servant boy who worked for a silk merchant who let Perkin wear some of his wares.
Apparently, hanging around blueknobs rubbed off on Warbeck and he knew the etiquette and could do a passable rightful king of England impression.
These rumors eventually reached the ears of my enemies and the anti-Henry group figured they could pass Perkin off as the son of Edward IV and both the Kings of France and Scotland vouched for the kid and tried to use Perkin to rouse a few armies against the me but in the best royal tradition of the time, i had him captured and hanged.
So i may have been dreary and boring but if you were looking for excitement in Tudor era England, you didn't have long to wait because my son was Henry 8

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Sunday, 29 March 2020

Coronavirus Not So Bright And Beautiful

I live opposite a CoE Vicar and we meet up on the communal balcony sometimes (2m apart), him with his Benson and Hedges and me with my Vape and we generally discuss things which are going on with the World and he had a real crisis of faith in 2004 with the Boxing Day Tsunami which killed a quarter of a million people.
So when i asked him this morning how he circles the square of the current Coronavirus killing randomly across the World with God he again shrugged but admitted he is enjoying the Sundays off. 
There is a Megachurch in Louisiana, run by Pastor Tony Spell, who has disregarded the social distancing guidance by gathering his flock together for thousands of worshipers to come and gather together to pray.
In a state where infections have increased ten-fold in seven days, the Pastor is obviously more afraid of an empty collection plate than he is of his flock dying painfully and said that if anyone from his church was to get sick he would rely on 'God’s supernatural protection and healing power by laying his hands on them while praying for them'.
Not an approach you would see in most medical manuals but seeing as God is the one who made the Earth and everything on it such as the flowers, birds, mountains, rivers, fruit and trees, he also made all the not so nice things such as the diseases and parasites that blight us humans.
A great time then to revisit my alternative version of 'All Things Not So Bright and Beautiful' because if you are going to take the plaudits for making everything, as well as the good things, you must take the blame for the crap things you have made also.

Refrain:
All things bad and terrible,
all ailments great and small,
all things poor and awful:
the Lord God made them all.

1. The Zika Virus Infection,
Each little tic that bites
God made their glowing colours
And the scabies mite
(Refrain)

2. Hepatitis D coinfection
Cancer and TB to,
Chicken pox and measles
Ringworm And Avian Flu
(Refrain)

3. Downs Syndrome and Asthma
Melanoma from the Sun
Gonorrhea and Shingles
God made them every one
(Refrain)

4. Covid-19 infections
Whooping cough and sickle cell
Give thanks to God Almighty
When your not feeling well
(Refrain)

Amen

PS...I thank God everyday that i'm an Atheist but remember if you do answer the call and visit a packed Church relying on prayer to heal you if you get Coronavirus, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead and the same applies if you're an idiot.

WFH Week1: Video Calling Pitfalls

Week 1 of working from home and i am finding out a few things, mostly that the standard position for video calls for most people is to lean slightly above the camera on their laptops giving everyone a great view up their nostrils.
I cottoned onto this pretty damn quick and now make sure that the laptop is on the shelf slightly above my head with the camera poised downwards so i am slightly looking up and nobody is sat there counting my nose hairs.    
Apart from companies that make those nasal hair removal machines or tweezer manufacturers, there are a few businesses booming from the current stay at home ruling.
One outdoor games supplier who has sold out of table tennis tables called them the new toilet paper although you wouldn't want to get them confused, those bats have pimples, but as well as ping pong balls, exercise bikes and other home exercise equipment are also selling well.  
Garden Centers are booming with carrots, lettuce, beans and tomato seeds hot items as well as standard gardening equipment but for some the garden is more a place for sitting in reading a book and with Amazon stating that Book sales have gone up 150%, there is a lot of people who have rediscovered the joys of reading. 
Electrical goods shops have seen sales of freezers and fridges rocket, mainly because we need somewhere to store all that milk and fruit we panic bought and sales of equipment for home working such as laptops and printers have gone up 25% and if you have recently purchased a laptop to do some video calls, please re-read my first sentence, i have seen enough nostrils to last me a lifetime.

Special Guest Blogger: Joseph Stalin

I was accused of being too authoritarian and being out of touch with the plebs in my time but the Soviets loved me for it, i often went around  speaking to some of the happy smiling grateful casualties of the purges and the message coming loud and clear was that they were 100% behind my brave decision to stand up to dissenting members by starving them to death in gulags.
I would often hear calls of where is that nice Mr. Stalin, please come back and teach us another lesson as it's the only language we understand and let's hope the Americans don't win the cold war.
I was asked could I get more food on the shelves and i told them to build bigger shelves, yeesh, i had to think of everything.
I did what was best for the Soviet economy, I looked into how to make economies rich and i decided if i went down the route of Capitalism i would be making rich the United States, Japanese and the German economies. 
My one regret was that before dying of a cerebral hemorrhage, i never had time to make a will and leave my most treasured belongings to my loved ones so being of an almost sound mind i leave the following, to my son Vasil i leave my mustache, to my future successor Yeltsin i leave the letters from my name apart from the A, Andropov has earmarked that for himself, my hat I leave to whoever it was who grabbed it off my head while i laid in state, my skateboard I leave to my cousin Dimitri, my Greatest hits of Bavarian Oompah Music album i leave to Winston Churchill and to the tens of millions of Soviet men, women and children i had maimed, tortured and sent to the their early deaths, i leave the message for them to remember that i did it all out of an undying love for them.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

A Breath Of Fresh Air

It has often been said that Planet Earth would be a lovely place if it wasn't for us humans messing up the place and as most of the planet is locked at home we are seeing Mother Nature pottering around  cleaning up the mess that we made.
Pollution levels worldwide have dropped significantly with scientists saying that CO2 emissions this year could be the lowest for decades and almost half the expected levels thanks to carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide emmisisons from reduced airline flights, car and truck journeys and industrial activity falling.
Air quality is picking up in countries that remain under Coronavirus quarantine, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, noted the change saying: 'This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area' and even Paris which was marked as having air which was 'heavily polluted' a month ago has been downgraded to 'moderately polluted' now and levels of air pollution were deemed 'low' at all 165 UK sites monitored by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Along with the air being healthier to breath, the lakes and rivers are cleansing themselves with improving water quality, for the first time in generations the usually murky Venice canals are clear enough to see the fish in them.
While the World leaders differed and promised to hold meetings to decide on dates to hold meetings to discuss possibly doing something about Climate Change, all it took was a pandemic and the death of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, to force them to act.

Only In America

The top three people designated with coming up with ways to keep us safe from Coronavirus have gone down with...wait for it...Coronavirus which means that you couldn't make it up has been not only made up but is wearing the sort of thick rubber gloves and masks usually associated with the people who change the sheets in Moscow Hotel rooms after a Donald Trump visit.
Speaking of the Trumps, his America is now the Ground Zero in Coronavirus and his people have reacted in the way only Americans can by buying more guns and ammunition.
To be fair only Americans can because they are the only ones with such mind-numbingly stupid gun laws but with the schools and colleges closed, there are fewer of their favoured locations for the gun nuts to use them but as one numpty twanged: 'Politicians and anti-gun people have been telling us for the longest time that we don’t need guns. But right now, a lot of people are truly scared'.
Indeed, one gunshop owner said that the type of guns being bought was reflective of the fear with almost no interest in hunting rifles and customers opting for AR-15 semi-automatic assault-style rifles.
While the rest of the World panic buys toilet roll and hand sanitizer, America faces a shortage of killing machines which can fire 45 rounds per minute and is the favoured gun of the mass gun shooters.
You do have to feel for the 'normal Americans' because if they have not got enough to contend with a clearly incompetent President amidst a killer Pandemic sweeping their nation, they also have a large part of the nation who have decided to keep their families safe by skipping the aisles of masks, gloves and handwash and going straight to the high-powered weapon of death section.
Billy Bob, Billy Ray, Bobby Joe, Cooter, Jim Bob, Fruitbat, put down that moonshine and fetch papa his gun, ya'll got some virus shootin' to do.