Monday, 30 December 2013

Psychic Nikki 2013 Review

I knew a psychic once who was giving me some flannel about something courtesy of my dead Grandad who apparently was in the room speaking to her. I asked her to ask him what his middle name, it was a bit of an unusual name and was a bit of a running joke in our family, my reasoning being if he is there talking to her and wanted me to believe what he was spouting off about, he would tell her.
Turned out he was a bit reluctant to take the two seconds it would take to say it and prove that he was actually there that day but that is not to say all psychics are charlatans.
Take Psychic Nikki for example, her clients include movie stars, politicians, sportsmen and women and business folk and her website listed over 200 predictions for 2013 so let's review what she did actually foresee.

A fire and explosion at a subway in New York City kills many.
Nuclear attack on New York.
Terrorist attack at the Empire State Building.
Stock markets world-wide will close for one week.
Man-eating plants.
Seattle, Washington in ruins after a large earthquake.
Cuba and Puerto Rico becoming part of the USA.
A weather satellite will come crashing into a building.
CN Tower collapsing - fire and explosion.
Civil War will break out in the USA.
A 9.1 earthquake hits Moscow, Russia.
The map of the world will change due to catastrophic events happening around the globe.
Earthquake in Egypt, destroying part of the pyramids.
A famous person will get eaten by a grizzly.
India and Pakistan at war.
Trains blown up in the USA.
A bomb blast at Buckingham Palace.
A car accident – Royal Family of Monaco.
North and South Korea attacking each other

Oh dear Psychic Nikki, poor doesn't even begin to cover it. Hang on, what's that Grandad? You can see into Psychic Nikki's future and can see her being ignored by movie stars, politicians, sportsmen and women and business folk in the near future. Bet she didn't see that one coming!

Bad Hair Day Coming For Blair

I'm all for hounding Tony Blair at every opportunity over his Iraq War decisions and i'm glad to say that the story refuses to go away with the decision to publish more than 100 documents, notes, records of ministerial talks, telephone conversations and private meetings between the one-time British Prime Minister and the then American president.  
The release, set for the upcoming year, is already being described as 'a bad hair day for Tony Blair' by Government officials and will allow the on-going (five year on-going) Chilcot Iraq Inquiry to publish a fuller account of the build up to the conflict.
The former Labour leader has already discovered that he is unable to turn up in public without being harassed and having things thrown at him and the revelations about to be exposed are unlikely to endear him any further to the British public who already see him as Bush's poodle during the conflict.
That is of course unless the documents suffer the same unfortunate fate of being 'accidently' shredded when the expenses scandal hit, pure coincidence that of course.
Blair must be getting nervous especially as it is the Tories dishing out the damning evidence and they might not be quite so handy with the black tape when it comes to redacting in the name of 'national security' as your lot were.
I can't see Blair turning up for any book signings for quite some time yet.

Behind The Scenes Of The 2013 List Post

Almost the end of the year and everywhere you look people are making lists of the best and worst things of 2013. I do find myself bored after reading one or two of these lists because they are basically all the same but as it is almost compulsory to make one of these lists i wondered if there is another way of doing it.  Is there another way to mention all things that happened between January 2013 and today and not having people falling asleep before they get to the end of January? Something i did consider was to take a leaf out of Billy Joel's book and do a 'We Didn't Start The Fire' style list of events and people from the year so it would be something like:

Ronnie Biggs, Royal Baby
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani
Edward Snowden, Lewis Collins, Pussy Riot jailed,
David Frost, Tommy Morrison
US Court free’s George Zimmerman
North Korea terrorising South Korea failed

That seemed to go okay, the rhyming of George Zimmerman and the late Tommy Morrison relied on the readers pronunciation of Zimmerman to make it work but the rest seemed to flow okay in Joel's style. The second verse might go something like:

Brothers plant the Boston bomb,
Queens of the Stone Age, Elton John,
Lou Reed, CSI, Mandela dies South Africans cry
Chinese die from vaccine,
Holland’s got a new queen,
Alan Wicker, Mel Smith, Hugo Chavez goodbye!

Going well, got most of the big names and events in and using some of Joel's original endings to the lines keeps the reader in tune with the original song. In the second part of the song, Billy changed the flow of the verse from the first two which may throw out some of the readers except those that know the Joel song and can compensate.

Bradley Manning, Lee Rigby, Mikhail Kalashnikov
Maggie Thatcher, Dave Coleman, Cory Monteith shock,
O’Toole, Tommy Morrison, Paul Shane, Noel Harrison
Morsi Government falls, Pistorious in the dock
Mel Smith, Charlie Sheen, Munich's got a winning team,
Trayvon Martin, Iain Banks, Reg Presley, Queensland,
Gillard, war in Syria, Oklahoma, Meteor,
Xi Jingping, DC, sackings at Tottenham Hotspur

Meteor to Hotspur...hmmm. Nevertheless, trying to stay with him the final verse would go something like: 

Bitcoin, Andy Murray wins, Miley Cirus twerks again,
Croatia, Obamacare, austerity, welfare,
Ukraine, Shabab, Palestine, British banks huge fine,
Free elections in Iran, NATO in Afghanistan,
Cyprus bailout, Bangladesh, Brazil nightclub, hundreds dead,
Foreign debts, American threats,
Mali, crack, Household debts,
Government shutdown, huge typhoon, China's landed on the moon,
Payday lenders profits boon, 2013 is ending soon.

That seems to be most of the events in 2013 and just leaves the final chorus which is to include something about 2014 not going to be any different to 2013:

This year didn't start the fire,
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning.
This year didn't start the fire,
But when it has gone
Our troubles will go on and on, and on, and on...

Nice idea but the change of flow from the final two verses to the first two is problematic if you don't know the Billy Joel song and it isn't easy to rhyme events that closely to Joel's original words to keep the whole thing on track. Some of it worked, some was a stretch and some relied on readers mangling the pronunciation but the hardest bit would be the time it would take to look up 2013 events and arrange them into pairs so they rhymed.

Stuff it, i will do the same as everyone else and copy and paste a list from another website and boo and cheer the main bits.

New Bells Please

A painting bought by Father Jamie MacLeod from a Cheshire antiques shop for £400 has been revealed to be a Sir Anthony Van Dyck portrait worth about £400,000.
Father Jamie said: "It's been an emotional experience and it's such great news."
So what can the parishiners of Father Jamie's diocesae look forward to with the unexpected windfall? New bells that's what.
Nice to know that there is no hardship, unemployment or people queuing up at foodbanks in Father Jamie's neck of the woods so that he can buy £400,000 worth of bells.
The next time the plate comes around in Father Jamie's church i'm sure the congregation will know what to do, tell him to pull the other one, it has bells on it, almost half a million quids worth.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Trusting Financial Advice From The Internet

To hire a banker or a financial suit to advise you regarding what stocks and shares to buy is expensive (ruining the global economy isn't cheap) so last January i asked the internet what shares should i buy if i wanted to be rich this time next year.
Armed with a fake £1000, the Internet came back with the following and the London Stock Exchange gave me the prices so i split my pretend thousand across the following:

Vodaphone 170.00  x 250 = £425           
Amerisur Resources 0.47 x 277 = £130.19  
Thomas Cook 0.48 x 286 = £137.28         
Utlity wise 0.94 x 275 = £258.50         
Parkmead 0.14 x 350 = £49                

I left the £999 of my hard earned cash in the hands of whatever magic makes shares go up or down and came back twelve months later to hand in my slip and withdraw my pretend money. What i got on my receipt was the following prices as per the LSE:

VODAFONE GRP.      237.95 x 250 = £594
AMERISUR     56.00 x 277 =  £15,512
THOMAS COOK     168.30 x 286 = £48,133
UTILITYWISE     238.38 x 275 = £65,554
PARKMEAD     228.00 x 350 = £79,800

Now one of two things have happened here. The first is that for my outlay of £999 i received £209,593 back in which case the internet is a financial genius and i'm kicking myself for only using a pretend £999 and should be buying a yacht and a Ferrari about now or, my maths is wonky.
The other alternative is that i wrote down the original share prices wrong so pending further investigations the New Years Eve Party aboard 'The Saucy Sam' is temporarily postponed but Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and David Boreanaz, i will let you know shortly whether to pack your budgie smugglers or it's my place again for a bottle of Co-op wine and a vol-au-vent.

update: After meeting with a financial consultant (lady next door who used to work as a cashier in a bank) it appears that the idiots at the LSE don't use decimal points as the rest of us do (which could explain a lot) and the actual amounts are as follows: 

VODAFONE GRP.      £2.37 x 250 = £594
AMERISUR     £0.56 x 277 =  £155.12
THOMAS COOK     £1.68 x 286 = £481.33
UTILITYWISE     £2.38 x 275 = £655.54
PARKMEAD     £2.28 x 350 = £798.00

Therefore the final amount made is £2683 minus the original £999 outlay which means £1684 profit. Sorry guys, it's my place and a bottle of cheap plonk again this year. Still bring your budgie smugglers though.  

Paddington

This Christmas, for the first time, i watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and The Snowman. Charlie Brown was pretty much as expected by i was unaware that The Snowman contained no dialogue apart from a bit of Aled singing in the middle. As it was only 25 minutes or so long i watched it but was left wondering just why so many people love it, Frosty was far superior if you are looking for an animated Christmas film to watch.
Another animation i was never keen on was Paddington Bear and i have seen an advert for the film that is due to come to cinema screen and torrent website in the new year.
The adverting blurb says: 'Paddington follows the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British, who travels to London in search of a home'.
That's bound to set off the right wingers who are frothing at the mouth at the thought of millions of Bulgarians and Romanians travelling to Britain in search of a home.    
I don't know, those Peruvians bears coming over here, taking our homes, jobs and marmalade from hardworking British bears. It's an outrage. We won the War you know!
I will treat the Paddington film just how everybody should treat manic right winger nutters who think we are about to be swamped by East Europeans and swerve it thanks.

Who Cut The Flood Defence Budget Dave?

Way back in 2010, the incoming Conservative Government in their wisdom cut the flood defence budget by over a quarter, 27% according to the environment agency,  even though to quote David Cameron at the time: 'Most people accept that, with climate change, floods are likely to be more frequent'.
To most people to consider floods to be more frequent and then cut the defence budget by 27% sounds a bit of a miscalculation, especially if you are one of those unfortunate residents who today find your sideboard bobbing around in the corner as your living room is under several feet of water.
At the time of the cuts the Environment Agency explained that: 'There will be communities that would – if funding had remained in place as at present – be starting flood defence work that will now be delayed'.
As almost every scientific report states loud and clear that due to climate change there will be increased coastal and river flooding in the UK, it is a bit rich for the MP to turn up at flood hit areas and look all solemn while pleading with local councils to ensure that they have plans in place with the emergency funding his Government has made available as the MET Office forecast further storms and heavy rainfall over the next few days and issued a yellow heightened flood warning across southern England.
It won't be Cameron or any of his ministers who ends up standing neck-deep in dirty brown water so i hope that all the people in the affected areas remember who it was that delayed the building of the defences that may have saved their homes, if they have all not been drowned by then.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Science Of Making Tea

My husband makes a lousy cup of tea, either too weak or too strong and i have just accepted that it is down to his genetic makeup and consigned myself to never having a decent cup of tea made by hand but science may have saved him and it is down to our mugs rather than his lack of tea-making skills.  
European scientists have found that how you serve the drink matters hugely when it comes to how the liquid inside tastes.
Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford recruited volunteers to taste hot chocolate served in cups with four different colours — white, cream, red and orange.
The chocolate was the same in all the samples, but the volunteers found that the flavor was better when the drink was served in the orange or cream-coloured cups.
'The colour of the container can enhance some attributes like taste and aroma' explained Professer Betina Piqueras-Fiszman.
As my tea mug is red, (It's an Arsenal mug) i can give him the benefit of the doubt and blame what he makes it in but if i get a orange coloured mug and it still tastes like mud or the colour of the milk, then even science can't help him.

Nirvana Day

My daughter came back from the Boxing Day sales with a Ramones t-shirt to which i exclaimed that i didn't know she was a fan of them. Thinking that she must have heard me playing Blitzkrieg Bop or KKK Took my Baby Away at some point and liked the sound, she said she didn't know who they were and just liked the design. 
Disappointingly, she hadn't finally woken up to the genius of Joey and the gang, she screwed up her nose when i played her the bands awesome version of 'I Don't Want To Grow Up', but then there are many kids walking around in t-shirts from bands of my era but have never heard the bands music.   
One such T-shirt i see regularly is Nirvana  who were doing their thing before most were even born but whose legend continues today, 25 years since the first album Bleach.
Now the town where Kurt Cobain was born, Hoquiam in Washington state, is hoping to make the most of its modest link to the rock legend.
The town is dedicating April 10, 2014 as official Nirvana Day and the Mayor has told local radio station KXRO that Nirvana were their 'sons' and deserved to be honoured.
'They bring great honour to our entire community. I think it's good to honour our sons and their great accomplishments'.
Too true, obviously a cash-in to try and draw Nirvana fans to the area, but Kurt Cobain and the like should be honoured even if it is by the place where he only lived for a few short months.
Now if only i can get the kids to appreciate the genius behind lyrics such as: 'A mulatto, An albino, A mosquito, My libido, Yeah'. Classic stuff.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Bieber Retires

Musical history is full of talent that burn so brightly that they eventually flame out due to the level of creative genius.
Unfortunately it is also full of pap like Justin Bieber who has announced his withdrawal from the music industry by announcing his retirement.
The past twelve months has not been a good time for the Canadian, his description of Anne Frank as a Belieber, the visit to a German brothel, spitting on fans from a hotel balcony, the make believe meeting with the Mexican President, tour bus drugs raids, monkey abandonment, the fight with UK photographers, turning up late for concerts and collapsing on stage.
Probably his worst sin to many though was the creation of horrifically bad music so we say good-bye Justin and please enjoy your retirement AND NEVER MAKE A COMEBACK!!
To make it even sweeter, if you can take that other talentless muppet Miley Cyrus with you to obscurity, it would be much appreciated.

McDonald's Warning From McDonald's

It is always nice when an employer express concern over their employees health but probably not so good for their customers when they are advised to avoid whatever it is that they are selling to the public.
Caring, sharing McDonald's has a warning on its McResource site that its own employee's should avoid burgers and fries whenever possible due to the health risks.
'Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking. While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk of becoming overweight' the site helpfully explains.
'Instead of eating a cheeseburger and fries, eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups and vegetables to maintain your best health'.
Priceless, just hope that as many customers as possible heed the don't-eat-our-crap message.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Tonight

Where i am sat on the South Coast of the UK, it has just turned 24th December, Christmas Eve.
Due to the time difference in parts of the World, when i wake up in around 8 hours time, Santa will have left the and will have already began leaving presents for good children.
Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. But keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather and here in the UK Santa usually arrives between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on Christmas Eve but we have had some very wild weather today and the man on the BBC weather predict it will carry on tomorrow so it’s really unpredictable but we do know that Santa only arrives when children are asleep. And remember, he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when your awake!
In most countries, it seems Santa arrives between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on Christmas Eve. If children are still awake when Santa arrives, he moves on to other houses but he does return later but only when he is sure that the children are asleep!
As usual the people at NORAD will be tracking Santa so i'm going to bed now and when i wake up in the morning and am tucking into my cereal, Santa will already have began.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Gun Nuts Favourite Dies

A common argument of the gun parade is that guns don't kill people, people kill people which is true but if i wanted to kill lots of people, i'd use a gun and the man who invented one of the worst weapons in history has today died aged 94.
The inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, designed the weapon that has killed more people than any other firearm in the world, faced criticism over his deadly invention and explained that: 'I invented it for the protection of the Motherland. I have no regrets and bear no responsibility for how politicians have used it'.
Approximately 100 million AK-47 assault rifles are spread worldwide and i hope that in his final moments he realised the disturbing shock of knowing that his legacy would be his weapon that had killed millions of people.
His obituary will show that he may have been an amazing designer and engineers but if only he had put his efforts into something that would benefit mankind rather than help destroy it.
Sadly, i'm sure the deluded gun nuts will be out in force to praise him and his invention.

The (Hospital) Breakfast Club Christmas Reunion

This time last year there was a special club with five members, Hugo Chavez, Hillary Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush snr, The (hospital) Breakfast Club as they all spent last Christmas eating Turkey surrounded by machines that beeped and sponge wielding nurses offering bed baths.
The club shrunk to four in March when the Venezuelan President breathed his last aged only 58 and four become three in April when Margaret Thatcher proved the old adage that only the good die young by dying aged 87 and being buried amidst street parties.
Of the three remaining original members, Nelson Mandela made it to December and his 95th year before giving out which leaves George Bush snr and Hillary Clinton as the only two left at this years reunion Christmas party.  
Moral of the story is if you are a present World leader, or a former World leader, and you find yourself in hospital this Christmas, chances are you can save money on Christmas cards next year.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Pot, Kettle

Israeli PM condemns US and UK spying on predecessor as 'unacceptable'
True, it is unacceptable but then we all find your awful treatment of the Palestinians and the illegal expansion of settlements on stolen Palestinian land 'unacceptable' too.
Terrible when even your only friend doesn't trust isn't it Bibi!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Atheist Church Celebrating Christmas

I never really understood the idea or the need for an Atheist Church, if you don't believe in the message coming from the Church then ignore it, don't copy it but change the message.
The newly-formed Sunday Assembly Atheist Church are looking to celebrate Christmas this year without any mention of God, or 'taking the Christ out of Christmas' as they explain it as they plan to hold 'festive services' for the first time this year.
I do think i am missing something here, atheists getting together to celebrate Christmas? There is a HUGE clue is in the name Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and you can't get more religious than that.
If it is just a bunch of people with no belief turning up to sing some Christmas carols then fine, just don't call yourself a Church and celebrate Christian festivals because that sends out the message that you want your Christmas cake and want to eat it.
I understand that it's a new movement and they are probably trying too hard to establish that they are atheists but they seem to be missing the point of atheism which is to leave a space where others have God and not put anything in its place.
I'm as likely to turn up to a place to be told how great it is to not have God in my life as i am as likely to turn up to one that tells me how great it is to have him there.

Answering The Questions About Britain

I do wonder sometimes just what everyone else is wondering when they think of us Brits and our country. If they could ask a Brit anything about us, what would they ask? Handily, we have Google so we can find out just what the rest of the World are itching to find out about us.

If we write 'Why do Brits...' the top three questions are:

Why do Brits love tea?
Why do Brits drive on the left?
Why do the Brits say cheers?


As a Brit i am taking it upon myself to speak on behalf of all 63 million of us and put a few minds at rest.

True we do drink a lot of tea, the UK Tea Council estimate 165 million cups are drank daily but my guess would be we love tea because of tradition (and we think of coffee as European).
Regarding driving on the left, the 2Pass driving school website explains that up to the late 1700's, everybody travelled on the left side of the road. Knights, when passing a stranger on the road, walked on the left to ensure that your protective sword arm was between them and him. Revolutionary France, under the left handed Napoleon, made his armies march on the right so he could keep his sword arm between him and any opponent. From then on, any part of the world which was part of the British Empire was left hand and any part colonised by the French was right hand. In America, due to the amount of French, Spanish and Dutch colony's, the Brits were a minority in shaping the 'traffic'.
Cheers is a way of saying 'Good cheer' when drinking to someones health. Don't know where Bottoms Up came from though.

If we enter 'Why does Britain...' the top 3 we get are:

Why does Britain export arms?
Why does Britain have no active volcanoes?
Why does Britain change the clocks?


Britain makes £12bn a year from arms exports, without getting into the moral or ethical rights or wrongs of selling so much weaponry, it's a real money spinner for the British economy.
Volcanoes spring up where two tectonic plates meet and Britain is lucky enough to be in the middle of such a Tectonic plate and away from the edges where the active volcanoes erupt.
The reason we change our clocks is the UK Government at the turn of the last century, decided that the summer mornings light was wasted while people slept, and that the time would be better utilised in the afternoon by putting the clocks forward.

The top three questions regarding our Prime Minister are:

Why does David Cameron support Aston Villa?
Why does David Cameron want to leave the EU?
Why does David Cameron hate the poor?


Dave Cameron explained: 'the first game i ever went to was an Aston Villa game and so I am an Aston Villa fan'. Being the nephew of former Villa chairman Sir William Dugdale also probably swayed him.
David Cameron is a Conservative and they are right wing politically and right wing voters tend to distrust the EU so Dave has to balance keeping his right wing voter base happy by being critical of the EU while staying inside the largest economic market in the World.
Tough final question, best guess would be the same right wing voter base (not many of the poor vote Conservative) and his Conservative Party are bankrolled by large companies and banks who don't have much use for people with very little disposable income so he can hit them with very little effect on his poll ratings or parties funding.

Now, will we find an American brave enough to take on the questions the world is asking about America through Google?

Why do Americans celebrate thanksgiving
Why do Americans call football soccer
Why do Americans love guns

Why does America support Israel?
Why does America borrow money?
Why does America hate Iran?

Why does Obama hate the British?
Why does Obama want to invade Syria?
Why does Obama lie so much?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

White As The Driven Santa

Christmas is very much a European invention that was taken over to the North American continent but the Americans are trying to give us back a Christmas tradition of their own, the annual War on Christmas that seem to get the more excitable right wing element over there excited.
Merry Christmas has already become Happy Holidays but this year the mad gits have got a new thing to pick out their craw, they are worried that Santa is no longer white.    
The more sane amongst us would just point out that Santa isn't real and can be any damned colour we want him to be but Fox News has picked up the scent and have debated the subject and concluded that 'Santa just is white' and threw in 'so was Jesus' just in case we doubted it.
That's Fox News and Santa, one was created for the amusement of not very intelligent children and the other one comes down your chimney on the 25th December and delivers presents.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Down With That Sort Of Thing

This is the time of year when lazy bloggers who are either too unimaginative or just plain inattentive resort to filling their blogs with dull lists.
Rather than form an opinion on World Events they tread water by dishing up a pathetic list of top tens such as the top 10 Google searches of 2013. 
As if anyone really cares that Nelson Mandela was the most searched for this year, followed by Hollywood actor Paul Walker, who was killed in a car crash on November 30 and then the iPhone5 was the third most popular search.
It's just a sign of procrastination if they go even further than the top three and carry on to reveal the rest of the top ten was Glee star Cory Monteith, Harlem Shake, Boston Marathon, Royal Baby, Samsung Galaxy 4s, PlayStation 4 and North Korea at tenth.
If that passes as your idea of a blog post then i pity you because it not only shows a lack of vision and creativity but demeans all the other bloggers who try to inject some resourcefulness and inventiveness into their posts and i want no part of it.
Rest assured, you won't see any of those sort of things here.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Well Done Us

Mission accomplished in Afghanistan, declares David Cameron in a top secret flying visit to the country.
Yet another part of the world where the British military brought peace which will reign and the nation will prosper, cheers for keeping us all safe Dave and Tony, let's not forget your contribution to this.
All we needed was an Aircraft Carrier for the photo shoot and a big banner but credit where it's due though, he did manage to keep a straight face while he said it.
The Afghans can now look forward to the same level of security as Iraq, lucky them.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

'Twas The Night Before Christmas In Downing Street

'Twas the night before Christmas, in the Prime Ministers house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The nation was trying to keep warm but in vain,
'Cause E.On had cut off their gas once again,
Sam Cam in her ‘kerchief, and Dave in his cap,
They settled their brains for a long winter’s nap.

When on the Downing Sreet lawn there arose such a clatter,
Dave sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
He looked more closer and said 'That's not St Nick'.

Hello our Prime Minister, my names King Alfred The Great,
And i've come to complain about what you've done up to date,
This trickle down system you persist with is screwed,
Your people can't warm up their houses and pay for their food.

With a 1% payrise your civil servants can't afford rent
But you MP's gave yourself eleven percent,
Slashed services and job cuts are being announced,
The unemployed and disabled are being denounced

You screwed up my country he said shaking his fist,
And leant through the window and gave Dave's nipples a twist,
Then he drew back his fist and punched him hard in the belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Took all of Dave's presents then kicked out at the jerk.
Pausing to stick a finger up the Prime Ministers nose,
He gave a brief nod and up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
Your record is wiped Dave, your numbers not listed
A present to the World, it's as if you never existed

As the UK all cheered as he drove out of sight,
He said now it's Happy Christmas for all, this has been a good night!"

Don't Fall For It Eddy

National Security Agency officials are considering an amnesty that would return Edward Snowden to the United States, in exchange for the document trove he took from the agency.
Intriguing because this shows that what has been released so far is not the worst and the Americans are worried that what will come to light that will do their already tattered reputation even further damage.
We can only hope Snowden is not as stupid as Donald Rumsfeld looked to buy this 'Come home and we promise not to hurt you' approach.
As soon as he is outside Putin's protection they will pounce, we have seen America is to be trusted about as far as we can throw a piano.
Clearly the intention is to silence Edward Snowden and these leaks for good but if the most damaging stuff is still to come, i want to know what they are so scared about us finding out.
As someone once said, if they have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear.

What The Dickens?

There are programmes on the television that point out errors in famous films and from that point on you always notice them and wonder why you never saw them before. I have watched Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' so many times each Christmas but it was only this weekend that i noticed a massive faux pas which i wish i never.
I always assumed the reason Scrooges father despised him and didn't want him at home was because his wife had died while giving birth to Ebeneezer the same as his beloved sister Fan died in childbirth to her son, Fred, helping to explain why Ebenezer so despised his nephew.
The Ghost of Christmas past even says when talking about Fan that: 'She died giving him life as your mother died giving you life'.
That always made sense to me, Scrooges mother died giving him life and his father blamed him and his sister died the same way and he blamed the nephew and as his father never allowed him to come home for Christmas holidays, he hated Christmas and thought it all 'humbug' but at the end of the film, when he turns up for Christmas dinner and dances the Polka, he comes to the realisation that he was blaming Fred for Fan’s death the same way Ebenezer’s father blamed him for his own mother’s death.
But...Fan was Scrooges younger sister, Dickens himself said when Fan came to collect him from the boarding school: 'a little girl, much younger than the boy, came darting in, and putting her arms about his neck, and often kissing him, addressed him as her 'Dear, dear brother.'
Oh dear, mother died giving birth to older brother which is the background to everything that happens after but somehow manages to have another child and call her Fan.
I'll put it down to Dickens being distracted by being called away to drag a child out the chimney or something midway through writing that scene and try to ignore it.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mining The Moon

It's a well known fact, that if you stand on the Great Wall of China, you can see the Moon and if you have an especially decent telescope you can now see a small rover with Made In China stamped on the side as China becomes the third country to complete a moon landing.
The rover has made the 225,745 mile trip to carry out a three-month exploration of the surface looking for natural resources.
Prof Ouyang Ziyuan of the department of lunar and deep space exploration explained that one of the main motivations behind the drive to investigate the Moon was to bring back it's resources: 'The Moon is full of resources, mainly rare earth elements, titanium, and uranium, which the Earth is really short of, and these resources can be used without limitation' he said which i'm not sure if i find worrying or not.
The mass of the Moon is 81 quintillion tons, the Earth is 6.580 sextillion tons and they are involved in a celestial dance where the Moon is kept spinning around the Earth by a balance of acceleration and gravity equalling each other.
If we start tinkering with the mass of the Moon by transporting some of its mass back onto Earth, will this have an effect on us and it? 
Taking millions upon millions of tons of the Moons mass would surely, over time, have to have an impact on the Moon's gravitational pull on Earth, creating a change in the seas tides and currents and weather patterns. Would a less dense Moon be slowly pulled towards the Earth or flung out of the gravitational grip we hold over it which would slow the Earths rotation considerably, not to mention the potentially devastating Earth's wobbling effect that the Moon controls.
Maybe mining the Moon won't have any effect, it's too much to get my brain around so i have emailed NASA to get a definitive answer to the question of if we could be creating a problem for ourselves at some time in the distant future.
Meanwhile, congratulations to the Chinese for entering the theatre of Space Exploration and i hope that this is a first step to a manned mission so all the conspiracy theorists can celebrate China being the first country to put a man on the Moon.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Be A Republican

Due to someone not doing there job properly, there is still a law in effect that states that it is still illegal to call for the abolition of the monarchy and the sentence of life imprisonment is still in force.
The Treason Felony Act 1848 was thought to have been repealed but The Ministry of Justice today explained: 'Section 3 of the Act has not been repealed. The Ministry of Justice is reviewing its contents'.
They are going to have to build a lot more prisons if they don't wipe this one out.
It's a fair cop m'lud, we'll all come quietly.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Mandela WAS a Communist

It always amused me that back in 2003 there were right wing American bloggers, the better dead than red types, bestowing all sorts of accolades upon Tony Blair ignorant of the fact that he was the leader of the Labour Party, a bunch of Socialists.
Now it is with much amusement it is happening again with Nelson Mandela and doubly amusing that back in the 80's it was the right wing pin up, Ronald Reagan, who was slapping the label of terrorist on Mandela, supporting and calling the South African apartheid regime that Mandela was trying to bring down as 'essential to the free world'.
Bit of a conflict there for the right, even more so when it was the Communist Soviets backing Mandela's fight while the West largely cosied up to the likes of P.W. Botha and blocked UN resolutions condemning the regime. 
As well as being a Communist, 'The cause of Communism is the greatest cause in the history of mankind' he once said, Mandela was also no fan of the USA or Israel, saying of the United States: 'If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings'.
Of the plight of the Palestinians against the Israeli regime, Mandela called Yasser Arafat 'the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation'.
Friendly with Fidel Castro he said: 'Long live the Cuban revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro. The Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people'.
Doesn't particularly sound like the normal sort of person the right wing would praise so highly but if they insist on lauding him to the highest, they may find some of these quotes handy to put beneath the pictures of him.
How about 'Under a Communist Party government, South Africa will become a land of milk and honey' or they could go with: 'The victory of socialism proves that we too can achieve this important goal' or how about: 'Communists everywhere fight to destroy capitalist society and to replace it with socialism, where the masses of the common people, irrespective of race or colour, will live in complete equality, freedom and happiness' or my personal favourite: 'The communists were the only political organisation in South Africa willing to treat blacks as humans'.
Whichever they choose, nice to see the Right appreciate an anti-capitalist Communist who considered Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro amongst his hero's.

Vicar Breaks The Santa News

I do have a small amount of sympathy with the vicar who has caused uproar in Chippenham after breaking the news to a group of primary school pupils that Father Christmas doesn't really exist and was based on the legend of Saint Nicholas.
One angry parent said: 'We wouldn't just walk into the church during one of his services and tell everyone there that Jesus isn't real, it's not his place to tell the children that'. 
Other parents have their children out of a Christmas concert at the church in protest.
Canon Tatton-Brown's slip came as he delivered his annual festive address to pupils but his equipment broke down and he had to make it up on the spot and decided that the story of Saint Nicholas would do the trick and launched into the story of how Father Christmas was based on the gift giving Saint Nicholas.
It was when kids started crying that he realised what he had done and issued an apology to parents stating that he was very sorry to hear of the trouble following his assembly and he fully supported parents who want their young children to enjoy the Christmas stories, including Father Christmas, and he had no intention of undermining their belief in the reality of Santa Claus'.
It does seem it was an error by the vicar but not done with any maliciousness and he misjudged his audience, especially if he had to make it up on the sour of the moment.
That said, it's another example of how religion and Christmas are bizarrely becoming disentangled.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Cigarettes And Alcohol

The Office of National Statistics have issued their annual Family Spending Report and worked out that the average household in the UK spent £489 per week in 2012 with housing, food and fuel taking up most of the outlay but just what did we fritter the rest of it away on?

£10.10 mobile phones
£7.80 spent on alcohol
£6.20 on cigarettes
£4.70 was saved
£4.60 spent on pets
£4.20 on vegetables
£4.20 on takeaway food
£3.60 on cakes
£3.50 on hairdresser/beauty treatment
£3.20 spent on gambling
£3.20 on fruit
£2.70 given to charity
£2.60 spent on visiting cinema/concerts/theme parks/museums/theatre
£2.40 on confectionery
£2.30 on garden equipment/plants
£1.85 on newspapers
£1.40 on books
£0.90 on magazines

Topping up mobile phones, boozing and smoking are where the money goes, at least we are not wasting it.

Lighten Up Over Selfie

I can't really see why everyone is getting so angry over the leaders of Britain, America and Denmark taking a seflie as they sat at Nelson Mandela's memorial.
The whole stadium was full of South African's waving flags and singing and dancing, it was a joyous occasion celebrating a life, not a funeral so as much as i dislike Cameron and Obama and feel completely indifferent to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the mock outrage is an embarrassing overreaction although i do think Michelle Obama looks as if she is in a bit of a strop, probably because she wasn't asked to be in it.
If it happened next Sunday when the actual funeral takes place, that could be considered disrespectful and worthy of critcism but otherwise lighten up, jeez, it was a party.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

World Turning Vegetarian

Hitler, Stalin, Attila the Hun, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Vlad the Impaler, Caligula, George W Bush, Ivan the Terrible, Bin Laden and Genghis Khan where all meat eaters while Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Aristotle, Diogenes, Plato,Pythagoras, Socrates and Voltaire were all vegetarians.
What this of course means is that all the evil people in the World have meat in their diets and all the good ones shun eating animals so all we need for a planet full of good people is for everyone to go on a vegetarian diet and research from Packaged Facts show that meat consumption is declining.
Reasons that people are being less carnivorous are put down to an increase in the risk of heart disease, rising meat prices, increased awareness of cruel animal conditions, environmental impact of meat rearing and the rise in vegetarian celebrities such as Beyonce and Brad Pitt.   
The report found that consumers have been eliminating meat from one or more meals per week and reducing the size of portions served and since 2007, meat consumption has fallen by approximately 12.2%. 
We still eat way more meat than is good for us or for the environment and it doesn't do many favours for the animals that end up on your plate but a 12% in six years is significant, especially if the trend continues and we should be celebrating that we are heading towards a World with more rice and beans eating Da Vinci's, Gandhi's and Plato's and less beef and pork eating Hitler's, Genghis Khan's and Idi Amin's.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Health & Safety Christmas

Andy Williams may consider it the most Wonderful time of the year but the NHS are warning that it is also the most perilous time as well.
The emergency department at Southampton General Hospital, said that every year over the festive period they deal with a host of injuries from burns from exploding Christmas tree lights to zips caught on eyelids as people struggled to try on a new jumper.
Also on the list are burns from the oven, older people choking on their turkey and nasty hand and limb injuries caused by cackhanded people trying to get stones out of fruit.
Others have turned up at accident & emergency with eye injuries from poking themselves with Christmas tree branches while getting presents from under it and glitter fragments in the eye from cards or craft activities.
Every year, about 1,000 people are injured by their tree reports the The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and around 350 people a year are hurt by Christmas tree lights.
Approximately there were nearly 1,400 candle fires in homes across the UK, injuring more than 500 and over 5000 people suffered food poisoning.
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas but don't eat the holly berries, they are poisonous.

Another Load From The UK

We never really got to hear just what David Cameron sold to the Chinese on his trip over there last week, but i'm sure he managed to shift something to them, we do have a lot of tat here.
Something we did hear about but strangely not something the Prime Minister was trumpeting was the deal to sell the Chinese £45m-worth of British pig semen.
Turns out that something the British are good at is handing out sperm as we also export bovine semen to countries including Albania, France, Indonesia and Kenya as well as sending dog semen and horse semen to a spattering of other countries.
Not sure i want to know how it is collected and transported though, i just hope the farmers wash their hands before handling the cheese and milk at the Farmers Markets.
Thinking about it though, it's fair enough that we send sperm to France because they sent us Jean Michel Jarre in the 1980's and he was a whole other load of w**k! 

Bye-Bye Moon

It is thought that the Moon was formed when a proto-planet about the size of Mars collided with the early Earth around 4.5bn years ago. The debris left over from impact coalesced to form the Moon.
In the pre-moon days, the Earth wobbled so we never had the tilt like we have today where in summer the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun and in winter the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun giving us shorter days and cooler weather.
Having a huge Moon beside us steadied the wobble and we now how the seasons we get but boy would we be in trouble if the Moon ever moved away as we would experience much greater temperature swings than we are used to.
The good news is that the gravitational force of the Earth keeps the Moon where it is, the bad news is that the force is ever so slightly not enough to keep it there permanently and the moon is slowly creeping away from us.
The debris from the Earth that went into making the moon originally coalesced, out satellite sat much closer to the Earth, 14,000 miles away and over the past 4.5bn years it has shifted away to where it sits now, 250 million away from the Earth.
That averages out as the Moon spinning away from the Earth, at the rate of 3.78cm (1.48in) per year and as the Moon waves us good bye, the Earth's spin speeds up the faster it spins, the more it wobbles.
On early Earth, when the Moon was newly formed, days were five hours long, but with the Moon's braking effect operating on the Earth for the last 4.5bn years, days have slowed down to the 24 hours that we are familiar with now.
What all this means is that our early ancestors must have had a magnificent view of the moon but more importantly, has anyone checked if the Earth is wobbling anymore recently because i'm sure our seasons are completely out of whack, i was carrying my coat and shopping in a T-shirt today and it's the middle of December!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Satanic Statues

In Britain we do like a clock on a building. If there is a bit of brickwork exposed, we stick a clock on it.
Similarly, we also like statues and you can't move around the country without seeing some long dead military person or other standing there in plaster looking all military and in some cases with a road bollard plonked on its head.
What we don't have to my knowledge is a statue of the devil unlike Madrid where a statue dedicated to none other than, Lucifer the 'Fallen Angel' stands proud and it may be joined by another one in Oklahoma where Satanists plan to erect a statue to stand alongside a Christian monument that has been plonked outside the statehouse.
The Satanists are arguing that said if state officials allow one type of religious expression, they must allow alternative forms although and Government officials are saying that if the Ten Commandments, with its overtly Christian message, is allowed to stay at the Capitol, the Satanic Temple's proposed monument cannot be rejected because of its different religious viewpoint'.
Sounds fair to me, you can't have one without the other but while the 10 commandments from Christianity are relatively well known (no covering your neighbours ass etc), there are also commandments the devil worshippers follow called The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth.

    1.  Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
    2.  Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
    3.  When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
    4.  If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
    5.  Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
    6.  Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
    7.  Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
    8.  Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
    9.  Do not harm little children.
    10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
    11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop.
 
All very respectable and strangely not a single mention of pitchforks up the jacksy so i say go ahead Oklahoma, let the devil worshippers put up their statue and let them run the local radio stations as well because God knows Satanic Heavy Metal music is far better than that religious happy clappy crap.

Friday, 6 December 2013

A Bit Of Britain In America

Around 200 years we packed all our convicts and religious people onto ships and sent one east and one west.
The convicts found a piece of land, batted the natives aside and named it Australia while the religious people found a piece of land, batted the natives aside and called it America.
Australia never really got going but America is now a thriving country but it is not too proud to fondly remember old Blightly and there is a place in Florida that not only flies the Union Flag but will flog you a packet of British biscuits while your there.
The British Shoppe sells all things British but especially tea which is quite ironic considering the last time a load of British tea landed on those shores it ended up floating in Boston harbour.
It's nice to know that ex-pat and holidaying Brits can still still get a decent portion of spotted dick when the mood takes them and tasting a Faggot once again will always remind them of home.
Nothing says British cuisine quite like Toad in the hole, bubble and squeak, Jellied Eels and Mushy Peas so why not pop along to The Great British Shoppe and fill your basket with British wares.
Make your American friends jealous by spending a lazy afternoon looking at pictures of Queens while lapping at Earl Grey and surrounding yourself with a couple of large, juicy faggots and dragging on a fag or two because its things like that which makes Britain Great.

Oldboy Remake

Reading the reviews of the remake of Oldboy, it does seem as though the film has tanked and i'm quite glad about that.
Anyone who has ever seen the South Korean version will now that it was going to be pretty much impossible to improve upon, every actor and actress was perfect, even the octopus in the restaurant scene hammed it up as it thrashed and curled its tentacles in desperation as it vanished into the actors mouth.
The only reason i can think of for a remake is because Western audiences dislike reading subtitles and a bit of arrogance that says it was a good film but Hollywood can improve upon it. Seems they couldn't and never.
I'm not even going to bother watching the remake, partly because the South Koreans done it so well the first time around that it can only be an anti-climax and partly because having seen the original, i know the twist at the end.
I'm not sure why Oldboy was chosen from the long list of fine Asian movies being churned out that could have been remade, when the whole point of the film depends upon not knowing the sideways jerk at the end, Spike Lee chose this one.
Anyone who likes these type of films and would pay to see it at the cinema has probably seen the 2003 original and therefore knows the last 10 minutes which changes how you viewed the previous hour and 50 minutes of it.
Just seemed a bit pointless really and Spike Lee or whoever decided an American version of Oldboy was a good idea should be locked in a room for 20 years and have their teeth pulled out with a claw hammer.

World Cup Draw

Can we say that one was a practice and do the World Cup draw again please?

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nelson Mandela

Whenever someone dies, especially such a big character as Nelson Mandela, there is always a single moment which springs to mind.
For me it was that day in February 1990 when Mr Mandela stepped away from prison after 27 years and raised his fist in triumph.
That showed that despite everything they threw at him, the South African Government had failed in its bid to break him. That he then showed no bitterness or ill-will against his captors, advocating reconciliation and compromise with the people who had taken almost three decades of his life was truly remarkable. 
A giant of a man, besides whom today's world leaders appear moral pygmy's and who will heap praise upon him, leaders of countries who backed Apartheid South Africa, our very own Margaret Thatcher led Conservative Party among them.
It will be that moment, Mandela holding his wife's hand and walking away from prison that i will remember, an historic moment which was celebrated around the world.
South Africa may still have a long way to go but if it does one-day become the country of freedom and tolerance that it should be, it will be because people like Mandela were willing to sacrifice everything to be the spark.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas In Numbers

4bn - the number of sprouts bought in the week before Christmas
370 million - mince pies purchased over the Christmas period
25m - amount of Christmas puddings purchased in UK each year
10 million - turkeys eaten in Britain over Christmas
7 million - real fir Christmas trees sold
750,000 - the letters sent to Santa by children in the UK
230,000 - tons of food thrown away on average over the Christmas period
200,000 - trees felled to make all the Christmas cards sent in the UK
14,000 - babies conceived in December
£599 - average amount spent on presents
£262 - average amount parents will spend on each of their children
£170 - spent on the family Christmas dinner 
83- square km of wrapping paper will end up in UK rubbish bins 
£43 - average amount spent on Christmas cards
27 - amount of mince pies each Brit will each over Festive period
20 - amount of Holly Berries would need to eaten to kill the average person
15 - hours the average Briton takes to finish their Christmas shopping
14 - sprouts are eaten by the average Brit over Christmas
6   - the day in January that marks the official end of Christmas

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Political Party For The Left Finally?

When you think of right wing figures such as Hitler, George W Bush, Maggie Thatcher and Nigel Farage, it does make you wonder why would anyone want to be on that side of the fence but a few fools do which is why the left has to try so hard to make sure they never get within a sniff of power.
Here in the UK we have a right wing Government full of posh boys wrecking the place although they were preceded by a Labour Party that wheeled so far away from their left wing ideals that they lost 40% of their membership during their time in power.
What we face now is the three main parties representing big business's interests and none that care about working-class people and this is where film director Ken Loach's Left Unity Party hopes to step in.
Less than a year ago Ken Loach was lamenting the lack of a proper Left Wing party campaigning against austerity, wars and fighting for a fairer society and this weekend he put his money where his mouth is and the fruit of his labours were realised with the introduction of Britain's latest left wing party.
If it gains traction, and it already has a membership of over 10,000, it could make things interesting because we do need a genuine leftist party to either give the Labour Party a bit of a scare and drag them back to left after the Blair years or to usurp Labour as the apparent party of the left.
It could always backfire and split the Labour vote and we could be heading towards another five years of Conservative nasty party politics and nobody wants that, or shouldn't want that if they have a shred of humanity about them.
The problem isn't that the left lacks supporters as it doesn't, but that it has never gathered around a single party so we end up with The Communists, Socialist Workers Party, the Green Party, Occupied, The Labour Party and a plethora of other parties tugging splintering the support.
Maybe, if Left Unity can amalgamate the supporters into a broad left wing party, it may be able to pull it off and become a force in British politics.
If it can learn to avoid the pit-falls of other left-wing parties that have unsuccessfully attempted to bring together the left and becomes the choice of Party for those who want to defend workers rights, oppose privatisation of the essentials, oppose austerity, protect the NHS and education, take on the bankers and financial institutions ruining the economy, oppose wars of aggression, reform the economy to protect the most vulnerable in society and above all make society fairer, then it is a welcome addition worth a look at.  
If it becomes a short term fad that fizzles out under the weight of a egotistical leader then us on the left will be waiting a lot longer for a real party to put our cross beside and hoping that Ed Milliband is taking notes and move the Labour Party back to its original roots of a party of the people.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Tiny Tim Diagnosis

It just wouldn't be Christmas without Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the assorted Crachit family on the television, especially the crippled Tiny Tim wishing us all a Merry Christmas.
It is the death of Tiny Tim that is a large part of the change in Scrooge, the ghost of Christmas yet to come showing a crutch with no owner leaning against the wall but annoyingly Charles Dickens doesnt explain just why Tim will die if the miserly Scrooge doesn't change his ways.
Now, Russell Chesney, a physician at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital at the University of Tennessee Health Science Centre has worked out that all the clues leads towards Tiny Tim suffering from tuberculosis and rickets.
'In Dickens time, 60% of children of working-class London families had rickets, brought on by poor nutrition and lack of sunlight. At the same time, half of working-class kids had signs of tuberculosis'.
So how could have Scrooge not being such a miser have kept Tiny Tim from dying?
'Tiny Tim's rickets could have been reversed and his tuberculosis improved by sunshine, a better diet and cod liver oil, a supplement rich in vitamin D' Chesney said which ties in with Scrooge giving his hard pressed clerk a raise so he could buy better food to improve his family's diet and keep Tiny Tim alive.
Now all we need is a linguist to tell us what the young boy calls Scrooge when he asks him to go and buy the Goose from the butchers at the end of the film because it sounds like he calls him a w******!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

'Tis The Season

December the first and it's time to stick a sprig of holly on the blog, open the first window on the advent calendar and dig out all the Christmas type posts to spread a bit of comfort and joy around the rapidly diminishing blog World.
As well as bloggers getting all seasonal, so have the music channels as they can now officially start playing Christmas songs for the next 25 days, on the television behind me Mariah Carey is telling us that she doesn't want a lot for Christmas but i'm sure that it's a diet of Slade, Wizzard and Pogues from now on.
Christmas songs come in a few different flavours, there is the classic (White Christmas, Little Drummer Boy), the novelty single (Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo), the poignant (Merry Xmas (War is over), Pipes of Peace) and the ones about Baby Jesus (Silent Night, A Spaceman Came Travelling).
There are a few bands such as Twisted Sister and Bowling For Soup who have taken the standards and breathed some new life into them by plugging in the amp and turning it up a few notches and then there are also Country and Western groups who have stuck a pair of dungarees on them and tried to make them into the scene from Deliverance.
One other genre of Christmas songs is songs that don't really have anything to do with Christmas but somehow have become synonymous with the festive period, such as Gaudete and In Dulci Jubilo which may have been Christmas Carols from the Middle Ages but don't have a jingle bell between them so you wouldn't know unless you looked it up.
We really do need some new Christmas songs because there is so many times you can listen to Noddy Holder shouting 'Its Christmas' or Kirsty McColl calling Shane MacGowan a scumbag and a maggot.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Another Government Rip-Off

The energy cost increase fiasco is a story that refuses to go away and the Conservatives have ignited it again with the plans to cut green taxes paid by the utility companies and refund of £12 for every account. 
I don't think the government really get what the anger is about, the massive profits made by these companies while raising the bills for everyone.
The Green taxes pay for insulation and energy improvements in the poorest homes cuts so it brings down their energy bills so by cutting green taxes it not only hurts the poorest but increases the profits of the utility companies even further.
The £12 rebate per account, £300 million in total, is coming from the Government, therefore out of our taxes so both of these measures will not touch a penny of the indecent amounts these companies are making.
The nasty party are trying to spin it as a win for the customers but in reality this isn't costing the utility companies a penny, they don't have to pay so much to to insulate homes anymore, but it is costing the country £300m and the recent above inflation price hikes stand.
If the Government think that giving us back £12 of our money is going to stem the outcry when the average utility bill is £1250 and companies are raking in 20% more profit than last year, then they have an almighty shock coming.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Idiots

China declares a no fly zone and threatens to shoot down any planes inside it without permission and within a week Japan, South Korea and America fly their planes through it. 
Are we really ruled over by such idiots?
Idiot China for expanding their air-space in such a provocative way just to lay claim to a few rocks.
Idiot America, Japan and South Korea for then flying their planes through it.
Now we are in a situation where China will have to back up its threats to shoot down planes or lose face and America, Japan and South Korea are in a situation where they can't be seen to bow to Chinese pressure and keep their planes away.
Someone is going to have to blink first or we are going to end up with a downed plane and the horrific repercussions.
Why is it that the human race always seem to be heading towards a war with someone? We truly are ruled over by idiots.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sun Wins Comet Battle

It was always a danger but after 4.6 billion years, it seems that Comet Ison has met a fiery end courtesy of our star.
Scientists believe the Comet has failed to make it around the Sun, pulled aprt by its immense gravity, to deny us a spectacular show next month.
NASA scientists are reporting a trail of dense particles which suggests that it was destroyed as it reached its closest point to the Sun.
'We don't think it survived because we don't see any new dust' said the NASA boffin, a view confirmed by the European Space Agency who have now declared the death of the comet at about 21:30 GMT.
'Our Soho scientists have confirmed, Comet Ison is gone' Esa's twitter feed announced.
Such a shame.

Menacing Clowns In Norfolk

Finally, after all these years of writing blog posts, i get to use my joke. The joke i made about 1987 and have never had an opportunity to use again, until now. But first the story.

Something weird is going on in Norfolk and if you have ever been to Norfolk you would know just how weird something has to be to come under the heading of weird in Norfolk.
Norfolk police have been receiving reports of numerous clown sighting in King's Lynn, men wearing a 'full clown outfit with a red suit and red hair'.
They are now receiving further reports from alarmed members of the public reporting two clowns near a skate park in the town.
It follows recent reports in Northampton of people being freaked by clowns holding balloons watching them.
Superintendent Carl Edwards of the Norfolk Constabulary said although nobody had been injured or assaulted and it isn't against the law to dress up as a clown, officers would patrol areas where the reports had been made and, if they found any clowns, they would 'offer them strong words of advice. His guidance to the public is 'to give no reaction because that's what they are after'.
No mention of not accepting balloons from a clown behind a drain or sniffing flowers pinned on buttonholes but joking aside, this is just the start of the much anticipated evil Circus takeover.

And now the joke:
First it is clowns and then before you know it we will be menaced by trapeze artists, plate-spinners, tumblers, fire-breathers and strongmen ripping telephone directories with impunity.  The only way to be sure is to kill the whole circus. We must go for the juggler!!
Yes, it was worth the wait.

Post Office Message: Santa Letters

Christmas letters to Santa

Santa is extremely busy at the North Pole, making sure all the presents, including yours, are ready and wrapped for Christmas Eve.
It’s a very exciting time for all; Rudolph and Santa can’t wait to land at your home with all your gifts. Rudolph is especially looking forward to eating the carrots you kindly leave and maybe a mince pie for Santa…

To ensure Santa receives your letter on time please can you send to the following address:

Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa’s Grotto,
Reindeerland,
XM4 5HQ

Santa will respond to as many letters as possible, in between getting the sleigh ready for the long journey on
Christmas Eve.

To receive your card back from Santa, please make sure you write to him using the correct address on a stamped envelope. Don't forget Santa needs to know your full name and address to reply.

Santa is happy to receive your cards and letters now but because of a very busy Xmas ahead could you please write to him by no later than Friday 6th December.

Be good and enjoy your holidays,
Santa

Where Are The Sexy Space Missions?

The European Space Agency have announced their programme for the next twenty years and the plan is to launch a satellite to observe Jupiter in 2022 followed by an X-ray telescope in 2028 and then a mission to detect gravitational waves in 2034.
All important i agree but you could never describe them as sexy. No manned missions anywhere, not a sniff of a robotic lander or rover scuttling across distant Worlds, not inspiring or anything there to grip the imagination.
As i was born in 1969 i was too young to see the Space race which ended with the historic moon landings so i do a bit like we are living in the lull between the start of mans space exploration and the next exciting bit where we send manned missions to other Planets.
I understand that it is expensive and what we learn now will build towards more exciting times for future astronauts but while we are getting there, we do need something to inspire us and keep the funding coming.
If we are going to Jupiter anyway, couldn't we stick a lander on the satellite and have it explore Europa and see if we can find anything under the ice sheets that cover it? 
We haven't stepped on the moon since 1972, must be time we went back there again or how about making that moon base we have been waiting for ever since?
Get a shift on guys because in 20 years time i will be 64 and won't have enough time left to wait another 20 years after that before you decide to do something more exciting than detect gravitational waves.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Earth Moving In Texas

When the earth doesn't stop moving for three weeks you are either in a relationship with Russell Brand or you live in North Texas which has been experiencing a string of earthquakes for over 3 weeks with fingers being pointed at the whole loot of fracking going on .
Residents in the region have suffered 16 earthquakes in November and six in the last four days and when they are not holding onto ornaments on shelves, the people living in the vicinity are speculating that forcing high pressure water and chemicals into rock in order to extract natural gas reserves is the culprit.
Since 1970 and 2007, the area around the Texas town of Azle experienced two earthquakes but since the start of 2008, 74 minor quakes were reported in the region.
Cliff Frolich, earthquake researcher at the University of Texas, said: 'I'd say it certainly looks very possible that the earthquakes are related to injection wells' a view backed by a Government study that found the use of underground storage wells to get rid of waste water produced by fracking is 'almost certainly to blame for the jump in earthquakes in Midwestern states in recent years' citing the 29 magnitude 3 or greater quakes in 2008 to the 134 in 2012.
As Texas has 6,000 oil and gas fracking wells in operation, Santa won't be getting many requests for an etch-a-sketch from Texans this Christmas.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Gary Glitter Dilemma

As we inch towards December i face the usual moral dilemma regarding Christmas tunes and the Gary Glitter song 'Another Rock n Roll Christmas' and whether it is okay to listen to it and actually admit to liking it.
Ever since his arrest in 1997 and subsequent conviction for possession of thousands of items of child pornography on his computer and his later conviction of obscene acts with minors in Vietnam and Cambodia, Glitter has been an outcast and his records banished from the media.
The problem i have is i hate the person but love the song and pre-1997 'Another Rock n Roll Christmas' was as much played as Slade's and Wizard's festive efforts but to admit to liking anything associated with Gary Glitter now is taboo.
In an ideal World we wouldn't choose the music on the basis of how pleasant the artist is because it would seriously reduce the amount of music we would listen to.
Michael Jackson is still revered by many and Pete Townshend has only recently come off the sex offenders list for accessing child pornography but Jackson and The Who songs have not been taken off the radio playlist and Bill Wyman's sexual relationship with a 13 year old Mandy Smith never saw the Rolling Stones records binned.
It does seem though that with Gary Glitter it is harder to detach him from his music which is strange because  musical history is full of artists who have been awful people and 'Another Rock n Roll Christmas' is a great Christmas song but was sung by a truly awful person which puts it in a grey area.

Scottish Independence

It seems that the pretence that Scotland may vote for independence is carrying on with Alex Salmond setting out what he would do if Scotland committed suicide and voted to leave the union.
Not perturbed by the treasury pointing out yesterday that independence would mean a raise in income tax of £1000 per Scot, Salmond has done his own maths and come up with the sum that each person in Scotland would be £600 better off.
He has also promised the freshly independent Scottish nation would join the EU and NATO, cut corporation tax, extend free childcare and increase the minimum wage, keep the pound and the Queen, drop Trident nuclear weapons, the Union Flag and the BBC.
I don't think for a second that the Scottish will be shortsighted enough to vote to go it alone next year, it would be be broke within a week and begging for the BBC and the likes of Dr Who and Qi when they are forced to watch endless repeats of Rab C Nesbit and Take The High Road.
That said, if Scotland does vote for independence and waves goodbye to the English, Welsh and Northern Irish, we will really miss...erm...give me a sec...damn.

Has The Pope Been Reading FOAB?

It isn't very often i find myself agreeing with the Pope but the Argentinian has got my vote for top Catholic banana with his tirade against capitalism.
Pope Francis has called capitalism 'a new tyranny' and is urging world leaders to step up their efforts against poverty and inequality, saying rich people should share their wealth and the existing financial system that fuels the unequal distribution of wealth must be altered.
'How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?' Pope Francis asked an audience at the Vatican, 'a system that devours everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which has become the only rule we live by'.     
You been reading my blog Franny? Anything else?
'I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor' Francis explained and i think we can excuse him bringing God into it just this once because what he is saying is pretty much the drum that i bang, capitalism is not good.
Now all we need is the Vatican with an estimated wealth of £15 billion to put its money where its Pope is and start dishing out the cash and start the equal distribution bandwagon rolling.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Capitalism Sucks Examples 6,589,568 & 6,589,569

In a on-going attempt at bringing Socialism to everyone by pointing out just how poorly treated the 99% are under Capitalism, here is another couple of examples from today's newspapers at how profit drives everything under this system and the little guy can go hang.
Firstly, the Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank has been deliberately driving small businesses to collapse by scrapping loan deals, imposing inflated interest rates and charge hefty penalties so it could buy back their assets at rock-bottom prices.
Chancellor George Osborne has described the banks actions as 'shocking' when it was revealed that firms not necessarily in immediate financial distress are 'engineered' into collapse by technical breaches of loan terms, and are then hit with exorbitant rates and fees, forcing them out of business allowing RBS to buy their property and assets on the cheap.
Second example is the utility companies who put their prices up by as much as 11% and blamed wholesale prices and green taxes while the industry regulator has discovered that they were actually making 20% more profit from each UK household last year than the previous year.
The National Pensioners’ Convention puts the total number of people who died last year from the cold due to the increase in fuel costs at 24,000 with a further 6 million in fuel poverty.
What this does is make you understand the morals of the profit making companies who put making money above everything else, including destroying peoples livelihoods through forcing them out of business or in the case of the utility companies, taking their lives as they can't afford to heat their homes.
To think that there are people who defend this system.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Heeeere's another conspiracy theory

Like the stories of a tee-total Australian and generous Scotsman, some tales are just so unbelievable that they are dismissed immediately but all the best conspiracy theories work because they contain just enough 'proof' that you pause before dismissing them.  
My favourite is the 'Steven King Killed John Lennon' theory based on the fact that the guy in the picture of John Lennon signing his autograph book just before the shooting has dimples and Chapman was dimple-free, unlike author Steven King who is suspiciously dimpled.
Strangely, i found out this weekend that Steven King is also involved in the new challenger for the 'Lucy's favourites conspiracy theory'.
Steven King published The Shining in 1977 and in 1980 Stanley Kubrik made the novel into a film but more than just doing a bad job of a good novel, he stuffed it full of references to his role in filming the fake moon landings.
The story goes that the American government saw 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 and asked Kubrick to help them fake the Apollo 11 moon landings in order to gazump the Soviet Union who were handing America it's arse in the Space Race at the time.
Kubrik agreed but after the shoot was 'in the can' he realised just what a big deal it was and worried that he might be silenced by his Government so to protect himself, he filled The Shining with clues about the conspiracy.
Need proof?
Danny wears an Apollo 11 jumper, Room 237 is a reference to the distance between Earth and the moon: 237,000 miles, when Jack types “All work and no play…”, the first word looks like “A11” or Apollo 11. The twins represent NASA’s Gemini space programme, the guy in a bear suit represents the Soviet Bear and then there is Jack’s rant at Wendy when she wants to leave represents Kubrick arguing with his own wife about his deception: 'Does it matter to you at all that the owners have placed their complete confidence and trust in me, and that I have signed a contract in which I have accepted that responsibility?'
If that isn't enough to convince you then how about the final piece of the jigsaw, Jack agreed to look after the Overlook Hotel during the winter just like Kubrick agreed to help America during the Cold War.
I don't know how much more proof anyone would need but it would explain why Kubrik made such a pigs ear of filming the King novel, because he was too busy stuffing it full of fake moon mission hints that he completely forgot how the book finished and just made up his own ending.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Hunger Games Is Battle Royale Rip-Off

Author Suzanne Collins said that she came up with the idea for the Hunger Games while channel surfing. Apparently she was flipping between footage of the Iraq War and a reality TV show and came up with the idea of a book set on an island where teenagers are forced to fight each other to the death in a televised death match to deter the youngsters rising up in revolution.
Sounds as good as it did the first time i heard that storyline in the 1999 Battle Royale novel by Japanese writer Koushun Takami which is set on an island where teenagers are forced to fight each other to death in a televised death match to punish citizens for a past rebellion and to prevent them from rising up again.
Both films contain a command centre that keeps track of the combatants and reads out lists of the dead over loudspeaker and have previous winners acting as mentors.
The author of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, maintains that she has never heard of Battle Royale and she just had a similar idea so far be it for me to shout 'blatant rip-off' but, well, it is a blatant rip-off of the Battle Royale book.
It is a nice idea about the storyline coming to her while flipping channels and i think she probably did get the idea by flipping through the television but happened to stumble across a foreign film that she probably thought wasn't very widely known outside of Asia and thought she would nick the storyline.
I guess it isn't inconceivable to believe that she just happened to come up with an almost identical storyline to an already written book and Asian movie but then it also isn't inconceivable that she blatantly ripped off Koushan Takami's novel and hoped nobody would notice.

Vertical Air Space

We often hear countries talking of International air-space and if another country wants to fly through it they need to gain permission.
China has extended their air space to cover the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands that are also claimed by Japan and have threatened 'emergency defensive measures' if any aircraft fly over it.
The threat is aimed at Japan and Taiwan who also claim the uninhabited islands that potentially sit amid huge deposits of oil and gas but it does lead to the obvious question, just how high does a countries air-space go?  
The Aeronautical Information Manual which sets out all things aeronautical for the American flight-controllers state that anyone who flies above 50 miles (82km) vertical is an astronaut as that is where space begins.
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale which rules over all things European flyer's has a designated mark called the Kármán line which at an altitude of 62 miles (100 km) air-space turns into space.
Not much help to the Japanese i know but probably safer to just fly around the islands for now.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Waiting For Comet Ison

Since it was discovered in 2012 there has been quiet confidence in the astronomical fraternity that Comet Ison will be one those those rare spectaculars in the heavens but there has always been a note of caution that it could be a damp squib.   
In just a few days time we will find out for ourselves as the Comet will announce itself to Earth on December 3rd, appearing on our eastern horizon and parading it's tail, all several millions of kilometres of it, during the whole of December for the billions of us in the Northern hemisphere to see.  
Or so we hope because there is just as much chance that Comet Ison will break up completely as the forces of our star get to work on the comet that has been on a 4.6 billion year journey through space.
The sticking point is that scientists know that previous Comets below 2 km were ripped apart by the immense gravitational pull of the Sun while Comets above 2km survived intact and Comet Ison is frustratingly estimated to be a fraction below the 2km borderline hence the scientists reluctance to confirm what we can expect to see, if anything.  
Comet Ison is currently hurtling towards the Sun and is set for its closest approach on 28 November after which date we will have a better idea if it has survived its encounter.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The £60,000 Question

A woman found £60,000 on a canal bank while out walking her dog and handed it in to Police which was met with much muttering along the lines of how she should have kept it.
According to the Association of Chief Police Offers there are no laws governing what you should do with a find unless it includes information which would make police able to trace the owner.
I would say the overwhelming immediate reaction of most people is that they would have kept quiet about it and kept it but conscience is a powerful thing.
Obviously £60,000 in a bin-liner smells of something dodgy and is unlikely to have been lost by law-abiding citizen so I think I'd keep it but then i'd be thinking what if i had somehow stumbled upon a trap and the first time i try to spend it armed officers are pointing guns at me and shouting at me to lay face down on the floor of Tesco. Worse, what if some criminal gang watched me tootle away with their drug money and decided to act out Goodfellas while i was deciding what colour speedboat i wanted.
Then i would try to convince myself that it had been left there deliberately by an eccentric billionaire but what if word got around that i had £60,000 in a bin liner in my bedroom and the police asked me where i got it, found it is hardly going to sound the best excuse and i'm sure the bank clerk in Natwest would be ringing her manager the second i left the building after depositing £60,000 worth of £20 notes.
Then there is the thought that as it was found alongside a canal, it was some canal dwellers savings which had somehow fallen over the side from under their mattress and they are presently frantically searching the canal for it.
I think in all honesty i would hand it in to the police and hope that the law that states if nobody claims in within 3 months i get it back is true.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Santa's Back And He's Armed

Here at the ScottsDale Gun Club we believe Christmas is a time for family, childrens laughter and grinning inanely as you stand behind Santa holding a huge weapon.
Yes, Santa is making a special trip 15 December to the Scottsdale Gun Club this year so you and your family can be photographed surrounded by enough weaponry to start a small war.
Nothing says peace and goodwill to all men quite like an AK47, the gun baby  Jesus himself would ask for.
So come on down to Scottsdale Gun Club on Northsight Boulevard to visit old Santa and put the fun back into fundamentalist Christian and receive a free fingerprinting kit for your kids.

Scottsdale Gun Club, making it easier for Americans to blow big holes in each other since 2004.    

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Solar Flip Coming

Run for hills, man the lifeboats and stockpile tins of food because the Sun is about to flip it's magnetic poles!!
Blimey, sounds bad but NASA have to go and ruin a perfectly good 'WE'RE ALL DOOMED' story with the less than alarming facts that the pole reversal is a slow, gradual process that has already begun.
The Director of NASA said: 'This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system leading to  some turbulent space weather' .
So death and destruction of all life on the planet then? Nope, a cool northern lights show.
Apparently the Sun’s flips its magnetic poles on average every 11 years and is a regular part of the solar cycle meaning most of us have already lived through at least one of them previously.
The last time a magnetic flip of this sort occurred was in February of 2001. During that time, nothing really happened that can be directly contributed to the solar pole shift. Scientists are expecting much of the same from this shift.
It seems that it is highly probable that the solar magnetic flip will come and go with us hardly noticing but there is a chance that it may have an adverse effect on TV satellites but 'WE MAY MISS X-FACTOR FINAL' doesn't really have the same ring to it.

Keep Twerking Miley Because You Can't Sing

I have found myself wondering recently if the reason why Miley Cyrus is so 'controversial' is because she is actually not a very good singer so twerk's and dresses like a slapper so that is what get's the attention rather than her dire voice.
After seeing her singing live tonight on X-Factor i think that she had better double her twerking next time she gets on stage because as suspected, her voice is dreadful.
I think that wrecking ball must have damaged her vocal chords so twerk Miley, twerk and make your parents proud.      
 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Climate Response Shameful

I was always hopeful that it wasn't going to take death and destruction on a massive scale for the World leaders to do something about climate change but it seems that even the strongest storm ever recorded killing thousands in the Philippines isn't enough.
Recent decisions by the governments of Australia, Japan and Canada to downgrade their efforts over climate change is more than disappointing, especially as it may lead to others following.
Rather than acting as a wake up call, Japan has announced it will backtrack on its pledge to reduce its emission cuts from 25% to 3.8% by 2020, Australia signalled it may weaken its targets and is repealing domestic carbon laws and Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto accord to reduce their annual CO2 emissions.
The Disaster Emergencies Committee, presently coordinating British aid efforts in the Philippines warned that the disaster offers a glimpse of the future if urgent action is not taken and other Aid Agencies said ministers must act urgently because climate change is likely to make such extreme weather events more common in the future, putting millions more lives at risk.
Shamefully, the people who could have the biggest impact are not paying attention or putting more effort into attempting to blacken the name of the scientific community who study these things as more and more extreme weather events occur and kill thousands and thousands before our very eyes.
Nobody is doing anything about it apart from the ill-informed useful idiots repeating parrot fashion the lies from those with the most to lose or more dangerously the moronic leaders like those in Canada, Japan and Australia who selfishly just don't care how many more victims of climate change there are.
It does make you wonder just what it will take, how much death and destruction caused by climate change, before the people who can make a change put the planet and it's population first.