Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Day Timetable

Set your alarm if you are on a exercise kick, trying to get pregnant or want to see a ghost because science has provided us with a timetable of the premium times to do the things that we do each day.
Scientists who study our daily habits and body clocks reckon the hour of the day we do certain things can make a huge difference to how much benefit they give us.
6am-8am is the the best time of day to exercise if you want to burn fat as our blood sugar levels are lower and, with an empty stomach, we will burn more fat reserves.
Our hormone levels peak at 8am and it is also the time when a man’s sperm count is at it's highest which makes it the best time for child seeking couples.
After the exercise and the sex, it's 8.30am and time for breakfast as taking the first meal at this time will stop your body thinking it isn't going to get any food and enter starvation mode which makes you even hungrier and binge eating as the day goes on.
9am to noon is the best time if you are to have an injection as our hormones that deal with pain are at their peak and if you time it so you are in the waiting room at 11am, you can do the crosswords in the magazines as this is the time when our brains are at their most efficient.
If the opportunity arises between 1.30 and 2.30pm, this is the best time to take a nap because our bodies are beginning to tire and the body temperatures dips so a 15 minute snooze will recharge the body and mind for the late afternoon workload.
2.16pm is coffee time as this is the time our energy levels hit bottom and the metabolism starts to wind down and caffeine is a great pick me up.
The work day may be over over but at the clock strikes 5pm, this is the best time to do cardio-vascular exercise as our lungs use oxygen more efficiently and we are at our most co-ordinated..
After all the exercise its down the pub but not before 7pm and make sure we are gone by 8pm as between these hours our liver is working at optimum level which means we can process alcohol most effectively.
After the pub it's home by 9pm for the evening meal just as the sense of taste and smell are at their sharpest and then sit down with a language course CD or revision notes by 10pm which is when our nucleic acid levels peak which aids long-term retention of information.
Finally it's up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire and the land of nod at 11am which is the optimal time for our bodies to relax and achieve the deep sleep to rejuvenate us.
If you are awoken by a bump in the night at 3am there is a good chance it was some member of the spirit world as this is the time when paranormal experts report the most ghostly goings-on.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Les Mis Made Me Miserable

I'm not really sure how to approach this blog post because every time i have mentioned this today, i have got gasps and been vehemently disagreed with but here goes, i thought the film version of Les Miserables was rubbish.
There i said it, i sat through the whole 158 minutes of the new version of the Victor Hugo classic, and thought it sucked.  
It wasn't the actors and actresses so much, Hugh Jackman and Sacha Baron Cohen were great, it was that there was just too much singing in it.
I never realised before the film started that every single word of the dialogue was sung and it just sounded wrong to my ears, why not just speak it so we understand clearly what is being 'said' and they don't have to mangle the words to make it fit the tune.
It's a real shame because i had been looking forward to it ever since it had been announced that they were making it but i came out of the cinema with a real sense of anti-climax.
Another draw-back was the songs, with the exception of 'I dream a dream' and the Landlord song, the songs are just not that exciting.
Maybe i was expecting too much, maybe it was ruined by my reading the book a few times and having the scenes in my minds eye or maybe it's just too long and Russell Crowe isn't a particular good singer but i was expecting the odd song, not one continuous one that lasted almost 3 hours.
I have never really understood why the Les Miserables novel was chosen to be turned into a musical in the first place, it isn't as if when reading the story you think that chapter would be ideal for someone to put to music.
So either i'm completely wrong and the one idea of the film that everyone saw as a highlight completely went over my head or i am alone in thinking if i was at home watching it on TV i would have turned over to Mrs Brown's Boys after the first 10 minutes.
I will stick to the 1998 version with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman which despite not really staying true to the original book, has nobody singing in it. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Stocks & Shares

As someone who doesn't know their Arbs from their elbow when it comes to financial matters, i have always steered clear of stock markets and shares and all those kind of investments but as my pension pot is currently being used as a cookie jar, i really should looking into making sure that when i retire my income doesn't depend on the generosity of the tooth fairy.
Where to start though because the financial market is pretty daunting for someone whose only financial transactions are with shop assistants where i walk away with a tin of beans afterwards.
You can ask at your bank but bankers are about as trusted as the people who send out those emails telling you that you have won millions on a foreign lottery and banks tend to want to give a lecture on what exactly a share is and which markets are the best value when all you really want to know is what shares should i buy to make myself rich.
I have decided to depend upon the wisdom of the Internet but before i dip any toes into the shark infested waters of men who wear braces and shout down the telephone to each other, i plan to spend an imaginary £1000 and see where i am at the end of the year.       
So who does the Internet tell me i should be spending my pretend grand on?
The name Vodaphone has cropped up a few times and the London Stock Exchange website puts the shares at 170p which is reportedly cheap and expected to do well so i'll have some of them. 
Another name mentioned on several sites is oil company Amerisur Resources. Its shares are tipped to soar this year from the 47p they presently stand at so they go in the basket as well.
A strong tip from the Independent newspaper is Thomas Cook (48p) who apparently have weathered the storm of last year when they nearly went out of business but under the new Chief Executive, a revival in the company is forecast and the shares are undervalued. That's my third choice.
A share in Parkmead is presently 14p but they have poached a new CEO from another more successful oil company and they are expecting shares to top 50p each at the end of the year so they become my number four.
My fifth and final selection is Utilitywise at 94p, apparently they are undergoing a huge expansion in the UK and forecasts are for a whacking great increase in revenue and therefore share price.

My portfolio therefore looks like this:

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

All together it comes to £999.97p and i will come back at the end of the year and see if my imaginary £1000 has made me an imaginary millionaire.

Answering The Talking Heads

The Talking Heads song 'Once in a lifetime' poses the question 'well, how did I get here?' and that's probably the most asked question which we never get an answer to.
I assume David Byrne didn't mean his kitchen or living room, i took it as the Universe and us standing on the 3rd rock from the Sun. Deep stuff for a Sunday morning i agree but i have woken up in a philosophical mood and besides, it has always bugged me that the band never got a proper answer to the question they asked 31 years ago.
Those of a religious bent will mention God creating the heavens and the earth and everything and everyone else will mention the Big Bang and the Universe and everything in it exploding out from a central core.
Great, but God and the mass that everything came from didn't just blink into existence, so what came before them according to those theories? 
Luckily i have a Reverend living opposite to pose just such theological questions to and after a tactful 'That's a very good question' answer and some time buying while he went to find his lighter and make a coffee, he came up with some babble about time being a human concept and before God there was no time until God created it so there was no 'Time' so no definition of before, only an after. Or something like that which is a bit of a fluffy answer and if i am being honest, the idea that a Deity creating things is a bit far fetched for me anyway so i am looking towards science and mostly the Internet.
One theory is that the Universe is continually expanding and then it will reach a point and then a Big Crunch will occur and it will shrink back into that one mass again somewhere in the middle and then rebound out so the Universe is a continuous process of Big Bangs and Big Crunchs but still, that mass never just happened, it must have got there somehow to be able to expand and contract.
What existed before the big bang? Nobody seems to know, the focus seems to be on how the Universe was created but very little is asked about how the stuff that it was created from got there in the first place.
It can't just be nothing because you can't get something from nothing and we are here so there must have been something.  
So to answer the Talking Heads, we don't know but a piece of advice is if you do ever find you are telling yourself 'this is not my beautiful house' and 'this is not my beautiful wife', it is a good indication that you are probably at the wrong address.

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Hitler had a theory that you could get away with telling a lie, no matter how big the lie was but mostly because it was so big, people will believe it if you repeat it enough because a big lie is so unlikely, people are more likely to accept it.
Probably before we even came down from the trees, we have lied, faked, forged, hoaxed, deceived, defrauded, and scammed each other but there is a range of lies that run from a little white lie to a partner to spare their feelings to massive, huge lies that results in widespread death, but what is the greatest lie ever told.
My mind immediately goes to the Trojan Horse, we even have a saying today about not trusting Greeks bearing gifts but as i start to write this post i think of Bill Clinton saying 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky' and the stained, blue dress that appeared shortly afterwards that showed sexual relations were had with that woman after all.
The problem with trying to consider the biggest lie ever told in history is that it depends upon your ideological stand point. I can imagine if i asked a wide enough range of people they would choose either Christianity, Communism, global warming, Iraq, Roswell, Capitalism, 9/11, the moon landings, the Koran, Santa, Capitalism, Evolution, Socialism, the Bible or plenty of other things they consider have been used to dupe us so i gave up on it as far too big and controversial subject.

Instead, here are some of the stupidest things Ronald Reagan said: 'Trees cause more pollution than automobiles', 'All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk', 'I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born', 'I went down to Latin America to find out from them and learn their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries' and 'The Russian language has no word for freedom'.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Should We Regret Removing Gadaffi?

Colonel Gadaffi claimed all the way through the Libyan conflict that the rebel movement he was fighting was linked to Al-Queda, a claim backed up by numerous reports that stated the same people the West were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan were the same ones we were now aiding in trying to replace the Libyan leader.
In their wisdom the International Community ignored them and became the rebels air force and arms suppliers, allowing them to take Tripoli and assassinate the Libyan dictator.
Spin forward a few years and those same rebels are using those arms we gave them against the West in Mali and Algeria and the British Government are urging Brits to get out of Libya due to specific threats against Westerners which makes you wonder was, Gadaffi right all along?   
Although the Governments of those nato countries who helped to remove Gadaffi have been trying desperately to portray his removal as positive, the unfolding story we are seeing proves it is anything but.
Murders, kidnappings, torture, the destruction of religious buildings and prosecution of minorities are being carried out by the same people our leaders were labelling as freedom fighters a short time ago.
Without the resistance offered by Gadaffi and the Libyan army, the groups have spread across Libya and are now exporting their violence to other North Africa's countries, as we have seen in Mali and Algeria recently where Westerners were targeted in the hostage taking at the gas plant close to the Libyan and Algerian border last week.
A similar pattern is emerging in Syria, where Bashar al-Assad continually tells us he is fighting terrorism and again many agencies give credence to his claim that the rebels contain strong Al Queada links, but the West are obsessed with the short term success of removing the Syrian leader and giving no thought to what will come next.
Now David Cameron is making increasing noises about taking us into another war, this time all across North Africa but we should stop and think if any of the recent places where we have intervened, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are actually better for it and are we safer due to our military action.
From where i am sitting the answer would have to be a resounding no, we have created a situation where Al Queada and its supporters can go into the power vacuum that we leave behind and car bomb, shoot and terrorise whole countries and we are threatening to do it again in Syria.
The unpalatable question is are the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and their neighbouring countries, better off without Saddam, the Taliban or Gadaffi at the helm and have our military interventions and regime changes just resulted in spreading the terrorism further around the region?    

Go Go Ho-Gan

There may be a well known saying that goes 'No Sex please, we're British', but it turns out that not only are we not doing it but we are not watching other people do it either.
A report which analysed the traffic data of the Internets best know pornographic videos site shows that of the 4,851,384,493 visits worldwide in 2012, only five percent of those (248,211,766) came from the UK.
The country that viewed the most was USA, then Germany, France and Italy then the British and Canadians but the cities where the most viewers came from are all European, Milan, Rome, Paris, London and Berlin, Athens and then Munich.
But who were those 4 billion fans of porn searching for, you ask?
The names that were entered the most into the sites search facility were Kim Kardashian, Sara Tommasi, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Megan Fox and Hulk Hogan. Yep, that's Hulk Hogan.
The average time spent on the site was 10:22 minutes but the British were the quickest to lose interest, spending only an average of 7:51 minutes per visit and Americans were the most attentive, spending an average 24 mins per visit studying the material.
So what can we abstract from this information apart from the fact that if you ever go to Milan or Rome you should give the keyboard a good wipe before you use it?
Hopefully a sense of outrage that this kind of thing is available on the Internet at all and there should be laws introduced that ban such things that nobody should have to see. I mean, Hulk Hogan, it's outrageous and enough to put anyone off their stroke! At the very least someone should hide his web cam.

Why Star Trek Doesn't Suck

Trekkies: the final frontier. These are the voyages of Lucy on a 4 week mission to explore strange new people, to seek out their strange life and normal conversations, to boldly go where no non-trekkie has gone before.    

I am sharing my office at the moment with a couple of the IT team while their office is being overhauled, scrubbed down and probably decontaminated and it's best described as an experience.
I know nothing about what they are speaking to each other about 99% of the time and we have already christened one Sheldon and the other Leonard which they seemed quite happy about, i knew we should have gone with Penny and Amy Farrah Fowler but it's too late now.
Anyhoo, apart from The Big Bang Theory, what we would do if we could time travel and the TV show True Blood, we have very little in common and Sheldon and Leonard seemed disturbed when i failed to get as excited as they were about the news that scientists have invented a Tractor Beam just like in Star Trek. 
After a quick discussion which began with me asking what the...they were banging on about and ended the same way, it transpires, apparently, that our lives have been advanced in many ways by the TV series about the adventures of the Starship Enterprise.     
Obviously noticing my disdain for the statement, Sheldon then went on to explain how the 'Hypospray' used by Bones which sees inoculations sprayed deep into the skin so no needles are used is commonly used by medical types today.
Then Leonard chipped in that the communicators pre-dated mobile phones by several decades, and the cool flippy motion that activated the device was designed with a nod to the Trek.   
Now they have came up with a Tractor Beam which is, as far as i understand, a laser beam that acts like a tow rope and can be used to tether one thing to another thing.
I congratulated them on their knowledge and agreed that Star Trek has indeed contributed to science, technology and medicine and left them alone to gloat.
Then i stuck their new copy of 'Call of Duty' in the microwave and left it to fry.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Prevent Flooding By Building Snowmen

With the changing climate and the threat of floods now becoming a part of the British way of life, the Environment Agency have come up with a way to prevent the rising river levels, make snowmen.
With the moving of the jet stream and the arrival of a milder weather front, the snow from last week is set to become a memory but what comes with that is the thaw draining into rivers and the inevitable sight of water covered streets once again. 
The Environmental Agency have come up with an unorthodox solution though, urging everyone to build a snowman.
'"Ideally, if everybody built themselves a snowman that will slow the thaw down a bit' said Roy Stokes, a spokesman for the agency, pointing out that tightly-packed blocks of snow, such as snowmen, tend to stay colder for longer, thus helping to regulate the flow of water.
'If you notice, when people clear their drive the snow thaws away but the compacted piles stay, which will give a balanced thaw, which would be helpful' he said, 'when snow is compacted, as it is when you build a snowman or drive over it in a car park for example, it melts at a slower rate'.
Great advice but before i could get my coat and gloves and begin rooting around in the fridge for a carrot, another Agency spokeswoman was correcting the earlier advice, saying 'While building snowmen is great fun, sadly it is unlikely to make a significant difference to the overall rate at which the snow melts across the country and won't protect your home from flooding'.
I'm sure the original spokesman was making a light-hearted, semi-serious comment but it's too late for me anyway, the bit of snow we had last Friday was gone by Saturday evening but i have done my bit by storing a snow ball in the freezer which i plan to throw at the kids in the summer, therefore delaying the release of a snow-balls worth of water until June.
No need to thank me flood prone South West England, I consider it a public service.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Hazard Kicks Ballboy

If you are going to kick a ball-boy in the ribs, it might be better to do it when the TV camera's are not on you.
I look forward to a Chelsea public relations onslaught now and the ball-boy being pictured with Frank Lampard holding a Chelsea shirt.  

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Now Where Did I Put That Deadly Virus?

Of course it is highly unlikely that a man made virus will wipe out the population like in those post-apocalyptic films where scientists are engineering a new, deadly germ that escapes the confines of the laboratory and wreaks havoc among us.
Pure artistic licence, could never happen, no way, not a chance.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention are not so sure, they have revealed that between 2004 and 2010 there were 639 cases of materials that are deemed 'potential to cause human disease' were accidentally released from academic and government research centres.
During the same period, laboratories also reported losing 88 samples of highly regulated material. Whoopsie.
What isn't mentioned is exactly what the germs were that were released, it could be anything from the common cold to a virus that affects the brain and turns the unfortunate victim into a zombie.
I'm no scientist so i couldn't possibly comment on this but adding two and two together, the recent outbreak of zombie like behaviour, 639 leaks of mysterious harmful virus's from Government laboratories, the continuing career of Piers Morgan...hmmm, something isn't right here but damn those Illuminati sponsored chem trails for ruining my ability to think for myself.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Sad Statistic

What a terribly sad statistic this is but last year 6045 people committed suicide in the United Kingdom, a significant rise on the previous year according top the Office of National Statistics.
The highest suicide rate was among men aged between 30 and 44 with 23 men per 100,000 taking their their own lives.
On average, across both sexes, 11.8 people per 100,000 population killed themselves in 2011, up from 11.1 people the previous year.
The ONS data revealed there were 4,552 suicides by men in 2011, more than double the number by women and the highest rate since 2002.
The World Health Organisation show that country with the highest suicide rate is South Korea with 31.7 suicides per 100,000 people followed by Lithuania with 31.6 per 100,000 people.
The International Suicide Organisation website states over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year and that on average, a person takes their own life every 40 seconds.
I don't think much analysis is needed as to why the suicide rate is going up, but it is
such a sad thought that every 2 minutes, 3 people chose cutting their lives short as the only way out of their problems.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Gun Safety

In the wake of yet another gun massacre in America, this one leaving 20 children dead, President Obama is mulling over plans for controlling guns in his country but of course, some gun-toting Americans don't want their President telling them what to do with their guns, petrified that the Government will enslave them if they don't have a firearm or just in case the British decide to return and set fire to the White House again. It could happen, you never know. 
To demonstrate their opposition to any gun controls, gun owners across the United States were encouraged to rally at gun shops and shooting ranges to show that on the whole gun owners are responsible and guns are safe in their hands.
You know what's coming.
At the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as its owner unzipped its case shooting two bystanders and a deputy sheriff. In Indianapolis, a man was unloading his .45-calibre semi-automatic when he shot himself in his own hand and in Medina, Ohio, a gun dealer was checking out a semi-automatic handgun he had bought when he accidentally pulled the trigger and shot his friend in the arm and leg.
Maybe if Obama is looking to reduce the number of guns owners in America he should just organise more gun rallies and they will do the job for him.

Top 100 Could End Poverty

According to the charity Oxfam, in 2012, the Worlds top 100 richest people earned enough money, $240 billion, to end world poverty four times over.
'It's gotten so out of control between rich and poor that one of the obstacles to solving extreme poverty is now extreme wealth' said Ben Phillips, a campaign director at Oxfam.
'We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many. Concentration of resources in the hands of the top one per cent depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else – particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder. In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left'.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty and 2.7 billion live on less than $2 a day which the The World Bank defines as the poverty line.
Maybe we should ask the third of the starving population how the Capitalism system is working out for them because for 100 people, it's brilliant.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Thinking About Uranus

From 1947 to 1969, the US Air Force investigated Unidentified Flying Objects under Project Blue Book. This project studied 12,618 sightings and managed to identify 11,917 of them but a further 701 defied explanation.
In 1979, the French reported that their own investigation into UFO's found a quarter of over 1,600 cases studied 'pose a real question' so with the real possibility that there is something out there, the biggest question we can possibly ask is, when did we change the pronunciation of Uranus?
When i was in school, the seventh planet from the Sun was pronounced 'your-anus' but now it seems to have morphed into 'you-ranus' which isn't any where near as humorous, how can a schoolkid tell a teacher that he heard there was rings around 'you-ranus', that doesn't work at all.
I'm sure William Herschel knew what he was doing when the Astronomy society rejected the names he wanted for the planet, 'George's Star' or 'Georgian Planet' in honour of King George III, so vindictively plumped for Uranus after the Greek god of the sky, Ouranos, and forever being the butt of jokes for the rest of eternity, or until some killjoys decided to change how the name is pronounced.
The Royal bootlicker would be spinning in his grave if he knew what some people were getting up to when it came to Uranus despite the Oxford English Dictionary stating that it is pronounced 'yer-eh-nus' as in 'i think we need to explore Uranus' which will get any kid a detention at least if he said it to their teacher in Geography or Maths but is perfectly okay in Science.
School children today are missing out on all this, i had my pronunciation of the planet corrected by a teenager the other day which shows that the fiendish plan to rename Uranus as 'you-ranus' is well advanced and the youngest generation will never know the joys of comments such as 'I'm researching Uranus' or 'there's a dark spot on Uranus' or even 'hey, did you know they found a new ring around Uranus' or even my personal favourite 'Dad, is Uranus bigger than Mars?'
So what if our interstellar visitors do come from the big blue gas ball, and we greet them as our visitors from 'you-ranus' and they have to embarrass us but saying actually they are from 'your-anus', red faces all around.
I think we all need to carefully think about Uranus and watch it closely because for all we know Uranus could be crawling with life despite the noxious gases emanating from Uranus that could kill a man.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Can I Hear British War Drums Again?

David Cameron said: 'Those who believe that there is a terrorist, extremist Al-Qaida problem in parts of north Africa, but that it is a problem for those places and we can somehow back off and ignore it, are profoundly wrong.'
He also said: 'This is a problem for those places and for us' and finished by saying that it was time to 'thicken UK involvement in the area' due to the 'terrorist threat from a group of extremists based in different parts of the world who want to do the biggest possible amount of damage to our interests and way of life'.
The last time we heard a Prime Minister speaking like this it ended with our troops in Afghanistan and the fear is, with a Libyan conflict under his belt, David Cameron has a taste for it and is setting out the case for another British military adventure in Africa.
The all to common sound of the British War drum being beaten could once again be echoing again soon.

No Sympathy For Lance Armstrong

I really haven't gone out of my way to find out much about what Lance Armstrong had to say and luckily the Oprah interview is being shown at stupid o'clock on an obscure channel so i didn't have to try that hard.
From the snippets i have read he did apologise but i would say the only thing he was sorry for was getting caught, not for what he did because it was only a few months ago that he was still vigorously denying cheating and only had a change of heart when the evidence against him became overwhelming.
Hence, this public relations damage limitation pantomime where he says sorry, sheds a tear or two and throws himself on the mercy of the public.
Of course it is all nonsense, he has not only lost millions as his endorsers drop him like a hot brick, but over the years he has got millions by taking to court anyone who has accused him of cheating and now The Sunday Times, Le Monde and SCA Promotions are among the many who have set in motion legal action to recoup the money Armstrong wrongfully took from them. 
I assume after all this over, Armstrong's reputation will not only be wrecked but financially he will not be in a good place and that is how it should be, he cheated, he got caught and he deserves everything that he has coming to him and i for one won't be fooled by a few crocodile tears on Oprah because he may be sorry but he is only sorry he got found out and if he hadn't been, he would still be doping and racing and suing anyone who dared question him.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Algerian Hostage Situation

Speaking on a visit to Australia, Foreign Secretary William Hague cast doubt on claims the hostage-taking in Algeria was in response to France's military intervention in Mali: 'That is a convenient excuse, but usually operations like this take longer to plan'.
As the UK is backing France's military action with transport planes, he is obviously desperate to avoid any suggestion that our involvement in Mali is putting UK citizens at risk, hence his claim it was planned long before that.
Not being a military strategist or ever planned a hostage taking, I have no idea how long it takes to plan but I can't see why it would take more than the week since the conflict started.
An armed group turned up at a gas plant and took it over, how much planning does that take and the hostage takers have already told us the hostage taking was retaliation for France's actions in Mali, their statement saying: 'We announce that we have successfully staged a large-scale attack in response to the crusade being waged by French forces in Mali'.
Seems to me that our Foreign Secretary thinks he knows better than the hostage takers why they are doing it. I remember him saying Colonel Gaddafi was on route to Venezuela during the Libya conflict when he was actually in a Sirte drain-pipe so i don't out much store in his words anyway.
I have heard an interesting conspiracy theory why France is in Mali, and we all love a conspiracy theory. 
The German Bundesbank has confirmed it is taking back all 370 tonnes of German gold stored in France, worth £20 billion.
Coincidentally, Mali just happens to be the third largest gold producer. Hmmm.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Changing High Street

The British High Street is changing as yet more of the big players go under with Jessops, HMV and now Blockbusters going into administration this week alone.
All three seem to be victims of internet shopping with cameras, music and films cheaper online than in any of the stores. I don't think i have ever set foot in a Jessops, my Blockbusters card went down the back of the sofa and stayed there in the last century and apart from paying for some my blank DVD's last month, HMV hasn't had a visit for as long as i can remember and certainly not to buy a CD since One Direction were still being walked to school by their mums.
Apart from the staff who will now face the joys of the unemployment office, i don't really have much affection for any of the three stores but HMV i especially have a certain amount of schadenfreude over.
When i was a kid there were a couple of local independent record stores in my high street, places you could go to listen to all sorts of music but mostly those banned copies of songs which had parental guidance stickers on the front of them.
Mostly, to a bunch of teenagers, it was a cool place to be where the ultra-cool assistant dressed like Suzi Quatro and was never too busy to show you how to play the riff to 'Too Fast For Love'.
Around the mid-80s a huge HMV store landed in the middle of the High-street, closely followed by a small Virgin store which underwent a refurbishment a few years later to double the size and become a Virgin Mega-Store which forced the small independent shops out of business.
Now the Internet has done the same thing to HMV so there may be some truth in the what goes around comes around saying.

Stable Diet?

You meat-eaters are a funny lot. No problem eating cows, sheep, chicken or pigs but when it comes to chowing down on a bit of horse flesh everyone goes mad.
Horse meat has been found in beefburgers on sale in UK and Irish Republic supermarkets and quicker than you can say Hi Ho Silver away, they are whisking them of the shelves amidst a consumer outrage, Peta says the thought of tucking into a horse burger has shocked the nation.  
So why is it certain animals are fair game for the middle shelf of the cooker and some aren't and is it a British thing because horses are commonly served up in other European countries.
It can't be the argument that we are a nation of animal lovers, if that was the case then we wouldn't be shovelling all the other animal down our gullets and it isn't because horses are cute and we don't want to think of cute animals receiving the stun gun because they aren't, or rather, not as cute as a rabbit or a lamb anyway and they are on display in all butcher shop windows. 
Maybe we have an emotional link to horses due to them being so helpful to humans down the ages where we have used them for transport, working the fields and even in the military but that isn't a uniquely British thing, all countries used them for the same things before automobiles, tanks and tractors came along. 
It isn't a hygiene thing because pigs spend the day rolling in their own filth and that doesn't stop the bacon sandwiches being eaten in there tens of thousands with a early morning cup of tea.
A horse cannot be classed as a pet apart from amongst a few, more people have rabbits in a hutch in their garden then own horses so out goes the argument that we won't eat anything that can be regarded as a pet.   
Whatever the reason, British meat-eaters draw the line at eating horse in their burgers although they have no problem with the rest of the burger which it is probably better not to know what it is made up of.

Monday, 14 January 2013

French In Mali

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and now Mali but instead of the usual suspects bombing from high, it seems to be the French wanting to flex their military muscles this time but they do seem to be doing on their own.
America considered intervening last year as the rebels took over the northern half of Mali but opted for training and arming the Malian army instead which went a bit pear shaped when leading army commanders went over to the rebels camp taking the arms and equipment with them.
Britain and America, usually at the forefront when there are some rebels to be killed (apart from in Syria) seem to be keeping their heads down on this one, Britain saying they support France's actions but stating the British military would take a rain-check on this one but offering a couple of transport planes, one of which is being patched up after it broke down on the runway.
America has promised satellite intelligence and a few kind words about solidarity with France but that's all while Germany said the deployment of German troops is not for debate and the rest of Europe has decided to look the other way.   
A handful of other African nations have offered troops but for now France is on it's own although the French foreign minister is saying the campaign will last 'a matter of weeks'.
We'll see if this conflict becomes a Libya or an long drawn out replay of Afghanistan or if as it drags on and we keep reading reports like yesterdays of how French planes killed 11 civilians, 3 of them children, how much appetite France has for the fight.
It does seem thought that France has taken on something that it might not find quite so easy to finish, especially as nobody is rushing to help them fight yet another Muslim country.

Another Loon

Praise the Lord be he has shown us the way to cure on of the killer disease he inflicted upon his blessed children but rather than give it to everyone, he only gave it to Evangelist Lance Wallnau who will only divulge it to 'Kingdom-minded believers' and not to the the general public.
Who knew that the kingdom-minded believers were all in Beijing because Wallnau wants to share the diabetes cure with the 'political elite of the Chinese Communist Party' to gain access to their government and help to spread the Gospel.
Can't see why the Chinese Government wouldn't go along with that.
Now God, about that cure for the delusional among us who claim to speak on behalf of some god or other.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

I Thought I Recognised Him

It still seems strange to me to see Hugh Laurie in House and speaking in that American accent, to me he is Prince Regent and George from Blackadder or the other half of a Fry and Laurie with Stephen Fry, and there he is doing proper acting.
It's the same with Ian McShane, he's Lovejoy the dodgy antiques dealer so what's he doing popping up in Deadwood and how did the homosexual homehelp from Alf Garnett, Eamonn Walker, end up in American show Oz ?
Someone pointed out Stephen Moyer in an episode of Midsomer Murders and he knows plays Bill Compton in True Blood and a movie career seemed a million miles away for Anna Friel when i watched her playing Beth in Brookside. It took me a while to get my head around Anthony Head being vampire fighting Giles on Buffy and not the man from the Nescafe series of adverts.
During a brief flirtation with Australian soaps such as Neighbours and Home and Away, Alan Dale is always Jim and Guy Pearce is Mike whatever American show they pitch up and Ryan Kwanten who plays Jason Stackhouse in True Blood is still the lifeguard from Home & Away.
Seeing someone on the television in a place that you don't expect to see them, especially if you associate them with another role, is always strange, i still don't believe that Darth Vader was the same man who put on green tights and taught us how to cross the road when i was a kid, but apparently it is.
It's the same with the mobile phone advert where Kevin Bacon is stood in a British Fish & Chip shop talking about Paul Daniels or walking around a football pitch, i always think of him dancing around in Footloose or hiding on a shed roof from giant worms. 
Good luck to them i say but you can't forget your roots, especially with Dave & UK Gold showing your old shows.

Northern Ireland Burning

How utterly depressing to see on our televisions what is happening in Belfast, with riots entering the sixth week and petrol bombs, water cannons and plastic bullets once again being used and police vehicles on fire, and all over a flag.
Violent protests immediately followed the decision to fly the Union Flag at Belfast City Hall only on 18 designated days, the Unionists stating they consider the changes to be an attack on their cultural identity.
Maybe it started off like that but what we are seeing now look to me like mindless aggression and vandalism, buses have been set on fire and even a disabled children's centre was one of the buildings trashed in rioting. 
Northern Ireland has a host of problems but it seemed as though the worst was behind it but there was always those underlying political and sectarian divisions which bubbled underneath and this is where the root of the problem stems from.
It doesn't help when you have people like Willie Frazer, the most prominent of the protest organisers, has been popping up in the media attempting to justify the protesters and accusing the Alliance Party who are the largest party in the Belfast City Council of being aligned with Sinn Fein and the SDLP.
Dangerous, explosive rhetoric from a man who was recently filmed telling loyalist protesters that 'we will not be dictated to by gunmen, mass murderers and paedophiles'.
It is warped people like this stirring up old hatreds and a section of young Belfast youth that probably don't care whether the Union Flag flew outside Belfast City Hall or not, to them it is a fig leaf to just run riot. 
Northern Ireland has serious problems and it seems plenty of people there to exploit them and keep the pot bubbling and a depressing amount of petrol bomb throwing imbeciles willing to allow themselves to be exploited.  

Triple Dip Ahoy!

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said in its monthly health check that the economy shrank by 0.3% in the three months to December and the UK is due to fall into its third recession in four years, the dreaded triple dip recession.
That can't be right, the Government said we were going in the right direction only this week.
So which to believe, Britain's longest established independent economic research institute with over sixty years experience or the chap whose only real-life working experience was folding fluffy towels in a shop?
Just how incompetent do you have to be at your job to be sacked in this Government, the majority of who think they are underpaid.

Warning From National Climate Assessment

The National Climate Assessment, involving over 300 government scientists and climate experts, have released a draft report on Climate Change and it isn't easy reading for Americans, or at least it shouldn't be. 
Its findings set out in 1000 pages a picture of the real effects of climate change on US life and the most likely consequences for the future.
'Climate change is already affecting the American people' the report said 'Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense including heat waves, heavy downpours and in some regions floods and drought. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and Arctic sea ice are melting'.
'As climate change and its impacts are becoming more prevalent, Americans face choices. Beyond the next few decades, the amount of climate change will still largely be determined by the choices society makes about emissions. Lower emissions mean less future warming and less severe impacts. Higher emissions would mean more warming and more severe impacts.'
It doesn't take a scientist to realise that climate change is on course to turn not just America but the entire planet into a more disaster-prone place but as the weather events of last year showed, the effects are being felt globally but the big question is, will we the current generation, be prepared to make significant sacrifices in order to prevent some of the worst of the looming catastrophe?
Sadly, there seems to be no will at the leadership level to implement the enormous changes that are urgently required and future generations won't thank us for sticking our heads in the sand at probably the most dangerous crossroads modern humans have arrived at.
Simply, if we don't make the necessary changes, Mother Nature will do it for us and we won't like it one bit.

Friday, 11 January 2013

No Plans For Death Star

As far as i am aware, when you become the leader of a country you are not required to fill out a form stating that you are not a geek, nerd, dork, freak, goon, dweeb, techie, computer specialist or own the Star Wars or Star Trek box set but maybe they should because otherwise we end up with people like this running the show.
The White House has rejected a petition signed by 34,435 people who are calling for the United States government 'to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016'.
The 34,435 people who should not be left alone with cutlery claim that having a Moon-sized space station and inter-stellar weapon from the Star Wars film series would strengthen national security and create jobs.
Paul Shawcross, chief of the White House's Office of Management and Budget's Science and Space Branch, has replied saying: 'The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defence, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon."
He explains that the estimated cost of constructing a Death Star would be over $850,000,000,000,000,000 ($850 quadrillion) and 'We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it'."
Mr Shawcross went on to explain that the White House 'does not support blowing up planets' so there you have it geekoids, now you can go back to speaking like Yoda to each other and arguing over whether Spiderman could beat Batman in a fight.
China, Russia, quick, America are not building a Death Star, here's your chance!!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

How Much Are Our MP's Worth?

A few times i have mooted the idea of paying everyone the same, my main reasoning being that if you take away the incentive of wages, you then only get the people who want to do the job, doing the job.
With that in mind, consider the British MP. On shows like Question Time and whenever a TV camera is stuck in their faces they will say that they came into politics so they could help people, never for the money and the perks.
It is probably worth mentioning here that a British MP earns £66,000 per year, more if they are in the Cabinet, and can claim expenses on pretty much everything including their food, homes, the content of their homes and travel.
A survey announced today, which politicians completed anonymously, found that 69% thought they were underpaid and the average increase suggested was a rise of 32% to £86,250.
These are the same people who have been introducing pay freezes, benefit caps, VAT increases and spending cuts for us to save money, while deciding they need their own wages put up by almost a third.
The idea that 'we are all in this together' dropped by the wayside a long time ago when they cut the tax rate for the richest while cutting income for millions of poor, the sick and the disabled who are being made to 'prove' they are disabled enough to claim the £51.85 per week at medical centres.
Our MP's are part of the public sector and public sector workers are only being allowed a 1% pay rise but instead of demonstrating some sort of show of solidarity with the people who elected them by pegging their own pay at 1%, they are suggesting to the people who now set their wages that they should be paid 32% more.
If they think they're not being paid enough then they should find another job and maybe we could get some real people in with life experience outside of the Westminster bubble who could really make a difference and not just see it as an opportunity to fill their bank accounts with our money.
Now if only someone will leak the names of the 69% of MP's who think they are doing such a bang up job that they deserve such an obscene increase, then we can begin a proper witch-hunt. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Well Done Piers

                                                                               Usually, when Piers Morgan is around, the biggest moron competition is over, but for once he wasn't the biggest mug on the set, that award went to the hilariously screwy Alex Jones.
There is a saying that sometimes you should let people think your an idiot rather than open your mouth and confirm it and Alex not only confirmed it but rubber stamped it as well.
I'm no fan of Piers Morgan, i find him arrogant, patronising and smug and for 15 minutes a red-faced Alex Jones shouted over him and made his crazy points about 1776 and the second amendment while Piers stayed cool and calm under the provocation, even when Jones began talking an English accent that even Dick Van Dyke would be ashamed of.       
It is refreshing that for once I come away from watching a Piers Morgan interview and not thinking that he was the biggest tosser out of the two. Well played Piers, you had better stay there a bit longer and keep up the sterling work that you are doing over there handing enough rope to idiots like Jones. No seriously, stay there.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

More Hazy Cosmic Jive?

David Bowie hasn't had a song in the British top ten since 1992, his last number one was in 1985 and that was for Band Aid and the last decent song he put out was 'Under Pressure' and that was with Queen in 1981.
Like many of the dinosaurs of music, Bowie is one of those who somehow managed to stick around due to his past glories, much in the hope that he may have something decent still in his locker but nobody brave enough to tell him to call it a day and go home.
Now he is back again with a new single and a new album and the Bowie public relations people are trying to drum up interest in it as though it is one of the biggest things to happen in music, it isn't, it's only David Bowie.      
Credit where it is due, during the 70s he had some great songs, Starman, Jean Genie, Life on Mars and Rebel Rebel but that well ran dry a long time ago and instead of him and the likes of Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger riding off into the sunset far away from a recording studio, they kept on going and watered down what would have been an impressive back catalogue.
The argument is that if there wasn't still a fan base for the likes of Bowie, he would have been removed from our radio's a long time ago and i get that and think that it emphasises just how dire the musical competition is today.
If the charts were full of decent bands churning out cracking tunes instead of boy and girl bands doing the bland thing they do then David Bowie having an album out would just be a few lines in the music pages of the newspapers rather than receiving a mention on the BBC News.

Here Comes The Sun

Since i sat here at this time yesterday, the World has spun silently once again on it's axis, the moon has risen majestically in a starless sky before dipping unnoticed below the never changing horizon and i have slept, laughed and sang. Oh how we sang with abandoned as if the madness in the World never existed. 
The Sun rose in a blaze of magnificent colour, the celestial life bringer once again taking up that eternal battle with the English winter, teasing and hinting at a promise of better days ahead before the menacing and rain laden clouds chase it away, tracing the same route below the horizon as its lunar partner in the heavens, gone for another day to lighten and warm a far distant part of the Earth.
Where it went was Australia and strewth did it shine down there, so much so that the Aussies Bureau of Meteorology have had to increase its scale from 52C to 54C to reflect the extreme highs forecast for this week.
Head of climate monitoring and prediction David Jones said 'The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau's model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees'.
As someone who wilts when the mercury heads anywhere near 80F, i can only imagine what it is like when it hovers around 122F so where i don't generally have much sympathy for the Aussies, i do feel for them during this heatwave.
"Whilst you would not put any one event down to climate change' said the Welsh lady the Australians have got running their country 'we do know over time that as a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events and conditions'.
As 2012 broke all sort of weather records everywhere, Mother Nature is starting 2013 as if it means to continue the trend of baking, flooding and blowing down the house of the humans, condemning us to reap what we have sowed.   

Monday, 7 January 2013

Let Me Eat Cake

When told that the French populace had no bread to eat, Marie-Antoinette was quoted as saying 'Let them eat cake' and looking at the
picture of Gerard Depardieu in Russia, he did and then started on the pies, burgers and cheesecake.
There are three very funny things about this picture of Depardieu holding up his Russian passport after fleeing France to avoid the
75% rate of tax imposed by Fran├žois Hollande on millionaires.  
Firstly, what is he wearing and secondly the 75% tax rate isn't happening, France's top judge threw it out as unconstitutional so
it was all for nothing.
He swapped the land of wine and cordon bleu cuisine for vodka and potatoes.
The IMDb website shows his lifetime earnings from movies as almost €30m and if you ever wondered, what he spent his hard earned wages on, here it is, McDonalds.
Holding up his passport he said: 'I'm a selfish, greedy, disgusting pig of a man who will flee my homeland in its time of need to avoid paying back to the society that has made my life exceptionally comfortable.'
Actually what he said was 'I am very happy, it's very beautiful here, beautiful and soulful people live here' but he had a mouthful of food and was wearing a tablecloth so it wasn't easy to make out.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Child Benefit Cuts

In Britain, every parent receives £21 child benefit and £14 for every subsequent child. This amount comes from the Tax and National Insurance that we pay, and with exception of the few big businesses we have heard about recently, everyone pays and therefore every citizen is entitled to receive their £20 a week to clothe and feed their offspring.
As from midnight, the Conservative Party ruling comes into effect that only parents on less than £50,000 can receive it, anyone earning above that amount will have the £20 reduced on a sliding scale and anyone on over £60,000 will not receive it at all, a saving of £2 billion according to the treasury.
This puts me in a a slight quandary because a part of my brain thinks that people who earn that much should not get it and taking away £20 a week from them will make no visible difference to their income but then another section of my brain thinks everyone who pays into it should get child benefit because they paid into it.
Then there is another part of my brain that thinks that people who don't have children still pay into it and they don't get anything so yes, take it away from the high earners but then a different set of grey cells think if the Government start tinkering with universal benefit such as Child Benefit, then they could start tinkering with other benefits we pay into such as the State Pension so no, leave it as it is and don't prevent anyone from receiving what is rightfully theirs.
It depends on the time of the day, what mood i am in, how much coffee i have drank and how my drive in went which determines how i feel about this move and what i have decided is how they will spend the £2 billion they will save.
If they are just going to hand it over to a bank, buy cruise missiles or use it to build nuclear power plants then i would prefer they gave it to those earning over the £50,000.
If they are going to use it to buy school text books, build a hospital or keep open some libraries then i say take it off them but that's another problem, it will just go into the big Government pot and although it will save £2 billion, it won't be fenced off for anything in particular and be used to pay off the debt which was caused by the banks so when i put it that way, the Government is taking money off the rich to give to the even richer so we won't actually see any of the £2 billion anyway.  
In conclusion, i am still split on whether it is a good thing or not so maybe the best option would be for anyone on over £50,000 to be asked to voluntarily stop receiving child benefit, that way the Government is not starting off a possible precedent of denying people money they rightfully deserve and have paid in to.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Get Well Soon Hugo

Three months after crowds celebrated another election triumph for Hugo Chavez, the crowds are gathering again but the mood is very different this time as their president is laid up in a Cuban hospital after emergency cancer surgery.
On the 10th January, Chavez is supposed to be inaugurated for a further six-year term of office at a ceremony but the president has not been seen or heard since his operation on 11 December, prompting speculation that he will not be there to be sworn in for his new term.
In such an event, the opposition are calling for new elections but the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela are saying that the Venezuelan constitution doesn't say anything about another election and the inauguration can be postponed and Chavez can be sworn at a later date.
'The president will continue being president beyond January 10, nobody should have any doubt about that," said the stand-in Diosdado Cabello who Mr Chavez handpicked to run the country in his absence.
The part of the constitution that the USPV are pointing to is Article 231 which states that 'The president-elect shall take office on 10 January of the first year of their constitutional term, by taking an oath before the National Assembly. If for any reason, (they) cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, they shall take the oath of office before the Supreme Court' which they interpret as meaning anytime after 10 January as long as it is done before the Supreme Court. 
The opposition are quoting Article 233 which includes the line: 'When there is an absolute absence of the president-elect before taking office, there shall be a new election by universal, direct and secret vote within the next 30 consecutive days. Pending the election and inauguration of the new president, the president of the National Assembly will assume responsibility for the presidency of the Republic'.
The official line from the USPV is that Mr Chavez has suffered from complications brought on by a severe lung infection that developed after his latest surgery and that the President is resting and recuperating after his surgery and we can only wish the man a speedy recovery. He is not only a colourful, amusing politician in a world full of dull leaders but he has been a hero to the millions of Venezuelans who have been raised out of poverty by his 21st Century Socialism movement.
Get well soon Hugo because as the pathetic, repulsive vitriol from the right wing shows, you must be doing something right to annoy them this much.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Random Acts Of Kindness In Coffee

If you listen to the news or read the newspapers you could be forgiven for thinking that us humans are a bunch of selfish meat sacks but you sometimes hear of a story that makes you think we are not all bad, well, apart from SUV drivers obviously.
Just before Christmas, in a Tim Hortons coffee chain in Winnipeg, Canada, a drive-through customer decided to pay for the next customer in line during a random act of kindness.
The next person caught on and on hearing that his coffee was free, paid for the next in line instead.
The acts of kindness continued for three hours and 228 continuous customers
'We don’t know who started it, but that’s the beauty of this act of generosity' said a company spokeswoman 'It was the start of something wonderful.'
Then, just when you dare to think there may be hope for us yet, you read that it came to a stop when one man refused to pay for the next customer’s three coffees although he had received four free coffees.
You just know he was probably driving an SUV as well.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Why The Blackberry Cursor Stops Working

Been given a Blackberry phone for Christmas? All working well at the moment is it? Enjoy it while it lasts because within weeks it will a lump of plastic that you will be taking back to the phone shop because it has stopped working.
Actually, that's not fair, it may last a few months.
I am on my third Blackberry phone in 12 months and that is now currently sitting in a workshop somewhere because once again, the cursor button has stopped working.
I was given a telephone number of the workshop so i could check the progress if i hadn't received it back within 28 days but i phoned them up anyway and asked them 'What is up with the Blackberry phone' because i kept getting a different answer from the phone shop salesmen ranging from sweat off my fingers clogging the button to the ambiguous 'known problem'.
If anyone knows it must be the people who have to fix them so when i asked exactly why they keep breaking, the problem it seems is known, but they are just not doing anything about fixing it.
According to the phone engineer, under the button is a slightly upturned, thin piece of metal so when you press the key down, it makes a connection and moves the cursor around the screen.
In their wisdom, the Blackberry people made that piece of metal thinner in the Blackberry Curve and subsequent mobiles so after a short time the metal strip gets flattened which makes the connection harder to make and human nature is to push the button harder which only flattens it even more until one day, it is not upturned anymore and no connection can be made and off it goes to the engineers who don't actually fix them, they simply 'pull out the old cursor unit and stick in a new one'.
So, i asked, all the helpful advice about pulling the battery, installing the new operating system, sticking tape across the cursor pad or any of those other helpful hints on you tube won't do anything?
All you will have is a Blackberry with a bit of sellotape on it that still won't work or may work again for a week or so and then die said my new friend.
That's the answer then, the only solution when your cursor starts acting up is to take it back to the shop you got it from and get that new cursor unit fitted and at the first opportunity, ditch it for another phone.
The last point is when i asked why a 20 minute job takes 28 days to get fixed, he laughed and said i obviously didn't take out the extra insurance which guarantees your phone is fixed within 7 days which i never but if i had known how bad the Blackberry was going to be, i wouldn't have got one in the first place!     

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Scouts Oath Changing

The Scouting movement leader, Lord Baden Powell, story is a bit of a strange one. When he left the British Army, he decided to dress young boys in a military style uniform and teach them survival techniques as he had learned in the army.
Thus the Scouting movement was born and kids would earn badges for passing certain tasks, badges that had a swastika symbol on them.
The defenders of Baden Powell say that he was not a Nazi sympathiser, rather that the symbol was from India and means 'good luck' but that rather falls apart in the pages of Baden's own diary where he wrote in 1939 'Lay up all day. Read Mein Kampf. A wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organisation etc'
Indeed, Mein Kampf may be a ripping yarn but the Scouts quickly dumped the use of the Swastika on their badges when Powell died although they continued to use his oaths to 'love my God' and 'serve the Queen and country', or rather they did because it has gone the way of the Swastika and been kicked out.
"Over the past few years we have heard from more and more Scouts, Guides and leaders who struggle with the wording, particularly in interpreting what it really means to them today' said one Scout and Girls Guides leader.
I would guess that promising to serve a God that hardly anyone believes in anymore in modern times and a mega-rich lady who lives in a Palace doesn't rank very high on any ones list and it is about time this outdated oath was replaced with something the kids of today can relate to, Facebook and Harry Potter should do it.