Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Own Goal

UK impose sanctions on Russia.
British Steel Company SSI goes into liquidation with the loss of 1700 jobs citing a slump in demand for steel in Russia for its problems.   
I think that's called an own goal by the UK Government, must have given Putin a chuckle though.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Not Life On Mars Just Yet

The battle to keep people interested in all things cosmos has been on a bit of a roll lately with Pluto, then a Lunar Eclipse and now the discovery of running water on Mars. 
NASA explained: 'Liquid water runs down canyons and crater walls over the summer months on Mars which raises the chances of being home to some form of life'.
David Bowie must be very pleased because almost every TV and Radio bulletin has managed to shoehorn in at least a few lines from his song 'Life On Mars' to set the royalties till kerchinging.
If the overblown glam rocker is the winner, those of a religious bent are the losers as the inevitable question is thrown at them, 'If God created the heaven and the Earth, when did he squeeze in Mars?'
I have long made my peace with religion by just ignoring it but if it weathered the storm about being the centre of the Universe, oops, no it isn't then i expect it will explain away the idea that God's sole intent was to create people in his image here on Earth only, especially if we find something in the newly detected rivers of Mars.
The does open up new possibilities regarding manned mission to the Red Planet and bases and a distance of 140 million miles from the nearest radio playing 'Life on Mars'.

Friday, 25 September 2015

The 2016 US Election Candidates

Anyone who wants to run for President has to register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the list of candidates is on the FEC website where you can find all the people you would expect to see such as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump but altogether there are 2128 candidates vying for the top job in the White House.
The FEC is the body that regulates elections in the USA and in the New Statements of Candidacy section of their website is a full list of the 2016 candidates who have filed a Statement of Candidacy (FEC Form 2) with the FEC to register as a candidate for federal office (U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and U.S. President).
Amongst the candidates are such famous figures as Doctor Pepper (American Independent Party), Dr White Lightning (GAD), Fidel Castro Ruz (Communist Party) and even Kim Jong Un (Independent) has thrown his hat into the ring.
From the cartoon world, stepping up to the plate is Mickey Mouse (Write In), Eric Cartman (Independent) and Elsa Ice Queen (Independent) and joining them from the world of fiction is Forrest Gump (Democratic Party), Ming The Merciless (independent), Rocky Balboa (Independent) and Jack Sparrow (independent).
The Animal Kingdom has always been chronically under-represented in US Elections but this time they have Moose The Dog (Jewish/Christian National), Seymour Cats (Independent), Mr R. Porcupines Spikey Jr. (American Independent Party), Frosty Chickens (Independent) and Buddy The Cat (Democratic Party) to vote for.
There are some candidates who could be related to famous people such as Tronald Dump (Republican), Donald Tramp (US Taxpayers Party), Jorge Bush (Independent) and Osama Bin Liftin (unaffiliated).
Other candidates include Lesale Venomancer Deathbringer (Green), Lezbe Honest (Independent), Mr MMM Dat Ass (independent), Mr Tarquin Fintimlinbin Bus Stop Poontang Ole Biscuit Barrel (SIL), Blue Hair Guy (Independent), Cranky Pants (independent), Bippy The Clown (None) and Jesus Dog Lord Ickes (Write-In).
I'm not sure about Satan Lord of Underworld Prince of Darkness (Republican Party) though, i think that one could be made up.
As a foreign national I am prohibited from partaking in any election in the U.S so i can't contribute but if i was American i'd be interested to hear what Buddy the Cat had to say on legalising catnip for medical purposes and his feelings on the Canary Islands.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Supermoon Eclipse Weekend

If Buffy the Vampire Slayer taught us anything, it is to stay in when moon is full and as this weekend sees the moon at its closest, you might want to check that lock is secure.  
Shakespeare said  “It is the very error of the moon. She comes more near the earth and makes men mad' and Aristotle suggested that the brain was the moistest organ in the body and thereby most susceptible to the influences of the moon.
Science has dismissed any link between the full moon and erratic behaviour but police departments in the UK, New Zealand and USA have been known to add officers on full-moon nights in an effort to cope with presumed higher crime rates.
After considering all the facts and you want to chance it, this weekend is a double whammy because not only is it a Supermoon, but there is a lunar eclipse thrown in also.
While you probably don’t relish the prospect of waking up in the small hours of most Monday mornings, you will have to set your alarm for 3am BST on Monday for this month’s celestial showstopper.
The weather forecast is for cloudless skies but if you miss this one the next supermoon eclipse is pencilled in for 8 October 2033.
The Moon will be immersed in Earth’s shadow from 3:11am BST until 4.23am BST with the full eclipse at 3:47am BST but if you are planning on getting up, keeping a silver bullet close by wouldn't hurt. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Corbyn's Beliefs

Usually with politics you get to vote for the party that most resembles your beliefs but that can end up
being a choice for the least worst and they may only get your vote because although they may not be ideal, they are not as bad as the other lot.
For those of us a bit further to the Left of centre than most, Labour electing Jeremy Corben as leader has been a god-send and this is probably the first time in my life that my party of choice actually has a leader that chimes very much with my own beliefs.
Although he is undergoing a baptism of fire from the right wing press, there is much Jeremy beliefs that I can cheer for.

1. The deficit should be tackled but not through spending cuts but via higher taxes for the rich and a crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion. Agree completely, why should the poorest bear the brunt of cuts and the richest not contribute more to get us out of the mess the banks got us in?  
2. Britain's railways should be renationalised. Again, 100% behind this. Privatisation doesn't work.
3. No replacement for Trident. With him here, why spend £100 billion replacing a weapon we are never going to use, especially in times of austerity. The money would be much better spent elsewhere where it could benefit everyone.
4. Scrap university tuition fees. Why saddle students with tens of thousands pounds worth of debt at the start of their working lives.
5. No support for air strikes against Islamic State in Syria. Yes because as we have seen in every war, it is the innocent who would suffer and the Government have a nasty habit of mission creep once they gain the authority to act which is how we ended up being the air-force for Al-Queada groups in Libya.
6. More council houses should be built. A no-brainer, we have a chronic housing shortage.
7. An arms embargo should be imposed on Israel. I would go further and as well as an arms embargo i would like to see sanctions imposed also.
8. Energy companies should be under public ownership. As above, privatisation is the pup we have been continually sold.
9. A national maximum wage. If you can impose a minimum wage, why not a maximum? 
10. The arms trade should be restricted. Only a war mongering maniac would think any different.

As i have said previously, i consider Corbyn to far left to be elected Prime Minister in five years, the press will see to that but we can dream.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Decline Of Jose Mourinho

When Jose Mourinho first came to manage Chelsea in the Premier League he was a breath of fresh air but it is a very different Jose who has come back this time.
The self-proclaimed 'Special One' hasn't been quite so special this season as his team languishes in the bottom half of the league table and their title defence almost certainly over before the end of September.
Rather than stick his hands up and accept the blame for the defeats his team have suffered this term, he has blamed everyone and everything from the ball boys to the physio who has now walked out of Chelsea after a bizarre and outlandish attack on her from the Chelsea manager.
Dr Eva Carneiro has not appeared on the first-team bench since the opening day draw against Swansea, where she was involved in a row with the manager after rushing onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard after he requested treatment late in the game.
Mourinho claimed that by the Physio going onto the pitch, Hazards would then have to leave the pitch as per the rules before he could come back on again and as they were already down to ten men, would leave them short on the pitch.
Rather than blame Hazard for requesting the treatment, Mourinho aimed his anger at the Physio who claimed that he used abusive and sexist language towards her and is consulting employment lawyers.
While Mourinho has an excellent CV and is undeniably a successful manager albeit at massive clubs with huge transfer budgets, he doesn't seem a particularly nice character and as he continues to lose the plot, the odds on him becoming the former Chelsea manager by the end of the season grow.
While we missed him when he left previously, this time around most of us will only miss watching his ludicrous excuses and bizarre behaviour when his team lose yet again but i hope the owner isn't too quick to fire him because while his teams have always been boring to watch, it is enjoyable watching them being beaten while being boring.

Selfies More Dangerous Than Sharks

Last week, a 66-year-old Japanese tourist died and his companion injured when he fell down the stairs while attempting to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal which brings the number of selfie-related deaths to 12, compared to 8 deaths caused by shark attacks this year.
Most of the selfie-related deaths have to do with falling or being hit or injured by a moving vehicle while the people taking the selfies are focused on their phones and not what is going on around them.
Lasy year the organisers of the Tour de France asked the public to 'respect the riders' after a few accidents occurred when spectators ran onto the road to take selfies.
It has become such a problem in Russia that the Government has begun a 'safe selfie' campaign after
the number of accidents caused by selfie takers.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Doctor, Doctor, My Penis Smells Like Bacon!

The right wing press mocked Ed Miliband for eating a bacon sandwich, so what are they to make of the news that David Cameron 'inserted a private part of his anatomy into the mouth of a dead pig during an initiation ceremony while he was studying at Oxford'.
Not that i would like to be David Cameron at any time but this is a particularly bad time because the Prime Minister is about to face a barrage of pig jokes after the Daily Mail printed extracts from Lord Ashcroft’s biography of David Cameron.
While we already knew that Dave was a ham-fisted swine, and has a liking for telling porkies, i do feel that we need to go the whole hog and not let the trots on the left wing let this go as on of the less rasher things Cameron has done.
He has had his nose in the trough for too long but the revelation that he inserted his penis into a dead farmyard animal could see us cured of the pig-ignorant leader.
The days of Cameron feeling Perky are over because after today, no matter what he does from this day forward, David Cameron will forever be remembered as the man who played hide the sausage with a dead pig.
What a glorious, wonderful day, just don't call him Babe!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Who Is Bernie Sanders?

To the outsider the race for the White House can appear a ridiculously long and drawn out process as they have to go through the respective parties nominations and then the whole business of electing one of them as the President.
The two most likely eventual nominees are Clinton and Bush which may lead some of the electorate to enter the voting booth, see the names, think to themselves: "I'm sure i did this already' and leave.
This time around though its Hilary and Jeb although Jeb's name does confuse me because his name is John Ellis Bush so he should be called Je Bush otherwise you are saying John Ellis Bush Bush.
Anyway, the Bush/Clinton showdown is looking in peril because neither are leading the polls of their respective parties with the ridiculous Donald Trump topping the Republican Party and Bernie Sanders the top banana for the Democrats.
Donald Trump is well known, mostly for being an idiot of biblical proportions with a hairstyle to match, but who the hell is Bernie Sanders?  
Wikipedia shows that he is Senator from Vermont and a socialist! A socialist with a particular liking for the European style of Socialism at that!
Of course, for many people, especially us Europeans, there's nothing unusual about a Socialist but in the US, Socialism is viewed the same as Communism with all the hammer, sickles and mustachioed Soviet leaders trying to overthrow Capitalism which is something Sanders agrees with, saying: 'I’ve stayed away from calling myself a socialist because I did not want to spend half my life explaining that I did not believe in the Soviet Union or in concentration camps'.
His other soundbites include such gems as: “What being a socialist means is a vision of society where poverty is unnecessary, where international relations are not based on greed but on cooperation, where human beings can work together rather than having to work as semi-slaves to other people who can hire and fire'.
I imagine as the contest hots up the spotlight on him will grow stronger and the word 'Communist' will be spat at him with more conviction to muddy the waters but it might be worth keeping an eye on him and as America is over $17 trillion in the hole, the pro-Capitalists who they have elected previously obviously haven't been that good.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Looking Up Blog

When you write about a particular subject, especially if it has a touch of the scientific about it, you find that some writers tend to set their level high, so high that it can seem aimed at people of the same level as the writer which leaves out many people who have not got the same experience or knowledge and can easily get lost in the technical explanations.
When it comes to Astronomy there is much to get your head around but many of the bloggers that i have looked at while writing my own astronomy blog appear to have fallen into the trap at writing to impress each other with their knowledge which might make them feel good and but means it flies over the head and alienates a large section of their potential audience.      
In anything, you have to learn the basics before you can move on to the advanced stuff for example you have to learn the alphabet before you can construct words, sentences and paragraphs.
In Astronomy it is rather pointless explaining that something is 4 light years away if the reader doesn't know what a light year is who how far it is in terms they can understand. 
What i have picked up from visitors to the Astronomy Centres is that there are a lot of interested people but they get lost in the technical details and from gaps in their knowledge from teachers who for whatever reason have not put the basic building blocks in place before moving on and students feeling too embarrassed to go back and ask the questions to plug the gaps.
That's why i have torn up my Astronomy blog and have decided to start again and dedicate it to hopefully answering some of those basic questions that i hear in a way that will plug some astronomy gaps and keep the interest from waning.
Looking Up blog.

Rugby World Cup

I really should apologise to South Africa as i drew them in the office sweep stake for the Rugby World Cup and i have an appalling record in sweepstakes so their chances of winning the trophy nosedived the second i pulled their name from the wok we were using as a hat.
I don't understand rugby and i did mean to sit down and watch the England v Fiji game last night but, to be frankly honest, once it started i quickly lost interest and watched 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown on catchup instead.     
Rugby to me has always been a bit of a game they play 'up North' and not something us sophisticated latte drinking southerners do and also a game the toffs indulge in.
The stereotype is confirmed when they open their mouths to talk and you can blatantly hear the private school accent and a quick check reveals that 20 of England's 31-man squad hail from a fee-paying school.
Not that it makes much difference either way because out football team is full of state educated players and they are awful (both in a football and personality way) so i will keep an eye out in the back of the newspaper for the rugby score but it is unlikely that i will be going out of my way to watch 22 big fat men running into each other for 80 minutes.

P.S. If you South Africans can find your way to stop being rubbish and win me £20 it would be very much appreciated, thank you.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Don't Care About God Or Who He Saves

When, by some unfortunate turn of events i find myself in a Church, i don't join in the hymn singing as the idea of tunefully praising someone who i don't believe in would be the height of hypocrisy.
The National Anthem is a double whammy of God and Royalty so if i ever find myself in a situation when the band strikes up 'God Save The Queen', i keep my terrible singing voice quiet because i couldn't care less about a deity making the monarch happy and glorious as she reigns over us.
My sympathy then goes to atheist and republican Jeremy Corben who has been on the end of some disapproval at his decision to stay silent through the national anthem.
Apart from the calling on God to save our gracious Queen theme of the song, it is also a dreadful tune and compares poorly to the German, French or American anthems which at least have a bit of energy behind them although xenophobic nationalism does seem to be the order when picking a song to represent a nation.
We need an anthem for the 21st Century to replace something dating back to the 17th Century when we were at our Empirical height and stomping our boots over other nations and their people.
There is a call every now and then for jingoistic songs like Rule Britannia, Jerusalem or Land of Hope and Glory to replace the dirge we presently have that's just more antiquated drivel about how great we are (were).
Finally, as far as I know and i admit i don't know all the anthems, our choice of national song is the only one that celebrates the head of state rather than the country itself, even the North Koreans sing about the will of the people and a beautiful fatherland and they have the supreme leader and not some doddery old woman who gets paid tens of millions a year for waving.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Shhh..Nobody Will Notice

Anyone who has seen any American medical show has seen the symbol on the left on the sides of ambulances or in the hospitals and i have always wondered what a snake and a winged tent peg has got to do with the serious business of charging people lots of money to treat them.
Turns out the symbol is a bit of a historical balls-up and they decided to just go with it anyway.
In 1902, Capt. Frederick P. Reynolds of the US Army Medical Corps decided what the Medical Corps needed was an insignia and decided that the Rod of Asclepius with it's snake entwined around a staff fitted the bill nicely.
In Greek mythology Asclepius was a demigod of medicine and he was able to restore the health of the sick and bring the dead back to life.
Obviously ideal for a medical Corps so Capt. Frederick P Reynolds adopted the symbol and plastered it everywhere before someone pointed out that what he had actually had painted all over was the Caduceus of Hermes. 
Hermes who was the messenger of the gods, escort for the dead to the underworld and protector of merchants, commerce and thieves and his symbol was the two snakes and winged staff.
In a great piece of shrugging it off, they just went with it anyway so that's why the symbol which would be more at home on a funeral car than an ambulance has become the symbol of the US medical system.
On reflection, as the US medical system seems to be a case of we will only treat you if you can pay for it, maybe the God of commerce is more appropriate than it first seems.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Don't Dig Out The Thermals Just Yet

Newspaper editors know that there are a few stories that they can put on the front page which will increase circulation and one of those are extreme weather stories.
Weather sells newspapers and every time they have a front page story on extreme weather, their circulation goes up by around 10% hence the front page stories this weekend that sub-zero temperatures and violent snow storms are about to hit the UK as soon as October.
The reasons given for a shivering winter for us Brits is a combination of freak ocean cooling in the Atlantic caused by El Nino and the slowing Gulf Stream caused by melting ice caps.
The source of the dire weather warnings are a small private company called Exacta Weather but the MET Office, the main authority on all things meteorological, are not so sure that the mercury is going to plummet to -20C as Exacta announced, saying they expect the temperatures at the end of October to be around the average.   
Exacta gave the same dire warnings last year, stating then we could expect one of the worst winters in history which turned out to be one of the mildest on record but unperturbed, they have dusted off last years predictions and put them out again, this time throwing the El Nino effect into the pot.
Personally, i would go with the data from the MET Office rather than the sensational headlines on the front of the tabloids which is there to sell newspapers and if it happens and we do all have to dig out the thermal underwear at the end of October, then it can say it was right and the Exacta Weather company will get a large boost while we will quickly forget that it got it completely wrong all those previous years.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Guide To Australia For Refugees

In a surprising change of policy, Australia have announced that they will take 12,000 Syrian refugees over the next 12 months and to help the newcomers integrate into Aussie society, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, have produced a booklet for those coming to the land down under.
Of course the guide runs through all the usual things such as facts and figures about the country, an explanation of national symbols and a history of the country but of it doesn't give the whole story so luckily i will fill in the gaps gleaned from years of watching Australian soaps and listening to Kylie Minogue records.  

1 - The first thing that you will notice when you get to Australia is that their places were named by 5-year-olds so you may well end up at Nobby, Bong Bong, Wagga Wagga, Cocklebiddy, Coo Wee Rup, Humpty Doo, Iron Knob, Koolyanobbing, Mount Buggery, Wooloolmooloo or Tittybong.   

2 - It is a misconception that every animal in Australia is trying to kill you, it's just most of them. In the sea are jellyfish, octopus and sharks while on land you have to dodge deadly spiders, crocodiles, dingoes, ants and giant centipedes. If none of them get you a kangaroo is only a short hop away. Talking of kangaroos... 

3- Kangaroos are everywhere and although some of them may well go for help if you fall down a well or get kidnapped, most will just punch or kick you and then shove you in their pouch and dump you somewhere in the outback. 

4 - Show an Australian a cooker and he will scratch his head in confusion but show him a BBQ and he will turn into a five star chef because Australians cook everything on the 'Barbie'. Everything seems to be meat and prawns and the shout of 'throw another prawn on the barbie' can be heard from gardens up and down the country. If you only learn one phrase, learn that one and you will be welcome into any Australian garden at tea-time.

5 - If there is one thing that Australians excel at more than barbecuing everything, it's sinking a few tinnies because Australians do like a drop of the amber nectar. If you come from a part of the Middle East where drinking alcohol is frowned upon then unfortunately the sight of men, women and children chugging cans of full strength lager is something you will have to get used to. If you ever need to have a discussion with an Australian then try to catch them before 8am because after that the breakfast beer kicks in and all you will get is a drunken rant about how they hate the flamin' Poms.

6 - The Australians call us British Pom's and they will whinge about us until all that alcohol renders them incapable. Don't let it bother you, they are just bitter because we beat them at sports all the time and because we dumped their ancestors in a land filled with animals that try to kill them all those years ago.
Please Note that the relatives we dumped there were all criminals so you may want to keep a tight hold of your purse.    

7 - Australia's delicacy is something called Vegemite. No idea what it is.

8 - Australians and Fashion sense are not two words that have never been in the same sentence together unless 'have no' is placed between them because Australia is the land that even the fashion police have named a no-go area. Singlets, flip-flops, bikinis, budgie smugglers and hats with corks dangling from it are the height of sartorial elegance and are all the items of clothing you need in your wardrobe.

9 - Look at a map of Australia and you will notice that all the main cities are around the eastern edge and that's because all Australians live by the beach and go surfing when they are not at a barbie or being chased up a tree by a dingo.

10 - All Australians have a pet koala, it's like a law over there.

11 - Asked to name an Australian actor and the name most famous is Russell Crowe who began his career in popular Australian Soap Neighbours and then its a bit of a head scratcher. They also try to claim Mel Gibson despite him being American so the well of Australian TV is not very deep. Less of a well and more of a puddle to be honest so you want to make sure the first thing you do is have satellite TV installed otherwise you will condemned to re-runs of Prisoner Cell Block H.   

12 - There are not many musicians with an Australian accent around outside of Australia. There is a reason for that.  

So enjoy your time in Australia, try not to get eaten by a wallaby and wear your hat with corks with pride.

Where Was That Again?







The late night weather forecasts tends to tell us viewers just where the highest and lowest temperature were that day and on Friday it just happened to be warmest in was in Northern Wales, in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlll­lantysiliogogogoch to be exact.
How the weathermen and ladies must have loved it when the computer spat that one out.

Assisted Dying Bill Defeated

It isn't very often i find myself alongside the Conservatives and the Church but that's where i find myself in the argument over assisted dying and us unlikely trio are content that the bill that would have made it legal for the terminally ill to end their lives has been defeated in the House of Commons.
Under the proposals, a patient would have to be terminally ill with less than six months to live, mentally fit to make the decision and administer the fatal final dose themselves.
MPs voted 330 to 118 to reject the Bill and now face the cat-calls and condemnation of the many who were calling for the change.
While i fully understand the argument regarding not leaving a fellow human in needless suffering and what right has anyone got to dictate to someone else what they can do and can't do with their lives,  my problem with the whole idea of assisting someone to kill themselves has always been that it would open far too many avenues for abuse and chronic misjudgements.
As much as my heart goes out to anyone suffering and their families who will undoubtedly disagree with everything i have said here, it stops a greater evil further down the road.
The massive grey area for me is vulnerable people being pressured to commit suicide and it is too big an area to ignore.
It would without doubt be misused, their have already been cases of unscrupulous relatives killing, or attempting to kill, elderly relatives to get their greedy hands on an inheritance and we should be concerned for people who would be made to feel or believe that they are becoming a burden on their family.
Despite the condition that the patient had to administer the deadly medicine themselves, there is also the danger where those who are struggling to look after a sick or disabled spouse who can claim they agreed to voluntary euthanasia afterwards or those who do not have the capacity to articulate their feelings but have the decision, and the dose administered, by a well meaning relative or doctor.
Whatever conditions you set, they will be stretched and we would end up with court cases of was-it-murder or was-it-assisted-suicide. It's too easy to have the edges blurred and what we have now, in my opinion, is the best worst option as horrendous as that is for the patients and families.
I think the MP's got this one right as it is a potential minefield we really don't need to wander into.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Thanks America

Over the years America has sent quite a few awful things across the Atlantic on onto our shore.
Madonna, Seinfeld and Barney to name just a few but it appears that the Yanks are about to fling
something else our way also, Tropical Storm Henri.
Henri is currently off the coast of North America but is moving northeastwards over the weekend and
is set to bring the UK some very wet and wild weather.
The MET Office have said: 'The remnants of Tropical Storm Henri will move towards Europe next week, reaching the UK by the middle of the week. This area of low pressure will contain tropical air and could produce a lot of rain, but it's exact state and movement is still very uncertain'.
Depending on the position of the jet stream it could dive South and dump it's immense rainfall over France and Germany however, if the jet stream doesn't snake around and stays where it is, then the UK is in for a soaking and anyone living near a river had better dig out those sandbags again.
Personally, it means i have to get that dodgy windscreen wiper sorted out this weekend which means a trip to Halfords when i could be laying on the sofa stuffing my face with chocolate and watching repeats of QI on Dave so thanks for ruining my weekend America.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

French scientists have announced they found a new prehistoric virus in the frozen Siberian wastelands, and are planning to bring it back to life.
It may sounds like the voice over at the start of a horror film but this is true, they really have found a previously defunct virus from 30,000 years ago and are planning to 'wake it up'.
They have promised though to make sure that the virus won’t harm anyone so that's okay then, can't see how anything can possibly go wrong.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Reminding The Government Over Syria

It seems that in the two years since the vote to invade Syria was rejected, the Government seem to have gone hazy on the details. 
It would appear, according to the Government officials on TV today, that Labour messed up the chance to deal with Syria two years ago and that is why we have millions of displaced Syrians escaping to Europe today.   
Allow me to remind them that two years ago the vote was to invade the country to remove the President, Bashar al Assad, thereby helping the rag-tag bunch who were taking up arms to remove him.
President al Assad said that the people he was fighting, and the people that the West were backing with arms and funding, were terrorists and released the videos of them eating the hearts of their enemies and using chemical weapons as evidence.
Britain's security and intelligence chiefs at MI6 concurred that: 'Al-Queada elements and jihadists in Syria currently represent the most worrying emerging terrorist threat to the UK and the west. There is a risk of extremist elements in Syria taking advantage of the permissive environment to develop external attack plans, including against western targets'.
The Labour Party refused to back the Governments invasion plans which gave the Americans the willies and they also slinked off and the imminent invasion never happened.
What did happen of course was the rag-tag groups were made up of Al-Queada who rebranded themselves Islamic State, took the weapons we gave them and invaded Iraq and slaughtered anyone who wasn't the right flavour of Muslim.
Spin forward a couple of years and Islamic State have large swathes of the Middle East and North Africa under their murderous control and Syrians, Libyans and Iraqi's are fleeing from the IS held areas towards Europe in huge numbers.
Which all means that if the vote had gone the way the Government had wanted it two years ago, we would have been on the same side as Islamic State and against al Assad's troops but now the Government is wanting to fight Islamic State and be allied to al Assad which is very much different to how it is being put today.
Fact is we have very much changed which side we are on and far from messing up the chance to help the Syrian's two years ago, we would have been handing them over to the very murderers we now want to go to war with.
Someone really should remind the Government before they accidentally bounce us into another war in the Middle East or at the very least make up their minds who the enemy is.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Refugee Crisis In Europe

After months of callous indifference from the Prime Minister towards the refugees escaping the war-zones in the Middle East and North Africa, David Cameron seems to be developing a conscience and all it took was a dead toddler washed up on the shore in Turkey.
The Prime Minister had explained that we are doing our bit by creating stability in the areas they’re fleeing from which seems a bit rich considering the places they are fleeing from are Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya which are all places we created the instability in the first place.   
Europe is the nearest port in this particular storm for those fleeing terrorists in the war-zones and Europe is bearing the weight of hundreds of thousands of refugees but it wasn't just Europe who kicked down the walls and let ISIS and Al-Queada in to murder the population at will, the USA and Australia were just as culpable but i have yet to hear of them stepping in to take refugees.
Suddenly the mood has changed and the immigrants who were being berated last week for coming here to take our jobs and claim free houses and benefits have our sympathy and the Government view of 'not our problem' is being rightly criticised.
The people responsible for what we did in 2001 in Afghanistan, 2003 in Iraq, 2010 in Libya and since 2011 in Syria have been desperate to cut the link and separate what we did then and what is happening now but they can't because the those fleeing are fleeing from what George W Bush and Tony Blair started and Obama and Cameron continued.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Why Red Coats?

The military are not known for their brains but i have never understood why the British Army had a penchant for wearing lobster red outfits.
I originally thought that red was chosen as it didn't make blood stains obvious or it was an arrogance thing meant to scare the enemy as if once they saw the mass of red looming over a hill and coming in their direction they would pack up their weapons and wave a white flag.
My idea would be to wear a less conspicuous colour like green or brown so you at least didn't stand out but apparently the point was to stand out so you didn't get a butt full of buckshot from your own side.
The British Military Museum said that in the days of the musket and black powder, battle field visibility was quickly obscured by clouds of smoke and bright colours provided a means of distinguishing friend from foe.
Still brings me back to my original point that if you stood out to your own side, you also stood out to the other people shooting at you. 
I'm still none the wiser then why red was considered to be the colour to wage war in but at least someone had the sense to realise it was a stupid idea and change it.

Triple Hurricanes

NASA have released an image of an unprecedented three Category 4 hurricanes twisting around in the Pacific simultaneously.
According to the UN's World Meteorological Organisation, surface water temperatures in eastern-central parts of the Pacific Ocean are 2C higher than usual which is fuelling the hurricanes and the finger of blame is being aimed at Climate Change and El Niño.
The current El Niño event over the tropical Pacific is on track to be one of the strongest in more than
60 years, experts have claimed and forecasters are warning the weather phenomenon may yet gather strength.