Saturday, 31 October 2015

Curse Of Buddy Holly

Some say that there are World's beyond this one and Halloween is the time when the barrier between our one and the others is at it's thinnest.  
Let's pull back that curtain and take a trip to that other side, the side where knowledge and science have no use. Take my hand so you don't wander too far because over here, everything can harm you.

In January 1958, while touring in England, recording engineer Joe Meek received a message whilst attending a tarot card reading. The message was that his friend, Buddy Holly, would die on February 3rd aged only 22.
By the time Meek got to tell Buddy of the message, February 3rd 1958 had already passed and they laughed off the warning. 
On the evening of 3 February 1959, after a performance at the Surf Ballroom, Iowa, Buddy Holly chartered a plane to take him, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens to the next gig. Tragically, the plane crashed, killing all three.
Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent had both earlier pulled out of the the ill-fated Winter Party Dance. On 17 April 1960, Cochran and Vincent were on their way to Heathrow Airport for a return flight to the U.S while on the way, the taxi they were travelling in blew a tyre and crashed into a lamp post. Vincent suffered permanent damage to his leg but Cochran was thrown from the vehicle and died the next day of massive head injuries aged 22, the same age as Buddy Holly at his death.
Singer Ronnie Smith was hired to replace Buddy Holly for the remainder of the 1959 Winter Dance Party. He was committed to a mental hospital complaining of disturbing visions of the dead Buddy Holly and in 1962, he hanged himself aged 24.
The Crickets brought in David Box as their new singer but he died in a plane crash in 1964, aged 22.
In 1967, on the eighth anniversary of Holly's death, Joe Meek shot and killed his landlady and then turned the shotgun on himself. 
In 1977, a film was made of Buddy Holly's life starring Gary Busey and written by Robert Gittler. After completing the film, Busey was involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident which left him with brain injuries. Gittler committed suicide shortly before the film's release.
On February 3, 1990, the thirty-first anniversary of Buddy Holly's fatal crash, Del Shannon performed at the Surf Ballroom Clear Lake, Iowa (the location of Holly's last performance). The Crickets acted as Shannon's backing band.
Five days later, Shannon shot himself.

Don't have nightmares but tonight when you go to bed, you may want to leave the light on. 

Friday, 30 October 2015

Scary Stuff

Not sure what happened after the camera stopped, maybe it is best we don't know.

Thanks To Those Meddling Kids

In Massachusetts, they have a law that states if you are selling your home, and it is haunted, you must declare it to the prospective buyer about the ghost on the second visit to the property.
If ghosts do not exist, why do we have this law?
The Massachusetts law makers obviously believe in Ghosts but extensive research by experienced ghost hunter Scooby Doo has proved it is almost always the creepy guy from the amusement arcade.
Despite centuries of sightings with no proof of their existence, belief in ghosts is growing in the UK with 52% saying that they believe in the supernatural with the data also found that one in five claimed to have had some sort of paranormal experience.
While belief in ghosts is rising, the study, suggests a fall in the numbers prepared to accept the existence of UFOs, 39%.
As ghosts can't be proven to exist scientifically and there is no evidence that they exist, why do so many people accept they they are there at all?
It was only two hundred years ago, science pooh-poohed the idea that things like bacteria and
viruses existed, largely because it seemed absurd to imagine that creatures could exist that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Once the microscope was perfected, of course, all that changed, so could it be that we just haven't yet got the technology to be be able to 'see' ghosts?
Until such a time, all we have is a Great Dane, his hippy friend and a small group of other meddling kids to keep exposing the frauds and con men.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Not Wearing A Poppy

The Poppy sellers are out in force and already i have had a disagreement with the security guard at work who tried to push a poppy onto me. 
I don't wear a poppy for two reasons, the first being i am continually being told i should do and secondly because i believe that rather than send young men and women off to fight wars and then stand around looking solemn wearing a red flower once a year, just don't send them to fight wars in the first place.
The idea of wearing a poppy seems to have become co-opted by politicians to justify our folly in places such as Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.
It has become 'patriotic' to wear a symbol which represents the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers but my thoughts are never for the military, the people who make a decision to join the army and go off to fight wars, my thoughts are always for the innocent victims of missiles sent from hundred of miles away, warriors sat behind television screens in far away countries guiding armed drones to destroy villages and pilots dropping their payloads from high altitudes.  
I will not wear something that is used to support wars, either conflicts past or the ones we are currently embroiled in.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Important...Don't Read This!!

Don't read this any more, stop now and go straight to the last paragraph, the one beneath the dotted safety line. Don't read below this paragraph. Please...you have to trust me.

I have no control over the words on this page, my fingers are on the keys but they are not under my control. He is making me write it, the one word on this page that will summon Him.

All isn't lost if you haven't looked away yet and you have made it this far, just skip to the last paragraph and avoid saying that word in your mind. Whatever you do, don't read the paragraphs following this one. You must ignore them completely, cast your eyes down to the paragraph at the bottom. Believe me, this is your only chance to redeem yourself for not looking away earlier.

By now it's too late, nothing you do now will make any difference. You have read too far and He will know as it is here that he starts to take notice, hear your thoughts and starts making 'arrangements' for His visit. Why didn't you just look away when i said??

Listen, you can keep him at bay for a short time as he will wait until you have finished reading, then He will come for you. You only have one way to stay alive you must keep reading because He will come as soon as you stop. That's how He works. It's too late to go back to the start and skip down to the paragraph below, He is watching and waiting.

Only thing i can do if you have read down to here is wish you luck. Phone your loved ones,  settle any outstanding squabbles and make your peace because it's too late, you read the word, the word that you can see by reading the first letter at the start of each paragraph. Damn, you went back and looked didn't you!!

--------------------

If you followed my advice in the first paragraph, well done. You can stop reading now. But never, never be tempted to come back and read the paragraphs you skipped. You must trust me.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Blair Getting Excuses In Early

Are we really still talking about the Iraq War twelve years after it happened?
Appears so and Tony Blair is getting his excuses in early before the Chilcott enquiry publishes it report and as the enquiry has already informed the people it is about to criticise, seems Mr Blair is in for a kicking.  
He is now apologising for mistakes in planning the conflict and for a lack of understanding of what would happen once the regime was removed but he flat out refuses to say sorry for removing Saddam.
He did say that the Iraq war was to blame for the rise of Islamic State though which i'm pretty sure
everyone assumed that anyway.
As his 'mistakes' caused the death of a million Iraqis and the consequences are still there in the form of IS today and even more deaths, getting his excuses in early is not going to clean the odious little mans legacy and quite right that it shouldn't because no matter how he spins it, he lied to go to war so long may he and his 'apologies' be treated with the contempt they deserve.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Not Tipping

My colleague told us a story about how he and his wife recently stayed at a hotel and his bags were hardly on the floor for 30 seconds as they stood at the reception when someone picked them up and carried them towards the lift.
Apparently he explained that they were quite able to carry their own bags, a small suitcase each, but the guy insisted and just kept moving towards the lift with their bags.
My colleague stated firmly that his service was not required all the way up to the rooms where he dropped the bags in the room and then stood in the doorway obviously waiting for his tip.
All he got was a thank you and a door in his face which is exactly what i would have done because i am not a tipper and i don't know many Brits who are.
To my thinking, if i go somewhere and the service is good then i go again, if not then i go somewhere else so the idea that you tip to make sure that you get a good service is not even an argument.
It seems very much an American thing because the service staff there are so low paid that they rely on tips to make up their wages rather than the employers who should pay their employees regular wages.
My view, and it seems the vast majority of people here who i have spoken to about it, is that it is up to the employer to make sure that those people earn living wages and this burden should not be transferred to the customers and the receipt of a decent service dependent upon it.
I show my appreciation for that service which i have paid the advertised price for by thanking them and returning to pay for it again at some point.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Want To See Something Really Scary?

I have seem more than my fair share of horror films over the years and they don't seem to deviate too far from each other in the way of scares but it doesn't stop the mirror scenes from frightening the bejesus out of me even though i know what is going to happen.
It is a pretty sure fire thing that if you see someone looking into a mirror in a horror film, they will move away at some point but the reflection will remain in the mirror and carnage will generally follow but according to science it is the fact that we know what is going to happen that makes it even scarier.    
In the name of science, the University of Nottingham attached receptors to volunteers to measure sweat, electrical activity in the skin and heart rate as they watched a series of horror films.
'The audiences experience the most dread and tension when the viewer knows what’s about to happen but the fictional character is completely unaware' they explained before naming the top ten films that caused the most sweaty hands, the fastest heartbeats and most change of underpants.

1. The Shining, 2. The Exorcist, 3. A Nightmare On Elm Street, 4. Ring, 5. Alien, 6. The Silence of the Lambs, 7. Poltergeist, 8. Insidious, 9. Halloween 10. Saw


Monday, 19 October 2015

Why They Are The Nasty Party

Before the General Election in May there was a leaked document that said the Conservatives, if they won the election, would make £12 billion worth of cuts, something they neither confirmed or denied. saying that it was not relevant to explain where any cuts would fall until after the election.
'When we are right and we are ready, we will talk about what we plan to do' was the standard answer as questions were raised before the election regarding just where the £12 billion cuts would come from.
Seems we found out because before the dust had even settled, it was announced that the axe would fall on Tax Credits which top up the wages of those on low wages with the result being three million low-paid families losing more than £1,000 a year.
The Government argue that this is vital to reduce the welfare bill and cut the deficit and would be offset by other changes, such as increases in the personal tax allowance and the National Living Wage. 
Considering the cuts come into force in April 2016 but the raised National Living Wage not until April 2020, it does seem the Government are trying to pull a fast one because a four year gap before one offsetting the other doesn't seem particularly kind.
Especially as it is hitting those in work who will be looking at a pretty drastic drop in their income until 2020 and then they will only be bought back up to the standard they are at today meaning in 2020 they will be back to where they were in 2015.
While a portion of their own party are warning it would have an adverse effect and the Institute for Financial Studies has warned it would force the poorest further into debt, the Government are powering on and in a wonderful piece of timing, the letters going out to advise recipients how much their tax Credits will be reduced by are being sent out in December, just before Christmas.
They are not called the nasty party for nothing and this lot seem to be surpassing even the Thatcher Government in the nastiness stakes.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Trudeau Takes It

Right up until earlier this year, Google Trends had an excellent record in predicting the winner of major elections but then it went and gave a thumping win to Ed Miliband and the Labour Party only to see it decimated and the Conservative Party romp to victory.
The eve of the Canadian General Election is a good time to get back on the horse and see if Google Trends has rediscovered it's mojo and it is declaring a change of backside in Canada's big chair with incumbent Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, thrown out on his ear and Justin Trudeau of the Liberals laughing over his Maple Syrup breakfast sandwich on Tuesday morning.
Unless there are revelations that knock him from his pedestal between now and voting close tomorrow, Google thinks Trudeau will sneak over the line in front of Harper but it is close call so beware anyone who is thinking of remortgaging their house and throwing it all at a bookie on the strength of Google. 
Here in he UK we should be filling our swimming pools with gold coins under a Labour Government like Scrooge McDuck as Google predicted but instead we are breaking up what's left of our furniture for the fire under a Conservative Government so be careful.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Anyone There?

There’s a new mystery in the universe and it goes by the name KIC 8462852 which has been sending signals which could be caused by a giant structure, built in space near the star, presumably by extraterrestrials.
Just as easily it could be comets or a gas cloud but that's boring so we are hoping it's a massive alien made object as long as it isn't a death star.
Scientists are now planning to 'listen' in to the star and see what it can hear but as the Star is 1500 light years away, whatever it picks up would have been transmitted when the Goths were on the rampage in Europe and the Angles and Saxons were scrapping it out in Britain.
Bearing that in mind, if it is an alien civilisation and they had the knowledge to be be able to build a massive space structure then, how much more advanced would they be now 1500 years later.   
Maybe it would be prudent to not announce we are here just yet.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Aunti-Christ

We do like to have a hate figure, the person we look at and think what a despicable human being and where once was a dentist who lured out a lion and shot it with a bow and arrow, now we have the woman who tried to sue her eight year old nephew for a birthday hug that injured her.
Jennifer Connell, claimed her nephew acted unreasonably when his exuberant greeting caused her to fall and break her wrist in 2011 and claimed £82,000 in damages.
Connell explained: 'He had been riding his first two-wheeled bicycle around his home. When i arrived, he dropped it and ran to me shouting, ‘Auntie Jen, I love you!’ and there he was flying at me'.
She told the court that she had found it 'difficult to hold my hors d’oeuvre plate' at a recent party.
The Connecticut jury took 25 minutes to come to the decision found that the boy was not liable and the Aunt would receive zero damages.
Auntie Jen may not be attending the family Christmas gathering this year but if she does, i wouldn't ask her to hand out the hors d'oeuvres, her wrist hurts a bit apparently.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Using The Bootstrap Paradox

This weeks Doctor Who had a strange introduction with the Doctor struggling with the Bootstrap Paradox.
He said that he went back to see Beethoven but he wasn't much of a music writer so he noted down his 5th Symphony which he then played and became famous with.  
The headache comes because the Doctor could only write it down because he had heard Beethoven play it but Beethoven had only played it because the Doctor had written it down for him but the Doctor had only written it down because he had heard Beethoven play it...and so on.
I have always planned to go back to the late 80s and hand the famous Hanson song 'Sweet Child Of Mine' to a semi-famous band like Guns 'N' Roses who would do a much better job of it, the song is crying out for loud, screeching guitar solo and i am sure someone like Slash could do a much better job on his Les Paul Guitar of that pathetic mid-song recorder solo by the Hanson's.
Anyway, first chance i get i will do it and hopefully make Guns 'N' Roses famous (and Hanson don't rise to the stratospheric heights where they currently sit which would be a bonus), but i hope i have more luck then i did with handing the most famous Heavy Metal song of all time, Copacabana, to Led Zeppelin.
They didn't fancy it and as a punishment i gave it to some young guy called Barry Manilow who i feel will do it justice, hard rock style so keep your ears open.
That's what is so good about the Bootstrap Paradox, you can take something back in time and give it to someone else so for example, for giggles, write down the theory of relativity and give it to the janitor or whisper the idea of a singing competition the public vote for the winner to the record companies tea boy.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Socialism Prevailing

In the most Capitalist country in the World, the recent Pew Research paper must have come as quite a shock as it showed that voters under the age of 30 viewed Socialism (49%) more favourably than Capitalism (46%).
The facts seem to be borne out by the popularity of Bernie Sanders who describes himself as a Socialist and talks up his Socialist principles of fairness, cooperation and anti-poverty.
It was John Smith himself, the father of Capitalism, who warned that in his system: 'the new unemployed would either starve, or be driven to seek a subsistence either by begging or by perpetration perhaps of the greatest enormities and want, famine and mortality would immediately prevail'.
It appears that for many young people, modern American capitalism simply isn’t working as the effects of the downturn in 2008 continue today and they see the bank accounts of the top end continue to grow while it empties those at the bottom. 
The IMF and the World Bank are already talking up the next recession while we haven't even escaped the last one so to the majority this is the way Capitalism works, a rolling cycle of growth followed by a devastating collapse every decade.
The far left Jeremy Corben has been voted the leader of the opposition in the UK and Bernie Sanders is being taken very seriously now in America and it could be because the older generation is being depleted and the upcoming generation can see Capitalism for what it is, a corrupt and devastating system that benefits the few and continually dumps the many in the gutter.


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Which Mouldy Food Is Safe To Eat?

I have had a long running dispute with the rest of my family that the mouldy bit on cheese can be cut off and the rest eaten because after all cheese is just mould anyway.
There counter-argument is that i don't know what i'm talking about and they wouldn't eat it if i held a gun to their head which would make dinner-time easier but is frowned upon by several of the Child Protection Societies so we all watched the documentary 'Trust Me, I'm a Doctor' with interest when the subject turned to 'When is mouldy food still safe to eat'.
The first up was bread which the expert said should be thrown away if it has orange, yellow or black mould spots as these can be more harmful and give you a stomach ache. Fair enough, no mouldy toast for hubby in the morning.
Then it was Jam which we were told is perfectly safe if you scoop off all of the mould and a few centimetres beneath it.
Fruits are safe to eat once you've removed the mould, as their acidity prevents harmful bacteria from growing although apples can be harmful as they can produce a toxin when mouldy.
Mouldy vegetables should be avoided and so should mouldy nuts and seeds as they go off they produce an incredibly dangerous toxin which can build in the liver and cause liver cancer.
Meat is unlikely to go mouldy, but it can grow some nasty bacteria although the mould on dry cured meats or salami is entirely harmless.
Finally we got to the cheese, both hard and soft, with the verdict being it is entirely safe to cut off the
mouldy bits of hard cheese and use the rest. Apparently cheese is so dense that below the surface there isn't enough oxygen to allow the mould to thrive, so it doesn't get very far down.
My jubilation and shouts of 'IN YOUR FACE' to my family members were short lived though as the expert moved onto the soft cheese which can do you real harm if eaten when mouldy and should be thrown away.
So an amicable score draw and an agreement that mouldy SOFT cheese sandwiches won't be making it's way into their lunch boxes anymore although those black banana's that have been in the fruit bowl for a fortnight could well be putting in an appearance.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Sorry Is The Hardest Word For US Military

Of course it would be preferable if the USA didn't blow up hospitals and then deny it but the very least they can do, and i mean the very least, is pay compensation to the victims.
The US Department of Defence have confirmed that they will be compensating the families of the 22 victims killed in the deadly American airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last week.
The US President Barack Obama apologised for the bombing, saying that the MSF hospital had been 'mistakenly struck' but prior to that, Washington’s story had gone from 'Hospital? What Hospital?', through 'Taliban were hiding in there' to 'It was the Afghan Governments fault for calling in the US Airforce' until they held up their hands and said 'Sorry, we made an almighty balls-up on our part'.
The Doctors Without Borders International President, Joanne Liu, is quite rightly pushing for further action, claiming: 'it is unacceptable that the bombing of a hospital and the killing of staff and patients can be brushed aside as a mistake' and argues that the incident, in which the American Lockheed AC-130 gunship repeatedly bombed the hospital for more than an hour, could not have been accidental, as the hospital’s coordinates had been regularly shared with the military to prevent just this sort of tragedy from happening and is pushing for the US action to be classified as a war crime.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Look In The Mug For A Psychopath

It is usually quite easy to tell a psychopath by the blood stained overalls but by the every nature that they can be falsely charming and friendly, they can also slip under the radar until you find yourself stuck up on a hook in an abandoned warehouse while a man with a chainsaw walks towards you and kicking yourself for not realising sooner. 
So how can you tell if that work colleague is offering you his stapler out the kindness of his or her heart and not just looking for a reason to return for it later when the office is quiet and lock you in the officer fridge.
Fortunately Austrian scientists have managed to alleviate that little problem by discovering that psychopaths drink black coffee and the stronger the brew, the more psychopathic tendencies the maniac has.
The Innsbruck University tested 1000 people on their food preferences and then asked them to complete four personality tests and the result suggested that 'bitter taste preferences such as Black Coffee are linked to malevolent personality traits'.
So if that colleague with the stapler is clutching a mug of weak tea you should be okay but if it's a black cup of coffee, politely decline and use a paper clip instead.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

World Ending Tomorrow

Not content to make yourself look stupid once when you can do it twice, the eBible Fellowship is now announcing a 'strong likelihood' that the World will end tomorrow on the 7th October.
Some may point out that it was the same people who told us it would end on 21 May 2011 but the God Squad are confident that it has the correct date this time.
According to the new and improved interpretation, the world will be obliterated 'with fire' and 'It’ll be gone forever. Annihilated'.
'God destroyed the first Earth with water, by a flood, in the days of Noah. And he says he’ll not do that again, not by water. But he does say in 2nd Peter 3 that he’ll destroy it by fire' the God botherers say explaining that the 21 May 2011 date was when God turned his attention to deciding who to save, a task that would take him 1,600 days to do which brings us to the 7 October 2015 date.
Showing that the eBible Fellowship did learn something when the World inconveniently refused to expire last time and to avoid appearing completely deranged, they have left themselves a little wiggle room by announcing that: 'There’s a strong likelihood that this will happen which means there’s an unlikely possibility that it will not'.
What they don't explain is will this be in the morning, afternoon or evening. We have tickets for a play tomorrow evening and if it's all going to end before the curtain comes up i will try and get a refund.

What A Mess In Syria

There cant be many more tougher jobs than the air traffic controller over Syria at the moment as Russian, American, Syrian, Turkish and British jets circle the country looking for someone to drop bombs on.
It makes it even tougher because they all seem to be bombing different people with the Turks chasing the Kurds, the Russians the Syrian rebels, the Brits ISIS the Syrians ISIS and Syrian rebels and Americans in that time honoured tradition just blowing up everyone and everything. 
On the ground are Iranians shooting at ISIS, Syrians and Russians taking target at ISIS and US backed Syrian rebels and Turks making military jaunts against US backed Kurds.
On the whole it is a mighty mess and what it all means is that in the congestion it would be a shock if there isn't an incident, already the Russians have overshot and ended up in Turkey before being chased out by Turkish fighter jets.   
Stuck in the middle of all the fighting are the Syrian people who have decided to hightail it out and are turning up at Europe's borders.
To say it is an unpredictable bloody mess sums it up nicely and all the while ISIS carry on blowing up historical landmarks and continuing collecting towns for their caliphate.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Pressing The Nuclear Button

During the Second World War, Winston Churchill made many speeches about not surrendering and fighting them on the beaches, especially as he was safely 35 feet underground in a bunker designed to take the best that Adolf and his gang could throw at it.
Popping you head above ground only to tell other people to keep brave while bombs rain down on them when you are the safest person in country may seem a bit incongruous but it does seem the people who are most willing to have a bit of war are the ones who would not be anywhere near the line of fire.
After the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corben, this week said that he could not envision a time when he could actually order a nuclear strike, the Prime Minister has waded in and announced that he would be prepared to use nuclear weapons and warned that the Labour leader risks 'undermining national security'.
The problem with nuclear weapons much more than usual weapons, is that they not only kill leaders or the opposition army, they kill everyone.
Whether the PM is trying to regain his machismo after the oral-sex-from-a-dead-pig fiasco or the revelations coming this week regarding his marriage is unknown but he has puffed out his chest and said that he would prepared to murder millions of innocent civilians to attempt to sway their leaders opinion but just like Churchill and every 'brave' leader who sends other peoples husbands, wives and children off to fight their battles, the PM will press the button while hiding safely in a nuclear bunker making speeches to justify killing millions in the blink of an eye.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Senseless

The shooting at a college in Oregon, where at least 10 people have been killed, is part of a grim list in modern US history.
As usual Americans will just shrug over these types of things because 'bearing arms is our right' and feel that this level of violence and death is a price worth paying.
Put forward the idea that two adults of the same sex can get married and they become unhinged.
Their children getting killed by maniacs with guns while in school is fine while two people declaring their love for each other sparks much more animosity.
Go figure.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Money Talks

Karl Marx put forward the notion that large corporations would grow so rich that they would not only dominate capitalist society economically but also dominate the political system and therefore satisfying their own interests to the detriment of everyone else. How far off was he?

The government said in December it was considering a new levy in tobacco manufacturers and importers to raise funds to increase NHS Staffing, cut smoking rates, improve productivity and reduce pressure on the National Health Service.
In Treasury documents released today, of the 58 organisations it consulted, 40 backed the proposals including the Royal College of Physicians, Public Heath England, Cancer Research UK, doctors, cancer charities and the Government’s public health experts.
Against the idea was 12 organisations, eight of them tobacco firms or tobacco lobby groups.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, sided with the 12 and rejected his own plan, stating that it would undermine the 'recovery of the UK corporate sector' and the levy 'would simply be passed onto smokers'.
Tax revenue from tobacco in 2012/13 amounted to £12.3 billion for the UK Governments coffers which obviously troubled the Governments mind more than increasing more NHS staff or reducing pressure on the NHS.
Seems Karl was spot on yet again, the people with the money get their way, funny that.