Monday, 19 November 2018

Celebrating Men On International Men's Day

Today is International Men's Day, a time to stop, pause and reflect on just what the men contribute to the lives of us women.
First up is that oh so cute way they ignore manufacturers instructions and just soldier on swearing, hitting things with a hammer and blaming the packers for giving them the wrong bits. So what if there are bits left over, who doesn't like a lopsided bookcase that looks as though it will collapse if a book got anywhere near it. 
Then there is the frustrating habit women have of slowly flicking through the television to see if there is anything worth watching so thank the lord we have men to dive-bomb through all 150 channels in two minutes and settling for golf or snooker and then falling asleep within ten minutes leaving us women to plod through the channels ourselves yet again.
While ancient men went hunting sabre tooth tigers and other dangerous animals to impress their women, modern man's version is  throwing things in the air and catching them in their mouths. Doesn't matter if it's sweets, nuts, cigarettes, grapes, it can't go the short distance between hand and mouth without first being launched up to the ceiling and caught in their mouth in a impressive display
sure to make us women go weak at the knees, risking eyes and teeth if our hero's coordination goes awry with that last walnut.
Not being blessed with a penis i can only guess at just how difficult it is to aim the short distance between your midriff and a toilet bowl with a drop distance of less than 2ft. As all men seem to have problems with it i can only assume it is very difficult indeed so don't worry you poor darlings, Bathrooms have lino flooring for a reason. 
Finally men's bodies are very different to women's bodies which is why when we get a cold we can carry on shopping, doing housework and doing the cooking but when a man gets a cold his only option is to lay on the sofa moaning and writing his last will and testament, the precious lambs.
So let's celebrate men and thank our lucky stars that if we want a bottle opened or to park the car that we have left in the road because the parking space was too small, they are always there for us, God bless 'em.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Letter In The Post To Obama

The rule was that Burma was the name of Burma and not Myanmar as this was the name the military junta changed the name to so as not to appear to support them and their violent uprising, we would continue to refer to it under the original name of Burma.
Somewhere along the line the memo got lost and it seems to be referred to as Myanmar by everyone now including Amnesty International who have announced that due to her being as awful as the regime she replaced, Aung San Suu Kyi will no longer have a peace prize on her mantelpiece as they are snatching it back saying that it was 'profoundly dismayed' with her.
Fair enough you may say but if Amnesty are going through their record to see who they can scratch out of their list of award recipients then they should now being sending a letter to the Nobel Award Office to advise of another recipient who should be sent a big box with a return address on it, Mr Barack Obama.
The former US President Barack Obama, was presented with his Nobel Peace Prize a mere nine months into his first term as President on the basis that his predecessor, George W Bush, was a warmongering whore and Mr Obama would not be as evil as him although as it turned out Obama went on to bomb seven different countries over the course of his two terms and extend the wars of the nutcase that was Bush.
Even further back, in 1973, Henry Kissinger managed to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to negotiate a ceasefire during the Vietnam War, while at the same time he was orchestrating the carpet-bombing of Cambodia.
So if Aung San Suu Kyi has to quite rightly return her award then Obama should get some bubble wrap ready because he must surely also be getting a letter which will result in a Nobel Prize Award shaped hole on his own mantelpiece soon.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Not Learning From Right Wing History

If history has taught us anything it is that as Winston Churchill said in a rare moment of sobriety that 'Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it'.
This quote is particularly true as we remember just why the Conservative Party are called the Nasty Party, because it appears that we are only now just saying, 'oh yeah, i forgot about that bit'.  
Rather than looking back at the Right wing political parties of history and keeping them far away from power, we voted them in and now watch horrified as they dismantle everything with ideological zeal as the UN’s rapporteur said that the Conservatives have inflicted 'great misery on its people with punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity'.
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, ended a two-week fact-finding mission to the UK with a stinging declaration that levels of child poverty were 'a disgrace' and 'a social calamity and an economic disaster', with approximately 14 million people living in poverty and 1.5 million unable to afford basic essentials which he described as 'patently unjust' adding that compassion had been abandoned during almost a decade of austerity which was a 'political choice'.
His report pointed at the decade of austerity cuts to state benefits and public services which have had a disproportionate effect on the poor, the disabled and women as well as the soaring use of food banks, increasingly homelessness and cuts to school budgets and the dismissive attitude of the Conservative Party.
While it should shame May's heartless government that the UN sent Mr Alston here to investigate them at all but after a decade of callous cuts and economic idealistic right wing vandalism where the government refuses to even question why food banks have become a feature across most of the country and more and more are being pushed into poverty and homelessness thanks to their political decisions, this will be shrugged off and things will continue on until they get removed from power.
The right wing should be kept out of power, nothing good ever comes from right wing policies but it seems we are very good at failing to learn this lesson.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

More Earth Junk Landing On Mars

While man will not be going to live on Planet Mars anytime soon, it won't stop us cluttering up the planet with our space junk and NASA is preparing to land another hunk of Earth metal on the Red Planet soon but this one is a little different as it is plonking itself down tomorrow on a plain of Mars where extraterrestrial hunters claim to have seen an alien city and a crashed UFO.
Officially, it is going to be drilling deep into the Martian crust to measure 'Mars-quakes' which will provide us with important scientific data but more interestingly it will be nosing around what is claimed to be a walled city on the Elysium Planitia Plain as well as what's left of a crashed UFO.
The spoilsport European Space Agency has said that the 'walls' are merely ash covered blocks of ice and the crashed UFO is a meteor impact site but we will soon find out especially if it is met by little green men with signs telling us to stop polluting their planet.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Stronger Storms Coming Soon

What climate change deniers don't seem to be able to grasp is that a warming atmosphere doesn't make weather events, it just takes what is already there and ramps it up so rainfall is heavier, winds are stronger and heatwaves are hotter.
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have studied climate models over the past 15 years and found found that warming in the ocean and atmosphere increased rainfall by as much as 10% and using future anticipated warming found that rainfall could increase by a third, while wind speeds would be boosted by as much as 25 knots.
The findings suggest that enormously destructive storms have already been boosted by climate change and similar events in the future are on course to be cataclysmic.
Jennifer Francis, a hurricane expert at Rutgers University, said: 'This study adds exclamation points to the already clear message that we must slow global warming while preparing for more extreme weather to come'.
It really shouldn't be that hard to understand but even the sight of floods, forest fires, devastating droughts and cities flattened by hurricanes isn't making it sink into the most densest of heads just yet.

This Deal, No Deal, No Brexit At All

Having only seen the abridged version of the Brexit deal the Prime Minister has signed us up to, seems the past two years negotiations have ended us up exactly where we were previously, only we have now removed ourselves from the decision making process, making us even more 'ruled over by Europe'.
With 11 of the 29 cabinet members speaking out against Theresa May's deal, the resignations may still be coming especially as the Prime Minister didn’t allow a vote within Cabinet so essentially she spent five hours hearing objections to her deal around the table but then summed it up to the waiting media as the Cabinet all agreeing with her. 
With many Conservative Brexiteers, Labour Party, SNP and DUP lining up against her it is seemingly impossible to get her deal through the House of Commons but maybe that has been her plan all along because those of us who listened carefully heard her say that there are three options: 'this deal, no deal, or no Brexit at all'.
As the best deal possible is what we already have, no Brexit at all is far and away the best outcome and so a chink of light appears in an otherwise black Brexit cloud.
The options are therefore take this deal which is a poorer version of what we have, opt for no deal and all the dire financial implications that will bring down onto our heads or just call the whole thing off and stay with what we have.
Possibly Theresa May has played a stunner and outwitted and outfoxed the Boris Johnson's and Jacob Rees-Mogg's of this whole stinking charade and come March 29 we won't be leaving anything after all.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Brexit Agreed

The BBC are reporting that Theresa May and the EU have reached an agreement on the UK Exit from the EU and the Prime Minister has summoned her Cabinet members into Number 10 one by one where they will be presented with the text and asked to sign off the deal with Brussels.
Agreeing on the 400 page document is only the first step in the long process of ratifying the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and now the fun begins.
The reason why the Cabinet is being shown the document one by one is to gauge reaction to exactly what Theresa May has agreed to and especially the Northern Irish question.
The current Cabinet will be given three choices, agree, resign, or be fired so tonight and tomorrow morning many well be the British version of the Night of the Long Knives.
It is almost guaranteed that the Cabinet as it currently stands tonight won't be the same Cabinet that turns up for work tomorrow so grab some popcorn and turn to the BBC News channel because tonight is going to be bumpy for Theresa May and that's even before she puts it to the House to vote on which is almost certainly going to be far from smooth with the DUP and Arlene Foster going to be especially keen to see what the Prime Minister has come up with.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembering Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig

Today is Remembrance Sunday when reflect upon the madness and futility of war and remember the dead but there is one man inparticular who should never be forgotten, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig who did so much to provide us with the dead for us to remember.
Haig was the man who from the comfort of his London Office, came up with the idea of sending 100,000 British soldiers 'over the top' to attack well-fortified German trenches, manned by soldiers, armed with a large number of machine guns. 
As the British soldiers advanced, told to walk the distance between their own trenches and the Germans 'better to maintain control', they were mown down by machine gun and rifle fire, 20,000 were killed and 40,000 were injured in the first charge alone.
In a stunning bit of insensitive and cruel disregard for his own men and despite his staff imploring him to change his tactics, Haig stated that 'the enemy has undoubtedly been shaken' and decided to continue with his plan of sending his men walking towards certain death for another four months, until winter weather forced an end to his plan which by then, the British military had suffered more
than 420,000 casualties and advanced just 3 miles.
Haig’s chief of staff was driven to the front and, as he viewed scene, broke down in tears and said, 'Good God, did we really send our men into that?'
The image of young men going over the top to walk towards the German machine guns is probably the strongest when we bow our heads at 11am today but Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig should also be remembered as the man who so callously and knowingly threw away so many of those young lives we remember this morning.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Shoebox Fillers Beware

I'm all for keeping religion out of Christmas, much better to make it about Santa and snowmen then the nativity story stolen from older religions around at the time but not everyone feels the same way including the people running Operation Christmas Child who ask you to pack a shoebox with gifts for children in Africa.
What a nice idea, and as the website says, 'A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal' but then hang on, what's that next bit 'Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child'. Christmas of all times...sneaky buggers because while you think you are sending gifts and toys the Operation Christmas Child owners, Samaritan's Purse International, stick a Bible in there and post it off to African children or to be more precise African Muslim Children.
They even have a story about how Angella in Malawi received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled with presents last year and has since led her Muslim family to Christ.
Humanists UK are urging potential shoebox-fillers to consider other options such as Hope or Aquabox who won’t place any religious literature in the boxes.
Richy Thompson, Humanists UK’s director of public affairs and policy, says: 'Those who donate to the scheme are well-intentioned and want to make an altruistic contribution, but donors in the UK should be aware of the nature of Operation Christmas Child’s activities and instead find a reputable and inclusive charity that has no ulterior motives and only has children’s best interests at heart'.
As religion is the cause of far too many wars and conflicts around the World, the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal is far from a benign initiative to give gifts to needy children at Christmas time which is all we want to do, not force religion down their throats in exchange for a few toys.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

More Thoughts And Prayers

After each mass killing in America there must be a conversation in the Government that goes something along the lines of: 'What can we do to stop our citizens getting big holes blown in them by maniac gun owners?

Amend our crazy gun laws? Nah
Gun control? Nah
Make guns harder to buy? Nah
Stop selling guns in supermarkets? Nah
Have a discussion about the amount of guns in the country? Nah
Not allow people with mental problems to own a gun? Nah
Ban high power weapons? Nah

Well i'm all out then so shall we just do nothing and offer our prayers and thoughts? Yeah, that should be okay.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

No Aliens, Just A Comet

Oumuamua, the 400m cigar-shaped object that flew past the sun recently at 59,030 mph probably isn't an alien spacecraft as the Harvard researchers alluded to but it is only a matter of time before an interstellar relation turns up to say hello.
The object's unusual trajectory and high speed sets it aside from other space objects such as asteroids and comets and researchers from Harvard suggested 'it may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilisation' which is true, it could be, but the more boring answer is it is probably just a comet.
'It has already been shown that its observed characteristics are consistent with a comet-like body ejected from another star system' explained someone from the ESA poo-pooing the alien theory.
Such is the immense size of the Universe and the billions of billions of star systems in it that to think that there isn't life somewhere out there is incomprehensible but we may have to wait a while yet until we meet them.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

American Midterms

As expected, Donald Trump has been a car crash of a President but as it isn't my country he is dragging into the sewer, i can afford to be a bit more relaxed about what happens in the midterms tomorrow. 
On the one hand his awfulness is terrible for many but on the other hand his awfulness is brilliant so the best solution would be for the Democrats to win enough seats that he can't actually do anything which leaves him in power, suitably impotent, but still able to make his ridiculous, toe curlingly appalling statements.
This will have the effect of further dragging an isolated America down into a farce while the rest of the World gets on without it or until a grown up is voted into Office in a few years time.
As he was voted into Office as a known vile racist, lying, low IQ, sex offending misogynist he hasn't disappointed on any of those fronts and even being literally laughed at by the rest of the World at the United Nations hasn't slowed him down so i say keep him there because the man is a journalists and comedians dream but remove any power from him so he can't do anymore harm outside of his own borders and we will see what is left of America and it's International reputation in 2020.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Afghan War Ending In Same Position That It Started

October 2001 and the Bush and Blair Governments give the Taliban an ultimatum, 'Surrender the terrorists or surrender power. That is your choice' meaning either they handed over Bin Laden who they were sheltering, or they would be removed from power.
Also means if they did hand him over, the Taliban would be left alone to remain in power and although they refused to hand him to America, they did make an offer to 'hand him over to a third country' but the Blair/Bush Governments rejected it and the bombs started falling.
Fast forward 17 years and hundreds of thousands of deaths, the newly appointed American General in charge of US operations, Gen. Austin Scott Miller, has conceded that the Taliban cannot be beaten militarily and a political resolution is needed.
The US State Department said in August that the US was doing everything it could to facilitate peace talks with the Taliban so finally it has sunk in that a military solution is not viable and never was.
So now how to explain that to the families of the dead Afghans and the families of the dead British and American soldiers sent to fight in an unwinnable war which will end in exactly the same position that it started and could have been avoided if the rush to have a war with someone in revenge for 9/11 hadn't been quite so keen.

Forget Education, Look At The Pothole Free Roads

Budgets always take a few days for the boffins to work out exactly what the Chancellor has done but it didn't go unnoticed that he handed out £450 million for fixing potholes but only £400 million for schools to buy 'little extras such as a whiteboard or a couple of computers'.
As important as fixing potholes is, there is not much gratitude from the education sector which has been cut by £2bn a year under this Government and seen teachers pay frozen, class sizes grow and schools unable to meet the requirements of young peoples special educational needs.
'This does not even scratch the surface to meet the current funding pressures that schools are experiencing' said one headteacher in the Chancellors own constituency, 'We need to close the funding gap left by the 8% real-terms cuts over the last five years that schools around the country are unable to meet'.
Secondary schools in England have lost 15,000 teachers and teaching assistants in the last two years, schools are having to reduce the number of subjects they offer and their extracurricular activities and in many schools, parents are being asked to make regular voluntary contributions.
Sixth richest country in the world, ladies and gentlemen, our kids may not be able to read or write thanks to Theresa May and her Conservative Party but look at our lovely smooth roads.

Science McScienceface

After the Boaty McBoatface thing it is very brave of the Bank of England to ask the British public to choose the new face of their updated banknote but as it's a £50 note and Brexit is about to happen, i guess they are thinking not many people will get to see one anyway.
The Bank have put a few conditions who can be picked though after the initial process resulted in England football defender Harry Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn winning the vote (bloody British sense of humour), stipulating that it must be a British scientist and they must be dead and the early front runners are computer programmer Ada Lovelace, code cracking Alan Turing, cosmologist Stephen Hawking and Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin.
My vote would be for Alan Turing who basically did so much to win WW2 for the allies and then was treated outrageously by the establishment because he was gay so if nothing else a long overdue recognition and apology.
Failing that i'm backing Professor Yaffle from Bagpuss.

Heart Failure Days And Heart Attack Nights

All but the most gullible realise that the planet is warming which isn't beneficial to the seven billion of us on sharing this ball of rock so the MET Office putting out the results of a study stating the same is nothing we don't already know but by declaring we are set for 'hot days and tropical nights' does make it sound like the sort of thing the ignorant will say 'wahey, bring it on' to.
Comparing UK weather data from the period 1961-1990 with the 10 years between 2008 and 2017, the hottest days have become 1C hotter, warm spells have increased, while the coldest days are not as cold and the number of nights when temperatures stay above 20C is increasing.
Rather than make it sound like a romantic holiday in the Mediterranean, the MET should be highlighting that in the past, hot summer the increased temperature claimed almost 1,000 lives due to the heatwaves increasing the risk of heart failure, heart attacks and stroke.
As the temperature is only going to increase due to the amount of CO2 we are carelessly pumping into the atmosphere, a season of heart attacks in the day and strokes at night doesn't sound quite so appealing, even to those hard of thinking types who consider a warming climate to be a good thing.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

There Should Be More White Poppies

Poppy Day shouldn't be controversial but it seems every year now there is always someone trying to make an argument out of it, usually it's poppy fascists who demand you wear one but this year it's also the White Poppy that is being politicised.  
The white poppy is a symbol of pacifism, worn as an alternative to the red remembrance poppy and remembers all victims of war, not just those on our own side.
It is claimed that the white poppy is disrespectful to those who served and died for their country but a survey by researchers Consumer Intelligence, the top reasons given by the 20% who refuse to wear a Poppy at all is because they felt bullied into supporting the Poppy Appeal, it glorifies war and seems to show unconditional support for the military.
I can relate to that and refuse to wear one myself, mainly 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 and it is impossible for anyone to justify any war the British have been involved in since 1945.
I often hear the argument that people gave their lives for our freedom and it is obscene that some of us refuse to honour that debt by not wearing a poppy but i say that the freedoms they fought for includes being free to not be ordered on how to honour the war dead by a poppy fundamentalists and if more people thought like me and the 20% who flatly refuse to approve of what our military does, then there wouldn't be the widespread death and destruction that is currently going on around the World.
Remembrance Day should be for the victims of war, all victims, including the all the ones killed by 'our side' and not hijacked by vocal people insisting that it is a patriotic display of support for 'our heroes' so maybe there should be more white poppies being worn as a reminder that it doesn't make a bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Fun On Halloween Night

Although those in power won't admit it, invoking demons is a relatively simple exercise and although virgins blood and pentagons makes for good stories, all you actually need is a mirror, an incantation and a couple of hand gestures.
Halloween night, when the veil is thinnest, is perfect so this year rather than go for one of the big names why not try for one of the lesser known demons, Forneus for example. 
The Dictionnaire Infernal written in 1818 by French demonologist Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy describes Forneus as a Great Marquis of Hell with twenty-nine legions of demons under his rule who will grant great friendship, loved by friends and foes alike as well as reveal all things, past, present and future and will be free to walk amongst men on the Earth once he has reaped
100,000 souls.
To summon a demon you just need to look into a mirror once it is dark but before midnight and say 'I invoke you, ye glorious regal and majestic holy one in mighty splendour!' followed by the name of the demon you wish to summon so for Forneus, you say 'I invoke you, ye glorious regal and majestic holy one in mighty splendour! Forneus!' and then hold up left your hand to face the mirror and clench it three times.
Forneus, who whoever you summon, will appear before you in the mirror and ask you what you desire.
While some demons are evil, others are kind and benevolent such as Forneus, so feel free to look away or even leave the room for a while, he won't seize upon your absence with malicious glee, clawing his way out of the mirror, tasting sweet release from the confines of the mirror, hungering for your terror and suffering and stealing away your soul and dragging it back with him into Hell or anything like that.
In this age of waning superstition, not enough people are getting interested summoning demons, and the knowledge of them is in danger of being lost and people like Forneus need your help to reach their goal of 100,000 'helped' souls.
Maybe people like Forneus have decided they need to get the word out a bit more, do a bit of networking, attract some new people, handsomely pay a blogger to post a quick dictated tutorial and post it on the Internet and see how many bites he gets.
If you are reading this and have got down this far then your interest has been obviously piqued and i'm sure there are plenty of intrepid adventurers among you with burning questions about the present or future you'd like answered.
Internet users are a smart bunch, you know the pitfalls and wouldn't fall into any of the obvious traps, right? You'd know if an evil being was pretending to be helpful and benevolent in order to steal your soul.
You're not just any old person, you got smarts and remember you need no protection whatsoever, certainly no candles or salt circles or bibles, just you and... Oh, excuse me just a moment Lucy, I think I hear someone calling me...soul 998,812 'helped' coming up.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N Roses

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 1 and therefore the best song ever recorded, we have Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N Roses (1988).

The outstanding Sweet Child O'Mine' ticks every box and is the perfect song, beginning with Slash, has a magnificent Slash solo in the middle and ends with the maestro with Axl Rose going on about his baby's blue eyes and pretty smile and throwing in a few 'woah oh, oh, oh's' before ending with even more Slash which goes to show that great love songs do not have to be mushy ballads and can contain arse kicking guitar solos. By Slash preferably.
The song ends as a different one to which it started although the rumour is that they didn't know how to end the song so they just chanted 'where do we go now' over and over again.
That the debut Guns N Roses album it came from, 'Appetite for Destruction' also contained 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Paradise City' and they left off for future albums 'November Rain" and 'Don't Cry' because they had already agreed to put "Sweet Child 'O Mine" on it as the ballad on the album meant that they were always going to be massive as long as they didn't implode in a drugs and drink frenzy first.
Something which did go bang was bass player Duff McKagan's pancreas which exploded due to too much alcohol and and it doesn't get much more rock and roll than your bodies internal organs rebelling and trying to blow themselves up but that was Guns N Roses, they were always drunk, mostly high but always brilliant and if nothing else they left us with the best song ever made since that first person pulled a vine tightly across a plank of wood and plucked it.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Astaroth's Game

Prayeth, f'r devils has't nay reason,
Astaroth waits to beshrew thy ways,
Has't thee wond'r'd if lucif'r laughing at which hour the daemon plays?
Johann Weyer (1577) - 'Astaroth's Game'

In his 1577 book, Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, Dutch demonologist Johann Weyer describes something called 'Astaroth's Game' where he sets out a way for mortals to speak with a Grand Duke of Hell, Astaroth.
You may wonder why would anyone with a working brain cell would want to do that but the desperate may consider it worthwhile because he knows things and as one of the more higher on the demon scale, he's got a supernatural advantage over the kind of knowledge any human would be able to obtain.
As one of the Princes of Darkness, he doesn't just go around just giving out information but his does have a penchant for games which is why there's a certain game he will partake in to try to win the information you need as Weyer explains .
In order to contact him, between 10pm and 2am, you'll need a mirror for Astaroth to appear in when you summon him but there are some precaution you must take first, demons are notoriously untrustworthy.

Weyer says: 'Surroundeth the mirr'r with an unbroken circle of salt 'r chalk 'r if 't be true the mirr'r is hanging on a mure (wall) 'r doth'r, did lie down a semicircle 'round 't instead, making sure yond the salt touches the mure (wall) at both ends. 
Setteth up a candle outside of thy circle ('r semicircle) and did shut all doth'rs (doors) to the cubiculo (room) and turneth off all of the lights, so yond the space is did light only by the candles.  Visage the mirr'r and stareth deeply into 't, sayeth aloud 3 times 'Astaroth - giveth me thy secret' and closeth thy eyes and counteth to ten.  Then ope those folk

If all has gone correctly, you will see your own reflection but you are actually looking Astaroth who will be looking back at you through the mirror with his own eyes which will be completely black.
He will then initiate the conversation by asking you what it is you desire from him which you reply 'I wisheth to dare thee in a game of question-and-response' which he will accept.
The general rules to the game are very simple, he'll begin by asking you a question (he always initiates the game) which could be anything from a piece of obscure trivia to the extremely personal but he won't even tell you whether you got the answer right or wrong and that's where the gamble comes in.

As Weyer explains: 'That Astaroth shall at this moment giveth thee a questioneth yond thee has't some knowledge of, yond thee bethink haply thee knoweth the answ'r to but aren't very much confident. f'rcing thee to obsess ov'r wheth'r 'r not thee can trusteth the inf'rmation yond that gent then gaveth thee and beest torment'd by feareth as thee realizeth yond thy fate rests entirely upon wheth'r 'r not thee w're able to c'rrectly answ'r that gent'.

After you've answered his question, you get to ask him one in return and here's where the consequences of your previous response come in. If you answered his last question correctly, he will respond to your question as honestly and accurately as he is able. However, if you answered it incorrectly, he is free to lie to you as he sees fit and he'll feed you the most insidious, damaging lie he can come up with.

Finally, when you've gotten the information you wanted or you end the ritual by saying 'thank ye for accepting thy requesteth', and then you will be looking at your own reflection again. Only when you are absolutely certain that you're looking into your own two eyes again may you turn away from the mirror, flick the lights back on, and begin dismantling your protections.

One final word of warning from Weyer, 'proce'd with caution this game f'r the timeth with Astaroth is sh'rt but the consequences couldst lasteth thee a lifetime'.

Please Note: The blog owner has provided this post for information only and as such bears no responsibility for any consequences that may come from making use of this information. 

Hotel California - The Eagles

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 2 we have Hotel California by The Eagles (1976).

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull once said, with his tongue firmly embedded in his cheek, that he liked the tune to Hotel California and he wished that he had written it in the knowledge that anyone who has heard his 'We Used To Know', knew that he actually did.
Music plagiarism aside, the lyrics of the song have always been subject of debate with interpretations of the song ranging from drug use to Devil worship.
The band have explained that the song is about the trappings of fame and fortune which is much more boring but i ignore that and in my mind it's about a hotel out in the desert where you can check out but never leave.
What started out as a reggae tune (the working title was Mexican Reggae), it evolved into one of the best six and a half minutes of music with great lyrics which paint a picture in your mind while the guitar riff runs throughout the song before it breaks out into that amazing two minute extended dual guitar solo at the end of the song between Don Felder and Joe Walsh which annoyingly usually gets cut off on the radio and misses out the last minute when the guitars combine and the double drumbeat kicks in.
There was once an advert running for the Eagles Greatest Hits album and was advertised as being by 'the greatest band to come out of America' which is a bold statement considering that America is responsible for almost every decent band that has graced the world stage in my lifetime but they certainly performed the greatest song about a Hotel.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

I Don't Want To Grow Up - Ramones

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 3 we have I Don't Want To Grow Up by the Ramones (1985).

As there are only seven basic notes there are only a set number of ways to go from one to another, at some point there will come a day when all the music it's possible to write has been written but the Ramones foresaw this problem and just made all their songs the same tune.
All their songs had a similar pace, length and sound to them but they took Tom Waits turgid 'I Don't Want To Grow Up' and gave it the Ramones treatment and created a thumpingly brilliant version, one of those rare moments where the copy not only surpasses the original but becomes the definitive version of that song.
If ever there was a song which had a theme that i could support it is not growing up and listing the reasons why not before ending on the stinging line 'How the hell did it get here so soon' which is my lament every birthday.
If you don't find yourself nudging up the volume button before sliding across the kitchen on your knees while playing air guitar when this comes on the radio then you are a grown up already and it's too late for you.
I do sometimes briefly wonder why i have not followed other friends of the same age who had fallen into liking more mellow, grown up music but that only lasts few seconds as i pick up the guitar, whack the gain up on the amp and blast out 'When I'm lyin' in my bed at night, I don't wanna grow up' until someone comes banging on the bedroom door telling me to turn that bloody racket down and it's like being a teenager again, only with less pimples and shiny shoes.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Rock And Roll - Led Zeppelin

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 4 we have Rock And Roll by Led Zeppelin (1971).

As with most Led Zeppelin songs, this one lifts the tune from another song, Little Richards 'Keep A Knockin' but they do make a decent fist of it so let's be charitable and say that this song was inspired by the other song.
Jimmy Page straight faced that they wrote the song to answer the critics that they were going soft so wrote something ass kicking, an animal, powerful thing which they did because this song is all those things.
The frantic drumming, the brilliant riffs and the very up tempo pace makes for a great tune and far superior to the Little Richard song which Bonham was playing on the drums before Page began jamming along and the tried and trusted Zeppelin moment of realisation that nobody would notice and recorded it with Plants lyrics.    
You do have to hand it to the Zeppelin guys, they may have a reckless disregard for other people copyright but they do make a brilliant job of it.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Who Would Have Thought Fracking Causes Earthquakes

Regardless of the evidence that amongst other drawbacks, Fracking causes earthquakes, the Government in their wisdom has after a pause in 2011 following a 1.7 quake for seismic research allowed fracking to continue in Lancashire once again and 11 days later the fracking has been paused once again after a 0.4 tremor was followed by one of 0.8.
Cuadrilla has said that it was only 'tiny movements' and local residents have nothing to fear and nobody is in danger which subtly overlooks that what they are doing is causing earthquakes regardless of the size.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) said that 'any process that injects pressurised water into rocks at depth will cause the rock to fracture can result in earthquake activity' and that's even before we get to cases of where the local water tables are poisoned and in cases in the USA where fracking is much more widespread, gas leaking into the drinking supply causing tap water to ignite.
The Government justified their decision to continue fracking by saying if successful, it would lead to tens of thousands of jobs, make a very significant contribution to the exchequer and reduce emissions'.
All very significant and worth remembering by Lancastrians when their tap water is set alight and their houses are shaken to bits.

Teenage Kicks - The Undertones

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 6 we have Teenage Kicks by The Undertones (1978).

With a riff so sharp you could grate cheese on it, us Brits should hang our collective heads in shame that one of the greatest records ever made, only crept to number 31 in the music charts.
The guitar shifting up and down just the three chords through the verses is so catchy it's almost so simple to be an insult to all other songs but that's what makes punk so brilliantly effective, you didn't need to have the fretboard skills of Slash or Jimi Hendrix to create a masterpiece.
Radio 1 DJ John Peel was such a fan of this song that he said he had the opening lyrics inscribed on his gravestone and although the song is one of the most enduring from the Punk era, John O'Neill, Undertones guitarist and writer of the song explained that he had three chords and tried to write a Buzzcocks style song with them and the rest is the best number 31 we have ever had in the British Charts.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

British Businessman With Injunction Named In Parliament

And the British Business alleged to have bullied, racially and sexually abused his staff and then paid over half a million pounds to try and cover it up is....Philip Green.
Lord Peter Hain identified him in the Lords saying it was his duty to name him given the "serious and repeated" nature of the allegations.
Take a bow Mr Green because no longer will you be remembered just for the BHS stitch up where you paid yourself a dividend of £1.3bn, mainly financed by increasing BHS debts to £1bn which sucked the retailer under and left 11,000 workers out of a job and reduced the pensions of many ex-workers as now you will be remembered for this also, so well done. 
As the chairman of Arcadia Group, a retail empire that includes Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins he faced a boycott of his stores before over sweatshop conditions, tax avoidance and paying under the minimum wage so now he has been named as an alleged repeated sex offender and racist, i don't think his spreadsheet will make good reading at the end of the financial year.
So couldn't happen to a nicer man and you can almost hear the Honours Forfeiture Committee grinding into action because Sir Philip Green will soon become plain old Mr Green and once the court is through with him, if convicted, he will be Prisoner Green we hope.

Anarchy In The UK - Sex Pistols

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 6 we have Anarchy In The UK by The Sex Pistols (1976).

From the first snarl of Johnny's 'right now' through to his growling 'Destroy' three and a half minutes later, the song just hits every button as the ultimate punk song.
It's angry, loud and Rotton spits the words with disdain while Steve Jones pounding guitar with the double strum on the end of each line of lyrics and the original bass player Glen Matlock kick starting the whole punk era with this little ditty about bringing Anarchy to the UK.
I was too young for the original punk explosion but what The Sex Pistols did in 12 months, one album and a handful of singles changed music forever and very much for the better as punk has never truly gone away since the Sex Pistols spat, shocked and swore their way to an impressive legacy.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Naming The UK Businessman With The Injunction

All we know so far is that a British businessman has paid £500,000 for a Super injunction and a team of seven lawyers to  stop the Daily Telegraph from naming him in connection to paying five alleged victims substantial sums for sexual and racial abuse.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday a senior executive in a company group had an injunction against the newspaper which means they are unable to print the businessman's identity or to identify the companies, as well as what he is accused of doing or how much he paid his alleged victims.
The Daily Telegraph said that 'like Harvey Weinstein, the British businessman used controversial non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), to silence and pay off his alleged victims' but there is a fly in the ointment in the shape of MP Jess Phillips who has said NDAs should not be used 'where there are accusations of sexual misconduct and wider bullying' and has threatened to use Parliamentary Privilege to name the man accussed.
The Labour MP said that she was 'done with rich men using our laws to hide victims away' and after calling for claimants in the case to contact her, she said she did not yet know the man’s identity and so could not yet reveal it in Parliament.
Parliamentary privilege was used previously to reveal the existence of super-injunctions granted to former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Fred Goodwin and name Ryan Giggs as the footballer who gagged press reports on his extra-marital affair so it looks as though the £500,000 the business spent to keep his name out the papers was well and truly wasted because in days we will all know and his roof will well and truly collapse in on him after all.

update: Philip Green outed by Parliament

Theresa May Waiting For The Removal Van

If i had a pound for every time Theresa May has been on the verge of being thrown out of power then i could retire and live out my days on a deserted island where i wouldn't have to hear about Theresa May being thrown out of power every day but alas i haven't so instead it's back to waiting to see if the removal van turns up outside Number 10 today.
Mrs May is due to face a grilling from the 1922 Committee tonight who are the decision makers in who runs the Conservatives and if things go bad for her and they don't consider her up to the job any longer then the starting pistol will be fired on the contest for who will be the next Conservative leader and by default, our Prime Minister.  
The signs are not looking good as already there have been some distasteful social media postings from her won side telling her to 'bring a noose', that 'she will be dead soon' and how she is entering 'a killing zone' and 'assassination is in the air'.
Most importantly, unhappy Tory MP's are predicting that they are very close to the 48 required letters to spark the no confidence vote and if Mrs May doesn't convince them she is the woman for the job, the few remaining required letters will be posted.
It's exactly the way it all ended for Margaret Thatcher but whether we have the same scene of a tearful Prime Minister gazing out of the back window of a taxi as it pulls away we will find out shortly.

Only You - The Platters

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 7 we have Only You by The Platters (1955).

The sublime ballad 'Only You' is the ultimate love song, sung brilliantly by Tony Williams who for me is unmatched in music for sheer brilliance in the vocal talent department.
The piano, the wispy sound of the drum brushes and the rest of the group singing soft backing vocals make this a perfect celebration of being in love and being with someone you cherish.
Incredibly the song was the B-side to 'The Great Pretender' before it become a hit in its own right and become one of the those songs that the budding singers on X Factor avoid as 'too big' although that never stopped Ringo Starr having a go at it which if you have been fortunate enough to not hear, is as terrible as you imagine.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Want Sauce With That Plastic?

You what you eat and what we are eating is plastic according to a trial at the Medical University of Vienna who found tiny shreds of it in the digestive systems of people from eight different countries including the UK.
Theories  given for why plastic is being ingested by humans include from plastic eating fish, drinking out of plastic bottles, eating food that’s been wrapped in plastic and tiny plastic particles floating in the air which then land on our food.
The scientists couldn't tell if ingesting plastic is causing any internal damage to our bodies but there is evidence that plastic is absorbed through the stomach and accumulates in the internal organs of animals so probably is the answer to that question.
If the knowledge that our food is literally killing us isn't the wake up call that we need to cut out plastic and stop littering the planet with the stuff then we are even more dense then we already think we are.

More Nukes Needed For America

It is is generally acknowledged that if you are a man and have a little penis then you buy a big car or in America, a big gun and as we know the current Presidents genitals are teeny tiny so it is no surprise that he is keen on owning the biggest weapon of all, nuclear weapons.
That he once asked during a foreign policy briefing why if the United States had nuclear weapons why couldn't they use them is worrying enough but he already has 6,800 nukes which is enough weapons to destroy the world 10 times over at his disposal and is trying to justify a new nuclear build-up by pointing to China.
So if 6,800 missiles isn't enough for Trump and Putin's Russia has said they would match new US weapons, warhead for warhead, why is he firing a starting gun in a second global arms race?
Last year he threatened to 'completely destroy' North Korea because it had the temerity to build atomic bombs and Trump double standards also extends to Iran upon who he imposed extreme US sanctions despite its adherence to the multilateral nuclear deal that Trump idiotically junked earlier this year.
Usually this would be dismissed as an exercise in willy waving but as Stormy Daniels has told us, he can't as nobody would be able to see it so instead he has plumped for further ruining the US economy for more weaponry they don't need as that seems to be a vote winner for Trump and his useful idiot supporters.

Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 8 we have Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin (1971).

I once saw an interview with Jimmy Page who went through the process in fine detail of how he wrote the tune to 'Stairway To Heaven' and not once did he mention him directly swiping it from the song Taurus by Spirit.
The song doesn't really get going until John Bonham's drum kicks in around halfway, until then it's an acoustic guitar playing Taurus, a recorder and Robert Plant singing and then Jimmy Page belatedly plugs in his guitar and everything brilliantly shifts up a couple of gears and you wish they had done that two minutes earlier.
Some would argue that the soft start sets up the more harder ending but i'd say cut two minutes off the 'boring' bit and get to the brilliant bit quicker although i will grudgingly admit that the best lyrics about a lady who's sure that all that glitters is gold and seeing rings of smoke through the trees are in the first bit.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Johnny B Goode - Chuck Berry

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 9 we have Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry (1958).

Despite being lifted by a 1946 song by Louis Jordan suspiciously sexist 'Ain't That Just Like a Woman', the guitar intro to 'Johnny B Goode' is as good as an intro gets and the song was quite rightly chosen to represent Humans on the Voyager Space Mission so if any alien life finds it they will think those funny looking humans on that blue planet can't be all bad and not obliterate us. 
By all accounts he was a massive sleaze in life but if we put that to one side and concentrate on his music, he was one of the greats even if all his songs had a similar sound to them.
Berry's influence on rock music is undeniable, and Johnny B Goode is his signature tune and the character turned up in other Berry songs although none had the impact of Johnny B Goode which was voted the top Guitar Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine and is now number 9 in Lucy's Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Trump And The INF

Far be it from me to defend US President Donald Trump over his decision to remove America from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), so i won't.
Whether it's the dead cat strategy to remove the spotlight of his woefully weak defence of the Saudi Arabians over the killing of the journalist in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey or whether he generally feels he is being constrained by the inability to create medium range missiles i don't know but it is nice to see everyone piling into him yet again.
Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the INF treaty with then-US President Ronald Reagan, says Washington’s move to withdraw from it is 'a mistake” and 'narrow-minded', while Germany said the decision will have 'consequences' and was 'regrettable'.
Russia said it was 'a very dangerous step' which if i was of a mind to defend Donald Trump, i would point out was a bit rich considering that in 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared the INF treaty no longer served Russia's interests and withdrew them from it.
Of course i am as keen as anyone to see the racist sex pest in the White House be on the end of the another global kicking for being an imbecile so boo, hiss etc etc at the third fattest American President with a penchant for porn stars and golden showers, get him out and so on.

Different Faces In The New Space Race

The Space Race was originally between the USA and USSR but since the USA landed on the Moon in 1969 the momentum has gone out of Space Exploration but now it's back on but rather than nations it's between billionaires, namely Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson.
Filling the void left by Government funding cuts, the three have ambitions for the development of space tourism and developing permanent human settlement on the Moon and even Mars.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos is the Worlds richest man and started Blue Origin in 2000 and aims to create reusable rockets to use for space tourists and aims to sell tickets from next year, for up to $300,000 a trip and set up a permanent human settlement of the Moon.
Paypal founder, Elon Musk, started SpaceX in 2002 and has won contracts to deliver satellites into orbit and to help resupply the ISS but also has it's sights set on sending people into space on commercial flights with it's ultimate goal sending manned flights to Mars and eventually colonise the Red Planet.
Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 with the aim of developing 'space planes' to take space tourists up and away and has started selling tickets for $250,000, and recently Branson said the company: 'will be in space in weeks, not months'.
Considering what we are doing to our Planet, finding ways to escape our own small ball of rock is essential and i don't care which of the three makes the breakthrough but i would prefer it not to be Elon Musk whose recent antics with the British cave diver show that all the money in the World can't buy you class.

Sympathy For The Invaders?

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is opening an investigation as PTSD and depression amongst veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has increased by 3.1%.
Defence minister Tobias Ellwood announced the study amid an investigation by The Sunday Times, which has found that 42 current soldiers are believed to have killed themselves this year after suffering mental health problems after involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Mr Ellwood said: 'Our armed forces do a magnificent job, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to each man and woman who has laid their life on the line to keep our country safe' which of course is nonsense and was often repeated at the time as if Iraq and Afghanistan were on the brink of invading Britain.
Iraq was a tissue of lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction which as we knew even before it began never existed and Afghanistan was a war which was sold as removing the oppressive Taliban but they had earlier been made an offer that they would be left in power if they handed over Bin Laden.
Sympathy on a human level for anyone suffering PTSD or depression but only after the majority of the sympathy for the innocent Iraqi's and Afghan's and their families who have died or been maimed by the invading American and UK armies and now have to live with the result of the horrors of what our military's did to them over there for our lying politicians.

Halloween And Christmas Collide

It's that strange time of year where we see zombies, skeletons and witches alongside Santa, red nosed Reindeer's and snowmen in the shops as Halloween meets Christmas.
Today i went five steps from pressing the button on hand of a skeleton which played 'Thriller' to pressing the button of a snowman singing about his dreams of a White Christmas.
Gregg's had two adverts in their window, one for bat shaped cookies and cup cakes with marshmallow eyeballs on them and another for their Festive Bakes (coming to a store near you 9 November).
As Jesus came back from the dead i guess there is a tenuous link between him and Zombies and i understand how the shops want to get the Christmas ball rolling as soon as possible but would it have hurt them, to wait the ten days until Halloween has been and gone and then packed away the creepy stuff and hit us with the cuddly Santa's?

Manic Monday - The Bangles

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 10 we have Manic Monday by The Bangles (1986).

The Boomtown Rats didn't like them, New Order thought them Blue and The Bangles thought they were manic which is a theme echoed all around the World when the alarm clock goes off at the start of the working week.
Written by Prince, the song is all about saying 'Oh bugger it's Monday' with the beautiful Susanna Hoffs singing about her dreams about kissing Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream being interrupted by having to get up and go to work. 
Just to be different, the riff is on a piano which tinkles away between the lines of lyrics which moan about the first day of the work week and wishing it was still the Weekend, lyrics most people can relate to while they haul themselves to the bathroom and see the yawning bed head staring back at them from the mirror.
One of the most successful all female bands, the Bangles did well to last as long as they did because apparently all was not rosy amongst the band members.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

700,000 Demonstrators Can't Be Wrong

Over 700,000 people marched on an anti-Brexit demonstration to say Brexit is a massive pigs ear while at the same time at the pro-Brexit demonstration, 1,200 deluded souls managed to drag themselves along so guess which way Theresa May and her Conservatives are going, yep 
once again the Government finds itself on the wrong side.
Something i hear a lot from the people who want to go full steam ahead with the mistake regardless of the wrecking ball it will swing through the economy is that the vote has been held so we should just suck it up and not demand another referendum as if had they not won the referendum they would have just shrugged and said 'Oh Well, that's democracy for you', they would have been waving their little Union Flag's even more frantically and screaming even louder about immigrants coming over here and taking all their jobs, clogging up the NHS and generally starting  each sentence with 'Im not a racist but...' before saying that sounds suspiciously racist.      
As i didn't vote Conservative it doesn't that mean all us Labour, Liberal and Green Party voters should therefore keep our mouths shut because the Tories won the election so why should be keep silent just because the Brexiteer's got there way in the referendum.
If 48% see a car crash happening in slow motion then we should speak up to alert the 52% who are either too ignorant or too blind to see it so that's what we are doing, screaming loud and clear to Theresa May and her Government that she is driving our nation straight into a massive pile up and for the good of the country JUST STOP NOW!!

Somewhere In My Heart - Aztec Camera

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 11 we have Somewhere In My Heart by Aztec Camera (1988).

Shoulder pads, Rubix Cubes, neon yellow leg warmers and Aztec Camera. If you cut this song in half it would have 'eighties' written all the way through it like a stick of rock but unlike many of its contemporaries this song has worn well.
The band were one of those who were around but never at the forefront of things until this song which was almost omitted from the album that spawned it as Aztec Camera were trying to head off into a new direction which is ironic as this is the song that most people remember them for.
The song has everything from trumpets and piano to a great guitar and saxophone solo and is a real feel-good summery type song with a great music video which throws me back to the carefree summers of yesteryear and is inexplicably linked in my mind with the film Beetlejuice in a memory of driving to the cinema on a blazing summers day with friends and us all singing along with the song on the radio.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Ace of Spades - Motörhead

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 12 we have Ace Of Spades by Motörhead (1980).

Someone once said that "This song has an intro which wouldn't be out of place ushering in the end of the world' which for a metal band is about as big a compliment as you could get.
It's starts off with Lemmy's bass intro and then doesn't let you go as he gruffs and snarls his way through several gambling cliche heavy verses before the guitar solo hits you and then the sudden hit-the-brakes ending two minutes and 48 seconds later. 
Easily their biggest hit, Lemmy said that he was sick to death of playing it but even that was no excuse for the awful, slow downed version they recorded for a Kronenbourg 1664 advert which had the wailing guitar replaced with a harmonica although it probably paid for the bathtub of what Lemmy was on because when you think of Lemmy and speed, it wasn't just the style of his bass playing.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Jar of Hearts - Christina Perri

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 13 we have Jar Of Hearts by Christini Perri (2011).

Men...Bah, who do you think you are? There were two versions of this song, the one with just the piano and another where they threw guitars and drums at it and elevated it from a good song to one of the best although they chose, in my opinion, the lesser simpler one. 
Who of us hasn't been in the same place as Christina and thought, just like her majestic line, 'I wished i had missed the first time that we kissed', inspired lyric that one.
Another atmospheric builder and Perri's slightly husky voice is perfect for this break up song and this was her debut effort although i can't recall anything else from her since which is a shame as it left Adele a clear run on the piano based ballads front.
It's a beautiful, emotional, and slightly dark song and let it be a warning to you men, especially anyone who dates Ms Perri because mess with her and she will write a brilliant rock ballad about you.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

California Dreamin' - The Mama's & Papa's

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 14 we have California Dreamin' by The Mama's & Papa's (1965).

I have had a sneaky admiration for the Mama's & Papa's ever since i saw a documentary which revealed them to be a bunch of drug addled sex maniacs which was very much not the image i had of them beforehand.
They always had good harmonies with the blend between the female and male voices just right and it comes together brilliantly on this song about longing for the warmth of Los Angeles during a cold winter in New York City.
The story behind this song was the Mama's & Papa's were the backing group for someone else who was going to sing this but then decided they could do it better and recorded it themselves and as they just went over the tape of the other guy, you can still hear him faintly in the background when they start singing the first line about all the leaves being brown.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Still Here Against The Odds

Despite the odds it looks as though i'm going to make it to the end of another day but when i look at the odds of death and injury from Liverpool Victoria Insurance, i'm quite impressed i'm still here at all. 
I woke up in bed this morning without injuring myself on the mattress or pillow (1:2000) and survived my shower (1:11,469) and even managed to successfully negotiate avoiding emergency treatment after being injured by the jam jar (1:1000).
After not dying by a plunging elevator (1:10 million) i even managed to avoid being killed by a neighbours dog (1:18 million) to drive to work and arrive not dead (1:100) although the odds of dying in a train crash are better (1:500,000) so maybe i'll go by rail from now on just to be safe.
Thanking my lucky stars death by an accident at work (1:40,000) was not an issue and i didn't die in a terror attack (1:20 million) and despite a grey and stormy looking sky, lightning didn't get me (1:10 million), nor an asteroid (1:200,000), a falling aeroplane (1:250,000) or an extra large piece of hail braining me (1:734 million).
Although i am now home i'm still not safe as i still have to negotiate the sofa where i have odds of being killed by my own furniture of 1:20 million but at least i think i am safe of being killed of a shark (1:11 million) or a bear (1:2 million) and as i'm over 150 miles away from a nuclear facility, i like my odds of not going to meet my maker courtesy of a nuclear power accident (1:10 million).
Now all i have to do is safely negotiate the pillow and mattress again and hope that all this new fracking doesn't increase my odds of dying in earthquake (1:148,756) so i can do it all over again tomorrow.

Category 6 Hurricane Coming Soon

Currently the Saffir–Simpson scale for Hurricanes only go up to 5 but a combination of warmer oceans and more water in the atmosphere maybe they should consider adding a 6th Category to their scale.
When the scale was developed in 1971, Meteorologists never imagined that there would be a need for a category 6 storm, with winds that exceed 200 miles per hour but as there is 8% more water vapor circulating throughout the atmosphere now combined with warmer temperatures the potential for a catastrophic category 6 hurricane is growing.
The Saffir-Simpson scale sets the Category 5 at winds over 157 mph but this century we have seen nine hurricanes over 175 mph winds and Patricia in 2015 reached 215mph.    
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology had to add a new colour to the top of its scale as temperatures soared and in the age of global warming and extreme weather events we will need to rewrite the measures across the world as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, found that it is 90% certain that heatwaves will increase further in length and severity, as will extreme high tides.
It is 66% likely that hurricanes and typhoon winds will get faster and that intense rain will increase, as will global droughts.
The climate scientists are turning up the volume of their warnings and Government action is needed to curb emissions to drown out the crazy and deadly mewling from the ignorant sceptics and other useful idiots of the fossil fuel interests.

Losing My Religion - REM

Of the millions of songs which have been recorded, only 30 songs can make it into The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians and at number 15 we have Losing My Religion by REM (1991).

Michael Stipe admitted that this song was life changing for him and his band and it made them superstars overnight and the video still sweeps up at any 'best video' countdowns on the music channels or the ones that still play music anyway.
Although it isn't actually about religion, the video is full of religious iconography which distracts you from the fact that nobody knows what the lyrics are about.
Along with the striking video, the mandolin is an inspired choice of instrument and it's high pitch sound is probably what raises this song above the average.
REM as a band seemed to have a brilliant couple of years with some great songs from two amazing albums in the early to mid 90's and then just go pfft and wander away but it had such a lasting impression on me that i had this song as my ringtone on my Nokia 3310 for ages.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Turning The World Vegetarian

As a vegetarian i know that i am on a sticky wicket but with 12 years left to save the Planet the time for being coy has gone so let's grab the bull by the horn, or rather grab the fork off meat eaters because we need to have a conversation about how eating meat is destroying the planet. 
The climate minister, Claire Perry, shied away when challenged on the habit of carnivores eating us all to destruction because they can get a bit cranky when told to eat less of the wildlife, all that red meat coursing through their system i guess.
Following the report that global warming will be beyond control in 12 years’ time came another major report pointing out that meat production is one of the biggest contributors to global warming through the use of water to the amount of agricultural land given over to grazing and feed crops to rainforest destruction for animal feed.
The Government cannot just ban meat and the carnivores don't seem perturbed by the eyeballs and scrapings off the abattoir floor in their sausages or the cancer caused by eating meat but the Government does have other means in its arsenal.
It could introduce a meat tax, making it so expensive that meat is removed from many dining tables or throwing money at artificial meat research or making vegetarian dishes cheaper but what certainly won't work its appealing to the better nature of meat eaters to cut down on their meat consumption because let's face it, they eat other living creatures so concern for others isn't big on their agenda.

Brexit Jargon Explained

For the past two years it has been difficult to avoid hearing all things Brexit but as we approach March things are going to shift up a few gears as the Brexit negotiations intensify but it can be hard to follow all the jargon so i have produced a guide of the most common phrases we will be bored to death by come March 31st 2019.

Article 50: The mechanism that allows a country to leave the EU.
Backstop: A customs plan to avoid a hard border between non-EU Northern Ireland and EU affiliated Ireland
Brexiteers: Those who voted for Brexit and want to break away from the EU completely.
Canada Style deal: No customs duty on EU exports to Canada or Canadian exports to the EU.
Canada Plus Plus Plus: An upgrade of the deal struck between the EU and Canada.
Chequers Deal: The cabinet deal seeking to keep the trade in goods flowing between by the UK and the EU.
Cliff edge: The UK falling out of the EU without a deal in place.
Common Rule Book: Aligning UK legislation on goods with EU standards and regulations.
Customs Union: The way no duties are paid on goods between EU states and how they all apply the same charge to non-EU imports.
Divorce bill: The amount the UK has to pay to settle it's bill with the European Union.
Hard Brexit: Leaving the EU and cutting all ties such as membership of the single market and the customs union
Remoaners: Those who voted to remain in the EU and deeply regret the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.
Single Market: The EU as one territory without internal borders or obstacles to free movement of goods and services.
Soft Brexit: Maintaining close ties with the EU and retain Single Market and Customs Union membership.
Transition deal: A bridging deal to smooth the transition between Brexit day in March 2019 and the start of a future trade agreement