Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Men's Summer Fashion To Forget

According to the Beach Boys, summer fashion includes T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs but as Summer has arrived early the male population has already burst into life but some men seem to fashion what crisps are to haute cuisine and without Summer proper even arriving yet, the following crimes against male fashion have already been observed.    

Hawaiian shirts
If ever anything was enough to make us wish for the perpetual winter of Narnia, it's the garish Hawaiian shirt. The only time you can legitimately get away with wearing a Hawaiian shirt is at a Magnum reunion party or on honeymoon in Hawaii and if you think packing one of those in your suitcase is a good idea then if you are divorced before the first anniversary then you won't get any sympathy from me.

T-shirts with slogans
'It's not a bald patch, its a solar panel for a sex machine', no it's not, it's a bald patch on top of a git and there’s no such thing as a Female Boob Inspector and if there was i'm sure they don't advertise their services on their clothing.

Skimpy Singlets
Unless you are a professional wrestler or a lifeguard, singlets should stay in the closet. Nobody wants to see your armpit hair or the side cleavage of your moobs.

Short Shorts / Speedo's
I really don’t need to see that much of your thighs while shopping in Sainsbury's. Burn the shorts and we can all move on with our lives in proper leg coverings and in time the memory of what we saw when you sat down and manspread will hopefully fade.

Cowboy Stetson Hat

This hat is where fashion and style go to die holding hands. Looked good on James Dean and Clint Eastwood on the plains of the Wild West, doesn't look quite so good on you in Worthing Town Centre. There isn’t a haircut bad enough to warrant wearing this.  

Socks and Sandals
There must be something about owning a Y chromosome that makes men pull on a pair of white socks and sandals whenever the Sun pops its head out.

Croc Shoes
Experts say you should avoid Crocs as they do not adequately secure the heel and can lead to tendinitis, toe deformities, nail problems, corns and calluses but mainly you should avoid them because they look awful. The shoe equivalent of Donald Trump, both are far too large, far too ugly and nobody in their right mind would want to be seen with either of them.

Man Bun
'Hey! Look at my top knot! Don't I look cool?' Um, sorry but, no you don't look 'cool,' you look like an idiot.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Just A Coincidence

It may just be a massive coincidence that days after the Swedish Government hand out leaflets to its citizens on what to do if a war breaks out, the Americans are doing the same with a document released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains what you should do in the event of a nuclear attack.

The EPA explain that you shouldn't drink any water from the tap or eat vegetables from home gardens and livestock shouldn't be allowed to graze in potentially contaminated pastures or fields.
If you are outside during a nuclear explosion then cover your nose and mouth and head inside immediately and close all doors and windows and turn off any fans or air conditioners or set them to recirculate. Using a gas mask or dust mask, if available, is also advisable. If you are unable to reach a building, getting inside a vehicle is the next safest option.
Remove your outer clothes and shower or use a wet wipe or clean wet cloth to wipe any skin that was not covered by clothing. Gently blow your nose and gently wipe your eyelids, eyelashes and ears with a clean wet cloth... Put on clean clothes and anything that has been contaminated should be placed into a plastic bag and placed outside.
Finally check official sources via the internet, radio, television and call lines.

I'm sure that it is just strange timing that nations are now warning their citizens on what to do in event of a war but looking around at some of the clownish Worlds leaders at the moment, it might be prudent to bookmark the Government website and lock in the Government radio station frequency on the radio just in case.

Think I'll Skip The Cockroach Milk Thanks

Apart from some of the more seedier places to dine, you don't immediately connect cockroaches with dining experience but that could be about to change as alongside the cow and goat on supermarket shelves we could soon be finding cockroach milk. 
More correctly it is post-natal fluid which is secreted from the insect in the form of crystals which according to researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India, boasts many nutritional benefits.
'The crystals are like a complete food with proteins, fats and sugars. If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids' Sanchari Banerjee, one of the main researchers, told the Times of India.
It is said to taste rather like cow’s milk and follows a company who make ice-cream with milk derived from insects and eating insects whole is becoming a more common sight in western diets such as freeze-dried and dehydrated insects, from barbecue meal worm to salt-and-vinegar crickets and garlic chapulines.
Thanks but i think i'll stick with the semi-skimmed Cravendale.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Hand's Off Until Debt Covered

Somehow, after a decade of severe austerity measures, the UK's debt is double what it was before the 2008 financial crisis but the UK Government are on top of it because they intend to force open a charity fund which was set up in 1928 by an anonymous benefactor on the condition that it must stay untouched until it had grown enough to pay off the national debt.
The amount donated 90 years ago was £500,000 and today stands at £475 million but as the UK debt currently sits at £1.7 trillion, someone with much better maths skills than i has worked out it represents just 0.06 percent of the country’s total debt.
Amidst the sound of goal posts being scraped along the ground, the Attorney General is interpreting the instructions of 'pay off the national debt' to mean 'put it towards paying off the national debt'.
To access the fund the Government will need approval from the High Court who i hope will tell Theresa May and her awful cronies to take a hike and leave it until as the benefactor wished, there was enough to payoff the total debt.
So leave it alone and let it build more interest to cover the whole amount but if you really are that hard up after your disastrous decade in power, use it to build a hospital or a school and if you are so broke because you can't run an economy properly, you could save £133 billion tomorrow by scrapping the useless Trident Nuclear missile system and a further £100 million a year by telling the Monarchy to stop scrounging off us and pay their own way.
There you go, problem solved. Economics really isn't that hard.

And Then There Was Four

Of the very special and exclusive club of the 12 men who have walked on the Moon, the death of Alan Bean brings the number remaining down to four.
The fourth man to walk on a land other than Earth, Bean was an astronaut on Apollo 12, the second lunar landing in November 1969. 
It is a sad fact that nobody has trodden on the Moon since 1972 and of the remaining four astronauts, the youngest is 82 so we could very soon have nobody alive who has walked on anything other than our own planet.  
After hanging up his Spacesuit, Bean became an artist specialising in Space art and using a speck of moon dust in all pictures, taken from his space suit.
'Im the only artist who can paint the moon' he said, 'because i'm the only one who knows whether that's right or not'.
With the focus now seemingly shifting to manned missions to Mars, we may not be adding to the 12 sets of footprints on our closest neighbour in space anytime soon and that not only seems such a waste of a practise site but a magnificent case of running before we can walk.

Buzz Aldrin 88
David Scott 85
Charles Duke 82
Harrison Schmitt 82

Alan Bean - Died 2018
John Young - Died 2018
Eugene Cernan - Died 2017
Edgar Mitchell  - Died 2016
Neil Armstrong - Died 2012
Pete Conrad - Died 1999
Alan Shepard - Died 1998
James Irwin - Died 1991

Friday, 25 May 2018

Back to the Future

'If there is such a thing as time travel' people say to me, 'how come we aren't seeing people from the future here today?'
I point them to the HG Wells Laws of Time Travel which states that you shouldn't do or say anything which may cause a ripple which results in them being stuck in the today without being able to return to their own time so they just observe silently so you wouldn't know if they were here or not.
That doesn't mean that some time travellers don't take a chance and try and warn us about future events and luckily for us 2018 seems to be a bonanza time for people travelling back to warn us.
People like Noah Novak who came from 2070 to tell us we can look forward to another four years of Trump presidency, as he wins a second term in office and in 2028 the first manned mission to Mars will successfully take place.
In March 2018, a purported time traveller known as W.D. Davis stated that he had arrived from the year 2200 and announced that future humans had developed a miracle food pellet which had eradicated world hunger, cancer had been cured and the average human life expectancy was around 200 years and people were living on Mars.
In December 2017, a man claimed to have travelled to 3207 as part of a top secret project by the Greek military to study a future war between humans and artificial intelligence but he only stayed for two days before coming back but was unable to give any details of what 3207 will be like.
It is not just the Greeks sending agents to the future as the American military sent an agent called 'Clara' to 3780 to bring back future technology for unknown, secret purposes.
If the Greeks were at the vanguard of fighting errant AI in 3207 it was still going on in 4000 according to 'John' who spent six years living in the future tackling AI running amok.
John stated in 4000 there are flying cars, birds, cats and dogs are almost extinct and can only be seen in zoos.
A thousand years forward in 5000 is where 'Edward' came from and as proof he bought a photo of Los Angeles submerged under the Ocean due to the melted polar ice caps with humanity surviving by floating on the waters in cities on huge wooden platforms.
Even further to travel has James Oliver who came back from 6491 and from another Solar System where humans have set up home but due to a malfunction with his ship when the time travel transmission was interrupted, he is stuck in the present until he fixes his transport home.
William Taylor was sent to 8937 by the British military to have a bit of a nosey around and reported back that humans as we know them have been replaced by part-human, part-robot species that enjoy eternal life. Unfortunately all the photos he took of this future world were confiscated by UK intelligence services on his return.
The furthest humans have gone into the future is 9428 where the Soviet Union sent an agent in 1987 to look for new weapons on a fact finding mission but little is known about his mission.

The future isn't looking so great according to the people who have been there with killer AI and cities disappearing under the oceans but if you see a man tinkering with a time travelling space ship then be nice and offer him your jump leads.

Katie Hopkins A Racist But Not A Druggie

Katie Hopkins has made a career out of saying pathetic and outrageous things and then getting sued for it so she decided that it was time to turn the tables and took the Daily Mirror to the Independent Press Standards Organisation for their story that she had been detained in South Africa after collapsing from drug use.
The Daily Mirror alleged that the right-wing numpty was detained for taking Ketamine however, that proved to be inaccurate as she was actually detained for spreading racial hatred.
After succeeding in her case, The Mirror was forced to issue an apology and went with the brilliant: 'A previous version of this article suggested that Katie Hopkins was stopped from leaving South Africa because of the consumption of Ketamine. We are happy to clarify that Ms Hopkins was detained for spreading racial hatred, which took place after the Ketamine incident'.
Probably the greatest apology ever although how happy Katie Hopkins is that she was successful in her fight to prove she was detained for spreading racial hatred and not for drug use is another question.
Not that she has much of a reputation left to damage anyway but a bit of an own goal and maybe she should have had the sense to go with people thinking she was a druggie rather than have it confirmed that actually she is an abhorrent racist but to be fair, we already knew that anyway.

Brits Saying Thank You

I blame my parents and being British for seeming to spend an inordinate amount of time thanking people for everything but all us Brits seem to be at it because new research demonstrates that Britons really do say thank you more often than anyone, coming top of eight cultures studied.
The study showed that in situations where expressing gratitude is an option, the British deploy thank you 14.5% of the time, whereas Russians say it just 3% of the time, and Cha’palaa speakers of Ecuador never do as their language doesn’t even have a word for it.
Luckily us Brits have plenty of ways of saying 'thank you' and some make it possible to say thank you without conveying any gratitude at all which confuses non-Brits no end.
You can say 'Thanks' or lengthen it to 'Many thanks' or even 'Thanks so much' but 'Thanks a lot' is usually reserved for conveying sarcasm.
Another saying for a show of gratitude is 'Cheers' and usually comes with 'mate' attached to make 'Cheers Mate' which is very informal as is 'Nice One' and both are really only used when someone had done you a favour or gives you an unexpected gift.
'Ta' is a thing for Northerners and children under 7 so might be better to avoid this unless you are geographically above Birmingham or have a Power Rangers duvet set. 
'Appreciate it' or 'much appreciated' is used more in writing so you would write: 'Thank you for not mentioning what happened in the store cupboard, i appreciate it'.
Something that is becoming more common is to call someone 'a lifesaver', 'a star' or 'a hero' and is something you would say to someone to thank them when they do you a favour along with much obliged but it's quite rare to hear that nowadays.
A minefield is 'You Shouldn’t Have!' which can be said dripping with sarcasm as well as appreciatively as is 'You're too kind' so it's a bit of a guess whether a Brit genuinely likes that gift if we say 'you shouldn't have' because we could very well mean that seriously, you really shouldn't have.
As we have so many ways to say 'Thank You', it's no surprise that we say it the most and have even developed a way of saying it while meaning the opposite.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, seriously, you really shouldn't have.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Non-Consensual Sex Is Always Rape

Deciding if a rape has taken place should be straight forward, if consent is not given then it is rape so it is disheartening that Sweden have had to pass a law to clarify what shouldn't really need clarifying.         
After more than a decade of campaigning to change the law in the Scandinavian nation, Sweden has finally passed a law to make sex illegal without explicit consent but Sweden is just the tenth country in Europe to recognise non-consensual sex as rape.
The new legislation aligns Sweden with the UK, Belgium, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Iceland, Ireland and Germany.
Shockingly marital rape is still legal in 33 countries across the world. These include Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. UK courts only ruled that husbands were not entitled to have sex with wives regardless of whether or not they offer their consent in 1992.
Sweden’s decision comes at a time when a recent Europe-wide survey on the issue revealed widespread victim blaming and challenging views on consent. Nearly one-third of respondents said they believed that sex without consent is sometimes justified.
Sex without consent in any circumstances is rape and it really shouldn't be that hard to understand and i'm bewildered that to some, this concept is not understood and laws have to be imposed to make it a crime.

Irish Abortion Vote

It's taken it's time coming but the people in the Republic of Ireland will tomorrow vote on whether they want to make changes to end the country's strict abortion laws.
The pro and anti abortion campaigners have been out in strength this week trying to persuade the Irish people with their arguments and opinion polls point to a majority for yes when the votes are counted on Saturday although there is a large amount of people in the undecided camp.
The anti-abortion movement, calling themselves 'Love Both', has focused its message with emotive posters showing an ultrasound scan of a foetus accompanied with the words: 'Don’t repeal me' while the pro-abortion camp have been using the message that the Government shouldn't be forcing women to do what they decree.
In 2016, over 3500 women made the trip from Ireland to England to undergo an abortion and as things currently stand, a pregnant woman in Ireland has three options, they can stay pregnant, they can travel abroad for an abortion or they can illegally self-administer an abortion, having ordered pills online.
Abortion is always a deeply difficult topic to think about but to not allow the fourth option of a safe, legal abortion can't be right, who is anybody to impose their will on others when ultimately it's for the woman involved to have the full set of options to decide.
If you don't believe in it, then fair enough, don't do it, but don't limit other women and restrict their rights to their own bodies.
It should only be the decision of the people directly involved with the help of professional advice and then be left to make their own decisions and access to all the options but mostly it is far too important a decision to have someone else remotely force the choice on them.

That's Trump's Peace Prize Knackered Then

It takes some brass balls to say that you may have someone deposed and then killed and then blame them for being hostile but that is exactly what the Americans have done after Donald Trump has pulled out of the North Korea nuclear summit meeting with Kim Jong Un.
In a letter to Kim released by the White House, Trump said he had been very much looking forward to meeting the North Korean leader but: 'Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting'.
The hostility was North Korean official Choe Son-hui dismissing remarks by US Vice-President Mike Pence - who had said North Korea "may end like Libya" - as 'stupid'.
Constant references to Libya from John Bolton, Donald Trump and now Mike Pence have angered North Korea which considering that former leader Colonel Gaddafi gave up his nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later is fair enough.
In a typical bit of White House shambles, Bolton was referring to the process of how Libya gave up their nuclear ambitions while Trump misunderstood that to mean the way Libya was invaded and killed by Western forces and Pence doubled down on his bosses famous ignorance and the North Koreans quite understandably weren't so keen on the threats being made if they failed to toe the
American line.
The spin to put the blame on the North Koreans for the summits failure to happen has already began to try and hide yet another Trump foreign policy blunder but if the American tactics before any future peace meetings is to threaten to have the leader forcibly removed and killed then i think they may need to rethink their negotiating tactics.
At least it removes the boneheaded discussion that Donald Trump of all people may be in line for a peace prize.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Mars Won't Be Earth Mk II

The dinosaurs ruled the Earth for tens of millions of years and as far as i am aware they never damaged it much so us humans have been in charge for only a tiny fraction of that time and we have made a complete pigs ear of things so until another comet comes along to wipe us all out and allow the dolphins to take over, the poor old Earth is stuck with us polluting it.
As the climate warms and things get worse we need to look for an escape route and all our eggs seem to be going into the basket marked 'Mars'.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is leading the charge and wants to get humans to Mars as soon as possible and is planning on massive, heavy-lift rockets to carry colonists in fleets of ships to the Red Planet.
A quick glance around the solar system shows us just how limited our options are so Mars is the best of a bad lot but our technology just isn't up to scratch just yet so we are bound to this little ball of rock with our polluted sky, sea and ground until we not only find a way to get to Mars but work out how to terraform it for our needs.
The problem is Mars really isn't anything like Earth with one third of our planet's gravity but also has unbreathable air and very little water which is a bit of a drawback to breathing and water drinking humans.  
Our options are therefore to have a go at colonising a very inhospitable Mars with all the inherent problems or keep looking for somewhere a bit more Earth-like but then you have the problem of looking outside of our Solar System and unless the scientists figure out a method for speed many times what we can currently achieve it is a very, very long term plan and that's just to find
somewhere. 
Mars is a nice dream but i don't think its the solution to our problems of the increasing need for an Earth Mark II and we should be concentrating our efforts on looking elsewhere. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

England For The Cup

It may seem strange that a Tottenham player is saying that he thinks his team can win something but the Tottenham player is Harry Kane and the team in question is ENGLAND and the something just waiting to be plonked into the FA Trophy Cabinet is the World Cup.
I'm all for having a positive mental attitude and you wouldn't want the England captain to be saying we are crap and will be turfed out at the group stage so i'm happy to see Harry bigging us up.
Looking at the squads i can't see anybody but Germany lifting the trophy, especially not Uruguay who i picked put of the hat at work ten seconds before i asked for my £2 back.
I expect us to do the usual scrape through the group stage and then get knocked out which frees up us Englanders to go in search through the family tree for any tenuous link to another nation and discover long lost Brazilian, French or Argentinian great grandparents which is a bit wrong as i always say to Grandpa Günter and Grandma Elfriede.
 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

God Is Okay With Gay's Now Apparently

I guess that the Pope at some time has read the Bible and stumbled across the bit where it says: 'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death.' 
That's pretty conclusive, God doesn't take kindly to men having sexual relations with each other so for the Pope to now say that actually, God made them gay and loves them all is a very broad interpretation of the original KILL THEM ALL statement.
'That you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this.
You have to be happy with who you are' the leader of the Catholic Church told a gay man in a meeting regarding sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church.
Could be a new direction for the Church, saying that homosexuality as a sexual orientation is designed and bestowed upon humans by God which is a lot more welcoming then SINNERS, KILL THEM ALL which could be interpreted as a tad negative.
It's going to take a massive effort from the religious folk to spin their way out of  'They are to be put to death' by telling us exactly what God actually meant and how it never really meant put them to death at all.  

Chelsea Blues

When the Russian thing happened in Salisbury a few months ago i joked that hopefully Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich would be caught up in it and be forced to leave Chelsea and take his billions with him.
Turns out that it might not be a million miles from the truth as Abramovich is yet to have his UK visa renewed after it expired last month.
The Russian billionaire, a personal friend of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, did not attend Saturday's FA Cup final as he is currently in Russia where he has been since he was included on a US list of Russian officials and oligarchs close to the Kremlin that could serve as a basis for sanctions.
That Abramovich's visa application was submitted in March and has been sat on ever since by the UK Government means that Chelsea fans should make the most of the Europa League next year because if the Russian takes his billions away then the only chance they have of getting into Europe from now on is a package holiday to Magaluf.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

The Seven Categories Of Close Encounters

Outer space is big. Really, really, really big with the nearest star system being Alpha Centauri 4.3 light-years away or 25 trillion miles.
The New Horizons spacecraft, travelling at 36,373 mph, took just shy of a decade to reach Pluto so if New Horizons was aimed toward the Alpha Centauri system it would take this spacecraft about 78,000 years to get there.
The sheer distance and time to travel from one star system to another could explain why nobody has turned up from other planets, could be they are on their way but as they only left on the trip to Earth 39,000 years ago so they are only halfway here. 
Some people believe that they have already made the trip and have been a bit sloppy in quietly observing us and occasionally we catch them gawping at us.

A Close Encounters of the First kind is a visual sighting of an unidentified flying object and there have been plenty of them and there have been quite a few Close Encounters of the Second kind where a physical effect is witnesses such as interference in the functioning of a device or some physical trace like impressions in the ground such as crop circles.
A Close Encounter of the Third kind is where an animated creature is present including humanoids or robots but the Fourth kind takes things up a notch as it is when a human is abducted by a UFO or its occupants and may or may not include the use of anal probes.
A Close Encounters of the Fifth kind is communication with extraterrestrial intelligence and the Sixth kind is the death of a human at the hands of an alien and the final classification is the Seventh kind the creation of a human/alien hybrid, either by sexual reproduction or by artificial scientific methods.

The only issue we have to sort out now is if they turn up and ask to be taken to our leader, who we take them to because looking around at the leaders we have now, the aliens would be justified in zapping us into a black hole for wasting the 78,000 years it took them to get here in search for intelligent life.

Guns Don't Kill People, Doors Kill People

Mass killing of students in another American School ✔
Male white shooter ✔
Legally owned guns used ✔
No change to mad gun laws ✔
Idiotic solution to stop school shootings put forward ✔

After yet another mass shooting in an American school, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said what is always said after the last shooting, and the one before that and the one before that etc, repeating the well worn phrase that: 'it’s time we take action to step up and make sure this tragedy is never repeated ever again'.
While some took that to mean tougher gun laws and making guns less easier to buy, Texas Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, already knows what needs to be done and puts the blames on the hazardous number of entrances and exits to schools.
I don't know why the notion that people killing kids with deadly weapons is down to schools having too many doors was not suggested before, probably because the slogan 'guns don't kill people, doors kill people' is as barn shakingly ludicrous as the laws that allow Americans to buy guns with their groceries.
Obviously the rest of the World's schools don't have students massacring each other and leaving dead kids clogging up the hallways because they don't have multiple doors, maybe they should consider bricking up the windows as well.
You do feel for the American school-kids because while they are being mowed down before their lives even start, the people making the decisions are imbecilic morons like Dan Patrick.
Good luck America school aged children, heaven knows you will need it.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Burying Bad News

Lesson 1: Always look for the news buried when a story is dominating the headlines.

After fifteen successive defeats at the House of Lords over the Governments Brexit plans, on the eve of the Royal Wedding Theresa May nominated nine new Tory peers as she tries to bolster her party’s fragile position in the House of Lords. 
The nominations tilt the balance of the chamber slightly in favour of May, taking her party’s total of peers from 244 to 253.
Expect another try by the Government to get its Brexit Bill through the House of Lords shortly.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Royal Weddings Not Like They Used To Be

For some, this Saturday will be spent preparing for street parties, wearing the union jack as a cape and hoping that the weather stays fine but i will be doing everything humanly possible to avoid the Royal Wedding this weekend but it has to be marked somehow so i will post about a Royal Wedding, the one between Prince Prince Amadeo of Italy and Italian noblewoman Maria Vittoria dal Pozzo in 1867.

The happy day didn't start too well when the Maria’s mistress of the wardrobe took her own life by hanging herself just before the ceremony.
On the way to the wedding the officer leading the procession fell from his horse after suffering sunstroke and when they arrived at the Palace the gates were locked and the search for the gatekeeper ended with him being found lying in a pool of blood.
The delayed wedding finally went ahead but in a glorious piece of inept handling of his ceremonial weapon, the best man accidentally shot himself in the head during the ceremony.
Eventually the bride and groom were escorted by a procession of carriages to the railway station where the royal newlyweds were to board a train for their honeymoon but the officer who had drawn up the marriage contract suffered a stroke and the nervous stationmaster fell under the wheels of the approaching bridal locomotive.
Finally the King decided that after everything that had happened, it would be an accident waiting to happen to let his son and new daughter-in-law to board the train so ordered everyone back to the safety of the Palace but in keeping with the day, riding alongside the bridal carriage, the count of Castiglione fell from his horse underneath the carriage’s wheels and died when the weight of the wheels drove a medal pinned to his chest through his heart.
In the best tradition of Royals Wedding, they all lived happily ever after or at least until Maria contracted Tuberculosis and died nine years later aged just 29.
Good luck to Megan and Harry but you might want to rethink that ceremonial weapon for William.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Trump Own Goal On Iran Sanctions

The economic expert on Sky News, when asked about how Europe could skirt American sanctions, shrugged that if the EU simply switched payments for oil and gas to Euros rather than dollars, it would not only get around the sanctions but also greatly damage the US economy in a massive own-goal for the Trump administration.
I don't know or understand the in's and out's of it all but the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said that the foreign ministers of the UK, France, Germany, and Iran had agreed to work out practical solutions in response to Washington’s move and have come up with switch payments to the Euro for its oil purchases from Iran, eliminating US dollar transactions and avoiding the Trump administration sanctions.
Oil is pegged to the US dollar on international markets, making it difficult for Iran’s partners to make payments for crude and for Tehran to receive them. With the dollar playing the leading role on international financial markets, re-imposing sanctions would mean cutting Iran off from the global financial system.
At the same time, dozens of contracts signed between European businesses and the Islamic Republic could be at risk of cancellation if Brussels obeys Washington’s sanctions. This would damage Iran’s economy and European firms would lose a huge market in the Middle East. Switching to alternative settlement currencies allows both sides to continue trading despite US sanctions and nullifies the threats from the White House.  
Everybody wins, except Trump's America so that's okay then as he continues down his track of Making America Not So Great Again.

N Korea Right Not To Trust America

I did wonder here  if North Korea and especially Kim Jung Un had been paying attention to the recent past and what happened to leaders who make a deal to get rid of their nastiest weapons.
Seems they have been because the North Koreans are threatening to pull out of talks after being: 'totally disappointed by recent reckless remarks from the US'.
It pointed the finger squarely at US National Security Adviser John Bolton who they described as repugnant after Bolton said that North Korea could follow: 'a Libya model of verifiable denuclearisation'.
As the Libya model included Libya's Colonel Gaddafi giving up his nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a few years later you can see why they are concerned.
As Iran is the latest recipient of American Indian giving when it comes to promises for disarmament and Saddam Hussein in Iraq was toppled when he stopped being useful and had rid himself of the WMD's, North Korea would be well served to remember this and trust Donald Trump as far as you could throw the clinically obese President.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Private Sector Fails Again

Privatisation is one of those things that is sold as great for the country but if you stop and think about it for a second, it's an awful proposition.
Take the British Railway for example, it makes millions and when it is in Government ownership, all the profits get shovelled into the countries bank account to be spent on the NHS or schools but when it is privatised, all those lovely profits disappear into private bank accounts and get spent on yachts and flashy cars.
The East Coast Rail franchise was sold to a partnership of Stagecoach and Virgin in 2015 for a eight year deal worth £3.2 billion but today it was announced that both are walking away halfway through as they are not making the profits they expected.
As the rail network is a public service which cannot be allowed to fail, the Government have renationalised the east rail line, handed back half of what Virgin and Stagecoach paid for the half of the contract they worked and are trying to spin it that it is a good thing they have done.
That Stagecoach Trains shareholders were paid £17million in dividends this year and Virgin trains paid out a £479million dividend last summer you wonder just how much of a profit they needed to make to say it is enough to continue the service.
Privatisation is an awful idea and time and time again it has been shown that it has failed spectacularly because the private sector are only interested in making as much of a profit as possible and which goes into personal bank accounts when it could be going into the Governments purse for the benefit of all of us and when they think they are not taking enough of others people's money, they walk away.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Palestinians Genocide Goes On By Israel

All people can live in peace,’ says Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner as Israeli forces shoot dead 43 Palestinian protesters and injure over 1,900 more at protests along the Gaza-Israeli border.
That is 43 people shot on their own land protesting about the military occupation of their land by the occupier of seven decades Israel which is wagging the dog that is America.
Amnesty International has called the Israeli violence in Gaza 'an abhorrent violation of international law & human rights' and the latest information includes six children among the 43 fatalities according to the human rights organisation.
The United Nations have released a statement that says: 'Shocking killing of dozens, injury of hundreds by Israeli live fire in Gaza must stop now. The right to life must be respected. Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account'.
The United Nations is the organisation that can do it by bringing Israel to heel because as US and Israeli dignitaries are back-slapping at the Jerusalem embassy opening, Israeli snipers massacre unarmed Palestinians in Gaza.
Could there be a starker visual reminder that Israel and it's backer America are the problem and are overseeing genocide and murder in the Middle East and the World needs to tell them that they may have got away with this abhorrent behaviour in the past but enough is enough.
If America can sanction Iran and North Korea for something they could do, Israel needs to be hammered for the killing they are actually doing and have been doing for decades.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The Winner Of Eurovision 2018 is...

Today is one of the best Saturday's on the calendar because love it or hate it, tonight's television is dominated by the Eurovision Song Contest and by midnight we will know which country are the top songsters and can expect hordes of brightly coloured Eurovision fans piling into their country next year as they earn the honour of hosting it.
As the contest now includes Australia and Israel it is becoming more of an international affair and after hearing all the songs i am putting my little ticks beside Israel, Norway, Czech Republic, Moldova and Germany while the bookies have the winner as Cyprus with Israel second, Ireland third, France fourth and Sweden fifth.
The UK is currently ranked 250/1 and likely to finish fourth from bottom so we shouldn't worry about clearing the diary of the O2 complex next May because we won't be walking away with the prize tonight.
So if you want to stick your money on someone the bookies are saying Cyprus but luckily we have a fool-safe system that has an impressive record of picking the winners of elections so lets ask Google who will be holding aloft the Eurovision crystal microphone and asked to sing their song again tonight.
The powers that be at Google HQ have crunched the search data and come up with a list of winners based on the countries and acts that have been searched for the most by people in participating Eurovision countries online.
Their Top Five has Israel’s Netta topping the list, then Norway, the Czech Republic, then Cyprus and Belarus rounding out the top five.
Where you want to put your fiver is for you to decide but the bookies say Cyprus while Google and i agree that you should be looking at writing Israel on your betting slip and checking flight prices to Jerusalem next year.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Israel Getting Away With Murder

Israel attacks and kills unarmed Palestinians demonstrating against the occupation of their country by Israel and somehow the Israeli Government is the good guy?
Israeli military attacks and kills 25 Iranians in Syria and after Iran responds in kind, Israel attacks and kills more Iranians in Syria but Iran is the bad guy? 
Israel militarily occupies it's neighbour for 70 years, building a wall that incarcerates a whole population and invading at will but the Palestinians are at fault?
Israel builds apartments on occupied land in defiance of United Nation Resolutions and have broken
65 UN resolutions but never face any UN action?
Israel has a secret nuclear weapon program and up to 400 nuclear warheads but nobody is issuing threats of sanctions?
America has blocked 43 UN Resolutions against Israel using their veto but America want to be seen as a honest broker?


Am i missing something here or is Israel literally getting away with murder with America backing?

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Lucy Museum of Musicians - Traveling Wilburys

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

Traveling Wilburys 
Qualifying Songs: End of the line, Handle With Care, Last Night

Tom Petty is already in the museum in his own right as is Jeff Lynn with ELO but they each get a second entry as the supergroup Traveling Wilbury's. 
A real 'Supergroup' consisting of Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and George Harrison, they were only around for a short time and released just two albums and five singles but as you would expect from such a talented line up, they were all excellent even if they never cracked the top 20 in the UK. 
The video to 'End of the Line' has the Wilbury's sat in a train carriage and the rhythm does seem to have a train rhythm to it with Petty singing the verses.
'Handle With Care' was the bands first song and has George Harrison taking lead vocals but it is Roy Orbison's sections that really sets the song off.   
'Last Night' is a reggae-tinged song with Petty and Orbison on vocals about a guy who has a one-night stand with a woman who robs him at knifepoint.
Quite shocking that three of the five Wilburys are now dead but as Petty said: 'It was a bunch of friends that just happened to be really good at making music', if only they had spelt travelling right though.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Read This If You Plan To Set Fire To A Flag

The Flag burners are back on our TV Screens and they even had a good old stars and stripes bonfire in the Iranian Parliament which was outrageous as the flag burned so quick that they didn't even get to finish the first chant of 'Death To America' before it had burnt up.
If you are going to set fire to an America flag then you should do a bit of research as you don't want to be made to look stupid in front of the World's media by lighting a flag and it either not burning or going up in a flash.
I asked a textiles expert if you were going to get a good flame going on Old Glory, what fabric is the professional flag burners choice?
The ones to avoid are Spandex, Polyester and Nylon as they tend to melt and you don't get much of a flame although Acrylic, Acetate are better but not by much, the flame is the spluttering type and again it burns very rapidly.
A flag made of Wool would ignite very easy but also tend to go out and you don't really want to be fiddling around with a lighter in the middle of a baying crowd.
Cotton and Hemp also take well to a flame but again the flame is of the sputtering type which isn't very aesthetically pleasing so the expert has nailed it down to two types, Silk and a Rayon mix of half natural and half synthetic.
Both fabrics ignite quickly but importantly burn slower with a steady flame so giving you adequate opportunity to wave it around while reciting insulting things about Donald Trump's small penis hands before dropping it to the floor and grinding it into the dirt.
While the silk flags may be a bit more expensive, you will get a much more satisfying flame and burn and with so many American Flags being burnt in the Middle East, you want to give yourself the best opportunity of attracting the news cameras.

Lucy Museum of Musicians - Train

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

Train 
Qualifying Songs:
50 Ways To Say Goodbye, Drive By, Drops of Jupiter

Strangely, i was a Train fan without even realising it. I really liked 'Drops of Jupiter', '50 Ways to Say Goodbye' and 'Drive By' but never realised they were all by the same band until surfing through YouTube one day and coming across the Train channel.
'50 Ways To Say Goodbye' has a mariachi type feel to it and is a song about the singer saying his girlfriend died in a variety of ways rather than admit she dumped him which doesn't sound great i admit but it's a fantastic upbeat song.
'Drive By' is in the same mould, the sort of catchy song that it is impossible to not tap along to or sing the chorus.
Not that it's obvious but 'Drops of Jupiter' i found out years later, is about someone dying and coming 'back in the atmosphere' for a visit and was inspired by the death of the singers mother. The chorus is very catchy and the song has put in several appearances in the UK charts, a nice song and the fifth planet from the Sun doesn't get sung about enough in my opinion.
I guess it's not much of a compliment to Train that i didn't even know who they were and that it was their songs i liked but i'm sure they don't mind. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Awful Decision From An Awful President

The BBC correspondent, straight after Donald Trump announced the US would be exiting from the Iran Nuclear Deal, said that he didn't believe that Donald Trump understood what the Iran deal was otherwise he wouldn't have just done what he did.
That he is an ignorant buffoon is undeniable, but that he actually believes that by pulling out of the deal which was working that he is making things better, then he is more ignorant than even any of us believed.
The American correspondent on Sky News believed that he did it for two reasons, one that he promised he would do it on the campaign trail and is now boxed into a corner that he had to do it and because he is desperate to undo everything good that Obama did and the Iran agreement was the pinnacle of his predecessor administration.
We could very soon find out what chaos the cretin's decision will unleash in the Middle East and in global affairs at large but we do know that most of what he said was flat out lies.
That he used the Israeli 'evidence' as justification, evidence which has been widely discredited by the IAEA and UN and all the other partners in the JCPOA would be laughable if the consequences were not so important, especially as the IAEA has been constantly inspecting Iran and have said nine times in two years that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb and has no program to do so.
That the equally ridiculous Israeli and Saudi Arabian leaders were the only ones to agree with the American President shows exactly how little support he has, the EU President along with Macron in France and Merkel in Germany and May in the UK have already said that they planned to continue abiding by the agreement in defiance of Trump's latest madness and Russia and China have recently signed massive commercial deals with Iran worth hundreds of billions of pounds so they won't be deterred.
Trump has removed the only measures in place preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and after also backing out of the Climate Change agreement, the rest of the World must ignore the idiot in the White House because its fine when he is fouling up America but he is starting to leech outside North America and pollute the rest of the World with his atrocious actions and if war breaks out, this is exactly where the blame should go, straight to this moronic Presidents door.

Lucy Museum of Musicians - Tom Petty

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

Tom Petty 
Qualifying Songs: American Girl, Into The Great Wide Open, You Don't Know How It Feels

For some reason Tom Petty wasn't as big as he should have been over here in the UK, when he died i had plenty of people saying they knew the name but couldn't name any of his songs.
I saw him on the Old Grey Whistle Test sometime in the early 80s singing 'American Girl' and then he fell off the radar for a few years and although he rarely troubled the UK Charts, he would keep popping up on various music shows in the late 80s and early 90s intermittently much to my delight even if it seemed most British people used his appearance as a chance to go out to the kitchen and put the kettle on.
'American Girl' has a catchy jangling guitar riff and a great guitar solo at the end which dies away far too quickly but only reached number 40 in the UK Charts at the time.
Radio stations tied themselves up in knots over the slower-tempo 'You Don't Know How It Feels' and the line 'let's roll another joint', playing the word 'joint' backwards until Petty recorded another sanitised version with the word 'roll' replaced with 'hit' although why it only made 119 in the UK Charts is less to do with one word being replaced and more to do with cloth-earred DJ's not recognising a brilliant song.
'Into the Great Wide Open' wasn't even released in the UK and it is another slower affair so Tom Petty always remained one of the singers that only the cool kids knew about until he died then everyone said, 'Oh i always liked him, erm, what did he sing again?'
He is all over the radio now that he has died but it's too late because a lot of us were liking him way before the radio stations decided decades too late that he was worthy of some air time.

Eurovision 2018: Semi-Fnal 1

As Portugal had the best song in Europe in 2017, they get to host the competition to find the best song in Europe this year and tonight is the first semi-final with 19 nations fighting over the 10 available spaces in Saturdays Grand Final.
Two of the songs i have tipped to win the whole shebang are singing tonight with Israel and the Czech Republic hoping they are not a victim of what can be some very random voting by the European public.
The Israel song is very catchy but the weird chicken noises in the chorus give it an air of 'we are not taking this too seriously' which the Eurovision pretends it's too serious for now so could hold it back when they total up the points from the professional musicians jury.
The Czech Republic song is a slick, Bruno Mars-esque tune and the sort of song generally does well but the voting is so weird and wonderful that anything could happen.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Lucy Museum of Musicians - The Sweet

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

The Sweet
Qualifying Songs: Ballroom Blitz, Teenage Rampage, Wig Wam Bam

As mentioned in the T-Rex entry, i was late to the glam rock party as i had poo-pooed large swathes of the 70s as a DISCO hell compete with flares and glitter balls so discovering The Sweet was a nice bonus.
Apparently they had tried several genres and been sacked by numerous record companies and after failing to become a pop band in the mould of the Monkees, put on make-up and did a more rock orientated sound which was a stroke of luck as glam rock had just landed.
'Ballroom Blitz' is a very catchy up-tempo song with fast guitars and fast drumming and was inspired by a time the band were driven offstage by a barrage of bottles, probably during their Bee Gees phase if they had such a thing in which case they deserved it.
'Teenage Rampage' is very similar to Ballroom Blitz and is probably still referencing the time when the 'something in the air' was bottles of Tizer bouncing off their noggins as they ran off the stage chased by angry flare trousered youths with huge shirt collars.
'Wig Wam Bam' is a decent rock song telling the story of Hiawatha not bothering much about Minnehaha until she took him to the silver stream and then according to the song there was some bamming in the Wig Wam.
Now if only i could get Johnny Depp, a Wig Wam and directions to this silver stream then i'm all set.

Ignoring America

The mood music coming from the EU regarding The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, is that if Donald Trump decides to remove the USA from it, the UK, Russia, France, China, Germany and the EU will just carry on without them.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the organisation tasked with monitoring the use of nuclear technology, confirmed last month that Iran was fulfilling its obligations and Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has said that 'The Europeans have made it very clear to us and to the United States that they intend to do their utmost to ensure survival of the deal'.
The EU has already indicated that it will 'protect our legitimate interests with all the means at our disposal' which includes the same 'Blocking Statute' which the EU used in the 1990s in response to the Clinton administration’s sanctions against Iran.
The EU has also announced that as The JCPOA is a United Nations Security Council resolution, 'It is not a bilateral agreement. It does not belong to any single country and it is not up to any single country to terminate it'.
As the six remaining partners and the IAEA Inspection team agree that Tehran is in full compliance, Trump removing the USA from it will not have any effect as the concerned countries will refuse to comply with any sanctions the US look to impose and isolate Washington, significantly damage its credibility to negotiate future agreements, such as the North Korea deal.
The question i would ask if why America is so keen to scrap the deal which keeps Iran under the cosh and will only lead to escalating tensions and inevitable conflict between Iran and America and probably Israel but then initiating a bit of wide-scale death and destruction on trumped up charges in a Middle Eastern country never stopped either of them before.
It is down to the EU, UK, Russia, France, China and Germany to make sure that America and Israel don't get the war with Iran that they are so obviously hankering after.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

The Laws of Time Travel

Up until now my greatest achievement with my time machine was going to the Patent Office in Bern in 1904 and handing the lowly Patent Clerk with the bad hair an explanation of the Special Theory Of Relativity although i had to go back a further time to tell him it's E=mc2 and not E=mcmc, dummkopf.
Anyway, that turned out okay in the end but as another academic year draws to a close, an elite group of scientists and i plan to spend August putting right things that once went wrong as i explained next June.  
The biggest problem with time travel is that things can go horribly wrong when we travel backwards, forwards, or sideways in time so as HG Wells is the most notable authority on Time Travel i could think of, i invited him to come up with the Laws of Time Travel to provide a helpful guide for anyone who finds themselves travelling in time.

Law 1) Don't Kill Anyone
Since half the humans who have ever lived are alive today, most of the people in the past are related to people in the present in some way and you will have no way of knowing who is a descendant of yours so you could find yourself either blinking out of existence or even worse stuck in a paradox loop if the person you killed turns out to be an ancestor of someone who helped invent your time machine so to stay safe, don't kill anyone.

Law 2) Don't Change The Long-Ago
Changing the past too far back in the past is generally held to not be a good idea as you don't know what the repercussions could be. What if you go back to Prehistoric times and somehow prevented the first fish that crawled onto the land or turn up at the Great Fire of London and helped put out the fire before it burned down all the buildings which stopped the Black Death which rather then ending there would in turn flourish and kill more people, one of which could be a descendant of yours or someone who helped invent your time machine and Law 1 is back in the game. 

Law 3) Avoid Meeting Yourself
Go back 25 years and as far as the younger you is concerned, they are meeting your older self for the first time and hearing what will happen in the next 25 years. The danger is the younger you will assume that their future is predetermined and may not do the future things that bought you to the situation where you could go back 25 years to tell them in which case the meeting wouldn't happen and your past would change and you wouldn't have a time machine and you are once again stuck in the Law 1 paradox loop and even worse, stuck 25 years in the past with your younger, whinier self.

Law 4) Don't Say Anything
Since every action has an equal and unintended reaction, it is best not to say anything when you're in the past or the future.
If you let slip something that changes the course of future events then the consequences could be terrible. Imagine letting slip the words 'World War 2' just after World War 1 had ended or discussed 'Climate Change' before the inventions that the Industrial Revolution gave us such as the internal combustion engine or the components for your time machine and yep, hello Law 1 and that damned
paradox loop again.

Law 5) Travel Forward Rather Than Backwards
As doing anything in the past may very well have unintended consequences on the present and that frustrating Law 1, you can mess about with the future as much as you like as it hasn't happened yet and if you mess up, you can just come back to the present and not do the thing that messed up the future.

I don't know if Mr Wells had any more time travel laws but it was at this point that i congratulated him on the Invisible Man book and asked him where he got such a brilliant idea of a scientist who invents a way to change the way the body reflects light so that he becomes invisible and after successfully carrying out this procedure on himself, fails in his attempt to reverse it. 
It was when he grabbed his notepad and said: 'That would make a brilliant novel' that i realised i has said too much and made my excuses and left.
Oops, at least there was no paradox loop implications even if i must apologise to Bram Stoker who was meant to write that book, sorry.

Lucy Museum of Musicians - Talking Heads

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

Talking Heads -
Qualifying Songs: And She Was, Once In A lifetime, Road to Nowhere

Talking Heads always seemed one of those secrets that some people in the know knew about but not much anyone else. Not being one of the cool kids i didn't notice them until 1985-ish and the song 'Road to Nowhere' when i went back and listened to the earlier stuff and pretty much unimpressed, forgot about them again.
With time i have grown to appreciate a few of their other songs, 'And She Was' which according to Wikipedia is about a woman out of her head on drugs and floating above the neighbourhood. 
'Once In a Lifetime' is a lot less druggy and is mostly Byrne talking over what sounds like a Sci-fi backing track but it's the lyrics in this one that appeals, the existential crisis of all the things accumulated (a large car, a beautiful house, a beautiful wife) and the question 'How Did I Get Here?' 
It's the drumbeat to 'Road To Nowhere' that draws me to it although i like the lyrics which are about taking a joyful trip towards death which is the nowhere making it the most cheerfully miserable song ever. 
Apart from these three i still think i was right to ignore the rest, the gems in a steaming pile of pile of meh and i surprised myself that they qualified but only by the skin of David Byrne's skinny Scottish neck.
I think i will put them at the back of the museum, somewhere near the toilets.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

No Winners But UKIP Are The Losers

The results of the local election's are now all in and of the big three parties, the Conservatives lost 2 Councils, Labour ended with the exact same number they started with and the Lib Dems gained 4 so it is fascinating to hear what the Party leaders had to say about it.
Theresa May said the result showed that the Tories 'are revitalised', Jeremy Corbyn said it shows that 'Labour are Back' while Vince Cable said it was 'a big breakthrough' for his Liberal Democrat Party.
With the turnout between 26% to 36%, only a third of eligible voters bothered to cast a vote so the fact that not much changed is expected with only the hardcore party members stepping over to the ballot box but they can't all claim a victory. 
That the Conservatives have been a complete shambles and are currently in the teeth of a storm over the Windrush crisis, the fact that they have not been turfed out of Councils up and down the country must seem like some sort of victory but they still ended the night worse off then they started it, so hardly revitalising.
With the Government in such disarray, Labour should be turning over the Conservatives at every step but they aren't, they are treading water so not back but plateauing if anything.
Of anyone it is the Liberal Democrats who come out of it with crowing rights but after their decimation at the last election, they are starting from such a low base that they could hardly sink any lower so just adding 4 councils to the few they already held is hardly making a ripple nationwide.
No winners then but the biggest losers were UKIP who never had any councils to start with but pretty much lost any councillors they had and to lose the closet racists and fruitcakes from out politics should never a bad thing.

Naming The Planets

Human history is a story of one group of people invading and taking over another. If you look at Religion you can trace how one God became assimilated into the new group, for example the story of Jesus in Christianity is based on the Mithra in Roman mythology who was himself absorbed into the religion from the Mithra in the Mesopotamian religion who was the original deity with 12 disciples,  and was born in a stable with shepherds for company.
An even more stark example of this journey of gods through religions is the history of the Planets names.     
The five Planets that can be seen with the naked eye were first named by the Mesopotamian's who lived in West Asia until they were conquered by the Greeks and Alexander the Great with the Greeks themselves conquered by the Romans.
The Mesopotamian's named the nearest planet to the Sun Nabu after their God of literacy. Post invasion, the Greeks replaced the name Nabu with their own messenger God, Hermes, until the Romans absorbed the Greek religion into their own and changed the Planets name to Mercury, their own god of messages and communication.
The second planet we know by the Roman name of Venus who was god of love and beauty was previously known in Greece by the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, who was the replacement for the Mesopotamian God Inanna, also a goddess of love and beauty.
Nergal was the Mesopotamian god of war, as was Ares in the Greek mythology and also Mars of the Roman persuasion.
Jupiter began life as Marduk the Mesopotamian King of the gods but before becoming Jupiter he was the Greek God Zeus, the Father of Gods before the Romans renamed it after their own King of the Gods.
The fifth known planet to the Mesopotamian's at the time was called Ninurta, named after their God of farming, and hunting which the Greeks renamed Cronus, their own god of the Harvest and which the Romans changed into Saturn, their God of agriculture.
The discovery of the other planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (now no longer a planet) followed the tradition of naming after Greek and Roman Gods but it shows that even something as simple as naming the Planets has been a journey through the history of wars with the victor doing their utmost to erase the vanquished nations religion by rewriting and enforcing their own with the consequence of what we call the Planets who, if things had turned out differently, would be called Nabu, Ianna, Nergal, Marduk and Ninurta.

Trump The Deluded Gun Nut

I think i just heard Donald Trump say the solution to London's knife crime is guns, or that the reason the knife crime is happening is because Londoners are not armed to the back teeth with guns.
It's not easy to understand what his point is but just because he and his fellow gun nuts are happy with the trade off of their school-children getting gunned down in their classrooms by maniacs with legally owned guns, that it should be the blueprint for everywhere else?
The knives used in London to kill are illegal, they are banned but the guns used to murder tens of thousands every year in America are legally owned and because of bat-shit crazy gun laws, can be bought in shops alongside cornflakes and coffee.
His argument to reduce the amount of school killings was to bring even more guns into schools which shows the level of intelligence we are dealing with here.
That he even went down the even more screwball argument of cars kill so should we be banning cars shows just how weak the argument is by the deluded gun nuts over there.
Maybe Trump should stick to worrying about lying about his affairs and paying off porn stars and leave the proper arguments to the grown-ups because if anyone even contemplates the god awful example of American gun laws then they are not fit for office, and if ever anyone isn't fit for office, it's him and the self-deluded gun owners who agree with him who put their right to own a gun above the right to not become one of the 30,000 annual victims dying of that same right.

Lucy Museum of Musicians - T-Rex

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

T-Rex
Qualifying Songs: 20th Century Boy, Children Of The Revolution, Hot Love

When i was a kid in Portsmouth a rumour went around that one of the drivers on the local bus was Marc Bolan's brother but it was the very early 80s and i was more concerned with getting to see ET and dreaming about what George Michael was doing.
It wasn't until much later and after i discovered that i was very much barking up the wrong tree with George Michael that i came across T-Rex and realised i may have been grumpily showing my bus pass every morning to someones famous brother.
As a latecomer to the joys of T-Rex and the whole glam rock thing altogether, having earlier dismissed anything 70s that wasn't punk as a spangly flare wearing DISCO tinged hell, i found a whole bunch of bands that i had previously ignored, one of which was T-Rex.
'Hot Love' is a simple song with repetitive lyrics and is about 2 minutes too long but wow it's effective, a guaranteed ear worm.
'20th Century Boy' has a much rougher edge to it with fat riffs as does 'Children of the Revolution' but it seems that when it came to writing lyrics Bolan hardly came to it at all. 
If only his brother had worn a pink feather boa and sparkly make up on his face when he drove the number 18 around Portsmouth then i may have taken a bit more notice at the time.

Happy Birthday To You Karl Marx

If Karl Marx was alive today he would be blowing out the candles on his 200th Birthday cake but he only made it to 64 before as Friedrich Engels said: 'He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep—but forever'.
One of the most famous Germans ever, Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetery surrounded by so many other famous people that for £8 (£4 for children), you can go on a guided tour of all the famous graves in the cemetery.
In 'Marx corner', are other famous Communists and Socialists such as Claudia Jones, Ralph Miliband, Malcolm McLaren, Michael Foot, Herbert Spencer, Mansoor Hekmat, Yusuf Dadoo, Saad Saadi Ali, Chris Harman and Paul Foot.
Other famous people are Michael Faraday, Douglas Adams, George Eliot, Max Wall, Patrick Caulfield and Jeremy Beadle but the father of Communism is the main attraction with an impressively large 10 foot headstone and the words 'Workers of All Lands Unite' in gold lettering on the plinth.
I am sure that the irony of having to pay to get into the most Communist cemetery in Britain would not have been lost on the people who raged against capitalism and said that working people had nothing to lose but their chains, and now also eight pound to gawp at their headstones.

Friday, 4 May 2018

The New Arsenal Manager Is...

It's only been a couple of weeks since Arsenal announced that Arsène Wenger will step down as manager after 22 years in charge, but the speculation as to who will replace him has already reached fever pitch.
There are plenty of names in the mix: legendary former players like Patrick Viera and Thierry Henry,  big-name managers like Carlo Ancelotti and Max Allegri and young coaches, like Mikel Arteta, unproven in managerial roles.
According to odds from Betfair, Zeljko Buvac is currently in poll position, but he hasnt managed since 2001 and has been Jurgen Klopp's second for the past 17 years and speaks English like i speak Bosnian, not at all.  
Carlo Ancelotti is the second favourite and he would be a safe paiur of hands and has not only managed in England before but won the double with Chelsea.
Third choice is Massimiliano Allegri, the current Juventus manager and where the Gunners fans eyes are looking towards, a proven track record with a big club and has guided to Juventus to successive Serie A titles and two Champions League finals.
Eddie Howe is in the mix but he has no big club experience and stepping up from a small time family club like Bournemouth to Arsenal would be considered a step too far.
Brendan Rodgers annoyingly continues to be linked but that's a non starter, a big fat raspberry to that one.
Luis Enrique and slipped from favour although he has experience of managing big clubs, winning the treble with Barcelona but stinking out Roma when he managed there and he is reported to want a minimum of £200m to spend on players and that just isn't going to happen. 
Joachim Low is still a contender and he's a World Cup Winner and as Arsenal has a large German contingent, would seem to be a great fit apart from not managing at club level since 2004.
Monaco's Leonardo Jardim is an outsider and he has a great record of handling some of Europe's emerging talent into an attractive team that won Ligue 1 and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.
The Arsenal fans i have spoken to are looking pleadingly towards Allegri and looking daggers at Brendan Rodgers.

Lucy Museum of Musicians - Sum 41

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

Sum 41
Qualifying Songs: Fat Lip, Motivation, Pain For Pleasure

Not easy to classify the genre Sum 41 came under, pop punk seems to lump them in with the likes of Green Day and Offspring and they are not in that class but let's go with that until we think of something else. 
Their music was a throwback to the days of punk, short fast frantic bursts of big chords and a bit of attitude and 'Pain For Pleasure' albeit far too short, has all of that though it tends to lean more towards the hair metal bands of the 80s.
The 'Pain For Pleasure' song is sometimes tagged onto the end of the music video for 'Fat Lip' which is just about larking about as a teenager and getting punched in the mouth (hence the Fat Lip) which looking at singer Deryck Whibley's face, must have happened quite a bit in his formative years.
That he managed to hook and marry the beautiful Avril Lavigne is a case of punching above his weight in the Billy Joel league. 
'Motivation' is just one gloriously big dirty riff from start to finish and apparently about being self-centred, demotivated and being too lazy to look for motivation to do anything but if your ornaments are not bouncing off the shelves and your windows aren't shaking loose then you are just not playing it at the required volume to do it justice.

He Was Doing What To A What Now?

Some people love cars, but some men LOVES cars such as a Kansas man who has been treated in hospital after police found him trying to have sex with a car.
Officers found the 24-year-old naked underneath the vehicle, attempting to interfere with the exhaust pipe but when the man failed to respond to orders to stop, officers used a stun gun to subdue him.
The obvious two questions which form in the mind are why and how but we know the answer to the latter and it might be better if we don't dwell too much on the former except to say that he really, REALLY likes his car, if indeed it was his own car.

Reluctantly, Jeremy Must Go

I like Jeremy Corbyn, i like what he stands for and a bit of Socialism is exactly what this country needs as the wealth gap widens but i can't help thinking that all the time he is the Labour Party leader, he hasn't got the required pull on voters to overthrow the Conservative Party.
With one of the worst Governments i can ever remember, and with the country in dire straits, Labour should be a shoe in to remove Theresa May and her band of not so merry men and women but the pollsters have the two main parties neck and neck and last nights local elections show that the electorate are not shifting towards Corbyn's party and that's worrying.
With a minus Midus touch, it seems that everything the Conservative's have touched for the past decade has fallen to pieces and for Labour to not capitalise amidst the swirling Windrush immigration furore should concentrate a few minds at the Labour Headquarters.
After 8 years of Conservative rule, the country is creaking at the seams from the underfunding of the NHS, the cuts in funding to public services and the slashing of the Civil Service.
If Labour can't brush aside the Conservatives now, then i can't see them ever doing it unless they replace the leader with someone more palatable to the electorate.
I'm sorry Jeremy, i think you are great but unfortunately not enough of us share that view to get you elected and in eight years, the Conservatives have run the country into the ground so we really can't afford another five years if Labour fail to overthrow them at the next election so fall on your sword Jeremy, for the good of the country.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Lucy Museum of Musicians - The Stranglers

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

The Stranglers
Qualifying Songs: Get a Grip On Yourself, Golden Brown, No More Heroes

At their height The Stranglers were as notorious as the Sex Pistols, drug busts, jail time for possession of heroin, fighting with either journalists, themselves or the audience and on one occasion the entire band were incarcerated in France for inciting a riot.
In a career spanning four decades, The Stranglers are one of the longest-surviving bands to emerge from the heady days of punk which shows a nice evolution of their music.  
Headed by the still angry Hugh Cornwell and equally punchy Bassist Jean-Jacques Buyrnel, both of who could start a fight in an empty room, the early Stranglers music was stroppy and the lyrics were almost spat at you as with 'Get a grip on Yourself' with it's keyboards running up and down the scales with great effect in the background.
More of the same on the 'No More Heroes' song which has lyrics sang in a gloriously irritable way referring to several infamous historical figures, including Leon Trotsky, Elmyr de Hory and Lenny Bruce although i'm not sure what William Shakespeare and fictional character Sancho Panza of Don Quixote fame did to be dragged into it.
'Golden Brown' was the big hit, a waltz if you please, and is the only song i can name which has a harpsichord in which isn't as bad as it sounds because it is a great song and constant rumours that it was about heroin were finally confirmed by Cornwell in 2011 but as everyone thought it was anyway it was like confirming what bears do in the woods and that the Pope's hat is indeed hilarious.

More Flat Earther Nonsense

Another day, another bunch of flat Earthers breaking news that we have been blind to, such as yesterdays revelation from the Flat Earth Convention that gravity doesn't exist.
I have always been suspicious about the whole things falling to Earth thing but now not only have we been duped about gravity but now that 2,500 mile wide Island between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the one we have been unwittingly calling Australia, isn't there either.
The country of 24 million people which has given us Kylie, Nicole Kidman, Mad Max, Neighbours, Prisoner Cell Block H, Paul Hogan, Home and Away and bent sticks that you throw, is not real and was created as a cover-up for a mass murder by the British after they shipped criminals into the middle of the ocean in the 18 century and drowned them.
According to the theory, all those Australians currently living there are just Government actors and computer-generated personas, part of the plot to trick the world.
In just two days, the Flat Earthers have opened our eyes to Gravity and Australia so we can scratch Isaac Newton and Captain Cook from our history books and never be bothered by dropping things and hats with corks on them ever again but if there is no Australia then just who has been stuffing us at cricket and rugby for the past 50 years?

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Lucy Museum of Musicians - Status Quo

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

Status Quo 
Qualifying Songs: Down Down, Rockin' All Over The World, Whatever You Want

Like some in this museum already mentioned, some bands discover a tune which brings chart success and then every subsequent song follows the same basic rhythm which Status Quo readily acknowledged, naming their final album 'The Search For The Fourth Chord' in reference to
the fact that the vast majority of their songs only used three.
Perhaps their finest hour came when they opened Live Aid to an audience of hundreds of millions across the planet in 1985, with 'Rockin' All Over the World', a cover of a song given the Quo rock treatment. 
'Down Down' was The Quo's only number one in the UK and was unmistakably Quo from the first lick of the intro, an up-tempo song with a bit more of a rougher edge than normal.
'Whatever You Want' is another speeded up 12 bar blues tune which became the Status Quo signature but it worked for them, they found their groove early on and it is almost impossible to listen to a Status Quo song and not tap your foot along to it.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Lucy Museum of Musicians - Sex Pistols

Qualification to The Lucy Museum of Musicians who deserve entry to Lucy's Museum of Musicians is they must have a minimum of three songs which would make me turn up the radio if they came on.

Sex Pistols
Qualifying Songs: Anarchy in the UK, Bodies, Pretty Vacant

Hard to think of a band who achieved so much in such a short time but within the year that they were around, the Sex Pistols changed everything and influenced so many others.
Cramming a whole career into 12 short months the Sex Pistols influence is still reverberating today and 'Anarchy in the UK' sums up the whole Punk thing sweetly, a pounding three and half minutes of amazingly angry noise and snarling lyrics.
If anything, 'Bodies' is an even angrier song and the fastest and heaviest song in the Sex Pistols back catalogue and based on a true story about a fan who turned up once at John Lydon's door wearing nothing but a clear plastic bag and holding an aborted foetus in a clear plastic bag. 
With it's constant swearing and subject matter it's never going to appear on the BBC's Desert Island Discs but it's pure Sex Pistols.
I always had my suspicions that 'Pretty Vacant', with Rotten's emphasis on the second syllable of Vacant, was just a way to squeeze out a swearword on the radio. The video took three days to film as the band were thrown out of the studio for throwing cans of lager at the cameramen and according to bassist Glen Matlock, the song's main riff was based on 'S.O.S.' by ABBA.
Everything the Sex Pistols did laid the foundation of generations of musicians to come and as in that infamous Bill Grundy interview, they were indeed very clever boys.