Thursday, 31 March 2016

Me, Hawking And Depp

I have often wondered the moral implications of packing together all the right wing politicians of this planet, jamming them into a huge rocket and firing them to a faraway planet where they could make as much war and pollution as they wanted.
Then i think, stuff it, they can stay here on the planet they ruined and i will jet off to a nice clean World free of their stupid ideals.
Seems that i may have some company on my trip as Stephen Hawking has been having the same thought.
The World renown cosmologist has said that colonising planets far from Earth is crucial for the human species to survive in the longer-term. The nuclear threat, advanced biological weapons, climate change and dumb leaders are all making our future prospects decidedly iffy.
That's the plan then, lets flesh out the bones with the details.
First, we are going to need some serious transport as with the present vehicles it would take 50,000 years to get to the nearest star.
Hawking has considered this and suggests an antimatter drive that could get us there in six years at close to the speed of light.
Okey dokey, so any destination in mind? The European Space Agency are actively looking for habitable planets by analysing their atmospheres and have discovered s many as 40 billion Earth sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of Sun like stars and red dwarf stars within the Milky Way galaxy.
That's that sorted then. Now we just need some men to help repopulate the new planet. Hmm, how to get hold of Johnny Depp's telephone number.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Clinton And The Aliens

I have often said that if the hackers want to do something decent, they should get into whoever runs Area 51 and have a rummage through those files.
Turns out they don't need to because Hillary Clinton is going to do it anyway if she becomes President.
Mrs Clinton said: 'I would like us to go into those files and hopefully make as much of that public as possible. If there’s nothing there then let’s let people know there’s nothing there. If there is something there, unless it’s a threat to national security, I think we ought to share it with the public'.
Darn tootin' Mrs C, if they have extra-terrestrials stowed away there let's take a peek, aliens like those that crashed a spacecraft in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
Of course it may just have been a weather balloon like they said and this is just a clever ruse by the Clinton team to gain votes but America isn't my country so i don't care who gets to run it or what they do with it, Clinton is promising to show us aliens and i am that shallow to say i'd vote for her now.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Stay There Dave

Britain does have its critics and justifiably so in some cases but nobody can doubt our sense of humour.
A petition has been raised to prevent prime minister David Cameron from re-entering the country following his Easter holiday in Lanzarote and has been signed by over 22,000 people.
Cameron is currently on holiday with wife Samantha on the Spanish island - where on his previous visit two years ago he was hilariously stung by a jellyfish following what he deemed 'a tough week' dealing with the fallout from Iain Duncan Smith's resignation.
However, a petition to be delivered to home secretary Theresa May, would prefer it if Cameron did not return from his trip.
It reads: 'David Cameron presents a clear and present danger to the short, medium and long term interests of the country. As such, the UK should institute a temporary ban on his return to Britain at the conclusion of his holiday in Lanzarote.'
Great stuff, sorry Spain but you may have to keep him there, just keep him away from any pig farms.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Clocks Go Forward

Today is Easter Sunday. Happy Easter.
It also marked the bi-annual changing of the clocks so this time they went forward and we all lost an hour but in a remarkable error, i accidentally got carried away and put the clocks forward to 2018. Doh!
As i am here i decided to take a look around and buy a newspaper to catch up with what is happening in 2018.

The newspaper headline was 'Record numbers of American's are sneaking into Mexico for jobs. Trump builds wall to keep them in' which answered my question about who won the Presidency race. 
On the inside page was a piece about archaeologists finding the missing final page from the bible which says 'all characters are fictional and any resemblance with anyone living or dead is coincidental'.
The 2018 Helsinki Climate Summit ended with an agreement to sign a pledge to hold another meeting to consider changing course at a date yet to be determined' and in a surprising turn up, Osama Bin Laden sent out a new video to prove he was still alive.
In it he mentions Liverpool's poor run of form which has seen them slip down the league recently but British intelligence dismissed it saying: 'That could have been recorded anytime in the last 8 years'.
I just had time to read that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was excited when the newest British city was to be named after him until someone pointed out that there was already a place called Twatt in the Orkney Islands.

God Given Right To Bear Arms

Our media does like to point at American gun laws and give a sneer of condescension, a 'what are they like' type thing so that's why whenever some gun nut shows up we like to slip it in as a funny bit at the end of the bulletin so this morning there was a man in a cowboy hat and dungarees babbling something about Cleveland, Ohio and how they are being stopped taking guns into a gun free zone.
'We are being denied our God-given rights to carry handguns or assault weapons in public,' mumbled the gentleman doing more than a passing resemblance of Lennie from 'Of Mice and Men'.
The piece ended with the usual grin of 'Americans and their guns, what are they like' type expression before moving onto the weather and Storm Katie that is due to blow down everybodies fence tonight.
Intrigued how the rights to be stupid carry a gun is 'God Given', i googled it and found that far from being a chapter in the Bible that only Americans seem to have, it stems from the American Constitution which gives the 'right to self-defence' which is a natural right which is bestowed upon everyone by God, therefore the right can be said to be God Given as they have chosen automatic weapons to defend themselves. 
Some may say it is another example of religion making the loopy even loopier but even worse it is making the loopy even more loopier but arming them with powerful assault weapons and what would us Europeans we do to fill the final minutes of news programmes if they weren't because Donald Trump latest crackpot musings aren't going to be around forever.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Safer From Terrorism In Western Europe Today

At least 34 people were killed and up to 270 others wounded in the terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday morning, responsibility for which was claimed by Isis.
According to a report from Statista, the frequency and scale of terrorist attacks in Western Europe over the last four and a half decades shows that despite the notable attacks in Europe in the past 12 months, fewer people are killed by terror now than they were in the 1970s and 1980s.
The worst year for terrorist deaths came in 1980 when 420 died, then 1974 with 417 deaths, 1988 with 412 killed, 1972 when 400 died at the hands of terrorists and 1976 when 325 died.
Last year 146 people died, most prominently in the Paris attack in November, but although it is still a despairingly high number, it shows that we are less likely to die from the bombs and weapons of madmen and women today than we were back in the 70s and 80s.
That should be a sobering thought for those calling for more draconian measures and losses of our freedoms.

There Still Could Be A President Sanders

In the weekly Government cabinet meetings the Cabinet discuss International events and a leaked document shows that during a discussion on the US Election, Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, said that it was a possibility that 'a deeply dysfunctional character could
become the next President of the United States' which could prove a bit embarrassing for the Government if they do have to deal with a Donald Trump President in the future.
The smart money is they will be dealing with the first female American President but the 'It's Clinton's To Lose' crowd have been less vocal on the announcement that the Socialist Bernie Sanders has won overwhelming victories in Washington state and Alaska today, narrowing Hillary Clinton’s still significant lead in the race for delegates to win the Democratic nomination for President.  
Although she is still expected to romp home, albeit with less delegates than she expected, there is still a fly in the Clinton ointment that could see Sanders take on the dysfunctional orange one for the hot seat.
The wild card is that the FBI are in the midst of a full criminal investigation into Clinton over her use of a private email server while Secretary of State which could see her indicted on criminal charges.
If Hillary is indicted and then faces a criminal trial which is a possibility, those delegates that right now support her would be free to change their mind and support Sanders. 
I wouldn't put away that recording of the Red Flag just yet, European style Socialism may still be on it's way Stateside yet and the British Government can breathe easier.

Picking Our War Criminals

The UN Commissioner for Human Rights said that the conviction of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic shows that no one is above the law and 'No matter how powerful they are, no matter how untouchable they imagine themselves to be, no matter what continent they inhabit, the perpetrators of such crimes must know that they will not escape justice'.
If no-one is above the law does that mean that we will finally get to see the likes of George W Bush, Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney in the dock of The Hague?
Not to belittle Karadzic's actions which has rightly seen him jailed for killing thousands, but those
above have a death toll of over a million and started two wars of aggression but remain free to accumulate more wealth and even push for new military conflicts.
If they are not dragged kicking and screaming to trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity then the UN's Human Rights words are mere bluster and show that some perpetrators of such crimes CAN and DO escape justice.
Regardless of who you are, everyone should be treated equally under the law but what the Karadzic prosecution shows is that as long as you are on the side of the West, the people who not only started the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but blatantly lied to do it and which killed a million plus remain immune from prosecution despite what the UN say.

Stones In Havana

As Cuba opens up the first sounds of Western Music the citizens of Havana hear are The Rolling Stones who delivering a free 2 hour concert .
'We know that years back it was hard to hear our music in Cuba' singer Mick Jagger said to a crowd.
To be fair Cubans, i have heard the Rolling Stones music and with the exception of 'Paint It Black' and 'Sympathy For The Devil' you haven't missed much.

Friday, 25 March 2016

The Karadzic Farce

It was a long time in the making but the Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic has been convicted of genocide and sentenced to 40 years in prison but the 13 year hunt for the architect of the wars ethnic cleansing that led to the death of over 100,000 people was a farce.

Knowing defeat for his Bosnian Serbs was looming, Karadzic fled to the city of Srpska, 11 miles away from where Karadzic bought such horror and where 64,000 NATO troops were operating and where he lived for two years before the manhunt become too close for comfort and he fled.
NATO received word that the fleeing Karadzic’s car would be passing along a certain road and planned to use a concussion grenade to halt him but it could only work if the car was going less than 20 mph and the plan the best brains in NATO came up with was to get a soldier dressed in a monkey suit to leap out in front of it.
The idea was that the sight of a gorilla in central Bosnia would so confuse the driver that they would automatically slow to get a good look at it then they would storm the car and capture Karadzic.
Karadzic never showed up that day leaving a monkey suited soldier kicking his heels by the side of the road but we pick him up in Serbia where he next went into hiding and turned his hand to writing. While lying low, he managed to write several volumes of poetry, a novel, and a children’s book which won a a literary prize.
By the mid-2000s, Karadzic had moved on to Belgrade where he renting an apartment, changed his name to 'Dragan Dabic', grew long hair and a long beard.
Karadzic's apartment was directly opposite that of an Interpol employee of Interpol who was involved in the search for their neighbour and later explained during his two year stay there, they would often chat whilst passing in the hallway.
Under his Dragan Dabic guise, Karadzic retrained as a spiritual faith healer and opened a clinic, treated patients, attended medicine conventions, and gave lectures on faith healing. He even had a weekly column in a Serbian health magazine.
In 2008, the former warlords brother Luka accidentally used an old sim card which flagged up Karadzic's position and he was arrested boarding a bus to flee to a new hideout.
Nearly eight years after he was captured, the International Criminal Tribunal passed judgement on the monster who had once been the world’s most wanted man.
Darkly surreal and absurdly comic that one of the most hunted men on the planet managed to defy everyone by growing his hair and changing his name and even more alarming that managed to evade everyone while staying in plain sight and writing novels and a magazine column.

Next Meat Scandal Moves Closer

It is a sad fact that when they think nobody is looking, companies will try to get away with anything they can and sometimes they try it even when they are being watched so when a Government decides to pull back from regulating something, you know what will happen, we are still suffering the austerity of when the foot was eased on bank regulation.
Now the Conservatives in their wisdom are planning to repeal an array of official guidance on animal welfare standards, in effect leaving the meat and poultry industry to regulate itself.
The RSPCA have voiced concerns over animal welfare once the deregulation kicks in and reminded the Government of the horse meat scandal which happened under the noses of the Government and scrapping government standards risks undermining public confidence in the food we buy.  
This is a disingenuous move from the government in an industry which is regularly caught out disgustingly abusing their position without the releasing of the industries shackles that deregulation will bring.
Deregulation will lead to even more tainted meat, the mistreatment of animals and higher prices and a drop in quality.
Truly the fox guarding the hen-house but as a vegetarian, this could prove to be a huge boost for the meat-free cause and contribute to the meat producers own demise.
The Conservative plans are bad for animals, bad for people, bad for the food industry and bad for the planet and only this pitiful shower of a government could come up with such an awful situation where everybody loses.

Johnson Speaking Sense At Last

In the midst of the Brexit debate, Donald Trump has come down on the side of the leavers stating that he thinks that Britain will leave Europe.
Trump has weighed in saying he thinks the UK will abandon the EU in the light of 'craziness' over migration.
'I think Britain will separate from the EU' the Republican candidate said, 'I think that maybe it’s time,
especially in light of what’s happened with the craziness that’s going on with migration, with people pouring in from all over the place. I think that Britain will end up separating'. 
The man leading the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson, was less than impressed with the backing of the man due to contest the Presidency and replied 'I hope Hillary Clinton wins'.
I knew that if we waited long enough Boris would say something that we can all agree with.

The Real Story Of Easter

As we previously found out, almost every story in the Bible was pilfered from other, older religions that were knocking around at the time when the Early Christians cobbled together their new Christian religion.
So where did the Ned Flanders of the time steal the Easter story from?
They obviously heard the story of the Ancient Babylonian God 'Ishtar', the offspring of the moon-goddess and the sun-god who came into the world floating down the Euphrates river in a giant egg that fell from the Moon.
Ishtar had a child called Tammuz, immaculately conceived by the rays of the sun-god Baal, but Tammuz was killed by a wild boar while out hunting one day. Ishtar worshippers proclaimed a forty day period of time of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz.
Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made with rabbits (Tammuz had a particular fondness of rabbits for some reason) and eggs.
The truth is that the forty days of Lent, eggs and rabbits have everything to do with the ancient pagan religion of Ancient Babylon which the Christians pinched, replaced Ishtar with their own guy and hoped nobody would notice.
As for the actual crucifixtion and resurrection, choose from the Greek stories of Dionysus, Adonis or Persephone, Egyptian Osiris, Norse Odin or Lemminkainen who were all earlier religious figures who died and were resurrected long before the Christians decided they needed a similar story, threw in a wooden cross and a thorny crown and put in their newly written book.

Easter Bunny v Jesus

In our busy lives we don't often get the chance to sit down and reflect on the true meaning of Easter or the sacrifice of someone who gave their all for us.
Who? Don't be silly, it's the Easter Bunny. 
With the possible exception of Santa Claus himself, there is not a busier mammal on the face of the earth than the Easter Bunny. Once a year he hops into the home of hundreds of millions of boys and girls all over the World, dropping off chocolate eggs.
Despite the obvious similarities of their jobs, the Easter Bunny has always seemed a bit of a poor relation to Santa who has songs sung and films made about him. The only rabbit based film was Watership down and there wasn't a chocolate egg in sight and i have yet to hear a song asking if Africans know its Eastertime at all.
I have noticed over recent years that as they have already lost Christmas to Santa, the Church have tried to muscle in on the Easter holiday and replacing happy story of rabbits hiding chocolate eggs by Jesus being nailed to a plank of wood and dying for our sins before rising up from the grave Walking Dead style.
I for one think the Ned Flanders crowd are on a loser because when it comes to Christ dying for our sins or a large Easter bunny bringing chocolate, the make believe rabbit will beat the make believe 28 Days Later extra everytime.


Anti Asylum right wing politician Stefan Jagsch from the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) swerved off the road and collided with a tree in the German town of Büdingen.
It just happened that a coachload of Syrian refugees were passing the accident scene in a bus and rushed to the stricken man's aid, pulling the badly hurt politician from the wreckage and administering first aid.
Mr Jagsch who had recently been attacking Chancellor Merkel's laws on asylum for letting too many Syrian refugees into Germany, suffered two broken legs and a cut to the face as a result of the accident.
He must have also suffered a massive sense of conscience that the very people he tried so hard to keep out may very well have saved his life.
Don't you just love irony!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Religious Homophobia

In the 21st Century, the thought that anyone can still be homophobic is a strange one but there is a small clique of people that continue to cling to the idea that homosexuality is abnormal or corrupting, the religious.
The arguments used by Christians are simply a smokescreen to hide the underlying prejudice, which is plain old homophobia based on the belief that what the Bible says must take precedence over everything and if the Bible says something is wrong, in their eyes it is wrong.
When Copernicus put forward his theory of the Sun being at the centre of the solar system rather than the Earth, he was swiftly described as a heretic and contrary to the teaching of the Bible. Bible-believing Christians today continue to resist scientific consensus about the origins and age of the earth and universe.
They also continue to hold out against evolutionary theory despite overwhelming evidence and even still argue that our first ancestors were Adam and Eve.
To the Church going, the Bible is the first and final authority, which must always take precedence and it is this prejudice which explains why some Christians are so opposed to same sex-marriage and seek to deny them the same basic rights as the rest of us.
Sex marriage involves sexual activity which the Bible describes as abominable or abhorrent so they make claims that homosexuality is an affront to their God and a life-style choice, or a sickness which can be healed.
While most of us have happily shed those earlier held beliefs regarding evolution or Earth being at the centre of everything, the religious seem unable to re-think the part in the Bible that makes them uncomfortable about same sex marriage.
Maybe one day it will go the same way but as the last bastion of unashamed homophobia, we can only hope that it comes sooner rather than later and less emphasis is put on what people do in the bedroom because of an outdated and increasingly irrelevant ancient text.

Winning Lottery Numbers

My retirement plan is to win the lottery at some point in the next in the next 20 years and there may be so weeks which are better to win than others, such as a mega rollover week, but there are almost weeks when you think you may be thinking champagne but all you get is ribena.
Weeks such as this weeks where a fluke meant that Lotto ticket holders with five winning numbers won less than those who matched three numbers.
Lottery organiser Camelot earlier revealed that more than 4,082 punters had matched five of the six balls and won just £15 each of the pot set aside for five winning balls.
The winning Lotto numbers were 07, 14, 21, 35, 41, 42, and the bonus number was 43 which are obvious popular but there has been several thousand draws since the lottery began in 1994 so we should be able to see a pattern in the numbers drawn and the National Lottery has shared the top six most drawn Lotto balls.
The numbers to scratch on your card are 11, 23, 25, 31, 33 and 38 but now that they have thrown another 10 numbers in the mix the odds are matching all 6 one in 45 million which is still better than the Euromillions where the odds are one in 116 million.
As the advert says 'It Might Be You', but it most probably won't be.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Useful Advice

In light of the terrorist attack in Belgium, this could be a good time to repeat the actual advice given out by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) in November after the Paris attacks.
The report is designed to inform people about the best strategy to adopt in the event of a firearms or weapons attack.

1. Run
2. Hide
3. Call 999

This has been an advertisement on behalf of the bloody obvious Party just in case you ever find yourself in a firearms or weapons attack and are undecided between running like the clappers or approaching the terrorist and engaging them in meaningful dialogue regarding their actions.

Cuba Pre-Castro

Cuba has been much in the news the last few days and although Fidel Castro is no longer the man in charge, that honour goes to his brother Raul Castro,  it is Fidel who ran the country for most of the past five decades.
Vilified by some as a Communist tyrant, adored by others as a Socialist revolutionary, Cuba under the rule of Castro's '26th of July Movement' was very much different to that which Cubans lived under in the previous regime but was he worse than what preceded him?
The Cuba in the pre-Castro years was ruled over by President Fulgencio Batista who ran for President in 1952 but facing electoral defeat, he led a military coup and took control of the country.
Over the next six years, Batista's Government became increasingly corrupt and repressive and he opened his country to the American Mafia who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses.
High unemployment and falling living standards while he syphoned off millions to his personal bank account, growing discontent amongst the populace was met with widespread violent and oppressive crackdowns including torture and public executions resulting in the death of 20,000 citizens. Hundreds of mangled bodies were left hanging from lamp posts or dumped in the streets to serve as a warning against further insurrection.
In 1960 John F Kennedy said: Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Batista was destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries'.
The first Cuban revolutionaries were Fidel, Raul and Che Guevara who overthrew 'one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression' as the American administration called the Batista regime.
Things turned sour when Castro's threw in their lot with the Soviets and critics say that the Cubans just swapped one tyrannical regime under Batista for another under Castro while others say he saved his country from a brutal and murderous dictator but that is for another post.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Greenhouse Emissions Unprecedented

Humanity is pumping climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 10 times faster than at any point in the past 66m years, according to new research.
The revelation shows the world has entered uncharted territory and that the consequences for life on land and in the oceans may be more severe than at any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
It comes as the World Meteorological Organisation released its Status of the Climate Report detailing a string of weather and climate records that were broken in 2015 and February 2016 which smashed a century of global temperature records by a 'stunning margin' according to NASA.
'The future is happening now' said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas, 'The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emission is unprecedented in modern records'.
Obvious all the climate talks like the one in Paris last year were too little too late and the mistake was
to leave it in the hands of a bunch of politicians who can't think past their next election cycle.

I Name This Ship...

The Natural Environment Research Council thought it would be a great idea to let the public choose the name of their new research vessel so they launched a competition to name the £200m state-of-the-art ship, with the deadline for voting on 16 April.
The research body had been looking for an inspirational name that exemplifies the work the boat will do, including studying ice sheets and ocean current and marine life.
The British public have spoken and amongst the current front runners are RRS Usain Boat, RRS Boat and RRS Pingu but the name way out in front by over 8000 votes is RRS Boaty McBoatface.
The NERC, however, have added a line to the competition that: 'the final name will be selected by NERC'.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Obama Meets Castro

Barack Obama has become the first US president in 88 years to visit Cuba as Air Force One touches down in Havana.
The visit is part of a normalising of relations after decades of animosity between the Cold War foes and Mr Obama will hold talks with Cuban counterpart Raul Castro on Monday but some critics are saying that the trip is premature and that human rights issues need to be addressed.
Although i am sure that Raul Castro will bring up America's many Human Rights abuses, it is expected the Cubans will be more willing to overlook them at such a fragile time in the new relationship.

Who Left To Vote For Trump?

Donald Trump has alienated women (fat pigs, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals), hispanics (criminals and rapists), muslims (should be banned), blacks (if black lives matter, go back to Africa) war veterans (not a hero if you were captured) so who is there left to cheer for him?
You would think the only people he hasn't insulted are the rich, white folk but looking at his audience it appears that his demographic is the low IQ who get their opinions from Fox News. 
As yet another Rally ends in violence with a protester being pummelled by members of the Trump audience for daring to disagree with the racist, misogynist on stage, it does appear anyone with any sense is dodging the Trumpster and it's the remaining violent extremists cheering him home.
Last month, former head of the KKK, David Duke, called for Klan members to support Mr Trump and volunteer for his campaign so it shows how far to the right the orange haired buffoon is if he is meeting the KKK coming the other way.
As we know Trump is a fan of Hitler and his methods, saying at one meeting: 'believe you me, and this guy Hitler, he had some good ideas, but he didn’t go far enough' and the connection between the right wing fascists and the other right wing fascist creates another link as both oversaw violent rallies and blamed the violence on those attacked rather than condemn the useful idiots that salivated over their hateful words.
Hopefully those with an IQ larger than their show size will outweigh those who attend Trump rallies and find him an attractive option to elect as President.
If not, should be fun watching America implode under the orange faced simpleton.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Easter Origins

When it comes to making fun of something, Religion is an easy target with its strange rituals, simplistic views, homophobia and complete lack of any evidence for their beliefs so let's take that road most trodden and heap more scorn upon it by seeing how it 'stole' Easter.     
Easter was a pagan festival celebrating the spring equinox and based on the phases of the moon however early Christians absorbed it into the newly written story of Jesus's death and resurrection and turned it into the Easter we enjoy today.
The story of Jesus dying on a cross and being resurrected was already a well worn story in the ancient world where there was already plenty of older once dead and then resurrected saviours too.
The Sumerian goddess Ishtar was hung naked on a stake, and was subsequently resurrected and ascended from the underworld as did the Egyptian God, Horus and Mithras and Dionysus.
As Christmas is also a takeover of an already existing festival, basically, the newly formed Christian church piggy-backed on any major celebration it found when it was pushing its new religion and said 'Hey, you're already partying, why not party for this guy' and supplied the wine, bread and fish and over time the original deity was edged out of the picture to leave Jesus in the middle.
Don't let it put you off your chocolate eggs but once Easter is all over, you may want to have a bit of
a rethink on this whole Christianity thing because if you do believe it all then you obviously haven't thought hard enough about it.

From Snails To God

Not sure what the favourite tipple is in Texas but i think Wayne Propst may have had a few too many as whilst digging in his aunt’s garden he apparently found hard evidence of Noah’s flood.
What Mr Propst found was snail fossils which he immediately attributed to the Biblical deluge which seems to have culminated in his Aunties Garden all those years ago.
To gain scientific verification for his discovery, he sent an email about his find to the owner of the
Creationist Museum that he had dug up something that dated back to when God destroyed the earth and the Museum immediately verified the fossils as remnants of God wrath despite having never seeing them.
'From Noah’s flood to my front yard, how much better can it get' said Prost before continuing to sweep his aunt's garden to try and find any other biblical artifacts.
As he is searching he may also want to try and find his dignity, common sense and that bit of brain that seems to have shaken loose somehow and leads him to believe his Auntie Sharon's garden was the disembarkation place of Noah's boat.

Ian Duncan Smith Still Tory Scum

The Conservative Party have lived up to their nickname of the nasty party by keeping up the austerity for the worst off by and tax cuts for high earners and claiming we are still all in together. 
George Osbourne announced in his budget £4bn of cuts to disability payments but a raise in the personal allowances so anyone earning above £42,500 gets a tax nice bonus.    
Step forward Ian Duncan Smith, the minister for Work and Pensions Secretary and whom would oversee the disability cuts who has resigned as he finds the cuts as 'morally indefensible'.
The resignation letter stated that: 'They are not defensible in the way they were placed within a budget that benefits higher-earning taxpayers' to which the Prime Minister relied that he was 'puzzled and disapointed' as the cuts had been agreed with Mr Smith before they were announced.
While Duncan Smith is being applauded for his moral outrage at the cuts, it should be remembered that he had no such outrage previously when he oversaw £30bn worth of welfare cuts including introducing the Universal Credit System which meant everyone on benefits lost money. 
It has also been revealed that his frustration grew from the Treasury refusing to consider cuts to State Pensions which is where he wanted to see the axe fall, on Old Age Pensioners.
It is hard to believe that the man who introduced the bedroom tax, disability and tax credit cuts and a ten fold increase in food banks which he described as a 'lifestyle choice' has suddenly found a conscience over further tax cuts and by resigning all he has done is seen one odious right wing scum replaced by another one who will be just as eager to implement the cuts to the nations poorest as Duncan Smith was over the past few years.

Friday, 18 March 2016

EU Turkey Deal

With the warmer weather coming the European Union are desperate to avoid scenes from last year when refugees fleeing war zones in the Middle East washed up literally on Greece shores from launch sites in Turkey.
Turkey have not been quick to shut down the illegal operations which see people traffickers guide desperate people the short distance across the sea between Turkey and Greece and therefore into the EU and have told the EU that they will make a deal to hold the refugees in Turkey in return for Ankara wants €6 billion, visa-free travel for its citizens and a fast-track entry to the European Union.
As Turkey fails on so many of the qualifying criteria for membership of the EU, the idea of inviting Turkey to become the 29th Member State has been baulked at on many occasions by almost every nation but feeling the tension Turkey are pushing to blackmail it's way in for its 77 million population.
After days of negotiations the Turks have dropped their demands and have accepted 're-energised talks on its EU membership' and €3bn financial aid package.
There are no guarantee of any sorts for Turkey for it joining the EU which is its ultimate goal so i do wonder just why the Turks have caved in to EU demands so easily.
It gets half the money it wanted but little more than a promise that at some point in the future we may look again at its application knowing full well that it has been turned down on every previous occasion and will probably be refused again or face a split in its own members who do not want to see its borders open to 77 million Turks.
Something seems out of kilter on the EU side who seem to have got what they wanted far too easily.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Cleverest Celebrities

The IQ test is used to measure a persons intelligence but as it never came around until the early 20th century, experts have got together to measure some of histories greatest minds to work out what their score would be.
Albert Einstein's IQ by today's standards was estimated to be 160, while Galileo Galilei would have scored an estimated 182, Sir Isaac Newton a reported 190 and Leonardo da Vinci 185, Rene Descartes 180, Charles Darwin 165, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 165 and Nicolaus Copernicus 160.
On the IQ scale, anything over 140 marks you out as a genius which all of the above minds fit the description but who today can technically call themselves a genius.
No surprise that Stephen Hawking matches Einstein but alongside them with an equal IQ score of 160 is Dolph Lundgren, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Damon and Quentin Tarantino. )
Just a few points below them is Cindy Crawford (IQ 154), Alicia Keys (IQ 154) and Geena Davis (IQ  158).
Rowan Atkinson has an IQ of 178 which puts him between Charles Darwin and Rene Descartes but the most intelligent celebrity today is James Wood who has an IQ of 184 which is above Galileo and within touching distance of Leonardo da Vinci.
What is reassuring is that even a genius with an intelligence quotient above some of the greatest human minds from history can still do dumb things, as anyone who has seen the Woods film 'Videodrome' will testify.

Move To Scandinavia

The weather can be dreary and in winter it is dark most of the day, but Denmark is still the happiest place in the world to live, according to a new report.
A look at the top 6 of the happiest countries in the World show that they are all free of natural disasters, little corruption and have a near absence of dramatic events but they also are regular recipients of lots and lots of snow. 
Denmark tops the 2016 World Happiness Report with Switzerland second and then Iceland, Norway, Finland and Canada while the US comes in at 13, UK 23, France 32 and Italy 50.
At the opposite end of the list and the official least happiest place to lives are Burundi, Syria, Togo,
Afghanistan, Benin and Rwanda which you may note are snow free which confirms my theory that snow (or lack of it) is responsible for the happiness of a population.
My conclusion is that in order to achieve happiness, Governments should invest heavily on snow machines.

Prince William The Useless

England has been lucky enough to have 3 Richards ruling over it, the first was the Lion Heart, the second was schizophrenic while the third turned up under a car park in Leicester so while these three former kings have had mixed success, we will soon be ruled over by another Dick only this one is called William.
Not sure if it's the lack of hair or some other reason that he feels he must prove his manhood by blasting animals from a safe distance with a high powered weapon but the Prince is fond of hunting which rather rubs against his 'job' with the UK arm of the World Wildlife Fund.
Now the work shy Royal has once again shown the drawback from generations of inbreeding by stating that the trophy hunting of animals is justified if the animal is 'infertile' or 'at the end of his life' and that somebody paying to shoot it is 'a justifiable means of conserving species that are under serious threat'.
The prince was criticised in 2014 when he went on a deer and wild boar hunting trip in Spain the day before he launched a high-profile appeal to stop the illegal hunting of wildlife and the Royals are not renown for being gifted in the brains department but to use the laughably bad excuse that it is okay to kill an animal as it no longer serves a useful purpose is atrocious.
If not keeping useless things around is the case then we would have got rid of the Royal family centuries ago as they have not served a useful purpose since Henry VIII told the Catholics to go do one.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Gun Toting Toddlers v Terrorists

Someone once pointed out that Florida looks like Americas penis which to be fair, it does, so it is off to the shlong shaped state that we go for the latest in along line of 'Great American Gun Ooops'.
Jamie Gilt is a big gun fan, she is such a fan that she has been taken her 4 year old child to gun safety lessons and regularly posts on facebook in response to gun ownership that: 'All of ours [her children] know how to shoot one. Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22'.
Sure enough, she has now been shot by the same 4 year old who was so jacked when he found the handgun in the back seat of mummies car that he shot her in the back with it.
To add insult to gunshot injury, Gilt now faces charges of negligence for allowing her child to get to the weapon.
In a land where there are so many guns and so few laws regulating them, there will always be monumentally thick people leaving guns hanging around to cause accidents.
In 2015, 21 toddlers killed themselves or others with guns while 19 Americans died at the hands of suspected Islamic terrorists.
Not sure if Jamie will still be such an advocate of guns after her surgery and court case but it seems that you are more likely to be killed by your child in the gun-nut USA than killed by a terrorist.

More Austerity Heading Our Way

The saying used to be jam tomorrow which means the Government will hand you bread and water today so they make the harsh decisions now to ensure better things tomorrow but the Government are not even promising that anymore, just further austerity cuts so it's bread and water tomorrow as well.
George Osborne is to announce a further £4bn of spending cuts in this weeks Budget, saying that they are necessary to keep his fiscal plan on course, and enable him to continue to hit a Budget surplus in the final year of this Parliament.
As we have faced austerity cuts across the board since 2010, austerity cuts that were said to be a necessary measure to clear the debt by 2015, we are justified in saying how come we are STILL having austerity foisted upon us six years later?
How can we still be in the red after losing 5,870 NHS nurses, 7,968 hospital beds, a third of ambulance stations, 5,362 firefighters, 6,800 police officers, 350 youth centers, 2,000 youth workers, 200,000 civil servants, 4 prisons, 57 hospitals, 66 Accident & Emergency wards, 100 swimming pools and 5,000 teachers.
VAT has been raised from 17.5% to 20%, child benefit has been stopped for higher earners, £82m cut from children’s centers, Education Maintenance Allowance has been ceased for students, disability allowance reduced, train tickets increased by 20% and over 500 library closed.
For all those 'savings', 300,000 more children in poverty year on year, 48% working of 20 to 34 year old live with their parents as they can’t afford to rent or buy their own home, pay freeze for civil and public servants, the largest fall in wages in the EU since the 2008 recession, 2 million on zero hours contracts, six million families in fuel poverty, 400,000 more working people claiming housing benefit every year, the lowest health care spending of the G7 nations and record breaking number
of food banks and food bank customers.
All that and not counting the continued attempts to reduce Tax Credits which top up the wages of those on low wages.
The figures from HM Treasury shows The UK Nation Debt in 2010 was £0.76 trillion and today we owe £1.36 trillion.
Now i don't make any claims to be an economist but to me that seems that we owe almost twice as much as we did after Dave and George got their grubby little hands on the economy.
Whatever the Conservatives are doing, it isn't working but as we will find out this week, the massive austerity cuts have not worked so far so the Conservatives seem to think that the obvious answer must be to cut even deeper and harder.
It is going to get messy especially as the Conservatives have at least another 4 years in office to push their punishing, horrific right wing agenda but with nowhere left to cut, it will be interesting to see where they feel they can force deeper cuts.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

EU Out Campaign

The first EU IN or OUT campaigners are hitting the streets and i am sure that i will have more discussions like the one i had today with a young lad who tried to push an EU Out leaflet into my hand and persuade me that the EU is evil. 
As i am far too busy bending young minds to the advantages of Marxism and keeping the Climate Change conspiracy going (got to pay those bills somehow) i have declined becoming actively involved but i also think that the British public know that leaving the EU would be madness and will vote accordingly without my persuasion especially if the lad i spoke to today is on the opposition team.
Undeniably enthusiastic, he had the big arguments from regaining our borders and to being run by Europe but had little to no facts to back himself up with so allow me to help.

According to the latest National Audit Office, counting what we pay to the EU in membership fees and what we get back in subsidies, the UK's net contribution to Europe for 2014/15 was £5.7bn.
The EU is the Worlds largest trading block and the UK's main trading partner and as we are in the EU we do not have to pay tariffs or exchange rates so for our £5.7bn we trade more than £400bn a year with Europe, or 52% of the total trade in goods and services.
If we remove ourselves from the EU, imports and exports would become liable for tariffs and paying the additional exchange rates from £ to €. Aside from hitting our own manufacturers, companies would not base themselves here and pay the extra when they can move to an EU member state and avoid all extra import/export costs.

On the second topic of sovereignty, in order to continue to trade with the EU single market if we left, it would cost Britain £35bn, around 94% of the current costs, but to continue trading the UK would have to abide by many EU rules without any influence over how they are formed so in short we would still 'be run from Europe' but we would have removed ourselves from the critical decision making team.

Finally, the 'coming here taking our jobs' argument. The Office for National Statistics announced an official review of migration figures amid concerns that Britain is becoming swamped by Europeans coming to our shores.
According to official figures, our population has been swelled by 1 million EU migrants but Brits leaving in the opposite direction and moving to Europe is calculated at 2.2 million, so the freedom of movement has actually had a net reduction of 1.2 million people.

I do believe that the IN campaign have to up their game because the OUT guys will surely get their act together at some point, possibly.

The Reagan's And AIDs

I'm not sure if Hillary Clinton tripped up trying hard to say something nice about Nancy Reagan but as a Presidential hopeful you would have thought she would have done some fact checking before praising her for her HIV and AIDS work.
The AIDs epidemic hit in the early 80s and while the rest of the World shuddered at what was considered to be a potentially population decimating illness, the Reagan administration took the option of ignoring it.
Gay Rights in the 80's were almost non-existent and for many of a religious bent AIDs was portrayed as gay people being punished by God and as Reagan was beholden to the Christian right wing electorate, they seemed to back away from doing anything that would alarm their voters.
Federal funding for health and support groups in the gay community was denied and education efforts were curtailed as telling gay men how to have safe sex could be seen as 'encouraging or promoting homosexual activity'.
One soundbite from the time from Reagan representatives was that this was a legal problem, not a medical problem as 'these people were breaking the law' with reference to sodomy laws.
Either due to personal religious zealotry or an attempt to stay on side with right wing voters, it was not so much what the Reagan's did that should see them reviled over AIDS, rather what they didn't do which condemned 650,000 Americans to die from the awful disease.

Friday, 11 March 2016

The Power Of The Mind

The French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is reported to have said: 'There are only two powers in the world, sabre and mind; at the end, sabre is always defeated by mind'.
Of course he was defeated by being imprisoned by the British on a damp island in the middle of the Atlantic but his idea that a great mind can do more than violence holds true.
You could argue that the religious texts have the honour of being the instigator of both great ideas and
unimaginable violence, inspiring love and hatred in equal measure but undeniably influencing on a grand scale.
Charles Darwin's own literary efforts then came along and immediately tore down everything religion had built up over thousands of years, taking God away again and changing our perceptions of everything we thought we knew about how and why we are here.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 'The Social Contract' helped inspire the French Revolution and Thomas Paine who was inspirational in the Americans Revolution against the British and set into motion the USA of today.
Other contenders for books which have proved able to have an overwhelming influential role in where we are today include Adam Smith's 'Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations' who put forward the Capitalist ideal that dominates the economic systems of the majority of the Globe, Karl Marx's 'Communist Manifesto' dominated the thinking of large swathes of the World for the 20th Century and a Socialist ideology that still thrives today.
Isaac Newton's 'Principia Mathematica' gave us the knowledge that led to landing on the moon almost 400 years later.
What is noticeable is that all the books above, which seeded new theories and ideas or encouraged a new way of thinking were all written a long time ago and i am not sure that anyone could today write the next amazing book that influences such massive change as these.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

History Revisited

A popular game amongst history students is if you could back in time to prevent something happening, what would you do.
By far the most common answer is to stop Hitler, either by killing him before he became the top Nazi or for the more imaginative, preventing his parents ever getting together so he would be born in the first place.
Of course by preventing the second World War and 25 million deaths you would still have the first World War and the 18 million deaths that caused.   
The better answer would therefore be to go back and stop whoever or whatever sparked the first world war so that would be Gavrilo Princip who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand when his car stopped outside the cafe he was sat outside of which sparkled off the whole thing which led to the second war. 
That's 43 million deaths over the two wars prevented simply by making sure the young Princip went to another cafe that day or delayed enough that he wasn't sat outside when Ferdinand's car stalled.
As with time travel though, things are not that simple because of time ripples and anything that happens in the past changes the course of history.
So let's consider that we go back, find Gavrilo on his way to that cafe and we 'accidently' tip a bucket of cold water over him forcing him to go home and change so he is not sat outside the cafe drinking coffee which means the Archduke remains alive and Austria doesn't declare war on Serbia to start the chain of events which ends with a nuclear weapon being dropped on Japan and a Cold War between East and West.
Everybody happy and instead of trench warfare and a wall built across Berlin, it's sunshine and lollipops.
It would mean of course that the woman's movement would not have happened or at least put back for a few more decades as would the Civil Rights Movement in America while the Soviets would probably not have launched Yuri Gagarin and Vostok 1 until much later which would have delayed Appollo 11 and Neil Armstrong making the giant leap for mankind.
A delayed Space adventure would also mean a delay in satellites so SatNavs, accurate weather forecasts, technical communications and TV beamed around the globe decades would arrive far later than when we did get them.
The internet came around as a way to keep communications open during a nuclear attack but no cold war would mean no need for nuclear safety so the internet may still have came around but not for some time later as would the computer which was invented to aid the breaking German U-boat codes.
Fleming's discovery of penicillin in 1928 was initially over-looked and was only made into an effective drug in WW2 when medical researchers were seeking a method of infection control in troops. It may well have been noted for it's medical properties later but without the war it may well have stayed on the shelf and not in hospitals and medicine cabinets saving lives today.
It is amazing to think how different 2016 would be if one young Serbian rebel rouser had not stopped for a coffee or if a time traveler armed with a bucket of water dampens him before he gets there.

Human Rights & Human Wrongs

China may be the up and coming groovy country and America slipping into debt soaked decline but the two still continue to spar with the Americans stepping up first at the UN Human Rights Council and criticizing China’s crackdown on human rights and its detentions of lawyers and activists.
With a nod towards China's military aspiration in the South China Sea, the American ambassador described them as 'unacceptable, out of step with the expectations of the international community, and a challenge to the rule-based international order' and cited a 'very worrying pattern' regarding detention of political activists, lawyers and journalists.
China then took their turn at the podium and flagged up Americas own less than white Human Right record including 'prison abuse at Guantanamo prison, rampant gun violence racism and deep-rooted racism'.
The Chinese ambassador concluded with: 'The United States conducts large-scale extra-territorial eavesdropping, uses drones to attack other countries innocent civilians, its troops on foreign soil commit rape and murder of local people. It conducts kidnapping overseas and uses black prisons'.
The transition of power from West to East may not go as smoothly as expected as America won't let go of their superpower status easily while China refuse to be bullied by the old guard.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Everybody Cut Footloose

When it comes to music, i do tend to lean towards the guitar music of the late 80s/early 90s variety as a peek at my CD collection will show but what you won't see between the Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Guns 'n' Roses is any reggae or Country & Western.
These are two genres that i never really got a handle on, reggae because it all sounds the same and Country and Western because it just makes me think of men in dungarees and checkered shirts singing about pick up trucks and their dogs dying.
It was during a discussion with a violinist that we got around to the subject of Country & Western and he mentioned the 'Devil Went Down To Georgia' song which i agreed was probably the only half decent C&W song that wouldn't immediately be switched off if it came on the radio.
As the fiddle does seem to somehow have a place in Country and Western music along with Hawaiian guitars and washboards, he was well versed in the style and mentioned several tunes of the genre to try and reverse my decision that 'Devil Went Down To Georgia' was the sole decent effort from the tens of thousands played by people in snake skin boots and massive belt buckles.
After several minutes of my nose wrinkling and head shaking we stumbled onto Footloose by Kenny Loggins but we disagree whether the mid 80s song was covered by the genre Country & Western. I have listened to it several times since and can still not decide whether it has a C&W twang to it.
Wikipedia shows that it never made it into the Top 100 C&W songs but the 2011 remake by Blake Shelton did but that version was made to sound so country and western that if you hear it too many times you will want to change your name to Billy Bob and drink moonshine.
As it is a grey area and although i still don't consider Footloose to be C&W, i am charitable enough to say that in the history of Country & Western songs music there have only ever been 1 and possibly a half decent songs but the half can be withdrawn depending on mood.

Sunday Sunday

Always nice to see the Government defeated and today David Cameron has suffered a defeat over his plans to relax Sunday trading laws, after dozens of his own Party rebelled to leave the government losing by 31 votes.
The rebels argued that the Sunday opening laws should be preserved as 6 hours only in order to 'Keep Sunday Special' and to protect family time for shop workers.
I would say that i was against the original changes to 6 hours and not out of any religious belief, more to protect shop workers who would be 'leant on' to work Sunday's or would have to declare a willing to work Sunday's during the job interview process.
For all those moaning about it being 2016, if you really can't buy what you need in the 6 days preceding  or the 6 hours on a Sunday, then your life/work balance may need a bit of an adjustment.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Can We Look Yet?

We can all breathe again as the 100-foot wide asteroid TX68 has whizzed by the Earth and as far as i can tell has avoided a collision with our fair planet.
Scientists stated that the asteroid, called 2013 TX68, was on course to pass between 11,000 miles and 9 million miles and it's distance has been put at 2.5 million miles which is approximately double the distance it zipped by our ball of rock two years ago.
We may have escaped this time but Professor Brian Cox said that we are at risk of being wiped out by asteroids and that: 'There is an asteroid with our name on it and it will hit us'.
The Earth did have a near-miss recently when 2014 EC came within 38,300 miles of us this month but we didn't even realise it was there until it had gone by. 
NASA is currently tracking 1,400 'potentially hazardous asteroids' and predicting their future approaches and impact probabilities in a massive game of cosmic roulette which the dinosaurs found has devastating consequences if you lose.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Presidential Genius

One thing you would hope for a leader is intelligence, you would think twice about handing the reins of your economy over to a person who had L and R printed on their shoes but before he pulled out of the Presidential race Ben Carson argued that when it comes to being a good President, 'the thing that is probably most important is having a brain'.
While a high IQ does not guarantee success in the race to be President, it is true that intelligence is often associated with effective leaders. But does that trend hold true for former U.S. Presidents? Are the most successful American presidents also the most intelligent?
Armed with that question, InsideGov ranked the smartest presidents in U.S. history, using historiometric methods to estimate each President’s IQ, analysing information from their biographies and writings.
Between a score of 120-140 which comes with the label of 'superior intelligence' we find George Washington (132.5) and Abraham Lincoln (140).
The top 10 are all above 140 and come under the heading of 'Genius' so the most intelligent men to have ever been able to call themselves President are:

1 John Quincy Adams 168.8
2 Thomas Jefferson     153.8
3 John F Kennedy       150.7
4 Bill Clinton              148.8
5 Woodrow Wilson     145.1
6 Jimmy Carter           145.1
7 John Adams             142.5
8 Theodore Roosevelt 142.3
9 James Garfield         141.5
10 Chester A Arthur   141.5

Seeing some names on the list, looking at you number 4, some people must just seem very stupid or do some incredibly stupid things when actually they are apparently a genius.

Don't Believe The (Nuclear) Hype

Occasionally, when i am spouting off regarding climate change and how we need to make greater use of renewable sources of power i am asked why i am against Nuclear Power as it does not fill the atmosphere with pollutants.
I agree, nuclear power station do not add to the carbon above our heads but it does poison the ground beneath our feet for tens of thousands of years. 
All nuclear power does is shift the problem of how us humans stupidly killing ourselves but it hasn't stopped the World's Governments from swallowing the Nuclear spin and we now have over 500 operational nuclear stations dotted around the globe and more in the pipeline and each power station will have to put its spent nuclear waste somewhere and wherever it goes it makes that part of the planet uninhabitable for 10,000 years.
The second thing to ponder is the World Nuclear Association put the amount of uranium, at current usage levels, at 80 years worth but with countries planning to build multiple new Nuclear reactors at huge expense all over the globe, that 80 years will quickly fall.
Within two or three generations at the most, we will be back in the same position searching for new forms of energy only this time we will have to contend with millions of tonnes of spent nuclear fuel under our feet that poses a serious health threat for the next 10 millenniums.
The question is then, with a limited supply and the massive financial cost of building and disposing of the fuel not to mention the environmental and safety risks involved, why is Nuclear even considered when there are other cheaper, safer and never-ending resources available?
Approximately 71% of the Earths surface is covered by Oceans and as long as the Earth continues to turn, there will be waves that could be used to generate power. As long as we have a Sun heating the planet, we will have wind. Wave and wind power used in tandem would create an endless and safe supply of energy so why are we focusing on Nuclear and not plowing our money into these renewable sources instead?

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Bricking In America

Thoughtful folk us British which is why Channel 4 has taken a decision to help our friend and most well liked relatives, the Canadians who face a potential predicament in the near future.
When Donald Trump enjoyed a number of wins on Super Tuesday the number of American Google searches for 'How to Move to Canada' spiked by 1500% so in the event of the Trumpster becoming President, us British have began putting the wheels in motion to build a wall between the USA and Canada to calm the fears of Canadians that their country will face an influx of yanks. 
Adam Hills is the man behind the project , called 'Bricking It For Canada' and explained on his Last Leg Show that the problem with fleeing Americans is that:  'They are harder to look after than any other refugees because they need way more food. Plus Americans don’t speak basic English, they carry more guns and they refuse to assimilate with other cultures'.
A website has been set up at Bricking it for Canada and at the time of writing, the campaign had already seen 750,889,382 of the estimated 1,545,454,550 bricks required to wall off Canada although so popular is the website that it keeps crashing.
As America has previous experience of voting in fruitcakes and loonytunes (Reagan, GWB twice!!) this is not a threat that we should take lightly so please go to the website and pledge a brick to help keep Americans where they belong, in America.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Every Battle Ever Mapped

A Dutch company is attempting to map all the battles in history, and so far it has counted 12,703 of them. 
It looks like Europe and the US are the bloodiest parts of the world with Greenland, Canada, Russia and Australia coming out of it with relatively few dots on it's land.
The data project Nodegoat has the first recorded military conflict in history as the Battle of Zhuolu, in eastern China, in about 2500BC.
Unfortunately, as us humans are a bunch of idiots the map will forever need to be updated for new conflicts.   

World Book Day 2016

It's World Book Day and i have seen several Harry Potters, a few Alice in Wonderlands and even a couple of Wally's from 'Where's Wally' walking to and from their schools today.
I have always been an avid reader and have not one bookshelf but two and always mean to get around to donating books to charity shops but just can't seem to part with them.
I have the 'Go Set a Watchman' book ready to read but was putting that off to the Summer as it somehow seems a book to read outside in summer sunshine, not sure why but probably because it is set in the American South which seems to be a bit of a sweat box.
Despite all the other distractions, reading remains a popular pastime but apart from improves our literacy, it also offers other benefits.
Some of the most inspirational characters and heroes come from the pages of books as well as helping us to develop our beliefs such as the racial injustice in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' or the political struggle in 'The Ragged Trousered Philantropists' which expose us to situations that help develop our own point of view Health benefits include mental stimulation that can delay the onset of dementia as reading keeps the brain active, using our imaginations to build a world from the text in a book.
Books are also a wonderful source of broadening our knowledge even if we don't realise it so reading Pride and Prejudice is not only a great story but gives us a peek at what life was like in early 19th Century Britain.
Something i will advise though is don't watch a film adapted from a novel before reading the book, i did that with Blade Runner based on 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' and it was years until i bothered to pick up the novel only to find it was almost nothing like the film and i had denied myself a great read for over a decade.

Hello, Is It Us You're Looking For?

Anybody out there? Mysterious, repeating bursts of radio waves emanating from a galaxy far away have been detected by scientists who believe they come from an 'extremely powerful object'.
Researchers at New York’s Cornell University believe the origin of these fast radio bursts (FRBs), are not from the usual explanation of an explosion in space as they are repeating, as if someone is sending out a signal.
'Whatever produces the FRB can’t be destroyed by the burst, because otherwise, what would produce the next pulse?" asked the senior researcher at Cornell to anyone who bothered to listen to him before saying : 'whatever battery drives FRBs, it can recharge in minutes'.
Only 17 FRBs have ever been discovered and were isolated events thought to be caused by cataclysmic incidents which destroyed the source, such as an exploding star.
Us Earthlings have been sending out radio waves to announce ourselves to any intelligent life outside the solar system who can pick up our signal so maybe finally someone is replying to us or somewhere out there is another civilization turning their three heads and seven eyes towards the inky blackness and wondering if they also are alone. 
The truth is out there and maybe it is saying hello.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Pension Age Increased

The State pension age is being raised to 68 and then 70 in a move which the Government say will save billions but i have never really been able to decide if the pension age should go up or down.
If it goes down and people retire earlier then it frees up jobs for the upcoming generation who will lock up these jobs for a further half a decade if the retirement age is raised from 65 to 70.
The plus side for the Government is that they will save 5 years of paying pensions and being cynical, more deaths which means less pensioners to pay when they hit 70 so more savings.
Working to 70 is far easier if you have a nice office job but asking people who work in far tougher environments, bricklayers for example who suffer massive wear and tear on their bodies, to keep at it for another 5 years is a much tougher ask. 
Each year later is a year more of us paying in and a year less of them paying out but more importantly it's a year off your twilight pensioner years when you should be going on cruises around Scandinavia or shopping for cardigans.
Seems the Government austerity drive has cut all it can cut and they have began looking for other ways to plug the gap that strangely seems to be still growing despite Cameron and Osborne slashing and cutting everything in sight like madmen for the past eight years.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Day Of The Welsh

It's Saint David's Day so we celebrate all things Welsh.
In order to become a Saint, David's miracle was when he was preaching to a crowd at Llandewi Brefi those on the outer edges could not hear, so he spread a handkerchief on the ground, and stood on it to preach and then all could hear him.
Not great i agree but Wales and the Welsh are so much more than a man who stood on a snotty tissue and shouted, they are known for daffodils, leeks, many, many sheep and place names devoid of those pesky little vowels the English language relies upon to make words work.
With towns named Bwlchgwyn and Ysbyty Ystwyth, you may think that the towns were named by a cat walking across a keyboard but they do have the pride of having the most unpronounceable place in Britain, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.
One issue that the Welsh get a bit tetchy about is whether they are a country or just an extension of England, known as a principality which is a territory held or governed by a prince.
In 2008 the Welsh Government issued a statement that said: 'Wales is not a principality. Although we are joined with England by land, and we are part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right' although that is rather undermined by existence of the Prince of Wales, designated by the King or Queen of England and most of it's laws being passed in England, using the English currency, doesn't have it's own passports and does not have a seat at the UN.
Anyway, Ladies and Gentlemen, i give you the Welsh and their Saint with snot on the soles of his feet.

Sanders Journey Ending?

For a moment there it looked as though America was about to cast out the failed concept of Capitalism ($19 trillion in debt, how's that working for you?) and join us in a European Socialist paradise but Bernie appears to be falling behind Bill Clinton's wife and the dream ending today with expected heavy losses on Super Tuesday.
While a surprising amount of voters have rallied behind his message of tackling financial corruption and reducing inequality, Team Clinton has gathered itself after a slow start and is widely expected to zip things today and go on to face the strangely orange faced Trump.   
The last odds i saw had Clinton 16-1 on for the nomination and odds on for the Presidency so they think Sanders is effectively out of the race.
Oh well, it was a nice dream that America would become the new Sweden but it seems it will stay the same old America.
That said, if Donald Trump somehow gets to be President America could very well become the international equivalent of Bill Cosby as he isn't get so many invites to places these days.