Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Child Labour Iphone

The Chinese mining company Huayou has been reprimanded by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) after it has discovered children as young as four mining for cobalt.
Cobalt is a vital component in the batteries for mobile phones and the main recipient is Apple who have now  told Huayou to suspend all mining until they can be checked to be free of child labour.
Apple said some of Huayou's cobalt had entered its supply chain, but that it had now suspended the operation.
An Apple spokesperson added: "Apple is deeply committed to the responsible sourcing of materials for our products'.
Last summer Apple celebrated selling their 1 billionth iphone so there is a very good chance that as they have only just stopped using this supplier, the iphone currently sat on your table was a product of a small child being paid pennies to toil in a cobalt mine.
Worth thinking about next time you moan about your phones short battery life.

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Problems With Manned Mars Missions

Gravity is great, you drop something and it will gather at your feet ready to be picked up again and doesn't float away above the trees never to be seen again.
Of course it isn't so good if the thing you drop is a hammer or a priceless vase but you get the idea and over the past 2 million years (or 6000 years if you are a Bible reader) human life has been evolving on Earth and gravity has defined our size and shape as well as keeping us rooted to the ground.
As we are a product of gravity, problems occur when you take it away as our astronauts find out when they leave the safe embrace of the Earths gravitational field and venture out into Space.
Once gravity is removed the human body goes to seed, our bones and muscles waste, the heart shrinks and changes shape while hand eye coordination is shot to bits and the bodily fluids float around inside the body bringing dizziness and an almost constant feeling of nausea.
A short trip to the moon and back would take four days out, a day or so bumbling around planting flags and hitting golf balls and a four day trip back, you could be out and back within 10 days and the effects would be minimal.  
Those returning from longer stays on the International Space Station are greeted by Gravity and a hospital worth of medical services and that's where the manned missions to Mars hit a stumbling block. 
A trip to Mars would be a minimum of six months to get there, and the same to get back again. Due to the orbit of Mars around the Sun an astronaut would get either a 30 day window to return or wait until the next time it comes close to Earth which is 18 months later so even the shortest trip would mean 13 months in less gravitationally favourable circumstances or 30 months for a longer trek.
As it would be impossible for an astronaut to collapse into a hospital trolley on arrival to the red planet, they would be 240 million miles away with just a first aid kit and muscles like jelly which isn't ideal.  
All which makes the talk about Mars Missions far fetched until science develops some form of artificial gravity aboard the rockets or we get a fully equipped hospital built up there first.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Science Replacing Philosophy

Before Science there was religion but over time, as Darwin sailed around the Galapagos Islands, Copernicus gazed up at the sun and Galileo set up his telescope, religion fell over time and time again and science replaced it as the thing to turn to for the answers.
Philosophy is somewhere between the two, questioning matters concerning our lives but as science by its very nature is all about continuing to find the answers to questions, philosophy also has largely gone the same way as religion and become irrelevant.
While philosophical musings were common in more unenlightened times when mans knowledge was more restricted, it is hard to think of any philosophical question that Science today couldn't answer or wouldn't be able to answer in the near future.
The questions religion and philosophy attempt to answer all began with the word 'Why' but the questions science attempt to answer begin with 'How' and base their answers on proof and evidence as they currently understand them.  
That is why philosophy has gone the same way as religion, replaced by Science answering the How questions which in turn makes the Why questions redundant and for a time when we were not advanced or knowledgeable enough to answer them based on the evidence.

Something Stinks So American Media Must Keep Digging

David Cameron wasn't the only politician who was fond of the dead cat tactic when things were turning against him, it is a well worn ploy by all politicians and Donald Trump has been following the Cameron play book by lining up the dead moggies on the kitchen table ever since he got the keys to the White House.
The idea is that just as a storm is brewing, the instigator does something radical to change the narrative so that becomes 'the thing' rather than 'the other thing' and that is exactly what the Trump administration is desperately trying to do around Russia right now.
The cat in this scenario is the press ban and the Mexican wall tendering process so eyes shift away from the Trump's interference with the FBI in the middle of an active investigation involving his direct and continuous contact with officers of the Russian intelligence agency, the FSB, and the unprecedented cyber attack on Hillary Clinton.
Despite protestations that it was all fake news, we learned this week that Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus had contacted the the FBI to request that they publicly label the story as 'total BS'.
When this was rebuffed, Priebus went to the top guy in the FBI to demanded the same but was again rebuffed and refused permission to quote them anonymously as saying the story was totally wrong.
The removal of Michael Flynn from Donald Trump administration over secret links with Russia are the smoke but the fire is surely not to far away and must be warming Donald Trumps toes as it creeps closer to him with every revelation. 
The key questions seem to be what did Trump and his staff know about the hacks, when did they know it and were they complicit in any way and that is what the media must hammer and why Trump is so keen to bang the 'fake news' drum so loudly.
He must hope that when the inevitable allegations come his way, that he has turned enough 'useful idiots' to his side and the revelations that he worked alongside a foreign power to interfere in an American election doesn't bring the walls crashing down on him.  
Moving all those dead cats aside, the fact that him and his team are working so hard to cover up, deny, lie and influence the investigation looks very much like they have something that they very much want to stay hidden and if the American media are doing their job, continued digging will bring it out into the open.

USA Returning To British Bosom?

Because the name 'Countries that we forcibly took over and then raped, murdered and pillaged' is a tad too controversial, the British instead refer to them as the Commonwealth of Nations and at the moment number 52 but we could well be adding another to the list as the former colony called the United States of America mull over coming under our blood stained banner.  
It certainly fits into the criteria of a previous part of the British Empire now independent like so many in Africa, Asia and Australasia so it would only be a matter of blowing the dust off the book which has been unopened since 1776 and saying 'Howdy and Yee Haw'.
The current American President, Donald Trump, is said to be enthusiastic about a return to the bosom of the Old Country and as we are on our uppers, the Government think it would be an excellant move to drive up trade links so everyone's a winner although it may not go down so well with the gun clinging Good Ole Boys drinking Whiskey and Rye at the levee's who may not be quite so keen
to bring the monarchy back into their Republic.
The criteria is that they recognise the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth and accept and comply with racial equality, World Peace, liberty, human rights and free trade and conduct all Commonwealth communications in English while the British are the sole decision makers on whether these conditions are being met and can boot out anyone who they consider in breech.
Looking at the conditions, America may want to wait until the Trump has left office because racial equality and World Peace could be a sticking point and then it's welcome back America, help us move her majesty's Throne into the Oval Office, rip up that Independence thingy and let's discuss what the hell you have been doing for the past 241 years and those mind-numbing, bat crazy gun laws you have.

Thanks And Goodbye Jeremy

The worst thing about the Labour Parties Jeremy Corbyn is that i like him and i like his views and agree with almost all of them but the facts are that i am obviously in the minority as Labour slip even further away from gaining power. 
Despite everything he says about turning corners and getting his message out there, the Labour Party face falling even further behind the Conservatives and need to act.
Unfortunately, the only thing they can do is thank Jeremy for his efforts and elect someone who has more appeal to voters otherwise come 2020, the Conservatives will regain power and it's another five years of ideologically run disasters as the previous five.
The loss staunch Labour seat of Copeland to the Conservatives should be the wake-up call that Labour need to find someone in their membership who connects with the electorate and who can stop the Conservatives in their tracks from the cliff edge that they are speeding us towards.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Heavens Immigrant Stopping Wall

According to all the paintings i have seen, Heaven is a lovely place but if you have ever wondered just what makes it so nice then you can stop because it is down to a strict immigration and a wall to keep the bad types out so says the people at the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) conference, America's version of the Monster Raving Loony Party.
The Conference's name is: 'If Heaven Has a Gate, A Wall, and Extreme Vetting, Why Can’t America? which fails the catchy title test but ticks all the boxes for 'large amount of mind altering drugs consumed beforehand'.
Of course we could just answer their question and move on by answering 'because heaven is a fairy story you god bothering nutters' but some people have come a long way to listen to days of right wing madness and the caterers have already made three days worth of sandwiches so let's keep that gem to the end as a nice surprise for them, just after the speech on 'If God hates Gays, why shouldn't we'
and just before 'How to make your own Adam and Eve from the mud in your garden'.

Muslims And Jewish Unite

While not all right wingers are racists, most of the racists are on the right wing and the right wing has been empowered by the Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump's election victory in America so they have been feeling braver to spit forth their bile and it is Muslim's once again who are taking the brunt of the vitriol.
It has been a tough time being a Muslim over the last decade or so, the small minded and even smaller brained looking to blame the whole religion for almost all of the world's ills so it is great to see a news story being aired that actually shows Muslims in a good light.
After over 150 tombstones in a Jewish cemetery were vandalised this weekend in Missouri, two Muslim's started a campaign amongst their community to raise $20,000 to repair the damage but actually raised a total of $57,000.
The organisers said that there aim was to show: 'solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration. Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence'.
With all the anti-Muslim shamefully being pumped out by the White House and the racist rhetoric coming from those who feel they are now free to shout their ignorance, we need more stories like this to show that Muslims are not the enemy, ignorance and intolerance very much are.

Government To Blame For NHS Crisis

Much hand-wringing from the Government over the NHS crisis and waiting times as the finger is pointed at Doctors not working long enough hours, the public turning up at Accident and Emergency rather than go see their doctor and that old favourite of the Brexit crowd, Johnny Foreigner coming over here to use our free service and a broad array of other reasons.
With the fingers being pointed elsewhere, nobody seems to be pointing at the proper cause, a right wing Government hell bent on running down the NHS to such a state that we cry out for it to be privatised so we can get a hospital bed. 
While the Government can say that they give more money to the NHS then ever, that is factually true but the NHS budget has historically been raised by 4% each year, since 2010 and the Conservatives picked up the treasuries keys they have given 1% so yes they have given more each year than ever before but then whoever is in Government has done that but while over the last 7 years their budget 
has gone up by 7%, historically it should have gone up by 36% which means they are actually 29% down on the deal.
The Government are also keeping quiet about the 44 hospitals and treatment centres that are being closed with a loss of 15,000 beds so if you think getting an appointment or a bed was hard enough now, wait until these cuts come in this year and there are 15,000 less beds and 44 less hospitals to be treated at.
It is also undeniably true that other factors include the UK population is ageing and older people, on average, have greater healthcare demands than younger generations but the Government have deliberately let things slip and as the Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, who controls all aspects of the NHS co-authored a book by a group of Conservative politicians that called for the NHS to be privatised, it isn't hard to do the sums and arrive at a deliberate ploy to underfund and run the NHS down to such a point that  Private hospitals and medical insurance becomes the only game in town.
A glance at the American system where healthcare comes with the ability to pay should scare us into this doing what we can to prevent this right wing, capitalist vision from ever seeing the light of day and pointing the finger of blame where it should be pointed, at the Government.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Make The Moon A Planet

Once there were nine planets in our solar system and then there were eight and now a group of NASA scientists think there should be at least 110 planets moving around the sun.
The New Horizons project which visited and beamed back amazing photographs of the Planet formerly known as Pluto have been peeved that the last stop before the Kuiper Belt now downgraded to a minor planet in 2006 and are trying to get the definition of how we define a planet changed but in order to do that it would also mean bringing over 100 large rocky bodies into the Planet Club including our own Moon.
As it stands a planet is a body that orbits the Sun, is massive enough for its own gravity to make it round, and has cleared its neighbourhood of smaller objects around its orbit but the NASA team think that it should be upgraded to include anything that has 'sufficient self-gravitation to assume a spheroidal shape' so basically anything that's big and round and isn't a star.
The proposal isn't getting much approval with the rest of NASA who are happy with their eight planets so it is doubtful it will happen which will come as great relief for schoolchildren everywhere who seem to have enough problem remembering the order of the eight we have so would have no chance with 110 of them.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

What Does Santa Do The Rest Of The Year?

By now everyone is back into the swing of work and school things as Christmas was almost two months ago but now that all the fun of
Christmas is a distant memory, did you ever stop to wonder what Santa does for the rest of the year?
The first thing he does is have a good sleep to wear off the effects of all those glasses of sherry and mince pies left in every household and after circling the globe for 24 hours, the reindeer need a bit of shut eye also.
After waking fully refreshed and now sober, the first job is to repair any damage to the sleigh from this year's run, all those roof tiles can play havoc on the sleigh's runners and he rubs down the paintwork ready to give a fresh coat of paint later in the year.
Then he then gets cracking on next year's toys and updating the Naughty and Nice list, even with Mrs Claus helping out with an Excel spreadsheet, it's a long job and needs constantly updating as names are flipped between the naughty and nice sides.
There are also endless meetings to discuss how the present delivery went and what can be improved for next year and most importantly what toys to make for this year by the elves in the workshop, the last thing they want is to spend all year making something only for boys and girls to ask for something else and them having to work double shifts in November and December to catch up. 
Around July or August he does take some time off to relax too (Scotland is a favourite spot) before delving back into work as the children's letters begin arriving in October and it's non-stop through to December 26th and he does it all over again.
See, being Santa really is a year round job!


I don't want to keep writing about Donald Trump but when he is so eye-wateringly awful at his job that everyone stops to mock him, well what can a person do except join in the mocking?
So impatient is he to try and justify his Muslim ban by pointing out Muslim terror attacks elsewhere that he has started making them up as he did yesterday when he cited a non-existent attack in Sweden during a rally of his supporters. 
Trump told supporters: 'We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?'
The simple answer is nobody would believe it because as the Swedish Government pointed out 'Nothing has happened here in Sweden. There has not been any terrorist attacks here. At all.'
The former Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt tweeted: 'Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?'
Most ironic after his bizarre rant about the dishonest media and fake news just a few days ago that he and his increasingly ridiculous administration has once again been spewing forth on terror attacks that never happened, like the fictional Bowling Green Massacre and the one that never happened in Atlanta.

Laughably shocking though it is, the Swedes have a good sense of humour and the media there have been running real Swedish stories under the heading 'Non-Fake News' : 'Due to harsh weather in northern parts of Sweden the road E10 was closed between Katterjakk and Riksgransen' and 'a wooden moose got the attention of a lovesick moose bull.'
Of course it goes without saying that our thoughts are with all Swedes at this difficult time of a non-terrorist attack but stay tuned to Donald Trump for further updates on made up terror attacks.
And we all thought Comical Ali was the pinnacle of ridiculousness, Donald Trump and his gang are comedy gold!!
Not sure what happened to the promise to make America great again but him and his useful idiot supporters are certainly making it a laughing stock. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Books To Make You Smarter

Jane Austen said 'The person who has not taken pleasure in a book must be intolerably stupid' and boy are we surrounded by many people who have obviously never taken pleasure in a book apart from ones that comes with crayons but not to despair because neuroscientist Sam Harris has developed a list of 12 books that everyone should read to make them smarter.

1. The history of Western philosophy, Bertrand Russell
2. Reasons and persons, Derek Parfit
3. The Last Word, Thomas Nagal
4. The Holy Koran
5. Superintelligence, Nick Bostrom
6. Humiliation: And Other Essays on Honour, Social Discomfort and Violence, William Ian Miller
7. The Flight of the Garuda: The Dzogchen Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Keith Dowman
8. I am that, Nisargadatta Maharaj
9. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
10. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
11. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom
12. Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak, Jean Hatzfeld

Quite a heavy, and dare i say boring, looking list there but nobody said being smart was easy but for people who don't find reading books a joy at the best of times they would be quite a slog to work through and i'm not sure how the Holy Koran even got in there.
I think to bring those with an aversion to reading literature into the fold you need to hand them something that would hold their attention and slip things in under the radar so they don't get a chance to say 'hang on, me is learning, what the...' and throw down the book and watch Ice Road Truckers instead.    

My 12, in no particular order would include:

1. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
2. Animal Farm, George Orwell
3. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
4. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
5. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
6. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
7. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Richard Carlson
8. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
9. Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
10 Hearts in Atlantis Stephen King
11 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick.
12 Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Make your way through them and i refuse to believe that you will not put down the 12th book a better, smarter and more rounded person than when you picked up the very first one.

Another Far Right Moron Up For Election In Netherlands

Before the French get to chose who will replace their current Government, the Dutch have a go in March and as the fashion these days seems to be having a dangerous right-wing idiot included on the ballot paper, allow me to introduce Geert Wilders who launched his election campaign by calling Moroccans 'scum'.
Mr Wilders, whose manifesto includes banning the Koran, stopping Muslim immigration and shutting mosques, currently tops opinion polls ahead of the 15 March parliamentary vote, but has seen his lead reduced in recent weeks.
The Moroccan rant comes months after he was convicted of hate speech over his promise to reduce the number of Moroccans in the Netherlands.
Seemingly basing his views (and silly hair) on the dangerous right wing idiot across the other side of the Atlantic, Wilders is promising to voters he will 'regain their country and make the Netherlands for the people of the Netherlands again' as there are 'a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe'.
Championing of US President Donald Trump's policies appears to be backfiring though as Trump's agenda is pulling America apart and the Dutch are afraid that electing someone like Geert Wilders will result in the same in their small European nation and are backing away from voting for him as is shown by his tumbling poll lead.
Such is the poison of Wilder that the UK Government tried to ban him from visiting in 2009 but by the end of 2017 we could have far right wing leaders in the Netherlands, America and France and that is a scary thought and even more so if you are a Muslim who have become the Jews of the 21st Century and we know how that ended the last time the far right-wing had so much control.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Like The Message But Hate The Messenger

We have had three Prime Ministers since Tony Blair slinked out of Downing Street but such was the stink and strength of feeling that he left behind even now he can't put his head above the paparapet without large swathes of the country wanting to take it off.
That is the problem he faces which makes it even worse that what he said today about Brexit is spot on, this Government is about to  take the UK over a cliff edge and someone needs to stop it.
You don't have to like Blair to agree with his stance on Brexit but whatever he may say, it's undermined by who he is and what he's done.    
The irony is that his call for the people of Britain to rise up and force the Government to listen is lost in the memory of 2 million people of Britain rising up against his Iraq War folly and him dismissing them.
The remain camp need a hero, someone to unite and stem the suicidal march to economic madness that 52% of the British public voted for but instead of a hero we got Tony Blair, and he is just to divisive a figure to those of us on the pro-EU side to rally behind who remember his lies and actions during his turn in power.

French Colonialism

France and Britain were amongst the worst of the colonisers who would forcibly take over countries, rape and pillage them for their own benefit and make with the military if the people we were subjugating took offence.
Some still try and make the defence that we 'civilised them', those that lived possibly but not so lucky were the millions who died under the Union Flag and Tricolour and while us British tend to not mention it or call them the Commonwealth, the French President nominee, Emmanuel Macron, has come out and said that what the French did was 'a crime against humanity', 'truly barbarous' and 'part of our past that we should apologise for'.
Damn straight you may think but those on the right wing of French politics has said that his words were treacherous and treasonous and pulled out the same nonsensical cliches about bringing wealth, law and order to the nations while they were being stomped all over.
The latest polls show that Macron would come second to the ultra right wing Marine Le Pen in the first round of voting and then would resoundingly defeat her in the second which would come as a relief as yet another right wing lunatic in one of the major nations of the globe would really be something to worry about. 

Trump Cracking Under Pressure

The big question posed after Donald Trump's bizarre and incoherent rant last night was is he having some sort of breakdown under the pressure?
The easy answer is no, he is just a massive bell end trying to deflect media attention away from his dubious links with Russia and poor decision making but docotrs have reached another conclusion, he has a mental illness.  
A group of mental health professionals have suggested that: 'Mr Trump is incapable, on psychiatric grounds, of serving as president' and put it down to his suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders puts the symptoms of NPL as: 'an exaggerated sense of self-importance, fantasies of success, power, brilliance or beauty, belief in being special, requiring excessive admiration, a sense of entitlement, selfish in taking advantage of others, lacking empathy, envious of others, arrogant, haughty, patronising or contemptuous and anyone
if a perosn can identify with at least five of the symptoms, they can be said to have the mental disorder. 
As he almost ticks every one of the boxes, the mental health doctors could have a very strong case but then that brings us to the thorny issue of, if Donald Trump is suffering from mental illness, can we still mock him?
Considering that his eye-shakingly bad decision making is down to a mental problem kinds of makes an excuse for him but as far as i am aware he has not had a diagnosis so it is okay to carry on saying it is just down to him being a World Class, Olympic sized cretin with dodgy financial links to Russia who is cracking under the Pressure of the spotlight. Oh, and an illiterate misogynist sex pest, racist and failed businessman, let's not forget those traits.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Why Are We Not Protesting About NATO Cost?

There isn't much that i agree on with the current US President but we are certainly on the same page on one issue even if we are there for different reasons.
When he was campaigning Donald Trump referred to NATO a few times and questioned its purpose which is something that i have found myself doing more and more since the fall of the Berlin Wall and since Communism ceased being the bogeyman NATO had to protect us from.
Since 1991 and the Berlin Wall fell over, NATO has been at a bit of a loose end but instead of disbanding, the organisation needed to justify its existence and fell upon the idea of 'humanitarian interventions' as we saw in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and in NATO’s most recent display of its commitment to peace, Syria.
Since 2013 NATO's old enemy has been shifted back into the gun sights, over-hyping a Russian threat and building up Vladimir Putin as planning to a over Europe in a non-existant attempt to justify its continuing existence and it's cost, a massive £871 million in 2015.
Now everyone of the 28 countries is being asked to contribute more, 2% of GDP, which for the UK means £39 billion which our Government seems quite proud of being only 5 nations of the 28 who pay their full whack.
As the last few months we have heard about how obscene it is to pay £12 billion a year to maintain our place in the EU and the £10 billion we hand out in foreign aid, why is nobody kicking up a stink over the £39 billion we hand over to NATO?
To steal a quote from those against the EU and actually helping people in need, why are we spending such an obscene money we can ill afford to remain an out of date organisation that has no role in today's world and actually makes the World a less safe place?
Why not a referendum on coming out of NATO and use that money to fund the NHS instead or pay off our debts?
The argument is NATO keeps us safe and that may have been the case in the eighties but if people can vote to destroy the UK economy by removing ourselves from the largest single market on the planet so we can 'take back control', why are we handing over to an organisation that costs three times as much but gives us a minute fraction, if any, of the benefits?   
If anything good can come from having the blithering orange idiot in charge of things, the demise of NATO will be it.

Bring Your Own

Since European companies stopped sending the required chemicals to perform lethal injections in America, our prisoner murdering cousins have had some problem procuring the required cocktail of drugs to carry out the executions but they have developed a work-around, ask the prisoners to supply the lethal dose themselves.  
Various alternatives have been proposed, including the return of electric chairs or gas chambers and firing squads but Arizona  have come up with the most original concept yet with an invitation for lawyers to help kill their own clients.
In a mailshot to lawyers it says: 'the inmate’s counsel or other third parties acting on behalf of the inmate’s counsel may provide the department with a sedative, pentobarbital, or an anesthetic, sodium pentothal, if they can obtain it'.
There are 119 prisoners on Arizona’s death row, according to the corrections department, but the state has not executed anyone since July 2014, mostly due to dwindling supplies of the fatal cocktail of drugs but if they think that prisoners or their lawyers will be coughing up the required dosage to enable them to be executed then it may be a long time until another prisoner is strapped to a stretcher and their arm swabbed for a needle.

Sunday, 12 February 2017


Eros was always the more famous of Aphrodite's children in Greek mythology and he can be seen standing in Piccadilly Circus with his bow in his hand ready to shoot an arrow through the heart of lovers but as shooting your partner with an arrow is not considered romantic anymore, you could always get a letter from the most romantic place in the World, Loveland.
In the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, the town of Loveland has been gearing up for it's busiest period of the year as an expected 300,000 letters to be stamped with the Loveland postcode and forwarded to far flung parts of the World are expected to land in the Colorado Town's postal room.
For two weeks every year, Loveland volunteers stamp and redecorate hundreds of thousands of letters from all corners of the globe, so that lovers can present the objects of their desires with letters postmarked in the land of love.
The Loveland re-mailing programme started up 70 years ago, when a postmaster began re-addressing all mail with the slogan, 'From The Sweetheart City' and the famous town name.
For a fortnight the Town with a population of 51,000 people, becomes the Love Capital of The World with shops playing nothing but love ballads, pubs selling pink beer and the cake shops bake everything pink and heart shaped while every lamp-post displays a heart-shaped sign bearing a lover's message.
The Loveland Website advises that this year they have an Ice and Fire Party planned for the 14th February which could make for a very short party, just hope it is far away from the Post Office else some very soggy Valentine Cards could be dropping onto doormats this year.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Love Spells (Please Use Responsibly)

Valentines Day is fast approaching and while some us may be sipping champagne out of our partners shoes and eating oysters by candle light, others have yet to find their true love.
The choices are either join a dating agency or hope that your soul mate swipes the same way on Tinder or you could just cheat and use a magic spell.
Luckily the good people of the UK Wiccan Society have provided me with their top 12 Love Spells so give these a go and iron your best little black dress (or suit), get a bottle of champagne and a shoe and prepare for love this Valentines Day. 

1- To sweeten someone’s feelings for you write his or her name on a piece of paper using a red pen. Place white sugar on the piece of paper and drip the wax from a red candle onto it and as the wax drops on the sugar think about the person you want.

2 - To bring an ex-lover back in your life cut the petals off of 3 red roses and immerse them in a glass bowl containing salt. Dip the now unpetalled roses into the bowl containing salt and think about your ex-lover.

3 - Remove the lid of a new bottle of vanilla extract and visualise a bright, crimson-red light streaming from you to the bottle and repeat silently, to yourself:

Red as the blood that flows through my heart,
Liquid, bring me a love that shall never part.
Bring it soon, yes bring it fast,
A love that's strong, a love that lasts!

Now, sprinkle just a few drops in each corner of the room in which you sleep. Then place the tightly capped bottle under your mattress and wait for your love to come.

4 - Take two short lengths of different coloured yarn (about six inches long each is fine) and lay them side-by-side, parallel to each other. Now, choose one of the two pieces to represent yourself and pick that piece up in your left hand. Speak the following words aloud:

Let this symbol of myself, unfettered and unjoined, represent my lonesome soul.

Now pick up the other piece of yarn with your right hand and speak the following words aloud:

Let this symbol represent the soul of (insert person's name here). May he/she yearn for me as I yearn for him/her.

Now tie the two pieces of yarn together in a loose knot and speak the following words aloud:

With this knot, tied in trust, may these souls be bound in love.

Without tightening the knot any further, gently lay the loosely tied pieces of yarn down and leave the alone for one hour and then pick up the loosely tied pieces of yarn, and without speaking a word, firmly pull the knot tight and place under your bed and leave it there until the instant bond of love spell has taken effect.

5 - Put a candle in a darkened room in the middle of a table. Write what you want on a piece of paper with a black ink pen saying as you write:

What I want to write here
Please take my dream and bring it to near ,
What I want is what should I get
Let all my dreams be fulfilled now,

Take the paper and fold it into a square of four creases. Hold this above the candle with tongs and let it burn as you picture what you would like fulfilled.

6 - Write down the qualities you desire in a lover on the sheet of paper using a red ink pen but don't use any names. Fold the paper and place it in the envelope. Next, take some Rose petals and hold them in your RIGHT hand. Close your eyes and imagine yourself happy and in love, squeezing
the petals tight in your hand. Keep imagining this scene for about two minutes or more (longer is better).
Open you eyes and place the flower petals in the envelope with the folded paper. Close the envelope, seal it, and then seal it with a kiss. Place the sealed envelope in a safe place and NEVER open it again. Wait for your lover to come to you. Once you have gained the love of another, destroy the envelope by burning it and burying the ashes.

7 - Boil a small pan of water and once the water is boiling, drop a pinch white sugar into the pan and repeat the following words aloud:

Water hot and sugar sweet,
Bring a love for me to meet,
Pure and clean, good and strong,
Make it fast, but lasting long.

Allow the water to cool and then pour it into vase and place a single red rose in the vase.

8 - Get a long cord and tie 9 knots along it and say:

Ladder of nodes that number nine,
I could fashion you sign me you will be mine.
This is my will!"

Hang it up in your bedroom.

9 - Carefully remove the core of a red apple and repeat the following:

Deep within this apple's heart,
I cast this spell to have a start,
At love and romance coming soon
Bring it 'fore the next full moon.

Write down the name of your intended love on a slip of paper and fold it up and put it in the centre of the apple. Place the apple somewhere in your kitchen  (not in the fridge, or you'll put a chill on the whole thing) and after exactly 24 hours you need to bury it somewhere outside.

10 - On the back of a picture of your intended, write 'I love you' and on the back of a photo of you, write 'You love me'.  Light a candle and drip candle wax on the front sides of both photos and quickly stick them together while repeating the following:

Together as one
Under moon and sun

Slip the pair of photos under your pillow, and sleep with them there until your loved one is yours.

11 - Tie 3 knots in a red ribbon, spacing them out evenly along the length. Say each line of the spell as you tie each of the knots:

With knot of one, my love will come
With knot of two, it shall be true
With knot of three, so mote it be

Loop the knotted ribbon around a bed post, bedside lamp or the doorknob to your bedroom. Don't tie it though, you don't want any extra knots in there.

12 - Set an empty wine glass on a table and suspend a ring (traditionally a wedding ring) from a length of red ribbon. Holding the ribbon between thumb and forefinger, as a pendulum, with the elbow resting on the table, let the ring hang still in the mouth of the wine glass.
In a loud, clear voice, call out your own name followed by the name of your would-be love. Repeat the name of your love twice more (three times in all). Then, thinking of him/her, allow the ring to swing until it 'chinks' against the side of the wine glass once for each letter as you spell out the name. Now take the ribbon and tie it about your neck.

Disclaimer: When dealing with emotions, there can be no guarantee that love spells will be successful. Love spells are powerful but designed as aids for creating love but should not be used to force someone to act against their will.
The author of this blog cannot be held responsible for any results of using these spells or any resulting soggy shoes

Space Exploration Just Got Sexy Again

In a quiet corner of the Universe, tucked away on the edge of a Spiral Galaxies arm, is a Planet that teems with life and the inhabitants of that Planet are reaching out to try and find other life and the first stop is a moon orbiting a planet in their own Solar System.
Luckily, the Planet with life is our own and it is us doing the reaching out and where we are reaching out to is Europa which one of Jupiter's many moons and is soon to be the recipient of a robotic landing craft to drill into it in a search of life.
Europa is considered to be the best chance of finding life in our solar system due to what is believed to be a vast ocean hiding beneath its icy exterior and NASA have been assessing landing positions for the craft.
A NASA scientist said: 'Europa may hold the clues to one of NASA’s long standing goals, to determine whether or not we are alone in the universe. The highest-level science goal of the mission presented here is to search for evidence of life on Europa'.
With a launch date pencilled in of 2020, space exploration is back on the agenda and exciting missions like looking for ET in our own backyard are the sexy missions that capture the public's imagination alongside the more mundane but crucial ones which will result in us going where no man has gone before as Captain Kirk said.

Arsenal Moving On But...But...

All good things must come to an end and it appears that Arsene Wenger is dropping hints that this season in the comfortable, heated Managers seat at the Emirates may be his last. 
After 20 years of standing on the sidelines he has mentioned to Ian Wright that he will probably step down at the end of the season and Ian Wright went to the highest place he could find and shouted it out to the World.
The majority of Arsenal fans i have spoken to feel it is the right decision and with news that Arsenal have been in negotiations with Juventus manager, Massimilano Allegri, who yesterday announced that he has agreed to leave the Italian club in the summer, it seems the deal has been done and the Frenchman will be replaced by an Italian next season.
I do agree that it is probably time to move on from the Wenger era but i do look at teams like Manchester United who depart with a long entrenched manager and never hit those heights again.
England fans moaned that under Sven Goran-Eriksson we would always get knocked out at the quarter-Final stage of major tournaments and how we would love to still be in tournaments at that stage now, having never been near a quarter final since the Swede took his ball and took it home.
So yes, probably is time we gave Wenger a massive pat on the back, three cheers and thank you and move on but i hope that us Gunners don't look back fondly on those seasons when we continually finished fourth and qualified for the European League when we look at the team sheet for the UEFA Cup group games like the Mancs have been doing.

Fake News Phenomenon Not New

Fake News seems to be in the news quite a lot recently as though it is a new phenomenon but it has been with us for as long as i have been reading and watching news and we then called it satire.
There was even a newspaper, The Sunday Sport, which was nothing but fake news with front pages such as 'WW2 bomber found on Moon' and 'NHS Pay For Rippers Sex Change'.
With the rise of the internet and social media, fake news seems to be escalating the problem as the general public seems to have developed a capacity to believe anything that’s put in front of them.
We had Brass Eye, a brilliant show which was massive in the 90s which was a parody of a news show and would dupe big name celebrities in supporting absurd, outrageous campaigns such as the anti-paedophile charity Nonce-Sense leading to the amazingly brilliant TV moment where Phil Collins solemnly looked at the camera and saying the immortal words: 'I'm talking Nonce Sense!'
Anyone with half a brain cell would know that the likes of the Sunday Sport and Brass Eye were satirical and not to be taken seriously but fake news has been around in 'proper' journalism since the printing press was invented.
The tabloid newspapers in the UK are renown for less than truthful stories, Jasper Carrot made a career on the basis that The Sun was printing absurdly inaccurate stories and despite the high profile Leveson Inquiry, still do today.
Fox News is a byword for laughably bad journalism to prove it isn't just the gutter press that indulges in the process of 'making stuff up'.
What we once called satire or parody is now presented as fake news but when the President or Prime Minister says it, it has an ulterior motive because more than anything, they don't want journalists reporting anything that may show them in a bad light so if they bandy about the 'fake news' title, then all journalism gets tarred with that brush and is diminished in the eyes of the readers and viewers.
So Presidents and Prime Ministers can come out with the most outlandish claims and wag a finger at anyone who questions them but that is exactly what journalists should be doing, questioning.
If we don't, we end up in a situation after 9/11 where George W Bush and his administration ride roughshod over the truth and the poor American media failed to fully question the absurd claims and we cartwheeled into unjustifiable wars.
The internet may have amplified it but fake news has always been with us and i refuse to believe that the public has lost the ability to recognise satire from proper news and the whole 'fake news' thing is a way for the powerful to try and shut down debate on their own absurd claims and outright lies.

UK: Sixth Richest But Second Largest Debtors Also

Normally, if you are in debt you get a couple of nasty letters and then either Big Larry comes around with a sledgehammer and eyeing your kneecaps or a man in a wig sends you to a big house with security guards for a few months, and then makes you pay
it back in installments.
Doesn't happen quite that way with countries who it seems just give handed more loans to cover the payments or print more money but still go around with the label of being one of the richest nations, something Britain is very good at with the Worlds 6th richest nation printed on their business cards. 
According to the CIA World Factbook, Britain is second in the largest debt list with an eyewatering amount owing of £9.2 trillion so if we are in the black that much, how can we be one of the richest?
The top debtors are the United States who owe $18 trillion to others, then us Brits and then it's France (5.7 trillion), Germany (5.5trillion), Luxembourg (3.4 trillion)Japan (2.8 trillion) and Italy (2.6 trillion).
Looking at the list of those with the largest debts, all the G20 nations are there so with all these, if their outgoings exceed their incomings then how can they genuinely say they are 'the richest'?
Even basing it on percentage of GDP, America's debt is 96%, UK 569%, France 222%, Germany 145%, Luxembourg 3443%, Japan 60% and Italy 124%.  
It is a long way down the bottom of the list that we find Macau, Brunei and Palau with no debt whatsoever so whatever income they receive, they get to keep and not pay out to others they owe to. 
So it's the Emporers new clothes scenario when the G20 get together to work out how the Global Economy should be run but we are still waiting for someone to stand up, point a finger and say: 'But they are all broke' because they all are so instead of prancing about the World saying we are the 6th richest, how about being honest and saying we are also the second brokest and we still have Brexit to look forward to.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Another Victim Of The Economic System

When NASA mothballed its space program due to costs everyone turned to Russia to get our astronauts into Space but now that the plant that makes the rockets has been temporarily shut down, we seem to have a bit of a problem getting off the ground. 
The only way to get astronauts to the International Space Station is on the back of Russian rockets, but the plant where these launch vehicles are made has stopped production after an unmanned ISS supply ship called Progress MS-04 blew up  six minutes after blast-off.
Roscosmos, the Russian state-owned corporation which made the Soyuz rockets that launched Progress MS-04, said the engines contained a number of defective components due to excessive cost-cutting at the company's plant forced engineers to select cheaper materials which offering less heat resistance over more expensive precious metals.
British astronaut, Tim Peake, may have to rethink his plans to return to the ISS in 2019 as one of the most important aspects of mankind becomes yet another victim of this rotten economic system we are lumbered with.

No Pomp And Circumstance For You Donald

Poor Donald Trump, nobody likes you, everyone hates you, they're all out without you having fun as Green Day sang and that has been proven yet again by the decision to not only keep him away from Parliament when he is here, but also keep him out of England altogether.
The public said they didn't want him here, the police said his visit would be 'problematic' and even the Members of Parliament said they would boycott him if he tried to drag his ample frame into the Commons so the Prime Minister has done the decent thing and shoved him into another country.
As it is doubtful that he will realise what a massive bell-end he is before the visit and decide not to show up, the Prime Minister has began making plans which include a late summer or early autumn visit when Parliament isn't sitting in order to avoid a snub and keeping his out of London and Britain's major cities as much as possible to limit the president’s public exposure to demonstrations
against him.
The plan being discussed between the Prime Minister, police and Buckingham Palace is for him to visit the Queen in Balmoral in Scotland and encouraged to spend the bulk of his visit up there.
The first problem is Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmon, the leaders of the ruling Scottish National Party who have been the loudest critics of the President and would look to score political points by staging their own snubs and protests against him being in their country.
The second problem is Scotland are just as capable of throwing insults and eggs at him as England and it is a short hop up the M8 so there will be protests wherever shows his strangely coloured face. 
Notoriously thin skinned, it's going to be interesting how the Trump reacts to a state visit which is hardly disguised as letting him in by the tradesman's entrance and keeping him out of the way with none of the pomp and circumstance that all his predecessors and other World leaders have enjoyed.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Small Steps For Trump

Why would the Prime Ministers Office put out such a statement that Donald Trump has a fear of stairs and slopes if not to add to the very long list of things to make fun of him for.
Downing Street officials claimed the infamous hand holding session between Trump and Theresa May during her visit was due to 'the President's phobia of stairs and slopes led him to grab the prime minister's hand as they walked down a ramp at the White House'.
So what are we supposed to do with this information that him being a racist, misogynist, Hitler reading, sex molester, orange moron with silly hair who enjoys piss parties with prostitutes and mocking the disabled doesn't already cover?
Well we could add to it illiterate because there are growing whispers that Trump has the reading level of a small child.
It has been noticed (by others i hastily add) that the 70 year old makes numerous excuses to avoid having to read or write anything and a clip of him struggling with a hymn sheet before putting it down is put forward for consideration as well as the hilariously badly spelt Tweets where he made even more of a fool of himself. 
It is something worth considering that maybe he misread the instruction to grab ladies pursies, to build a Mexican Mall and stop Asian Muslin's entering the country to help the US textile industry.
Could also be that he is just a sex molesting racist who can't read and has not grasped the concept of stairs but let's see how this one plays out.

Avoiding Ten More Years Of Austerity

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, if the Government carries on with its current plans, it will take until 2027/28 to reach a surplus on the public finances.
It doesn't explain if that factors in the potential £40bn black hole in the public finances when we step away from the EU but it does say that we face at least another decade of austerity.
The problem is this Government has cut back on almost everything it can cut since the great recession of 2008, including areas it had previously ring fenced as untouchable such as NHS and education, and still we are in the black so where is left to trim?
What they don't seem to have done, and actually cut back on, was tax. They have raised the personal allowance so less people are paying tax and cut the top rate of tax so the people who paid the most, are now paying less.
Rather than cutting which unfairly hits the people at the bottom, taxing is far more fairer as it hits those who can best afford it harder than the rest of the workforce who would miss it more.
The cuts are having dangerous knock-on effects and privatization is the worst possible option, recent adventures with the utility companies show how that turned came back to bite us so rather than Governmental hand wringing about not knowing where they can cut, don't cut anything and bring in more money by raising more in tax and not forcing us to face even more austerity pain for the next ten years.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Clearing Space Junk

Newton's first law of motion states that an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by another force so while on Earth something travelling at speed will be slowed by friction or air resistance, in space neither of these exist so an object in motion will stay in motion until it smashes into something, in the latest case the International Space Station where a piece of Space junk, the size of a flake of paint cracked the window.
Since the Soviets threw Sputnik around the planet in the 50's, the area around our planet has been getting more and more congested with pieces of junk which proves a danger to astronauts as well as large space stations.
Why not, i have always wondered, can't we just somehow use its motion to send it into our atmosphere and burn it up and that is exactly what the Japanese have tried to do with the Kounotori 6 mission which was designed to redirect debris into the Earth’s atmosphere but unfortunately succeeded only in sending itself spinning into the thin blue line and going up in a puff of smoke. 
The European Space Agency estimates the total number of pieces of rubbish in space is more than 170 million, whizzing around Earth at speeds up to 17,500mph and becoming a danger to space station glazing.
I'm sure that if NASA, the ESA and the Japanese put their minds to it they could come up with a way of deflecting the debris our way and if we could get an old Apple satellite to land on Issac Newton's grave, then what an nice twist.

Britain Becoming The World's Whore

Strange how pre-June 23 20126 Theresa May was making the case for how Britain must stay in the EU to survive but since the Brexit vote went the other way, she is saying that Britain now now thrive and grow outside of the EU and to prove it is jetting off around the globe begging countries to trade with us to make up the shortfall when the EU tells us to go do one.
We do seem to have painted ourselves into a corner because nations know we need them more than they need us and dangle trade in front of us but we have to play nicely.
That's why Theresa May won't join in sticking it to the slimey Trump in America, smooched around the abhorrent Netanyahu of Israel and will soon be jetting off to hold the hands of the Chinese Politburo.
No mention of walls or immigrant bans to Trump, a blind eye turned to the land stealing by Netanyahu and let's not mention the poisoning the Earth to the Chinese.
Britain is now impotent on the World Stage because within two years we will lose 30% of our GDP by amazingly stepping away from the largest single market on the planet and it's 500 million customers and we need to find a replacement.
There are already rumours that as part of the Trade deal with America, Britain will have to lower it's food quality and accept GM Food and chemically washed chicken from over there, both which were outlawed by the EU but once removed, we can set our own, very low, standards.
Britain has been on the slide for decades but we have very quickly become the country that is willing to whore itself out for a few shiny pennies.

Windsor's And Trump's Uncomfortably Similar

Quite rightly Theresa May is getting an impressive amount of abuse from all quarters for her ill-thought invite to the new American President to come to our shores and meet the Royal Family and at first thought it seems fair, he is a awful person but then you think about who he will be coming to meet, you start to wonder just how much they both have in common.
So he's a steaming racist but then so is Prince Philip who asked an Aborigine if they still threw spears at each other, told a British student in China that if she stayed there much longer, she’ll go home with slitty eyes and said that his Palaces wiring was so bad it was probably put in by an Indian.
Sleazy scandals involving prostitutes and Trump told us he was a self-confessed sex pest but the Windsor's have Prince Andrew hanging around, dated a porn actress and the same Prince Andrew who is best buddies with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and was himself accused of having sex with an underage prostitute. Then there was that infamous phone call where Charles told his mistress Camilla that he wanted to be reincarnated as her tampon. Finally, Prince Andrew's wife 'Fergie' was splashed across the papers when a photographer caught her laying by the pool, getting her toes sucked by a man who wasn't her husband.
Trumps is a renown fan of Adolf Hitler fan, reads his books and everything but who can forget those front pages where Prince Harry rocked up at a friend's fancy dress party in full Nazi uniform and those pictures of the Queen Mother giving Nazi salutes wasn't revealed in the papers all that long ago.
Trump hates the media, the Windsors blame them for the death of Princess Diana and Prince Harry has physically hit out  reporters on more than one occasion and they all complains about them at every opportunity, especially when Kate decides to stand around on balconies topless.
He has a golden throne, she has a real one in  Palace and while he may have five children by three different women, Anne and her husband, Prince Andrew and his wife and Diana and Charles were 
at it like jackhammers with people who were not there spouses and just as an additional tidbit,
Prince Harry looks very much like one of the people we know for sure Diana was sleeping with at the time she got pregnant and while married to Prince Charles don't you think?
All in all they have many similarities to chew over if the Trump can make it down the staircase of Air force One but it shows that America isn't the only place that has stupid, unqualified person to lead them just because they were born into wealth and power, we just call them the Royal Family here.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Black Sabbath Calling It Quits

Black Sabbath have decided to call it a day and play their last concert this week before packing away the guitars after five decades and going home to count their tattoos.
Inevitably the plaudits are being thrown in their direction but apart from the song 'Paranboid', canl;t say i was much of a fan of Sabbath or Heavy Metal in general.
When i was a kid we called Heavy metal fans 'greasers' or 'grebo's' for short and it was all dirty jeans and old leather jackets but i can appreciate some of the music and guitar riffs but were Sabbath, as many seem to be calling them, Britain's best Metal band?
I am probably not the best person to ask, i'm not sure what's metal and what isn't but if Led Zeppelin come under the genre of metal, then i would hand them the Best UK Metal Band trophy.
Judas Priest and Deep Purple i remember were both pretty big back in the day and Iron Maiden fans will certainly argue and although i never really followed either of them, 'Two Minutes To Midnight' was a tour de force and one of the greasers songs that slipped through my no grebo music guard along with 'Madhouse', 'One', 'Smoke On The Water' and 'Ace of Spades' but that was more because of the stonkingly great guitar playing.
So Black Sabbath may very well be the Greatest British Metal Band Ever or not but although i wasn't much of a fan of the genre, it is preferable to the ballad singing X-Factor singers polluting the charts today even if they smell better and are more likely to hoover a hotel room rather than wreck it.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Europe Kicks Out At Trump

Not bad that in such a short time the new American President has not only been given a swift kicking by almost every country in the World, now he is getting the boot stuck in from whole continents.
European leaders not only poo-pooed Theresa' May's desperate attempt to stay relevant to them by offering to become a 'bridge' between Europe and America but launched a tirade against the man who will be the owner of the smallest hands at the next G20 summit. 
A day of swipes at the orange orangutan included Trump being 'highly problematic', 'shirking repsonibility', 'not on top of world affairs' and a concern over his 'decison making and attitude'. 
They finally agreed that America and its ill-conceived military interventions over the last few administrations was 'responsibe for the refugee crisis' in the Middle East.
As that was only the parts they said in public it is safe to assume they had a good laugh about his funny hair, weight, strange skin tone and golden shower parties in private.
Those Europeans can so bitchy sometimes which should make summits when Trump is actually present interesting, given that he comes this side of the Atlantic because as things stand, he doesn't seem to have too many friends in Europe...or Asia, or Australasia, or South America, or Africa.
Antarctica could be an option i guess.

Death By Moon Averted

It is isn't aliens or stray asteroids making a beeline to come and destroy us from space, now its our moon getting ready to bring about our demise.
Approximately 4.5 billion years ago something collided into the Earth and sheared off enough material to make the moon and ever since it has been spiralling away from its Parent at a rate of 3.8cm (1.4 inches) a year but now a planetary scientist has advised us that it will start coming back towards us and oops.
'Eventually, it would get so close that it would spiral inward, dissipating its orbital kinetic energy in a spectacular collision and merger with the Earth' the scientist is saying.
We can anticipate the moon related apocalypse when the Earth’s rotation slows down to the same rate as that of the moon’s orbital period which should happen in about 65 billion years.
65 billion years?? Panic over then, especially as in around 6 billion years the sun will run out of nuclear fuel and the outer layers will expand towards Earth, scorching everything in its path and wiping out all life so looks like we will dodge that Death by colliding Moon after all.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Mary The Virgin (Or Was She)

Apparently the word ballokes appears in the Bible but without checking i would guess it appears in either the bit where Eve tells Adam she met a talking snake who told her to eat an apple or where Mary tells Joseph that she has been made pregnant by God.
The story about Mary being a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus has long been the staple of Christian belief but Sister Lucia Caram has put her big plimsolls into it by suggesting that Mary was probably not a virgin after all and her and Joseph had probably made the two backed beast prior to God flinging his holy sperm at her.
'I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple – and having sex is a normal thing' said the nun during a religious programme which may sound strange coming from the mouth of a celibate nun but the religious folk got their rosary beads in a knot and some even forgot about the love and peace aspect and actually issued death threats at her.
Bishops and the like quickly rushed to restore Mary's dignity and reminding people that Mary’s virginity was unquestionable and the nuns view were not shared by the Catholic Church.
That's okay then, everything is good again and we can trust again that a man in the clouds inseminated a 14 year old girl who was betrothed to someone else because that is much more believable.

Time For A Mrs Dr Who?

Such a shame that Peter Capaldi has decided to put down the sonic screwdriver and is moving on to pastures new leaving a Dr Who shaped space in the Tardis as i rather liked his grumpy Doctor regeneration but onwards and upwards and on to the next Doctor who it has been flouted, could be a female.
That caught the attention of the geek and nerd communities who put down their copy of Popular Science long enough to facebook and tweet how they would not tolerate a woman Doctor.
Obviously there is no reason why the next Doctor couldn't be a woman and there are many women who could do the character justice but just because it has always been played by a white man doesn't mean it always has to be which is the main justification of the nerd brigade.
As the Doctor himself said 'life depends upon change and renewal' so let's completely change the dynamic and throw a two-hearted Time Lord from Gallifrey with a pair of breasts and a womb at the Cybermen and Dalek's for a change.

Trump Putting Iran On Notice

All the time Donald Trump is messing up America it's funny but it stops being quite so humorous when he starts throwing his military might around and he seems to have Iran in his sights with his tweet that he is 'putting them on notice' after a missile test flight.
The Iranians responded by saying they will not bow to American threats and the Russians have weighed in to say that the missile test did not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a deal signed between Iran and six major world powers (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) in July 2015, which curbs Tehran’s nuclear program.
The Russians back Iran for the same reason that America back Saudi Arabia, because they buy billions of pounds worth of military equipment from them so to wag a finger at Iran threatens Russian coffers and the Russians don't like that.
They are also fighting on the same side in the Syrian conflict so Iran has a powerful ally standing beside it and Trump may be as dumb as a post but even he isn't that stupid.
During his campaign he called the JCPOA deal 'terrible' as it would lead to Iran developing nuclear missiles and threatening the World although he also complained that the terrible deal shout American companies out of post-deal economic opportunities in Iran.
If Trump believes that provoking the Iranians is a sound policy move and will make Iran back down and not break out and actually pursue nuclear weapons as a means of self defence then it may find that as alienated as it is around the Globe at the moment, there is a whole new level of alienation his country could go to yet and his round up of an axis of the willing will be even tougher than that
of George W Bush's when he invaded Iraq.
Hopefully he will just stick to passing policies that continue to make him a laughing stock and leave the foreign policy to nations less likely to dig out the George W Bush and Tony Blair guide to dealing with the Middle East countries.