Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Biggest Killers Of Humans

There are many animals that kill humans and in the World Health Organisation list are many of the animals you would expect to see such as sharks who kill on average 6 people a year but that's not as many as Horses who kill on average 20 people annually and Cows who kill 22.
Ants reduce the human population by 30 each year and Bees take care of another 53 while Deer cause 130 deaths but mainly by getting hit by cars and killing the passengers inside.
The King of the Jungle may be target for small penised American dentists but they get their own back by munching down on 250 people which is half the deaths caused annually by Elephants and the same amount caused by Hippopotamuses.
It may be hard to tell the difference between Crocodiles and Alligators but Crocodiles kill 1,000 people each year so it may be worth finding out if that is a croc or a gator waddling your way.
Scorpions send 3,250 people to their maker which is nothing compared to a Tsetse Flies which carries the fatal sleeping sickness and causes 10,000 Deaths.
The Assassin Bug is aptly named as it assassinates 12,000 humans annually and the freshwater snail is near the top of the biggest killer of humans with 20,000 Deaths from ingested the snail which carry parasitic worms.
Dogs are responsible for 35,000 Deaths making it not so much mans best friend but only make it to number 4 in the list with snakes at number 3 with their 200,000 Deaths which is bettered by us humans who kill on average 437,000 other humans a year.
We are only beaten by Mosquitoes who transmit a number of deadly diseases and send on average 725,000 people to the cemetery.

No N In China Anymore

The Chinese Government have become a bit jumpy lately ever since Xi Jinping announced that he may abolish constitutional term limits which would see him remain in power for a third or fourth term, so jumpy in fact that they have been banning things that the Chinese can see on the internet.
Terms banned on Weibo, China’s Twitter, include:'Ten thousand years', 'Disagree', 'Xi Zedong', 'Shameless', 'Lifelong', 'Personality cult', 'Emigrate' and 'Immortality'.
Also banned are the titles of two George Orwell books, '1984' and 'Animal Farm' and amusingly 'Winnie The Pooh' who Jinping is likened to and admittedly, i can see that, he does look kinda pooh-like.
Bizarrely though, another victim is the letter 'N' although nobody can quite work out what the 14th letter of the alphabet has done to annoy the Chinese.
I remember struggling and not learning algebra at school where n was used to represent something algebraic so if the Chinese Government is striking out against useless maths equations then i can support this but somehow i don't think so.
The Chinese Government may well have quelled any rising resentment to the no fixed term decision but good luck to the people in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai though if the 'n' is being censored.

Internet Advice On Staying Warm

As the thermometer didn't get above 0C today and i spent the day watching people trying not to Torvil and Dean across the snow and ice on the ground, it's fair to say that Britain is cold.
If i has a pound for every time i have heard someone say 'Cold enough for ya'? i could afford to buy a pair of heated gloves but for now i will have to make do with the ones i have but rather than stand around shivering, what are some way to keep warm short of strapping a radiator to yourself?
The Internet as usual has the answers so first thing is to get rid of the gloves and buy a pair of mittens like the guys and girls on the Antarctic Programme as mittens radiate heat to the air packet around the other fingers and the palm while in gloves each finger is mostly warmed by the air pocket surrounding it.
Nutritionist's advise eating something spicy like ginger, chillies and other spices as they get your blood flowing and warm you up but eating anything helps as you use energy and burn calories simply digesting the food.
The NHS suggest wrapping a scarf around your mouth warms the air before you breathe it in and covering your neck and wrists where the skin is thinnest.
Hot drinks should be taken but not alcohol which dilates blood vessels in the skin which produces flushing of the face and other parts of the body which in turn means that more body heat is being lost through the skin, and eventually this leads to a fall in body temperature.
A tip from the psychotherapist department is to try not to focus on the cold but to distract yourself by reading, listening to music or singing to yourself.
Finally, the advice from doctors is to dress in layers, wear wool and wear a hat to keep in the heat from your head.
The cold snap is expected to last until next week with Thursday looking particularly disruptive as Storm Emma moves up from Iberia and into our cold air giving a good old dosing of snow to the South Coast so the best advice could be to phone in sick Thursday, grab your hat and mittens then go outside and build a snowman while chewing on a chilli and singing songs from Frozen.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

As the 'Beast from the East' cold snap continues there are advertisements on the television and radio reminding us to check on those who are unable to look after themselves very well. I will set aside a few minutes to call Downing Street and make sure that Theresa May is warm enough and had enough milk and teabags in, the poor old dear has been very doddery recently.
As well as thermal underwear, what else a cold snap brings out is the sort of people who say that as it's snowing and temperatures have plummeted, it disproves Global Warming.
To be fair, i have heard the opposite end of the argument also where environmentalists use a few days of scorching hot temperatures in the summer as proof of Global Warming and both sides of the arguments are just as plain wrong as each other.
The Met Office have patiently explained that this particular wintry spell is due to a Siberian weather system making its way across Europe aided by a plunging Jet Stream which all means that the tonnes of snow usually dropped in Russia has shifted West and dropped on us instead.
Whether that is due to climate change one side will say yes and the other side will say no but arguing over a few shiveringly cold or steaming hot days doesn't do anyone any favours.
What we have to look at is the trend over decades and see if there is a steady pattern so things that affect the temperatures or amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere like El NiƱo, oscillations and even volcanic eruptions, get taken into account.
From 1900 to 2002, the Earth warmed, on average, 0.17C every decade. In this 102 year period there were undoubtedly years that were exceptionally cooler and those that were exceptionally warmer than average but even accounting for these anomalies, the trend is that the Globe is currently warming.
Why it is warming and whether it is mans actions causing it is another argument but to dismiss Global Warming just because Western Europe is shivering for a few weeks is ignorant, irresponsible and plain lazy as is not knowing the difference between weather and climate.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Mobiles Going The Way Of PC's

Strategy Analytics have said that the global market for mobile phones has gone down by 8.8% from last year and while waiting in a mobile phone shop the other day i can possibly see why.
In front and behind me was walls of phones from all companies and apart from the size of the screens, they were all shiny, black rectangles.  
I assumed the difference is the technology inside but the salesman trying his hardest with little success to get me to extend my warranty (it's guaranteed for 2 years, if it breaks i bring it in here, in 2 years i will be ready for a new one so why would i need an extra warranty i argued) admitted in not so many words that apart from the very expensive, top of the range models and the very cheap,
bottom of the range models, the most popular mid-range models have very little to choose between them.
The technology seems to have plateaued and all the makers now seem to have fallen onto the standard black rectangle look apart from the cheapy flip phones and the odd Blackberry breaking up the selection.
You can have some slightly thinner than others, some that are larger and they come in different colours and the operating system is either iOS or Android (Blackberry and Windows have fallen by the wayside) but with nothing to make one stand out above the others, the mobile phone market has stalled with owners not feeling the need to update for new and improved innovations because if there are any, they are so minor that it just isn't worth upgrading.   
The same thing happened with PCs, after some major leaps in technology, the difference became were so small that as long as it did what it was meant to, you stayed with the beige box on your desk you had as people are staying with the black rectangle they currently hold.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Guns Not To Blame For Gun Deaths Apparently

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Florida high school, the nuts at the National Rifle Association have announced exactly what is to blame that 17 American students finished the school day with bullet holes in them.   
Of course anyone with a braincell knows what is to blame but braincells are sadly lacking with the gun nuts of America so rather than barn-stormingly awful gun laws, the NRA are blaming:

Insecure Schools
The Family Structure
Mental Health System
Mainstream Media
European Socialists

Not guns then obviously according to the brains-trust but they have come up with a solution to deadly bullets pinging around a classroom of children, more bullets pinging around the classroom.
Arming teachers is the latest ludicrous solution because throwing more guns into a situation while not making any attempt to control awfully lax gun laws is always the answer when the problem is a nutter with a legally owned gun.
That nothing was done after Sandy Hook shows that nothing will ever be done because 22 small bodies being buried is a price worth paying for people to keep their deadly weapons.
American gun laws are madness, the NRA and their supporters are unstable morons and Donald Trump is a halfwit so for now American parents will have to carry on worrying that their son or daughter just makes it back home alive after each school day until someone with a functioning brain has the light-bulb moment that actually, the problems is the easy access to guns.
There is so much American politicians could do but the solution they seem to have hit upon is having more guns, good luck with that America.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Summer 2018 Cool And Wet

February may seem a strange time to start posting about Summer but i may be deprived of my annual 'I HATE SUMMER' posts this year because as the year ends in an '8', it's going to be a stinker.
Using historical weather data from the past 150 years courtesy of the MET Office, Summers that occur in years ending in the number '8' have not been the ones to draw the headlines, 2008 was unsettled with below average temperatures.
Summer 1998, 1988 and 1978 were all very poor with cold and wet conditions more or less from start to finish while July and August 1968 had an unusual amount of Thunderstorms.
The Summer of 1958 was another exceptionally poor one as was Summer 1948 with both years being very cool, dull and wet.
Bucking the trend slightly was the very warm Summer of 1938 but 1928 and 1918 were very cool.
The second half of Summer 1908 was unsettled as were the summers of 1898, 1888 and 1878.
We had to dig back to the summer of Summer 1868, 150 years ago, to find a hot Summer with temperatures reaching 36C in middle England.
While it doesn't mean that Summer 2018 will not be a barbecue summer, the likelihood is that it will be a cool and wet Summer and the guys responsible for the long term weather forecast at seem to think so also with their forecast for June, July and August across Southern England showing temperatures not topping the low 20s for June, July or August.
For those who like there summers hot 2018 may not be one that lives in the memory but for people like me who sunburn easily and is a target for every passing stingy thing, this Summer is sounding a good one.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Classic Songs Not As Original As I Thought

We’ve all been there. We hear a new song and believe that it came straight from the mind of the artist, expressing their innermost emotions and feelings. Every chord progression and lyric perfectly honed over hours of practise and then we find out that the song is the innermost emotions of someone else as the song is a cover version.
This has happens quite often, i at first refused to believe that The Clash's 'I Fought The Law' was actually a cover version of a 1959 song by Buddy Holly's backing group but listening to BBC Radio 5's Virtual Jukebox show about cover songs i was quite shocked to find out so many songs that i didn't know where covers.
Amongst the more eyebrow raising where Soft Cell's Tainted Love from 1981 which was originally by Gloria Jones in 1964, Joan Jett may have loved Rock N Roll but The Arrows loved it first in 1975 and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun according to Cyndi Lauper but they also did in 1973 when the original song was sung by Robert Hazard.
George Harrison's I've Got My Mind Set On You was first performed by James Ray in 1962 and The Animals House Of The Rising Sun was from 1934 and Tom Clarence Ashley & Gwen Foster.
Aretha Franklin may have got more Respect if the song wasn't just a cover of Otis Redding's song from two years earlier and no surprise Bjork wanted it Oh so quiet, maybe she didn't want anyone to know her biggest hit was a cover of Betty Hutton's 1951 song.
Aswad said ‘Don’t Turn Around’ but that was because if you did you may have seen Tina Turner singing it in 1986 and the Mama's and Papa's were California Dreaming only after Barry McGire dreamt about it first.
UB40's Red Red Wine was much more colourful in 1968 when Neil Diamond first sang about it Harry Nilsson may not have been able to Live if living is without you but the Badfinger sang the same thing in 1970 and they are still living, i think.
All quite eye opening but Blondie were prolific cover versioners with The Nerves Hanging on the Telephone before Debbie Harry hung on it and the Tide Was High in 1980 but it was high also in 1966 when The Paragons originally performed the song.
The one song that got me though was my favourite Blondie Song, Denis, which is now my favourite Randy and The Rainbows song although i'm sure that when they performed it in 1963 they weren't dressed in as stripey swimming costume.

Why Are We Not Using More Solar Power?

I once made a suggestion to a Councillor regarding installing streetlamps with a solar panel on the top so it charged up during the day and lit up at dusk with no drain on the electric grid.
This was rejected at the time as solar panels and British sunshine was unreliable but twenty years on and with solar panels now more reliable and only needing daylight not direct sunlight to operate, it may be worth revisiting as the UK has approximately 6 million streetlights drawing from the electric grid and costing councils millions in a time of spiralling energy costs and squeezed budgets.
As we are looking at things Solar powered, the UK has 262,300 miles of road and by definition is laying there outside in daylight from dusk to dawn and while we can't replace all the tarmac with solar panels as the price would be exorbitant, why can't we run a strip of solar panels down the centre of each road?
262,300 miles of solar panels contributing into the electric grid would make a massive dent in the amount the nation would need to generate or buy and after the initial cost of installation, it would significantly reduce energy costs. 
Solar power is the future especially in terms of climate change and cost and we are bathed in a constant and permanent source of solar energy and the means to convert it into electricity for our use and it seems scandalous that we are not using it to at least partially reduce our reliance on dirtier and more expensive means of making electricity.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Nation Of Great Canalia

It's the halfway mark in the 2018 Winter Olympics and it is fair to say looking at the Medal Table, the nations with snow are doing better than the countries which don't see much of the white stuff and Great Britain is languishing in 21st place with just a brace of bronze medals to our name.
To make things worse Australia are above us in 17th place but as they are part of the Commonwealth, therefore one of our children, we can claim their medals as jointly ours.
Using the same logic Canada's 13 medals are shared with us also so technically we have 4 golds, 7 silvers and 7 bronze giving us a total of 18 medals so far and moves us into 3rd behind Germany and Norway.
That gives a whole new perspective to things and we can snub our noses at Alpine nations such as France, Switzerland and Austria who must be pig sick looking at how well we are doing.
Reprint those Olympic vests with the name Great Canalia, grab some bent sticks and way too revealing tight lycra outfits and let's show those German's and Norwegians that Britannia not only rules the waves but we got the slippery bits down the sides of mountains also!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Getting Rid Of Earworms

I have a horrible affliction where if i sing along to a song, the song gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day which can be a bit embarrassing if it's something uncool and i'm wandering about at work humming along to Right Said Fred or Aqua's Barbie Girl.
The name for a song that stays in your brain is an earworm and my earworm today was Pet Shop Boy's 'Go West' which i made the schoolgirl error of singing along to while digging around in the toaster this morning.
Strangely there are some songs which are more 'earwormy' than others, and science has come up with a formula for just how deeply embedded that song you heard on the radio this morning is going to be for the rest of the day.
The exact formula was revealed as: Receptiveness + (predictability - surprise) + (melodic potency ) + (rhythmic repetition x 1.5) = you having the song on loop in your mind.
The top five songs are 'We will rock you' - Queen, 'Happy' - Pharrell Williams, 'We are the Champions' - Queen, '500 miles' - Proclaimers and 'YMCA' - Village People but don't despair if you have spent the day with 'Young man, there's no need to feel down I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground' whirring around your head because science also explains the way to remove them
is to be 'cognitively engaged', or in plain speak do a Crossword or Sudoku.
Apparently this forces the intrusive music out of your working memory allowing it to be replaced with other things such as the name of the ship in Jason and the Argonauts or the name of Tintin's dog.
So next time you get a song stuck in your head, go in the open air, where the skies are blue, this is what we're gonna do, go west...damn, where's that Sudoku book.

Germans At The Centre Of The Earth

When Jules Verne wrote his book 'Journey to the centre of the Earth' i doubt if he thought 150 years later there would be people stupid enough to use it as a manual but as we know, some people's stupidity knows no bounds so a slowly growing conspiracy is that the Frenchman was actually right and the earth is hollow.
Yep, there's a hollow Earth conspiracy theory that makes even the Flat Earthers seem less ridiculous.
The theory is that a race of alien humans, Vikings and Nazis are living in paradise in the centre of our planet and they got there through one of the three entrances into the inner Earth, two near the poles, and one located somewhere in the Himalayas.
According to the theory, these assorted Vikings and Nazi's have given up their evil ways and are now guardians of the planet, using spacecrafts and flying saucers to keep an eye on us crust dwellers and stop us from starting a nuclear war.
It's not just the Earth that's hollow though, the Moon, Sun, Stars and other Planets are all hollow as well although we don't know if they are full of Germans and Norwegians as well or if that is just us.
Obviously the place with the hole is in the heads of the peoples who believe it but who doesn't love yet another completely barking conspiracy theory.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Hate To Say We Told You So

February 15 2003, I and a million of my pals marched through Central London protesting against the impending Iraq war.
It wasn't just in Britain that demonstrations were held but simultaneous protests were held around the world, tens of millions of us marching in every continent against the Blair/Bush plans for war.
Speaker after speaker in Hyde Park took to the stage to decry a war that would set off a spiral of conflict that would fuel further wars and conflict and bring the misery of terrorism to our shores for generations.
How frighteningly right they were as the havoc wreaked in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria opened a tinderbox that leads straight to the Blair and Bush door.
That they are free to go about their business today is a travesty but the truly sad thing is that if the chance come up again, and Iran is being manoeuvred into out sights, the British and Americans who have done so much to wreck the Middle East, would do the same again if the opportunity arose no matter how many of us marched against it.

Still Too Soon?

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie: 'Now is the time for this country to have a real conversation on sensible gun control laws'.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions:  'This situation that we're seeing just cannot continue'.

Sheriff Scott Israel: 'I'm going to be very animated about what I think this country can do to prevent future tragedies'.

Governor Rick Scott: 'The violence has to stop. We cannot lose another child in this country to violence in a school'.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson: 'Sandy Hook, Pulse nightclub, Fort Lauderdale airport, Las Vegas and now Parkland, Florida - when is this going to stop?"

Senator Chris Murphy: 'Don't tell me tomorrow isn't the appropriate time to debate gun violence'.


Florida Senator Marco Rubio: 'It is too soon to debate whether tighter gun laws could have stopped it. You should know the facts of that incident before you run out and prescribe some law that you claim could have prevented it'.
It remains to be seen whether the US Congress will act to introduce tougher gun control after this latest shooting but i'm guessing not so if you missed this one don't worry, there will be another mass shooting of children coming to America shortly.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Backing Labour's Re-Nationalisation Plans

As we stand, Britain is heading towards a big dollop of Socialism in the very near future with Jeremy Corbyn and his brand of Labour Party poised to pick up the pieces the Conservative Party leave behind.
First on the Labour Parties agenda is thankfully the end of the disaster that was privatisation and a fresh round of re-nationalisation starting with water, energy and rail.
The privatisation programme become part of the British political landscape over the last 40 years and has been a disaster, nobody can argue that the promised efficiency, investment, lowered costs or saved jobs ever arrived, rather there was large scale redundancies, sky-rocketing prices and the previous British companies in the hands of a small group of international investors who pay themselves billions in dividends.
With water being first in the re-nationalisation firing line, the National Audit Office have said that water bills had risen 40% since privatisation in 1989 and water companies paid out a total £1.6bn to their shareholders in 2017, money that under Labour would go back into the pot for everyone and there is the rub.
The privatisation experiment has failed spectacularly because it is impossible for the private sector to deliver the same service for less than a service run by the Government and still make a profit and making a profit is the bottom line for businesses and that profit goes into personal bank accounts when it could be going into the Governments bank account for the benefit of all of us.

Why The 1p NHS Tax Won't Work

When a countries economy starts to shrink they have two options to keep the coffers full, to raise tax to bring in more money or make cutbacks to reduce the amount they pay out and this Government have made the decision to make cuts, that they actually reduced tax for the top earners from 50% to 45% is an argument for another time, but on the whole it has been wide scale austerity and slashing the bills.
Amongst the many casualties has been the NHS who as a result of only receiving an annual increase of 1% instead of the traditional 4%, is in crisis.  
Out of the British pay packet comes Income Tax at either 20% for lower earners, 40% for higher earners or 45% for very high earners as well as National Insurance which is another 12% and is used to pay for your State Pension when you reach 67.
In all, on your wage each time you are paid and if you are in the lowest tax bracket (under £45,000) you pay to the Government almost a third of your wages but now the idea of an additional tax is being mulled over, a tax increase to pay for the NHS.
The first thought of many would be of course 1p more tax to pay for the National Health Service is a good idea but then thinking about it some more, it's an awful idea.
What about all the other essential services that have had their budgets slashed such as housing, education and police, they could make an excellent case for an extra 1p of tax for them also.
Any cuts and shortages of funding for our services was purely an ideological choice of this Government, they could have raised taxes or chased harder the £34 billion that is not collected through tax avoidance and tax evasion by the wealthy and corporations.
The Government has an average tax intake of £702 billion annually, how it spreads it around is a policy choice and by adding 1p to income tax will raise an additional £6 billion but unless it is ring-fenced and marked just for the NHS, it will just go into the countries bank account to be part of their regular income and who is to say that the treasury won't just reduce the NHS budget to take it into account.  
The taxation system is badly in need of an overhaul but regardless of the tax intake, the way it is divided out is down to the ruling Government and if they want to underfund the NHS, police or schools for their own ideological reasons, that will continue regardless.

Inappropriate Olympic Sponsors

Hard to believe that at the 1964 Japanese Olympics, one of the partners was a cigarette brand who cannily called their cigarettes Olympia.
It’s unbelievable now to think that cigarettes were marketed at the Words greatest sports event although cigarettes sponsorship has been banned since 1988, future generations will no doubt look back at the sponsorship of South Korea’s Olympic games by the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonald's with similar incredulity.
What is almost guaranteed is that none of the 3,000 world’s best athletes taking to the slopes, rinks, and half pipes in Pyeongchang will have either of these as part of their training diet.
It is hard to avoid the names of these sponsors who are the very companies that provide the products that could be the biggest obstacle to anyone becoming an Olympian.
The World Health Organisation report that 39% of the world’s population is classified as overweight and 13% are obese and linking athletes who have honed their bodies and mind to as close to perfection as possible with products that are driving obesity should be seen as staggeringly inappropriate as cigarettes at a sporting events are to us now.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

The Coming Recession

The only things certain in life are death, taxes and recessions and we have seen recently  some wonderful shots of unhappy traders shouting, waving paper and staring at screens with their hand on their mouth which all means...well i'm not sure what it means but it seems like the economy is once again on it's usual one way trip to a financial crisis.
The finance guy on BBC must have been watching the Winter Olympics just before his piece because he talked about skating on thin ice, things hurtling downhill fast and there was even mention of a wild and scary toboggan ride which was accompanied by graphics of Global Markets with big down arrows next to them.
Last week’s share price crashed, wiping $4 trillion off the value of markets around the world before a slight recovery followed by another ariel with two and a half twists reversal.
I don't know what the economy people are saying, i don't even understand half the words they use but they seem to be getting excited about something and we could be seeing graphics with the down arrows for some time but if it leads to the collapse of Manchester United, McDonald's, Estate Agents and Ed Sheeran's singing career we can consider the coming recession a necessary evil. 

Climate Change And Sport

Interesting observation that of the previous Winter Olympic venues, only six will still be cold enough to qualify as hosts again due to Climate Change but a sport even more in danger is golf which is being swallowed up by rising tides and coastal erosion.
Scotland is home to several Golf courses and the North Sea is encroaching at a rate of a couple of metres per year which led to the Trump contradiction of questioning Climate Change at home but citing it on the planning application as the reason to to build large sea defences at his golf course.
'As the sea rises, and the coast falls away, we’re left with nowhere to go' says St Andrew’s financial director Chris Curnin, adding 'Climate change is often seen as tomorrow’s problem, but it’s already eating away at our course'.
The erosion of Golf Courses is just one case in the Leeds University report into the impact of climate change on sport in Britain with virtually no outdoor sport being safe from the pass 200 years of human idiocy.
Cricket, more sensitivity to climate than most sports, is particularly vulnerable and football stadiums should be fine but it is further down the leagues that the problems will occur with flooding and increased rainfall having the potential to decimate grassroots football everywhere.
Almost every outdoor sport will be effected so the solution will be for those that can move indoors or under s roof will, those that can't such as golf will watch on as their game crumbles into the sea, another victim of continuously belching massive clouds of pollution up into the sky.

Friday, 9 February 2018

North Korea Winning Olympic PR War

A lovely piece of mischief making at the Winter Olympics by seating the US and North Korea within spitting distance of each other.
There was Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo-jong having a whale of a time while Mike Pence and his wife sat there with a face like a slapped arse looking like they would rather be anywhere else but sat infront of the Representative of the country his boss said he would mass murder only a few weeks ago.
You hope Kim Yo-jong spent the whole three hours of the ceremony kicking the back of Pence's chair and making remarks in broken English about mentally deranged doltards but it seemed she was enjoying herself too much to worry about the couple infront who made their excuses to avoided the official meal to avoid bumping into her.
North Korea has played a blinder over the past few weeks with their reconcilatory tone and sending the North Koreans to join up with the South Korean hockey team although how the South Koreans dropped to accommodate them may not be so happy about it.
SO North Korea made America look like a miserable old curmudgeon and even more so when the North Korean and South Koreans came out holding a unified Korea Flag to which everyone went wild except the Pence's who refused to join in the celebrations, much more at home making threats to annihilate nations rather than celebrate when they come together.
They really should have sent Trump, he wouldn't have woosed out on the dinner just because he didn't like the company because by looking at his waistline he has never missed a dinner in his life.
I'm sure the fat tyrant with strange hair will start throwing around insults and threatening nuclear war again soon enough and so will Kim Jung-Un but until then the Gold Medal for Public Relations goes to North Korea.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Snowless Winter Olympics

I do like to watch the Winter Olympics although being held in South Korea and they are nine hours in front of the UK i will only be able to see a few minutes while i am charging around with my cornflakes in the morning and the highlights package in the evening.
The average temperature in Pyeongchang is 0C with temperatures at night getting down to around -10C but due to the unreliability of snow, the snow cannons are on standby to make some of the white stuff if needed but this is becoming a common theme as due to global warming and the steady rise in temperatures, it's becoming harder and harder for hosting nations to provide enough
quality snow needed for athletes to perform.
Snow cannons were in action in 2014 at Sochi in Russia and in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics they had to fly in snow via helicopter. 
Researchers predict that by 2080, only six of the previous Winter Olympic venues will still be cold enough to qualify as hosts again but holding the Winter Olympics in a place that might not have any snow might prove to be a plus for us Brits.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Space Exploration Takes Another Step Forward

Humans have taken another huge step forward courtesy of Elon Musk and his tactfully renamed Falcon Heavy Rocket which not only launched perfectly but returned back again to be reused.
Absolutely awe inspiring and one of those moments that come along every now and then that makes you think how amazing humans can be when we stop being jerks to each other and focus on something brilliant.
The image of those boosters landing by themselves simultaneously will be played alongside the moon landings when the story of Space Exploration is revised.
What this opens up is the possibility of space launches vastly cheaper than government alternatives. Nasa is working on its own heavy rocket, called the Space Launch System, which remains untested and is projected to cost around $1bn per flight while the Falcon Heavy would cost less than a tenth of that, at $90m per flight.
Just awesome Mr Musk and finally a giant leap forward after so many wasted years following the Moon landings.

Monday, 5 February 2018

The NHS, Trump, Farage & Fox News

If ever there was a man who overplayed his hand it is Nigel Farage. The UKIP leader who tried 7 times to become an MP and failed while being widely mocked for blaming absolutely everything on immigration, has been on Fox News and blamed the ills of the NHS on: 'a population crisis caused by government policy on immigration' surprise surprise.
Donald Trump, being the ignorant imbecile that he is was watching and tweeted that: 'The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working'.
Maybe someone should have pointed out to Trump that the thousands marching in the UK was in support of the NHS and demand the Government inject more funds into it and against an American style Health System although Farage would have still blame immigrants because that's what the nasty little racist always says.
The NHS is failing but not due to immigration but due to the right wing ideology of this awful Government.
It is the failure to raise the NHS budget by the required 4% each year since 2010, opting for a grudging 1% instead while making £22 billion worth of cuts, closing 44 hospitals and treatment centres with a loss of 15,000 beds, the loss of 5,870 NHS nurses and a third of ambulance stations.
A Guardian poll showed that 79% of Health Professionals state that NHS cuts have had a detrimental affect on patient care and many see this as a taste of things to come as the NHS gets run down, sliced and diced and then the most financially profitable bits privatised just like the Prison Health Contract.
As the ignorant and uninformed Trump got his news from Nigel Farage and Fox News, it's no surprise that he has made himself look a moron again and laid bare his agenda to keep America one of the most expensive, inefficient and unjust healthcare systems in the world.Trump, Farage and Fox News? No Thanks.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Duck!! Nope It's A Goose

There is nothing more heart warming than a tale of a hunter who somehow ends up getting hurt themselves so let's have a chuckle at Robert Meilhammer who is currently getting a taste of hospital food care of a goose.
Mr Meilhammer obviously has issues and was out in a field getting his kicks from killing innocent animals for his own amusement when he took aim at a goose which fell from the sky as living things do when you bravely blast a hole in them from the ground.
The goose fell 90ft and landed directly on Mr Meilhammer's head, knocking him unconscious and causing a severe head injury but he is said to be in a stable condition.
Maybe if more hunters got clunked on the head by their unfortunate victims there may not be so many sadistic halfwits around getting their kicks from killing the wildlife but as for karma casualty Mr Meilhammer, oh dear, what a shame, never mind.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Food, Glorious Food (Which Can Kill You)

The saying is that you can never get too much of a good thing but try saying that to someone who has just eaten 1,800 cups of rice because they would be too busy dying to hear you because that's how much rice you will need to eat in one sitting to kill you.  
Scientists at ASPScience have crunched the numbers and have compiled a list of just how much of something is enough to actually bring your living to an abrupt end.
You may want to stop at that 24th Green Potato because 25 is the number to have you turning up your toes and you would need to have a massive fruit bowl to hold the 11,000 Oranges you would need to eat to die from a fatal Vitamin C Overdose.
Cherry Pips are deadly but only if you eat 588 of them so far more achievable is the 100 apple pips or the 480 bananas you would need to digest to get 'death from fruit' on your death certificate.
Tuna is so full of Mercury that 4 tins of the fish in one sitting would bring down the curtain early as would 80 cups of coffee, 6 litres of water, 40 energy drinks or 13 shots of alcohol.
You would need to like your tea sweet to be able to handle 6 cups of sugar in it but it would be your last as would the 40 bars of chocolate or the 29 tablespoons of pepper, 48 tablespoons of seasoning or 47 teaspoons of Salt.
Just to round it out if you somehow accidentally ate 24 tubes of Toothpaste you would have lovely smelling breath for the funeral director and we all know that cigarettes are bad for your health if you smoke them but if you decide to eat them instead, keep to munching under 5 a day (or half a cigar) if you want to stay alive.
Stay healthy and while an apple a day may keep the doctor away, eating 100 of the cores won't keep away the undertaker.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Global Democracy Declining

Winston Churchill said that the best argument against democracy is a conversation an average voter so he would be happy that the number of Democracies around the World is shrinking and we are now down to just 19 full democracies or less than 5% of the world's population according to the annual Democracy Index which looks at governments around the world and tracks elections, politics,
culture and civil rights.
As usual, Scandinavia comes out best with Norway the most democratic nation followed by Iceland and then Sweden, the UK is the 14th most democratic country while the USA is 21st and was downgraded to a 'flawed democracy' last year and remains in the same class as nations such as India, Chile, South Africa, Greece, Colombia and Mexico.
Overall, across the world, democratic norms are slipping, according to the Index authors blaming declining trust in institutions, erosion of civil liberties and curbs on freedom of speech and curtailing freedom of the media under the guise of prevention of terrorism laws, blasphemy and 'hate speech' laws.
The rest of the world’s population live in a hybrid or authoritarian regime with North Korea the lowest-ranking country on the list along with Syria, Chad and Central African Republic.
As for the 95% of those not living in a full democracy, placing a cross on a ballot paper every five years in order to hand over political control to a party is as much say as we have. Yes we can remove a Government but once in they are there for a long time and short of a revolution, we are stuck with them and it's 60 months until Democracy wheels its way back again.
I wouldn't be that upset if your country is not in the top class as Democracy is 1 day every 1826 days so for 1825 days we are no different.

Social Kissing Dilemma

My long held social interaction when saying farewell to someone was always a little upper arm rub while saying something like 'Thank you for the coffee, see you soon, Bye' but things have moved on so far and so fast that before i knew it i was being hugged which was immediately uncomfortable but now cheek kissing is the norm and the social awkwardness that brings.
To pull away when a pair of lips come in search of your cheek is bad form but then the decision is which cheek to go for and the amount of cheeks to kiss.
Some people kiss on one cheek, some two, some go back to the first one for a second time and some go left then right while others go right then left which can lead to the embarrassing moment when noses clash if you get it wrong.
Science has managed to answer party of the quandary as a study by Ruhr University found that in a study of couples kissing, they found that both participants went to their right in 65% of kisses with only 35% leftwards.
If you aim for the other persons left cheek, you will therefore avoid a bruised nose two times out of three but that is only half the conundrum solved as how many cheeks should be kissed and how many times.
The standard seems to be a one kiss on the cheek for someone you know such as a colleague and the two kiss greeting (one on each cheek) for long term friends or someone you know very well.
I still persist with the good old upper arm rub and try to get that in first as i say my goodbyes before any kisses are aimed my way and that works enough of the times but sometimes you can't escape and then you have the dilemma of how quick you can wipe your cheek of the faint coffee smelling film of saliva on your cheek.
Whatever happened to just waving goodbye to people??

Did Things Just Go Woosh?

Excited man on the TV pointing to a graphic that read:

FTSE 250 index down 1.11%
FTSE 100 down 0.63%
Germany’s Dax down 1.68%
France’s Cac down 1.64%
Italy’s FTSE MIB down 1.44%
Spain’s Ibex down 1.81%
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.37%.
Sterling down 1%

It is no longer 'if' but 'when' he explained saying it was a bad day all round for global markets before another serious looking man said global meltdowns doesn't work like this, they tend to go 'woosh' and we have been 'wooshed' a few times so we would know a 'woosh' when it happens.
I have no idea what the hell they were talking about or what would woosh or how to tell even if it went woosh but from what i can tell the greedy capitalists who run the show never changed anything after the last recession but kept the same rules that ensured the next recession would arrive the same as it has done every decade or so.
As many people are still suffering from the fallout of the 2008 crash, the 2018 one could knock so many people onto their backs before they even get a chance to clamber back onto their feet.
Things need to change as Capitalism just isn't working but all the time the Capitalists are running the show, Capitalism is what we will have and the recessions that wreck so many lives that come with it.  

Do It For Old England Pats

It has always intrigued me that the colonists did all they could to escape England but when they turned up in the United States, they named a state New England and called the cities after places in England so in New England and Old England there is a Boston, Worcester, Bridgeport, Manchester, Cambridge, Warwick, Greenwich, Waltham, Bristol, Plymouth, Taunton, Weymouth, Stratford, Barnstable, Enfield, Norwich, Braintree, Shrewsbury, Chelsea, Coventry, Glastonbury, Dartmouth, Chelmsford, Andover, Derry, Bangor, Falmouth, Dover, Rochester, Cheshire, Windsor, Tewksbury, Gloucester, Northampton, Mansfield, Westport, Wakefield, Reading, Newport and Burlington.
One of the States in New England is New Hampshire and in there is a city named Portsmouth and by a strange coincidence i hail from the original Portsmouth in Hampshire, England.
The New England flag has the English flag in the corner of it's flag and the New England Patriots play in blue as do Portsmouth FC and the New England Emblem is a version of John Bull called 'Brother Jonathon'.
The reason why New England is being mentioned is because they are playing in the Superbowl this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles and as New England is almost a carbon copy of Old England, us original Englander's will be wanting the duplicate England to win.
Well, most of England as Derry is in Northern Ireland, Newport and Bangor are in Wales and Westport is in County Mayo in Ireland and i'm almost certain they won't be cheering for England old or new but then geography was obviously never a strong point for our Bible carrying counterparts.
Unfortunately we won't get to hear the unofficial England anthem of 'Three Lions' being sung to complete the scene as the New England don't have Lions on their Shirts and prefer a man wearing a tri-corner hat and 'Three Cornered Hat on a Shirt' hasn't got quite the same ring to it.  
Anyway Pats, do it for England, St. George and the Queen although we won't be watching as it's on at stupid o'clock and to us it is just a load of large men jumping on each other every 30 seconds while throwing a rugby ball about.