Saturday, 31 March 2018

Gaza Mourns It's Dead

Huge coincidence that as Jews are berating the Left for anti-semitism, demanding that criticism of Israel is stopped, Israel is in the news for killing 17 Palestinians and wounding 1,400 demonstrating against Israel stealing their land.
Israel are claiming they are killing rioters and those performing acts of terror but that story is undermined when the first to die, a 27 year old farmer, was killed by a tank shell while picking parsley in his field before the protests had even begun.  
The terror acts include youths throwing stones at the wall where hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers are sat firing down from atop the 8 metre high wall at thousands of unarmed people on the Palestinian side in Gaza.
Mahmoud Abbas said he held Israel entirely responsible for the deaths and has called on the International Community to intervene and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for an independent and transparent investigation into the violence and the use of military weaponry against civilians while the EU diplomatic chief, Federica Mogherini, also called for for a probe into the use
of live ammunition by the Israeli military.
Human Rights Watch called the number of killed and wounded shocking and released a statement saying: 'Israel’s presumption that it can dictate the actions of Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip is absurd. The decision where and whether and how to demonstrate in Gaza is not Israel’s to make. Israel has the power to immediately change life in Gaza for the better, but has chosen not to do so.
It has made Gaza a huge prison, yet forbids the prisoners even to protest against this, on pain of death.'
Israel have decided that marching on your own side of the defensive wall is grounds to murder people which could have far reaching ramifications for the Middle East if Hezbollah join the fight on the side of the Palestinians.
Their modernised stockpile of an estimated 130,000 missiles and rockets, and its 50,000 battle hardened fighters would escalate and bring death and destruction to Israel and Hezbollah hardliners are already making noises about intervening.
American is no longer an honest broker in the region, Donald Trump has proven himself to be as ignorant as he is pro-Israel and as they have a history of defending the indefensible when it comes to Israel, Palestinians must look elsewhere for support it needs to stop yet another Israeli disproportionate attack on the nation it has imprisoned and attacks with shocking regularity.
I just hope that the expected demonstration from the left recognises that it is the barbaric actions of the Israeli Government we are against, not Jews or Israel itself because Israeli supporters will try and shut down any protests with shouts of anti-semitism, let's not give them that opportunity.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Financial Cost If You Get Shot In USA

The Florida students are doing a good job of keeping the attacks at their school which killed 17 of their fellow students in the news, nothing has happened of course and the gun laws are still as brain-numbingly crazy as they were before the killings but at least it isn't just going away as many of the gun-nuts would have hoped.
Cemeteries full of school aged children with bullets holes in their young bodies isn't a good look for the selfish second amenders who put the right to bear arms above the right not to be blasted to death by a gun wielding maniac but there is something which i never considered which neatly brings together Americas other bizarre institution, the health care costs if you are a shooting victim.
Will McAleer, president of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, has urged Canadians to make sure they have travel insurance if they are making the trip across the border as the cost of being treated in an American hospital can land you a bill of up to hundreds of thousands.
McAleer used the story of Manitoba woman, Jan Lambourne, to illustrate his point as she was one of four Canadians injured in the Las Vegas shooting and was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds after being shot in the stomach and after surgery, rehabilitation and air transport she was handed a bill for $300,000.
'“We are talking about one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, place to receive medical treatment,” McAleer said referring of the U.S. health care system and the financial burden if you are caught up in one of the daily mass shootings in the nation when it is always too early to talk about gun control from the last mass killing before the next one comes along.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The War On Easter

I once had the pleasure of a conversation with a dullard about the Political Correct Brigade trying to stop Christmas by banning the word 'Christmas' and using 'Holiday's' instead while standing in front of a supermarket with six foot high MERRY CHRISTMAS message along its window.
Not saying that the religious right wing are a bit dense but, well they are a bit dense especially when they perceive an attack on their man in the clouds religion such as Easter which apparently is being turned into a non Christian Event by banning the Word 'EASTER'.
'It’s amazing in such a politically correct society that we can’t call Easter Eggs Easter Eggs anymore', the official Ukip Twitter account said triggering a tirade of photographs of packaging Easter Eggs which clearly feature the word Easter on them.
The Churchy types have also been hammering the message that the Christian origins of Easter are not given enough prominence, that would be the Easter Festival stolen from the Pagan's with the story of a man crucified and reborn three days later plagiarised from the Romans, Sumerians, Indian and Egyptian religions, that Christian festival you mean?
The Christian origins would appear to be then a group of early Christians sitting around and nicking bits from other religions to copy and paste into their new shiny one which came with added chocolate.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Another Middle Eastern War With Familiar Faces

Perfect timing that just as the 15th anniversary of the invasion of the Iraq War arrives, one of the architects of the disaster is bought back into play with John Bolton sliming into the Donald Trump administration as national security adviser.
Never having seen a country he didn't want to bomb, Bolton was part of the George W Bush team who mislead the public about weapons of mass destruction to push for, and get, their War in Iraq War which continues to reverberate catastrophically today.
A quick recap shows that the War In Iraq left an estimated 1 million Iraqis dead, 4.5 million displaced, 5 million orphaned and caused birth defects and cancer rates in some Iraqi cities that are significantly worse than those seen in the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at the end of the Second World War.
Their actions in Iraq led to a jihadist movement and the rise of Islamic State, an offshoot of Al Queada, who took their hostility further afield to places such as Syria and Libya with the West turning a blind eye to their actions as they were on the same side of regime change as the West until they doubled back into Iraq and started kidnapping and killing westerners when the West realised they had created and monster and despite helping one version to succeed in Libya, and after arming them in Syria, fought them in Iraq. 
The massive refugee flows which resulted from the Wests encouragement of war and regime change in the Middle East led to the destabilisation of much of Europe and the rise of Donald Trump who campaigned on the fear-mongering of ISIS, refugees and Muslims.
Now we are where we are and all the terrible consequences can be traced back to the George W Bush administration's decision to needlessly invoke a war in Iraq.
One of the unintended consequences was the rise of a strengthened Iran in the region threatening American, Saudi and Israeli dominance in the Middle East and now one of the same the Iraq war planners, John Bolton, is pulling the Presidents strings on what to do about it. 
As Bolton has previously pushed for a war with Iran, a devastating conflict with the Tehran leadership is now much more likely and the irony is that it is the catastrophe of the Iraq War that has led to the same architects being in power and bringing another Middle Eastern war more closer.
For the war industry and the cheerleaders for yet more wholesale killing, the Iraq war that their disturbed minds started is the gift that keeps on giving.

Looking At Them Looking At Us

Best estimates say there are 400 billion stars in our galaxy and if you multiply that by another 100 billion for the number of galaxies in the universe then that is a ridiculous amount of Planets where life could be also looking out into space and wondering if they are the only ones. 
There are some humans who don't believe that any of the planets rotating around those 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.00 stars is enough places for life to have started up and our planet is the only one in the 91 billion light-years wide Universe to harbour life but then humans once thought they were at the centre of the Universe which was created just for them.
Unfortunately those humans who still think the odds are against something being out there are in for a shock at the end of the century according to Dr. Jill Tarter, chair of Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) who says we will find life beyond Earth this century.
Dr Tarter has exclaimed that due to new advancements in science and the way we monitor the sky 'We might, within the 21st century, have the answer to whether there is life beyond Earth. And we've been asking that question for a very, very long time'.
Meanwhile, out there somewhere there is a very high probability that someone or something is gazing towards our arm of the Milky Way Galaxy in the Virgo Supercluster billions of light years away and wondering if any of those estimated 400 billion stars over there has life on a ball of rock going around just one of those stars.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Donald And His Daughter Weirdly Creepy

As i have said before, with Donald Trump in the White House this is a great time to be a journalist or a comedian and with the salacious revelations about his affairs with porn stars and playboy bunnies continuing to tumble out, it's a golden era.  
With all the previous allegations against him from women he sexually assaulted, the two front at centre at the moment are porn actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy Model Karen McDougal and they both have a rather disturbing similarity to tell about Trump and his daughter Ivanka.
The small handed racist is alleged to have compared both woman he reportedly had sex with to his daughter, telling Ms Daniels: 'Wow, you are special. You remind me of my daughter' and Ms McDougal that she was: 'beautiful like Ivanka'.
Comparing people that he was actively attempting to have sex with to his daughter is creepy in the extreme but it isn't the first time he has made eyebrow raising comments about her.
When asked about Ivanka in a 2015 interview, Mr Trump said: 'If I weren't happily married and, ya know, her father...' and previously replied to a question about how he would react if Ivanka posed for Playboy magazine with: 'I don't think Ivanka would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her'.
When asked what he and his daughter both consider their favourite things, Trump answered: 'I was going to say sex, but I can relate to golf and real estate'.
In another interview he said: 'You know who’s one of the great beauties of the world, Ivanka. My daughter, Ivanka. She’s 6 feet tall, she’s got the best body'.
Not sure what to make of it all, the man is obviously a moronic sexual deviant and creepy in the extreme but this thing with his daughter is just beyond weird.

Labour's Anti-Semitism Problem

When it comes to Israel, the left doesn't have much love towards it due to their awful genocidal behaviour towards the Palestinians.
That any criticism of Israel is met by the howling of anti-semitism to try and shut down the argument doesn't do the Jewish community any favours and if anything it waters down their cries when real anti-semitism rears it ugly head.
Labour is currently having a harsh look at itself as it is quite rightly being lambasted for anti-semitism remarks emanating from within the Party.
I have cringed and corrected people many times when left-wingers have failed to separate Judaism and Israel when criticising the countries actions and far worse is when they physically attack Jews whose only connection with Israel is their religion.
What some Labour members fail to recognise is that being Jewish does not make you an Israeli as being Roman Catholic does not make you Italian so they fail to engage the few braincells that they possess and attack an innocent religion.
Israeli actions against Palestinians have been abhorrent so by all means criticise Israel, boycott Israeli goods or join one of the many regular demonstrations against Israel but don't take out your anger on Jews. 
I don't think the left is anti-semitic, more ignorant but while we should not be shut down by cries of anti-semitism, to criticise Israel for its actions as we criticise Russia, America or Britain if they did the same is not the same as criticising Jews who are probably as disgusted at Israel as you.

Friday, 23 March 2018

France Should Honour This Real Hero

France loves a statue and i don't know if there are any plans afoot to build one of Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame but if there isn't there should be because amidst all the so called 'heroes' who have their image on a plinth, Beltrame is a honest to god proper one.
Lieutenant Colonel Beltrame voluntarily took the place of a female hostage being used a human shield during a terror attack at a French supermarket on Friday and suffered three gunshot wounds from a religious fanatic and died in hospital from his injuries in Trebes, southwest France.
'He did what needed to be done and thanks to him, many lives were saved and yes, I think the word hero is very appropriate' said President Macron so let's hope that this French Officer who made the ultimate sacrifice is remembered as a real, genuine hero and his image takes it's place amongst the 'other heroes' who have conquered, enslaved or killed as many as possible and don't deserve
to be honoured beside Lieutenant Colonel Beltrame.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Younger Generation Ignoring Religion

A European Social Survey of young people aged between 16-29 around 21 European nations shows that the majority of them no longer follow a specific religion with 70% of British youngster not associating themselves with any religion or religious practices.
The Czech Republic was the country with the least religious percentage of young adults, with a huge 91 per cent identifying themselves as not having a faith in the while over half in The Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Spain also said religion was not for them.
Stephen Bullivant, leader on the report said that: 'very few of today's young adults have had any serious connection with religion at all' and over the next decade there will be even fewer young religious people and the default setting is no religion, and the few who are religious see themselves as swimming against the tide.
As religion has been the cause of so many conflicts down the ages which continue today, it can't be a bad thing that religion is being sidelined by the coming generations.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The Jesus Easter Weekend

Some people make the assertion that the stories in the Bible were stolen from other, older religions around at the time and the story of Mithras is the Deity that the early Christians borrowed most heavily from when making up their own Deity.
Just because Mithras was born of a virgin, in a cave, on December 25th, his birth attended by shepherds, had twelve companions, promised his followers immortality, performed miracles, sacrificed himself for world peace, was buried in a tomb and rose after three days and will return in the last days to raise the dead and judge them does not necessarily mean that his story was rewritten with the name 'Jesus' tippexed in.
The truth is that at that time there was plenty of other Gods around who were crucified and resurrected who the Christians could have plagiarised from, like the Sumerian goddess Inanna, or Ishtar, who was nailed up and subsequently resurrected or Greek Attis who was crucified on a tree, buried but on the third day the priests found the tomb empty.
The Indian Buddah died on a cross, buried but arose again after his tomb was opened or the other Indian Krishna who died on a cross but came back to put in an appearance three days later.
To say that the Biblical stories of Jesus's Easter weekend were based on Mithras is even more off when you hear that Osiris of Egyptian legend was betrayed, crucified between two thieves and then buried in a tomb from which he arose on the third day.
If you hear non-believers trying to refute the story of Jesus by saying it is stolen from Mithras then you can point out that actually, it was probably stolen from a lot of stories about people being crucified and resurrected around at the time.
Then hope they shove an Easter Egg in their mouth and don't have any follow up questions.

Melania's Public Humiliation Continues

You do sometimes wonder what is going on inside Melania Trumps head as yet another female comes forward with talk of an affair with her husband.
Obviously she knows he is a racist idiot, that is blatantly obvious but a racist idiot who was having a string of affairs behind her back is another thing altogether.
Just what does Melania see in Billionaire Trump that she would stay with him even after his affairs and attempts to cover them up come to light?
Following hot on the heels of the $130,000 hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, not to mention the  dozen or so allegations of sexual misconduct, now we have former Playboy Model, Karen McDougal, piping up that her and the 3rd fattest US President had an affair in 2006 and 2007.
Ms McDougal was paid $150,000 in 2016 by American Media Inc for rights to the story of her affair with the tiny handed sex fiend but story never ran the story but the agreement effectively stopped her from talking to any other publications about what her and the Trump got up to.
McDougal says Mr Trump and AMI's owner David Pecker were close personal friends and the media company tried to buy her silence and cover up the relationship with threats of financial ruin if she spoke out.
With the cost of his affairs currently standing at over a quarter of a million dollars and i'm sure with more tales of clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs out of the press, Melania must be eyeing the exit or so you would think
If she and is content to put up with the prolonged public humiliation from her husband, then i think we may have answered our own question at the start of the third paragraph above.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Top 10 Happiest Songs

Music lovers have their go-to songs when they need a bit of a boost but Dutch cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Jacob Jolij, recently ran an expansive survey of songs ranging across all genres to compile the top 10 of feel-good songs that scientifically make people happy. 
The science bit is that to be a mood changer the song must have a high tempo, positive lyrics and the listener should be able to sing-a-long to it.
Mostly comprising 70s and 80s numbers, his list undoubtedly doubles as the happiest karaoke playlist ever and here is the entire playlist for your mood enhancing pleasure: 

Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
Dancing Queen  - ABBA
Good Vibrations - Beach Boys
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
Eye of the Tiger - Suvivor
I'm a Believer - The Monkees
Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Livin on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Walking on Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
There you have it, if you want to be a shooting star leaping through the sky or like a tiger defying the laws of gravity or even a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva, upload these ten onto your MP3 player and nobody will be able to stop you.

How To Be Happy

Today is International Day of Happiness and the 2018 World Happiness Report puts the happiest people as those who live in the Nordic nations of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland who take the top four positions in the report with Switzerland making up the top five.
With those nations topping the chart you would be forgiven for thinking that snow is the common denominator to making us happy but the people at Happy Science beg to differ and offer up the things that make us happy, scientifically speaking.

Listen to music from the happiest moments in life
Melodic lines have an impact on the brain, remembering the places we’ve heard those specific tracks, you get to connect with those happy moments, managing to conjure up of the feelings of those times.

Caring About Other People
We have something in us called the 'moral molecule', which is associated with both love and pain relief. This molecule releases high levels of oxytocin when we think about those we care for and love.

Positive Thinking
Being grateful, optimistic, kind and realising just how lucky you are provide for better well-being and overall joy.

When people work out, endorphins, which are natural painkillers, are released creating feelings of euphoria.

Having Pets
The happiest people around are the ones who have a pet as pets not only increase our self-esteem, but also give us a better sense of belonging and bring a deeper meaning to our lives.

Not Thinking Too Hard About Being Happy
People who focus on trying to be happy are actually less happy than those who just go about their lives. While wanting to be happy is a good thing, it’s when we don’t let go enough to enjoy ourselves that we end up facing defeat.

So the secret to being happy is to either turn on the CD Player and get yourself a puppy and do some star-jumps or move to Helsinki.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Show Us The Evidence

Theresa May came to the conclusion very quickly that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter while Boris Johnson today came out and said that the UK has evidence Russia has been developing the nerve agent used in the attack, Novichok, for international assassinations for the last decade.
Russian officials have denied involvement and as yet, our Government has not yet provided any evidence to back up their claims which led Jeremy Corbyn to note caution and for the Government to not 'rush way ahead of the evidence being gathered by the police, in a fevered parliamentary atmosphere'.
We have been here before of course where we are being asked to trust the Government and Intelligence Services, the Iraq War was based on phony dossiers and manipulated intelligence provide George W Bush and Tony Blair the justification for a war they had already decided on waging so excuse us for being cautious when we are asked to take you on trust.
What is similar to the Iraq War build-up is the vilification of anyone who doesn't just swallow the Government line, Corbyn being labelled a 'Putin apologist' and a 'naive dupe' but he is right to question the lack of evidence because the Government have not explained what evidence they have which convinces them that the Russian state was behind the attack.
The facts are sparse on the ground, we have been told that the agent used 'is of a type developed by Russia' and 'Russia have history of assasinations' but that isn't enough to justify their actions especially as we have a history of falsifying intelligence.
Possibly the Government do have concrete evidence to prove Russian involvement but if they did why are they not presenting it to us as they surely would as the questions about 'show us the proof' mount?
As the Government have made such a mess of everything else and as the British public have already been burnt being asked to trust our Government and intelligence services with evidence, i think it is right that we should be wary until we are shown the same evidence that makes our Government so certain it was Russia, if only to galvanise us behind them.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Qualifications Of The World Leaders

The G20 nations represent approximately two-thirds of the world's population, 85% of global gross domestic product and over 75% of global trade.
They are also the ones who make most of the big decisions so you would expect them to have some serious qualifications so let's have a look at who from the G20 countries have the educational background to guide us through the choppy waters of the current set of global ups and downs.

MACRI (Argentina) - Civil Engineering Degree
TURNBALL (Australia) - Political Science Degree, Law Degree
TEMER (Brazil) - Law Degree
TRUDEAU (Canada) - Literature Degree, Education Degree
JINPING (China) - Law Degree, Chemical Engineering Masters Degree
MACRON (France)    - Philosophy Degree, Public Affairs Masters Degree
MERKEL (Germany) - Quantum Chemistry Masters Degree
KOVIND (India) - Commerce Degree
WIDODO (Indonesia) - Forestry Engineering Degree
MATTARELLA (Italy) - Law Degree
ABE (Japan) - Political Science Degree
NIETO (Mexico) - Law Degree
MOON (South Korea) - Law Degree
PUTIN (Russia) - Law Degree, Economics Masters Degree
Al Saud (Saudi Arabia) - no qualifications
RAMAPHOSA (South Africa) - Law Degree
ERDOGAN (Turkey) - Business Administration Degree
MAY (United Kingdom) - Geography Degree
TRUMP (United States) - Economics Degree
TUSK (EU) - History Degree

Twenty World leaders and between them they muster 2 qualification in Politics, 3 in Economics and 8 in Law. Unhelpfully we also have 1 in forestry engineering, philosophy, geography and history and 1 has no educational qualifications whatsoever.
When you see that only 10% of the G20 leaders have been educated in Politics, 15% in Economics but 40% in law, it explains a lot of things as decisions are being made by a group where the largest majority are lawyers!!

How Russians Want To Punish The Brits

It seems that the Russians people have taken umbrage at the British Government getting uppity about them using nerve gas in our country to knock off their own spies.
Their 23 diplomats told to get out of our country will passed by Brit diplomats going the other way as Russia ordered 23 of our diplomats to clear their desks in response but those Ruskies aren't content and the RT website has asked it's readers how to punish us Brits further and the response was great.
One website user said that Putin should 'abolish all organised queuing in Britain' while another wanted to hit us in the chocolate aisle by 'increasing the price of Freddos in a random and extreme fashion'.
Another wrote that Putin should 'hire an army of people to play rubbish 90s dance music through their phone speakers on all public transport', another said 'interfering with the message so that every single item in the bagging area is unexpected' while our tea obsession was evident in the comments that Russia should 'cut their supply of tea from reaching the British shores' and 'by making digestive biscuits that instantly dissolve in tea'.
Some wanted to get direct on our Brit arse and wanted to 'just nuke 'em' or give us the silent treatment by 'just ignore them'.
My favourite and a bottle of cheap vodka and a potato go to the contributor who said that Putin should 'cut off the gas supply around lunchtime on Sunday just before the British pigs are about to sit down to their revolting Sunday roast!'
The British announcement that we won't send Prince William to the World Cup in Russia must have really stung but what threatens a dangerous escalation is if they do swamp the nation with biscuits which dissolve instantly in tea, that would be taking things too far.

Friday, 16 March 2018

MacArthur Park Explained Finally

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again.

I always assumed the lyrics in MacArthur Park were some crazy reference to drugs and a 60's psychedelic hippy trip but turns out there is a rather sweet meaning to the cake which was left out in the rain.
The Sky Arts channel were talking to the lyricist Jimmy Webb who explained that everything in the song is real, MacArthur Park is in Los Angeles and his then girlfriend worked for an Insurance Company close to it and they would meet there for lunch.
There would be old men playing checkers by the trees like in the song and he would sometimes turn up with a cake that he had baked to share for her lunch. 
If it rained they would run for shelter, leaving the cake behind so when they broke up and wrote the song about the break up, the cake being left out in the rain became a metaphor for his loss, never having that recipe again representing losing his love.
Not a psychedelic hippy trip at all then, a poignant metaphor for losing a girl which is rather lovely and puts a whole new spin in my mind for the beautiful song now that it makes sense.
Now if only they can get hold of Michael Stripe to explain what the hell he was singing about in those REM songs!


In one of his most famous songs, John Lennon asked us to imagine that there was no heaven above or hell below but the next line he asks us to imagine no countries with nothing to kill or die for and all the people living life in peace.
A world where there are no antiquated doctrines to die for, no dogma of generations long gone to blindly support, no wars fought in the name of people that we’ve never seen or met and no heaven or hell to believe that we’re working towards.
The idea of one world with no countries or borders is an old one but so are wars and most of them have been fought over either borders, doctrine or religion.
'Nothing to kill or die for' means that since the thing that would evolve into man first dragged its carcass out of the trees, there has always been something dividing people to the point that they are killing for it.
If there are no borders to fight over, no tensions between ethnic and religious groups, no invasions and occupations of each others land we could eliminate much of the pathetic things we fight over now.
If humanity stopped competing against one another, bound together in a common cause, we could accomplish spectacular things and solve problems such as global warming, disease and famines, it would be human helping humans rather than a nation only looking out for their own selfish interests.
The present set up, the world divided into nations and religions has been tried and resulted in the deaths of billions over millenia, the English, Scots, Irish and Welsh were slaughtering each other for centuries before they came together as one nation and worked together.
The EU's raison d'etre was to come together to promote greater peace and prosperity for its Member States after the ravages of centuries of European wars and that has worked out fine, no more wars.
Maybe us all coming together as one huge country and putting aside our differences is the only hope we have for the sake of the entire human race as Lennon said 'A brotherhood of man, all the people sharing all the world'.
Lennon also sadly lamented that it may be the pondering's of a dreamer but as you watch the news and hear of yet more wars and conflicts over territory and killings in the name of one persons God over another, you do wonder what have we got to lose to give it a try apart from the chance that we may just find a way to live in peace with each another?

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sun Still Doesn't Set On The British Empire

I once had a geography teacher who would produce a large map with large swathes of the Worlds nations coloured pink and he would say: 'This bit was ours, and this bit, and this bit, and this bit, the French got this bit, not sure how that happened but we got this bit, and this bit.
Of course what he was talking about was the British Empire which spanned the globe and led to the saying that the Sun never set on it, since it was always daytime somewhere in the Empire.
To some the Empire was the good old days, to the rest of us it was the dark days when we would turn up in nations already occupied by other people, shoot many of them and then stick a flag in the ground and claim it for Britain before stealing their natural resources and shooting a few more when they got uppity.
Since the turn of the 20th Century the Empire has been dwindling and now Britain has only fourteen overseas territories but as the Sun never sets on all fourteen British territories at once, the saying is still accurate, the Sun still doesn't set on the British Empire.
My old geography teacher would be very proud.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Tau In The Face Is Not The Same As A Pi

March 14th is said to be the most exciting day for Mathematicians which not only shows that Mathematicians should get out more but it gives them the chance to show their fun side by eating circular treats dressing like Albert Einstein and make humorous jokes about Sir Cumference who was the fattest knight at the round table because he ate too much pi.
Three hours i was in the hospital getting my sides sewn back together the first time i heard that one.
The reason for the Math's nerds getting overexcited today is down to Greek Archimedes who first calculated pi in 3 BC as 3.14 and although NASA have said that you only need to calculate pi to 39 digits, scientists have calculated it to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point which seems a bit extreme.
After 2000 years of dominance though Pi has a challenger in the shape of 'Tau' which by all accounts is a number that serves much the same purpose but instead of adding on digits, doubles the previous number.
Some scientists are getting their pens in a spin over it but mainly because you can't make jokes about Tau like you can about pi but let's leave them to swing their handbags at each other and let us know when they have worked it out because for most of us the only pi we care about is the one with apple in it.

Stephen Hawking

Image result for hawkingIt's hard to write about Stephen Hawking without the focus being on the horrendous condition he had to deal with and how he rose to such magnificent heights despite it.
Quite rightly he is being lauded all over the media today for his scientific achievements but there is a great article in the Guardian Newspaper where the focus is on his brilliant sense of humour, the Time Travellers Party where he sent out the invites after the event, the appearances on The Simpson's and Big Bang Theory and the Red Nose Day sketches where actors auditioned to become his voice box and his reworking of the Monty Python Galaxy song.
'It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can lose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general' he said but there are two quotes which should be chiseled into stone and put where everyone can see them.
'We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star' and 'Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet'.
A life very well lived, well done Sir and not just for selling 10 million copies of a book about
general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Responding To Russia

The clock is ticking around to the midnight deadline and Britain's 'response' if Russia doesn't admit to the killing of  Sertgei Skripal with military grade weapons on UK soil.
Theresa May must be looking at her phone to check if she has any missed calls with a Moscow dialling code but what if Putin hasn't called by midnight, what can May actually do about it?
As she has called it 'an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom' this would enable her to invoke Article 51 of the United Nations charter and all of NATO could tilt their nuclear weapons eastwards but as Russia as many more nuclear weapons than us, they would just tilt theirs westwards so that won't happen.  
As it stands, the only threat we have made is to withhold Prince William from going to the World Cup in June but it is being rumoured that they may request that England refuse to go.
Far better would be to go but play really badly and get knocked out at the first stage but denying the Russians the sight of Dele Alli shanking the ball off the pitch and falling over like he has been shot by a cannon in the box is so far our only plan.
We could go for expelling Russian Diplomats like we did after the last Russian murdered here, Alexander Litvinenko, or banning or expelling Putin's pals which include Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich and Arsenal's Alisher Usmanov.
Relegating Chelsea is a plan i can get behind, at least docking them points but some would call for the same to Arsenal so we won't do that.
Russia Today (RT) is likely to get the hook with Ofcom sniffing around especially as it recently yanked Fox off the British airwaves for being not as fair and balanced as it stated.
Other media outlets owned by Russians and another pal of Putin's include the Independent, i and Evening Standard all owned by Evgeny Lebedev which would leave a large hole if they were pulled, especially the i which has become an above average newspaper.
Seems we are stuck with playing badly at the World Cup and not letting the Royals watch us doing it but May decides to dock Chelsea points or make them play Alvaro Morata in attack and David Luiz in defence every game as punishment, then i can support that.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You Mr Putin

All the evidence points to the fingerprints of Russia all over the assassination attempt of Sergei Skirpal and the Prime Minister is under pressure to come out and condemn Russia and not just spout more of the carefully scripted words like 'it appears' and 'it seems highly likely that the Russian state was responsible for the attacks'. 
If all the evidence leads straight to the Kremlin's door, why is the Prime Minister not coming out and pointing the finger?
As usual, it's prudent to follow the money as Theresa May's Government has received millions in Russian donations since they came to power, the friends of President Putin donating an estimated £3 million into Conservative Party coffers.
The Electoral Commission initially declared many of the donations as 'impermissible' before subsequently backing down and allowing them.
Attempts to introduce legislation to prevent certain Russian individuals entering Britain or block their assets were blocked by the Tories for 'technical reasons which were never explained.
The Russians, all friends of Putin, are not donating out of the kindest of their hearts because they like Theresa May and her cabinet,they expect something for the Rubles they shove her way and what they are getting is a weak Prime Minister who has demanded a response from Moscow to the accusation that they were behind the release of military grade nerve agent on the British mainland by
the end of today otherwise we will respond. 
Our response? Not sending Prince William to the World Cup in June. They will rue the day they messed with Britain when the heir to the British Throne doesn't go watch a football match in Russia.
Then, when it all cools down and things have moved onto the latest stupid thing Donald Trump has said, we can all be friends again and Russian Cheque's will be gratefully received by Mrs May and her bunch once again.

Hammond's Debt Spin

Chancellor Philip Hammond has just been talking a lot about debt falling in his Spring Statement, referring to the predictions from the Office for Budget Responsibility, saying: 'it forecasts a shrinking debt'.
As politicians are as slippery as a greased eel, you shouldn't take the Chancellor's words at face value because as usual he has spun the figures like a child's toy.
The figure for debt that he is using is the total amount the government owes divided by GDP, so his charts show debt falling from 85.6% to 77.9% and it's all rainbows and fairycakes and three cheers for the Conservatives.
Problem is, the real unspun figures show the nations debt rising from £1,783bn to £1,893bn so although it isn't technically wrong to say that debt as a proportion of GDP is expected to fall, the actual amount of debt has risen.
If you listening carefully the phrase 'debt as a proportion of GDP has fallen under this Government' will quickly change to debt has fallen under this Government' at which point we can politely point out that actually Phil, despite all your austerity cuts, the debt has risen by 1 hundred billion.
I'm sure he would appreciate the help because he seems a bit confused.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

USSR Baton Handed To China

In 1982, China introduced two term limits on their leaders with the aim of preventing a repeat of the bloody reign of Mao Zedong which saw 45 million Chinese die and prevent too much power concentrated in the hands of one person ever again.
In 2012 Xi Jinping took over the reins and this weekend dismantled the whole thing and voted himself President for Life with a thumping Politburo majority who announced that it was a good thing that China had become a one-man dictatorship as if they would dare say anything else.
Since taking power in 2012 Xi has used an anti-corruption campaign to bring down a succession of potential rivals including more than 100 generals and admirals and six top party figures who were accused of plotting a coup so he has started as he means to go on obviously.
Following the ceremony in the Mao-era Great Hall of the People, it was announced that Xi’s political theory:'Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era' will now be the nations guiding principles and written into the party’s constitution and taught in schools.
Not sure what his thoughts on Socialism for the New Era are exactly, it's not easy to get a handle on what i expect will be Marx-tinged musings, but we could be about to pick up another clash of political and economic systems where the Soviet Union left off.
Even worse, with so many dullard leaders ruling at the moment you hope a few more don't get the same idea, one of the saving graces of Democracy is that at some point they will be replaced. 

My Guitar Gently Weeps

In a magnificent piece of self-deference Status Quo called their 2007 album 'In Search of the Fourth Chord' in reference to the much repeated cliche that they always plays the same three chords, which to be fair they pretty much did but did it very well.
Many Punk songs were based on the D, G and A chords with an E occasionally thrown in to mix it up , something my guitar teacher told me when i was first learning the instrument and wanted to just learn to play short, punchy songs by The Ramones and the like.
My guitars have always been of the generic Stratocaster models but i have always had a hunkering for a Gibson Les Paul, mainly so i could stick a cigarette in my mouth and do my best Slash from the November Rain video impression but the opportunity may have passed me by because the Gibson guitar company is facing bankruptcy with debts of £260 million.
The Les Paul, designed by the guitarist himself, first went into production in 1952, and has since been used by luminary musicians like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Bob Marley, Frank Zappa, Dave Grohl, George Harrison, Joe Walsh, Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Marc Bolan, Gary Moore, Peter Frampton, Don Felder, Billie Joe Armstrong, Jeff Lynne, Mark Knopfler and of course the daddy of them all, Slash.
The troubles may be caused by gross over pricing of their guitars, on the official Gibson Les Paul Guitars Main UK Dealer website prices range from £700 to £5200 so it isn't something you would purchase to just sit around in your bedroom playing Blitzkrieg Bop.
In a brilliant twist which i can fully support, the blame is being put on the charts being dominated by either R&B, rap and moping balladeers and a serious lack of guitar bands blazing a trail for the youth of today which is something which i have bemoaned to anyone who would listen for years.
Guitar bands have been steadily pushed to the margins in the mainstream media and X-Factor type manufactured boy and girl bands have depressingly come to the fore, the bland Ed Sheeran is the biggest thing at the moment for crying out loud! 
Gibson may become the latest victim of Simon Cowell and deny me the chance to ever stand in a desert outside a church with a Gibson guitar strapped to my back, cigarette in mouth and reliving my overriding memory of early 90's rock and that's just spiteful.

Dropping The Front Of National Front

Ex-Trump adviser Steven Bannon turned up in France this weekend at a National Front rally and told the extreme right wing party that they should: 'wear the racist tag like badge of honour'.
On the eve of conference, he is claimed to have called a bouncer at a bar in Lille 'a black piece of shit' to prove that the Donald Trump cheerleaders racist tag is front and centre.
National Front leader Marine Le Pen suggested her party change its name to National Rally in an attempt to detoxify its image of racism and anti-Semitism as the word 'Front' was a problem.
I think she has a point with the problem being the name of her party and not the dangerously racist and xenophobic nonsense she and the likes of Steven Bannon spouts, give the name change a go Marine and maybe invite the KKK over next time, you both have so much in common.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Y2038K Computer Bug

In January 2038 i will be 68 and retired and living in Monaco on my gold plated pension but for those of you who are not so lucky and discover this post before this date then here is a little heads up, you're screwed.
Allow me to explain about this thing called the Year 2038 computer problem and why you should spend January 19 2038 in a hard topped bomb shelter.
The problem relates to representing time in many digital systems as the number of seconds passed since January 1, 1970 and tops out at a billion after 03:14:07 on 19 January 2038 when the counter runs out of usable digit bits and flips the sign bit and starts to count up toward zero instead of down, basically the clock will then think it's 1901 rather than 2038.
This will cause immense problems for embedded systems that use dates including airplanes and cars as well as communications devices, including mobile phones and the internet servers which have already crashed and refused to restart when the time was changed to that date in an experiment to see what would happen.
I'm sure between 2018 and 2038 software engineers will come up with a solution but i will be supping cocktails beside a swimming pool with the other rich and famous retirees that year so it's your generations problem, good luck and i will be thinking of you especially if the AI is as advanced as we expect it to be when it all goes belly up.

Not Nice Doing Business With You

Back in the days of Tony Blair and New Labour they had an ethical foreign policy which set out the top 20 countries that it would refuse to sell arms to as there was: 'an identifiable risk that the weapons could be used aggressively against another country or it's own population'.
When it was revealed that out of the 20 blacklisted countries we deemed as too quick to abuse Human Rights, we sold military weapons to 19 of them it quickly became ethical foreign policy? What ethical foreign policy?
No surprise then that we have flogged 48 Typhoon fighter jets to the peace loving Saudi Arabians after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Prime Minister Theresa May for talks this week. 
'We are committed to supporting the kingdom as it modernises the Saudi Armed Forces and develops key industrial capabilities critical to the delivery of Vision 2030' said the Government before ducking out quick before anyone shouted 'WHAT ABOUT YEMEN?' to them.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: 'This shameful deal will be celebrated in the palaces of Riyadh and by the arms companies who will profit from it, but it will mean even greater destruction for the people of Yemen'.
Yemen has endured three years of bombardment and is suffering one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world which is not good for the people of Yemen but Kerching for the UK arms companies.
Both May and bin Salman said the relationship between the allies is vital and it is, they get the weapons to kill ten of thousands more in Yemen and the UK bank account get billions of pounds stuffed into it, a win win all round if you are a heartless bitch of a Prime Minister or a warmongering Human Rights abusing Saudi Crown Prince.

The Pips Are Squeaking

It's the Spring statement next week, when the Government explains the current financial state of the nation and what it is going to do about it but the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) who scrutinise Government fiscal policy today came out and told us that already and used the phrase 'the pips are squeaking'.
'Not only are we not out of austerity but we’re nowhere near coming out of austerity' Paul Johnson the IFS Director explained saying there was still big spending cuts and big social security cuts to come.
Not only are we £2 trillion in debt but running up extra debt at £40bn a year with only low interest rates saving us from further misery as the debt is twice as big as it was in 2008 despite a decade of severe austerity measures.
'The fact is that soon taxes are going to have to rise or public services will fall to pieces, the pips are already squeaking. There comes a point when you can no longer kick the can down the road because the road is no longer usable' said Johnson who thinks it is about time the politicians level with the public about the financial challenges facing the UK.
'It’s very hard to see what’s left to squeeze' he says. 'Where do you go next? We are going to have to increase spending as a fraction of national income and increase taxes over the next 10 or 20 years.'
This Government, in one of their very first acts, cut the top rate of tax for the richest from 50% to 45% so raising taxes will not be the first, second or third place they turn.
The poor pips will be squeaking much louder before they even think about possibly considering it because pips don't count as we have found out with their horrendous and spiteful austerity cuts which have done nothing to cut the debt.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Meeting Of Fat Man And Little Boy

It is an amazing coincidence that 'fat man' and 'little boy' were the names of the nuclear bombs used on Japan and now a fat man and a little boy are meeting to discuss nuclear weapons.
The White House have announced that Donald Trump has accepted the invitation offered by Kim Jung-Un to get together soon and have a bit of a chinwag over things.
Jaw-Jaw is always preferable to War-War and it was only a few short months ago that Trump haters (almost all of us) were screeching about the American President trying to start a war with North Korea and now they are screeching about him agreeing to meet for talks.
I'm not sure if anyone has told him that Pyongyang had been seeking a one-on-one meeting with a US president since the 1970s when Kim's father and grandfather invited the then residents of the White House to a chat, all refused.
That Trump has agreed when others turned them down is a recognition that North Korea is now seen as a formidable foe, a nation who could do serious damage as it is now a nuclear power, a sign which will not go unnoticed by Iran and others who find themselves in America's gun sights. 
Kim is not inviting Trump so that he can surrender North Korea’s weapons, no deal will involve Kim removing North Korea's existing nuclear devices or the ability to build more.
Trump, as the egomaniac bully that he is, is sure to spin this as North Korea as cowed into talks by Trump’s threats to annihilate them and he will probably screw it up with an unwise tweet long before the meeting happens but we can hope it goes ahead and real progress is made.
In the short term, both win as the Little Boy gets to boast that he has raised his country to such strength that the American President is coming to meet him and the Fat Man has an effective way of deflecting attention away from things he doesn't want people to focus on, like affairs with Porn Stars, children shooting up their school friends and dodgy dealings with Russia.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Histories Most Famous Women

As i knew it was International Women's Day today and i would be asked a few thousand times by my male colleagues when International Men's Day was, i looked it up this morning so i could reply 'November 19th, enjoy it won't you'.
It is said that if you look hard enough you can find a good man in every corner of the World which falls down when you consider the Earth is round so that argument is flawed and while men can point to the many accomplishments they have achieved, women have given birth to every man that has ever been born so stick that in your man-bag and smoke it.
Anyway, today is the day that we celebrate all things with wombs but who are some of the most famous bra wearers in history?
Even though she would be 606 if she was alive today, Joan Of Arc would need to be included on any list which is remarkable when you think she didn't reach her 20th Birthday.
Anne Frank was even younger, a mere 16, but her tragically short life, cut short in a German concentration camp, is known throughout the Globe.
Queen's Elizabeth I and Victoria would have to gain a mention as would Russian Queen Catherine The Great and the cake eating Marie Antoinette.
From politics, the most well known would have to be Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher while Emmeline Pankhurst is truly deserving of a mention in any list of History's most famous women as would Rosa Parks who gained fame through a single bus trip home from work in 1955.
Literature has given us giants such as Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, the Brönte sisters, Enid Blyton, Virginia Woolf and Beatrix Potter and Amelia Earhart is known throughout the World as is Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale.
Double Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie work's contributed substantially to shaping the world of medicine and if all things where fair she would be the most famous women in history but if we use the criteria of most famous, meaning most well known, i would have to plump for the Egyptian Pharaoh Cleopatra who is responsible for more donkey milk baths than anyone in history. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Bush or Trump The Worst?

George W Bush was recently heard to say that Donald Trump's Presidency: 'Sorta makes me look pretty good, doesn't it?'
Choosing between the two may seem like a choice of having needles inserted behind your fingernails or being waterboarded but considering Bush started a couple of illegal wars that killed millions and devastated a region that spurned further wars, i'd say no, the racist, sex offender is still  not worse than you yet, but give him time.

We Don't Need Your Stinking Peanut Butter

With his extra marital affairs with a porn actress still in the news, the Trump idea of trying to get everyone to look elsewhere is in full swing and rather than concentrate on where his tiny little pudgy hands have been straying its the impending Trade War everyone is discussing.
He may have declared that Trade Wars are easy to win but as a five time failed businessman he may not be the best person to take economic advice from especially if you are an American exporter of peanut butter. 
The American food spread is the latest to be tacked onto a growing list of things which will be targeted by the European Union if Trump goes ahead with his threat to add a 25% surcharge on steel and 10% on aluminium with his economic adviser Gary Cohn already quitting over the controversial plans.
The provisional list of US products that will face punishing EU tariffs is being drawn up and EU leaders are meeting at the end of March in Brussels to discuss what else should be added to the list.
As well as Peanut Butter, exporters of jeans, bourbon whiskey, Harley Davidson motorbikes, cranberries and orange juice should be concerned as they are the first in the sights of the EU and with the rest of the World making their own lists, the only thing that could come easy for Americans could be unemployment cheques as Trump makes America not so great as it was before he got his teeny tiny hands on it.

What Aren't The Belgians Telling Us?

For no reason whatsoever, the Belgians have started distributing iodine pills free for all 11 million of its citizens as announced during the presentation of a new,updated plan in case of a nuclear emergency.
The government have launched a website, explaining to its citizens step-by-step what to do in case of a nuclear accident, advising Belgians to follow recommendations of the authorities, which include seeking shelter, following evacuation orders and taking iodine pills. 
According to Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon, Brussels is trying to 'properly inform the public', adding that all measures are solely precautionary and the nuclear facilities present no threat 'For now'. 
Not sure i like the 'for now' part of that statement so either the Belgians know something about nuclear weapons due to come winging their way soon but are not telling us or those micro cracks discovered in both of the nations nuclear power stations last year are not so micro anymore.
Either way, sending out pills to help against radiation poisoning is not a good sign.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

It's Raining Space Stations

If you are planning on visiting Spain, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria or Greece in April you may want to take a hard hat because a dodgy paella may be the least of your concerns as the European Space Agency has narrowed down the sites of where the out-of-control Chinese satellite, Tiangong-1 space station, will likely come down to Earth with a thump next month.
The chances of being hit by a piece of space metal as you gaze at the Acropolis are slim but engineers acknowledge that the they are worried that the craft’s layered construction, which they liken to an onion, could make it harder for the 8.5-ton vessel to fully disintegrate in the atmosphere.
The spacecraft has been steadily losing altitude since losing contact with Chinese mission control in 2016 but has been tracked by the ESA who managed to narrow down any potential crash site to hundred of kilometres but will become more certain as the time nears.
There has only ever been one case of a piece of space debris striking a person. In January 1997, a resident of Oklahoma in the US, reported that she had been struck in the shoulder by a piece of metal while walking through a park. Analysed later, the sample was found to have been part of a fuel tank of a Delta II rocket that launched a satellite in 1996.
According to the Registration Convention, the set of laws governing the responsibilities of countries who launch objects into space, China would be liable for any damage done to property or people if the Tiangong-1 came down over land so you may want to make sure you pack the required claim form and the address of the Chinese Embassy along with your bikini before travelling.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Weddings At All Time Low

The Office for National Statistics has revealed that just 239,020 male and female marriages took place in 2015, almost half the number that took place in the previous lowest year of 1940 which when you consider it was wartime in 1940 and vast amounts of men were out the country involved in war things, it makes the statistic look even starker.
The man from the Marriage Foundation isn't a happy bunny about it, pointing out with brilliant hyperbole that it is a disgrace and Britain is languishing in shame at the bottom of the developed world league table for family stability.
I don't know if owned a florist shop selling carnations or maybe he had a job as a wedding photographer but he seemed very ticked off about it and the further revelation that the average newlywed is now 36 years old.
Seems i am in the minority then as i am one of those fast dwindling married people but i can think of two reasons that could put people off.
Firstly, unless you are a massive masochist, the wedding day itself is beyond stressful with so much to plan and arrange and so many people to keep happy while it goes by in a blur of champagne and crying bridesmaids that you do wonder why you didn't just nip off to another country and do a Britney Spears style secret wedding.   
Secondly, on top of the stress the average UK wedding costs £33,884 and despite the ranting, the man from the Marriage Foundation won't be chipping in so saving until you are 36 seems about right considering the other grown-up activities such as rent/mortgage and having children.
Although there are some legal complications to common-law relationships, getting married is not essential to a loving relationship so i say unless the Marriage Foundation is going to help organise the flowers and act as usher or make a sizable donation to the day then they can tut all they like about languishing in shame because they're not invited.

Another MASH Star Bugs Out

Over the past few years the list of dying stars has been strangely long and the grim list of stars from one of my favourite comedy's, M*A*S*H* has been steadily growing and the sad list has been extended today with news that David Ogden Stiers who played surgeon Major Charles Emerson Winchester III has died aged 75.
The actor replaced Larry Linville's Frank Burns character after Linville left the show after six series.
To anyone over 40, M*A*S*H* was one of the most loved television series ever and regularly crops up in lists of best ever TV shows.
Set in the Korean War, such was the excellence of the show and feeling for the characters that it still appears on TV stations today despite ending 35 years ago.
As the show was around from 1972, most of the shows actors are now in their 70s and 80s so who have we lost so far from the 4077?
Hawkeye Pierce played by the brilliant Alan Alda is still with us as is Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit),  Max Klinger (Jamie Farr), Radar (Gary Burghoff) and BJ Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell).
Hopefully it will be quite a while until we have to revise the list.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

What They Should Teach At School But Don't

The National Curriculum is set by the Government and governs which subjects and standards are used by schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject and are meant to set them up for life but there are many subjects that our children should be learnt which would be more useful in life but the students don't find out about until they have left education.
Thinking back to my own experiences, some of the things that i would have benefited from being taught at school were:

Taxes: Taxes are confusing enough with tax codes, rate bands, national insurance, expenses, Self-Assessment or PAYE and personal allowances and even a brief introduction could make paying your taxes a little simpler and help make the whole process smoother because i have spent a small fortune paying someone to do it all for me.

The Imperial System: Quite rightly the metric system ruled in my school and it is quite easy to pick up but once you get out into the World you come across people who continue to use the Imperial System and knowing how many centimetres are in a metre or grams in a kilogramme when you are faced with a carpet salesman asking you how many square feet you need or a market trader how many pounds of potatoes you want can be awkward. I cope by once being told that a standard door is 6ft which is almost 2m so when faced with imagining something 12ft tall for example, i imagine 2 doors on top of each other or 3ft is half a door. It's got me through so far but i always end up with too many or few potatoes as door sizes are no good for buying vegetables.

Cars: Cars can be incredibly unreliable but knowing how to change the oil or replace a spark plug or bulb would not only have saved me time but from paying a greasy man in overalls to charge me an extortionate amount for something that takes minutes to correct.

Computer Maintenance: When i was at school Computers were the domain of the nerds and floppies and Microsoft was the cruel nicknames for any boy who upset us and while i now know my way around Office and Email, being able to repair and maintain my own PC would have said me hundreds of grovelling trips to the IT Team at work when the useless beige box on my desk at home refuses to work properly.

Home Maintenance: Unless you are lucky enough to marry a handyman, at some point your property will need some work done and hiring a carpenter, electrician, or plumber can be an expensive hassle to fix something so small that it takes them longer to drink the strong, sweet cup of tea you made them then to fix the problem.

Self Defence: You never know when you might find yourself alone in an unsafe part of town, and knowing how to defend yourself is definitely a helpful skill to help you out of an unsafe situation when a kick in the assailants plums and running is not an option. You don't need to be trained to black-belt standard just enough to use a few techniques to protect yourself if the worst ever happens.

First Aid: Everyone gets a nosebleed at some point and you will simultaneously be told to hold your head forward, hold it back, pinch your nose, don't pinch your nose or as one person told me, just shove a tissue up your nostrils. The ability to treat a minor wound or injury can be invaluable or at best save getting blood all over your new blouse.

I'm sure there are many more things and we tend to pick them up as we need them as we go through life but knowing Pi or who was the third wife of King Henry VIII isn't going to help you complete your Tax Return or if you are choking on a peanut.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Trade War Blunder By Trump

If you ask a five times bankrupt businessman to run your business then you would not be surprised if he's decisions knackered your business so no surprise then that Donald Trump with his quintet of bankruptcies under his belt, has landed on a decision described by many on his own side as 'folly' and a 'blunder'.
Showing as little understanding of economics as he does of race relations, the non-tax paying commander-in-chief has announced steel imports would face a 25% tariff and aluminium 10% and tweeted that 'trade wars are good' as the International Monetary Fund said that the plan would damage America’s own economy whose exports of goods and services account for approximately 13% of US gross domestic product (GDP).
Immediately Canada and the EU said they would bring forward their own countermeasures with Mexico, China and Brazil also saying they will announce their own retaliatory steps.
Europe has hit back by stating that if the Americans impose tariffs on steel and aluminium, then they would treat American products the same way and pointed to imposing their own tariffs on American icons such as Harley-Davidson, Levi’s jeans and Kentucky bourbon if the trade war sparks off.
China have expressed 'grave concern' over the plans and said they would also take 'necessary measures against the USA' so with the rest of the World lining up to torpedo America's export market, the trade war may not be as good as Trump thinks. 
With American steel and Aluminium more expensive, the costs of items from canned goods to automobiles with rise drastically and lead to massive job losses in America.
You wouldn't ask someone who had written off five of their own cars to drive your new car but America have put a man who has a career of disastrous economic decisions in charge of running their economy, so i wonder how's that's going to work out for them.

An Idiot Speaks

Reading through the Wikipedia page of Senator Lindsey Graham he sounds like a right idiot so i don't know how much weight his words carry or it is just the idiotic musings of a moron but he has come out and said that the damage caused by a US war with North Korea would 'be worth it'.
'If there’s going to be a war to stop Kim Jong-un, it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there.
They’re not going to die here,” he said, adding 'And Trump told me that to my face'.
For his thousands read tens of millions as South Korea's population of 51 million would suffer the full arsenal of North Korea making it's away across the border as well Japans 127 million and the 25 million living in North Korea.
Graham’s comments make it look as thought Trump is considering military action against North Korea after its latest round of sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Following the Winter Olympics there seemed to be a thawing of relations and both the North and South Korea agreed to engage in dialogue but America seems intent on pricking any burgeoning friendship. 
Hopefully Graham is not typical of the America politicians and is just speaking moronic nonsense but with an even bigger moron making the decisions nothing can be ruled out but South Korea may be well warned to tell their American buddies that as it is them who would suffer they won't think it 'worth it' and they should keep their big fat noses out of Korean business and if they weren't such warmongering imbeciles stomping around the world then nations wouldn't be so keen to build nuclear missiles to defend themselves against them.