Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Tuesday 24/03/09

An incident at a factory in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, has led to nitrous oxide spreading across the area and strong winds blowing the gas towards the towns of Finedon and Irthlingborough. In between fits of uncontrollable laughter, local police told people to keep their doors and windows closed. They then proceeded to book a troupe of pink elephants for loitering with intent. I believe, but cannot confirm, that some local comedians are thinking of doing a gig there.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, was first synthesized in 1775 by English chemist Joseph Priestley. He called it phlogisticated nitrous air (must have been related to Stephen Fry) and was evidently delighted with his discovery. While rolling on the floor with laughter he giggled: "I have now discovered an air five or six times as good as common air... nothing I ever did has surprised me more, or is more satisfactory. Ha, ha, ha!"

Finedon is listed in Wikipedia. Quote: “There's plenty to do in Finedon, there are many places to eat and drink, places for kids to enjoy & many shops. Kids of any age can enjoy the swings and climbing frames at the park in Finedon. There is also a Recreation Ground in Finedon for people to walk dogs, play on the play area and have Picnics!” Deep joy! I’ll bet they’re in dire need of a good laugh in Finedon after all that swinging and dogging.

The entry for Irthlingborough is just as activity-packed. Seems the ideal place to calm you down after a visit to a funeral.

The Tata Nano is about to be launched in India. If you look at the spec, it’s basically an enclosed motorbike. However, with a top speed of 75mph, a fuel consumption of 56mpg and a 0-60 time of just short of infinity, it’s the perfect 2nd car for those who aren’t consumed by images of their car as either a measure of their wealth or a penis extension and are prepared to wait till the Heat Death of the universe to reach a decent motorway cruising speed. Because it’s so cheap it’s forecast to have a hideous effect on the 2nd hand car market, which here-to-fore has been enjoying a resurgence.

It seems that Mormons in Utah are starting a campaign to have polygamy legalised. From my perspective the only argument against polygamy is one based on religion. However, that has to be balanced with the fact that argument for polygamy also comes from religion – it just happens to be a different religion to the dominant one. The argument them comes down to who has the greater right to claim knowledge of something both simultaneously claim to be revealed truth but is manifestly and logically nothing more than a matter of opinion. Basically it comes down to a pissing contest between the sects having differing interpretations of the same book.

Oscar Wilde once said that bigamy is having one too many wives, whereas monogamy is exactly the same.

MP, Tony McNulty, has been claiming a £24k housing allowance for a constituency house which is only some 8 miles from where he lives and is inhabited by his parents. The mantra from every British MP now is: “I didn’t break any rules.” No, he didn’t – neither did the boss of RBS, Fred Goodwin, who has retired on more money that you or I will ever see. While McNulty is definitely not guilty of breaking the rules, he is, however, guilty of cynically manipulating the rules to his benefit and scamming the tax-payer. Unsurprisingly, McNulty has a history of voting strongly against a transparent parliament.

Now that their expenses are coming under scrutiny, some MPs are calling for their salaries to be linked to those of GPs or head teachers. I’d like to see their justification. Anyone can be an MP with absolutely no qualifications and no continual professional development. To be a GP or head teacher requires years of study and training.

Heard something on the radio this morning about proposals to tax alcopops out of existence. Would you not agree that if kids have a taste for alcopops and the prices are put up to deter them from consuming them, then they’re highly likely to move to proper alcohol? It just seems obvious to me that the policy is ill conceived and bound to fail – or am I missing something here?

A formal complaint about Google's Street View has been sent to the Information Commissioner. Privacy campaigners in the UK cited 200 reports from members of the public who are identifiable via the service and claiming Street View has caused "clear embarrassment and damage". Wow – a whole 200! I wonder how many of those reports are by people who simply like to complain. I’d hazard a guess at well over 50% and more likely about 85%.

Hay and I were discussing marriage the other day. The cost of a registry office marriage is £30 each in advance and £43.50 on the day. That’s a fraction of the cost of getting wills drawn up to cover all eventualities if one or t’other of us kicks the bucket and makes any transfer automatic. Pragmatism may rule the day.

12 comments:

  1. Chairman,

    Another amusing and informative post. Gosh, and they say romance is dead!

    Kab

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  2. how weird - I blogged about nitrous oxide recently - but only from the perspective of Humphry Davy who got all the crowds into the RI to witness its amazing effect.

    Your post did cover a wide range - naturally I picked out the first bit.

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  3. Hang on, those Utah Mormons who're campaigning to legalise polygamy wouldn't happen to be the same Utah Mormons who recently deep-sixed gay marriage in California would they?

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  4. Kabbalah - romance? What's that?

    FF - Perhaps I should focus, rather than casing my net far and wide.

    MRP - Wouldn't surprise me at all. Probably the same people who marry off their pre-pubescent kids to old age pensioners.

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  5. Sir, I would still get wills drawn up, as the probate involved even if you are married but die intestate, is akin to wading through treacle, at a time when you already feel as if you have cement filled boots on your toots...

    Jerst saying, and I think all the Streetmap nonsense is being fuelled by the DM, as the whole WossBrandgate incident indeed was...

    ...I fear I am turning in to one of them, all this obsessing about how pony and trap it all is - Gah!

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  6. Woman - the problem is that of changing the will every so often as one or other of the kids piss me off and get disinherited. Happens with alarming regularity.

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  7. Finally made it over here from A Curate's Egg (and others of that ilk) and find that you have been in my neck of the woods - I grew up about 5 miles from The Towans.
    I shall definitely be using techknowledgeable from now on - sounds so much more scientific than computer geek or nerd.
    They've set the price for the Nano at 1500 euros (sorry, don't know what that is in real money) in India, which is nevertheless the equivalent of a year's salary to someone who's well-paid there. For Europe, it's going to sell for about 5000 euros but I really hope that no one is earning that little.
    Please don't go all focused - I have the attention span of a gnat so your blog suits me just fine....

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  8. Had to look at the New Smoke ad and it reminds me of a fart joke :
    - My farts don't make a noise and they don't smell.
    - So why do you fart ?

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  9. Kapgaf - you were raised in The Towans? Well, we all have our crosses to bear.

    Can you enlighten me as to the story behind the name of the Bucket of Blood pub? Called in there in the forlorn hope of getting some grub. It was like walking into a pub in the middle of Welsh Wales - they all stare at the foreigner.

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  10. What a detailed and very informative post. You really know what you're talking about. I have so much to learn from you. xx

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  11. If I just stop here, I get the world in review a couple of days a week. Good job, Chairman Bill.

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  12. Jennysmith - I really know what I'm talking about? Must tell Hay - she'll laugh like a drain.

    Lake - but do I need focus?

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