Friday, 26 June 2009

Friday 26/06/09

If you haven’t heard, Michael Jackson has died. You kind of hope it’s just for tax reasons, but sadly not. Love him or hate him, he had a prodigious talent and his music will be remembered for a long time to come. The news about Jackson puts Farrah Fawcett’s death into the shade.

Ref yesterday’s Rolf Harris and Assassin issue; as of yesterday there were 767 Google references to such a search string. Today you can get 1540 references. Clearly there’s more to Rolf than meets the eye.

Let’s take a wander through the cluttered rooms within my mind and look for some random associations.

On the subject of assassins, did you know that in many random sets of data, the number 1 is more likely to start a number in the set than any other digit. The next most frequent starting digit is 2, then 3 and so on. The law applies to any set of numbers scattered randomly on a logarithmic scale. A deviation from this pattern can suggest, but not conclusively, that data may have been manipulated. This has been used to uncover tax fraud and false expenses claims and has even been used to suggest that the result of the Iranian election has been fixed – as if that could ever happen.

The connection with assassins? The original assassins were the Hashshashin, a militant Persian sect of the 8th to 14th centuries. Some say they’re still active given that there have been 162 political assassinations in 19 countries that have been attributed to the Iranian government since 1979.

Assassins are of course the nemesis of bodyguards, and a famous bodyguard of three Byzantine Emperors was none other than Harald Hadrara, also known as Harald Sigurdsson or King Harald III of Norway, who was famously defeated by England’s King Harold in 1066 at Stamford Bridge when he unsuccessfully tried to invade England. Harald had spent a number of years during his youth in the Varangian Guard, who were the Byzantine imperial bodyguards, comprised mainly of Scandinavians. He joined them as an exile, rose to their captaincy and made his fortune before returning to Norway to claim the throne.

Harald’s son, Olav, is said to have founded Bergen in Norway, where it is entirely possible that my ancestors came from.

There have been a few posts in the blogosphere over the last few days about fathers. Funny isn't it? Fathers are always paragons of virtue to women, but ex husbands are invariably portrayed as the devil's spawn.

Many divorced people tend to resort to on-line dating. Watch this.

One day I must regale you of my exploits during my on-line dating phase following divorce 2. There was the Chinese woman from Oxford who on our date told me she was interviewing no more than three men and then selecting which would be the father of her children. Needless to say I did not go back for a 2nd date.

There was also the woman who had lied about her age to cover up the fact she’d had twins at age 14. She informed me that her husband was not the father and that the real father was her teacher at the time. She’d put the blame on a fellow pupil, who as a result became her husband. She was leaving him because he was about to find out that he’s been duped for 20 years.

Women using make-over, professionally retouched or well out of date photos on their on-line dating profile are legion. Many were the times I’d not recognise my date due to them being 3 stone heavier than their photos.

I’ll leave you with the news that we have our final plans for Badger’s End, although I can’t seem to access the document with Firefox this morning, which is strange, as IE doesn’t have a problem.


  1. Yes. On that photo issue, I had to change mine recently, as the eldest fruit-of my loins informed me that the photo I had originally put up was misleading, verging on the fraudulant. What a little shit! We can't all look like Michael Jackson. So what's a little photoshop between friends?

  2. I look exactly like my photograph.

  3. Belle: Thank God we can't all look like MJ. It would be a freak show of enormous proportions if we could.

    Cassidy: We all do - depending on which photograph we're talking about.

  4. I refer you to my profile photo - I look nothing like it but, when I first posted it, it was a recent mug shot.

    Been away for a while. Thanks for all the pix (particular favourites - the boat interiors and the shoe shop), they make it much easier to catch up!

  5. Kapgaf: Thought you'd been somewhat silent. You should know you can't go AWOL without permission.

  6. Two things have been announced on CNN regarding Michael Jackson's death. First, it seems that as his body is 99% plastic he is to be melted down and turned into Lego bricks so that little boys can play with him for a change. The second newsflash is that Macauley Culkin's proctologist found Michael Jackson's other glove.

    I will stay tuned to CNN to see if they report any assasinations where an old aussie chap witnessed leaving the scene with a paintbrush in his hand and making strange noises.

  7. Dave: It never ceases to amaze me as to how quickly the jokes start circulating once someone has died.

  8. Love the jokes (do you remember the one about the stretcher carriers singing "Zipadee Dodi, Zipadee Di" as they took the Princess of Wales off to hospital ?).

    Glad to know that I was missed but surely in order to be AWOL I'd have to be in the same regiment or something (and do they have regiments in the Merchant Navy ?)