Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Tuesday 02/06/09

Scientists are progressing a three-year project to see if electronic devices built in to clothing could provide information to the elderly, ranging from heart rate to bus timetables. I guess that before deciding on what kind of information the elderly would require, they need to overcome the problem of inserting these devices into surgical stockings, flat caps, shabby overcoats and the string that holds up trousers.

In the case of this chap I spotted yesterday you’d have to add sandals and sports socks to the list.

In the case of my mother, the information would need to answer the following questions:

Who am I?
Where am I?
What day is it?
Who is that person who looks as if he knows me?

Who am I?
Where am I?
What day is it?

Am I repeating myself?

Cabinet Minister Geoff Hoon is the latest MP to be outed in the expenses scam probe. The excuse of an “inadvertent administrative error” is wearing a bit thin now. MPs know it’s a lie, we know it’s a lie and MPs know that we know it’s a lie – and yet the same excuse keeps being trotted out as if saying it long enough will make it true. Can’t they recognise the simple fact that perpetuating a transparent lie just makes them look even more arrogant?

It was reported on the radio this morning that there’s been a huge study into knife crime in the UK. The report said that the carrying of knives by children was commonplace – so it’s now just like in the 1960s, then virtually every kid I knew carried one because they were a member of a subversive gang called the scouts.

The reporter also said that there are parts of the country where almost every kid carried a knife because they thought everyone else had one too. The radio presented then interjected with: “When that’s not true?” with which the reporter agreed. However, both the presenter and the reporter didn’t spot the error of logic in the assumption – when everyone is carrying knives, everyone IS carrying knives.

Talking of radios, last month the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on a new version of medical quackery called radionics. Radionics is pure bunkum, yet the newspaper reports on it as if it were a proven therapy, ending with five facts about it. They missed the 6th fact; that it doesn’t work and contradicts physics and biology. The American (what a surprise!) who developed the quack devices originally used in radionics became a millionaire by leasing them, despite them being nothing more than a jumble of wires and electronic parts that do not even form an electronic circuit and which the Scientific American deemed useless.

A friend in the US (where else?) sent me this yesterday. Excise the reference to God (or leave it in if it’s your preference), and it seems like reasonably sensible advice. The only thing missing is to use factor 25 suscreen.

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old .

  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step, (right or wrong you will learn from it).
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  8. It's OK to get angry, just learn to control it!
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time some time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles. ( nothing to do with GOD).
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  42. The best is yet to come.
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Here’s my personal 46: Lidl Cimarosa cabernet sauvignon 2008. Just over 3 quid a bottle, but very quaffable. Not sure how long they’ll have it, so get down to your local Lidl now.

Stop Press: North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, has named singing sensation Susan Boyle as his successor. He told reporters that initially he was uncertain whether she could do the job, but her recent admission to a private clinic for emotional instability clinched the deal and he is now convinced that her finger on North Korea’s nuclear button would be the right finger – or possibly the left. He proposes to rename her Kim Jong Sung, or Dear Leader for short.


  1. That old lady knew a thing or two when she wrote that list...

  2. I loved your post today.
    I remember those dastardly scouts.
    The difference between them and the new knife toting gangs, is that they used their knives to carve little animals for their parents, while their contempories spend their time carving up each other.

  3. Jinksy: It does have a certain resonance.

    Belle: I doubt whether they do. It's just as a protection device in case they get attacked. Actual stabbings are quite rate.

    contemporaties what?

  4. #3 on that list is my favorite.

  5. Chairman Bill,

    Please know that Regina Brett, author of 50 Life Lessons, is not 90 years old (don't feel bad - that misinformation is all over the internet), but she is indeed wise. She is actually 53 years old; she is the senior metro columnist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (Ohio's largest weekly newspaper); she was a finalist in both 2008 and 2009 for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary; and she has a book based on her 50 Life Lessons coming out in April of 2010. You can check out her website by going to http://www.reginabrett.com where you will see that all I've written here is true !! You can also read all of her past columns, including the columns nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, at http://www.cleveland.com/brett

  6. Kat: Oh, I don't know so much. There are a few people I hate with a vengeance due to the way they treat those close to me.

    Anon: Just goes to show how wise we 50-somthings can be.

  7. Re Stop the Presses: Late-night telly host (in the U.S.) David Letterman regularly refers to Kim Jong-Il as Menta Lee-Il, so the choice of Susan Boyle to replace him (K.J.I., not D.L.) as Dear Leader makes a certain sort of macabre sense....