Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Money for Old Art

Despite the purported football-free nature of this blog - a quote from last night’s Spain v Portugal match: “The collective brains of football came together to score that goal.” So, as much consolidated cerebral engagement as an average A* GCSE pupil then – which is not saying much. Some of the dives were worthy of Mark Spitz playing Yorik for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford,

A bunch of ‘artists’ has slated Tate Britain for accepting sponsorship from BP, which has been sponsoring the arts for 20 years. They penned a letter to the Guardian, a UK newspaper well known for its socialist agenda.

The letter claims that sponsorship programmes of companies like BP and Shell are "means by which attention can be distracted from their impacts on human rights, the environment and the global climate. These relationships enable big oil companies to mask the environmentally destructive nature of their activities with the social legitimacy that is associated with such high-profile cultural associations.”

Signatories (not that I’ve ever heard of a single one of them) include playwright Caryl Churchill, cartoonist Martin Rowson, comedian Robert Newman, artist John Keane and electronic musician Matthew Herbert. I wonder how many of them drive cars or use oil or gas to heat their homes. Until they don’t they are being total and utter hypocrites suffering from an unhealthily large dose of self-righteous indignation and cognitive dissonance.

Anyway, don’t most artists paint in oils? They may be vegetable oils, but all oils are organic in origin.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Amazing Optical Illusions

It's amazing how quickly these things circulate after the event.

Monday, 28 June 2010

A Monday Curate's Egg

Remember Professor Colin Pillinger, he of the unsuccessful Beagle 2 Mars Lander? Here’s a picture of him:

Poor bugger has gone and contracted MS and is in a wheelchair now. Well anyway, I was watching Jackson Browne’s Glastonbury session on the TV on Sunday afternoon and spotted him in Browne’s backing band.

The session went better than the Beagle 2 mission.

I suppose I must pass comment on the England Germany match yesterday. Hideous, wasn’t it? I thought it was going to start like the famous 39-45 match, but it was not to be. Is it possible that the England team is having too many celebrity dinners, too many shopping trips and has lost the discipline that teams of yesteryear had? Oh well – best forget about it and hope Holland can rescue the family honour.

I’m not a football guru, but I’m firmly of the opinion that one should always ensure one is playing for the side that scores the most goals – you may disagree, but I'm convinced it's the only way to win.

Manual cars! Why do they exist? I really cannot understand why people actually want to sit there playing with a gearbox when driving – it’s distracting and certainly has the potential to make texting extremely dangerous.

Here’s an idea I thought of over the weekend. We all know that budget cuts are going to hit the public sector hard, which will have a knock-on effect on the private sector and in all likelihood send us back into a spiral of recession. So rather than making 25% of public sector staff redundant and having to pay them Jobseekers’ Allowance, offer them the opportunity to remain in work, but at minimum wage. Once the deficit has been sorted, they will return to the proper level of pay.

The benefits are that it will ensure public services are maintained while the budget is cut, and secondly it gives those who are selected some self-respect and hope, rather than no hope at all. On the negative side, employers may simply continue with a 2 tier pay system, even after the deficit has been addressed. I wouldn’t put it past the current government.

Does anyone remember the days of yore when your mum and dad would dress up to go shopping in town? Mine certainly did when I was a tiddler in the mid 60s. Dad would put his suit on and mum would get her best dress out. No-one makes the effort anymore – me included.

Did you hear about Oscar, the cat that had its back paws severed by a combined harvester and prosthetics fitted by a veterinary surgeon in the ground-breaking operation? We’re wondering whether we can get Kitty upgraded with similar bionic equipment – a kind of Kitty 2.0 XP.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

A Walk Around Bristol

Yesterday I was forced to walk around Bristol, so today I'm going to subject you to a pictorial walkabout.

Above we have a fine representation of what is termed the Bristol Byzantine style of architecture, which is more redolent of the Doge's Palace in Venice. Built in 1869, The Granary became a jazz club under the management for Acker Bilk before transforming into a rock venue in the 60s, having hosted a number of stars before they became famous - such as Deep Purple, Yes, Genesis, etc. Today it's a restaurant and apartments.

The blue, orange, yellow, grey and Victorian buildings you can see in the background are typical of Bristol. There are several places in the city where this eclectic, multicoloured style can be seen, from Totterdown to Cliftonwood.

These charming cottages were once inhabited by the lock keepers at the main entrance to the Port of Bristol at Hotwells.

Above you can see Brunel's SS Great Britain to the right and the Matthew on the extreme left. The Matthew is supposed to be a replica of John Cabot's ship in which he sailed to America in 1497. Cabot sailed westward to try to find China, but was stopped by a land mass we currently call the USA. Almost nothing is known about the Matthew and thus the word replica is used in it loosest sense and it no more faithful to the original than a Werther.

This is a building built by Lloyds Bank during the period they were heavily investing their money (I used the word 'their' in an extremely ironic manner) in the toxic assets that resulted in the global financial melt-down. I call this style of architecture Reichstag Baroque and it pays more than a passing nod to the designs of Albert Speer. You can just imagine the red swastika emblazoned banners hanging down from the balconies. There is ample room in the large plaza for a political rally or two.

Above we have a humorous reference to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who must surely take the a prize for one of the most flamboyant set of forenames in history. He was named after both his French father (Sir Marc Isambard Brunel) and his English mother (Sophia Kingdom).

Above is one of Bristol's most famous companies, which was responsible for sending a dog and a Lancastrian to the moon on a very small budget.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

The Genuine Article

Today I want to talk about vinegar – aceto balsamico di Modena to be precise, more commonly referred to as balsamic vinegar.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is a reduction of white grapes that is aged in successively smaller barrels for anything from 12 to 25 years, whereas the di Modena crap is just vinegar with caramel colouring and cornflour thickening added and does not even need to be aged, yet people still pay a bloody fortune for it. Thousands of litres of this muck is produced on a daily basis, but it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the genuine article, which is called aceto balsamico tradizionale.

What gets me is that people who sell the di Modena stuff have the gall to call it ‘genuine’, which is like saying genuine imitation leather or genuine Somalian scotch.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Lies, Damned Lies and Politics

Have you noticed how ConDem apparatchiks keep repeating the mantra that Gordon Brown and Labour policy was responsible for causing the UK budget deficit? I suspect they think that if they repeat it enough times, then the UK public will come to believe it.

This is an extract from Wiki about the global financial melt-down:

The financial crisis of 2007 to the present is a crisis triggered by a liquidity crisis in the United States banking system and caused by the overvaluation of assets. It has resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments and downturns in stock markets around the world. In many areas, the housing market has also suffered, resulting in numerous evictions, foreclosures and prolonged vacancies. It is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars, substantial financial commitments incurred by governments, and a significant decline in economic activity. Many causes have been suggested, with varying weight assigned by experts. Both market-based and regulatory solutions have been implemented or are under consideration, while significant risks remain for the world economy over the 2010–2011 periods.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Life Expectancy of Authoritative Gorillaz

Can someone please tell me how Gorillaz, a cartoon band who don’t do live performances, can headline on a live stage at Glasto? They must have pre-recorded their set, surely?

Perry, Hay’s sister’s partner, is a steward at Glasto this year. He’s being held hostage by having to pay the full price for the tickets, but providing he works a minimum number of eight and a half hour shifts, he get’s a full refund from Oxfam. Can’t honestly see him getting his refund; he’ll be side tracked by something that involves food or drums – possibly both, and in a nasty way.

Obama seems to be continuing with his rather unique line of political gaffes – he’s now sacked one of his ablest generals, Stanley McChrystal. The purpose is simply to show his public that he’s in control. If you ask me, it would be like Churchill sacking Monty and going on to lose the war, or Hitler sacking virtually all of his senior generals and going on to lose the war – oh hang on, Hitler did do all that. I’m thinking this is all driven by huge egos – on both sides – and the fact authority doesn’t like to be made to look ridiculous, which it actually succeeds in doing by trying to stop itself looking ridiculous.

The UK government seems keen to turn state pension contributions into nothing more complex than a tax on income, as by the simple expedient of gradually pushing the age of retirement to 101 they will ensure no-one actually receives a pension.

Life expectancy at birth, UK, from period life tables, 1980-82 to 2006-08

Note the above chart says life expectancy at birth. So as I was born in 1955, I’m expecting to drop dead any minute.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Royal Pocket Money

England to play Slovenia today. That’ll be a tough one for them then. I think I may have a little flutter on them – like £50k to lose.

Mrs Queen’s pocket money has been frozen by George Osborne at £7.9m per annum. It is widely reported that she is not amused at the prospect of having to visit Lidl on Saturday mornings and go to the local charity shops to buy ball gowns.

HRH Queen Elizabeth

Palace sources indicate that she may be considering franchising the Duke of Edinburgh Comedy Club to recoup lost income and possibly an outright sale of The Duchess of Cornwall at Tattersall’s Bloodstock Auction.

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in his laughing gear.

Then there’s always the option of increasing her commission from the Duchess of York’s company, Royal Favours Inc.

The Duchess of York.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Oily Porkies About the Afterlife

Apropos of Friday’s post on pork; were you aware that people in Scotland eschewed pork for some considerable time and the taboo finally died out only after around 1800.

I see from the news that Tony Hayward, BP’s CEO, is being criticised by the Yanks for having the temerity to eat and sleep while oil continues to gush out of the Deep Water Horizon hole in the earth. This is another in a long line of gaffes by the White House.

Dr Howard Martin, a GP cleared of murdering three patients five years ago, has admitted to a newspaper that he did hasten the deaths of people in his care. He told the Daily Telegraph he acted out of "Christian compassion" for patients' dignity. Harriet Harman, deputy Labour Party leader, was overheard muttering that she wished Doc Martin would show some compassion for the dignity of David Cameron and Nick Clegg too.

Talking of death, I should like to commend a book to you – Sum: Forty tales from the afterlives by David Eagleman; a wonderfully witty and thoughtful little book of essays you could read in an afternoon, written by a neuroscientist who describes himself as a Possibilian.

A quote from Wiki: As a work of literary fiction, the book presents forty mutually exclusive stories staged in a wide variety of possible afterlives. The author has stated that none of the stories are meant to be taken as serious theological proposals, but instead that the message of the book is the importance of exploring new ideas beyond the ones that have been traditionally passed down.

Here’s a link to the Amazon page. Alternatively you can buy my copy for a fiver plus p&p.

Saturday, 19 June 2010


I think I'll dedicate the rest of my days to seeking the true meaninglessness and utter purposelessness of life.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Unkind Halal Cuts

Yesterday the government announced a package of cuts worth £2bn. This is rumoured to include the axing of the NHS, pensions, social security payments and the civil service.

I was listening to smug American politicians who drive massive hunks of metal that do 20 mile to the tonne having a go at BP’s chief executive yesterday and accusing him of cutting corners with safety. I’d have loved him to ask the politicians the following question; if it were possible to stop the flow of oil, but only by cutting corners and completely disregarding safety legislation, would you sanction such action? They sounded like a bunch of sanctimonious arseholes pandering to their public and wanting to appear of prime time TV. It was positively medieval in tone and a bit X-Factorish.

A Coventry farmer has been making halal bacon for Muslims which is made from turkey, rather than pork. Some Muslim scholars are up in arms about it as they think it’s the thin end of the wedge and will lead to actual bacon eating. One said: “"It can ultimately lead to people who only eat halal food ending up eating the real bacon - bacon from pork." Whatever next? One taste of pork and they could feasibly become apostate! Pork should be banned as a dangerous substance having mind-altering properties.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Football Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

I know I said this was to be a football-free zone, but I couldn’t help making an analogy between football and religion.

South Africa coach, the Brazilian, Carlos Alberto Parreira, is in the news for being somewhat piqued at his team being beaten 3-0 and the manner in which several players were booked.

Apparently the South African goalkeeper was shown a red card for some gross infringement and Parreira lambasted the referee; however, Parreria had to admit that he himself did not see the incident.

He went on to say that: "The result doesn't reflect what happened in the match," which clearly shows him to be living in an alternate universe where cause and effect are unencumbered by any relationship and things just happen spontaneously at the macro as well as the quantum level.

All this goes to show how different people with different agendas see things in totally differing (but in their minds totally logical) ways. The facts of the matter, however, are indisputable – unless, of course, Hugh Everett was correct and a quantum event caused the universe to split into two several times during the South Africa match and these divergent universes somehow merged again post-match.

Could this be a new interpretation of quantum mechanics - the Football Interpretation?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

I Just Don't Get It

Congrats to Fletch for correctly identifying yesterday’s post heading as being a reference to Capt. Beefheart’s seminal opus, Trout Mask Replica. Not many people understood what Trout Mask Replica represented when it came out in 1969 – and they still don’t. I don’t think even Capt. Beefheart himself understood it.

Talking of ‘not getting it’; I’m currently at a trade show in Southampton all week. The words of the psychologist who lectured us last week on the benefits of simplicity in a PowerPoint presentation have come back to haunt me.

We have one of those pop-up stands as a backdrop, but it is an object lesson in the pitfalls of cramming too much information into something which has 8 seconds to make a visual impact on a passing punter and let him know what we’re actually selling. I specifically asked several tame customers if they could correctly identify our products from the backdrop and they had to admit they were struggling to make a connection. I had never seen this backdrop before and was horrified when I unpacked it on Monday.

Talking of branding; who knows that BP stands for Beyond Petroleum and not British Petroleum? I thought so. Not a very good rebranding exercise when 99.9% of people still think your company is called British Petroleum ten years after the change. I only became aware of it after Obama was brought to book by the press for calling them British Petroleum.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

I Run on Beans - Laser Beans

Doctors have warned that laser pointers can damage your eyes. That’s a bit like saying stabbing yourself in the guts could be a bit dangerous or that chopping one leg off could give you a limp. Anyone but a complete moron knows what a laser is, and it doesn’t take a PhD in theoretical physics to put two and two together and realise that if James Bond nearly got cut in half by one, then pointing in into your mince pies ain’t exactly therapeutic.

Talking of chopping your leg off - or laser guidance; on Friday I was taking my usual lunchtime walk, part of which which involves a trek across a large playing field. I was reading and replying to an e-mail on my CrackBerry and when I looked up I had veered 90 degrees to the right of my intended track. Apparently it’s quite common for people to veer off in one direction of t’other if there are no landmarks to guide them. In a flat, featureless plain you could end up going round in circles for days.

I wonder if it’s coriolis effect, or just one leg being a nanometre shorter than the other.

Can anyone answer where the title of this post came from?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Pointless Activity

I'm thinking of sticking an England flag on the caravan to signify to all the other English people in the neighbourhood that I'm supporting England in the World Cup.

On second thoughts....

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Art of Selling

Regarding the sales conference on Thursday – we had a BBQ at the back of the hotel, but the efficient bastards ensured that they cleared the food and booze just as soon as we’d been round for our first sitting. These days hotel staff simply know the meaning of the words ‘customer service’. They’re clinical in the extreme and all they seem intent on is moving you along so they can nick the unused booze and go home.

We had one of those hideous group games just after dinner. We were divided into teams and each team was given a seaside themed object. Being salesmen, we then had to sell this object to a person who represented one of the bosses from BP.

My team was given a plastic bucket and spade; another got a beach ball; a 3rd got a ball of string (buggered if I know what connection string has with the seaside, except perhaps men in string vests), etc.

In a very entrepreneurial manner, the team with the string went around the other teams offering to sell them a license to use their string in their product. We ‘bought’ some string in order to fashion a prototype oily water separator that could also separate sand. The mechanism was a centrifuge – i.e. a bucket whirled around one’s head. Sand lies at the bottom, water in the next layer and oil on top. Brilliant!

I even went on to demonstrate a novel device comprising a subsea platform (the upturned bucket) surmounted by a paddle (the spade) that swung back and forth and if deployed in great numbers would divert the North Atlantic Drift and take the oil spillage far out into the Atlantic, where it would either disperse in the rough seas or be carried to the UK, thus taking the problem away from America and to where it belonged – BP’s home.

The string team won due to the fact that whoever else won, they would make money through the license. However, none of the rest of could win, as it transpired we’d all focused on a solution to BPs oil problem, whereas we were eventually told that the representative boss was from their gas division.

The moral of the exercise was to teach us to not make assumptions and to determine the customer’s critical business issues before going off and developing solutions.

We got a rather interesting presentation on sales presentations from a psychologist. He was telling us that the human brain looks for simplicity and we should not therefore use presentations crammed with text. His presentation was elegantly simple, but so simple that I can’t remember any of it.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Protectionism, Apprentices & Mawkishness

Some bunch of sad gits are campaigning to have the name “Devon Cream Teas” registered as ‘Protected Designation of Origin”, which in itself if not good grammar, let alone a worthy use of oxygen.

It’s a like saying you’ll be thrown into the clink for nose-bagging Lancashire hotpot south of Skelmersdale, scoffing Scouse north of Southport or gobbling Cumberland sausage south of Barrow-in-Furness.

Bloody idiots - what a total waste of time and newsprint – not to say blogging time. I’m ashamed of myself for even mentioning it. I abase myself before my loyal readership for even having the temerity of report this garbage! Go read another blog – PLEASE!

I’m currently in Bournemouth at our sales conference. When I came back to my room and switched on the TV I saw Alan Sugar’s “Junior Apprentice”, where he was in the process of trying to turn kids into mini-sociopaths. Should this be what we consider as entertainment? I thought we’d finished with this when kids were stopped from going up chimneys and under-fives were barred from partaking in bare-knuckle fighting.

A parting thought. In Whitehaven yesterday, people stopped what they were doing for a minute at midday to commemorate the 12 people Derrick Bird killed; in the whole of the UK yesterday, about 542 people died suddenly and unexpectedly from heart attacks, yet no-one will commemorate them en-mass. Why not?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Godless Telford

Apparently Telford in Shropshire is the most Godless place in England, having the lowest record of church attendance. To redress the situation, a group of citizens have opened a new church.

Can’t really see the point; opening a new church isn’t exactly going to suddenly persuade people of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent supernatural deity and then to start worshipping it - especially in Telford.

The local Bishop, Mark Rylands, said: “There are signs of growth, of new life and of real care here in Telford. The church is a breath of fresh air and a real sign of hope for the community."

He obviously thinks that a community that has no belief in supernatural gods is a community in a spiral of despair, misery and social corruption. I disagree vehemently – it’s a place that’s showing signs of self-reliance, an acceptance of uncertainty and growing up.

Six of us live together here in three households on the one plot of land, and not one of us is in the slightest bit religious. Yet we’re a beacon of social cohesion, co-operation, ethical living and happiness. Not having a God or god does not make you less caring or a sociopath.

I find the Bishop’s comments both offensive and bigoted and not worthy of him.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Perfect Job

Last night we were conjuring up the perfect job for Caravan (Hay’s father). Now he adores steam trains, so we came up with Emeritus Professor of Steam Railways at the University of Crewe (or possibly Didcot).

Monday, 7 June 2010

Charity Shop Chic

On Saturday I bought a rather stylish waxed jacket by Zara (not at all like a Barbour) from the local charity shop for a tenner – which I thought excellent value.

Hay and I wondered how such a nice jacket, with no signs of wear, had come to be in a charity shop.

Scenario 1: Man loves Zara waxed jacket. Man’s wife hates it, as it was bought for him by wife No.1, and decides it has to go. Knowing full well that man would not be seen dead in a charity shop, she donates same to the St Peter’s Hospice shop in Chipping Sodbury. Man in the meantime is wondering where the hell his favourite jacket has gone, but can’t ask wife, as it would appear he’s attached to clothes his ex bought him.

Scenario 2: Man has stylish waxed jacket in his cupboard, but hasn’t used it in years. Added to this, man is now a bit of a munter, having ballooned from 12 stones to 18 stones in 5 years of marriage, and can no longer fit into said jacket. Man doesn’t wish to get rid of it, as he has, like every man, good intentions of losing weight at some stage in the future. Man’s wife is more pragmatic and knows perfectly well that man will never lose weight and therefore takes it to the St Peter’s Hospice charity shop.

Scenario 3: Very middle class urban wife decides she doesn’t like “country gent look” of said Zara jacket. While man is at work, takes jacket to St Peter’s Hospice charity shop. Man comes home on wet and windy Friday evening, goes to get said jacket to walk the dog, shouts to wife: “Darling, where’s my waxed jacket?” She says: “What jacket’s that dear?” He says: “That really expensive one I bought from Zara that suits me.” She says: “Oh, that one. You asked me to get rid of that months ago.” He, being a man, decides not to pursue the matter, as he’s always being told by his wife that he has a brain like a sieve. Puzzles for the next couple of days as to what made him get rid of his favourite jacket.

Scenario 4: Jacket was bought for man by his wife in an attempt to smarten him up. Man doesn’t like said jacket and pursues a strategy of leaving it in the car. A few days later man gives jacket to St Peter’s Hospice charity shop, and reports to wife that his car was broken into and his jacket stolen.

What is your scenario to explain the jacket’s presence in a charity shop?

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Scientists Stun Footballing Community by Inventing Round Ball

Yes, it’s absolutely true! No more kicking a square, small stellated dodecahedron or even a nonconvex great rhombicuboctahedron-shaped ball around a football field.

Footballers throughout the world over are overjoyed at this momentous news. Rio Rooney, midfielder with Blackpockrington Athletic, said: “This is what I’ve been waiting for all my life. Up to now I’ve been using a tetrahemihexahedron-shaped ball, and you simply can’t dribble it. Not only that, but each time you head it you are rushed to a neurosurgery unit in the local hospital with brain damage from having your skull stoved in by one of the points.”

Another player, Diego Dalgleish, striker for Dynamo Kampala, said: “I’ve been brought up using a small retrosnub icosicosidodecahedron-shaped ball, which when it flies through the air has the same effect on you as one of those ninja throwing stars - slices right through you something terrible.” He continued: “At least this means we don’t need teams of surgeons on the touchline to sew your legs and arms back on during the half-time carnage interval.”

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Homo Habilis Caravanserai

Hay’s father (aka Caravan) can be so annoying. Yesterday evening he was busy preparing a BBQ with one of those tin foil tray jobbies. Quicker than you can say ‘handyman’, he had knocked three pieces of wood together to make a windbreak.

Any normal chap would moan like hell for a few hours before finally proceeding to B&Q to buy something hideously expensive and totally inappropriate that wouldn’t have a chance in hell of working – in the process buying a power tool that was on special offer.

Hay and I went out for dinner at a local Italian restaurant last night (Giardino’s in Chipping Sodbury – and well worth a visit). She had dressed me in a nice clean shirt. Just as we left the caravan she looked at my shirt and said: “OK Badger, what’s it to be tonight then - tomato sauce, olive oil, cheese sauce?” I’m happy to report I returned to the caravan (for once) without a single stain on my shirt.

Being on a medical bent, Hay found a ruling by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulation Agency against Lloyd’s Pharmacies yesterday. It concerned their premature ejaculation service. The mind boggles as to what they do for one.

Friday, 4 June 2010

News? Bah!

When will this wall-to-wall analysis of the Cumbria killings stop?

I don’t know about you, but I wish to hell that news programmes would restrict themselves to reporting news and not going off into areas that would be best left to chat programmes.

Several times over the last few days I’ve heard reporters asking the relatives of those killed how they feel. What a mind-numbingly insensitive and totally ridiculous question to ask someone when a close relative has just been killed. News programmes are turning into purveyors of human interest stories, which is not what they are meant to be.

I also think it also ridiculous for people to be calling Derrick Bird evil. He was certainly disturbed, and people with mental disturbances do some hideous things. People are not evil in themselves – circumstances and their state of mind at the time may make them commit evil acts, but who can put their hand on their hearts and say unequivocally that if they had the same experiences and problems that Bird had that they would not react in the same way?

While returning from head office yesterday I spotted a hearse on the M25. I laughed out loud when I saw the coffin – it was made of wicker! How’s that for being environmentally friendly to the death?

Thursday, 3 June 2010

World War II Bomb with 66 Year Time Delay Fuse Kills 3 in Germany

A trio of innocent Germans in the town of Goettingen in Germany were killed yesterday by a WWII 500kg bomb as it was being defused. That must be the longest time-delayed fuse in history.

Never mind about banning mines in warfare, sounds like bombs should also be banned. Banning bullets would also be quite a good idea.

Just a quickie left over from yesterday’s post on the ironing fairy – here’s how to fold a T-shirt.

Get the man in your life to watch it and learn something.

I discovered something interesting the other day on Farming Today. Apparently the reason why vaccination of cattle for bovine TB is not acceptable is that there’s currently no test to distinguish between a vaccinated animal and one that has the disease - hence the reason behind the current mass badger cull. Scientists think it will be another 4 years before a suitable test can be developed, so in the meantime I’m keeping my head down and steering clear of any cattle.

Thinking of taking up a hobby. I might join the local Embalming for Beginners group.

Forgot to mention this, but the boat has finally sold. The sole reason for starting to blog was an effort to sell the boat on e-Bay, and the e-Bay advert eventually turned into a blog as the questions became more esoteric and off-subject. I don’t have the filthy lucre in my hands as yet, but it’s only a matter of days.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Supernatural Conspiracy Theories

From being a staunch atheist, last night Hay managed to convert me to a firm believer in all manner of supernatural entities.

The proofs she cited were the washing fairy, the ironing sprite and the cooking elf.

I had to admit that when I come home and throw my clothes into the washing basket, they miraculously reappear a few days later freshly washed and ironed. There can be no other explanation than supernatural intervention and a bending, or even outright suspension, of the laws of physics.

The same has to be said for the miraculous appearance of cooked food every evening. Jesus Christ could only manage bread and fish, whereas whatever entity is responsible for the appearance of food in our household manages to work miracles with salads, potatoes, legumes and all manner of meats.


From New Scientist:

“HEARD the latest? The swine flu pandemic was a hoax: scientists, governments and the World Health Organization cooked it up in a vast conspiracy so that vaccine companies could make money.

Never mind that the flu fulfilled every scientific condition for a pandemic, that thousands died, or that declaring a pandemic didn't provide huge scope for profiteering. A group of obscure European politicians
concocted this conspiracy theory, and it is now doing the rounds even in educated circles.”

The UK politicians listed are:

  • Mike Hancock – Portsmouth South,
  • Paul Flynn – Newport West, and
  • Christine McCafferty - Calder Valley (who lost her seat at the last election).