Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday 13/03/09

Not sure what’s happening to Blogger. I can no longer copy and paste from Word into the Blogger editor when using Outlook. Firefox allows me to copy and paste, but screws up the formatting, stripping out line breaks. It also refuses to accept some of the HTML carried over from Word, and so it takes several HTML deletions to publish - as well as buggering up the font size (as you can see).

Do you use Facebook? Have a look at this – it’s really hilarious.

Here we go, ministers are starting to talk about e-cigarettes, which probably means a ban looming on the basis of zero evidence.

A Scottish GP has lost his bid for chocolate tax to help combat obesity and diabetes and the proceeds to be used by the NHS. What a plonker! As if chocolate alone is the cause of obesity. What about Wigan kebabs, chips, fatty burgers, salt, sugar and fat added to almost every pre-processed food – and finally, simply eating gargantuan portions worthy of John Prescott? In any case, since when has a tax actually been hypothecated? The logical way to combat obesity is to levy VAT on all food and direct the revenue toward obesity treatment and anti-obesity drugs. That would have the added benefit of providing jobs, as well as in the longer term enabling us to eat anything we wanted without the associated guilt.

If the government wants to do something to combat obesity now, then introduce a charge for any medical treatment which is a direct result of obesity. That way the rest of us won’t have to suffer because of a few lard arses who can’t stop stuffing their faces. Smokers (and possibly dipsomaniacs) should be exempt, as the extra tax they pay funds the NHS to the tune of several times what they cost in treatment. That’s only fair and the reason the government can’t afford to ban smoking outright.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting rather fed up with do-gooders telling me what is and is not good for me and initiating social experiments to change our habits. How the hell have we managed for so many millions of years without social manipulator busy-bodies interfering in our lives?

Scientists at MIT are working on lithium-ion batteries that charge in seconds, rather than hours. That’s just what we vapers need for faster charging of our e-cigarettes and e-cigars (especially our New Smoke products, which I must remember to tell you all about some day soon). The upshot of this story is that we could feasibly run hybrid electric cars that can be re-charged at filling stations in practically the same time it takes to fill your car with a tank of petrol, get asked whether you want the school vouchers, have one of half a dozen loyalty cards or want a VAT receipt, go for a pee (or if female, stand in a queue for 10 minutes), and order a paper cup of over-priced coffee comprising mostly foam from a truculent assistant with all the customer service skills of Genghis Khan following a raucous night out on the steppes consuming vast quantities of fermented mares’ milk.

Bernard Madoff, the chap charged with running a $50bn Ponzi scheme, has pleaded guilty (is there such a word as pled?) to all 11 charges. That’s rather refreshing – someone actually admitting he is a crook. Would it be cynical of me to say that I foresee a brilliant future for him in politics? It’s not as if being 70 puts him out of the running – look at Bob Mugabe; 85 and still going strong. The only problem is that Madoff’s sentence might make him several hundred years old by the time he comes out of prison.

Remember my post of a few weeks ago about men navigating by geometry and women by landmarks. Well, experiments with chimps have shown that they also use man’s geometry-based navigation system. Men and chimps seem to be indistinguishable, whereas women are on a totally different planet of the apes.

A certain woman is in the news just now. Formula 1 magnate, multi-billionaire and hobbit stunt-double, Bernie Ecclestone, was divorced by his statuesque, 50 year-old, ex model wife, Slavica, on Wednesday. They’d been married for 24 years. She’s reported to be just under a foot taller than him, and a billion quid better off. Well, he is 78, and getting your mem-sahib to divorce you is a neat way of avoiding death duties. I believe the term is ‘velvet divorce’. Oooh, there’s me being cynical again.

Talking of billionaires, Bill Gates has moved from 3rd to 1st in the Forbes Rich List, but only as a result of the global economic crisis and the stock market crashing. The previous numbers 1 and 2 had more invested in shares than Chairman Bill. The top three are in software, investments and communications, in that order; thus the business to be in is communicating software investments, or possibly investing in communications software. Running a Ponzi scheme would get you near the top too. Ruining banks would not make you a billionaire, but it would give you a damned good pension.

Lord Ahmed, who was involved in a fatal crash minutes after sending text messages on Christmas Day 2007 and jailed for 12 weeks for sending and receiving text messages while driving on the M1, has been released by the Court of Appeal. So a lord was freed by some other lords who felt the need for "exceptional" personal mitigation. Mmmmm. The excuse he made was that being locked up would could "irreparably and permanently" damage his ability to carry out community work in the future. Why couldn’t he do community work with offenders in prison?

Jose Mourinho is being investigated for allegedly punching a Man Utd. fan. Isn’t that what everyone does to a Man Utd. fan?


Jinksy said...

Speaking as a female, my ape planet is a lovely place to be - we are hairless and sweaty. C.f. Horizon programme on BBC2.

Carolina said...

I'm sorry, since you've sent me over to somegreybloke I've spent a lot of time watching his videos, which are very funny (choosing my religion 2 had me laugh out loud), thanks for that, so I skimmed over your post about chocolate (yummy), smoking (very bad for you), crooks (or rich people) and chimps (they always look familiar). Sorry, don't have time left now to leave you a comment on all that ;-)

The Return of the Native ... sort of. said...

Must buy some e-cigarettes to try, before the ban comes in. Bloody Nanny State.

Jeanne Estridge said...

Loved the Facebook animation -- I have a grand total of 4 friends (in all categories), but I noticed that my (ever extroverted) daughter has 300+.