Thursday, 28 February 2013

What's that I can hear?


In the news today, a tumbleweed invasion that has buried a man’s house in Texas, America.  The free rolling plant has covered one side of Josh Pitman’s house after strong winds of over 60MPH.

Of course, the ‘buries’ house statement isn’t completely true as only one side was covered but with all stories, a punchy attention grabbing title always helps.  The plants had rolled on top of each other causing a walled effect that blocked doorways to Josh’s house.

Josh informs us that his wife sent him a text with a photo of the left side of the house enclosed by the plants.  Firstly Josh, why didn’t your wife just tell you or if she wasn’t talking to you, just point at them?  Texting really has taken the art of conversation away hasn’t it!  Secondly, Josh you stated, “I didn’t even know this many tumbleweeds existed”.  I confess to not having a fantastic knowledge of tumbleweeds, but I could have given it a good shot at estimating that there are enough in the World to cover your entire house Josh!

Tumble weeds are formed when the plant dries & breaks from its roots & utilises the wind to blow it across the ground for it to be able to spread its spores.  The plants are not native to the US but are famously portrayed sweeping along the dusty streets of the old Wild West in cowboy movies.  It is often used in connection with the death of a conversation after one participant unwittingly says something unfunny, the sound of tumbleweed!

Ironically poor Josh only recently tore down a fence to the side of his house that would have prevented the clinging weeds preventing him exiting from the house.  Josh stated, “It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen”.  In 1989 the town of Mobridge in South Dakota spent a week and $8,500 digging out from under 30 tons of the dry prairie weeds!

Now that’s ridiculous Josh, what’s that sound? 



Gun Dog


In the news today, the gun toting Bulldog that shot his owner in the leg. The unnamed dog was traveling as a front seat passenger in his master’s pickup truck when the incident took place.

Immediately from the first paragraph & the words gun & pickup, you would be correct in deducing that this is a story from America.  For one we Brits are far too tied down with red tape to even contemplate allowing a dog to ride up front!  That has to contravene several health & safety laws straight off, we aren’t going to risk a £60 fine & three points on our licence for no one! Oh yeah & guns are illegal too.

The dog owner, Gregory Lanier informed police that his unholstered 9mm Beretta was in between him & the dog in the middle of the front seats; he also thought it wasn’t loaded. The Bulldog has said to have jumped around in the front of the pickup & somehow sat on the gun & it fired.  Fortunately for Gregory, the bullet entered & exited his left calf. 

I’m no CSI expert but unlike Britain, American cars are left hand drive, which would put the gun happy dog on the driver’s right along with the pistol.  Unless Gregory had his legs crossed somehow, which would have made manoeuvring the pickup tricky, logic says that he should have been shot in the right leg.  Mr Lanier reportedly had a rifle in the truck too, but this was not loaded, just as well or he may have had his left ear blown off.

It is reported that New York police haven’t filed any charges in relation to this incident; this would be against Gregory if they had, not the dog I surmise, as there are no laws against dogs being in charge of a loaded weapon. But there must be something to do with being a dumb ass in control of a gun & a Bulldog in a confined space. 

All that is known about the poor tan & white Bulldog is that it was taken to a friend’s house, no doubt giving it large to all of the other dogs in the neighbourhood about how he popped a cap in his owner’s ass.  Or was that he was taken to a friend of Gregory’s house?  Either way, canine & human acquaintances alike are all laughing at you Gregory.

Traditionally Setters, Retrievers & Pointers are known for being portrayed in a certain role, this must be the first time a Bulldog has been referred to as Gun Dog. 



Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Super Spider


In the news today, Spiderman is real!  No he isn’t, that’s just stupid, but the concept behind his web being able to stop a speeding train, now that is real. Physics boffins at the University of Leicester have been researching the possibilities of it.

Students at the University, who clearly have nothing better to do than combine their love of the movies with their day jobs, have stated that if the spider’s web was scaled to human dimensions, the silk from a certain arachnid could exert 300,000 newtons of force.  Just to get that into some kind of prospective, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima had a force of 300,000 newtons.

The scientists have bombarded us with figures on this such as; the web stiffness would need to be 3.12 gigapascals & its toughness would be required to be 500 mega joules per cubic metre.  Glad they cleared that up!  Gigapascal is a measure of pressure & joule is a measure of energy, so I’d make an educated guess that a mega joule is a really good one.

There is one spider in particular that the research is based on & that is of Darwin’s Bark spider from Madagascar which is said to produce the toughest biological material in the World.  Now that’s some claim, a mega one even. This little critter which is no bigger than 2cm spins webs of this super silk, with web sizes ranging from 900–28,000 cm.

Zoologists claim that this spiders web is over 10 times stronger than Kevlar, which if you weren't aware, is the material used to make, among other things, bullet proof vests.  I’m thinking that the reason we don’t use the Bark spiders silk to stop speeding bullets is because it is maybe a little on the sticky side, the purpose of it is to catch flies after all.

The calculations are based on the momentum of a four carriage train at full speed & the time it takes to stop, taking into consideration the trains driving force.  I wonder if they took into consideration the possibility of overhead cable repairs, delays due to unforeseen circumstances of staff shortages or leaves on the line?

Whatever theories the experts present to us, we readily digest them as we love to think of them actually happening, although the chances of the researchers having a speeding train running into a giant spiders web in the laboratory? Not really, it’s a safe bet actually, who’s going to be able to disprove it?  Throw in a bunch of calculations using measurements no one has heard of & associate a little Hollywood sparkle to it, you’re on to a winner.


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Royal size 10


In the news today, the ever reliable Prince Phillip cracking jokes again, this time at the expense of a Filipino nurse.  The ‘gaff’ happened at the unveiling of the new £5.5m cardiac centre at the Luton & Dunstable hospital.

The ‘joke’, in its entirety is as follows: “The Philippines must be half empty – you’re all here running the NHS”.  The poor unsuspecting Nurse pushed into the firing line by the hospital bosses laughed it off in an uncomfortable few seconds whilst the sound of hands slapping foreheads could be heard from Royal onlookers.

A hospital spokesperson stated that the Duke’s visit was “Hugely motivational”, to say the least. The Duke now at the tender age of 91 described himself as the World’s most experience curtain puller is no stranger to ‘untactful’ comments at an age when most of us would be in a Nursing home not visiting one.
The hospital spokesperson, I’m assuming the same one as previous stated, “Luton is a very cosmopolitan town – staff working at the hospital reflects that”. They could not be drawn to comment on the Duke’s remarks, wise move.

Here is a collection of some of my favourite Prince Phillip anecdotes:

“If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed” – A comment made to British students during a state visit to China in 1986.

 “You look like you’re ready for bed!” To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress in 2003.

 “Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.” To deaf children stood by steel band in 2000.

 “There’s a lot of your family in tonight.” Said to Atul Patel at reception for influential Indians in 2009.

 “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” This spoken to a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.

The list goes on & on, with enough material to make Bernard Manning jealous, the Duke never fails to have his staff on high alert at public functions & private dinners.  But with him married to the boss, what can be done other than a polite smile & inward gasp whenever he speaks.

At least the rest of us can keep our elderly embarrassing grandfathers locked away most of the year!    


Sticky moments


In the news today, a sticky situation on the A76 in Dumfries with a glue container shedding its 19 ton load on the road.  The lorry container burst when it jack-knifed forcing the route between Dumfries & Cumnock in east Ayrshire to be closed.

Diversions were set in place whilst the police stuck their heads together to work out a plan of action to clear the tacky road.  The super amount of glue was said to have affected the road surface & that motorists were asked to avoid the area.

Motorists were unhappy at being stuck in traffic jams but there was little that could have been done as the paste slowed the pace of the cars.  Local residents were left feeling glum at not being able to access the road that was coated in gum.

A police spokesperson stated, “I’ve been in some sticky situations in my time, but this is literally the stickiest”. The road was finally re opened some time later when the adhesive had been given sufficient time to dry & the excess glue was wiped from the cracks with a damp cloth.

What else did you expect me to do with this story?


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Time Sisters please


In the news today, the publican prosecuted for after-hours drinking with a pub full of drunken Nuns.  Christy Walsh has been fined 700 Euros after Police raided his pub in Listowel, County Kerry twice in one night, on both occasions discovering the bar contained Nuns.

The fine Mr Walsh is not the worst corruptor of Sisters in history, neither an anti-religious fanatic attempting to ruin the good name of the church, but in fact a charity raising organiser.  For Christy had assembled the largest gathering of people dressed as nuns in a new World record with 1,436 descending upon the small town garbed in their Nun’s outfits.

In the cleverly named ‘Nunday’, 3,000 extra people arrived at the town doubling its population all in aid of the Pieta House, suicide & self-harm charity, a charity close to Christy’s heart as his own Son committed suicide at 17.  Given all this you’d have thought that the local police would have been a little more tolerant.

Mr Walsh was making a brave attempt to arrange taxis for the intoxicated Holy sister’s but with only 10 taxis in the town, the demand far outweighed the cabs, he even started to run some of them home himself.  But the local constabulary spoil sports decided that they would put a stop to the fun by taking legal action against the publican after a duo of organised raids.  Which in truth probably involved them opening the door & walking in.

Mr Walsh is said to be disappointed by the prosecution but on the plus side the charity event did raise 26,000 Euros.  The local convent was also approached prior to the event & they were said to give the occasion their blessing.  I wonder if any of the patrons propping up the bar when the police raided at 04.00 hours were actual Nun’s?  what a perfect opportunity, no wonder they didn’t object.

How Taxing


In the news today, the very controversial under-occupation penalty, dubbed the ‘The bedroom tax’.  A government system, whereby thousands of council house tenants are being forced to downsize if they have a bedroom that isn’t used.  Thus to free up accommodation for larger families.  

Those not willing to move & downscale their house will lose benefits, the government are hoping the scheme will make better use of the reported one million vacant rooms & help to reduce the £23 billion bill.  Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has stated that this happens in the private rental sector so, “If it’s good enough for private renting, it’s good enough for public housing”.

There are exemptions to this if you are over 60 years of age or have a disabled person that has a non-residential carer looking after them, then you can remain in your home, however if you are married & looking after your spouse who requires their own room due to disability, you are not exempt, which has angered many people.

Back in 1696 the then King, William III introduced a similar & just as controversial tax.  On windows!   The window tax consisted of two parts: a flat-rate house tax of 2 shillings per house and a variable tax for the number of windows above ten windows in the house. Properties with between ten and twenty windows paid a total of four shillings and those above twenty windows paid eight shillings.

The number of windows that incurred tax was changed to seven in 1766 and eight in 1825. The flat-rate tax was changed to a variable rate, dependent on the property value, in 1778. People, who were exempt from paying church or poor rates, for reasons of poverty, were exempt from the window tax.

Basically the bigger the house, the more windows it was likely to have and the more tax the occupants would pay. Nevertheless, the tax was unpopular, because it was seen by some as a tax on "light and air" It is thought that the saying ‘Daylight Robbery’ originated as a result of the window tax. However the tax wasn’t abolished until 1850.

If you have ever seen large houses that have bricked up windows, this was as a direct result of the window tax, home owners with over a certain amount of windows, filled them in to avoid paying so much in taxes. A drastic move to evade payment, but it worked.  Will this result in thousands of bedroom doors being bricked up? 

The human resourcefulness in times of the wallet being attacked are legendary, how about if you are married but in separate rooms? Or maybe house your pet python in the spare room?  I look forward to hearing some of the excuses.

If this doesn’t work for the government they could always try some of the other taxes attempted throughout history.  The brick tax of 1784, the glass tax of 1746, the Hearth tax of the 7th century & my personal favourite, the wallpaper tax bought in my Queen Anne in 1712.  Any patterned or decorated paper was taxed by the yard.  This was got around by having plain wallpaper & decorating it yourself. 

We had some really bad 1970’s flowery wallpaper when I was a child that should have been banned let alone taxed!

Stop! We'll have no fun here.....


In the news today from our Australian cousins in a Sidney shopping centre, that have placed a ban on screaming children after complaints about the little darlings becoming too loud near to the centres play area!

Ok I for one can totally get that out of control kids shattering the peace can be a real pain, but the fact that it’s coming from the play area that the shopping centre put in place is a little contradictory.  The complaints are that the children are running amuck in the food court & that the screams could be heard in the centre staffs office.  So this may be just that the staff have had enough of the noise.

Such is the annoyance to the staff from the kids that they have put up a sign which reads:  ‘Stop. Parents please be considerate of other customers using the food court. Screaming children will not be tolerated in the centre.’  Which in short this could be interpreted as;

‘Stop. Parents instead of using the centre as a dumping ground for your monsters to cause havoc while you gossip to your friends, keep them under control or they will be forcibly removed & placed into social care, as you are clearly an unfit parent.’

Obviously this ban has provoked uproar with parents, ever protective of their offspring no matter how much of a little delinquent they might be.  Parents will go to great lengths to defend their brood when they come under the slightest criticism, when in short; nine times out of ten it is the direct actions of the parent that result in the condemnation.  Here’s an idea, stop blaming other people for your child’s appalling behaviour when they learn it direct from source.

With the debate still continuing a child psychologist has now joined in the argument, because he isn’t going to be bias towards the shopping centre is he?  Dr Carr-Gregg said, “I do think we are becoming increasingly selfish & intolerant…This could be a violation of the United Nations rights of the child.”  I’m guessing that Dr Double barrelled child expert doesn’t spend a lot of time in shopping centre food courts & that he may frequent the trendier Dr friendly, child biased coffee shops of Sydney.

There are some that agree with the good doctor in that you are only young once & that children should be allowed to run unrestricted to express themselves freely, even if this does involve making other members of the public miserable. Then there are others that have the opinion that all children should be seen but not heard.  Gaffa tape works very well for this, but you do need to bind their hands also to prevent them removing it.

I think this debate will not reach a harmonious outcome without the intervention of a non-biased third party, so here goes:  Lift the ban on screaming kids to immediately appease the parents, but not wishing to be seen to roll over & have your nuts tickled, implement some simple but stringent rules.  All children can have free run of the newly located play area situated in the basement, that doesn’t require adult supervision as the centres new employee, Cuddles the Hybrid Wolf will maintain order, thus leaving the parents free to shop & chat. 

It could work?

Friday, 22 February 2013

May the yoga be with you


In the news today, Star Wars obsessives are combining their compulsive like behaviour of all things from the movies with a little keep fit.

Self-proclaimed Jedi Master, Alain Bloch has set up lessons in lightsabre techniques for other equally passionate wannabe Masters to protect the galactic republic.  As he has a martial arts background, no one is better placed to be a defender for the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy.

Mr Bloch, who doesn’t appear in the holy bible of who’s who, Wikipedia, so therefore can be immediately discredited as a random fruit loop, is no doubt making a profit from these poor gullible Star Wars extremists.  The only quote from Alain was the deep & evocative, “Always be mindful of the presence!” What the hell does that mean?  Maybe it’s a reference to all the ‘presents’ he can now afford to lavish on himself for the extortionate entrance fee into his ‘Golden Gate Knights’ classes in San Francisco.

His devotees are even arriving at the classes dressed up in various costumes from the films, with a couple going on a date to one of them.  Not knowing someone too well in the early stages of a relationship & trying to impress?  Let me think where can you take her to really show her you’re passionate?  That I’m sure was the end of that courtship.

Some have entered into the spirit by saying they wish to experience the dark side of the force.  Hopefully these partisans of the lightsabre are just joining in for the fun of things & are not sad loners harbouring murderous intentions, who spend their lives in their bedrooms with the internet as their only friend. But I’m sure that they are just ‘fun’ guys at heart & don’t see it as an opportunity to decapitate random strangers with a glowing fluorescent light bulb.

This worrying trend, particularly in America for fanatical followings such as this is higlighted in the words of the student dressed as Darth Vader, Gary Ripper, (honestly he does have a serial killers name), “I just love Vader, period. Just his voice, the way he moved, the power of him”.  Gary, you need some therapy dude. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Criminal Past


In the news today, that the genealogy internet website, findmypast.com has released half a million records.  We’re not talking pop songs, criminal ones.  Dating from 1770 to 1934 there are court papers, verdicts sentences & mug shots of the criminals, with another two million to be further released in the future.

Now anyone can trace the history of their dubious family members that no one ever talked about.  With the documents having to be painstakingly scanned in one by one, it’s a mundane task likened to breaking up rocks on the chain gang.    

No one is going to want to find out that they have no criminals in their families past; the very point of logging on will be to gain some notoriety for the family by having a murderer in the ranks.  For a lot of people discovering that they have a burglar or thief in the clan won’t be anything new, but as a topic, tracing your family history is always something that excites.

Records specialists are saying it’s a fascinating insight to ordinary people’s lives, which in a way tars ‘ordinary’ people with the same criminal brush.  They can flower it up as much as they like saying things such as, you’ll get a picture of how people were trying to reform society when trade unions were illegal, but at the end of the day we are all going to be on there trying to locate great, great, great uncle ‘jailbird’ Smith or Jones.

Having criminals in the so far distant annals of history is acceptable & bordering on being cool.  Not sure how far into the future little cousin Asbo terrorising the community & robbing them blind will be acknowledged as cool, but I’m sure like a lot of past criminals, he would have been a victim of circumstance. Not that the felons of bygone would have had ‘ADHD’ to blame their appalling behaviour on which is favoured by todays up and coming lawbreakers.  

The site can also be used to trace the more famous of histories not so ordinary criminal people such as Oscar Wilde or Emily Pankhurst, but in return for some poor unfortunate having to scan in the records, there will be a fee to do so, only fair I guess.  Hope it’s not extortionate, that would be just………criminal.

The author would like to wholeheartedly & sincerely apologise for the previous inexcusable witticism.  It was cheap & a low endeavour at humour that was as subtle as a square house building block striking the rear of the cranium.  Sorry. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Titanic II - the unsinkable II


In the news today is that the Titanic is to be rebuilt.  Not the one sitting on the bottom of the Atlantic, but we are told, a full size working replica of the original ship.  Being named the unimaginative Titanic II, & due for completion in 2016, it’s set to spark a great deal of interest.

The plan is that it will be given a maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, a repeat of the 1912 journey that didn’t end too well last time with the original ship.  It is claimed that the new Titanic will precisely resemble the original ship in every detail. This all means that it will have nine floors, 840 rooms & accommodate 2,400 passengers along with 900 crew members.

A couple of issues that I have noticed, the first being that it is being built in China.  Given the ‘Made in China’, cheap & cheerful label that has become synonymous with substandard goods from that part of the World, I’m instantly concerned that they are aiming so high with this project. Come on guys, at least build up to it, ambitious is a major understatement.  Maybe start out with a sailing ship & work up?

The second issue is that once completed the Titanic II will be sailed to Southampton to make its maiden voyage.  I can be fairly dumb at times like the next person, but I’m not missing this am I?  Wouldn’t the maiden voyage be from China to Southampton?  Anyway, the ships second maiden voyage will be the exactly the same as the ill-fated ‘unsinkable’ Titanic but hopefully without the same result.

The company constructing the liner have stated that unlike the original it will be fitted with advanced technologies, including the latest life-saving communication systems. So a radio then?  The more I find out of this scheme, the more I am filled with a sense of foreboding worry. I’d suggest the fitting of a device that is able to detect massive blocks of floating ice might be a prudent investment.

Whatever the outcome of this venture, I along with the rest of the World will await excitedly for the arrival of the Titanic II, especially with it already receiving enquiries from potential passengers with some offering up to $1m to be on the maiden voyage.  If you are one of them, just make sure that you’re booked on the ‘other’ maiden voyage before parting with that much cash!

Tom Cruise & the Battered Sausage


In the news today, Tom Cruise eats curry. Not only that they have made a film about it too. I kid you not; the short film is being entered into the St Albans film festival’s short film competition also.

The film is based on the visit of Tom & some friends to an Indian restaurant last August in St Albans and features some hilarious scenes of the consumption of a Chicken Tikka Masala & Lobster, some people sitting at a table & eventually leaving the restaurant.  And if you haven’t already had some internal organ damage from laughing by then, there is the part when Tom is told that they don’t except American Express & one of his friends has to settle the bill. Its movie gold.

The festivals director, the internationally acknowledged, Leoni Kibbey, (don’t ask), informs us that everyone in the film is wearing a Tom Cruise mask, “It’s very funny”. I’ll take your word on that one, Leoni.  There is no information on the length of the film but I’m guessing that with starters, main & a possible desert, which to be honest are not the strong point of any Indian restaurant, you’re going to struggle at condensing it to more than 30 minutes.

In a vain attempt to give the film some more credibility, or even any credibility, Leoni is quick to point out that director Stanley Kubrick lived in St Albans & film pioneer Arthur Melbourne-Cooper was born there too.  Both events can have no bearing on the film what so ever & are just a shameless endeavour at name dropping. And just for good measure she informs us that Pinewood & Elstree studies are nearby too. Admittedly Elstree studios are 9.1 miles from St Albans but she is stretching the Pinewood connection a bit as it is 22.2 miles away in a different county! 

county! 
udios are 9.1 miles from St Albans but she is stretching the Pinewood connection a bit as it is 22.2 miles away in a dThere’s no reason why this film should stop there, there could be a long run of sequels to this if it takes off.  A Poppadum too far – Curry night II, Tom Cruise & the battered sausage, Do you want Chips with that? Tom Cruise is lovin’ it.  The possibilities are endless.  I’ll keep an eye out for it at the Oscars. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Slow burner


In the news today, a Norwegian TV broadcaster is showing a 12 hour programme of a wood fire burning. The transmission is said to be keeping in touch with Norwegians spiritual relationship with fire.

Featuring commentaries from firewood specialists on such riveting topics as chopping, stacking & most importantly, burning the wood.  It will also feature music & poetry.  All this from the same TV Company that previously treated its viewers to 130 hours of a cruise ship sailing up the Norwegian coast to the Artic.

I must confess to not being totally au fait on current Norwegian trends but I’m having an educated guess that they are a fairly modern vibrant culture.  Fire is, as stated by the head of the broadcasting company, the reason we’re here & without it they couldn’t live in Norway as they would freeze. Granted, this is true, fire is very important, but is it the only form of heat in the country?  We have central heating; I’m sure its reached Scandinavia by now.

If most Norwegians have a wood burner, as hinted at by the importance given to wood by the TV company, all they need do to recreate their own show is the following:  Light the wood fire, chop & stack some wood for later, play some music whilst reading a book on poetry whilst sat next to the fire.

The advantage of watching the TV programme is that it’s all done for you, sit there & watch it for hours without having to chop, stack, burn or read.  But if you are sitting there in the cold watching TV, maybe it would be a good idea to light the fire to keep warm, oh & chop & stack a few logs for later too.  Then maybe you could flick your eyes between the TV fire & real fire so fast that they blend into one causing a 3D effect.

I’m not sold on it, nothing beats a real fire on a warm winters night, cuddled up on the sofa watching soap operas, Big Brother, Take me Out, The Hotel or endless 1970’s comedy repeat shows.  What channel is the wood burning on?!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Rabbits 1 Humans 0


In the news today, a report of delinquent rabbits at Denver Airport.  The little furry fiends are causing thousands of dollars of damage by nibbling at car’s ignition cables.  

Drawn to cars for their warmth, once they are nicely settled they start to chew the insulator section & are becoming more than just a slight nuisance. Despite many efforts to outwit them, the most sophisticated creatures on earth are being outmanoeuvred by a bunny rabbit. 

Typically for the dominant species, man has got so focused on getting the better of the rabbits, that anger appears to have clouded their thought process & they are coming up with ever greater schemes to win the battle.

Wildlife workers, whatever they are, are ‘removing’ about 100 rabbits a month, but given their prodigious breeding habits, this is not even making a dent as they can reproduce at will.  Parking companies have spent thousands on fencing but given that the humble rabbit’s second best skill after breeding is digging, this is also proving futile.

I know that in comparison our human brain is vast to the bunnies, but we actually only use an estimated 10% of its full potential, the rabbit must be using its entire smaller one but it would seem that about evens it up.
Perches have also been erected for Hawks & Eagles in a hope that they will help pick them off.  Not really sure that I’ve seen too many birds of prey hanging out at airports? Maybe they feel intimidated by the giant flying birds with jet engines strapped to their wings.

In a final desperate act, local mechanics have offered a solution to the problem.  Coating the wire with Fox urine is said to deter them!  Now I know what you’re thinking, extracting the urine is the first snag I’m detecting, closely followed by where do you buy it?  Given the clever antics of the rabbits, us dumb humans have no chance against the ‘cunning’ of the Fox! 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

French Speed freak


In the news today, a French driver who was forced to drive at 125mph through France & into Belgium when a ‘malfunction’ forced his car to accelerate every time he applied the brakes.

Frank Lecerf managed to call the police whilst driving at this speed who in turn contacted toll roads to get the barriers lifted in preparation for the speeding car.  The police even contacted a Renault engineer who also attempted to stop the car.  I have a vision of him hanging out of another car shouting instructions dressed in a black & white striped shirt & sporting a ring of onions but that would of course be totally stereotypical & wrong, albeit funny.

The driver stated that he had had problems with the accelerator previously, oh really, would that have resulted in a speeding fine by any chance?  Hate to be sceptical but I smell something stronger than the Renault engineer’s necklace.  It is also stated that poor frank also suffered not one but two, epileptic seizures during his ordeal, how unlucky is this man! “My life flashed before me”, (in an over the top French accent).

I think, Frank, that you may have been feeding us a little French garlic porky.  Just how gullible are the French cops too?  125mph & you manage to call the police whilst not hitting anything whilst fitting!  If you were that quick thinking maybe pulling the keys out of the ignition might have been the better option? He only stopped when he ran out of fuel which all adds to my incredulous view on this story.

This has all resulted in Frank getting his lawyer to lodge a legal complaint against Renault for endangering his client’s life.  I think trying to see how fast your car can reach & then get caught speeding & create a detailed tangled web of deception has endangered Franks life, totally self-inflicted. Shame on you monsieur Lecerf. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Graduate refund


In the news today, the ruling that you can’t work for free.  A judge has deemed it illegal for the Department of Work & Pensions, (DWP), to have forced a woman to leave her voluntary job at a museum to take an unpaid job at Poundland because she was claiming benefits whilst looking for employment.

The back to work scheme in place by the Government stopped payments of job seekers allowance for anyone who refused to work unpaid.  In the ruling the woman can claim back the money she was stopped.  Another man that lost his benefits for refusing to take an unpaid job has also won his appeal & this not only looks to set a precedent but will give the Government a kick in the shins with the outcome of some slight reddening & possible bruising.

 I am full of praise for people that contribute their services for free but agree that if you put in a day’s work you should get paid in return.  The man who is a qualified mechanic was told to work cleaning furniture.  That’s like asking a surgeon to sweep the streets, not only a total insult but a waste of a talent too. 
Not wishing to cast any kind of aspersions on the fine products that Poundland provide, all at a very reasonable price, but forcing the poor woman who was a graduate too to stack shelves & wash floors for no money, (not even a token £1), is almost slavery. I understand that this scheme is aimed at the long term job shy that have an allergic reaction at the very mention of the dirty W word, but this ruling will have them laughing into their giro checks.

The government have stated they will challenge the ruling but whatever the outcome they are going to have to come up with a more cunning scheme to tease the countries unemployable masses away from their sofas & daytime TV & into the real World of an honest day’s work for a decent wage, along with the respect that accompanies it.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Posse Power

In the news today & sitting under the 'Are you for real?' section, is veteran actor, (veteran = past it but no one has the guts to tell him), Steven Seagal, & his involvement in the Maricopa County volunteers which is a US school guard ‘Posse’.

Dressed in what can only be described as man in midlife crisis clothing & sporting his ‘natural’ boot polish jet black hair & trendy 1990’s goatee beard, Seagal was on hand to train students in hand to hand tactics, self-defence & how to look mean whilst running out of an exploding ship & dodging hundreds of bullets that would kill any mortal man.

The fact that Seagal was drafted in by Maricopa County Sheriff who has given himself the title of ‘America’s toughest Sheriff’, speaks volumes. Not sure why the Sheriff has appointed himself this lofty accolade but I’m guessing he watches a lot of action movies. And I’m totally sure that the reality TV show starring Seagal entitled, ‘Steven Seagal: Lawman’, was just a complete coincidence & did not influence his decision to join the Posse.

Basically the 3,000 strong group are volunteers that dress in uniform, (the type of uniform is not stated but I’m betting it involves camouflage & face paint), they drive marked vehicles, (again not stated but it won’t be push bikes), & they patrol outside schools & can enter them at the sign of danger. 

They have been greeted with widespread criticism, with a local politician calling it, ‘Ludicrous’, & in respect to Seagal, asking why Clint Eastwood & Chuck Norris haven’t been asked either to add to the ‘circus’.  Be it a publicity stunt to promote himself or the good intentions of an aging Hollywood actor, it doesn’t really surprise me.  This is a country that had a former actor as its President & a body building robot from the future as Governor. (Arnie is really a Terminator isn’t he?).

Along other members of the Maricopa posse is former Hulk TV star, Lou Ferrigno.  With him standing at the school gates all green & angry looking with his shirt ripped & in his non shredding stretchy pants, even the pupils are going to think twice about going in. Put me in the Sherriff’s boots & I’d be tempted to call in Captain America, Wolverine or even the Hooded Claw. But I’d definitely have Eastwood direct it.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

100% not what it seems


In the news today, I have to make note of the horsemeat scandal, or conspiracy, which ever you believe.  It does strike me as little odd that suddenly how so many cases of ‘accidental’ contamination there have been in the recent weeks.

It all started with Tesco & is currently tarnishing the household name of Findus.  With reports of up to 100% horsemeat in some products, you have to wonder at how much of a mishap this has been.  Is it, a widely practiced use of horse that has been rumbled or an employee on a youth training scheme not knowing the difference between a pony & a cow?

I know that in its raw form, meat is meat, but why is there horse meat in the factory that is making beef Lasagne?  The talk of an international criminal conspiracy has been mentioned by the Government & this conjures up a multitude of themes in my head. From a gang of gangsters tip toing into the Findus factory with a sack full of horsemeat, after being slipped a payment at the door by the owner. To a band of freedom cow liberators, swapping cows for painted black & white horses.

Looking into this theory a little deeper, no one can be totally unaware that this has been going on, can they?  And if we are happily eating my little pony blissfully ignorant of the fact, it can’t be that bad for you can it?  The French seem to like it, but that’s nothing to base an argument on & our continental neighbours require a whole chapter to themselves with regards to their abnormal eating habits.

The head of a food guarantee scheme that covers British production standards has been quoted as saying, “I would hope that the fresh meat people are eating for Sunday lunch today should not be affected by this”.  Hope? Oh well fingers crossed that my chicken was a chicken today!

So to be totally safe from this fiasco, you need to either be a vegetarian or failing that just avoid beef burgers, cottage pie, beef curry pie, lasagne, any frozen ready meals, shopping at Tesco, Aldi & don’t buy any Findus products.  I know that basically removes the staple diet of most of the country who can’t afford lamb or venison. But there’s still the good old chicken, failing any bird flu or salmonella outbreak or scandal involving an international gang of pigeon smugglers.

With schools fearful of contaminated meat, the Department for education have issued a ‘Not our problem’, statement by informing us that the schools & local councils are responsible for food contracts.  A typically unsupportive, for the people as long as we don’t get affected, response from our ever caring Government there.

Whatever the outcome of this story, you know that it’s going to be hotter than a Tesco economy burger for a while to come as it remains in the news today.

Disturbed


In the news today, the ex-partner of on the run ex-American cop, Christopher Dorner claims he is ‘Disturbed’. Wow, I’m guessing her specialist subject is the bleeding obvious.

This is the guy that has murdered three people & has vowed “Warfare” on a list of high value targets, disturbed is an understatement. That’s like referring to Hitler as a little misunderstood.  This guy has got every cop in the state of Los Angeles & beyond on high alert, so much so that they are popping caps into innocent people in their cars. (Getting very jumpy & shooting innocent members of the public, oops).  Got to love America.

This guy isn’t your usual nut job with a gun that our American cousins have a knack of producing as fast as a burger through a drive through.  No, he is an ex-navy reservist who has served active duty in Iraq & trained as a cop too.  He isn’t a UK cop reeking revenge by rooming the country waving his truncheon & wearing a silly hat, this guy has access to some serious weaponry & knows how to use it.

The LAPD Chief of Police has not really helped the matter by stating that they have no idea where he could be & no leads to his whereabouts. Which is evident as the search for Dorner now stretches across California, Nevada & into Mexico.  The chief has been quoted saying, “Of course he knows what he’s doing, we trained him”, yeah not helping! Dorner’s ex had posted his badge number onto the internet warning other woman about him & calling him ‘twisted’ & ‘paranoid’, (add subtlety to her list of people skills). 

I’m in no way condoning this man’s behaviour, but come on, if this man is so dangerous & the authorities were aware of it, he was sacked in 2008, that’s a long time to plan this.  Was he just one crazy on the very extensive US list of crazy’s that they haven’t got round too?  It’s a really good argument in the American gun law debate, but this man was meant to be one of the good guys.    

Whatever the outcome of this, & the smart money will be on it not ending with him repenting his ways,  joining the church & group hugs with his ex-colleagues, this is one story that will run for a while as well as being in the news today.

DNA Rat


In the news today is the insect eating shrew like creature that scientists have announced that we humans have evolved from.
Following nicely on from the asteroid that hit the earth wiping out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, this half a pound in weight mammal is claimed to be the one that all mammals have evolved from.  The men in white coats, (totally assuming that all scientists wear them); can fairly confidently announce these amazing discoveries without fear of argument.  Comparing physical traits & with the use of DNA, they are assertively happy that no one will challenge them.

DNA is always a great tool to have in the scientific tool box, everyone has heard of it & has a basic understanding of it & 99.9% of us take any findings published about it without question.  What if it is total rubbish?  The scientific fraternity are inwardly snickering to themselves every time they attribute a discovery to DNA.  ‘Through complex DNA technology we can positively announce that all Politicians are descendants of the Weasel’. 

What does it actually stand for? The correct answer is Deoxyribonucleic acid, or in simple terms, Duped nonsensical Arseholes. Yes I get it that that it’s the genetic code for all living life forms but do I understand any more than what I dutifully accept as the truth?  Not really if I’m honest, if I was told that from DNA testing I was related to tree I’d go with it. 

The results of this so far un-named rat, have taken six years of study. Six years!  How long does it take to stare at DNA through a microscope? And who funds all this research? ‘Right guys, I’ve secured funding, I suggest we hang it out for six years to make it look like a really in-depth study, then invent a new species’.
The upshot being is that  Professor Know more than you from the University of Don’t even question us on this, has spoken & the world believes it.  Interestingly the report shows an artist’s impression of the creature, which they haven’t even given a name.  The drawing is a rat like being that has a longer extra-long tail & elongated nose.  So a rat in effect.  I’m not convinced but it is in the news today.

The end of the World?


In the news today, a 131 foot long chunk of rock is reportedly hurtling through space towards the earth!
Is this the end of civilisation as we know it?  Should we all be rushing down into our fallout shelters, (American readers only, UK citizens should hide under a table), could the years of scientific research be right & we are all doomed? It was something not too dissimilar that reportedly wiped out the dinosaurs.
 
The report states that NASA are going to give it a 'near miss' status as it will be passing our planet on 15th February 2013 at a distance of 17,000 miles. Now before you head to the supermarket, fighting with your neighbours & empty the shelves of tinned products, let’s put that into perspective.

The circumference of the earth is 24,901.55 miles, so less than half the size of the planet, North to South Pole is a distance of 12,400 miles. Near miss hardly cuts it, almost getting hit by a bus crossing the road is a near miss.  That would be the equivalent of the bus driving along a road in Sydney Australia & it almost hitting me whilst I wander unsuspectingly in London England. I wouldn’t even notice it, let alone hear the driver calling me a ‘Pommey bastard’.

It is going to be the closest 'near miss' since records began, which I'm imagining was prior to high powered telescopes, as hundreds of years ago primitive man pointed up at shooting stars saying, "Phew that was a close one".
Add to the information that the person discovering this & providing this information is a Spanish dentist, then we really should hold up on the hysteria, put the shopping trolley back & maybe not even give it any more of our time.

That's comparable to being warned by your Mum that crossing your eyes will remain permanent should the wind change.  We are going to take as much notice & laugh it off.  However well respected the dentist may be in his chosen field, I wouldn’t go to my gardener for advice on carpentry. 

How stupid will I look when the World ends & my bookshelf collapses.  He is part of a group of amateur asteroid spotters but NASA is taking him seriously, enough to be in the news today.