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Friday, 29 January 2016

Old Naturalist Jokes

You learn something new every day.

For instance I remember Sir Peter Scott the noted naturalist, solemnly declaring that yes indeed Nessie did exist. Nessiteras Rhombopteryx was it's official Latin name according to Sir Peter.

'Nessiteras Rhombopteryx' ... Flipper Shot by Robert Rhines 1972

The Persistence

It's beginning to look like global warming in the UK is going to result in wet winters and probably wet summers as well.So as usual for this much rained upon land, something of a lose lose situation.

Its 'Persisting Down', In UK ....

No 1980s Re-Runs In Labour Party

When 'Jezza' got to the top of the tree in the Labour Party it was, to say the least something of a surprise to everyone (not least the man himself). This was of course because had not a couple of MP's decided to help him reach the required number of electoral votes from the MP's wing "to widen the debate a bit" (they didn't expect or want him to win), he would never have been able to stand.

Jeremy Corbyn Was A Surprise Winner ....

The Kiss Of The Spider Woman

Much earlier in the US Electoral cycle, in fact way back in 2012, I guessed that we were facing a Jeb Bush versus Hilary Clinton US Presidential race in 2016, and 4 years later everything seemed to be working in that that direction when they both entered their names into the lists .... a dynastic battle royal seemed to be in the offing, even with the odd setback.

Then along came Donald Trump ... who frankly I thought would be dead in the water once the caucuses started when his outrageous statements would be laughed out of the race ...... but as we approach the Iowa and New Hampshire votes, guess who is 20 points in the lead on the Republican race? Yep One Donald Trump.

This week he was given a kiss by the spider woman herself .....

Sarah Palin Endorses Trump

Friday, 22 January 2016

Stripped Down Service

Who would have thunk it .... Switzerland is suffering shortages of certain workers after scrapping part of its visa scheme designed to help foreign women. The scheme had been altered because after 20 years on the statute books it was believed to be no longer serving its original 'protection' purpose.

But in an example of the law of unintended consequences biting on the bottom it has resulted in a shortage of 'strippers and exotic dancers'.

Swiss Stripper Shortage Led To Desperate Measures

Big In The (Former) USSR

Zdravstvuyte (Здравствуйте) ..... For some reason that I am unclear on I am suddenly getting large numbers of visitors from Russia. They are currently running at twice the rate of the USA and UK visitor numbers combined. Prior to the last few weeks the weekly visitor numbers from Russia would be in double figures at best, but now they are approaching the thousand per week mark.

Big In The (Former) USSR

Meet The New Rich, Same As Old New Rich

It’s that time of year again when Oxfam point a bony finger, and say that the richest 1% of the world’s population now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined. It further makes the remarkable claim (well unless you read last year’s report), that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population (last year it was 85 people).

Of course the accusations about the top 10% and top 1% carry a caveat or two:

  • Firstly: Credit Suisse (who do the maths for Oxfam) suggests that its estimates of the proportion of wealth held by the 10% and the 1% is "likely to err on the low side".
  • Secondly: It makes guesstimates of levels of wealth in countries from which accurate statistics are not available.
  • Finally: The figures required to get in to the top 10% and top 1% (but not the top 62 people, obviously), are remarkably low by West European/North American standards .... cash and assets worth just $68,800 (£48,300) to get into the top 10%, and only $760,000 (£533,000) to be in the top 1%. 
New Top 65 Ultra Rich .... Much The Same As Old Rich 85

EU Deal For Our Time

It’s been a strange old week in Europe as on the one hand, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been rattling about various East European capitals, waving his bit of paper containing his ever weaker 'reform demands', which he hopes will be agreed at the next EU council meeting. Whomever is his political advisor is needs shooting, because the weaker his requests (all of which are being rebuffed in any case), the weaker his leadership looks.

Peace In Our Time In The EU ....

Friday, 15 January 2016

Soap Queen

A woman who uses the social media name 'Xiaoxiao' on China's micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, didn't take kindly to being dropped by her boyfriend, who had described her as 'Too Large'.

But rather than diet, go training, and get a new hairdo (i.e. the usual three months of 'I'm getting a 'new man'), routine that most women follow in these circumstances, she decided she wanted a rather quicker revenge on her faithless ex-paramour. So she decided to lash out her money on a bit of liposuction on any parts of her that offended, and then post pictures of her 'new' look on the Weibo website.

Waiting For The Treatment .....

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Who outside India had any idea that the messenger of god was a walking amongst us?

Actually 'walking amongst us' is a misnomer ... riding on a large motorbike, wearing more sparkly gowns than a glam rock artist and singing just as loudly would be a more apt description.

To say that despite its love of showing itself as 'I.T. cool', India is in fact a very simplistic place, with feudal voting patterns, and a love of the gaudy which can be breath-taking is wrong. Where else would a self-proclaimed 'Messenger Of God' (well, the Hindu/Sikh version of the universal godhead), be able to build up a religious following in the millions (they claim 50 million plus) simply by self-promotion. Actually South Korea for one ... remember the Moonies sect? Sun Myung Moon and his mass wedding of devotees .... who could have forgotten them?

Mass Wedding, 'Moonie' Style

Love Lorn In London

Not very long ago I posted a story about an American woman called 'Sarah' who refused, despite all the evidence, to believe that she was being fleeced on a monumental scale by African fraudsters, and who continued to send money to her 'Italian American' Internet boyfriend named 'Chris Olsen'.

Of course she is not the first, nor indeed the last woman (or man for that matter), who has, or wiill have fallen for a photograph, and some email spiel, and then coughed up hundreds or thousands of pounds, to pay for a visa bill, or bail request etc to their 'dream lover'. This variation on the old Nigerian 419 fraud is known as the 'rom-scam'.

Romance Scam Alert .....

Thin White Duke Fades Away

Sad news about the 'Thin White Duke' passing suddenly away this week ...... I was a late convert to his music. I never was a 'Ziggy' fan but his later (middle era) music grabbed me. In fact one of my favourite 'Live LP's' is still the 'David Live' double LP recorded at 'The Tower Philedelphia' on the EMI label. It was recorded as a part of the USA & Canada 'Diamond Dogs Tour' in July 1974.

David Live 1974

And somewhat surprisingly, I do in fact have a Bowie story that is not common knowledge.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Like many a man out there, I have gone largely bald. It started when I was in my late twenties and early thirties, and was pretty well established by my mid-thirties. I seem to recall that it was traumatic at first, with at least one period of attempting to use a 'special style hair cut' (aka a funny comb-over), with which to hide the issue.

But fairly quickly I resigned myself to my fate, and bought a set of hair clippers, turned them to blades only, and gave myself what colloquially is known as a 'number one' all over my head. Do you know what? Such was my false conceit that everyone was looking at me, that I expected comments and embarrassment all day. However no one said anything at all until well past lunchtime, and even then they were unsure why I looked 'different', and one girl even complimented for my new 'nice clean look'.

Yul Brynner - Role Model For Many A Desperate Man

Saving The Planet - Brick By Brick

Those barbarians and savages who the IS regime represent, may think that the destruction of all art which is either pre-Islamic e.g. Babylonian, or 'non Islamic' e.g. Shia tombs, which they have carried out across those areas of the globe that they control, is the final statement on the matter. Indeed in some sort of weird way, they may believe that this destruction helps herald in the new, pure caliphate that they claim is their aim.

However like all barbarians from both the past and present, they are unable to create, and are not able to comprehend how to create. So, they would be surprised to know that science and art are combining to recreate, that which they have smashed.

Incredibly clever use of computers, and the algorithms that decipher images from photographs and videos, are enabling "cyber-archaeologists" to recreate that which has been destroyed. Initially these recreations are only holographic images and projections, but the use of the evermore sophisticated 3D printers, raise the possibility of digitally accurate reconstructions being created in the near future.

Photogrammetry Recreating That Which Was Lost ......

Giving Away Our Money

Most governments are good at handing over money that is not theirs i.e. Taxes and Revenues, to people who are not worthy of such largess and who are often not our friends at all. In the UK this can be irksome when for example, it’s a vast waste of money and incompetence, such as the Kids Company, and its founder Camila Batmanghelidjh ... who may have done some small good, but with very large amounts of money.

But it’s outrageous when it’s a foreign country. Prime Minister David Cameron for example, is apparently obsessed in giving vast amounts of money to countries, who are often little short of bandits states, or even our active enemies or competitors.

Western Foreign Aid Wasted?

Blowing Smoke Ring Laws

No matter how many times our soft approach to failed asylum seekers is abused and exploited by both them, and the army of lawyers who fight to keep them here, we are apparently incapable of doing anything about it. This is because our legislature and legal profession are so hog-tied by PC considerations, that they will not tighten up or even apply the laws, despite the fact that I would guess that around 85% of the population want them to do so.

So much for a Parliamentary democracy responding to the peoples wants. This leads to massive expense in order to accommodate people who should have been removed from this country.  

Failed Albanian Asylum Seeker (but still here) Kreshnik Pisku Shows His Opinions Of UK

Albanian Kreshnik Pisku for example, has already made three 'Asylum claims' (all turned down), and yet he gets still £185 a week in benefits with his wife and two children. He has already been deported in May 2003, and again January 2009 ..... but just like a bad penny, he just keeps coming back, and has even managed to engineer his wife having a child here. “When my wife is seven, eight months pregnant and they offer us £8,000 - £2,000 to each of us - for us to go back to Albania. They try to push me out.” he whined in court ... He recently had a large sum of cash (£2,197.80), taken from him on suspicion of unlawful conduct. But still he's here.

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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....