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Friday, 25 November 2016

Frying Tonight

We Brits are notorious for our love of a 'Full English', which before some you delve into the murkier parts of your imaginations, is the alternative name given to a British Fry Up. In fact so much do we love this particular meal (especially after a few beers the night before), that we have taken it to foreign climes as our contribution to continental cuisine.

A Full English Breakfast Is A Very Personal Combination Of Foods ......

So now if you go to Spain, Greece, and Portugal and visit any holiday coastal hotspot, you faced with 'Full English' (or occasionally 'Scottish'), signs nearly everywhere you look. These of course can vary greatly (sausages in particular can be somewhat different from the usual type we see at home), in quality and quantity ... they are usually skimpy on the toast for some reason.

Making A Benefit From Adversity

I once spent a particularly unpleasant time on one of the Greek islands, where the local drainage system was totally inadequate in the summer, leaving what were effectively sewage swamps every spring and summer, in which millions of mosquitoes bred.

Yana Solyarskaya Sweltering In Her Mosquito Costume ....

They plagued me. They tasked me. But most of all they bit me.

The Lazy Man Of Europe

When I was a younger man Britain was described as a lazy, strike prone nation, whose workers were all taking a 'sickie', and the whole group of economic symptoms was often called by foreign observers and economists "The British Disease". In fact so inculcated were we with this view, that we even took to using the term ourselves. Mrs Thatcher even famously stated that "to cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches"  

Famous Economists Offered Cures For The British Disease ...

On top of this, we have had a very poor productivity (the amount produced by our workers in a set period e.g. an hour), record, which no amount of government policy has been able to reverse.

Trump That

My last word on the Trump election of 2016 (debacle or triumph .... readers choice).

There is something soft and weak in the current western culture. Without doubt its been introduced in the last two or three decades by a neo-liberal mindset, which makes people unable to deal with any situation without it being seen as someone else's fault, or a cause for displays of mourning in publc spaces.

Miley Cyrus Crying On Social Media After Clinton Loss ....

If nothing else illustrates this, then the news out of the USA that 'celebrities' such as Miley Cyrus, were putting up videos of them crying, like they had lost their money and fame after Trump won. This was then later capped, when it was announced that the 'right on' liberal University campuses across the land, were putting on ..... wait for it .... Grief Counselling Classes.

Friday, 18 November 2016

An Office Hazard

We have all seen it at work .... that email that is sent to everyone in the organisation (usually its clicking 'Reply All' that does the trick), when it should have been solely to the original sender. Sometimes these email sends are embarrassing as personal comments, or even affairs are exposed, but mainly they are a pain in the butt for everyone else who receives them.

Overwhelmed By Emails .... An Office Hazard

Sometimes this is in obvious error, and sometimes its down to basically stupid people, who don't care that they have clogged up the email server with a meaningless response or query.

The Tail Of Tombili

Tombili was a cat, and a very fat cat indeed.

Tombili The Cat ....

He lived on the streets of Istanbul, and was indeed a well known cat ....

Crime Carnival

This year's Notting Hill's carnival saw spectacular costumes, sound systems and revellers dancing in the streets of west London. Thousands of revellers turned out for the second and final day of the annual street party in west London. This annual celebration of Caribbean culture began in 1964.

The roots of the Notting Hill Carnival that took shape in the mid-1960s came from two separate, but connected strands. A "Caribbean Carnival" was held on 30 January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall with initial police involvement in these early gatherings aimed at preventing it taking place at all, which resulted in regular confrontation and riots.

How We Are Supposed To Think Of The Carnival

Even by as late as 1970, the newly named Notting Hill Carnival, only consisted of 2 music bands, the Russell Henderson Combo and Selwyn Baptiste’s Notting Hill Adventure Playground Steelband and just 500 dancing spectators.

Trump Is Right About NATO

Amongst Donald Trumps pre-election complaints, was one about the burden that NATO places on the US economy. Basically his argument is that with so few NATO members bothering to live up to their membership spending commitment of spending 2% of GDP, then the US is having to make up the shortfall with increased spending in areas that are not strategically where the money should go e.g. Battle tanks and bases for Europe, when whey want mobile reaction forces for short interventions in the Middle East or South China seas.

NATO Spending 2013

Friday, 11 November 2016

Cat Drone

Bart Jansen is a Dutch inventor .....

Dead Cat Orville Is Now A Drone

Ask his dead cat Orville. It took over 12 months and three versions, before Orville the cat was ready to fly.

Big Man Economics

Robert Mugabe is what Africans still call a 'big man' .... this of course is simply another term for 'thug, dictator, criminal etc etc'. He has remained in power despite blatant corruption, nepotism, and cronyism towards his main supporters.

He is currently trying to engineer his wife 'Grace' (was ever a woman so misnamed?), taking over when his soul eventually shrivels away and he is gone ... this is principally as he can find no bolt-hole for his criminal family to take their ill gotten gains to, where it doesn't risk seizure from the regime after his being ousted.

African Big Men Come In Many Sizes ....

I almost feel sorry for the people of Zimbabwe, but despite his highly visible crimes and some electoral vote rigging, the fact is that he continues to get voted back into power in sufficient numbers for it to be clear, that although the numbers claimed might be dubious, there is little doubt that he got a majority, albeit lower than he claimed.

What's Good For The Goose

Apparently only one in twenty five magistrates in England and Wales is aged under forty years ... and (a presumably shocking), eighty nine per cent are white. These shocking statistics were reported by a committee of MP's on the Commons Justice Committee, who claimed that action was needed to recruit younger and more diverse JP's.

Commons Justice Committee ......

The membership of this committee was:

Vox Populi USA

So the people have spoken ... Vox Populi applied to the democracy that leads the democratic world, and Donald Trump is the first 'billionaire' President of the United States of America, and leader of the free world.

The Oval Office Awaits Donald Trump ....

Now its only fair to say 'well done'. It is after all an unexpected achievement, and despite the negativity of the dismal presidential campaign that we have just witnessed, he has created some sort of popular white grass roots movement, that has swept him against all the odds into power.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Capitalisms Street Entrepreneurs

One thing about the third world is that, despite the rampant corruption and street crime, that often threatens to take away any and everything that an enterprising small business man works hard for, they just keep sprouting up all over the place anyway. This fact by the way is proof positive, if ever it was needed, that capitalism is mankind's natural economic model.

When A Market Exists, Someone Will Attempt To Fill It.

This picture, which appeared on the BBC website, shows one such entrepreneur's street stall on Ngong road in Nairobi, Kenya.  As well the usual second hand clothes and bric-a-bric items, they have a sideline in sign writing.  So apart from the basic signs such as 'RESERVED PARKING', and the classic 'We give credit to those over 80 years accompanied by both parents', they also have my favourite 'LADYGAL ART'.

Fashion Sense

I have posted before about the fact that East and West do not understand each other, and in particular the West's preoccupation with:
  1. Political correctness and 
  2. Western history being the pre-eminent world view of the past few centuries.
This shows up time and time again.

Keyakizaka46 In Black Leather

These two issues were illustrated once again this week when a JPop group (Japanese pop) called Keyakizaka46, which features twenty two nubile young women (as most JPop groups do) and who are owned by Sony Corp, got into hot water because they wore costumes that could be interpreted as looking a little bit like black SS Nazi-themed Halloween costumes, if that was what you were looking for to complain about. 

Upstairs Downstairs

Victorian Britain had many similarities with the Roman Empire ... these have often been couched in terms of Imperial ambition, Empire and governance of the natives etc, and even at a stretch the 'classical education' that the upper classes received.

However, lower down the social scale, it was the more mundane similarities, such as living conditions for the common man and woman that more readily identified the linkage. For instance most city dwelling Romans lived in poor multi-story flats that had no cooking facilities, and little privacy.

Many Victorians Ate Only In The Street

Similarly in Victorian times few of the lowest working classes lived in anything much better than multi-occupancy slum dwellings and would also have had no ovens or cooking utensils. Many didn't even own plates or spoons. Like their poor Roman counterparts of 1,800 years earlier, they lived mainly on food obtained in the street  ..... however often nowhere near as healthily, with the stock foods for the very poor being bread, gruel and broth (made from boiling up bones), as opposed to the healthy Mediterranean diet that the typical Roman ate in the street.  

The US Presidential Winner Is?

Well its make your mind up time for millions of US voters, as the long drawn out saga that is an American Presidential election campaign, finally draws to a conclusion next week.

What A Choice ....

With a choice between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, its not an enviable one to have to make (the best of the worst so to speak), and its feared that millions may not even bother to make it, and that this election could set some sort of record for a low turn out.

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