Saturday, September 13, 2008

They will find us.....

There was a documentary on the other night, summarising the considerable efforts that humanity has made over the past few decades to find ET. It was all very upbeat, loads of clever bastards telling me how it was inevitable that contact would happen one day and that this was likely to be within the next 10 years or so. In truth, a bit dull and whilst I have no doubt that we are not alone, none of what was being said was particularly new and certainly didn’t warrant the enthusiasm that the various experts exuded. That said, my attention was held (through repeat footage of Martian landscapes and those oh so boring thermal vents) by the promise that the star of the show (and one of my heroes) Mr Stephen Hawkin, would be along to say something at the end. I was expecting his opinion to be definitive and I guess, in a way, it was.

‘We shouldn’t be looking for alien life forms, we should be…yeah John, drop off and pick up outside the Big Mango, over…be keeping our heads down and hoping that they don’t find us. Sorry about the interference there.’

No science trickery, no super hypothesis, just plain old common sense. And let’s face it, if Hawkin is scared, shouldn’t we be scared too? After all, when the Daleks eventually find us, he already speaks the lingo. All he needs is a bin bag and some bottle tops and he’ll probably be okay.

Recycling Jimmy

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Global warming...some stuff you maybe didn't know.

I came across this article the other day. It presents some facts about how our planet and the organisms that live on it have gotten along together over the years. Actually, I say came across; I work in the energy sector and was sent it by my CEO (kind of a ‘please stop everybody picking on me and my share price’ whinge I guess). True too that knowing it’s origins you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s nothing more than a blunt riposte, a pathetic attempt at saving face, like the bloody nosed geek flipping the finger at the fat bully’s back as he walks away from a playground kicking; meaningless but it makes him feel a bit better. Then I read it. I suggest you do too.

Here’s some examples of the type of things presented in it (and I stress ‘presented’ here; impartially without any spin).

Greenhouse ‘gases’ make up only 2% of the atmosphere, okay some of us might have know this. However, something that we are never told in public is that water vapour accounts for 95% of these; CO2 only 3.6%. Even better, when you look at how human activity contributes to ‘greenhouse gas’ levels, we actually only manage a pitiful 0.28%; the rest is down to volcanoes and cow farts.

It’s kind of a mute point anyway because regardless of whether you believe the CO2 number or not, there is in fact no clear relationship between CO2 and average global temperature. There never has been either.

‘But why are the polar bears dying then?’ I hear you cry. Well don’t worry people. Polar bear populations (with the exception of 2) are stable or increasing. Phew! And there’s more good news here too because contrary to what we’re told, the ice sheets are actually thickening in the interior of the two polar caps and only thinning at the edges. That’s why the current rate of sea level rise is the lowest recorded over the last 14,000 years.

The only thing that concerns me about the article (and you must read it!) is that it estimates 45% of the scientific community don’t accept the global warming position taken by the other half. What I want to know is, where the hell are these people because without them balancing the argument we’re just going to have to keep on not only taking this crap but paying for it too.

Recycling Jimmy

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where's the coppers when you need one?

The UK simply isn’t safe anymore.

Let’s suppose I earn a grand. Great, but what do I do with it? Well, first off I give the government £400 for the privilege of living in the UK. Still, I can do something nice with the £600 I’ve got left so I go down to a local business and buy and sofa. Bargain, although it could have been cheaper but the bloke at the sofa shop, even though he’s a pal off mine, plays it straight and declares the deal, happy enough to pay the government another 30% in business taxes etc. The sofa bloke of course has to pay the lad who built the sofa (his son as it happens and also a mate of mine), roughly £200 for his trouble. No wait a minute, that’s only £150 in his pocket after tax. That night the three of us go out on the town to celebrate. I’m skint (just bought a sofa remember), so my mate and his son pay my end all night and between us we manage to do in £240 on beer, fags and food. Hell of a night, and as we all slump down to test the new sofa back at my place, I can’t help but wonder if the tax man had a good time too. As far as I can work out, from the grand I earned, he took £890.

You know, I’m not so convinced that it’s street crime we really need to worry about.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Women should concentrate more on their knitting

Is it just me or are the UK streets starting to feel like no go areas for anyone who isn’t fully tooled up? And yes, I know that there’s always an element of ‘the good old days’ and ‘increased reporting of crime figures’ skewing our perspective on things but I can’t help feeling that, even accounting for these factors, things are definitely going down hill faster than Gordon Brown’s career. What I don’t get is the possible reason for this mess. However, surprise surprise, I do have a theory and it’s this; women have changed. Not only have women changed but quickly too, within one generation I’d say. Mum would never have gone to the pub on her own and left Dad at home to watch the kids. Neither would she have pilled up and spent all night away from the family. She certainly wouldn’t have got involved in any kind of drunken disorder outside the clubs and chippies, something that we see our women getting stuck into more and more these days. And by the way, I’m not talking specifically about my mum here, I’m talking about everyone’s mum (if like me, you’re around the forty mark). Admittedly these are extreme examples but in general it holds true that, somewhere during woman’s quest for equality, the family unit seems to have lost something. It’s fine to talk about discipline at school, respect for the police and the rest of it but fundamentally these principals should be learnt by kids at home. A home where mum plays her role, albeit different, alongside a dad. I don’t think a home where a mum blatantly and brashly competes for ‘equality’ is necessarily a good place. I don’t know about anyone else but in pretty much every successful family I’ve experienced there’s been clear delineation between mum and dad. I tell you something else too; it was traditionally always the mum who knitted the whole thing together. I think her abandoning that task in her quest to be treated like a man is a big mistake, one that’s helped further fray the edges of a UK society that now seems to be slowly unravelling.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where’s the justice?

As I’ve said before I smoke. Not easy these days, what with the concerted effort made by society to ostracise me, but I ignore the snide stares from mothers sat outside pubs (by the way love, babies and beer?..not a great idea is it?) and battle on. Of course, one of the oldest weapons deployed against me is the cost of smoking. Not only am I taxed to a point beyond reason but I’m also told that I’m a burden on the tax system. Interesting double edged sword that. Let’s look at the facts. In 2006 about 100,000 people died of ‘smoking related’ disease; 40% cancer, 30% heart and 30% lung problems. Okay, point taken. In the same year the burden on the NHS to begrudgingly treat smokers was about 1.6 billion quid. Again, maybe this does justify the tax. Here’s some other facts and figures for the same year. 30,000 died from it. It cost the NHS £3 Billion. Any ideas? Well, it’s my cholesterol packed nemesis; the obese bloke sat with his double cream latte and stuffing doughnuts into his sugary gob whilst tutting his fat ass off because I’ve got the audacity to light up outside Starbucks. Where’s the justice? Why isn’t he paying 75% tax on burgers and chips and buckets of chicken?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things that wind me up

I tell you who I hate; people who say stuff like ‘Look, I’m only speaking my mind here, but that wallpaper’s crap.’ or ‘I have to be honest with you, you’re lipstick looks tarty.’ But it isn’t the fact that they say these things that bother’s me, it’s the fact that they always precede their insults with what they perceive to be a ‘get out’ clause. Such people truly believe that confessing up front to being ‘compulsive truth tellers’ justifies them in saying anything that they want to, no matter how hurtful it may be. We’ve all seen it; the girl sobbing her heart out or the bloke fuming in the corner whilst the protagonist, apparently amazed at the reaction he’s received, casually explains to anyone who’s listening that he’s ‘only saying what everyone else is thinking.’ Well that’s the whole point isn’t it? Thinking is different to talking you pillock! So, if you recognise yourself here, try this. Next time you feel compelled to tell the truth, stand in front of the mirror and say ‘I just have to tell you mate, you’re an insensitive twat.’ Of course, the astute reader will have already noted that I began a post just recently with the phrase ‘don’t shoot the messenger.’ Doh.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Okay, I'll hold my hands up. This is a complete rip off of something my mate sent me this morning but in truth, I couldn't have said it better myself.

FOOTBALLER Cristiano Ronaldo is being lined up to star in a multi-million dollar remake of the epic TV series Roots.Producers say the star's treatment at the hands of Manchester United make him the perfect choice to portray the young African slave who is beaten by his brutal masters.The Portuguese winger said he had been traumatised by 'outrageous' demands that he honour the £125,000 a week, legally-binding contract, which has brought him only, misery, adulation and Gemma Atkinson.Speaking from the titanium gazebo in the rose garden of his 31-room mansion, Ronaldo said: "I feel I can relate to the suffering of African slaves. "If anything, it is worse, because footballers cannot sing while we work, whereas they had time to develop gospel music during their 16-hours shifts before dropping dead from exhaustion."In the series a young African boy is dragged from his homeland and shipped to America where he is forced to work in the fields by a cruel and violent plantation owner."The similarities are uncanny, though admittedly, the Lear Jet that flew me from Lisbon to Manchester wasn't packed with 150 other players sleeping head-to-toe."Ronaldo also conceded that, while the slave-master in Roots administered brutal beatings, Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson had nurtured his talent, lavished him with praise and turned him into one of the best footballers in the world."But without the freedom to do whatever I want, wherever I want, for whatever fee I want, I am exactly the same as a cotton picker forced to live in a shed, dying at the age of 32."He added: "I know the people will love my acting. Already, in the streets, I hear many of them calling me 'Kunta'."