Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The Jesus Easter Weekend

Some people make the assertion that the stories in the Bible were stolen from other, older religions around at the time and the story of Mithras is the Deity that the early Christians borrowed most heavily from when making up their own Deity.
Just because Mithras was born of a virgin, in a cave, on December 25th, his birth attended by shepherds, had twelve companions, promised his followers immortality, performed miracles, sacrificed himself for world peace, was buried in a tomb and rose after three days and will return in the last days to raise the dead and judge them does not necessarily mean that his story was rewritten with the name 'Jesus' tippexed in.
The truth is that at that time there was plenty of other Gods around who were crucified and resurrected who the Christians could have plagiarised from, like the Sumerian goddess Inanna, or Ishtar, who was nailed up and subsequently resurrected or Greek Attis who was crucified on a tree, buried but on the third day the priests found the tomb empty.
The Indian Buddah died on a cross, buried but arose again after his tomb was opened or the other Indian Krishna who died on a cross but came back to put in an appearance three days later.
To say that the Biblical stories of Jesus's Easter weekend were based on Mithras is even more off when you hear that Osiris of Egyptian legend was betrayed, crucified between two thieves and then buried in a tomb from which he arose on the third day.
If you hear non-believers trying to refute the story of Jesus by saying it is stolen from Mithras then you can point out that actually, it was probably stolen from a lot of stories about people being crucified and resurrected around at the time.
Then hope they shove an Easter Egg in their mouth and don't have any follow up questions.

Melania's Public Humiliation Continues

You do sometimes wonder what is going on inside Melania Trumps head as yet another female comes forward with talk of an affair with her husband.
Obviously she knows he is a racist idiot, that is blatantly obvious but a racist idiot who was having a string of affairs behind her back is another thing altogether.
Just what does Melania see in Billionaire Trump that she would stay with him even after his affairs and attempts to cover them up come to light?
Following hot on the heels of the $130,000 hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, not to mention the  dozen or so allegations of sexual misconduct, now we have former Playboy Model, Karen McDougal, piping up that her and the 3rd fattest US President had an affair in 2006 and 2007.
Ms McDougal was paid $150,000 in 2016 by American Media Inc for rights to the story of her affair with the tiny handed sex fiend but story never ran the story but the agreement effectively stopped her from talking to any other publications about what her and the Trump got up to.
McDougal says Mr Trump and AMI's owner David Pecker were close personal friends and the media company tried to buy her silence and cover up the relationship with threats of financial ruin if she spoke out.
With the cost of his affairs currently standing at over a quarter of a million dollars and i'm sure with more tales of clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs out of the press, Melania must be eyeing the exit or so you would think
If she and is content to put up with the prolonged public humiliation from her husband, then i think we may have answered our own question at the start of the third paragraph above.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Top 10 Happiest Songs

Music lovers have their go-to songs when they need a bit of a boost but Dutch cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Jacob Jolij, recently ran an expansive survey of songs ranging across all genres to compile the top 10 of feel-good songs that scientifically make people happy. 
The science bit is that to be a mood changer the song must have a high tempo, positive lyrics and the listener should be able to sing-a-long to it.
Mostly comprising 70s and 80s numbers, his list undoubtedly doubles as the happiest karaoke playlist ever and here is the entire playlist for your mood enhancing pleasure: 

Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
Dancing Queen  - ABBA
Good Vibrations - Beach Boys
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
Eye of the Tiger - Suvivor
I'm a Believer - The Monkees
Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Livin on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Walking on Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
There you have it, if you want to be a shooting star leaping through the sky or like a tiger defying the laws of gravity or even a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva, upload these ten onto your MP3 player and nobody will be able to stop you.

How To Be Happy

Today is International Day of Happiness and the 2018 World Happiness Report puts the happiest people as those who live in the Nordic nations of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland who take the top four positions in the report with Switzerland making up the top five.
With those nations topping the chart you would be forgiven for thinking that snow is the common denominator to making us happy but the people at Happy Science beg to differ and offer up the things that make us happy, scientifically speaking.

Listen to music from the happiest moments in life
Melodic lines have an impact on the brain, remembering the places we’ve heard those specific tracks, you get to connect with those happy moments, managing to conjure up of the feelings of those times.

Caring About Other People
We have something in us called the 'moral molecule', which is associated with both love and pain relief. This molecule releases high levels of oxytocin when we think about those we care for and love.

Positive Thinking
Being grateful, optimistic, kind and realising just how lucky you are provide for better well-being and overall joy.

When people work out, endorphins, which are natural painkillers, are released creating feelings of euphoria.

Having Pets
The happiest people around are the ones who have a pet as pets not only increase our self-esteem, but also give us a better sense of belonging and bring a deeper meaning to our lives.

Not Thinking Too Hard About Being Happy
People who focus on trying to be happy are actually less happy than those who just go about their lives. While wanting to be happy is a good thing, it’s when we don’t let go enough to enjoy ourselves that we end up facing defeat.

So the secret to being happy is to either turn on the CD Player and get yourself a puppy and do some star-jumps or move to Helsinki.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Show Us The Evidence

Theresa May came to the conclusion very quickly that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter while Boris Johnson today came out and said that the UK has evidence Russia has been developing the nerve agent used in the attack, Novichok, for international assassinations for the last decade.
Russian officials have denied involvement and as yet, our Government has not yet provided any evidence to back up their claims which led Jeremy Corbyn to note caution and for the Government to not 'rush way ahead of the evidence being gathered by the police, in a fevered parliamentary atmosphere'.
We have been here before of course where we are being asked to trust the Government and Intelligence Services, the Iraq War was based on phony dossiers and manipulated intelligence provide George W Bush and Tony Blair the justification for a war they had already decided on waging so excuse us for being cautious when we are asked to take you on trust.
What is similar to the Iraq War build-up is the vilification of anyone who doesn't just swallow the Government line, Corbyn being labelled a 'Putin apologist' and a 'naive dupe' but he is right to question the lack of evidence because the Government have not explained what evidence they have which convinces them that the Russian state was behind the attack.
The facts are sparse on the ground, we have been told that the agent used 'is of a type developed by Russia' and 'Russia have history of assasinations' but that isn't enough to justify their actions especially as we have a history of falsifying intelligence.
Possibly the Government do have concrete evidence to prove Russian involvement but if they did why are they not presenting it to us as they surely would as the questions about 'show us the proof' mount?
As the Government have made such a mess of everything else and as the British public have already been burnt being asked to trust our Government and intelligence services with evidence, i think it is right that we should be wary until we are shown the same evidence that makes our Government so certain it was Russia, if only to galvanise us behind them.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Qualifications Of The World Leaders

The G20 nations represent approximately two-thirds of the world's population, 85% of global gross domestic product and over 75% of global trade.
They are also the ones who make most of the big decisions so you would expect them to have some serious qualifications so let's have a look at who from the G20 countries have the educational background to guide us through the choppy waters of the current set of global ups and downs.

MACRI (Argentina) - Civil Engineering Degree
TURNBALL (Australia) - Political Science Degree, Law Degree
TEMER (Brazil) - Law Degree
TRUDEAU (Canada) - Literature Degree, Education Degree
JINPING (China) - Law Degree, Chemical Engineering Masters Degree
MACRON (France)    - Philosophy Degree, Public Affairs Masters Degree
MERKEL (Germany) - Quantum Chemistry Masters Degree
KOVIND (India) - Commerce Degree
WIDODO (Indonesia) - Forestry Engineering Degree
MATTARELLA (Italy) - Law Degree
ABE (Japan) - Political Science Degree
NIETO (Mexico) - Law Degree
MOON (South Korea) - Law Degree
PUTIN (Russia) - Law Degree, Economics Masters Degree
Al Saud (Saudi Arabia) - no qualifications
RAMAPHOSA (South Africa) - Law Degree
ERDOGAN (Turkey) - Business Administration Degree
MAY (United Kingdom) - Geography Degree
TRUMP (United States) - Economics Degree
TUSK (EU) - History Degree

Twenty World leaders and between them they muster 2 qualification in Politics, 3 in Economics and 8 in Law. Unhelpfully we also have 1 in forestry engineering, philosophy, geography and history and 1 has no educational qualifications whatsoever.
When you see that only 10% of the G20 leaders have been educated in Politics, 15% in Economics but 40% in law, it explains a lot of things as decisions are being made by a group where the largest majority are lawyers!!

How Russians Want To Punish The Brits

It seems that the Russians people have taken umbrage at the British Government getting uppity about them using nerve gas in our country to knock off their own spies.
Their 23 diplomats told to get out of our country will passed by Brit diplomats going the other way as Russia ordered 23 of our diplomats to clear their desks in response but those Ruskies aren't content and the RT website has asked it's readers how to punish us Brits further and the response was great.
One website user said that Putin should 'abolish all organised queuing in Britain' while another wanted to hit us in the chocolate aisle by 'increasing the price of Freddos in a random and extreme fashion'.
Another wrote that Putin should 'hire an army of people to play rubbish 90s dance music through their phone speakers on all public transport', another said 'interfering with the message so that every single item in the bagging area is unexpected' while our tea obsession was evident in the comments that Russia should 'cut their supply of tea from reaching the British shores' and 'by making digestive biscuits that instantly dissolve in tea'.
Some wanted to get direct on our Brit arse and wanted to 'just nuke 'em' or give us the silent treatment by 'just ignore them'.
My favourite and a bottle of cheap vodka and a potato go to the contributor who said that Putin should 'cut off the gas supply around lunchtime on Sunday just before the British pigs are about to sit down to their revolting Sunday roast!'
The British announcement that we won't send Prince William to the World Cup in Russia must have really stung but what threatens a dangerous escalation is if they do swamp the nation with biscuits which dissolve instantly in tea, that would be taking things too far.

Friday, 16 March 2018

MacArthur Park Explained Finally

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again.

I always assumed the lyrics in MacArthur Park were some crazy reference to drugs and a 60's psychedelic hippy trip but turns out there is a rather sweet meaning to the cake which was left out in the rain.
The Sky Arts channel were talking to the lyricist Jimmy Webb who explained that everything in the song is real, MacArthur Park is in Los Angeles and his then girlfriend worked for an Insurance Company close to it and they would meet there for lunch.
There would be old men playing checkers by the trees like in the song and he would sometimes turn up with a cake that he had baked to share for her lunch. 
If it rained they would run for shelter, leaving the cake behind so when they broke up and wrote the song about the break up, the cake being left out in the rain became a metaphor for his loss, never having that recipe again representing losing his love.
Not a psychedelic hippy trip at all then, a poignant metaphor for losing a girl which is rather lovely and puts a whole new spin in my mind for the beautiful song now that it makes sense.
Now if only they can get hold of Michael Stripe to explain what the hell he was singing about in those REM songs!


In one of his most famous songs, John Lennon asked us to imagine that there was no heaven above or hell below but the next line he asks us to imagine no countries with nothing to kill or die for and all the people living life in peace.
A world where there are no antiquated doctrines to die for, no dogma of generations long gone to blindly support, no wars fought in the name of people that we’ve never seen or met and no heaven or hell to believe that we’re working towards.
The idea of one world with no countries or borders is an old one but so are wars and most of them have been fought over either borders, doctrine or religion.
'Nothing to kill or die for' means that since the thing that would evolve into man first dragged its carcass out of the trees, there has always been something dividing people to the point that they are killing for it.
If there are no borders to fight over, no tensions between ethnic and religious groups, no invasions and occupations of each others land we could eliminate much of the pathetic things we fight over now.
If humanity stopped competing against one another, bound together in a common cause, we could accomplish spectacular things and solve problems such as global warming, disease and famines, it would be human helping humans rather than a nation only looking out for their own selfish interests.
The present set up, the world divided into nations and religions has been tried and resulted in the deaths of billions over millenia, the English, Scots, Irish and Welsh were slaughtering each other for centuries before they came together as one nation and worked together.
The EU's raison d'etre was to come together to promote greater peace and prosperity for its Member States after the ravages of centuries of European wars and that has worked out fine, no more wars.
Maybe us all coming together as one huge country and putting aside our differences is the only hope we have for the sake of the entire human race as Lennon said 'A brotherhood of man, all the people sharing all the world'.
Lennon also sadly lamented that it may be the pondering's of a dreamer but as you watch the news and hear of yet more wars and conflicts over territory and killings in the name of one persons God over another, you do wonder what have we got to lose to give it a try apart from the chance that we may just find a way to live in peace with each another?

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sun Still Doesn't Set On The British Empire

I once had a geography teacher who would produce a large map with large swathes of the Worlds nations coloured pink and he would say: 'This bit was ours, and this bit, and this bit, and this bit, the French got this bit, not sure how that happened but we got this bit, and this bit.
Of course what he was talking about was the British Empire which spanned the globe and led to the saying that the Sun never set on it, since it was always daytime somewhere in the Empire.
To some the Empire was the good old days, to the rest of us it was the dark days when we would turn up in nations already occupied by other people, shoot many of them and then stick a flag in the ground and claim it for Britain before stealing their natural resources and shooting a few more when they got uppity.
Since the turn of the 20th Century the Empire has been dwindling and now Britain has only fourteen overseas territories but as the Sun never sets on all fourteen British territories at once, the saying is still accurate, the Sun still doesn't set on the British Empire.
My old geography teacher would be very proud.