Saturday, 14 October 2017

Once Again With Feeling

Back in the 1980's there was a decent Scottish band called Simple Minds and although they packed away their instruments a long time ago, the name continues today although today's version of Simple Minds don't so much make music as sit in front of their computers and embarrass themselves on the Internet.
The Simple Minds of today seems to congregate around the Climate Change debate and get all shouty on their blogs and ignoring almost every climate change scientist, quote people in the pay of the Koch Brothers, the brothers who Greenpeace estimate have sent at least $100,343,292 directly to groups denying climate change science including the CATO Institute.    
An organisation is only as strong as its weakest link and the weakest link in the climate change deniers chain is the climate change deniers themselves which is why Environmentalists are subjected to weak arguments which confuse weather and climate which not only shows a fundamental flaw in their understanding of the subject but also a shocking lack of shame. 
Although the sort of people who ask if you still believe in Climate Change when it snows shouldn't be trusted to face the right way on the toilet, it would be cruel to leave them wallowing in their ignorance so i try my best to educate them in the difference between what is Climate and what is Weather.  
If possible, just after they have explained to you that that they have a full understanding of the subject, smile politely and tell them that Weather describes the condition when you look out of your window. It might be sunny, hot, windy, cloudy, raining or even snowing.
Climate on the other hand is the average weather conditions expected for a certain place and is based on the average weather experienced over decades and refers to what is expected to happen rather than the actual conditions.
So Climate is looking at what has happened already, Climate Change is the expected trend of conditions based on what has happened over the previous decades and Weather is the current conditions on the other side of the window.
See, if isn't hard to understand, it's called Climate Change and there is a huge clue to what it refers to in the name.
A last tip is if you can't see the door while on the toilet, you are probably facing the wrong way.
You're welcome.

Fishy Breath

In the news the other day was a hunter who after shooting at a moose, went over to inspect his 'prize' and got a hoof in the head as the stunned creature clambered back to its feet and ran off.
As when you read of a matador getting a horn up the backside during a bull-fight, occasionally animals some of us barbaraically kill for fun or sport gain their revenge which is what happened to the fisherman Sam Quilliam, 28.
An angler accidentally got a whole live dover sole stuck in his throat as the fish clearly took exception to his attempted kiss, wriggled free and jumped down his windpipe causing a complete blockage.
After paramedics removed the fish, Quilliam explained that he went to give it a kiss but it jumped out of his hand and into his mouth and swam straight down his throat.
Not put off by a fish trying to kill him, Sam says he will be back fishing again soon but i would say if he is going around kissing fish then a girlfriend and some industrial strength mouthwash is what he needs more than anything.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Moronic Trump And Iran

President Trump has proven himself to be exactly the moron that Rex Tillerson warned us he was by picking a fight with Iran by threatening to rip up the agreement unless he can fix the serious flaws in it. 
'Iran has been spreading death, destruction and chaos all around the world" he said before channeling his inner George W Bush by throwing out the accusation that Iran-backed attacks had killed many Americans over the years and that the country had 'harboured terrorists' after the 9/11 attacks.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, predictably congratulated the President for 'boldly confronting Iran's terrorist game' and urged other countries to follow his lead although he will be disappointed because he may be a gullible idiot in the White House but not so much in the other main players in the deal.
It appears that the only person in the Trump administration who doesn't believes ripping up the agreement is dangerously foolish is Trump himself but apart from salving the frothing right wing, Trump's entire domestic and foreign policy decisions appear to be based entirely on if Obama had anything to do with it, then it has to go. 
I'm sure that others will point out that by far the most dangerous, the most destructive, the most deadly player in the Middle East has been the United States and it's allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, the very countries now doing their damnedest to bring about even more death and destruction but the real fear is that the deal falls apart, Iran pursues its nuclear ambitions and the world is suddenly a much more dangerous place.
At present there is a deal with Iran, there is no deal at all with North Korea and they are racing ahead with their nuclear bomb and the means to deliver it stoked by the Trump threats and rhetoric and Trump is pushing Iran the same way.
Our best hope is that the wheels of American justice which are slowly turning will crush him before the moron makes too much of a mess of the car crash that is his presidency.

Sweariest Parts Of Britain

There are some people who manage to cram in more swearwords than regular words into their sentences but as i'm from the South Eastern part of the UK, you won't find me doing it, Fu*k no.
A survey by Soap Supplies has revealed how often Brits swear in different areas and the South East is second best place for not hearing the occasional cuss word.
The place to head to if you like your air blue and your words sweary is Wales who manage to squeeze 12 Swearwords an hour into their conversation and then Yorkshire, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
If you are after a more refined vocabulary then the South West, East Midland and West Midlands and the South East is where to head with as few as 7 or 8 swearwords uttered per hour.  
As well as the area, the survey also discovered that people who work in the energy sector, Estate Agents and IT are the biggest swearers at work while pharmaceutical workers, retail and tourism swear the least at work.
Conclusive proof then that shop workers in the south west are wonderful while Estate Agents in Wales are wa***ers.

Welcome To Hel

The Airport code for Helsinki is HEL and Finnair has a flight 666 so obviously today of all days Flight 666 has to go to HEL, if only to draw a bit of attention to the small, Scandinavian country.
Despite all the bad omens, the flight from Copenhagen to Helsinki departed at 1.28pm and arrived safely in the Finnish capital at 3.47pm.
'Finland’s national airline has flown passengers to HEL on Flight 666 for 11 years, with 21 of these flights on the unluckiest day of the year' a spokesman for the airline said.
However, today will be the last time Flight 666 flies to Hel, as the airline has decided to retire the flight number.
One option to avoid any potential Friday the 13th bad luck is to stay in bed all day like Bob Renphrey who does just that after some seriously bad luck which saw him involved in four car crashes, fall into a river and been made redundant on previous Friday the 13ths.
One person who staying at home didn't pan out so well for was New York resident, Daz Baxter, who was apparently so afraid of Friday the 13th he decided the safest place to stay was his bed but was killed when the floor of his apartment block collapsed that day.
Probably the worst luck is to be part of a spelling contest and get asked to spell the word for a fear of Friday the 13th – paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Why There Should Be UN Israel Bias

The US have announced Thursday it is withdrawing from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to alleged 'anti-Israel bias' which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed as a brave and moral decision.
My reply is if their isn't a United Nation bias against Israel then something is very, very wrong because Israel  has quite rightly been on the end of an amazing number of UN resolutions, mostly calling for the nation to stop attacking its neighbours. 
Israel had been condemned in 45 resolutions by United Nations Human Rights Council, almost more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined and the UN General Assembly has adopted a number of resolutions saying that the Israelis are performing war crimes and crimes against humanity and that the strategic relationship with the United States bankrolling the Israeli military encourages it to pursue aggressive and expansionist policies and practices.
Poor old Israel, what has it done to be on the end of the UN's ire in its 65 years lifetime?
Take your pick from scuppering peace talks at every turn, mopping up occupied Palestinian land with illegal settlements, killing innocent Palestinians, holding over 9000 Palestinians in its prisons, destroying farms, bulldozing homes and businesses, using Palestinian children as human shields and building a monstrous wall deemed illegal by the international court of justice, oppression of its neighbours and turning Gaza into an outdoor prison.
America is finding itself on the wrong side of so many arguments recently under the man his own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called 'a moron' and backing the most warmongering nation on the planet is yet another one.
If their isn't a UN bias, there certainly should be as Israel defies countless UN resolutions and carries on it's occupation and genocide against the citizens of Palestine while other countries are invaded and leaders removed for defying just one.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Sexual Predator Weinstein

I had never heard of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein until the news broke about his sexual assaults but thankfully he has been exposed as a sexual predator.    
Weinstein has apologised for causing 'a lot of pain with the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past' but the pain he was causing never seemed to occurred to him until the scandal broke and allegations surfaced of rape and groping women.
Now he has lost his job, his family and his reputation and his friends although it seems hard to believe that they didn't know he was a sex pest.
Meryl Streep called Weinstein's behaviour 'inexcusable' and even Donald Trump, a renown sex pest himself, has condemned him but there has been a couple of voices defending him, female voices most shockingly.
Fashion Designer Donna Karan and Lindsey Lohan have both shamefully come out in defence of Weinstein with Lohan saying the accusations should stop and Karan seeming to blame women for they way they present themselves by what they wear.
Absolute nonsense from both as was the statement from Weinstein that blamed his actions on the workplace culture in the '60s and '70s, as if back then it was fine to sexually assault any females they liked the look of.
An apology and a promise to seek treatment is no consolation for decades of sexually assaulting women and even a prison sentence won't erase the pain of those of his victims but will show that such behaviour against women will not be tolerated and anyone who does indulge in such actions, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent no matter who they are.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Science Says Drink Coffee And Live Longer

If some people had their way latte, mars bars, 20 John Player Specials and alcohol would be banned but science has shown that caffeine prevents the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's, chocolate helps control blood pressure, cigarettes shortens reaction time and improves short term memory and drinking beer reduces the risk of kidney stones but you don't see posters for those at the doctors surgery.
Now science has come good again in the fight against things that are said to be bad for you with coffee now being nudged to the 'good' side.
While it could legitimately be said that a single cup of coffee caused the death of tens of millions of people, a ten year study has found that people who drink coffee live longer.
The study looked at 20,000 people living in the Mediterranean who drank at least four cups of coffee every day over a ten year period and during the ten years, 337 died.
They found that, compared to people who never or rarely touched the brown stuff, dedicated coffee drinkers had a 64% lower risk of dying early.
They worked out that drinking two additional cups of coffee a day was associated with a 22% lower risk of death.
And the longevity benefits of coffee were found to be the strongest for people over the age of 45, suggesting coffee might be even more beneficial for us as we age.
The findings coincide with another study from 2015, which found that those who drank up to four coffees a day had a lower risk of death, including decaf coffee.
Other studies have also linked coffee with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and healthy livers.
So get the kettle on, grab the Mellow Birds and live longer.

Trump Desperate For War In His Calm Before The Storm

For those of us who remember the build up to the Iraq War in 2003, the American shifting of Iran into it's gun-sight has a very similar and alarming ring to it.
In 2003, George W Bush and Tony Blair agreed to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and set about fitting the evidence so that they could sell the war to their sceptical public.   
After many false starts (Nuclear ambitions, links to Al Queada), they settled upon his stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction as the reason they had to remove him.
Saddam said he never had any and the UN Weapons Inspectors spent six months fruitlessly looking until Bush and Blair told them to get out and launched a devastating attack which killed over a million Iraqis, allowed the place to become full of terrorists and plunged it into a tailspin which continues today.
Saddam was removed and executed but the WMD's were never found as the UN continued to shout before, during and after the American attack.
It appeared that Bush and Blair would have their war no matter what and Donald Trump seems to be desperate to have one now and it looks like the recipient of America's own WMD's will be either North Korea or Iran.
Donald Trump is expected to withdraw his endorsement of the nuclear deal with Iran next week citing that the Iranian regime 'supports terrorism' and 'exports violence and chaos across the Middle East'.
The deal which Trump looks set to wash his hands of, is supported by the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany and as recent as a fortnight ago the UN and senior American security officials announced that Iran was abiding by the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The defence secretary, James Mattis, said last week that staying with the deal awas in US national security interests and the European signatories are determined to sideline America and stick with the deal if Trump, as expected, pulls out of it.
Business leaders who gathered for an Iran-Europe forum in Switzerland last week said they were prepared to do everything possible to salvage the deal in the event of a US withdrawal including pushing for retaliatory legislation and protective legalisation's.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has certified that Iran has restricted its nuclear activities and the British Government tweeted how Iran had been abiding on it's side of the deal by closing down two thirds of their centrifuges, shipping 95% of all weapons grade material abroad, destroying heavy water plants and signing up to 25 years of UN 'extraordinary and robust monitoring,
verification, and inspection' with Inspectors from the IAEA, already continuously monitoring Iran's nuclear facilities and verifying that there was 'no credible indications of weapons development'.
Like Bush back in 2003, Trump is unable to point to a smoking gun upon which to hoist Iran and has come up with the weaselly 'violated the spirit of that deal' and although he has not said he will pull out of the deal on the 15th October, it is expected that is exactly what he will do.
So the UN’s nuclear watchdog has reported that Iran is sticking to its obligations but unlike with Bush and Blair, the Europeans as well as China and Russia are not on board and have roundly rejected the Trump assessment and come down on the side of Iran in the argument so we can expect Trump and his supporters to take a leaf from the Bush and Blair playbook and throw out accusations until it can find one that sounds just shady enough to give Trump the war that he seems so determined to have.
Hopefully, the UN and the rest of the World won't be quite so ready to play along this time and the American warmongering is strangled at birth before it builds up a head of steam and Trump is removed, whatever way is quickest, before he unleashes devastation.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

What Did Mexico Do?

Some nations just don't seem to have much luck and it is usually the Japanese who are on the end of human misadventure and mother nature throwing a hissy fit but now it seems she has given Japan a break and is having a pop at Mexico instead.
It isn't enough that it shares a border with an America under the control of the mentally disturbed Donald Trump but in the last few months it has suffered several major earthquakes and hurricanes and now a volcano is sputtering back into life. 
It never rains but it pours as the saying goes but what is raining down is volcanic material as Popocatepetl spews out ash and lava which the experts put down to the recent seismic activity.
CENAPRED, the official disaster monitoring agency in Mexico, reports that a total of four major explosions were registered at the volcano, throwing volcanic material 1.2 miles into the air and forcing the Government to declare an eight mile exclusion zone around the volcano citing 'ballistic volcanic debris'.
A Phase 2 Yellow warning has been declared indicating mild to intermediate strength explosive activity at the volcano for the foreseeable future so Mexico must be wondering what it has done to attract the wrath of Mother Nature who seems determined to continue to smack it around for some reason.