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June, 2010:

Sometimes less is more…

· Pythagoras’ Theorem – 24 words
· Lords’ Prayer – 66 words
· Archimedes Principle – 67 words
· Ten Commandments – 179 words
· Gettysburg Address – 267 words
· US Declaration of Independence – 1,321 words
· Magna Carta (including signatures) – 3,856 words
· EU regulations on sale and trade of cabbages – 26,253 words

From here.

The Bansturbatory Round-Up

AKA – “The Circle Jerk”

There’s a few…

Drinking alcohol on all public transport – including cross channel ferries!

Sugar in hospitals – just Wales so far but recall the smoking ban started in Scotland?

Selling half a dozen eggs.

Drinking games.

Smoking in cars with children and “potential” play grounds.

Photography.

Sunbeds – because some slag was stupid. Note the Daily Fail comments.

Trans fats – whatever they are – salt and saturated fats.

Saying you find breastfeeding, “creepy”. Yes, someone said that saying that, “shouldn’t be allowed” (presumably whilst tripping over her earth-mama duggs).

These bansturbators… It’s gone well beyond political action. They ought to be put on tumbrils and dragged through the streets to the pyre.

I’m moving to Saudi Arabia. I think It’ll be more fun.

Sweet FA

I’ve been away at a stag do this weekend. Up in the Lake District (Prague is just so last decade darhling!)

Anyway as you can imagine if you get a load of lads, beer and a World Cup together one topic of discussion is inevitable… The beautiful game (or in England’s case the hideous one). Not one of the 15 of us thought we had a cat in Hell’s chance against Germany. I detect that a lot of people despite (or because) of the mass hysteria drummed-up by the media had developed a sort of ennui before the first ball was even kicked. I have quite passionately cheered England on every time until this one. I was just sick to the back teeth of everything in the shops and all the adverts on TV having my nation’s flag upon it. The most egregious by far was the “If Carlsberg did team talks…” Yeah, I thought, “… they’d be in Danish”.

Anyway, yesterday, we sat in vague disinterest in the pub watching the inevitable calamity. It was quite weird. Lads on a stag do, beer flowing freely and England vs. Germany in the World Cup: you’d expect some level of rambuctiousness. Admittedly we’d chosen a quiet pub rather than the first one we came to which had some twat in a tommy hat “playing” the vuvuzela (just one of those makes an unconscionable racket – I can’t imagine 60,000 going – I hope those stadia are sturdy so we don’t have a “Walls of Jericho incident”) and another that was blaring out the “Dambusters March” with the amp turned to 11 (it’s one louder). When Germany scored their first one of the lads turned to me and said, “Right off home now!” with a wry grin. I guess what I’m saying is that for a lot of us the staggering mediocrity of England for so long coupled with the ludicrous hype of the, “This time for sure” variety has propelled the whole dismal spectacle past tragedy and into the realm of farce. I think it’s significant that I haven’t heard the song, “Three Lions” anywhere. Perhaps, “44 years of hurt doesn’t scan” or perhaps too many of us are just sick of it all.

Of course there is another reason as well that I’m losing the will to support England at football. I can sum it up with the headline of today’s Daily Fail. It quoted their resident gobshite, Richard Littlecock along the lines of, “If the Few had fought so badly in 1940 we’d all be speaking German now”. Please put a cork in it Dickie me old china for that has by now grown a long grey beard. I find the inevitability of the comparison of England v Germany games to WWII ridiculous, embarrassing, childish and offensive. The idea that we can gain some sort of revenge for the bombing of Coventry by winning a football match against a team many of who’s grandparents weren’t born at the time is farcical and self-defeating. Sport is not war and it is wrong to treat it as such. There is a George Orwell essay that argues that case so I’m good company. Pinning our entire national self-image upon “sad far-off things and battles long ago” is stupid, dangerous and I’m sure in some sense is part of the reason for England’s chronically “woeful”, to quote Alan Hansen, football.

I guess I might as well say something about the game… I’ll leave that to two people who were there commentating except to chip in that this is the worst England team I have seen since the dark days of Graham “Do I not like that” Taylor. Remember when he took Lineker of in his last match for England to replace him with that oaf Carlton Palmer. Recall the epic midfield triumvirate of Batty, Platty and Fatty?

England need a miracle now

-Mark Lawrenson

That is not in itself amusing but that was uttered just before Emile Heskey was thrown into the rout… Now Emile Heskey may be many things but he is certainly not “a miracle”. Emile Heskey is not so much a footballer as a pratfaller – he’s good at that – should have been a vaudevillian. Anyway, by that point we could have fielded ten cloned Peles and a Gordon Banks between the sticks and half the German team could have had an impromptu BBQ in the centre circle and we would still have lost.

Normally I find Alan Hansen’s dour Scottish Private Fraserishness, “Woeful defending, no one was tracking back… And look how they were leaving the striker literally* acres of space…” grating** but his tone suited this one and his final comment is a peach

“England were abysmal against Algeria but today they were four levels worse”.

“Four levels below abysmal” – I’m having that Mr Hansen! That is almost Shakespearean in a kind of “full fathom five” way. Hansen’s final comment really sums up this England team. They just look slow (especially Rooney who appeared to have developed too much a taste for biltong whilst in South Africa), lack any attacking flair and the least said about the fair impression of Fred Karno’s circus that constitutes the defence the soonest mended. David James looked like he wanted to lamp those two end of the pier comedians Upson & Terry and he had a fair point. When James wasn’t picking the ball out of the onion bag he was shrieking at that pair of clowns. Has John Terry also shagged Matthew Upson’s missus? That might explain why they had a complete lack of co-ordination. The whole team was a shambles and they played with a devastating lack of spirit or commitment all through the tournament.

The one game we won (against the mighty footballing powerhouse that is Slovenia) was a grim one-nil. On paper that’s a good result… for Slovenia. I just found out that one of the Slovenians was only in South Africa because he took unpaid leave from his day job as a bank clerk… If our multi-millionaire “stars” can only get one-nil against a team that includes amateurs then bugger them quite Lampard(ly), Frank(ly)! Anyway, good on the Slovenian lad! That’s the sort of spirit we need! I hope he had a really good time and I bet he did. You can’t imagine the likes of Rooney, Defoe or the Coles doing that can you?

Anyway, just after the game I was on the train back to Manchester and there was a group of Scottish lads and none of them cared that England had been humiliated. Now that speaks volumes. I guess they too regarded it as inevitable. Even back in Manchester (where I changed trains for a local service to get my weary bones home) where there were loads of guys in England shirts milling around Piccadilly station who looked sort of, “Yeah, right, whatever…” It’s as though so many people can no longer summon any passion over a team that clearly lacks any passion whatsoever. Would it be cynical of me to suggest that going out now is a feature and not a bug for many of the players who shall now have longer to lounge on the beach some where astronically expensive with their concubines?

The fact I’m evven thinking that is reflective of the enormous national Gallic shrug our exit has provoked in (I suspect) a majority of the populace. Gallic shrug – yeah, the French didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory either. Quite the mot juste n’cest-ce pas?

*Football pundits have a completely different understanding of that word from the one the OED presents. Example from the ’98 World Cup (spoken of a USA midfielder – “He has literally no left foot, well obviously not literally but he has no left foot…”. That’s my runner up to the truly surreal image conjured by this utter gem from the same tournament, “Jaap Stam looks like Steve Bould… On skates!”.

**Can you imagine the pillow talk after Mr and Mrs Hansen have had sex? He’d be drawing diagrams on a video replay and pointing out where Mrs Hansen had gone wrong, “Woeful foreplay, you just weren’t tracking back…”. Or him directing MacBeth, “Woeful swordplay, where was your defence”?

PS, “Award for best Newspaper Headline” goes to the Mirror for the magnificent “Rout of Africa”. The Sun only managed the dismal “Fritz All Over”

PPS. Because I was away I didn’t see the Dr Who season finale. Any discussion here of it in any form whatsoever (it’s repeated on Friday) will get you cast into The Howling. I mean it. This is very important to me. More important than the “Eleven Disinterested Jerks – South Africa 2010 tour (later dates cancelled)”. This is the TV highlight of my year. Not that it’s up against much competition mind…

Sex

The days when we gave a toss about the sex of our leading politicians is long gone. Really, it just isn’t important any more to anyone who isn’t a complete obsessive. I just don’t care about the shape of the Australian Prime Ministers genitals, and I do wish that people like this would stop rubbing them in my face.

Quote of the day

I instinctively cavil at this creeping intolerance, masquerading as pious devotion

Judith Woods

Ha ha ha ha

Cover-one-end

UN

Remember Claire Short’s claim about how only the UN has moral authority to distribute aid following the tsunami? You know, when she implied that she would rather see people starve than the US providing support? Back when the US and Australia jumped in to help while the UN and EU sat there with their collective thumbs plugging their arses?

Here’s yet another example of that great moral authority in action.

Quote of the Day

the plural of anecdote is not data

Commentor Plamus

She was a Ptolemy

Some people are obsessed to the point where all rational discussion becomes impossible.

What part of Cleopatra was Greek is so difficult to understand?

Lets get it straight – Cleo (strictly Cleopatra VII) was the last of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a bunch of Hellenes who took the country over after Alexander got his and the empire split, and she spoke Greek at home. In fact, Cleopatra, as well as being the last of the Ptolemys, is reputed to be the first of them to even bother learning Egyptian.

As for the Egyptians? They were bloody North Africans you idiots, not sub Saharans. You want to know what ancient Egyptians looked like? They looked like their direct descendents, the Copts, who, funnily enough, look a lot like everyone else in Egypt today.

Just more of that ‘the Egyptians were black’ crap.

BBC again

I just watched the latest Day of the Triffids. It wasn’t just that the triffids as presented, and the science, when discussed, was nonsense, but that it really was emotional PC garbage.

The BBC really is incapable of strict rationality.

Insult to our intelligence

I am not told what to report by the BBC and I am not forbidden from reporting certain things.

But as the treatment of Dr David Bellamy has made clear, if one does happen to stray from the BBC orthodoxy the road to Coventry is very short, very steep, and very very slippery.

Que Sera Sera

So tell me, when you hear Doris Day singing this what do you think of?

And no, I don’t mean the girl on girl action that rumour has it young Doris was so fond of.

Dirty minded buggers that you are.

I am thinking more puppy dogs, fluffy kittens and the smell of moms fresh baked apple pie, right?

Well, how about this? Think film noir, an old and dilapidated carnival in the wee small hours of the morning, filmed in black and white, the torn striped canvas flapping desultory in the breeze and the moonlight playing menacingly over the clowns heads, each frozen in place and waiting open mouthed for the ping pong balls which haven’t come for years, each bearing an uncanny resemblance to our old friend Obo.

See if you can find any fucking fluffy kittens here:

Medium of exchange

Tell me, a matter to be addressed in a libertarian society -

All fiat currencies inflate, it is in their very nature. It matters not if they are created by men of the utmost strength, probity and integrity, eventually the weak, mendacious and meretricious will gain control, theft will become the order of the day, and the currency will inflate, sure as God made little green apples.

Who cares whether the inflation rate is 2% or 20% per annum, the principle is the same.

Still, simply declaring that more currency exists today than existed yesterday does ensure there’s liquidity in the economy.

On the other hand, take a hard currency backed by, or even composed of, a scarce commodity. Lets take, for instance, just at random you understand, a currency made from, say, minted gold. Is there enough of the stuff to satisfy all transactions? I would suspect not.

Wouldn’t using gold, or any other scarce commodity, as the basis of exchange result in a massive currency shortage? Resulting in both deflation and a chronically, although not perpetually, depressed economy? Every time the economy started to take off it would be brought to a shuddering halt simply by there not being sufficient currency available to support increased expenditure.

Even if other and more common commodities, silver, copper, salt, potato crisps, were used to bulk out the currency, relieving the shortage and used for low value exchanges, we have the same problem. A fixed rate of exchange between commodities would have many of the characteristics of any other fiat currency, but a free rate would be hellish – continually fluctuating prices in multiple commodities.

What is the solution? If any?

Doomed!

You got to read that like Private Fraser from Dad’s Army to get the full effect.

As the scientist who helped eradicate smallpox he certainly knows a thing or two about extinction.

And now Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years.

He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and ‘unbridled consumption.’

Am I the only one who thinks a population explosion – which doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen anyway – is a paradoxical cause for an extinction?

Fenner told The Australian newspaper that ‘homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years.’ ‘A lot of other animals will, too,’ he added.

Wild speculation from the good Prof – he’s making it up.

‘It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.’

Since humans entered an unofficial scientific period known as the Anthropocene – the time since industrialisation – we have had an effect on the planet that rivals any ice age or comet impact, he said.

An “unofficial period” – how very dare us! I grew up about three miles from George Stephenson’s house. How many trees does Al Gore have to plant if I torch it? And the comet impact stuff. Fucking hell. Does this wank-shaft know a god damn thing about astrophysics and quite how big such events are? And ice-ages. Jebus Chriscringle on a hybrid Segway! Yes, they are a big deal in a way that driving a 4×4 isn’t. England was once glaciated to the Thames – get a fucking grip Fenner.

Fenner, 95, has won awards for his work in helping eradicate the variola virus that causes smallpox and has written or co-written 22 books.

He announced the eradication of the disease to the World Health Assembly in 1980 and it is still regarded as one of the World Health Organisation’s greatest achievements.

It is sad when a once great scientist flips his or her lid. I studied (A-level biology) the eradication of smallpox and it is something we should all be proud of. Indeed it lit a light that should never go out (please forget I reffed a Smith’s song there – Manc miserablists that they truly were) but let us remember Prof Fenner for that and not the demented ravings of his senilia.

Last year official UN figures estimated that the world’s population is currently 6.8 billion. It is predicted to exceed seven billion by the end of 2011.

Fenner blames the onset of climate change for the human race’s imminent demise.
He said: ‘We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island.

OK, as I said before if the population is rising then it kinda looks to me (poor unschooled physical scientist what I is) that that would imply that our species is actually doing quite well. Indeed even before I drew my first breath we had hit heights of population that would have made Malthus himself have to lie down in a darkened room with a restorative glass of brandy. And coming from an Aussie… 20 million people rattling around in a space almost the size of the USA! Try being British Fenner. There’s 60+ million of us and we get by ticketty boo. Or Japanese or Dutch. Last I heard those folks were doing OK as well.

And Easter Island… I will not dignify that with a response. Actually I shall. As far as anyone can tell the Easter Islanders pretty much spontaneously separated into two factions and waged bloody war until no bugger was left for reasons no one really knows. It was not because of resource depletion. It was simply because we are frequently (but not generally) our own worst enemy.

‘Climate change is just at the very beginning. But we’re seeing remarkable changes in the weather already.’

‘The Aborigines showed that without science and the production of carbon dioxide and global warming, they could survive for 40,000 or 50,000 years.

That is the money quote. Let’s live like the fucking Flintstones. I baggsy Betty. For a scientist to say, “without science” as though it was a good thing makes me want to vomit sulphuric acid in a skirling rage that has not been seen since Loki got caught cheating at gin-rummy against Thor. When a fucking scientist says such things we are surely entering the endarkenment and I hope I am not the only one who will rage against the dying of the light.

And the Aborigines have lasted that long but then so have my ancestors. You know the guys who trekked out of Tanzania and into Europe. The guys that invented indoor plumbing, the bikini and and the Playstation. We have all been around for quite some time and we have done marvellous things which is why, to make it as basic as possible, we no longer have to shit in a bucket and throw it out the window. Even the window was an innovation as indeed was the bucket.

‘But the world can’t. The human species is likely to go the same way as many of the species that we’ve seen disappear.’

Because of global warming? For fuck’s sake. Like T rex (with their funny little arms) were building aluminium smelters? Like the Brachiosaur was driving BMW X5s? What utterly theatrical gayness!

Retired professor Stephen Boyden, a colleague of Professor Fenner, said that while there was deep pessimism among some ecologists, others had a more optimistic view.

Oddly enough I did 2.5 weeks of a biology degree and it was ecology that was the point at which I realised I was a physicist. It was profound wank. I had enjoyed it enormously at A-Level because it was puzzling stuff and remarkably abstract about energy flows in the ecosystem and what really boiled my pissulence was some bearded twat rattling on like a bargain basement Bill Oddie (and he’s a cunt anyway) about how wonderful rainforests are and doing it in a mix of SI and Imperial like it didn’t matter. What a supremely well-chiselled twatter. What a profound soloist upon Bill Shatner’s rusty vuvuzela! If it is science it’s SI and you can take your 100ft tropical hardwoods and sit on top of them wearing a lead hat.

‘Frank may well be right, but some of us still harbour the hope that there will come about an awareness of the situation and, as a result the revolutionary changes necessary to achieve ecological sustainability.’

That would be totalitarianism then. Fuckin’ A! I wish I was making this up. I am not. I know a Green who, with no trace of irony, once suggested to my wife that democracy and individual freedom might have to be stetted to save the planet. No trace of irony. Perhaps I over egg (carbon criminal that I am for eating eggs!) the pudding here because she was a German teacher (and we know what those fuckers are like – they bombed me granny’s fish shop and all). The Germans are not to blame mind. They have more windmills than Trumpton so they have to buy Watts from the French who have a large number of nuclear sets otherwise the lights would go out in Hamburg (kinda like they did after Operation Gomorrah – did I say that? I did – oh, bollocks! Well they shouldn’t have invaded Poland should they?)

Simon Ross, the vice-chairman of the Optimum Population Trust, said: ‘Mankind is facing real challenges including climate change, loss of bio-diversity and unprecedented growth in population.’

People are bad. Well, they are if you don’t like people. I do, alas, like people. We really are asking here, “What is the point of a baby?” I’ll tell you. A baby is an inconvenience – that is true. But I was a baby once and so were you. The thing about babies is that they become farmers and scientists, engineers and playwrights, artists and actors and any number of other things. Some even become annoying retired Australian professors. That’s the thing with babies – you never quite know do you?

Professor Fenner’s chilling prediction echoes recent comments by Prince Charles who last week warned of ‘monumental problems’ if the world’s population continues to grow at such a rapid pace.

Prince Chuckles. I dunno where to start. I have a dependent. He’s called Timmy. He’s a cat. Chuckles is seriously lecturing us on population growth (which in any case is slowing and will slow further as the potless get more potted – and have a window to throw it out of) despite having two more children than I do and he quite frankly only exists to secure the succession to the throne – the git. That is his only role on this planet other than to put his hand into his double-breasted jacket and play a solo game of pocket billiards (which I would do if I was married to Camilla too). And quite why the flying ker-buggery does anyone of sound mind take the demented ravings of Chuckles seriously at all? He is a complete arsehole of the first rusty water. A veritable twatmeister on the cuntoon.

And it comes after Professor Nicholas Boyle of Cambridge University said that a ‘Doomsday’ moment will take place in 2014 – and will determine whether the 21st century is full of violence and poverty or will be peaceful and prosperous.

in the last 500 years there has been a cataclysmic ‘Great Event’ of international significance at the start of each century, he claimed.

“He claimed”. Right… What an epic load of bollocks. Some of us, you know Boyle, just keep buggering on. “He claimed”. Oh fuck me backwards with a Honduran hittin’ stick. What epic gayness is that!

In 2006 another esteemed academic, Professor James Lovelock, warned that the world’s population may sink as low as 500 million over the next century due to global warming.
He claimed that any attempts to tackle climate change will not be able to solve the problem, merely buy us time.

I am merely amazed that the Daily Fail didn’t connect all this doom to the effect on the housing market. Maybe the Express did better and connected it to Princess Diana.

Pearls of Wisdom

I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.

Thomas Jefferson

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