Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Whimsy

Just for fun, a few bits you might find amusing. Go on, unleash your inner giggle...

Ryanair have vowed to remove everything from their service that unnecessarily annoys their passengers. So that’ll be their website, staff, Chief Executive...

UKIP – doing for the immigration debate what sailors on shore leave do for city centres

The Godfrey Bloom scandal has overshadowed the important policy decisions made at the UKIP conference – immigration, public spending and the unicorn cull.

Not keen on this new game where you have to kidnap the first Chancellor of a united Germany – Grand Theft Otto V B.

Durham police have left red boxes around the town for people to deposit their drugs in as part of an amnesty. That’s going to be a really good game of Deal or No Deal when they get those back to the station. “Box 12 please Sarge.” “It’s a blue Chief, a blister pack of Viagra.”

Ed Milliband has promised this week to keep public spending under control, disassociate his party from the Unions and keep a cap on immigration. Did he wander into the wrong conference by mistake or something?

Bradley Wiggins got a knighthood for winning the Tour de France. For winning the Tour of Britain he gets a Tufty club badge and a year’s free hire of Boris bikes.

In this series of Downton Abbey, the part of Lady Grantham will be played by a replacement bus service between Lady Peterborough and Lady Newark Northgate.

So the Edinburgh Zoo panda may not be pregnant after all. Hard to tell with pandas though. Nothing’s ever black or white.

The developers of the new Grand Theft Auto game have responded to criticism that their games are too violent by making some changes. Players must now raise funds for Comic Relief to set up a rehab centre for former prostitutes.

Security is being reviewed at Buckingham Palace after guards challenged a loudmouthed, unemployed ex-serviceman found strolling through the grounds like his family owned the place.

George Osborne is right, the economy has turned a corner. Straight into a branch of Cash Converters.

Have you seen the designs for the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo? It's the size of a pinhead but still seats 3 million people.

Went to a preview screening of the new Diana film. Bit of a car crash to be honest.

Dennis Nilsen's old flat is up for sale. Still full of lots of original features. A nose, a couple of ears, a penis...

They say always finish on a song. This one's a sneak preview of Miley Cyrus's new interpretation of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5"

Wake up in the evening, cursing and a bitchin’
Wish my talent matched my ambition
Bump and grind, just to feel alive
Jump on the stage and the blood starts pumping
Forget your popping, locking or crumping
Girls like me love to twerk from 9 to 5

Twerking 9 to 5
I used to be on Nickelodeon
Now I shake my thang
When I’m up there on the podium
My poor Pa
It makes his heart all achy breaky
I swear sometimes
He don’t know how to take me

Twerking 9 to 5
No more Hannah Montana
It’s a sex tape next
Where did I put that banana
Twerking 9 to 5
Making lines all nice and blurry
Driving teenage boys
Into a masturbating fury
Twerking – 9 to 5...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Intelligent Design For Life

Let's get this straight from the off. I'm a man of science. Show me something that's true and actual, and everything will be satisfactual.

I'm not a man of faith. If you have faith, I'm happy for you. If you've found a God and a belief system that you can work with then kudos.

Just keep it to yourself will you? In particular, don't try to teach anyone that it's worth the same or more than science.

One of the big areas of frustration for me is the insistence that evolution isn't really how living things got to be like they are. Instead, everything was designed by God to be like this - the process known as "intelligent design". No matter what evidence you might be able to throw at the ID crowd (not to be confused with the IT Crowd, or the 1D Crowd) - little things like the fossil record for example - they're not having it.

So let's examine how their claims stack up against The Bible shall we? Exactly how intelligent was their creator's "Design For Life"?

I'll even be generous. I'll assume that the first person on earth (let's call him Adam for sake of argument).was designed in his entirety by God. Not a great job mind, given God put his reproductive bits in an enormously perilous and uncomfortable position, stuck his brain on the very top where stuff could fall on it and his heart behind a protective "cage" with huge gaps in the middle.

So anyway, there we have Adam. The Bible then tells us that Adam got a wife from God, made out of one of his ribs. Now thanks to the work of scientists, we know about DNA. If you take a rib out of someone and use it to make someone else, that someone else is going to have the DNA of the rib donor. So they are going to be effectively identical twins. God, in his ultimate wisdom, created identical twins and made them breed.

Again - intelligent? Those in charge of zoo breeding programmes for endangered species know that you have to keep genetically similar lines of breeding apart, otherwise you get all sorts of health issues. Look at Norfolk for example.

Not God though. Oh no. His intelligent design knew much better. So Adam and the new girl (let's call her Eve) have kids. Now the Bible gets fuzzy here on how many and of what gender. Only three are named, and they are all boys, so it throws in a disclaimer to say that there are "other sons and daughters" in the mix too. Here's the thing though. They've all got the same parents, and they are supposed to be the root of the rest of mankind.

So we're not just talking two people committing incest here, we're talking about a whole family at it. Brothers and sisters, for generation after generation, doing the nasty and giving birth to more inbred offspring each time. Again, as a man of science I would query the "intelligence" behind this sort of design. It's no wonder we're all 99 point whatever percent identical from a DNA perspective with that kind of background.

That's just the physical stuff. I haven't even touched on the fact we're wired to be competitive, malevolent, selfish scrotebags with a short temper and the capacity to build weapons of infinite capacity to deliver death and suffering. Way to go, big guy!

So that's people sorted. All in all, not a great report card so far for God. Must do better next time, see me. Although preferably not via a piece of toast, or a teatowel, or whatever way you keep manifesting yourself.

So what about the environment he gave people to work with. The playground where we, and all the other species he found time to create, including the stuff that will kill us given half the chance, are meant to thrive and prosper.

Well for a start, two-thirds of it is covered in the wet stuff. Most of the things that live in the wet stuff can't survive on the dry stuff, and most of the things that live on the dry stuff can't survive in the wet stuff. Not great planning that.

The bits at the top and bottom are so cold to be completely inhospitable to anything above a microbial level. There are bits around the middle which are so hot and dry that they support the odd few reptiles, insects and other stuff that doesn't need much of the wet stuff - did I mention that, the things that can't live in the wet stuff still need it to survive, only some of the wet stuff will kill them if they drink it while the other won't.

So assuming God made us all in his own image - and that must have been the plan all along - why did he bother building a planet where we can only actually live on twenty percent of its surface area? Hardly an efficient use of time and resources, all that wasted carbon. Why make the moon and the stars and all the other guff in the universe that's so far away we'll never actually get to go there? Showing off? Why not put some of that hydrogen and helium to good use closer to home?

So that's the physical and mental aspects of people, and the planet on which we live, all designed by a supposedly hyper-intelligent supreme being. Frankly, if we ever have to start over we may as well just give the job to Kevin McLeod and let him get on with it. See if "Grand Intelligent Designs" makes a better job, it can hardly do any worse.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Let Sanity Prevail

Some sports like to market themselves as a contact sport. Not rugby league.

The 13-man code rightly markets itself as a "collision" sport.

Strong, athletic players hurtling into collisions at high speed and in charged atmospheres. Tempers are occasionally going to rise as the intensity and will to win predominant in professional athletes takes hold.

There will be flash points, words will be exchanged and occasionally things will get physical beyond the boundaries of the laws. Fans, for the most part, love it and almost expect it. A good confrontation can lift the volume and passion in a crowd, particularly the next time the players involved come face to face during the game.

So why are the disciplinary bodies in both hemispheres seemingly hell bent on taking it out of the game? Leeds Rhinos player Ryan Bailey recently found himself suspended for having the temerity to throw one back when an opposition player took a swing at him, for example.

Let me clarify, I'm not advocating the cheap shot. The king hit. The sly elbow of Cassidy on Morley, or Boyd on Brohman. I'm talking about two fellas coming face to face and blows being traded before it all gets broken up.

When the sin bin was introduced back in the 1980s, that was one of its main purposes. Send both players off for ten minutes, let them calm down and then get back to the game. Now however it seems that anything that vaguely resembles a bout of fisticuffs is going to lead to you sitting out a game or two on the sidelines.

I get that the sport has a public image it wants to project to broadcasters, sponsors and the parents of potential young players as a safe environment for families to watch and play sport. That makes sense, and like I have said I'm as much in favour of getting rid of thuggery from the game as the next fan.

The occasional punch up though, is and always has been part and parcel of the game. To have players sitting in the stands rather than on the pitch as a result of a bit of handbags is tipping the balance too far, a rush to sanitisation overtaking sanity.