Sunday, 22 November 2009

Diana Watch

So the sad news is that we had to have the cat put down on Tuesday. To be honest, it was quite an easy decision to make. She had become increasingly unwell and was barely leaving her chosen spot on the end of our bed. She became a sort of Miss Havisham character; always there in an upstairs room, an ever there presence, we would go up every so often to check that she was ok. That and she never wanted me to be happy.
Following the putting down of Pootle (named after a flump, which was a 70’s children’s TV program) I phoned my Nan on an unrelated topic but she asked after her. “How's is you cat?” she enquired
“Oh, we had to have her put down today Nan.”
“Oh dear but she had a good life”
“Yes Nan, yes she did”.
“Are you going to get another one?”
“Later on, yes.”
“Oh right” she paused for, unintended comic effect, “maybe you could get a nice a next time.”
Well thanks for that Nan, that really helped me get over it.

On Friday we received a hand written letter of condolence from the vet. This was very nice of him. He didn’t have to do this and had taken time out from his day to express his sadness at the passing of our cat. Nice man.
Although, thinking about it, his hand writing was very poor and he may have spelt the cat’s name incorrectly. Someone call the Sun, I am deeply offended by this obvious disrespect.

The Daily Mail managed to take perfectly reasonable scientific study and give it that unique Daily Mail spin.
For a long time people have known that plastics can leak chemicals that mimic Oestrogen. If fact there have been studies into the effects that these chemicals can have on fish, with some quite surprising results, boy fish turning into girl fish. This study, however, was into the effects on to the unborn child. The terrifying news is, drum roll please, that small boys don’t want to play with toy cars. As the Mail put it “Those exposed to high doses in the womb are less likely to play with 'male' toys such as cars. They are also less willing to join 'rough and tumble' games.” Later on in the article it makes the same point again, “The higher-phthalate boys were less likely than other boys to play with cars, trains and guns or engage in rough-and-tumble games such as play fighting.” It then went on to say that “They preferred 'gender-neutral' activities such as sports.”
Sports? So they still like sports then? Sports like Rugby or Football? So still quite physical and competitive then?
There are of course problems with the study, small sample size, only 74 boys, and “personalities” of the children were reported by the parents. No mention of the socialisation of the children either. But that is not my point, others can criticise the study, no, my point is, do the think the Mail meant, makes them gay? Do you? I do?
I may be suffering from a little confirmation bias here, I was looking for it so I found it, but come on. The number of references to “boys games” like cars, trains, guns and fighting and the use of the phrase “'feminising' the brains of baby boys”. I think an insinuation can be drawn.

It turns out that Ernest Shackleton liked a drink, as did the men he took with him on his unsuccessful Polar expedition between 1907 and 1909. A lot of whiskey was taken on this trip; well you need something to do on those long winter nights (lots of man together, lots of alcohol, a love, or least a physical activity to keep you warm, that dare not speak its name)
Anyway, back to the story, two crates of McKinlay and Co whisky were found 3 years ago, encased in ice and buried under Shackleton’s old hut.
New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust is hoping the do conservation work on the bottles and crates before putting them back in the ice under because they are planning on renovating the hut (that will be on the tourist trail I’m sure) but the company that now owns McKinlay and Co are wondering if they can get their hands on at least one of the bottles and have a bit of taste. Well you would, wouldn’t you? It’s been there a hundred years! I appreciate that alcohol freezes at a lower temperature then water but it is really quite cold there. It should have been preserved. There is only one way to find out.

Another story in the Mail, sorry, was one of its classic “I'm really offended by this”/”their trying to ban Christmas” nonsense. A Bishop makes up things and deliberately misinterprets the new Equality Bill so that he can be offended so that the Daily Mail to be upset about it.
To be honest it's boring as usual but more interesting than the article were the comments, One commenter said said “Having read the Bill, can't see word in it which threatens any religious festival, Christian or otherwise.
Which bits are you all referring to? Nick, Liverpool, 17/11/2009 19:44”.
This was massively voted down. Let's not let facts get in the way of a good (made up) story.
However my favourite comment, and very popular amongst the sort of person who reads the Mail was “The countdown to Sharia Law has started. WAKE UP BRITAIN !!!!!!
RUPERT, COLCHESTER UK, 18/11/2009 19:15”
I'm sorry, where did that come from?

It's awards time.

The Award for (at least trying) to Wake Some Americans Up Via the Medium of a Survey,

1 million US children go to bed hungry. That's all I'm going to say on the subject. Remember that the US is perfect as it was (if you are a Republican.) Bring on the, alleged, socialism I say.

The Award for Crime That Got Me Thinking of the Week,

In Peru 4 people have been arrested on suspicion of killing chubby Peruvians and rendering down their fat and selling it to cosmetics companies in Europe. How much is human fat worth you ask? Well it turns out that it is quite expansive. About £9000 per litre to be precise.
Now whilst killing people for their fat is a nasty thing to do (I'm not sure why I feel the need to point that out but I do) but you can sort of see their point.
There are lots of very, very wobbly people about. It seems that you will get a very good price for the self inflicted source of their wobbliness. And it's not like they can run off so they are easy to catch, oh and if they do try and run off, the strain on their poor, struggling hearts will be so much that they will keel over any how, thus saving you the effort of actually killing them yourself.
I'm not saying you should do it, just saying it might be profitable and not to hard.

The Award for Not Giggling Despite a lot of Provication,

This goes to every single newsreader in the country who managed to say “Cockermouth” over and over again without having a little chuckle. Yes it is a sad thing that someone died and that the town was damaged but it is a very, very funny name. When we drove past earlier this year and saw it's name on a sign we laughed at it and I've had a little chuckle each time it has been said on the news. They have even had to combine it with words like “flood” and “12 inches”, oh come on, that's funny.

Hope you all have a lovely week and that the rain stops.
One quick question before I go, how long should I wait before I’m offended by the Sparrows in my garden who don’t seem interested in my new bird feeder thingy? It been there over a week and I’ve not seen them on it yet. They are in my tiny, tiny garden but they are ignore it. Little gits.

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