Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Return of Diana Watch

Can I start with a question? Oh I've already asked one and used that joke before I think, ah well, a second question then, are attempted plane bombers just really, really committed environmentalists? By sewing some explosives into his pants and then using a syringe to add a substance to the hidden package (tee hee) so that he could set light to his testicles hence earning him the nickname “thunderpants”, he has made air travel and the resulting super increase in pointless security so horrible that people will be put off of flying. Think of all that carbon he has saved. Greenpeace should thank him. He should get a hand written letter from Ed Miliband.

 Usually I don’t use this blog to talk about stuff that is going in my life but due to the fact that all of Britain is snow bound there has been little else in the news. So little news if fact that Jonathan Ross leaving the BBC got 15 whole minutes on PM on radio 4 on the day he left. Well at least they weren't talking about snow for that quarter of an hour. Well, that's not completely true; Ross made his statement to the press carrying a tray of tea for them because they had waiting for a while IN THE SNOW. What non-English (because we don't know what's going on in Wales or Ireland) readers have to understand is that English weather is the worst in all of the world. It may only be -4 degrees C here (quite a bit colder in Scotland at night though) but clearly, by the amount of trouble caused by this not-that-cold-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things, our scale is different to, say, Russia's where the MAXIMUM temp will be -13 on Saturday or maybe Finland's, because it seems to be causing significantly more problems here than anywhere else and this leads me to that conclusion. Foreign's scale is different and easier, so our weather is worse. Well it's either that or we are just a bit rubbish at dealing with inclement weather and it can't be that.

 On Sunday we picked up a new kitten having been cleared for adoption (is that the right word? Do you adopt a cat or is it more like sub-letting?). She is very pretty and quite friendly, too significant other mind you, not me. See for yourself,


 Whilst we were being interrogated by the slightly crazy cat women we mentioned that we were thinking about getting a second kitten to keep Tilly the Cat company. Oh my, we were met with a sob story. We heard about a kitten that had beaten up and this had resulted in a broken pelvis, cracked ribs and she has had to have half of her tail removed. Could we not take this cat? Are we dead inside? Well significant other is, she doesn't cry at  “It's a Wonderful Life”, but that's not the point. Of course we couldn’t and so on Friday we picked up our second kitten of the week, Ladies and Gentlemen I give you….. Pootle 2. (Named after our old cat and as a Simpsons reference)


As you can see she is a black cat, I like black cats and, because I’m not Rod Liddle, I don’t blame them for most of the small bird deaths in my area or all of the shit in my garden.
 This morning one of the kittens managed to get her paws underneath the duvet and attack Significant Others toes. She responded to this by saying “right! I'm going to have to get falconry socks to protect my feet”. It's a good job that people in the real world don't over react to a single attack in this same sort of over the top way, oh now, wait......

It must have been a great day in the office of the Daily Mail when this “report” came in. “Young children who are smacked 'go on to be more successful'” read the headline and the study, by Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of Psychology at Calvin College in the U.S. state of Michigan, “found there was not enough evidence to prove that smacking harmed most children.” Now, I have emailed Prof Gunnoe to try and see if this is what her report found but she is yet to get back to me. The thing is that the article written by the Mail goes on to, sort of, undermine its own headline.
Teenagers in the survey who had been smacked only between the ages of two and six performed best on all the positive measures.” So between 2 and 6 disciplining your child is a good thing. Now I don’t think anyone can argue with that, however, after that it all gets a bit more vague.
 “Those who had been smacked between seven and 11 fared worse on negative behaviour but were more likely to be academically successful.” If you smack your child between 7 and 11 they will behave more badly. Now that is interesting. They seem to do better in School but their behaviour is worse. Take your pick parents, do you want a child that does as it is told or one that gets good11 Plus?
 “Teenagers who were still smacked fared worst on all counts. “ Not really a great surprise there.
 So the article that started out as a pro-smacking article very quickly talks itself into admitting that smacking (and by that they only mean a smack every so often, when needed, like when I was about to put a metal teaspoon into an electrical socket, not regular beatings, which I assume never did Littlejohn any harm. Except to make him hate all of humanity.) was only effective within a very specific developmental stage of the child.
 The brilliant self-undermining continued when right at the end they concluded with “Two years ago, Britain was criticised by the UN for failing to ban smacking in the home, after experts said it was a form of abuse. And growing numbers of the public seem to agree: A recent poll found 71 per cent of parents would support a ban on smacking.”  

 There won't be any awards this week because so little has happened that wasn't snow related and I've already written about to ill-fated Hewitt/Hoon
 If you live in England, keep warm, if you live in a cold foriegn country, it's not as cold in your country despite what your therometer tells you.
 Have a good week all.

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