Sunday, 27 June 2010

Diana Watch

 Good news, it's not just the Express that prints pictures of Princess Diana on their front page, sometimes other people do too. Look, here she is on The Times,


I'm in a bit of sports frenzy at the moment what with the World Cup, Wimbledon, Cricket and a Grand Prix this weekend as well. I am barely leaving the house at the moment which is a shame because the weather is lovely.
 Depending on when you read this England are about to play Germany or have played Germany in the World Cup so I say this*, Come on England/Well played England/Not out on penalties again/Well, they were the better team on the day/That ball is awful, so light and round. *delete as appropriate.

Have you seen Star Wars? What do you mean no? Stop reading this, go and buy it on DVD and watch it and then continue reading otherwise you won't get the next reference.
 You know that bit in Episode 4 when the Death Star destroys Alderaan and when it happens Obi-Wan says he has felt a disturbance in the Force, like 1 million people cry out at once and then were silent? You remember that bit? See told you this would mean nothing to you if you hadn't seen the film. Anyway, that's how I felt when I heard the Nadine Dorries and David Tredinnick had managed to weasel themselves onto the Science and Technology Committee. 1 million Geeks, Nerds and Skeptics cried out at once and then were silent. Well until they got their breaths back from the collective scream and started Twittering and blogging about this adoration.
 Now I know that to get onto a committee you have to want to get onto that committee but surely there should be some sort of test to see if you are qualified to pass judgement on the subjects the committee will discuss, in this case maybe GCSE science. Here come the Dark Ages, austere Dark Ages at that.
 I would go and hide in a cave until it is all better but for the fear that Prince Charles would be there extolling the virtues of this kind of architecture.
 This however is not a time for retreat, the morons are strong but we can be stronger. They may have one or two people now on the inside and Prince Charles is still interferes more than a constitutional Monarch should (I know that technically he is not yet the Monarch but he should be practising the sort of opinion withholding that his mother does so well.) but this is the perfect time for the rational people to strike back. Let them witter on about how Surgeons don't operate under a full moon because it effects blood clotting or how a foetus can punch it's way out of a womb (maybe she was misquoting a Chuck Norris joke), they get some attention for themselves and look silly but then the way is open for sensible people to correct them and look, well, sensible.

 Remember when strangely faced Michael Gove was trying to sell us all the idea of Free Schools? Do you remember how we heard the word “Sweden” more times then the Divine Comedy album Fin De Siecle? Sweden, Sweden, Sweden, Sweden. 
 He point was that Sweden used the free school system and it was bloody brilliant. What we needed was some sort of study that could tell us if he was right or not.
 What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? No, it's a study about the Swedish free schools system and guess what, they are not as good as Tory Boy (and I mean that in an unpleasant way) has been making out.
 A report, published in Research in Public Policy, has found what we all thought. Those that do best from this sort of system are pupils from educated, professional homes. Report author Rebecca Allen from the Institute of Education has found that "The impact on low-educated families and immigrants is close to zero," well that's ok, this Government don't really seem to like them anyway. The report went on, "The researchers also find that the advantages that children educated in areas with free schools have by age 16 do not translate into greater educational success in later life.”
"The evidence on the impact of the reforms suggests that, so far, Swedish pupils do not appear to be harmed by the competition from private schools, but the new schools have not yet transformed educational attainment in Sweden."
 So the evidence shows that this system does not help ALL pupils but only those from the right sort of family, so why do this? It seems that this Government (mostly the Tory bits) are making the decisions on ideological grounds rather than based on evidence. That would explain the budget, a small mention of which later.
 First they refuse to introduce proper regulation of landlords despite the fact that their trade organisation thinks that it is a good idea and now they cap housing benefit. People will be forced to live in cheap, unpleasant housing that may well be dangerous and there will be nothing that they can do about it.
 Run free little markets, run free. Don't you worry who you hurt, you just go and have fun, make as much money as you can for a very small number of people.

Far be it for me to criticise the mighty BBC but I do feel that they went for the salacious angle of this story when they went with the headline “GP admits viewing pornographic images at Dorset surgery.”
 Now that is a very stupid thing to do but this GP was up in front of the GMC, it can't have just that can it?
 Well, the person who wrote this piece seems to think that it is important, or at least the most interesting to the sites readers. If you read on, however, you learn a little more about how spectacularly inappropriate this Doctor was.
 In paragraph 3 we learn he may have been “drunk at the surgery in 2007” and may accessed patient records whilst suspended in 2008 and 2009.
 In paragraph 5 we learn he was accused of  “inappropriately touching three female colleagues”. Paragraph 6 brings news of a webcam he set up  in his surgery and we finish with paragraph 7 that tells us that “Dr Vadas also faces allegations about his care of eight patients and is accused of making threats against a witness”.
 Really I don't thing that the porn thing matters that much, it just made a better headline.

Let's get on with the Awards as we all have more important things to do with our day,

The Award for Massive Insanity of the Week,

Jim Corr from the Corrs (you remember them, 3 cloned women and some bloke, he was the bloke) seems to have become more than a little mad.
 Thank you to Michael Marshall on twitter for pointing everyone towards Jim Corr's website which is filled with pretty much every conspiracy theory you have ever heard of and many you haven't. The man is a loon.
 This is what happens if you hang around with 3 beautiful woman all the time that you have to keep reminding yourself are your sisters and you shouldn't be looking at them like that.

The Award for Incredible, Passionate, Refusing to Loose Sporting Achievement Of The Week,

Yes, yes England played pretty well on Wednesday against the Slitheen (and may also do so again today) but that doesn't even come close to our award winner.
 Nicolas Maihut and John Isner played an epic 5 setter at Wimbledon this week.
 There is no tie-break in the 5th set at these championships so you play on until somebody is ahead by 2 games.
 The first break points didn't come up until the 101st game of the set. Yes you did read that right. The score was 50 games all. At this point they had been playing for nearly 9 hours, over 2 days.
 Until Wednesday the longest match at Wimbledon had lasted 6hr and 9 minutes, the 5th set of this match alone lasted longer than that.
 The 5th set ended 70-68 after 11 hours and 5 minutes of play. It was played over 3 days. Both players served over 100 aces. It was just incredible.

The Award for Fantastic Misdirection Of The Week,

David Cameron was so very proud of the Conservative Party restoring the link between pensions and earnings, so proud in fact that he mocking Labour during Prime Minister's Questions for not doing it whilst they were in office.
 Is it such a great thing? I mean, it would have been a great thing when earnings rises were high and inflation was low. I wonder what it's like now?
 Well, George Osborne announced that public sector pay will be frozen for a few years and, as we all know, the general economy is a bit fucked and many private companies have frozen pay as well.  What about inflation you ask? Inflation is creeping up, well it's about 3.4%, down from 3.7% the month before but still higher than it was.
 So it seems that inflation is higher than the rise in earnings. The increase in pensions for your Granny is going to be less under the Tories than it would have been if they had left the system alone and yet they trumpet this a “progressive”. Welcome to our brave new world.

The Award for Getting More Than You Bargained For of The Week,

 So you are in Canada and you decide to steal a lorry. You think, that looks like a nice lorry and the keys are in the ignition, I'll have that one. Really you should check the back of the lorry to see what's in it shouldn't you? No, you're in a hurry, after all you are nicking it, you are sure whatever is in there will be easy to sell on the black market later on. Just take the truck.
 After the crime is committed you have time to see what's in the lorry. As you approach the doors you notice that it seems to be making some rather odd noises. With some trepidation you open up the lorry only to be faced with a a Bengal tiger called Jonas and camels named Todd and Shawn.
 If you are the person that stole them would you mind terribly giving them back to Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario, they are a little concerned for their animals.

No real mentions for BP this week, oil still floods out into the Gulf of Mexico and they have finally decided to put someone else in charge of capping the leak, but there is a video on YouTube that claims to be footage of some sort of oily rain. I, obviously, can't confirm it's validity but have a look yourselves,

 The sun still seems to be out in Britain and it confuses us, although it could be the Tardis burning up I suppose, because it rarely happens we feel we should make the most of every last second of it despite the fact that we know our skin will turn pink, cause us a lot of pain and then peel off. I did see a man on Weymouth seafront on Friday wearing only Speedos and trainers, this is not a good look.
 I wish it would rain a little bit, I'm fed up watering the allotment.

Anyway enough of my moaning about how nice the weather is here, have a nice week all.


  1. Application of Occam's razor in pursuit of an explanation for the oily puddles would suggest that somebody spilling some petroleum in the neighbourhood is a simpler explanation than having oil evaporate from the emulsion under the sea and precipitate in Louisiana. But what do I know?

    Loved the setup and badoo-tish of the 'disturbance in the force' btw. Not a fully fledged rofl (that would take a *lot* - I'm British) but a definite taken unawares lol there.

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