Saturday, 26 December 2020

Democracy in 2021? What does it mean...

 It might not be obvious to many people but democracy has run its course. How and Why? Well, with the advent of the Internet it has to be apparent that there are simply too many opinions. Look at the BBC, daily ramifications on what the government has been up to, discussed and decided. Followed up by endless dissemination of what is to happen or not happen or even might happen. Just look at the reporting of the Covid crisis. The elected are more concerned about how they look to others and are too afraid to lose face. They endlessly look on Twitter and Facebook to see if they are talked about and like Trump climb immediately in the pen to comment, refute or attack others, instead of governing. It has become a pantomime. Obviously this is not lost on the Chinese or Russians. They in particular bombard us with fake news to undermine the real issues. The Chinese are very much carrying out a softly softly approach, offering to produce cheap goods to a hungry greedy Western world. We lap it up with closed eyes. Guess what the next move will be? Increased military presences across the globe. Even the Russians are afraid of that. Governments that are not democratic and don't really have to suffer the upheavals of elections, are pretty geared up to aggressive politics. Do they work on a plan to undermine the West? Sure they do. We in the West are so concerned with the minutae of our existence, our relationships, our standing that we do not even see or care what those countries like Russia and Chine are up to. The Russians constantly probe defences and readiness. Where is the British navy? Well, we have two good looking aircraft carriers. To be very frank without the support ships they don't mean much and would not last 10 minutes in a conflict. On top of that they leak! This is my prediction for 2021, we will see a very increased activity on all fronts by the Chinese. They are very much squaring up in the Pacific, hopefully Biden will see this but I fear he will be much occupied by Covid and global warming. Sorry to have to say this but we will have to cut our trade links with the Chinese and Russians to an absolute minimum by becoming more self-sufficient in electronics and allied sciences. Also become much more security conscious, even to the point of becoming aggressive on the web. Watch 2021 and see how it will enfold! Good luck Biden, good luck Boris.

Friday, 25 December 2020

The Pantomime of the Century...


This year we don't have the usual pantomime unless you are prepared to stand outside your door and watch a few intrepid persons performing. But we have had and still are watching a pantomime with Ugly Sisters, Dandy, et al. It's called Brexit Negotiations. Yes friends, it has been going nicely for nigh on a year. The Ugly Sisters (Angela and Ursula) have been brilliant but before the end of the year they will be upside down, hanging whilst the audience will be shouting he's (Boris) behind you!! Then we have the Nasty Baron (Michel Barnier) and Dandy (Emmanuel Macron). Dandy is in love with all the female reporters waltzing around and cannot make up his mind which one to ask out for a quick 'how's your father'. The Elf (Boris) is the magic factor of the play wanting to do the best but failing badly every time. In the end good will win, the Elf wins, Dandy will not get the girl, the Baron will emigrate to Luxembourg and appear in the European Court for grossly overstating his importance. And what about the Ugly Sisters? They were never heard of again!

Yes, it's a pantomime alright, you couldn't make it up, could you? Entirely dished up for us, plebs as we are, to believe our elected actually do some work. It was clear from the beginning that some deal or something would be done. All this posturing was and still is, for our benefit. To think our elected are clever, steadfast in the face of the storm, holding the rudder with steely concentration! Steering the Ship of State to the safe port on the horizon. You could not make it up but they did and are playing the pantomime to the very end. At 11.50pm, ten minutes before 2021 the Elf (Boris) will announce his victory and so will the Nasty Baron and the Ugly Sisters will open the champagne supplied by Dandy. He will make a play for the Ugly Sisters because all the female reporters are too busy reporting to their listeners. Just one thing friends, at the end there's no need to applaud.

Ed: A 'quick how's your father' is slang for a bit of 'amour' involving a 'quickie'. Quickie=sex.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

How was 2020?

 A good question to ask is 'How are we going to end 2020?' Because it hasn't been particularly good I suppose. It is not all down to Covid-19 but we can also thank poor decision making by various governments. France's in particular does not come out very well. But politically speaking 2020 has not been a good year despite Boris' good majority in Parliament. A lot was hoped but very little materialised. It seems that we have bred a very poor strain of politician. Political life must be under review and not before time. Even so, the year has not been entirely wasted. In education we have a good chance to get used to new ways of teaching, and also put more importance on the Sciences. It is remarkable how we have dumbed down into arts subjects and used these to gauge standards. Let me say this, an A* in Home-economics does not excite the ghost of Einstein. Although it would be good to know the difference between a sirloin and a rump steak. It might set one up for a lucrative career in commenting on TV cook shows. The funny thing is also that the weather was brilliant for a long time whilst the lock-down was in progress! Now, I am not complaining but I am afraid a lot of people, too many, were feeling the pinch because despite government promises of support it was not easy to obtain that support. Especially for the self-employed.

So, for me in retrospect the year was so-so, not good and not bad. My family and I are now looking forward to receiving the vaccine sometime in the new year. With a bit of luck we will put this all behind us. Although as I have mentioned before, our lifestyles will in the future invite more diseases, viruses and so on, so let's hope we can change for the better. Stop being so greedy and wasteful. Let's lead the world in how life ought to be lived, cooperative and peaceful. Will someone tell Russian, Chinese and American governments? Thank you!

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Marooned? Where... What were you doing in Outer Mongolia?

So, with the knowledge that Covid has sex as well, a new baby has arrived apparently and possibly more to come, what next? With the borders shut-down as done by nearly 50 countries, led by the French of course, thousands of Brits are marooned. It is basically, let's admit it, complete CHAOS! But it also shows, sorry marooned Brits, but were you wise? To go travelling for whatever purpose viewing governments' all over Europe handling of the crisis? They change their rules at a whim, at the insistence of the psycho-babbling scientists who to say the least, have not come out looking too great but we can look at that after we have all been vaccinated. My recommendation is - very simple - retire or sack them forthwith. Get rid of all the over 50's and appoint some of the brilliant 30+ers we have here in the UK. In the meantime all those now marooned - sorry it's your own fault, you should have known that the situation is very unstable. I have family in good old Holland. I haven't seen them now for nearly two years. I had tickets to go to Schiphol, Amsterdam last Easter but luckily managed to get the money back (minus the insurance premium). Hopefully this will not be the end, but I will not go although I could. There are always ways and means to solve any problem but no, I have decided to follow the recommendations so far issued by the Welsh government. The Welsh government has not done badly so far. Don't applaud me, I am just doing what I think is prudent. Not to be a carrier or someone who thoughtlessly becomes a spreader of something that could be and in many cases is, nasty. Keep with it, stay safe this Christmas.

Monday, 21 December 2020

The kin of Covid-19 has arrived....Welcome, please take a seat....

Depressed are you? Today? Well, after the usual BBC (Bugg**ed By Covid station )tally of the dead and the number who have found to be positive with the virus, you will be excused. Go and get yourself a stiff drink. I find it incredible how the media talk down the UK. Take this so-called 'new' Covid strain. You have to excuse me, I think whatever strain is as virulent as another. Where is the data? Hmmm, oh I left that in my cupboard, sorry forgot to bring it to Dr Death and sidekick. Get real people, any Covid is as bad as another. It is people who don't think the rules apply to them who have been guilty of spreading the virus, of whatever strain. It is the government, its indecision, its lateness in understanding what we are dealing with. It is journalists like Trevor Kavanagh who constantly states that we should just carry on regardless. Never mind the death rate which could be astronomical, leaving the UK without many older people. Older people who are somebody's grandma or grandpa. He says, the economy is too important to play with, to lock-down. Lock-downs don't work. But now the whole country is not just locked-down, it is locked-out! Basically from saying we have another strain of the virus. Yes? So what, what's the difference exactly? Oh, you catch it quicker. So how do you do that? Ah, stop mingling with other people. No, really? You could have fooled me. You know, I like being sarcastic but our betters have as much a clue about it as I do and that is zero, nada, nil.

So, maybe Trevor is right after all, lock-downs obviously do not work. Simply because too many don't follow the recommended guidance, and that is not likely to change. The death toll will just continue and possibly take a lot more older people and people with underlying health conditions. Watch this Christmas when a quarter of the population will simply ignore the 'Stay at home' advice.

Time to have a hard look at how we can, if at all, deal with a virus which has no opposition. Meaning it can spread wherever we, humans, go. Despite lock-downs or lock-outs.

Edit: Not only two variants, it's already three! 

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Rights? What rights...

 Only last week my favourite journo, Rod Liddle, was a most reviled chap in Britain. Thanks to his article about teachers. In truth, it was not good. I do know a bit about education and teachers. Without going into great detail, most teachers work damn hard and under atrocious circumstances. Unruly children, extreme attitudes and unfair pressure from governmental bodies such as 'Estyn' in Wales. Rumours I heard that it was mainly staffed with failed head-teachers (hmmm, interesting; it might explain the poor standards). It all stems from politicians' interference in matters of which they have scant, if any at all, knowledge. But this week he is spot on again about the situation we are facing, Covid of course, it's ramifications and in particular what it has shown about us as humans. About what we have become accustomed to and are now taking for granted, even saying things like, we have a right to live like this. We have a right to fly all over the place, a right have three cruises a year, a right to become as fat as a pig, or drunk and kick a few shop windows in. As he said, we have been privileged compared to the vast majority on this planet. Our lives are based on a much more fragile foundation than we would like to think. Spot on Rod! If we talk about rights, what do we mean? We have none whatsoever! We can give ourselves rights, but there is no natural right. It is only through remembering rights come with responsibilities that we can come to some sort of consensus.

When we are born, we have no rights. We live through the willingness of parents to care for us. If that was not so, we would simply not survive and die. Rights come through negotiation between parties with separate interests and willingness to cooperate. That is how civilisation works or should work. The basis of the universe is simple, it started, it evolves, it will die. Time started, time will stop. There are no rights. No wrongs.

It is us humans who through a veneer of self-importance say, 'we have a right to know, a right to live'. The universe will just smile benignly and explodes the next supernova. 

Have a nice Christmas or whatever you celebrate as the Sun will now begin its journey back! 

Friday, 18 December 2020

Merry Christmas everybody!

 The naffest thing you will ever see is photographs of Z-listers (celebrities who think they are celebrities) with a carton of coffee in one hand and in the other support the latest mobile phone. Oh, and if there is room there will be a toy-dog as well. Apparently this is now THE in-thing if you need to be seen. God help us. Poor dogs. I suppose with the looming Christmas lock-downs we will see thousands of toy-dogs running along the streets looking bewildered as they cannot find cups of coffee, ditched by the Z-listers. In the meantime I'm bracing myself for some more rain. What am I saying - deluge is what I meant to say. The garden here is so sodden that more rain is just drowning my sub-tropical herbals. Ah well, hopefully they'll survive. I have though put my pip-grown tangerine treelets in-house. It might have escaped your notice but is this amount of rain normal? Methinks not, warmer air can hold loads more moisture so in my mind global warming is not Russian fake news. It is undoubtedly real, please someone tell Mr American president soon to be not president. But when I look around I do not see many people very worried. They still throw all sorts of plastic waste, cellophane in particular, all over the streets. Discarding left-over Chinese food including polystyrene wrappings. Moreover, fouling the air we all breathe by driving idiotedly fast along roads with cars parked both sides so that you can only go one direction at a time. Belching out carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide plus a host of lovely minute particles every second. No wonder asthma is very prevalent around here in the narrow South Wales valleys. But we are still building more and more houses, despite failing or non-existing infra-structure (doctors/dentists). Well, have a nice Christmas friends, I will have an extra large cognac to drown my sorrows and afterwards I will dance naked in the rain-sodden garden singing Merry Christmas Everybody!

Ed. Noticing the word naffest (naff=a bit stupid, unsophisticated) and treelets - my idea of a small seedling tree. Naff is slang and treelets does not exist in the Oxford Dictionary but it is now in mine.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

A fun-filled world, No, it isn't, oh yes it is...

As has been said many times before, it is a funny world. Made funny by one species - humans! I am a member of that species but sometimes I wonder whether I would have been better off being something else, like a monkey swinging through the trees, eating bananas. Then I remembered that they are under severe pressure because of hunting and environment reduction. Guess by whom? Yes, humans, it is a sad story. Present day's 'talk' in newspapers is a strange concoction of opposite views, especially about the virus. You will read about the thousands infected everyday. About hundreds dying, about the elderly suffering in care homes. And then you also read about "Getting back to normal". This without spelling out what normal really means or is. I take it from a recent historical opinion that it involves millions of aeroplane flights and booze soaked 'holidays' in the sun or thousands going on cruises. Travelling surely has been one of the major factors in the spread of the Covid virus? People seem have short memories but throughout history diseases have spread quickly because of human actions, the way we live, eat and treat the environment. Bubonic plague spread because of travel and the environment in our excrement filled cities. Where rats thrived and humans died, in their millions. Cholera, typhoid, dirty water borne diseases. And just the tip of the iceberg. It all just keeps pointing to humans. The dirtiest, wasteful, most ignorant species on the planet. Wow, I must have stepped out of bed with the wrong foot this morning! Wondering just now what God thinks of his creation looking at the shambles. Another simple question, where are the people of good-will, the ones with the right ideas? The ones with the clout to make things happen for the good of humanity AND the planet? Mr Bezos, the rich guy from Amazon? Or is he more interested in his next billion? Hey Mr SpaceEx how about doing something else? There is really no point in going to Mars. Humans cannot really live there. They do some work with charitable foundations but is it of benefit for us or them? Facebook, well another rich guy but doing quite a bit of damage to social interactions. Some good but a lot bad.

It is time humans starting thinking more straightforward. What is important, and what is not. Is this planet important? Yes? Then take steps to save it. To preserve it, not just now for us but for future generations. We should remember, it isn't just our planet, it's EVERYBODY's planet! Despite Covid have a great Christmas and don't worry about lock-downs. In the end it will all be of benefit.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Corruption? Oh, you mean the brown envelope system...

 Rather interesting reports coming out of Liverpool. The mayor been taken into custody? Well, whatever but there is an investigation going on about corruption. In my opinion it is about time that we are going to have a very hard look at politicians of all colours. First of all those who are involved in Planning and those who award contracts. I don't think there should be any doubt that these functions are key to spending a lot of money, public money, our money! As such these characters will attract outside interest, interests from property developers and big house-building conglomerates. It is a well-known saying I have heard many times - politicians are very fond of brown non-addressed envelopes! Obviously I am not saying the mayor is guilty, it will be decided later. I hope he will be exonerated but still... Even so, to stamp out this nasty business of knobbling politicians we will have to begin proper investigations into the bank accounts. To this effect the banks will have to play a role as well. People generally speaking have an almost infinite way of hiding nefarious activity, especially financially. Bank accounts in strange names, in different places, even different countries. And it is not just money, there are many other ways to catch a mackerel - as they say. That a new car councillor? Nice! How do you afford it! And so on and on. The short of it all is despite some control that is in existence, corruption still occurs. As such we must be vigilant and so I applaud what is happening in Liverpool. Let's widen this whole thing and start investigating ALL politicians. Let's start by asking all the banks to provide print-outs of their accounts. It will take time but it will also show the wonderful elected that corruption is not a good thing! Even better when newly elected the 'lucky' persons must provide print-outs of their financial accounts for at least the last five years. Not only that but spouses, if any, as well. Lots of paperwork? Sure, but computers and scanners can make a big difference. So, let's set up a public body entirely devoted to fighting political corruption. Here comes, Elliot Ness!

Ed - Knobbling is slang for trying to corrupt somebody, eg 'grease' someone's palm.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Slebs have a fair deal? Yeah, sure..

 We live in strange times - Covid times I call it. It means the plebs, that's you and me, abide by all the rules and celebs do not. The mindset of those below thirty is something like 'Nothing can happen to me, Covid only affects oldies. And why do we need oldies? They've had their life, time to die baby! Or thoughts to that effect. I find it very interesting to observe society. Obviously there are many strata in society, from the upper echelons, aristocrats and dumbos (another word for celebrities or Z-listers) to the pleb levels. Plebs are the workhorses of society. Whipped from sun-up to sun-down. They earn all the money, everybody else leeches from it. When I think of Marx - was he really, really a communist? - and his ideas on economics, he thought similar things. There are those who 'earn' the money or rather are made to slave for it and then there are those who simply acquire it by nefarious means. That is to say, they do not work, they sit like a ponderous elephant on top of the backs of those that do work. They can be either employers, or those like aristocrats who 'need' looking after. Or lawyers and solicitors, the leeches of our society. Am I going off the point here? Well maybe but the point about the strata in society is a fair one. Take a good-looking sleb like Rita Ora, who thinks she is a tad above all of us. Covid is of no concern to her, she must have her birthday bash, yes sir! And here came the other slebs, congratulating her on taking a stand against unfair laws! Wonderful, let me say this, except for seeing some pictures in the usual newspapers, she is eminently forgettable. Body yes, brain no. Sadly she is far from alone. Time to take a good look at the Sleb culture we have built.

Ed -  It seems that Ms Ora is now hell-bent on finding out who shopped her. It was not me but I'd like to know who did and give him/her a medal! 

The latest report is, she has fled the UK to do some 'work' in the Balkans. Perhaps she might decide to stay there permanently. I would not shed a tear, or may be just one. I did like her photos.

Leftie Lawyers run amok...

 A sad day for our nation, leftie lawyers, some of the paid-up Labour party members (of course they are) have now taken to defend rapists, murderers and drug dealers. Citing human rights, mentioning their high blood pressure so they cannot fly back to their country where they were born. Yep, a sad day that this country educate people to such professions as the law and this is how we end up. It is a travesty that the law, Law (with a capital L) has to suffer such idiocy. What about all those who had to suffer the harm meted out by those criminals? Why do we have to harbour these sad and vile emanations of the human race? They came to the UK with just one thing in mind, crime, drugs, sex. That's what they heard in the country they came from. Anything goes in the UK, girls are just asking for it, you can become a millionaire just dealing drugs. Come to the Gold coast boys, come to the UK. It is high time that yes, we do have a good hard look at our society. Because simply said, if we do not we can expect many more such people to come, including terrorists. We need proper, sound law making, not the woolly-headed cr*p that Labour party oriented lawyers think. Or other soft-bellied Etonesque types, with whisky-muddled brains. I am not advocating bringing back the noose but eh.... OK maybe strapping to a chair with wires hanging from it. If we are wanting a proper society then there have to be proper laws to govern it. There is no room for woolliness or prevarication about laws that are governing society. Laws like responsibility for actions. If stealing you would have to make repairs. If killing you have to lose yours. Hard? Of course it is, just look at life in all its colours. Life on Earth is not simple, it is not cosy, it is not soft. It is good to care for those who fall by the wayside, as much as can be but again it is and should not be, a soft option. Change it PM if you can, but first get rid of the Human Rights ACT and supplant it with a proper one!

Sunday, 22 November 2020

The Civil Service has a headache? The little darlings...

 Allegations of bullying are flying thick and fast. The Home Secretary is under threat. Well, let's look at that a bit more closely. Here we have a forceful woman Ms Patel who appears to be a straightforward thinking and talking lady. That's good. We should like a bit more of that with more people, especially in government. On the other side we have what is known as the 'Establishment'. Properly seen as a cosy, whiskey guzzling fraternity. Meaning an organisation of men and women, mostly over 50, who 'serve' the elected government of the day. In truth it is mostly the other way round. The elected government 'serves' the 'Establishment'. Despite the government's wonderful  words most will be simply be disregarded.

'We are banning petrol and diesel cars by 2030', take it from me that's not going to happen. It will be watered down, the date be put back etc etc. So, Ms Patel had a few 'strong' words with some people of that illustrious establishment? Yes? So what! It happens all the time in businesses up and down the country. It takes a bit of 'push' to get the 'Establishment' in gear!

These people just do not want to work. The 'status quo' is their goal. Change is a dirty word.

It is no wonder Ms Patel said a few strong words. Well done! About time. I take it that the report by an 'Independent' Establishment mandarin is just another attempt to exercise their 'authority' over the elected. I am sure there will be more as I believe the government is contemplating 'shaking-up' the Civil Service (to give the Establishment their proper name). Carry on Ms Patel, please and do not stop calling a pig a pig!

 Ed 23/11/20

I read more and more about this so-called CS (Civil Service). Gold-plated pensions, fat salaries and 'working' from home when everybody else just has to take it or leave it. Most workers now are on starvation wages, and are hounded by every government department you can think of. It is beginning to sound like we're back in the Victorian era.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Men only or is it Women now?

 Not so long ago I read some article about chemicals in the environment. You know, man-made chemicals. Putting that together with a TV docu about 'Changing Man' you know where this is going. Men are disappearing from the face of the world. Not all just yet, I am still here and typing this but yes, it is quite remarkable to note how men behave today, generally speaking. Socially as well, men-only relationships are now common enough. I mean in a sexual way. Coupled with the more assertive trend of females, western society is changing fast.

Sometime in the past I recall reading an article about cloning, taking a human egg from a female and starting the cloning process. This is not new science, it has been done. Meaning that the clone is female of course. Men will not be needed. Ah, you will say that's impossible. Hmmm, is it? The end of the world as we know it. I hope women will be happier without men. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out or even think about trends. Trends in society. But yes, I do think that I am the last man on earth. Please form an orderly queue, girls.

You might have heard about something called 'Wagagata', the court case between two footballer's wives (we call WAGS in this country - standing for Wives and/or Girlfriend) . Pretty boring actually and a waste of money they could have given to 'Children in Need' this year. It shows in a picture in the 'Sun' newspaper the way women are already portrayed. Stern looking, a toy-dog under arm, mobile phone in hand just in case because we do not want to miss any WhatsApp messages do we? And the other hand holds the required coffee caffeinated drink. Oh yes and don't forget the shopping bag. Ridiculous? Must you ask? That's the new woman, no man needed. a Toy dog will do nicely, thank you. Just now wondering what the dog thinks of it all.

So, if that's the 'quality' or 'standard' of the world population to come then I think 'God' is a woman after all. 

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Get back control Boris. Please and be quick about it.

 Well, what do you know. Civil war in the country's government? Who comes, who goes? You know, I am always surprised at how UK governments (yes, plural) cock-up things that matter. Hey Eton, what do you teach your rich upper-class kids today? I suppose cocking up becomes natural to such worthies because all they do is surfing the Web day in day out. Whatever, I had great hopes for Boris, here was a man with a bit of steel in his heart but no, the steel has descended into his lower legs making him torpid and slow. Is that what Covid does? The trouble in government is trusting advisers too much. It's time to assert control properly Boris. We voted for you, not for Cummings or for Cain. You decide, you rule.

The country needs you, it is under tremendous strain. Don't do what Trumpy baby has done and ignore it. Because if you do you will go down as THE worst PM we have had. And that is something, bearing in mind some others from the recent past. Sure, we're all human, we make mistakes, we dawdle in the face of adversity, we might even turn our backs. But if we do that we sure will be lost. So, man up Boris. Even the Red Wall in the north voted for you, we all saw something in you but please show it Boris. Do the work we are paying you for. Put our society in front, not on a back-foot!

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Election, what election? Oh that one...

 Blimey what's going on in America? That bastion of democracy? Accusations of shenanigans in the election process, the President threatening to stop the election count, armed hooligans on the street 'policing' the process. Good Lord, are we sure that it is America and not Russia?

Seriously this is worrying, the most powerful nation on earth falling apart like this. Vlad the Impaler must be laughing all the way to his new summer retreat in the Crimea peninsula. The Chinese are dusting off the Huawei mobile phone factories again. And what do the Brits worry about? Hmmm, now let's see Biden likes the EU, oh dear that's not good, the politicos are up in arms here. Biden, the new president, oh sure he will be at 78 the oldest one. Very likely then that he will not fulfil his term. Roll up the Vice-Prez. Great, a bit of sense finally.

Friends, forget America being a bastion of virtue, democracy and common sense. It never was and never will be. It is a country riven by race hatred, with grey suited politicians who are like the Mafia. A country that believes itself to be the only decent one on the planet. Every other needs to be put in its place down the pecking order. Do we really believe that the Americans like the UK? If you do, go see a doctor pronto, if you can and are not furloughed or in self-isolated solitude. Looking at the way this election has been, accusations et al, let's look at how we should 'clean-up' the process. If democracy is to survive and it's already half-way to being put into the waste bin, we need the political will to ensure it is a process that we can all abide by and honour the outcomes. Politicians should be very wary and if possible, ditch the use of social media. Look at the rubbish spouted by them, yes here as well.

Time to overhaul the process, otherwise democracy is finished and we will all have to speak Russian or possibly Mandarin! Or even perhaps Welsh? Oh dear, I'll get my coat.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Pop says the genie!

 Good Lord, what a mess. Every single person has a different idea how we should be . How we have to defeat Covid-19. Have different ideas how many have died, how many will die, how many are infected and how many will be infected. One newspaper's headlines are 'Dead rates are down! The TV News blares out, 'Dead rates are rising!'. The government says 'Lock-down', or rather the PM says it and everyone else queries whether he is sane. From where I am sitting I believe Covid is a nasty little virus. Much worse than flu. Simply because none of us humans have any antibodies whatsoever. So, this virus just has a field day, picks anyone it fancies. Kills those with reduced resistance due to underlying medical problems. It all just goes to show, mankind has been pretty well weakened. Having beer bellies doesn't help a lot either. Obesity or just being overweight another problem. Obviously the western world seems the worst affected. Our lifestyles just asking for us to be picked off. So, yes I think Boris is right, reduce the infection rate. So that those who need it can get a hospital bed. Well done Boris, don't listen to the Covidiots. We can sort out the bill later. The printing presses can carry on a while longer churning out the new-look notes!

Even so, we really need to look at our lifestyles. I don't want to be a 'party-pooper' but we are just asking for it. We are so reducing our resistance to disease that anything coming around in the near future might just have the same effect as Covid-19 or worse. Moreover we cannot always rely on scientists making up vaccines at a whim. It takes time to do. So, watch it people, there is a genie about. Can pop out of the bottle at any one time!

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Thinking about....thinking

 It's a great thing, just to be able to think. Think about the situation us humans face today and to think about what our role in the universe actually is. Obviously the situation today does not seem so brilliant, what with the virus et al, but I think it is quite normal. It simply is the way things move. All life has one rule it lives by. Do anything to stay alive! Procreate as much as you can. However, even that brings problems. Because it means only the fittest will succeed and the not so fit might succumb to diseases as they are not as strong, virile, healthy or whatever. Procreation, sex in the vernacular, will ensure offspring but again too many will reduce the food supply and space for existence. Too many of a species will, as has been shown over and over, lead to extinction. Good, we have got that out of the way.

So, what is our role in the universe then, you may ask? Good question, if we look at life itself, the way it has progressed from a small clump of atoms to us with our thinking capability, we might conclude it is about progressing to a form that might understand the how and why! Why there is a universe at all, or even why there could be multiple universes. Even better, to think about whether size means anything. We think of ourselves as big, living in a big universe of which we cannot see the end but is that true? The smallest thing we can think of is a quark. It is interesting to think of a quark as a universe. It all depends on what size really means. But yes, we are just a result of a progression and there may well be many more. Humans must understand the rules of life, not our rules but the rules of nature. Or if you will if you are religious, the rules of God. All faiths have rules, for instance like the Ten Commandments, these are a way of living that will ensure an harmonious existence.

Because let's face it, all of us know what will happen if there is not enough food, not enough space to live, no opportunities to expand. When humans have become so numerous that there is no further space for anything else. It is then that we will know we had it all wrong.

Let's ensure that time will never come.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Coming to Britain? Easy? Not really....

 First of all we must have great pity on those who wanted to come to a land they thought to be a safe haven, the UK. Unfortunately they fell into the hands of unscrupulous criminals who told them that they had a boat which would take them across the Channel. For a few thousand pounds it would be theirs. That it was a ticket to horror and for some an early death, no-one in power seems to be worried about. Except of course for all the mealy-mouthed platitudes we have heard so many times. 'We must take grip, we must get the criminals, we must stop the boats'. The French, lovely people as they are, 'No, it's not our problem, it's yours', attitude does help a lot to control the issue. It never occurs to those we have voted into power where the real problem rises. It is simply the inequality we see all around in the world today. When you live in a sand desert and have to cope with a seemingly never-ending draught, and then see on the only antique TV in the mud house village the excesses of our so-called Western world then what would you want to do? This is how desperate these unfortunates who try their best to escape, are. Their deaths are not holding back the hundreds if not thousands who will given the chance do the very same thing. Politicians seem to live in a rose-tinted world, rose petals strewn wherever they tread. Uttering words they looked up in some dictionary but mostly meaningless drivel. In the UK we are masters at that. Etonesque (meaning people who where educated in one of the private jails, sorry schools) caricatures of the human race who feel it is their God-given right to govern. We, the plebs, are just here to bother them and constantly need to be put in their places. I suppose it's not much different across the water. Politicians and their allies the aristocrats, talk a lot about change, but that is exactly what they DO NOT want. Change would be their demise. Just all talk and no action, it has always been so. It is the bane of the world, politicians. And until we do something about it, changing the system, it will stay as it is. Costly and useless.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Before opening mouth, please engage brain beforehand...

 It is quite fun to read some of the lesser articles in newspapers. Yesterday there occurred a report about the UK archbishops and bishops who sit in the House of Lords (I think) making a comment about Brexit. What!? How dare they! Well, at least that seemed to be the general trend of replies to the bishops’ statement. Personally I have always wanted the Church hierarchy to be more vociferous about political matters. Because mostly they are silent. Obviously as humans they must have an opinion but mostly do not express them. So, where is this going then? I favour Brexit, not because I do not like Europe, as a previous Dutchman I do! But I abhor the oversized, extremely costly bureaucracy in Brussels. Besides all of that, the plans and rules coming from there need a psychiatrist’s look to see whether they came out of the madhouse. As such I do not mind other people having an opposite view but this furore is made by the upper echelon of a national institution, moreover an institution that should promote good living, environmental control, proper sharing of foods and resources amongst other human requirements. Brexit is a different item on the agenda. Why? Because it was voted for by a majority of the British people. We abide by voting results. Instead of raging against the established government(s) for failing to ensure an adequate sharing of resources, opportunities, employment and a host of other pressing matters, the Church has decided now that Brexit is the most important item on the agenda. No, Brexit is an item that has already been decided. The only thing left is to ensure our leaving will do the least harm to our population. We should not forget there are two sides here, Europe as well will want to do the same so we need compromises. The Church must not forget that! Just to indicate that Brexit should be cancelled is simply ridiculous. Although I applaud the hierarchy opening mouth, they should have engaged brain before that. Amen!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Educational woes, it's a disgrace...

 Having been in educational circles for some time now, although I have never been a teacher (thank the Lord) I have become aware that there are almost insurmountable problems. First of all the political interferences, secondly the pressures generated by that interference or shall we say bad decision making, and thirdly underfunding. When I say underfunding I really mean that too much is paid to the wrong people and consequently budgets set by the aforementioned politicians are not sufficient to repair or build new schools. Building new schools in the UK is basically non-existent. Certainly in Wales where old draughty Victorian calamities are still around and have to be used because politicians are paid huge salaries and empire building is alive and well but there is no money to look properly after all our children.

Another linked problem is that of parental support. That sounds bad but it basically means that again through political bad decision making and policies we have landed into a situation where parenting can no longer be as effective as once it was. Our society now is reliant on lower salaries (minimum wage) and a twenty-four hour, seven days a week time scale. As a result children do no longer have the parental support and help they need to learn. This tends to cross over to following generations, in other words it is a downward spiral.

So, altogether huge pressures are put upon educators, teachers, to increase standards, which because of lack of support outside schools, is very hard if not impossible to achieve. Just look at the number of teachers leaving their posts. That in turn gets NQT’s (Newly Qualified Teachers) into schools quicker than it would be normally but also means lower standards of professional technical ability. It is really a circle of continuing mediocrity. Sad but it might change when politicians will stop making education one of the marks by which they themselves are judged. And frankly from where I am sitting the judge will have to say “Go to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200". In fact I would add, go home and try something else like keeping chickens.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Wales bans the English, Scots and Irish. Wow!

 So, it is still a funny world. My country, Wales has decided to ban all English, Scots or Irish people from coming if they themselves live in what is now known as Covid-19 hotspots. Well, think about it, how does the virus spread? Yes, through people! So, in the first place to ban people is seemingly not a bad idea. But it is not all people who behave like idiots, as they seem to do in city centres. Some of the pictures in newspapers this morning displays behaviour which is akin to idiocy. What is it with humans? So, yes if I had been the First Minister, I would ban ALL people coming from the rest of the UK. I could be persuaded to change it to all UNDER-35 aged being banned. It is these that seem to be the problem looking at the pics. Barely dressed with a pint in one hand and a ‘hunk’ at the other. Mind you, hunks today are not as hunky as they used to be. The chemicals in drinking water today, are reducing 'hunkiness' to some extent. Whatever. But the point is this, if we want to reduce or even eradicate the virus if at all possible, we need to abide by medical advice. If we lose trust in such advice we might as well order our coffins now. I stay with the advice and reduce my going-out to zero for the time being, get my groceries delivered and use Whatsapp if I need to speak to someone or other. Also use Microsoft Teams, or even better JITSI Meet, for my work or courses I follow. Most of my friends and acquaintances do the same. But then we are no longer below the 35 mark and use our brains. 

NB There is no such word as 'hunkiness', I made it up but you will understand. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Have you woken up yet? Or are just 'woke?

 There are plenty of people who dislike Piers Morgan, ITV’s Morning News presenter/host. I am not one of them. I like his straight forward way, calling a pig a pig and not think it might be a dog. I also for 100% back his stance against the so-called liberal ultra-lefties or should that be ultra-liberal lefties, as his article in the Sun newspaper shows. It is about time that someone in the public view takes a stand against this totally idiotic world view. A view where you can no longer say ‘Black’ or ‘White’, when you have to forget the history of the nation, indeed the history of the world in exchange for some woolly concocted cr*p ideology. ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, another who has started to worry about this ‘woke’ ideology, questioning the ‘being offended’ culture. All we read or hear now is about people being ‘offended’ and climbing into the pen to spout their ‘woke’ opinions. Is this the new British disease? When top politicians are afraid to call a dog a dog? We should ask what the purpose of all that is?

There is a feeling in my bones that tells me that being ‘woke’ is not just about being offended. It is about power! It is just another way to exercise power to move the world into a direction only they want. But what sort of world would that be? Well, there are quite a number of books, stories, films that show what it would be like. When wives, husbands, sorry ‘partners’, tell on each other. When you have to walk on one side of the street if you were allowed out at all. Do I see here the beginning of a concerted effort that is pretty akin to a socialist totalitarian state? Is this a backdoor to just that and we don’t see it? Well, Flintoff and Piers are seeing it and so do I. It is about time that the ‘silent’ majority stops being silent and tell these ‘woke’ plonkers to sling their hook! Blimey, OK I am basically a non-original Brit but I love the idioms! I could have said ‘abandon’ but no, I like the stronger vernacular too much. Well, there it is, as some would say ‘It is what it is’ but no, it is not . When a Canadian PM wants the word ‘mankind’ banned, we really have to wake up!

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Students and drugs, a nasty alliance...

You just won’t think that sensible young people who are at university can believe that taking drugs is good for you. It can make you dance all night. Indeed it can, you can dance all night to your grave. It is beyond belief that humans, with the brain capacity they have, have this self-destruct button. An article in a national newspaper said, probably in response to the drug deaths in the north-east, that there is a celebrity cult taking drugs like cocaine believing they actually ‘help’ society. Taking coke that is from ‘sustainable sources’. Anyone who takes drugs and I don’t care who they are, have a nut loose in their brains. If you take drugs you are an absolute nutter and don’t deserve to go to university, or perform music or occupy a position in public service. Taking drugs means you are an airhead and cannot be trusted , even with granny’s crockery.

I have heard all the usual stuff, alcohol and tobacco are drugs as well. They sure are and can be just as devastating. Ask an alcoholic or someone who just cannot break the smoking habit? Yes, I have the occasional beer, I can’t stand wine, gives me a headache. Smoke? No, I don’t. It is quite simple, drugs just ruin lives.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Policy making on the hoof? Of course, they're the best...

 What is bl**dy wrong with the world today? You may ask. Politicians. Even Bojo, Boris Johnson our PM has succumbed to making policy on the hoof. Whilst taking a bath he thought ‘Wouldn’t it be good to have a wind turbine in this water? I’m the only one in here, plenty of room. I know, let’s build them all around the coast. That’ll do it’! Boris, once a blustering and inspiring chap seems to now have found the ‘dictator’ syndrome. Yes, we do need more ‘green’ energy, we need more of good, sound policy making though! Look at the ‘science’, wind turbines do not make a heck of a lot of energy. Find out what the national daily demand in kilowatts is and equate that with the average daily generated power from each turbine. I won’t bore you with maths here but apparently to generate what Boris proposed (or thought of in his bath) 30-40 gigawatts you would need to plaster the coastal waters with thousands more wind turbines. Would they supply the nation’s needs? Are you joking? They only would, if they flew hard all 24/7,  still only supply at the most 10-15%! Not a very good policy then, is it Bojo? Please get into the bath quick and think up another policy. I know a few I had in the bath last night. If you’re interested make me Home Secretary and I will tell you how to solve the immigrants’ crisis. It will involve invading France but hey we are leaving the EU anyway? We have the best Navy and the best soldiers haven’t we? Well, I listened to the Defence Secretary who said something about being the best in the world. OK then, let’s go!

Friday, 2 October 2020

Do I feel guilty? Hmmm...


Having been born in the Netherlands I have been asked whether I am sorry about its past. I think the enquirer was referring to its slavery past. Yes, Holland as well as Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium were all engaged in this terrible trade and activity.

But let’s get one thing straight, I cannot change the past and nor can anyone else today. So, personally I do not feel guilty in any way or shape. I make no apology, for those times were different. In fact, especially in the UK there are castles, big mansions and estates that are entirely built from proceeds of slavery, one way or another. The wealth of some of our and other European families, even today, is attributable to slavery. But you cannot blame the present for the errors and mistakes of the past. BLM the acronym states Black Lives Matter, try to destroy everything possible that in one way or another was linked to slavery. Well, in that case please start dismantling the National Trust. Have a revolution in some European countries and throw out the royals and aristocrats. Frankly the whole thing is ludicrous. I am pretty sure that bending a knee or so is interesting but pretty useless. All across the world people are starting to take up positions of ‘This is us, anyone else is not us’. A dangerous state of affairs. It brings up the idea that some are better than others and can be dismissed as of no account. Precisely what slavery was about. The past is history. We learn from history, it is no good denying it ever happened or blaming humanity today for the wrongs of the past. We do not need to dismiss the Empire, it happened. The Empire is no more, we should adapt and ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past!

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Extinction event, again?


It is rather strange that everyone I talk to (corona virus rules abided by) says the national lock-down benefitted nature, birds have been singing quieter as there were very few cars on the road, no planes in the sky except for some cargo ones and cleaner air. But now everyone is talking about getting back to ‘normal’! Whatever normal really means. I take it to be taking the car for shopping even to the shop a few metres away, to take Spanish holidays for a drink or twenty on the beach and a fumble if you can remember what your equipment is for, just for a start. There is a saying in the Dutch language ‘Na mij de zondvloed’. Freely translated ‘After me, the deluge’. But what is the meaning? Simply this ‘Do whatever I want, devil may care’. It is attributed to Madame de Pompadour, the lover of King Louis XV of France.

The meaning is quite clear, I am OK, you can worry about it when I’m gone. I do what I want to do, thank you and goodbye. Or words to that effect.

This ‘devil-may-care’ attitude was shown beautifully on a window placard ‘We need help, we need beer’ shown on a university campus (BBC News report). You may wonder about the standard of today’s students. You might now begin to believe that the human race is pretty well doomed. I am not joking, just observing the trends. Watching an excellent programme on Freesat Channel 175 (Smithsonian) about the extinctions that have occurred on the planet and the reasons for these happening you would have picked up that carbon-dioxide and sulphuric acid rain were the main culprits. The Permian one (250+ million years ago) was possibly caused by enormous volcanic activity in Siberia. The Cretaceous one that killed off the dinosaurs around 66 million years ago had similar results but was caused by an enormous asteroid impact in today’s Mexico. The programme finished by stating that the rise today in the levels of carbon-dioxide due to human activity is beginning to look like another extinction event. 

The problem with the gas is that it ‘binds’ oxygen which then becomes unusable for breathing. As a result CO2 is poisonous to human beings. However it is needed by plant growth, trees and such. Another rising gas level is that of nitrous oxide. The internal combustion engines and jet engines produce this gas, it now makes up some 8% of greenhouse gas emission. Compared with 86% for CO2 is seems tiny but overall it makes a severe impact. Methane as well, produced by cattle and rotting vegetation brings some 10% to the greenhouse gas emissions. Not a pretty picture then and surely it is most important to start looking at ways to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases coupled with how we can and should work with nature to bring a proper balance that will benefit all life. Rather than thinking it will be for others to do, just bring me beer!

Saturday, 26 September 2020

A nice new app to check for a virus?

 What does anyone think about the NHS’ attempt to trace people that have been in contact or the neighbourhood with Covid-19? This is the much hyped app now promoted heavily in newspapers and about everywhere else. Sounds good? In principle – yes. Anything that helps combating a virus must be good. But as with so many other things to the good side there is a possible bad side. The app apparently works with Bluetooth. I don’t want to be the bad guy here but Bluetooth is NOT a particularly safe bit of technology. It basically works with a signal that can be picked up with comparable equipment like other mobile phones. I use Bluetooth to enable my mobile to work with an electronic church organ playing hymns from a list stored on the phone. It works great. Afterwards I switch off Bluetooth as the signal could be picked up by other phones. Just like this Covid app works. Because for the Covid app to be effective the Bluetooth signal has to be on at all times. Anyone with the right scanning equipment can then interfere with the phone. Now this will all be denied, no, it will not do this or that and so on and on but the facts are that Bluetooth works with a signal that is detectable. That’s how it works and that is how this app will have to work. So, will I use this app? Please guess?

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

More Whitty doom, die,die,die!

Blimey Dr Doom (aka Prof Whitty) and a sidekick Sir Patrick were at it again last night. We are all going to die, die, die. Covid will get us all, 50,000 infections a day. The world will explode. Fish too will get it. Don’t get stung by a wasp people, you will get the virus and turn into a queen bee.

It is about time we are having to really look at this. First of all get rid of these advisers. I have said before, advisers to government, in fact all advisers, only have one track, their own. If Dr Doom gets out of bed on the wrong foot, we are all going to die, die, die! By the look on his face he might be already dead. He's not a zombie, is he? 

I have to say there are other programs I have seen that sound a more realistic note. Something of the order of that the virus is here to stay for the long run. That there is really no point in locking down everything because yes, it will slow the transmission but the virus is just still around. Like flu it will adapt, it will mutate. So, the answer is multi-varied. First of all, it is just to take care. Don’t meet people at the drop of a hat. Keep some distance. Wash your hands often. Use a handkerchief or preferable, use tissues. Dispose of properly. Personal hygiene is pretty important, even in more normal times. Then if you want to go out to a pub don’t all huddle together like a herd of buffalo. Keep some distance, sit down if at all possible. Same for restaurants. The thing is that one way or another we have to acquire resistance, herd immunity is impossible as the virus will change like flu. So, development of a vaccine will need to be done, perhaps every year. 

All in all, we will have to learn to live with this virus, and possibly others in the future. But what will not help is to lock-down everything as soon as the infection rate goes up, and it will go up, it is inevitable. So, government people get your thinking caps on and get something done that makes sense. Stop listening to doomsday advisers and get some sound strategy going.Most of all take this opportunity to have a good look at how society needs to change because as said this disease is not going anytime soon and possibly more to come in the future. It seems we are leaving ourselves open because of lifestyles, the way we use the planet. This is a good time to look at it and make some plans. Perhaps someone like Boris might ask Dr Doom to begin to think!

Edit 27/9/2020

In one of my more lucid moments and in hindsight I must give some, if not a lot, of credit to Dr Doom (Dr Whitty). Why? Because basically I have been on the same track! He is talking about the impact of the corona virus on behalf of a government that has no clue what needs to be done and me talking about the impact of human beings on the planet. Funny though it may be, these are intertwined really. OK, so the good Doctor does not really get on with the good looks but at least he needs listening to. Because as he indicates (if you are listening properly) if we do not abide by simple rules the punishment is a possible swipe from the virus. In other words we might be ill or worse, die.

So I think I should put the record straight because he is right.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Whitty(less) comparisons...


There is a lot of talk about Sweden and their approach to the Covid calamity. As a matter of fact over there they seem to have just said 'Covid? What Covid'. Well, that might be a bit flippant but yes, they have taken a softly, softly approach. But it is all very well to compare ourselves with Sweden and with their approach to lockdown.

Their population numbers just below 11 million! With our 66 million strong pretty overcrowded nation we stand a far greater chance to spread a virus, any virus, far more quickly than ice-cold Sweden would. Besides the country is mostly trees. From that 11 million most live in the southern part, the rest is virtually empty. So, it makes one think whether we are on the right track with these comparisons and scare tactics of the likes of prof. Whitty. If this virus is not going to go away, in fact like flu will stay as an unwelcome guest forever, we should get working fast and produce the vaccines needed. Never mind the political messages about which country has the only working one, let's do it properly.

Friday, 18 September 2020

How can we stop the clock?

It is quite remarkable but that most people still have not gathered that life as we knew it has basically finished. To me it seems that a line has been crossed. That is to say, humans have outlived their welcome. Sounds a bit on the dark side isn’t it? But just look around at what is happening. Our nest fouling continues unabated, despite some minor alterations like producing more natural electrical power and reducing plastic bags for use in the weekly shopping, plastic is still the scourge of our seas and oceans.

Our western lifestyles also, thousands of people huddled together in poorly maintained cities, working 24/7 and we are amazed that a simple disease like Covid has had such an impact?

Humans have had and still are making such an impact on the natural environment no other animal ever did or even managed to get close to. Looking at populations generally it shows that when a certain number has been reached the available food gets less and that will weaken the population of the animal resulting in disease and collapse of the genus. This might not yet be the standard at which humans have arrived but we certainly are close to it.

It is somewhat laughable to read and see the contortions of us trying to get back to what we term ‘normal’. Normal life that is to say, driving billions of cars belching out the very gases that in the end will kill us all. Flying to far flung lands just to sit on a bit of sand, drinking enough alcohol to forget why we are there in the first place but not forgetting our basest instincts. Even to the point it is performed in public. Sun, sand, sea and sex but not necessarily in that order. Building over ever more arable land to house those that are escaping the sun baked waste lands to the south.

Indeed, life has changed. The clock has reached 5 seconds before midnight. The question is can we stop the clock?

Edited: same day

And now to make matters more interesting we are on a lockdown – again. It seems there are still people who do not care a sh*t. Having a nice time when others cannot even get out of the house. Why is the government trying so hard to please everyone? You cannot, it can never work, you cannot please everyone. If you want to get rid of this crummy virus and that seems impossible then we will have to get used to much more stringent measures. Watch this!

Edited:  20/9/20

The TV report programme 'Countryfile' had an interesting bit about diseases. Moreover diseases that could jump over from animals to humans. Not mentioned in a medical way but as part of the reduction of testing centres in the UK. Diseases like BSE, Bovid TB and others like Covid, swine flu etc that also can target humans are becoming more prevalent. BSE has again reared its ugly head in Scotland and presumably in other places as well. The facts are simple as I have mentioned before, if you give a disease the opportunity to spread and resistance is low or worse the disease itself has become immune to antibiotics or such then we will be in the front of the firing line. As Covid-19 has shown.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Is the BBC wasting your licence money? No, really?


According to the daily newspaper(s) the BBC has re-instated the licence fee for the over-75’s and today it was revealed how much the ‘stars’ receive in salaries. It is quite astounding to learn they have had increases in many cases. So, let’s get a bit real here. Take Zoe Ball. Who is she? A lady with a mouth. Not particularly a classic beauty but OK. She now will earn nearly 1million pounds net. But for what? For being a mediocre Radio 2 host/DJ. Good Lord no wonder the over-75’s have to pay up. On top of all that it is not a particularly good Radio show either. Then we have Graham Norton, not a bad sort of guy, he thinks he is a bit of a comedian mind but there you go, earns also close to a million. There are more just read today’s Sun newspaper. Frankly I despair, working out the wage bill of the BBC which is nearly impossible but I think it has to be close to a billion! Gary Lineker, you would not believe this, earns close to £2million! Yes, for an hour once a week! That’s about £39,000 per hour. I am sure he makes the taxman pretty happy. But this is ludicrous? That sort of stuff he talks you can hear in my local pub for free! Get real BBC and re-instate the free licences for the over-75’s pronto! And have a look at your pay centre BBC, there must be something wrong with your computers.

Is our youth concerned? Hmmm...

It is funny really when you read the UK newspapers. Most have a responsible political view but some seem to be more concerned with how well one performs in bed. Or have an excessive view on the young people. In the Sun newspaper you get the idea that the youngsters are only interested in getting drunk as quick as possible or are dance mad. Well, yes I like a party too but that tends to be sitting on a sofa, talking about the latest Covid spike whilst holding a glass of lukewarm lager. I can’t stand ale believing it to be akin to liquid emanations from horses. Even so there are some pressing world problems that need solving quickly, very quickly. One of them is the human pressures on nature, wildlife in particular. You don’t have to be a beer-bellied pub crawler with a brain the size of an ant to know that wildlife in the UKand the world is under severe pressure due to housebuilding, traffic and general human interferences. There are plenty reports to show what’s going on but does the general population, in particular our young people, care? I’m not so sure. Most of us are just about concerned with the weekly groceries and how to get to work in the car as quickly as possible. It is simple people, there are too many humans. There are people who believe all this is the result of the Chinese being guilty of trying to curtail the number of humans on the planet. There was no accident, this Covid is all just engineered and ‘accidentally’ released. Oei, oh dear that might put the cat amongst the pigeons. Just wondering what good ‘ol American pres thinks about it. Whatever, but the problem is still around. Just in the UK there are over 66million people, you can work out how that equates with the number of persons per square mile. You’ll be astounded. Bearing in mind also that humans do not really live equally over the land. Therefore there are areas grossly over-populated and others are just hosting sheep. We need to re-think our raison-de-être, and that pretty quickly. So, less getting plastered young people and start thinking about how you want to live with nature uppermost in mind. The world, come what may, will be yours in twenty years time. You might hopefully make a better job of it than the 'oldies' of today have done.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

How to multiply? Make your mind up...

From an educational point of view I have wondered many times why so-called ‘experts’ keep changing either the curriculum or ways of working. For instance in my time multiplications were simple, you put the multiplicand up top and the multiplier below. Like this: 1234x64. Simple? 
Of course it is. Working from right to left, take 4x4=16, put the 6 under the last column and remember the 1 to carried over. Next multiply 4 by 3=12, put the 2 to the left of the 6 but there was a carry so 2 becomes 3. Next, multiply 4 by 2=8, put the 9 left of the 3, (don’t forget there was a carry (1)). Next multiply 4 by 1=4. Put the 4 to the left of the 9. So now the first row shows 4936. Do the same for the next row, but before that as you are working in the order of tens (10) you have to put a zero under the 6 first of all. Then 6x4=24 put the 4 under the 3 and carry 2. Now 6x3=18 plus the carry is 20 put the zero under the 9 and carry is again 2. Now 6x2=12 plus carry of 2=14 put the 4 under the 4 and carry is 1. Lastly 6x1=6 plus carry=7. Put the 7. 
So the answer is after adding up: 4,936+74,040=  78,976.

 Obviously you will have to know your tables. Fortunately some schools still teach them. Try it. 
But now there is a wonderful method called Napier. Multiplying a two-digit number with another two-digit number would require a 2 by 2 by grid if you wanted to multiply 26 x 15 or a 3 by 2 grid if you wanted to use 658 x 46. 
So a 2x2 grid is simply 4 boxes - 2 under another 2. The second step is to draw a diagonal in each box from top-right to bottom-left. The diagonal line separates the tens and the units. Always write the tens above the diagonal line in each box. Now by multiplying 26x15 you would start with the tens values so 2x1, you would put a zero in the top left box upper diagonal and a 2 in the same box bottom diagonal. You have to put a zero because there are no tens values to carry by multiplying 2x1. Now multiply 6x1 to fill the right top box. That would be 6 so a 0 in the top right box upper diagonal ( no tens value) and a 6 in the bottom diagonal. Now do the same way to fill the bottom boxes. That would be 2x5 and 6x5. After you have completed the grid, add the columns along the diagonals, starting at the bottom-right diagonal. You might have to carry over a value if over ten, from one diagonal to the next. So you start with 0 then 0+3+6 =9 and lastly 1+2+0=3, and the last diagonal is a zero, so can be dismissed. Therefore the answer is 390. Interesting method but in my opinion slow and easy to make mistakes if you get the sequence wrong. But to be fair it works. For me multiplication is knowing your tables. Not forgetting 'carries' and working from right to left as shown in the first example.