Thursday, 4 March 2021

Budget? What budget....

Budget. What budget? Oh yes, the national budget. A great pooha about nothing much really. I often wonder what people expect! I have said this before, who do you think will pay for Covid? Governments have no money of their own, people seem to think they do somehow. Governments spend only one thing, your money, our money! So, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer says he is having to raise 100 billion or more he or she has only two ways to do so. First of all raise income through taxation and secondly he or she can borrow the money. Borrowing is usually through government bonds or saving schemes. Called Gilts but I am not so sure whether today it is such a good investment for investors, banks etc. It is a safe way but safe usually means less interest. Anyway the country has amassed a debt now of over two trillion pounds. For the uninitiated that is £2,000,000,000,000! Pocket money of course but at 2% interest it costs the UK £60 billion a year to service that kind of debt. That is money which could have build a number of hospitals or re-structure Wales in its entirety! Instead it goes in the pockets of bank managers (usually all abroad) and big investors like pension funds. So, except for bank managers at least pension funds will pay for the retired people who were wise enough to have paid for a pension in later life. Money has a way to circle around. It never stays around long enough! So, friends take it from me, national budgets are important but in fact do little for the common man. Because in some way it’s you where the money is to come from.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Is David Attenborough right? Sure he is!

Well,well, well, a little bit of good news such as the UK’s vaccination programme doing extremely well and thousands flock to the travel agents to book a foreign holiday. So far so good? Well Europe is not free from Covid and their vaccination programme is woeful! So, I don’t want to be a grumpy so and so but I am afraid if you pay money for a holiday now you may lose it. Europe is ready to put bans on travel almost everywhere. I would just wait until the politicians finally get their act together, stop talking nonsense and deal with this pandemic properly.

As David Attenborough has indicated it is us humans who are killing the planet, nobody else. And for my thinking it is flying all over the place that is a big part in this killing process. Flying, driving, it all puts tonnes of CO2 into the air. Dirty industry another. And what is worse we really have the technology to do better, in fact we could ban the internal combustion engine today! Or at least we could ban the use of oil! Looking at how society is and has become, certainly in the western world, Europe, parts of Asia, the Americas, the Middle East I think Mr Attenborough is right, global warming, climate change in other words, is a threat to security. A threat to all our existence. The existence of life on this planet. Are we going down as the generation that killed the only life in the solar system? Even perhaps the only life in the galaxy? We do not know if there is other life, we have never heard of or seen it but even so we should really start thinking about our actions. And part of that is considering our appetites for foreign travel!

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Mars is ours or is it?

Despite the pandemic still going nicely the Perseverance spacecraft has landed on Mars. The planet Mars that is. Just to make that clear. It seems to me that humanity is standing in front of a gate. Two choices. Stay as we are or open the gate and go through. If we stay put then we shall have to cope with the usual things, un-equality, diseases, weather, climate change, rising sea levels, the lot. If we go though the gate, space exploration, new technologies, harnessing power systems that do not deplete. Perhaps the gate is a way of beginning a future that at the moment is pretty unclear. But it could mean he beginning of getting to grips with the solar system, galaxy and the universe. That is why Perseverance and its predecessors were and are important. Of course, there are many problems on Earth still to be solved. No denying that but through mastering technologies, existing and still to be discovered we might have a chance to properly manage humanity’s existence on the planet, if not ensuring its survival! It is quite exciting to see these clear pictures of an alien world and frankly these pictures show a warning. A warning that the solar system, the universe are hard places that do not take prisoners! Mars today is a dry, dusty world but by all accounts was not always so. Now it might be that natural processes occurring made Mars desiccated but as this was billions of years ago who knows it could have been a type of life that did things much as we are today on Earth. Fouling water, warming up the atmosphere, using all the resources that sustain life. Cutting down all the forests, poisoning the oceans. Of course this is just me thinking, no-one knows for real whether that is or even can be true but without proof.....we might know at a later time. But we should heed the warning signals and know that existence is frail, balances need to be maintained. Everything we know has a beginning and an end. Hence so has our existence, the solar system, the galaxy. We are not certain how the universe works, finite or infinite. But let’s try to find out!

Monday, 15 February 2021

One Universe, two, three, thousands? Uncountable? Precisely!

As an avid reader of Quora both English and Dutch I noted the discussion concerning whether the Universe was finite or infinite. Interesting? Yes, it damn well is! Obviously there will be some who say ‘Why bother with this, there are enough problems on this planet as it is’!

That is undeniably true but I do think that it is good to figure our place within the scheme of things. And no friends, I am not going to talk about God although I am a Christian and go to Church as permitted by Covid-19 or not. No, it is important because it will give us a much better idea how the world came to be an more so how it might become. Again, at the moment we do not treat our world very well either so it might be prudent to figure out our standing within the Universe or more specifically our solar system. Most people observe the starry heavens and think no further, what they see is all there is. No friends, it is not. What you see is the ‘Observable Universe’. As a picture put on a previous post shows, it is globular and we are right in the centre of it. Why is that? Because from our viewpoint we see all around to the exact distance our eyes or their aids like telescopes, will allow. However, there is much more ‘outside’ of that . The Quora question says this: Einstein’s theories say that our universe is a manifold which is just a fancy word for a shape with certain mathematical properties. This theory admits that our universe could be just one part of a much larger cosmos, a bubble in a much larger cauldron so to speak. This is mathematically possible while there is no evidence for it. We cannot see into that outer cosmos by any known method. That outer cosmos would be outside of what is called the observable universe and thus not observable to us. Great! And this comes to what I think about as well. We are in a universe amongst many and possibly infinite universes. Each contained within its ‘bubble’. It might just be that on another plane we are a ‘Quark’. With two other Quark universes close by. It begins to sound like on another plane the whole thing about us is that we live in just an atomic particle of a much bigger set-up. I am tired now I need a stiff drink and go to sleep. Doesn't it just put us to rights? Cheers!

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Save the planet? But how if you want normal?

As I drink my morning coffee I cannot help but think how ill-informed and stupid people can be. I might not be the cleverest dog on the planet but some of those in power astound me.

So far so good but they show a complete misunderstanding of how a society actually exists. The problems that we are now having to face are these, firstly to combat Covid and possibly related diseases. Secondly, climate change. This has raised two problems, inclement weather patterns and getting worse, and rising sea-levels.

To claim, as we can read in all the newspapers, ‘we MUST get back to normal’, and not spell out what normal means, is practical suicide. Normal so far I think has brought us to the precipice staring us in the face. Unbridled capitalism, greed and avarice being humanity’s smiling face. OK, now we know but do we know what to do about it? Are we able to, can we re-design our living pattern? Will we be prepared for less? Because that is what it will mean. We will need to grow more of our own food, fruit and other things. We will have to put hard cash into research, robotics, demographics. It will mean curtailing immigration, followed by very high standards in education because we need scientists, engineers, the lot! We do need toilet cleaners, so let’s invent toilets that clean themselves. You see the argument? Insofar population is concerned we have overstepped what can really be supported. To say we need more immigrants doing the menial tasks is plain ridiculous whilst at the same time allowing nearly 2 million unemployed! So, yes we need to change. But more than anything we need people in power of the right calibre. We don’t need charlatans, or woofty speakers nor even sniffy dressed Eton marvels. By sniffy you know what I mean? Correct, drug addled hooray Henry's. Change it all, do the right thing and indeed, save the planet!

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Can you remember what you said two years ago? Yes, I can....if I see the film.

Who doesn’t just love to take the mick out of politicians? I do! I suppose to have a bit of fun about those people who think they know it all, who believe they are better than you, who actually believe what they say is the absolute truth, that's ok! Take Sir Starmer, yes him the previous spy boss (God help us!) supposedly a clever man but he couldn’t remember what he said a few years ago about some European Medicine outfit. PM Boris mentioned this and an outraged Sir Keir called him a liar. Hahaha yes, ain’t that funny, one politician calling another one a liar. That’s for the comics in the Apollo, London stage! But I suppose Sir is in a bit of trouble, he is leading a party that has lost its Raison d'être! It’s no longer representing us, the working man and woman. Yes, the working class and the Liberal party is nowhere to be seen either. So, we all went for patriotism and voted Conservative. Even though normally we don’t like Conservatism. I have a jaundiced eye, voted Conservative with two hands in my pocket, holding the pencil between clenched jaws. What’s more looking at today’s Labour party it was the right thing to do. It is led by London ultra-leftie liberals who know as much as a three toed sloth and move as fast. Let me say this Sir Keir, if you want my vote look at what excites me, what concerns me, how I exist in this country of high taxation, little opportunity and multiply that a million-fold. If you can change the society to a more egalitarian one, and reduce the government apparatus. Less nanny lawmaking and above all let’s see if you can manufacture a proper Constitution! Then I might change my vote. Over and out!

Ed Taking the 'mick' means poking fun. Slang expression.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Sunning Celebs, no, what the...?

Anyone thinking like me that we will have to throw the book and the wellies at those celebs who have flouted, yes FLOUTED, the Covid rules? There is not a day when you won’t see some photo of a Z-lister in the papers sunning themselves on some far-flung beach. Sure, they can afford it and I cannot but I am following the rules. I applied to have the money back I spent on tickets to Holland. I had it back minus costs. So, what’s the difference? Ah yes, I forgot, no sun in Holland and no chance to parade my glorious body on the beach by the North Sea. Well, does it sound like I’m the jealous type? In one way yes, and in another, no!

So, listen Rita, you were out of order in a big way, you are a lead, an example for many and failed miserably. So, take your two week ‘relaxation’ in Aussieland and start thinking about how to behave in a responsible manner. Frankly that goes for all celebs who think that Covid-19 does not concern them and that they can do whatever comes into their tiny brain.

It should by now be abundantly clear that wearing masks and keeping distance plus frequent hand-washing does make a big difference. So, celebs get your act together and show us all why we should look up to you!

Sunday, 31 January 2021

History? Does it exist? Hmmm..............

For once a bit of sensible news on BBC’s Ceefax service. Kwasi Kwarteng, the first coloured man to head a government department and why not, is reported as having said that BLM (Black Lives Matter) should not wish to change the history of the colonial period. Absolutely right, in any case you cannot change history but all could learn from it. To withdraw from learning about such periods of human history is absolute tosh and frankly does not do much for the standing of movements such as BLM. In fact I always look on such movements with a jaundiced eye. To wish to destroy statues has a negative impact, indeed so has the so-called ‘bend the knee’ before football matches. I am sorry if I am upsetting some readers but I ask ‘What is the purpose, what is the general outcome and has it changed the world?’ Answer-not known, nothing and no. So, Kwasi is absolutely correct in that banning or ignoring history is not the way forward.

I am of the same opinion about those who state quite openly that the Holocaust never happened. That is despite the overwhelming evidence it had and did! There are even people who believe there is no corona virus, Covid-19 is a fallacy and it is a way of governments exerting total control over people. Do I hear some of Trumpian ideas here? There are however very interesting beliefs going round and I wonder sometimes who dreams these up? Don’t get me started, I have plenty of new fresh ideas.

Thursday, 28 January 2021

How many dead did you say?

As is pretty usual in this country, it seems now that the Covid rules are strengthening, no-one can get out and all who want to get in must pay £1,500 for a nice hotel at the seaside when an Atlantic storm is expected. This is the UK. But despite the row with the EU about AstraZeneca’s supply of the vaccine jabs not being enough and wants the British supply, things are going well! At least we are not yet looting all the shops like in the Netherlands whose people think they are the coolest in the world, we are just sitting at home drinking Yorkshire tea and dreaming of sun drenched alcoholic holidays on some Spanish beach. All you hear on radio GaGa (sorry, BBC) is that 100,000 people have died here. Next question, why? Because we are an 'overweight, elderly, sick country people', said a politico to Piers Morgan on one of the morning’s news programs. Just looking at the statistics, they may have a point. As I have mentioned before in other posts as well, we are a heavily overpopulated country, 68 million and even worse mostly urbanised. Meaning too many of us live in cities. Is it any wonder then that we have the most deaths from Covid? You only have to look how it is transmitted. Yes, people, it goes from person to person that are in close contact! That do not wear masks and don’t wash their hands. Probably 50% of the UK’s population. So, let’s stop blaming the government, God, Jesus, and the neighbour’s cat. Blame each and everyone of us living in good ol’ Blighty. Those who have flouted the simple instructions to stay home. Those who flocked to the seaside for a walk they never did before, those celebrities who flaunt their status, ‘Hey, look how I work on a beach in St Tropez’. Those politicians who walked away mouthing all the right things and then did exactly the opposite. Yes, all those! That is why there are 100,000 deaths and more to come. It is really a terrible statistic, our inability to control our appetites, our attitude of ‘It’s my right’, our failure to control our lives within nature. But I believe, we are now seeing the price exacted.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Forests? I cannot see the wood for the trees...

Mostly you just read regurgitated rubbish or late news on the BBC Ceefax (Red Button) system. They don’t refresh much but sometimes there are newsworthy items and this morning I read one! It was about how important forests are to Earth. Well, I wonder how that bit of news came about, I have known this for years. But tell this to the likes of the US and the Brazilian presidents? Frankly it is too late by far, the damage that has already been done is not going to be reversed by planting a few more spruce trees in Scotland or one tree in my garden. It will take a massive effort to ‘repair’ the biosphere. For a start there will have to be a ban on any further clearing of the Amazon rain forest and the forests in Mid-Africa. Also the taiga needs looking at because as the permafrost is thawing the indigenous trees are dying. New types need planting. As the short report on BBC Ceefax said, we need to plant the right trees in the right areas. To put palms in Siberia might be a good idea but there will be no coconuts! The bare hills of Wales will need a make-over and forget the Norwegian Christmas trees, we need native broadleaf trees, birch, beech and above all OAKS! So, perhaps if the power people have got out of bed with the right foot first, maybe then we can start the project of properly ‘saving the planet’. For I am sorry to have to say this but the power people i.e politicians and moneyed supergiants, have let the human race down badly! All in the name of money, money, money. Yes, it’s not funny! But I can say this that although these people will have billions in their accounts, in the end like Dagobert Duck swimming in it, there will be nothing left to spend it on. I hope the taste of gold will be as nutritious as the coconuts that came out of Siberia. Not!

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Building a computer...difficult? Not really...

Wow, and because I am marooned at home, oh it's not so bad, the little lady supplies me with enough coffee to fill the river Severn (Môr Hafrn in Welsh) and I started to build my own powerful desktop computer. That is to say it is really assembling because you buy all the constituent parts ready and all you have to do is assemble them in the RIGHT ORDER! Something I forgot and moreover you have to make sure all the parts can fit together and are of the type required. There are so many things that can go wrong, anyway I carried on. I purchased a desktop box, a nice  Corsair Airflow 275R which can show some interesting light effects if you want that. But I don't need that. All the other parts as well, graphics card, processor (AMD Ryzen5), motherboard (mobo), power supply (PSU) and some small bits and bobs like memory (RAM). The actual assembly only took 4 hours because I could not figure out where all the cables had to go. Mainly as the PSU had a few connecting links at the side which I had not noticed. So I did not see how the two 1Tb HDD drives would fit and be attached. I have to say that the websites are plentyful but full of half-soaked information. Most of them are pretty useless for beginners. Now I am not a beginner, in the end I found out for myself. One of the main problems is the lamentable accompanying documentation. Why do the manufacturers not engage proper English speaking authors? Don't answer that, I don't want to upset my Chinese and Japanese friends. Anyway I am typing this now on my new system. Hurray!

Ed 26/1/2021

The new Linux Mint works like a dream.  I have to say why would anyone use Windows? But yeah, it is a choice one has to make. I have used Linux for years now and never had anything bad to say. Of course you get problems, mostly due to mistakes by oneself but with use of the various forums easy to overcome. 

This time, to change the subject, I have used a graphics card. Not particularly because I wanted to but because I needed to. When buying a processor check whether these are configured for graphics! The Ryzen5 I purchased did not have graphic capabilities, not the level I require. But as my family likes to play very involved games like OAD and Minecraft a graphics card would be handy in any case. So, a cheaper version of a very good processor and a £100 P400 Nvidia card. Job done. The other thing I like to say is this, if you do build your own, use at least 500Gb SSD as the main memory. Yes, you need to get a mobo that will fit the small cards but the computer will be a lot faster loading software. You can always also install the SATA drives as secondaries. I have done so and it really works like a dream. The system recognised them immediately. And for RAM if you want to play games at least 16Gb, I purchased 2-16Gb Kingston strips which will kill almost anything now. Lastly, security. Yep, not to be forgotten. Linux is already pretty secure, there are practically no virus concerns. Unless you use dual booting eg Windows and Linux side by side, then I would use the usual virus checking software for Windows. Linux has an excellent Firewall (ufw) which can be tweaked to make an almost unbreakable system. Of course there is no such thing as 100% safe. But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so try it for yourselves. In the end I am one of those who can be called paranoid. So, use a VPN. It is good thinking anytime! Pay for one as the free ones are OK but record your data to sell. I use PIA, only about £80 annually. So, there it is, a nice desktop and as safe as can be unless I am stupid and start clicking on everything I see. Most of the danger is - guess? Yes, ourselves!

Sunday, 17 January 2021

I could be bored this time....

With this interminable lock-down scenario we're all experiencing we have lots of time to start thinking. And that started me off thinking about time! It might be because I am bored? Obviously and as far as I see it time is part of life, I had a beginning and I will have an end, all positioned along a nice time line. Years go by, second by second but that is human time, the way we experience it. It is different for an ant. Different for a whale. If the solar system was a thinking being how would it experience time? It moves so much faster within time and then the galaxy, galaxy systems and for us finally, our universe because there could be many more (the multiverse idea). How would a thinking universe view time? Would it have a thought process wherein one thought would take millions of our years? But for it, its thoughts would take as long as ours here.

In other words, that existence is on a whole new plane, and at a much slower pace. If it knew us we would be less than ants to it, short fleeting existence over before it even has begun. It puts our existence in a whole new light if you start thinking like that. It also shows that as we are capable of such thought and formulation of ideas we are worth preserving and not ending up like the dinosaurs. For all I know the universe has started in a flash and at that level ends just as quickly but in the meantime, we exist. Simply because we are only aware of our own niche. Our experience of time is different from the universe' experience of time. Just ask the ant in your garden what it thinks? It will probably tell you, you are a giant who seems to live for ever!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

What is important?

As the Covid virus rampages around the planet I started wondering if it was really all that important in the greater scheme of existence. Obviously it is important at our level of existence, for who wants to die needlessly? But in the greater scheme of things, the Universe is absolutely humungous, in fact there are no words to describe the magnitude of it all. At that level planet Earth and all that is on it means zilch, nada, nothing at all. Our solar system is less than a virus particle within the known cluster of galaxies that comprise our neighbourhood. Even within our own galaxy we do not count for much at all. Even within our solar system we are but a pinprick on its fabric. As humans we might have to rethink our raison-de-être, our so-called importance and re-align our behaviours and attitude. Looking at the various websites showing research carried out and with the resultant pictures from the Hubble Space telescope will quickly dispel any thoughts of how big we are here. The picture here is the idea of the observable Universe. It is globular because from Earth we see all around to the same distance. In other words we are the centre of our observable Universe. But it is thought that there is much more. Google it on the web and you will be astounded how big it all is!


Sunday, 10 January 2021

Don't let democracy die!

 Many times we have looked at how politicians act, behave, what they say. We have been critical.  We have been aghast, and we have been pleased. All at the same time. It is a strange world after all. I have said in a previous post that democracy seems to have had its time. Bearing in mind, recalling what happened in Washington, the behaviour of one of the most powerful men on Earth, you would agree with me that democracy if not dead, is dying. As was pointed out by Ian Austin - ex Labour MP (in the Sun Sunday editorial) could what happened in Washington happen here? His answer - Yes, it could easily. It could if we continue to appease the hard Leftie mob. We appease almost everything and everybody nowadays. Jew haters have a field day, and why they do so only God knows. There is no rationale for it at all. There are shocking attacks on many Labour and Conservative MPs who dare to voice their concern. John O'Connell openly incited violence as did Jeremy Corbyn. Too many fall inline with extremist views for fear of losing their job. It is time to weed all this out. Now that this behaviour has really shown its ugly face it is time for all of us who believe in democracy and free speech but with a responsible attitude and behaviour, to stand up and for once be counted!

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

A New Year's wish and view..

 First of all, let me say happy New Year to all my readers! I'm sure it will be a good year because the medics have developed a pretty good vaccine now for the Covid virus and let's hope this will help in bringing back some normality to life. But blimey, I am so not impressed with people's attitude, generally speaking as recently displayed in Wales. As you might know we are in a Tier 4 lock-down presently. Yes, not a nice state to be in but we must do something to alleviate the problems that have come our way, thanks to the Covid-19 virus inclusive its off-shoots. We should not make a mistake thinking it will all blow over, that it's not all that important. Still I wonder about the mind-set of people. The first talk about snow on the hills and thousands run to the hills to see a snowflake. Forgotten are the masks, enjoy the cold. Certainly, under normal circumstances, the hills of Wales will see a few walkers at this time of the year but not the parking calamity shown this time. How is it that simple advice from scientists, medical profession and government is not understood? I am not stupid, I understand that cities like London are a hotbed for the virus. The Tube alone will kill hundreds, the few smallish green spaces are not enough to exercise 9 million people. The housing is mostly pre-war, even Victorian! So, it is understandable people want to get out. But it is the price that has to be paid for living in cities. High living standards, yes but no resistance to diseases like Covid. So, let's take more care, get the vaccine and adjust to the new way of living together.