Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
On a day when we all wanted to be outside doing nothing, they were all outside doing nothing.
No stress, no worries, all the food you can eat.
And no need to worry about pensions or life insurance either.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
LONDON (Reuters) - Internet shoppers in search of the exotic have sparked a booming trade that is threatening the existence of many endangered species, a report on Tuesday said.
"Trade in wildlife is driven by consumer demand, so when the buying stops, the killing will too," said IFAW UK director Phyllis Campbell-McRae. "Buying wildlife online is as damaging as killing it yourself."
Well, I think not. Killing it yourself is actually much better, as at least then you are directly benefiting the (poor, 3rd world) country of origin through your tourist dollars. You also aren't using up the vast volumes of wasteful packaging and bubble-wrap that accompany most ebay'ed items through the post. You are even getting rid of potentially human-life-threatening ammunition without killing anyone (human). All in all its a much more environmentally better deal to shoot endangered species yourself.
The report "Caught in the web - wildlife trade on the Internet" found, in just one week, 146 live primates, 5,527 elephant products, 526 turtle and tortoiseshells, 2,630 reptile products and 239 wild cat products for sale.
Same as the Zoo really - no-one is interested in the gazelles and wild horsey things, it's all about the elephants, monkeys and big cats. Must be depressing being a gazelle. No-one even wants you dead. Maybe zoos could start selling bits of dead animals on ebay as a form of market research into what people really want to see, and then could maange their animal populations accordingly - a bit like the US idea to bet on terrorist attacks as a means of prediction
Apart from the two-year-old giraffe for sale on a U.S. site for $15,000, there was also a seven-year-old gorilla living in London in need of a new home "due to relocation of owner" offered for sale on a British site for 4,500 pounds.
This is just funny already.
Baby chimpanzees were offered at between $60,000 and $65,000 in the United States, ...
Please Insert your own George Bush joke here...
...while in Wales a pair of breeding cotton-head tamarins were going for 1,900 pounds
Please insert your own "makes a change from sheep" joke here..
Seahorse skeletons were among the more exotic items on offer, along with an elephant-foot ashtray, ivory sculptures, Tibetan antelope hair shawls known as shahtoosh, wild cat products, snakeskin jackets and crocodile skin boots.
Looks like Michael Jackson is doing some more redecorating
Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service has said that the meager penalties and generally low priority attached to wildlife crime are scant deterrents to organised crime.
Very astute. Low penalties, no enforcement encourages crime. Nice to know Plod's on the ball with the analysis if not the enforcement.
Friday, August 12, 2005
This also means - as a contrast - anything "really difficult" IS "Rocket Science". Like what the nice peolpe at NASA do. Which makes them offically "Rocket Scientists"
Oh - NASA. Thats the same people who saw the last space shuttle burn up on re-entry 3 years ago isn't it, and then held a major inquiry into the causes?
And found that it was all down to a problem with the heat resistant tiles on the underside of the shuttle falling off?
And isn't that the same problem that happened again this time ?
And when it did, they had no plans, and no equipment on board to repair these same tiles - and they had to send a guy out with a pair of nail clippers to try and do a bit of basic DIY and fix it ?
"Rocket Scientists?" Give me a break....
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Peter had moved to Norway precisely because of its reputation as an open, liberal and tolerant society. He was therefore more than a little disappointed to find that in the road he lived, walking, playing football, driving a car, owning a house - in fact pretty much everything - was against the law.
Monday, August 08, 2005
An article on ex New Labour advisor Peter Hymans from The Guardian Saturday magazine, 27 Feb 2005. Click to see the article at full size.
In my world, having parents who were "a succesful publisher" and "a clinical psychologist" and send you to a fee paying school does not a middle class upbringing make...it makes you as POSH as you like - in fact, probably only a couple of generations of inbreeding away from being a bona-fide member of the Royal family.
Get a grip!!
And here it is:
Global Warming is a conspiracy cooked up by the Norwegians and the Dutch.
Their Motives - Oil & Money
Both need to keep the oil flowing....
Norway - Only Saudi Arabia and Russia export more oil. Norways GDP is 35% funded by offshore oil. Of the rest of the economy, Fishing is highly important too. (Write this down, it will become important later..)
Holland - Shell, or as it used to be known, Royal Dutch Shell. They are clearly trying to hide something... And there is also a chain of service stations in Ohio called "Holland Oil". And a range of "oil" paints called Old Holland . In fact, many of the Dutch Masters used to paint in Oils. Could it be any clearer ?
How They Will Benefit
Norway - as well as the money from oil, Norway is 324,220 sq km with only 4.5 million people - its lots of space, no people. Most of that land is currently unusable, because its either too damn cold, hidden under a glacier, of half way up a near vertical cliff.
When the seas rise and the glaciers melt, Norway loses hardly any land at all - its all cliffs at the coast! So the whole place suddenly becomes a real estate paradise - stunning landscapes, massive increase in usable land, a temperate paradise as everywhere else turns to desert or drowns - and surprise, surprise, its really expensive already! Imagine what process will be like when millions of people are desperate for safety from the rising waters..?
And remember the Fishing? In a world with less land and more sea, fishing suddenly sounds like a pretty clever thing to be good at, eh? And with lots more sea to hide in, and lots more things for environmentalists to worry about, they can get away with hunting whales as often and as much as they like!
Holland - as well as Shell, Holland is famous for, erm, drugs... And building dykes to keep the sea out. Nearly 50% of Holland already is protected from flooding by dykes ! Given the Dutch all speak about 10 languages perfectly, and are well known as a trading, traveling nation, you'd think that the better solution to "oh no, my house is underwater!" would be to move abroad ? But no, the Dutch have been researching dyke building and preventing floods since the 19th Century - which all of a sudden seems like a fairly saleable skill in tomorrows world...
Can this be co-incidence? Well, consider their neighbours - Belgium. Also in the Low Countries. Also they speak Dutch (well, some of them). Have they felt the need to build dykes and reclaim land like mad? No - they are experts in making waffles and eating chips with Mayonnaise. Arguably more fun, but a lot less likely to stop you from drowing in the 21st century..
Norway - All their houses are made of wood...So they will be able to just float them up the mountains as the waters rise!
Holland - The Dutch are already the worlds tallest people, and they are still growing. And its again not luck - its down to government action in deliberately providing nutritious free school meals and a high standard of healthcare. All so when it starts to get waist deep in water all over the world, your average Dutch guy is laughing all the way to the bank (of the dyke..).
The Dutch and Norwegians are in favor of global warming. They both make lots of money from selling oil, and they have both been planning for generations how best to take advantage of a world with rising sea levels.
Friday, August 05, 2005
The I-94 is familiar to travelers to the USA - it asks some brilliant questions such as "Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage, sabotage or in terrorist activities or genocide, or between 1939 and 45 were you involved in any way in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?"
Now, given we are over 60 years from the end of WW2, so most of these guys are probably long dead and buried. Also, very many governments, agencies and individuals have devoted a huge amount of effort to chasing down Nazi war criminals. So, all in all the chances of catching out a Evil Nazi mastermind by the trick of slipping a straight question half way down a customs entry form that needs filling in after a 8 hour flight (with a 6 hour time difference) from the Motherland is, lets face it, pretty damn unlikely.
However the space exists on the form, and there are newer, more serious threats and new, nastier, younger, fitter bad guys out there to try and catch.
Take for example, Faryadi Sarwar Zardad, who has recently been tried in the UK for "conspiring to kidnap and torture" whilst back in his homeland of Afghanistan before moving to Britain according to the BBC.
Lord Goldsmith (for the prosecution) told the court Mr Zardad, 41, was a war lord in charge of the Sarobi area outside the Afghan capital Kabul, at a time of much internal fighting.
"He wanted a fearsome reputation of being cruel and merciless at his military checkpoints, so that people passing through would obey them absolutely and give them money and goods"
Apparently his soldiers used "indiscriminate and unwarranted violence". "They would beat, wound and even shoot and kill civilians. They would detain and imprison them and hold them for ransom," and that a "human dog" was kept in a hole and set on passers-by to bite and attack them.
Mr Sarwar - also known as Zardad Khan - had moved to Britain in 1998 and was running a pizza restaurant in south London when he was arrested in July 2003.
Given the way Mr Sarwar slipped unnoticed into this country, and bearing in mind the exchange of intelligence, and close military ties and joint policy on Afghanistan currently being operated by the UK and the USA, maybe visitors to the USA can soon expect to see some of the more useless and obvious sections of the I-95 visa document replaced with:
"Have you ever been or are you now involved in the preparation of doughballs, garlic bread or side salads, or were you between 1997 and 2004 involved , in any way, in the activities of the following organizations - Domino's, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express or KFC?"
Thursday, August 04, 2005
This roadsign is seen all over Norway. Possible meanings are: