Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Citibank Branch in Delhi

I can't quite put my finger on why, but this is still just plain wrong. And in so many ways...

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Save The Planet" signs in Hotels

Everyone who travels for business or pleasure will be familiar with the gratingly insincere "we want to save the planet so please don't ask us to spend money on washing your towels every day" signs in hotel bathrooms.

However this one from a Las Vegas Hotel I found particularly crass.

Maybe someone should point out to them that the reason Nevada and the South West United States are experiencing extreme drought conditions is because the region where these hotels have been built is actually a f--king desert, and has been for the last several thousand years.

So to experience "extreme drought conditions" should hardly be a great surprise, should it...

BBC Reporter misses a trick

Listing the prospective candidates for the vacant England manager's job, the BBC reporters say this about Italian Marcello Lippi

Lippi masterminded Italy's World Cup win in 2006 and has been a towering presence in Italian club football with Juventus.

But unlike Capello, the 59-year-old says that the language barrier would be a problem.

He says: "I love the Premier League but I don't speak English.

"Considering the way I see and experience football this is a big handicap, because a coach above all guides players and my primary concern is the squad."

Sounds like his English is pretty good to me.....

Monday, October 29, 2007

British Culture

Yet again an international trip brings me a free newspaper, which bangs on about the tidal wave of immigrants flooding the country.

This time its the dilution of British cuture they are concerned about.

Yes, all those old fashioned values such as not being afraid of hard work, having respect for ones family, being a regular church goer, being polite, well spoken and using good grammar, and having a couple too many beers and then driving home - are all being exhibited by immigrants all over the UK right now in a way not seen in England since the halcyon days of the 1950's. In fact many towns and villages have all the appearance of an episode of "Heartbeat" with Slavic cheekbones and a large amount of freshly-plastered walls in every scene...

Good job the native Brits have adopted loutish, slovenley alcopop-fuelled, drunken swearword-laden ranting whilst sitting comatose in front of banal reality TV game shows so enthusiastically - or there's be no counterbalance to keep British Culture firmly where it belongs...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rising Obseity levels in Britain

Alongside Global Warming giving us all longer drier summers (and floods) and a tidal wave of hard-working, good looking contentious religious-observing East European immigrants, Britain is also "suffering" from a real problem - rising obesity.

However the general conclusion seems not to be that people are getting fatter because they are eating more (how crazy an idea is that????), but that our 20th Century Western lifestyle is fundamentally inimical to maintaining healthy fitness and body-weight levels. And for the health of the nation, things need to change and we all need to live a different lifestyle.

Or, put simply, people aren't working in fields or factories all day, so they need to go to the gym regularly instead.

Now, I'm a member of my local gym, and its very nice. Modern machines, lots of personal trainers on hand to advise, it has a nice bar and restaurant attached, lots of flat-screen TVs that you can watch whilst cycling or jogging on a treadmill. But looking around, it seems to be failing in its mission to help Britain not become a nation of fatties - because everyone in it looks to be slim, fit and healthy !

So, despite all the ingredients being there, something seems to be not working, as fat people aren't going to the gym. I've been giving it some thought, and as coercion and threats don't seem to work, a more customer-centric approach might be worth trying.

How about for starters, moving the bar and restaurant INSIDE the gym itself? Clearly fat people like food and drink, so making it a lot more convenient for them to get hold of whilst they are there would make spending time the gym more appealing.

And the exercise bikes and treadmills could be moved aside and replaced by the front seats of cars, as again obese people are more likely to take a car to the shops rather than cycle or walk - its all about making it more appealing to the fatties.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Immigration in the UK and its effect on schools

Two apparently contradictory facts:

1. Most of the immigrants to the UK are harder working, more contientous and more motivated by success than the indigenous population.

2. Standards in UK schools are slipping under the weight of a landslide of immigrants.

OK - so partly this could just be me reading the Guardian one day, and the Mail the next. But it does seem inconsistent that the type of people who would up sticks and relocate their entire family half way across Europe - or the world - and be prepared to work all the hours in the day, all for the chance of a better life would then sit idly by as their kids throw away this potential life-changing advantage by skiving off lessons and not doing their homework.

So, whats causing the decline in school standards?

Maybe its just that there are increasing numbers of children with foreign names that don't translate and simply sound so funny in English that today's teachers never actually get to the end of each reading of the register without the entire class dissolving into fits of hysterical sniggering and outright laughter?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

England vs Australia, Rugby World Cup

As someone who has absolutely no interest in rugby, I was surprised to even find out the England were playing Australia this weekend.

But disappointed to see that England won.

Don;t get me wrong, I usually support my national team in all sports.

However England losing at rugby* means loads of posh blokes who went to public schools all get very upset and disappointed, and so on balance I feel whenever England lose at rugby - especially to Australia - it is usually "A Good Thing".

(* Union)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Crap Weather in Britain

Tornadoes have caused widespread damage to homes and businesses across the UK as the country experiences a spate of freak weather.

They struck Hampshire, Bedfordshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

A tree came down near the Bucksford pub in Bucks Hill while in Trafford Drive, around 20 homes were damaged, a Warwickshire Police spokeswoman said.

Beryl Warburton, 79, a lollipop lady who lives on Trafford Drive, said the storm was "frightening" when it struck at about 6.15am.

She said: "Some of the houses have had their roofs taken off completely, some have lost parts of their roofs. One of them has got holes up there and water in their bedroom.

"One of my neighbours, their trampoline was blown over the garden fence and in to the council garages opposite."

I know its the job of news reporters to hype things up a little....

But frankly, it can;t have been all that bad if the best they could drag up was a 79 year old lollipop lady who was prepared to go on record as saying that it was "frightening".....?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Prevalence of Transsexuals in Society

According to research, as many as one in 100,000 women and one in 30,000 men believe themselves to have been born in a body with the wrong gender.

One in 30,000 strikes me as an astoundingly high number for men.

Just to give you an idea of what this ratio means, at every home game for Manchester United, statistically there are 2 men in the capacity crowd of 67,000 at Old Trafford who believe that they actually should have been born as a woman. At the next England home game, there will be 3 blokes who, deep down, think they really should be birds cheering on Wayne Rooney and the rest of the team.

Two or three isn't that many in absolute terms, but (I think you will agree) it's still more than you might expect.

However the upside is that as a Fulham fan I can be totally secure in my own gender. The capacity at Craven Cottage is only 23,000.

Growing Strawberries

Growing strawberries in your back garden is great.

Not only do you get a nice green-leaved ground cover plant with occasional white flowers throughout the summer, it also keeps all the snails in your garden in one handy place, protected from birds by netting.

The little "house-on-my" back bast-rds have eaten every single strawberry to grow this year. For something that is by definition "slow" they seem to be bloody quick at spotting when strawberries are about 2-3 hours before the point of being just ripe enough that you might think about picking them.

Given the absolute dearth of snails in the rest of our - admittedly not that big - garden, these snails must also communicate well across vast distances to . Perhaps they have mobile phones - well, if my eight year old niece seems to need one, maybe snails now have them too?

Watching "Life on Earth" I seemed to remember David Attenborough telling me that snails communicated by passing pheremone based information to each other in their saliva - a sort of phlegm-based GPS system. Imagine if humans could also transfer information the same way. Take a long car journey and you'd end up soaked -

"turn left at next junction, HHHaaaakkkkk!"

"merge right onto B3316 in 100 yards, GGGGuurrghaH!"

You would be able to buy GPS systems with the phlegm of your favourite football star - imagine Frank Lampard hacking up a greenie in your face every time "you have now reached your destination..". People would rely a lot more on maps ....

Friday, August 03, 2007

Squirrels in England

For folks living in the countryside, there are 2 types of squirrel.

The red squirrel (Sciurus Vulgaris) is the only squirrel native to Britain, it can easily be recognised by its size, colouring, which can vary from bright ginger, red through dark brown. From nose to tail, their length is around 350 - 400mm, adults can weigh up to 350g.

The American grey squirrel (Sciurus Carolinensis) was first introduced to Britain at Henbury Park, Cheshire, in 1876, and introduced to other areas around the UK in the 1920s. From these sites the squirrel population grew, and as it did, the red squirrel population began its decline. There are no definite facts as to why the two species cannot live together, but it appears that the greys have a greater ability to compete for food. The only advantage that the reds have is their supremacy in conifer forests.

In England, greys outnumber reds by 66:1.

For urban dwellers and town and city based squirrel watchers, a similar story is unfolding abeit with two different breeds.

The "oh how cute is that" squirrel is common in urban gardens across the UK, and can easily be recognised by its you-tube-friendly scampering motion, its lovely tail and rather cute habit of staring back winningly at you as you look out of the window. The "oh how cute" squirrel will often be seen on fences and lawns in winter and early spring delighting children and adults alike.

The "Those Bastard" Squirrels are found mostly in gardens with expensive plants, carefully tended organic vegetables, young fruit trees bearing limited amounts of fruit, and plastic bin bags - all of which Those Bastard Squirrels feast upon in preference to digging up stored nuts like they damn well should be doing (the bastards). Those Bastard Squirrels are easily recognised by their sly, evil faces, rat-like bodies and irritatingly insolent disregard for any amount of screaming, window banging and general gesticulating by the residents of the property they have chosen to blight.

In London, Those Bastard Squirrels outnumber Oh how Cute Squirrels by over 2,000,000:1

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Not So Liberal Sweden?

Despite their countrymens reputation for open-mindedness and healthy outdoor living, the not-so-subtle subtext to the signpost at the beach showed the moral majority still held sway on the parish council of this particular Swedish coastal village.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The US Army's latest toys

The US Army is developing a truck-mounted laser to destroy rockets, artillery shells and mortars.

But lasers are now toys

What's next ?

Maybe a tank-borne lava lamp to make enemy soldiers think the world is too groovy a place to waste time fighting?

Or a ship carring a van der graph generator to make enemy sailors hair stand on end?

Slim Vegetarians

Vegetarians are apparently slimmer than non-vegetarians.

My theory is this is not down to nutritional differences between meat and non-meat diets, but instead is due solely to the way we interact with take-away food.

After all, if you only order vegetarian options from a take-away, you will have none of those "eat me, eat me, you know you want me...." lumps of meat left in the plastic carton that you simply HAVE to pick at and eat them all rather than actually start to clear away after you have already over-stuffed yourself with the contents of a "that was probably one dish too many for the (insert number here) of us" delivery from your local Chinese/Indian/Thai restaurant.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Smoking Ban

The new smoking ban in the UK prevents smokers lighting up inside any permanent structure.

In the office where I work this means smokers now have to go downstairs, walk round the back of the building and stand in the open air to have a crafty fag.

This encouraging combination of exercise and fresh air means they may well end up more healthy than us non-smokers.

Thats just somehow wrong, isn't it?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Severe Weather & Flooding in England & Wales

Flooding & severe weather has been lashing the UK this week.

All the news channels and papers have been giving it blanket coverage.

There are no shortage of images of people staying in sports centers and local schools.

You can access more pictures and more video of people returning to their sodden houses and pointing at their soaked posessions than you could need in a lifetime.

But one thing is missing.

These floods only seem to affect people who aren't famous.

There are no minor TV celebrities, Page 3 Stunnas, 2nd division footballers, mildly famous chefs or reality TV contestants wading through dead fish in their hallways.

There aren't even any not-particularly-close relatives of reality show contestants talking to The Sun about how their new Ps3 & 32 inch widescreen Plasma was ruined as "a torrent of water swept through their terraced house with a noise like thunder"

Is being flooded so embarassing that Max Clifford has some sort of bulk-deal going on with all the famous people in the UK to keep their sodden carpets off the front page of the Daily Star?

Or do all famous people live at the top of mountains?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Undercover Research

I just received an email that told me:

"Research has shown that your penis has the potential to grow to beyond its current size when fully erect"

Frankly I would have hoped that being the subject of this sort of research was the kind of thing I should have noticed...

Either they haven't actually carried out this research, or maybe instead I need to investigate some of the other products I am offered via email as well...?

Earthquake in Japan

Sky News reported today an earthquake in Japan measuring "5.6"

Presumably this was on the Richter scale, but even so, does anyone really know what "the Richter Scale" really means ?

My initial thought was that "5.6"sounds rather like the sort of scores given out by judges at international ice skating or diving competitions, or in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Based on this compelling evidence and insightful analysis, my guess is that the Richter scale is done in a similar manner, with a panel of leading international experts who review TV footage, assess damage reports and award marks for loss of life, damage to both landmark and general residential structures, and also a component of th emark being awarded for artisitic effect (how many bridges are swaying alarmingly, number of houses left teetering alarmingly on the edge of precipices etc etc).

These judges must be spread around the region - doing it globally would cause insurmountable problems with time differences - and so to end up with a "5.6", its highly probable the Japanese judge would have handed down a "6.3", but this would have been offset with the Korean's raditional low marking of Japanses quakes - perhaps a "4.7" ?

Unconfirmed reports say that some more competitive countries now hold earthquake training - where the population are taught to sway alarmingly en-mass and in synchronised fashion in order to score higher marks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

East European Women - the Myth Explained

There is a widelyheld belief that women from any given East European country are all stunningly beautiful slavic-cheekboned houri.

A trip to Eastern Europe quickly confirms that this is not a description that is universally true

Maybe this discongruence arises from the fact that the vast majority of male visitors to eastern Europe are either:

1. 21-30 year old blokes on stag nights involving drinking large amounts
2. 40+ year old blokes on three week trips on behalf of midlands-based engineering companies, travelling on expenses and flogging widgets to run down ex soviet factories

During their visits to Eastern Europe, neither of these two groups are exactly psychologically (or phisiologically) in a position to evaluate female beauty from an objective perspective.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


In what conceivable alternative universe is being the official hotel of NASCAR a thing your average Marketing Director would want to sign up to be, never mind want to advertise .... ?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sad Sad Sad

sang the Rolling Stones

The debate still rages however as to the meaning of this song.

Is it a lament about a man who makes a living running a bar off the limited fame he garnered through being a very minor character (Cooter the mechanic) in the Dukes of Hazzard an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television network from 1979 to 1985.

Or is it about the customers who find the association with such fame such a compelling proposition that thir patronage allows him to make a commercially succesful living running this establishment ....?

Cooter Davenport (Ben Jones) was the Hazzard County mechanic, also known as "Crazy" Cooter. In the very early episodes, he was a wild man, often breaking the law (stealing the Sheriff's patrol car in "One Armed Bandits", reportedly wrecking Luke's car prior to the same episode, running moonshine for Boss Hogg in "Mary Kaye's Baby", and 'borrowing' the President's Limousine for a joy-ride in "Limo One Is Missing"). By the end of the first season, he had settled down and become an easy going good ol' boy. He owned "Cooter's Garage" in Hazzard County Square, directly across from the Sheriff Department. Cooter was an "Honorary Duke", as he shared the same values and often assisted the Dukes in escaping Rosco's clutches, or helped them to foil Boss Hogg's schemes. During the second season, Ben Jones left the series for a few episodes due to a dispute over whether the character should be shaven or have a beard. In his absence, Cooter's place was filled by several of Cooter's supposed cousins who were never mentioned before or since. Jones returned when the dispute was solved—Cooter would be clean shaven. Cooter drove a variety of trucks, including Fords, Chevys, & GMCs.
CB Callsign: "Crazy Cooter."

Often started his CB transmissions with "Breaker 1, Breaker 1, I might be crazy but I ain't dumb... Craaaazy Cooter comin' atcha, y'all got yer ears on? Come back!"

Steven Berkoff in My Own Pseuds Corner..

Berkoff is a playwright, actor and theatre director. In the 1970s and 1980s he wrote a series of verse plays including: East (1975), Greek (1980), Decadence (1981) and West (1983). He has made several adaptations of Kafka's work: The Metamorphosis (1969), In the Penal Colony (1969) and The Trial (1971). He is an exponent of the style of heightened physical theatre for which the term 'total theatre' has been coined. In Hollywood he took villainous roles such as the corrupt art dealer Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop; a gangster in The Krays; and the sadistic Soviet officer Col. Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II. He appeared in the James Bond film Octopussy as General Orlov. He was cast by Stanley Kubrick as a police officer in A Clockwork Orange

In The Evening Standard's weekly magazine, a famous Londoner is asked to comment on some aspects of their life in London. Mr Berkoff was one such contributor.

In honour of this I have added him to my own Pseuds Corner

This is his article:
The two key passages are these:

which I think fits nicely with ...

and then...

Nothing horrible, consumerist and yuppified in his choice of holidays or taste in fashion then....

The Dog Lives On ....?

This is the doggie story in full ....

I am not entirely sure whether this story could be more bizzarre if the headline was read literally ..... but I would like to see the adverts for it if it was.....

Things you thought you'd never see...

Here is a picture of a Dog...
.... in a American Civil War Uniform a Cemetery
The dog was part of a parade of dogs dressed in historical uniforms.
So, if the photographer had been of a different inclination, there may have been Roman Legionary dogs in red kilts and doggie sandals, Spanish Civil War dogs with La Passionara hairpieces, maybe even a full squad of Star Wars re-enactment dogs in Stormtrooper armour?
This picture was front page news in the New York Times.
Rather surpisingly, it was not part of a story about the abuse of pets by obsessive loner owners..
More to follow...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

When visiting Japan ...

... it is most surprising to find that Japanese people do not always walk around in groups of 20 led by a guide.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Beam me up Scottie

The ashes of Scottie from Star Trek were blasted into space according to the Times

A "symbolic portion" of his ashes was loaded into a silver capsule with those of 200 other people whose families paid $495 / £248 for the privilege.

Now, whilst this is pretty bizzarre anyway, my attention was drawn to the price.


Not only is this - to my mind - a rather low amount to charge to blast anything into space at all, but its a rather convenient "Price-drop TV" price point as well.

Can you see the pearly-white dentured presenter reading off the autocue whilst holding a toy space rocket (erm, "scale model of the actual rocket to be used") ;

"I'm not asking $10,000, I'm not asking $5,000, I'm not asking $1,000 - I'm not even asking you to part with as little as $500 - Yes, its true, your ashes can be blasted into space for as little as $495 !!"

Come off it - if your ashes can go into space for $495, how come NASAs 1996 budget was $16.45 billion ? - and they only launch a handful of real live people for this money. I reckon that the only place these peoples ashes are launched are on a one way trip down the great white telephone as some bloke pockets the cash and runs away into the night laughing ...

Then again, maybe it is true? Maybe the cost of space flight for ashes is quite low? Maybe its anew route for NASA? If $495 is a true value, it means instead of the international space station NASA could instead spend their budget launching the ashes of nearly the entire cast of Casualty and The Bill into space next year ...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hunt for statue saboteurs continues...

Moscow Times
Thursday, May 10, 2007. Issue 3653. Page 3.
Monument to Nazi General Is Vandalized Near Church

A monument to a Nazi general and Russians who fought for the Germans in World War II was vandalized in northern Moscow on the eve of Victory Day celebrations. The monument, a gravestone bearing the names of Nazi and Cossack generals, was smashed by unidentified vandals Tuesday evening at the Church of All Saints, near the Sokol metro station in northern Moscow, said Yanis Bremzis, a leader of the Volunteer Corps, a tsarist organization dedicated to remembering those who fought against Soviet rule.

The monument has attracted controversy since its erection, with several attempts by opponents to have it removed. The monument, opponents say, is disrespectful to those who died fighting for the Soviet Union.

Police are looking for three men of Slavic appearance suspected of vandalizing the gravestone, Interfax reported Wednesday



Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saurons Dark Tower - or Bell Souths Head Office?

Just what did Peter Jackson have against the Nashville based fixed line telephony provider when he chose a design for the Tower in his film trilogy....?

Saurons Dark Tower - or Bell Souths Head Office?

Just what did Peter Jackson have against the Nashvill based fixed line telephony provider when he chose a design for the Tower in his film trilogy....?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The baseball team of the US town on Chattanooga is nicknamed (called in fact) The Chattanooga Lookouts.

Do you think they realised that there maybe, just possibly, perhaps, in theoroy, may be a slightly better name for a team from Chattanoga before, or after they printed all the official stationary and team shirts...?

A contender for the worlds largest "DOH!" I believe....

Choo Choo.......

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Unsubtle - or is it just me ?

Monday March 19th 2007, Cricket World Cup Result:

India: 413-5 ( 50.0 overs )
Bermuda: 156 ( 43.1 overs )
India beat Bermuda by 257 runs

Tuesday 20th March:
The result is reported in the Times of India:

Is it just me, or is this headline (in India's largest broadsheet national paper) basically saying..
" Bermuda's Cricket Team ? We f----ed them up the ass! "

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Poor Quality Brand Name

Personally I would have thought that "Real Arabia" might have been the more obvious choice for something claiming to ne "Real Italian Expresso"
But thats just me.

Cheddar Cheese

This small piece of Cheddar Cheese, photographed in-situ in a retail outlet in New Delhi, appears to have come from the middle east, by the look of the arabic script on the packaging.

I guess this actually makes it "Jeddah Cheese"

It was that funny, really.

Its just you who has no sense of humour..

Kids Today - what are they up to?

This is a game for the popular handheld device, Nintendo DS .

It appears to be "Phoneix Wright - Ace Attourney"

What possible amusement can there be in being an Attorney? Imagine the onlg plane or car journey. Keep the kids quiet in the back as they busily check land registry entries and ensure tax record are correctly filed for a house purchase transaction, or maybe instigate divorce proceedings on behalf of a cuckolded wife? Rock and roll eh?

You can see why the Daily Mail thinks kids are all turning to glue sniffing and petty vandalism.
Maybe this game is supposed to help them see the consequences of crime - get an "ace" lawyer and you will probably get off scott free!

Then again, maybe not. The main character is called "Phoneix Wright" - which implies he is a "good" - in the "not evil" attorney, as well as presumably being "good" in the "thats why they call me "Ace!" " way. So, he's probably not even going to take a case he might lose - so you dont even get to defend gangsters in court, never mind go oon a cocaine fuelled killing spree after a particularly hard day in chambers....

What is the world coming to ?

Monday, February 26, 2007

USB Sticks

There are 2 ways to insert a USB stick / pen drive /dongle into a USB port.

So how come I choose the wrong way over 80% of the time...?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ever wanted to Stuff your Own Furry Friend ?

Inappropriate content at a San Diego Wildlife Park attraction:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez, flamboyant president of Venezuela

Famous for his overly aggressive anti american imperialist rants, socialist liberator posturing - and / or authoritarian demagoguery. However with such a deliberately high profile, one must ask...

"Chávez" - hmmm - maybe he's trying a little tooo hard to draw attention from the fact his surname has the word "Chav" in it.

Fairly prominently.

Which one might imagine would rather undercut his credibility at the United Nations and OPEC Summits.

Bloke in Arab Headgear "So, I say we cut production by a million barrels a day!"

Mr Chavez "No, I think that is too much"

Other bloke in Arab Headgear " Why - your new Cortina a bit thirsty on the old petroleo is she"

Assorted OPEC Ministers "snigger, snigger"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Its time for more hair

Trust this company.

You can see the convincing results.

And how happy their customers are.

I will shave my head just to be able to use this service.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Barbers and Hairdressers

So, when do they fart?

It's hardly a job where you can sneak one out without anyone noticing, given your client is, erm, usually sat about fart-emission height right next to you.

And its not really going to be possible to walk away casually, sneak one out and wait for it to drift away, is it?

Maybe this is why you never see barbers at Indian restaurant lunchtime buffets...?