Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

Isn't it strange that the World Health Organisations response to the threat of a Swine Flu epidemic was to call a conference of Health Ministers and Flu experts?

Because for me, bringing a group of people who work with flu sufferers in different hospitals all around the world, and then locking them in an air conditioned room for 2 days doesn't sound all that clever right now...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Somali Pirates

Pirates are roaming the high seas again, stealing oil tankers on a daily basis.

The world response seems to fall into two categories. Either pay the ransom, or send in "special forces" to rescue the stolen vessels.

But neither of these are paticularly satisfactory, as one involves giving in to these pirate's demands, and the other involves risk to the lives of the crew of the stolen vessels.

I feel even the most cursory quick glimpse at the history books would throw up a third, far better option. Because, being Pirates, its obvious that if left alone for some time they will be looking to bury their loot on a desert island somewhere.

So rather than pay the ransom, just find the treasure - and dig it up later, once they have gone!

Its not even like you'd need to "find" a tattered old map at the bottom of a trunk that once belonged to your Great Uncle Silas to get directions to the island is it - as we are hardly talking about a chest of dubloons that can ne hidden beneath the third palm tree from the left?

No need even for deployment of satellite tracking technology - I'm sure even a brief glimpse at an atlas would throw up a very short list of the number of palm fringed beaches in the world where you could succesfully bury a whole oil tanker?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Today's Superhero's

If Superman, Batman, or Spiderman were around in the real world today, imagine how difficult their lives would have become.

In the good old days, they'd swoop down from tall buildings and save the girl, biff the robbers stealing money from a bank, and foil the evil mastrermind's plot to take over the world.

But today to achieve the same results they'd probably have to plan and execute a nationwide media campaign warning young women of the health dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and exposure to the UV rays in sunlight, set up a truly effective and inclusive global banking oversight committee with a failsafe system of checks and balances which would not undermine the ability of such insititutions to attract top tier talent even though their bonus cultures would be being radically redrawn, and also reform the industrial manufacturing capacity of India, China, Russia and the US in a manner which greatly reduced carbon emissions without significantly putting up manufacturing costs or creating social unrest as a by-product of mass unemployment caused by the increased manufacturing efficiencies of bringing in new technologies.

And they'd have to try and get people to take them seriously whist doing all this wearing a lycra bodysuit.