Tag Archives: life

How to survive Armageddon

Sick bastard that I am, I often fantasize about the end of the world. Obviously it would mean billions would die, there’d be no more internet, no restaurants, no pubs, no online PS3 wargames, no pizza delivery, and so on. (I suppose hospitals and government and things like that deserve a mention too.) I mostly dream about it when I’m bored or fed up at work because there’d be no mortgages or pensions or accountants or taxmen to worry about either.

When I think about how I will survive, my mind basically thinks this:

Pretty much my entire survival plan

Pretty much my entire survival plan

Me, guns, and a dog. That’s my plan. (Plus my wife, obviously.)

In reality, I might have to end up in a cave eating berries. The above picture would be how I’d start out but I’d probably end up like this after a few months:

Piss off, those are my juniper bushes!

Piss off, those are my juniper bushes!

Obviously a bit more planning would be required. Some fellow on the Ask Reddit website has thought this out. So if there’s a zombie holocaust/alien invasion/ robot uprising/ triffid or kraken attack, or any number of cool possibilities, here is a plan you can print out and laminate in advance. In reality, it will probably be a mutated flu virus that everyone ignores because there have been so many that turned out to be crap.

So print this out and get prepared. That way I can turn up in cool leathers and shoot you and steal it all.

Here’s how to survive:

I’ve played this over in my head before and decided there are two lifestyles. Nomadic and Static. The following considers staking out a territory for a “home base” where one is secure for the rest of his days. It also assumes “the grid” is down. No electricity or internet, some plumbing works.


Pre-Phase Phase (I’m not good with phases)

  • Before Anything: Eat Exotic Fresh Fruits while they are around. They come from so far away that, odds are depending where you live, you will never ever get to have Banana, Pomegranite, Starfruit or Mango again in your life. Savor every bite. Make Fruit Leathers and Freeze what you cannot stomach to consume. You will also need to bone up on Vitamin C while you’re doing the most work.
  • Unless you plan on maintaining and protecting cows for the rest of their/your life… you’re unlikely to have a fresh glass of cold milk ever again. There are dehydrated milks (Klim) but it’s not the same.
  • Bacon. Eat all of what you can find. Cook it all up and dehydrate what you cannot stomach. Even if you hate it. You may never have the opportunity to eat bacon again.

Phase 1 – Fuel for your Future

The world is going to be vastly different in only 5-years time. Buildings will collapse from non-maintained roofs. Cars and Trucks won’t operate off of stale fuel. Uncut lawns will overgrow and cripple streets along with freeze/rain cycles. Animals will grow unchecked and rampant predation will resume. Insects will rule the fields. There is no more weather channel, internet or food store. It will become an inhospitable world very shortly, you need to prepare.

  • Refined Gasoline and Diesel will be useless in 2 years. You CAN make your own fuels (Combustion/Steam, Biodeisel) but there is a much much simpler answer.
  • Propane is everywhere and it’s shelf life is longer than yours. Walmarts, Home Depots and Millions of Tanks behind people’s homes, half full from the previous Summer’s BBQ Season. Safely, stockpile the conventional tanks (using trucks while they’re still useful) making sure to properly maintain them.
  • If you’re lucky enough to be near gas stations with those huge above ground tanks, secure passage to them and secure their protection. Map out every one of them in a 50-mi radius. Expend the furthest ones first. O-Rings and valves can corrode and fail on the conventional ones, but the big boys aren’t as likely to fail. Don’t ever think about moving them.
  • Store canisters away from your domicile but within reasonable distance with good ventilation. Keep Oil-Based paint nearby and paint them every few years to stave off rust.
  • Go out and find Propane Powered Appliances. Forklifts, Bobcats, Refrigerators, Lanterns, Ovens, Weed Wackers, Generators.
  • Yes, if you really want to you can dick around with Solar Panels / Wind Turbines and work on a battery farm and keep some modern conventions. DVDs will work for 10-40 years depending on the press and plastics involved.
  • Keep growth down inside the compound. The rest of the world will become overgrown, last thing you want are a ton of thornbushes and poison ivy invading your space. Keep your paths clear with weedwackers and machetes. The roads won’t completely overgrow in your lifetime, but at least clear the cars out of the way with bulldozers while you still can.

Phase 2 – Secure your Food

There’s a ton of food still around in the world that’ll be good for the next decade. Rice and Beans, Canned Fruits and Veggies. The Average Domesticated Human relies on these foods and cannot subsist “off of the land.”

  • One of the first things you should consider doing is getting a freezer farm up and operating off of generators (or using propane freezers which can be found for RVs.) Scour the lands for processed meats, hoping that they’re still in a frozen state. Fruits, Veggies, Variety. Nobody will be farming these things anymore and odds are, the world will eventually become too inhospitable for you to maintain a farm without insects plaguing it.
  • Sysco Trucks are refrigerated and can probably stay cool a week or two, and are likely chock full of the meals you’d otherwise be served after they’ve been microwaved at Olive Garden, Johnny Carino’s, Applebees, TGIFridays, McDonalds, etcetc. If they haven’t been looted already, they’re a great solution to a “freezer farm.” Now that you have all the time in the world, figure out how to use RV Propane Freezers to keep these trucks cool. Move them to your home, reinforce them in concrete and keep them free of bugs and animals.
  • The Nearby Ocean may become tarnished in 2-5 years as runoff from humanity’s downfall pours off the coasts and out of the unmaintained sewers. If you’re a sailor and can sail out a couple miles for some mahi-mahi to freeze, that’s awesome. Also, after the death of Gasoline, you can probably rig a Propane-Powered Weed-Wacker to be an Outboard Motor for a boat.
  • Hunting is useful if you know what you’re doing. Avoid protein poisoning by eating fats. Cook well-done, always. There’s no cure for food poisoning now.
  • Find a nearby river where no humanity is upstream for your water source. Use a Propane Forklift to carry a water back in a large container. Treat it with Chlorine Dioxide, Bleach or use Ceramic Filters. There’s probably still usable water in water towers but no telling if whatever killed humanity has contaminated those.
  • Incinerate your leftovers (there shouldn’t be any…) to keep down on insect infestation.

Phase 3 – Home Compound

Insects and animals will grow plentifully without humans now. Wild Dogs, Bears, Coyotes, Mountain Lions, Feral Cats are all now the enemy. Malaria, Lymes Disease, Bebesia can be carried by insects and with Rabies, will likely grow out of control without human intervention.

  • Secure an area, preferably within a high-walled region to keep bears and other predators away. Chain Link Fences need to be painted to prevent rusting. Paint them with motor oil a couple of times in the summer (if you don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment now)
  • Drive Vehicles over to your Compound while they still work. Mobile Homes, School Buses, Fire Engine Tankers & Ladders, Electrical Contractor Cherry Pickers (for Hunting Blinds), Flatbeds, Box Trucks.
  • If you can do it singlehandedly, transport the biggest few Yachts you can find to your compound. Ever see the inside of those things? Home away from home. Might be a nice place to spend the night if you need to feel like you’re civilized again.
  • Construct a cinder-block-based shelter away from Hurricane-Prone or Earthquake Prone Areas. Something very secure that’ll survive hard rains, winters, and can keep out animals and insects, but simple to maintain and secure.
  • Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors hooked up to a battery system. All this propane will generate Carbon Monoxide.
  • If you can remove the septic tank, use RVs for their bathrooms then drive out with the forklifts and dump it somewhere… downwind.

Phase 4 – Self Preservation

  • Stockpile Medicine. Most pills will lose effectiveness after 2 years. Painkillers should be kept nearby. Doxycyclene for Lymes Disease will (effectively) last 2 years. Some Pharmacies may have Mepron which is for Malaria.
  • Treat every wound as if it’s going to infect and kill you. Alcohol Wipes and Topical Antibiotics in small packets are long-lasting as well.
  • ALWAYS BRUSH YOUR TEETH. Learn to brush your teeth with Baking Soda. Toothpastes will inevitably harden in their tubes or liquify into an unusable congealment. There are no dentists anymore. If you get a cavity, you’re probably screwed bigtime and will need to take care of it yourself.
  • Hone your skills. You’re now the worlds only Mechanic, Electrician, Farmer, Hunter, Gatherer and Doctor. Books are a remarkable resource.

Phase 5 – Recreation

  • Find the closest highway and burn all the gasoline you can syphon out of all the cars around in a Maserati, Ferrari or Ford Focus by risking your fucking life. This insane maneuver might help you keep some sanity… but in 2-years-time gasoline will have gone stale and most cars will sit where they were.
  • There are some propane based cars and Go-Karts. Offhand, I don’t know where I’d find one around here so I’m in a bad position… the internet will be down and “propane go-karts” won’t be found in phone books.

Phase 6 – Keep your mind busy

  • Write about what you’ve done. Every day. Write your thoughts, your transgressions, your hopes, your angers. As you fill books, put them in some permanent enclosure of sorts, sheltered from the elements.
  • Gather up Atlases, Medical Books, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Put them all in the same place. Who knows what evolution has in store? Perhaps in a couple hundred million years, some badger learns to make fire and read. It’s your legacy and you can’t accept the fact that this is the end of intelligent life. Write for them. Explain what transpired. If only to keep your mind busy and your heart steady.

Final Phase – Seal your fate.

You are the last of your kind. Evolution may replace humans with another Sentient Creature capable of interpreting the past, but for now, this is it. As representative for humanity, you do not want to suffer. No sense in bleeding to death over the course of several days pinned underneath a mountain of rubble.

  • Always have the ability to kill yourself nearby. Holster a classy 6-shooter in your shoulder, at your ankle or your hip at all times.

This all came from:

http://viigo.im/2HRa

end4

Pin It

Shunt at London Bridge.

Last night I went to a bar/club/theatre/art/performance/thing called Shunt with my wife and some creative friends. It’s a very difficult place to categorize except to say that it’s fucking brilliant. Shunt are a ‘performance collective’ which sounds a bit arty or indeed wanky but it is truly a superb idea and I’m mildly annoyed that no-one has told me about this place before.

Beyond this innocent door lies untold wonders. Plus beer.

Beyond this innocent door lies untold wonders. Plus beer.

I have walked past the entrance a thousand times and never knew what it was. This website now gets over 100 people a day looking at it and I’m not even that sure I want to let you all know where it is but as you can look it up yourself, I suppose I might as well. At least then you can buy me a beer if I’m there. When you come out of London Bridge tube and start walking toward the escalators that lead up to the overland trains, you will see this door. Plus a small queue. There are no signs.

You WILL be asked for ID, which was actually pretty cool as that hasn’t happened to me since I was 17. It costs £10. Once you walk through the unassuming entrance you suddenly find yourself in a colossal underground vault. It is huge and sphincter-tighteningly impressive. From this point, a lot of it is hard to review because here lies the genius of Shunt. Every night different stuff happens in various rooms. First let me describe the space a bit. On entering, you will be faced with a long vaulting corridor with huge, high-ceilinged rooms branching off at either side. Sometimes it looks like this:

photo001

Sometimes like this:

1_400x300Last night it was dark and lit entirely by candles.

In the rooms there can be anything. Bars selling beers and other bars selling cocktails are dotted around, as are cosy corners with small tables or couches or recliner chairs or anything. There is artwork in odd places and random performances from actors or artists or musicians or people who are a bit mental. When we entered we came across a room where a creative looking lady was doing a book/poetry reading to creative looking people. In another room there were comfy chairs and a cinema screen playing old black and white sci fi movies. And they weren’t all Metropolis.

One room held a theatre and there were loads of others with shows going on and interactive arty things.

A bar in one of many cavernous rooms.

A bar in one of many cavernous rooms.

Every night something different and interesting and random happens here. If you just want to have a quiet drink and soak up the huge cavernous atmosphere there’s plenty of hidey-holes for that too. At one point a guy appeared near us and started performing brilliant songs under a spotlight on his keyboard. He appeared like magic.

This guy appeared from nowhere. Sorry about the quality but my phone doesn't have a flash.

This guy appeared from nowhere. Sorry about the quality but my phone doesn't have a flash.

Here are some random pictures ruthlessly stolen from the internet of things that have gone on here in the past:

No idea what's happening but you can see the size and atmosphere

No idea what's happening but you can see the size and atmosphere

Another bar but with ladies dancing. Marvellous!

Another bar but with ladies dancing. Marvellous!

A band. Obviously.

A band. Obviously.

Another random section of the HUGE Shunt bar/club/thing

Another random section of the HUGE Shunt bar/club/thing

Ok that’s enough. You get the idea. Shunt is a truly unique experience. A good and exciting one. It’s one of those places I always envisioned myself in. On drugs. With Jagger and Bowie.

It got shut down in November so that it could be turned into a load of shops. I hope the tedious peon that came up with that idea died in an hilarious accident worthy of a Darwin Award. Thankfully, it has now opened again but no one seems to know how long for. Hopefully at least another year. So check it out.

Here is a video that shows yet more stuff that has happened in the past. Some of it looks a bit mental but remember you only have to get as involved as you want to. There is a lot of room.

Pin It

Art and Culture versus work

“When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” So said Samuel Johnson. He wrote the dictionary so he should be correct.

I love living in London. Sure it’s cold and grey and wet and full of nutters and has a flimsy transport system but there’s so much going on. I sometimes envy tourists as they see a lot more events than those of us who actually live here. January is a quiet time in the freelance TV business, which is worrying for my bank account but good for seeing things. It seems to go in phases – for a few months I will see loads of bands, then stand up comedy, then theatre, then random events like book readings or comic book signings. All of these happen every single night in a quantity and quality that is unrivaled anywhere in the world except perhaps New York. My main frustrations when I lived in Hong Kong or Bangkok or Sydney, was that while these things are happening in these places they are quite rare. Or quite local. Miss them and you’re fucked.

In the last week I went to two art exhibitions. The first was Damien Hirst’s No Love Lost at the Wallace Collection. It was ok. See my review here. The second was Pop Life at Tate Modern. Which was actually pretty damn cool. The review is here. Before the end of the month, I will also be seeing an exhibition at the Royal Academy which I will also review. Every time I go and see art I always decide that I should do this sort of thing more often. I feel more cultured and usually enjoy myself. As a new added bonus I can review it in my brand new exciting Art tab.  It also reminds me why I live in London and that I am not yet tired of life.

The main problem I have, and I’m not alone in this, is that doing lots of things costs money. So I have to work. Then I miss things because of work and end up just going to the local pub. Which has Guinness and pies, so it’s not all bad but it sucks if someone I admire is doing a book reading/signing and I am on shift. Sure they will do it again but it feels a bit frustrating when I know there is an exciting city out there and I’m in a darkened room watching High School Musical 3 for the 10th time. I don’t really have much of a point to make, just that London is best enjoyed when you are rich and don’t have a job. Which means that not many people enjoy it as much as they should. Which is a shame.

So two things are happening. One is that I will be adding a donations button at the top in the off chance that a billionaire might visit the site and decide to give me a few hundred grand. So that I can enjoy London. (Lots of small donations would be fine too.) The other is that I have started an Art tab. Which you already know.

So feel free to donate! The more I get the more I can do and review. This saves you time when you are deciding on something to do or see in the capital and discover that I’ve already reviewed it and can help with your decision. This means that you can go out and do more, miss all the crap stuff and be less bored of life. Thereby maximising your ‘non-work’ time. In conclusion then: support thewordofward and your very life will be better.

Climate change

Pretty heavy topic eh?

I was going to try and lighten this entry a bit with an amusing picture or two. I scoured the internet and discovered that the only jokey pictures I could find were on right-wing ranting sites that basically slagged off Al Gore and called everyone who believed in climate change a hippy or a liberal who’s part of some global plot. I also discovered a universal truth – right-wing humorists are shite. They have no sense of humour. All the jokes they made were god-awful.

So no funny pictures I’m afraid.

I read in the paper that less and less people believe that climate change is caused by humans. More and more people are believing that global warming is a myth. I find this a bit sad. There seems to be a lot of science backing it all up but this is being ignored. Even if the science is wrong and it is a myth/lefty plot, so what? Surely it is better to cut carbon emissions anyway?

Here is how I see it:

We cut carbon emissions and there is less pollution. I have lived in places that couldn’t give a fuck about carbon emissions (Thailand and China) and it can be horrendous. Smog blocks up your lungs and you feel dirty all the time and everything is coated in a layer of crap. More people have asthma and breathing problems. It is the equivalent of smoking but without the benefits of enjoyment or looking dangerous and cool. It is always a relief to go to a place with cleaner air. So why not cut emissions on that basis alone?

There is also the fact that if we don’t cut carbon emissions and it turns out global warming is true – billions would suffer. Why take the risk? If it’s untrue, then we are left with cleaner air. I know some people might not give a fuck and think it might not affect them but that also means they don’t give a fuck about their kids or grandchildren too. The next generations are going to have to either breathe all this crap or possibly die if the ice caps melt. If enough people still don’t care about that then fine – let’s all die. Just remember who made that decision and live with it.

Apart from people who sell oil or cars, I really don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want a cleaner atmosphere. Unless they don’t believe in pollution either.

I found it amusing and saddening that the recent climate talks in Copenhagen achieved fuck all. Airplanes release tons of carbon into the atmosphere and apparently there were 150 private jets there to carry all the delegates to and from the talks. That did nothing. Way to go! Luckily there were protesters outside who showed their anger at carbon emission by, er, burning stuff. Good work there too.

I think that everyone should be made to state their position on this. By law. Those who believe in climate change should then show what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. Those who think it is all crap can carry on being twats and make our environment all smoggy and unpleasant as before. If nothing happens, everyone can feel happy and smug anyway. If the sea levels rise and there is suddenly a lack of housing and food – all the people who disbelieved in climate change should be eaten. That would make people think twice.

I’m off to build my ark.

The Thai wedding.

Well it’s all almost over. After a month in Thailand, the return to Blighty and darkness and televisual toil beckons once more. No mysterious benefactors have stepped out of the woodwork to give me the millions I’ve hoped and prayed for, so I’m coming back. As an atheist, the prayers were probably a waste of time but I thought I’d give the deities a go, a chance to redeem themselves, but nothing…

It has been a superb trip.

The first week was all predictably taken up with preparations for the wedding. Actually all the main preparations had been done and paid for by Nim’s family before we even got there. I am eternally grateful to them all for this as the day turned out to be perfect.

My nerves started to mount as we met members of the family and gave them invites. One minute it was a retired colonel, the next minute we were at a hospital owned by a member of the family, the next was a nice household full of friendly relatives drinking tea. It was a bit of a whirlwind! We then saw the ballroom and stage and seating arrangements and where we were to pray and sit and make speeches. It was all a bit daunting. Then there were visits to the tailors where my wife got a stunning dress and I got a Thai-style top that actually made me look quite good – as opposed to a daft foreigner in a Thai shirt (although there was an element of that). Nim truly looked gorgeous though.

In all our finery!

In all our finery!

Then it was the actual day! We loitered around the entry area welcoming the hundred or so guests. (I nipped out for a few cigarettes but was there a lot.) A few million photos later and we were seated in special chairs. There was a row of nine monks in front of us who started chanting and everyone adopted their finest prayer positions. As stated before, the ceremony was opened by the head of the Ministry for the Interior (another family member). At some point Nim and I had to pour water into a special bowl and then light some incense and candles at an altar. Then there was more chanting and praying. I became surprised and mildly alarmed at how tired my hands had started to become and noticed a few Westerners feeling similar discomfort. The prayer position is not a natural one. Try it yourself for half an hour.

The room as guests begin to arrive.

The room as guests begin to arrive.

We then knelt and received a blessing from the head monk and more water was poured. Things became a bit confused in my mind at this point but I had helpful whisperings from Nim as to what I should be doing and was apparently quite convincing in pretending I knew what the hell was going on. We then prayed in front of each of the monks who flicked water on us with bunches of twigs. Soon after this the monks were given food and we gave them gifts each.

Blessed by monks.

Blessed by monks.

Nim and I were then instructed to sit in a different bit and we knelt forward with our hands over ornate bowls. My hands immediately started to cramp again. Some beautiful flower things were draped over us, some kind of paste daubed on our foreheads and a circle of string was placed around both our heads that were joined by a single strand. A queue formed and people came forward to pour water from a special gourd over our hands and into the bowls as they blessed us. It was all very touching but by the end my hands began to ache and shake. Hopefully no one noticed or thought it was emotion.

It was incredibly touching and emotional though as I was warmly welcomed into Nim’s family.

When all this was done, I breathed a sigh of relief and started to flex my weary digits. Too soon! We had to stay in position as a million photos were due to be taken. Ages seemed to pass and as we were joined by precariously joined pieces of string, there was no way we could see what was happening behind us. Eventually it was done and I have to say that some damn fine photos came out of it. My smile grew increasingly fixed by the end and my hands began to curl inward but it was worth it.

We then broke for lunch and a tour of tables and relatives. And a quick smoke break.

Flowers and string

Flowers and string

Four of us were then summoned to the stage – Nim’s uncle, my dad, Nim, and myself. Nim’s uncle gave a speech in Thai that seemed to go down well. Then my dad gave a great speech that started with a sentence in Thai and received immediate applause. Nim was supposed to be next but then I was asked to step up instead. Which was good as it pre-empted my nerves. I gave a speech in English, which seemed to go down ok and then came the bit I had been dreading. My paragraph of Thai. I’d practiced it a lot but was fairly concerned. Ninety percent of the audience spoke the lingo pretty well after all. I think because it came at the end of my fairly well received English speech, I was no longer nervous and it went quite well. A Thai friend remarked afterwards that it was the first time she’d actually understood everything I’d said. Nim then gave a superb and emotionally charged speech that put mine to shame and had half the room in tears. Bless her.

Can you understand my finest Thai?

Can you understand my finest Thai?

Feelings were running quite high at this point but there was a bit more to come. A new area was prepared and Nim and I knelt and were blessed by our nearest and dearest members of the family in turn. We knelt and the couples sat on chairs and gave us astoundingly beautiful gifts and family heirlooms that had been passed down through both our families. I felt honoured to be receiving lovely gold and jewel encrusted heirlooms that had been passed through Nim’s family for generations. It was probably the most touching part of the whole day as our parents whispered blessings and well-wishes.

Then we were done. I was physically and emotionally drained – as was Nim. It was quite a day. It was at this point Nim turned and said, “That was the short version of a Thai wedding.”

All done!

All done!

That evening there was a party at a pub owned by a friend of ours called The Pickled Liver. It was quite alcoholic and very welcome.

Pin It

I got married… again! This time Bangkok Buddhist Style

Yes, I’ve done it again. Same lady, but different country and very different ceremony. So my blog and review output has been somewhat lacking. Apologies for this but I have to have priorities.

My ‘Wedding 2’ was held in a large ballroom in Bangkok. There were nine monks, a hundred guests, and lots of emotion. It also featured myself giving a speech that ended with a load of surprisingly comprehensible Thai. I will write more on this very soon but I’m a bit drained at the moment. It promises to be a fascinating article when it happens. The ceremony was opened by a (now) relative who is the head of the Ministry of the Interior. That’s just for starters. I will talk about all the monks chanting and string tying and water blessings soon. I promise.

Life has almost returned to normal. Normal for my life in Bangkok anyway. It feels great to be back here and hanging out with friends. I barely feel as if I left. All I have to do now is write a 1500 word essay on linguistics and historical perspectives on socio-dialects and attitudes toward them by tomorrow night. Then I can finally chill out and blog my ass off.

Right now though, I’m going for a pint. Of Tiger. In a street cafe in Bangkok. Life is good.

Spam

Spam! Spam! Spam!

Spam! Spam! Spam!

I’m not going to talk about delicious Spiced Ham in a Can. Nor am I going to talk about the Monty Python sketch where a load of vikings are in a cafe chanting ‘Spam, spam, spam, spam, spamedy spam’ (etc). I’m talking about the internet pricks who offer you ways to lengthen your, er, prick. Or harden it. Or meet girls who might be interested in the result. Or any of the other pointless lies that get sent to you via email.

I have been fairly free of spam thanks to the wonders of gmail that seems almost psychic in its filtering abilities. Then I started this site. I spend a lot of time playing games and reading books and thought it would be nice to share my opinion of them as a service to my fellow humans. Plus it makes all the time I spend on the couch seem slightly more worthwhile. I also live in a big city and drink a lot of coffee, so thought I might as well vent occasionally.

Then I started getting inundated with bastard spam. Curiously, very little of it goes to the site’s email. Most of it goes to the comments section and it is beginning to annoy me. Usually it is in two forms: a comment saying ‘Like your blog’ or ‘that was interesting’; or a joke that would shame a Christmas cracker. Then a link to a Viagra site.

At first I took delight in going to these sites and writing incredibly abusive emails, but this has grown dull. I’m seriously toying with disabling the comments bit. This site, I’m proud to say, has been attracting almost double the readership each month it has been going. Last month 1500 people viewed it and the number rises daily. I thank you for that. Spam has kept in line with this figure however. Sadly in this modern world, spamming can be done anonymously. Or at least fairly anonymously. What can be done about these bastards who daily piss off the planet?

Ok maybe too drastic. How about a swan? I hate swans.

Ok maybe too drastic. How about a swan? I hate swans.

If you’re hoping I will provide an answer – sorry I can’t. I liked the end of the Jay and Silent Bob movie where they visit each of their internet critics and beat them up but that would sadly be difficult to do. I also don’t want to be seen condoning violence.

I don’t what’s wrong with naming and shaming them. Police can catch all sorts of other scumbags on the internet so why not spammers? I know that naming and shaming can lead to ugly scenes where, as sadly happened, morons who can’t spell attacked a pediatrician but they were probably off their tits on cheap medication. Spam is a pleasingly short word that can’t possibly lead to confusion – even among illiterate knuckle-dragging reactionaries.

Stress is the number one killer in the West and spam contributes to this. The government should compile all the known spam offenders, accidentally leave the list on a train and then deny everything. If you discover you live near a known spammer then you should post all your junk mail through their letter-box. If you go on holiday to a third world country, buy loads of cheap panadol and try and flog it to them at a massive mark-up whenever you pass their house. Try and get their phone number and call them up all day and ask them who provides their internet.

It could bring communities together.

Or put them in stocks and lob actual spam at them in a cruel-and-unusual punishment-fits-the-crime kind of a way.

It’s also possible that all the caffeine in my system will left by tomorrow and I awaken calmer, baffled as to why I got so pissed off over something so trivial. Then I will log in and see all the spam directed at this post. Which would almost be amusing.

They're giving this wonderful product a bad name. Look at what it can do!

They're giving this wonderful product a bad name. Look at what it can do!

Pin It

Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Galaxy.

Well, I’m back. I apologize for not writing recently but I have been on a minor European tour. First off, I’ve been to Bruges. In Belgium. Like the feckin’ movie. It was a lovely place and is one of the most perfectly preserved medieval cities in Belgium. It’s full of cobbled streets, cafes, statues, old buildings, horse-drawn carriages, chocolates and tourists. Plus bars and beer.

Myself (withe hooded top) gazing longingly at cafes

Myself (wit the hooded top) gazing longingly at cafes

We then went to Ghent, which is pretty similar except much larger and more exciting and less twee. I love Ghent.

Ghent: ain't it nice?

Ghent: ain't it nice?

Then we are the first people I have ever met to go to Luxembourg. It was about as exciting as you’d imagine. Which leaves it up to you.

Luxembourg. It's quite pleasant.

Luxembourg. It's quite pleasant.

Then finally, Brussels. The heart of the EU. The place where the smoking ban originated and rankings placing Britain as the most binge-drinker filled place in Europe. It is fall of bars where you can smoke and drink beer that is 10% alcohol. Why are they able to get it right?

Brussels and old stuff!

Brussels and old stuff!

I shall write about the trip in more detail very soon on this very site. I might even start a new tab. While on this minor excursion I also read the 6th book in the very inaccurately named ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ trilogy. It is called ‘And Another Thing’ by Eoin Colfer and is damned enjoyable. Different from Douglas Adams’ style but I liked it.

and another thing There will be more on all the above in lots more detail very soon. I just thought I’d update the site in case anyone thought the website, or myself, had come to a halt. We are both in fine fettle – apart from the fact that it is now 6am and I’m back at work trying to aid my ailing bank balance after a European trip. Other than that, fine bloody fettle!

Pin It

Broken Britain

Except it isn’t really is it? I just felt like stealing a headline that appears in nearly every Daily Mail issue ever.

What is pretty fucked though is the underground and the post office. I’m sure there are lots of other things wrong but these affect me. When either of these two groups of “people” go on strike, it affects millions. Over a job dispute between the workforce and their bosses. In other words, nothing to do with anyone who is actually affected. In most jobs, if you are offered a pay rise over inflation you are grateful and feel lucky. If you are still a whingeing bastard who doesn’t know how good you’ve got it compared to everyone else, you take it up with your employers. You don’t try and piss off as many other people as possible until your bosses cave in.

TubeupdateYou don’t catch nurses or firemen going on strike do you? This is probably because people would die, I’ll admit. I work in TV however, and if we transmission controllers went on strike then no one would have anything to watch and would be forced to lead productive, active, purposeful lives and no one wants that. We work every day of the year. Even when there’s no transport like in the extreme cases of Christmas or a Sunday. If we have grief with our employers we don’t take it out on people outside the office. Well, not often.

I think we should strike sometimes though. Imagine the outcry if there was no TV and all you got at home was a screen that read: “Sorry – no Eastenders or Coronation today as we can’t make it in due to the tube strike.” Or: “There will be no TV today as we want more cash.” So the unions are having to work the weekends at the same rate as during the week. Join the club.

As for postal workers – I’m only slightly affected by this. I don’t post many letters. It is just annoying when I don’t get my Amazon deliveries. If I was a postal worker I’d be happy to have a job. Most people send emails these days and if it wasn’t for online shopping they’d be out of a job. Once Amazon and eBay find alternatives to posting things they’ll all be unemployed. I feel a bit more sorry for them though as the post office is probably still broke from when they changed the name to Consignia and back. That was a good idea. “No one is posting letters any more! What shall we do?” Then an order from on high (probably by email or text): “We should change our name.” Brilliant. I could be completely wrong about what happened but I can’t be bothered to look it up and am happy with my memory of the events.

Is this all as bad as some would have you believe? Well, maybe. If the unions start pissing everyone off bad things can happen. Especially in a recession. Just remember:

Bob Crow, Head of Transport Union

Bob Crow, Head of Transport Union

PLUS

Bill Hayes, head of Post union

Bill Hayes, head of Post union

Could equal bad things. When the people are down and the economy is screwed people often turn to strong, right wing types. Like:

Thatcher!

Thatcher!

No one really wants that. So grow up people, at least you have a job. In the old days people worried about crazed Europeans invading and burning down our villages. Now we should all be happy and nice to each other – or no ‘X-factor come dancing on ice’ for you!

Well, that’s the end of my night shift. It’s a Saturday, so the district line has delays, the overland is shut, and the jubilee line is shut every weekend until 2012. So I’ll be home any hour now. Then I can relax and read the ton of hand-delivered junk mail I get every day.

Pin It

Work is intruding on my social life

I’ve been up to fuck all recently as I just seem to work all the time. As I work freelance and am going on holiday to Thailand on the 10th of November for a month, I have been forcing myself to accept nearly every shift that comes my way. Which is crap. In addition to 60 hour weeks I’m also working on my degree. This has meant I get bugger all free time. I hate working and I hate people who think it gives you a sense of purpose. The sort of person who wouldn’t change if they won millions on the lotto. I suspect they just lack imagination.

This has given me very little time to write and now that I have that time, I realize that because of work, I have nothing to write about. I just looked at the news and I’ve already talked about most of it. Apparently there are going to be even more investigations into politician expenses. Swine flu is still about to wipe us all out. I mean, come on… The only new bit of info I’ve seen is that Obama has won the Nobel Peace prize for some reason. I was a bit shocked when I first saw this headline as my brain played a twisted game that made me initially think it said “Osama wins Nobel Prize”. Which would have been weird.

So what can I write that may be of interest? Fortunately I have back up factoids for just these situations.

I read a great quote recently by Charles Dickens. He described Chelmsford (a ghastly town that I’ve visited on several occasions) as “the dullest and most stupid spot on the face of the Earth”. Which is brilliant.

I also watched some online footage of some twats being knocked out in Swansea. The footage starts with three drunken morons starting a fight. When that one finishes they wander down the road trying to start more fights with people that are unfortunate to be near them. Then they see a group of drag queens and walk up and punch one of them. Unfortunately for them, one of the drag queens happened to be a professional cage fighter who knocks the living crap out of all three. I don’t know why I found it so funny.

Apparently there was no door handle on the Apollo 11 landing pod. If Buzz Aldrin had accidentally shut the door they would really have had a problem.

A 2006 survey by channel states that Hackney is the worse place to live in Britain. Dickens and I might dispute that, although it is a dump.

Guess what the most published book in the world is? The IKEA catalogue. Take that bible!

I’ll end this post with a couple of humorous Thai adverts. Now that I’m going back I remembered how funny some of their ads are. I then looked at my friend Greg’s website  www.gregtodiffer.com and saw a couple on his site. So I decided to poach them. Thanks Greg.

Enjoy!

(Note on this one – the final words say chance of this happening: 0.00000001%)

This one is touching and sad:

This one is unpleasant but common to anyone who has lived in Thailand:

The funniest one ever:

Give Dan Brown a break.

Life has been busy recently – but mostly in a good way. I haven’t had much time to review things as I have to actually read or see or play things first in order to review them. I have been sacrificing my free time for this site and have been forcing myself to play Batman: Arkham Asylum on PS3 and Red Alert 3 on my laptop. A lot of this has  been rudely interrupted by work at quite annoyingly regular intervals, so it has been a struggle.

I am also reading Dan Brown’s new book – so you don’t have to. It’s actually ok. Pretty clunky writing-wise but no worse than his other books. I would write more but might as well save it for the review. If you enjoyed his other stuff, then you will like it. Probably. The end could be crap, so I’ll reserve my opinion. I was looking at reviews on Amazon and the literary snobs are having a field day. Lots of them are writing in to say how crap it is and this poorly written literary clap-trap shows the sorry state of education and blah blah blah. They seem to be under the impression that if they rubbish the book, it makes them seem more intelligent and literate. It doesn’t. There was a professor who tore apart Brown’s writing but he still came to the conclusion I did – the writing is pretty poor but it’s good fun.

I hate this kind of snobbery because it shows ignorance and massive insecurity. Dan Brown, like Clive Cussler or Wilbur Smith, writes entertaining mindless fun. It’s not meant to be classic literature, it’s meant to be exciting and page turning. It is a different genre and the prose is unlikely to be top-notch when compared to Grahame Greene or George Orwell or Charles Dickens or Shakespeare or Hemingway. If it isn’t your thing fine, don’t read it. But don’t think for a second that anyone hearing you bleat on about how awful it is will leap to the conclusion you want – that you must be really bloody clever. They just think you’re a dick. Like people who don’t play the lottery but let everyone know that it is because only an idiot would gamble with those odds. I don’t play the lottery but I don’t try and belittle others for it. I just can’t take the crushing disappointment week after week.

I may come across as mildly hypocritical here as I’m always having a go at reality TV and celebrity obsession. The difference here is, and I’m being almost scientific here, you might learn something from a Dan Brown book, whereas celeb stuff and reality stuff is just shit. So there you go.

Ok, I’m starting to rant. I am trying to quit smoking and am replacing it with coffee.

Next entry: Why mothers who take over coffee shops and let their annoying sticky little children run around shouting and do nothing, piss me off. Or maybe not. We’ll see how it goes.

Computer games are good for you

video games are goodI have been meaning to write about this topic before, as it is clearly a topic close to my heart. Not really because I give a flying fuck about about health issues (I have a legendary constitution and a long list of ancestors living past 80) but because any justification for playing games is good.

Hollywood is rarely inspiring these days.

Hollywood is rarely inspiring these days.

As Hollywood’s output and quality continues to dwindle, I find myself turning more and more to books and games for a decent tale and cheap thrills. I don’t care what pretentious types say – there is still a ton of watchable movies coming out each year but the good ones don’t number high enough to satisfy my copius spare time. Perhaps it is because I watch the bulk of movies and tv shows at work. Whatever. Books have always been my medium of choice but games are now beating movies hands down in their demand on my attention. I’m currently loving Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Batman: Arkham Asylum but find it hard to remember more than three films I’ve seen in the last year that rated better than: “That was ok.”

Lots and lots of games now feature well-known actors – look at the cast of the last few GTA games for example, or even the games I’m playing now have Patrick Stewart as the king (Oblivion) and Mark Hamill as the joker (Batman). Graphics have progressed to a level that are almost equal to your average CGI-laden blockbuster. I have played numerous games that feature more realistic baddies than the scorpion king at the end of The Mummy Returns for example. As adventure goes, Uncharted Drake’s Fortune was better than the new Indiana Jones film. (Which actually makes me weep a bit but that’s another issue.)

The mummy returns.

The mummy returns.

As stories go there has already been a rich history of writers penning game plots. Douglas Adams wrote the game Starship Titanic and got his friend Terry Jones to write the book of the game. Granted neither were brilliant but if you’re a fan of both personages it still beats watching Eastenders as a way of passing your time. Clive Barker wrote Undying, a first person shooter that had some genuinely scary moments. Dead Space was a great game, with a truly ominous atmosphere and good story. And so on.

Games have numerous advantages over movies and that will increase as time goes on. There is more scope for plot development and characterisation. Some of the stories in Fallout 3 and Oblivion are superb and you get to know some of the individuals as if they are real and are almost saddened when the game finishes (like with a good book). They deal with you differently too, depending on how you react to them and your reputation. More and more games feature differing plots depending on the choices you make. Some of the radio stations and characters in Grand Theft Auto 4 had me pissing myself with laughter (and that doesn’t include the fact that you can go to a comedy club and see Ricky Gervais doing stand up). Some set pieces in games literally have you saying “Fuck, did you see that?” to a disintereted wife or partner. The scene when a nuclear bomb goes off in Call of Duty 4 or the landing in Killzone 2 leap to mind if you happen to be cool or sexy enough to have played them.

Reality_Worst_Ever_Game

Whenever I get blocked on a platform by baffled tourists anywhere in the world – you can tell they don’t play enough games. Solving the riddle of a tube map is a piece of piss compared to lots of puzzles you are forced to solve in games like Resident Evil or Myst. When travelling, I’m nearly always the one who works this sort of thing out, and I’m convinced it’s down to a mixture of innate genius and gameplaying.

I won’t even begin to talk about Massively Multiplayer Online Games like World of Warcraft but the fact that people have died playing must mean they are pretty good. People have been divorced and married through these games and some employers are now asking if the prospective employees play them as they are worried about them turning up.

So having established that there is more scope and depth to a lot of games, there is the added fact that you are in control. It is this interaction that adds to the suspense and enjoyment of the experience. When you are creeping down a dark corridor and hear a scream ending suddenly from a door near you, the fact that you are the one who moves and opens that door can scare the crap out of you. It is also this interaction that is the beneficial part and why it has been scietifically proven that games are better for you than movies.

PROOF:

THEY ARE GOOD FOR YOUR EYES

From the BBC website:

“US scientists have found that regular players of shoot-em-ups, such as Half-Life and Medal of Honour, have much better visual skills than most of the population.

The researchers have shown that gamers were particularly good at spotting details in busy, confusing scenes and could cope with more distractions than average.

The two scientists also found that with a little game playing the visual skills of anyone can be improved.” An apple and an hour of killing stuff a day is beneficial.

“By forcing players to simultaneously juggle a number of varied tasks, action video game playing pushes the limits of three rather different aspects of visual attention,” wrote the researchers.

A similar story from an article on yahoo:

“The University of Rochester put a group of college-aged non-gamers through the paces of such high-caliber action fare as Gears of WarLost Planet andHalo. After 30 hours of gameplay, the subjects outperformed the control group in their ability to accurately pick out objects in a cluttered space.

Research author Daphne Bevelier explained, “First-person action games helped study subjects improve their spatial resolution, meaning their ability to clearly see small, closely packed together objects, such as letters… the present study highlights the potential of action-video game training for rehabilitation of visual deficits.”

In laymen terms, that means years of fragging might actually sharpen your vision by training your brain to quickly process information. This also has therapeutic ramifications, potentially aiding in the treatment of a variety of ocular disorders including vision loss from aging and lazy eye.”

The following few are from an article by Ben Silverman.

THEY ARE GOOD FOR FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION

“Though in its infancy, the burgeoning field of gaming as a means to contend with the negative effects of ADHD was bolstered by a Cornell study demonstrating the positive effects of video game training in ADHD-afflicted youth. Even at an early age, kids seemed to respond well to games as a treatment method, showing significant improvement over their non-gaming peers.”

THEY CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

Ok, I’m talking the Wii fit and those dancing games here. Although getting fit by playing these things is a good reason for playing games – these are crap games. The Wii is a gimmick and fun for 30 minutes tops. It relies too heavily on having a controller that can move stuff on the screen. Big bloody deal. Focus on gameplay and story. Have you seen those ads where the girls meet up online and go shopping or fishing or something? I mean, jesus. The Wii is for… Alright I’ll shut up. I don’t like it.

I know this goes against what I'm saying but this is lame.

I know this goes against what I'm saying but this is lame.

THEY CAN HELP YOU UNDERSTAND CLASSICS

“It’s no secret that games draw inspiration from books, but one enterprising teacher has turned the tables by using Halo to help his students understand the complexities of Homeric epics.

Roger Travis, associate professor of modern and classical languages at the University of Connecticut, claims that the trials and tribulations of Trojan hero Aeneas chronicled in Virgil’s Aeneid mirror those of Halo‘s Master Chief.

He likens the interactivity found in contemporary gaming to the oral tradition that prompted ancient audiences to connect with their plays.”

THEY HELP KIDS LEARN

This is from the Times:

“[K]ids have changed. They’re not little versions of us any more. Because of the technology they’re growing up with, they’ re able to learn in different ways, able to teach themselves in different ways and one of the greatest places they’ve got this from is by playing the complex games of today.

The notion of what a game is has changed too … over the past 20 years a more intricate sort of game, such as Civilisation IV, which teaches the span of Western history, or The Sims 2, which teaches strategies for winning and losing, has emerged. You have to reach multiple goals, it takes multiple skills and it takes 30 or 40 or 50 hours to play and master a game. From those games the kids learn a lot.”

THE BEST STRESS RELIEF

From ezine:

“Some people read a book or watch a movie as a way to get their mind off of their problems. Basically, they allow people to be transported to a fictional world for awhile. In that area, video games are actually the most effective form of release, because they provide a deeper and more encompassing transportation.”

From ABC science:

“Physio and occupational therapists started using simple video games in the late 1980s to treat people with a whole range of conditions from physical, learning or emotional disorders to cognitive problems following stroke and brain injury.

Today, a growing area of brain research suggests modern fast-paced action video games — in particular first-person shooter games — may sharpen your vision, improve your attention and working memory, and develop your fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

What’s more, these skills aren’t just virtual: they can help you do better in real-life situations, like driving your car or juggling more than one task at a time.”

OK ENOUGH PROOF. BACK TO THE RANT

Ok, that’s enough. This is all from just a tiny bit of the studies going on all over the world. There are hundreds of articles in a similar vein. I think I have proved my point. What I don’t get is why it is still an issue. The facts are there. Stop being so damn passive! Stop watching shows with ‘Celebrity [fill in the blank]’ as the title.

Watch Ulrika pick her nose on Celebrity Big Brother

Watch Ulrika pick her nose on Celebrity Big Brother

I’d suggest moderation in this, obviously. Don’t play so much that your social life suffers or you read less. I’m just suggesting you play instead of watching shit like Big Brother (scientifically proved to increase your moron levels) or indeed any reality show. They do nothing for you. All the time spent reading about celebrities or more than 10 minutes on Facebook is a waste of life too. As is watching sport (I could write for hours on this). Playing sport is great but why watch others doing it? What’s the point? I could mention all time spent worshipping deities here but I won’t. They are a humourless and unforgiving bunch that I wouldn’t want to meet online, let alone in reality.

I think I went on a bit long about this topic. I’m wasting my life at work at the moment and have little else to do. I will end this with a brilliant piece I found on http://madisonian.net/ It is from Steven Johnson’s new book “Everything Bad is Good For You”. It is a joke and not anti books but it raises some good hypothetical points. My next blog entry will be shorter I promise! Here is the extract and good night:

“Imagine an alternate world identical to ours save one techno-historical change: videogames were invented and popularized before books. In this parallel universe, kids have been playing games for centuries—and then these page-bound texts come along and suddenly they’re all the rage. What would the teachers, and the parents, and the cultural authorities have to say about this frenzy of reading? I suspect it would sound something like this:

Reading books chronically under-stimulates the senses. Unlike the longstanding tradition of gameplaying—which engages the child in a vivid, three-dimensional world filled with moving images and musical soundscapes, navigated and controlled with complex muscular movements—books are simply a barren string of words on the page. Only a small portion of the brain devoted to processing written language is activated during reading, while games engage the full range of the sensory and motor cortices.

Books are also tragically isolating. While games have for many years engaged the young in complex social relationships with their peers, building and exploring worlds together, books force the child to sequester him or herself in a quiet space, shut off from interaction with other children. These new ‘libraries’ that have arisen in recent years to facilitate reading activities are a frightening sight: dozens of young children, normally so vivacious and socially interactive, sitting alone in cubicles, reading silently, oblivious to their peers.

Many children enjoy reading books, of course, and no doubt some of the flights of fancy conveyed by reading have their escapist merits. But for a sizable percentage of the population, books are downright discriminatory. The reading craze of recent years cruelly taunts the 10 million Americans who suffer from dyslexia—a condition didn’t even exist as a condition until printed text came along to stigmatize its sufferers.

But perhaps the most dangerous property of these books is the fact that they follow a fixed linear path. You can’t control their narratives in any fashion—you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you. For those of us raised on interactive narratives, this property may seem astonishing. Why would anyone want to embark on an adventure utterly choreographed by another person? But today’s generation embarks on such adventures millions of times a day. This risks instilling a general passivity in our children, making them feel as though they’re powerless to change their circumstances. Reading is not an active, participatory process; it’s a submissive one. The book readers of the younger generation are learning to ‘follow the plot’ instead of learning to lead.”

computer_games_dont_affect_kids_i_mean_if_pac_tshirt


Pin It

The Metro is now my sole source of news

metro_270309_cover

There used to be a lot more newspapers lying around the places I work but that seems to have changed. Now it just seems to be the Metro which I will already have read. My work commute takes me 24 minutes which is coincidentally the exact time it takes me to read the Metro. As I work shifts I tend to miss all the TV news and there are way more interesting things to look at on the internet when not at work. The channels I work for are all of the refreshingly shallow and forgettable variety. Consequently all my news comes from the Metro and the occasional follow-up on the internet while at work. This is probably a bad thing but it keeps me happy. TV news is usually dire or dull. You can’t skip through the boring parts where they repeat information that you already know. Like the economy is screwed but might get better. Or politicians aren’t wholly to be trusted but there will be new legislation to try and keep them in line – drafted by politicians and consequently ignored. Or the situation in the Middle East is still shite.

Look at these luvlies!

Look at these luvlies!

Newspapers are pretty crap too. Britain has a fantastically free press. Something to be praised and treasured. The problem is that they have to pick a stance and stick to it. The Mirror, Sport, Sun etc, seem to be obsessed with paedophiles and rant on about ‘monsters’ and ‘sex beasts’ romping with young women then pausing to have a picture of a topless 18 year old called ‘Luscious Lucy from Liverpool. Cor, look at them jubblies!’. The Mail and the Express are torrid right-wing rants that use the word ‘outraged’ about a 1000 times an issue before blaming all of Britain’s woes on immigrants – even though the average reader lives in a dreary suburban clone and remains utterly unaffected from an influx or exodus of filthy foreigners. The Guardian (probably one of the better ones) prides itself on being for the ‘independent thinker’ but everyone I know who reads it has the same opinion as other Guardian readers on absolutely everything. An opinion they got from the Guardian – which can be astoundingly naive on some topics. It does have great cultural, reviews and travel sections though and is therefore one of the best. I’d be willing to bet that its readership considers itself too intellectual and free thinking to read something as awful as the Metro though. The paper seems to inspire intellectual snobbery and I can see the sneer now. The broadsheets are just too big to read anywhere you would normally read a paper – like the train or the toilet.

This is news!

This is news!

So there you go. All news is crap.  So how do I remain so wonderfully informed? I read the New Scientist for science,  satirical news shows like Have I got News For  You or Mock the Week coupled with Private Eye for politics, Time Out for reviews, Empire for movies, Edge magazine for games, and Fortean Times for quirky stuff. While all the above keep me fantastically informed on the topics I’m interested in, they aren’t daily. When a mental schoolkid guns down his classmates or a nutter raises a family with his daughter and keeps them locked in the basement, I read it all first in the Metro. It is like a daily taster of what I will read in depth at a later date. If it’s something major like a war or serial killer, I wait a couple of hours and watch a hastily-made documentary.

Don’t get me wrong here, the Metro isn’t brilliant either. But it is perfect for the train. It has the news but not in too much depth. It has movie and book reviews and weird facts. It features a science bit which tackles some quite big topics but explains them as if the readers were five years old. It has a comments section where people can astound and amaze you with how absolutely pointless and banal a thought can be and still get in print (“I met a man called John Smith, he was bitter.” Someone actually thought that was brilliant enough to write in. Pointless shite like this is what blogs are for, surely). It feels thrown together by a team who have absolutely no communication with each other. Marvellous randomness! Front page – 10 killed in a day in Iraq, turn over and ‘Ohh a panda that can sing’, turn over and an explanation of black holes with comparisons to sinks, and so on.

I have in front of me Friday’s edition. On half the front page there’s a story of a consul killed in the Caribbean in a suspected gay-hate attack. Pretty powerful and shocking stuff. Turn to the next page and there’s a guy who travelled the world for £1 on his bicycle doing magic tricks (this is an entire page). The next two pages are full of stories randomly thrown in – a tribute to a dead soldier, a facebook killer, bankers’ pensions, and a woman called A Payne changing her name to Truly Scrumptious. Sometimes the news seems to conflict with itself from one article to the next. On page 9 for example there is a story that reads ‘Suicide is bigger killer of young men than crime’. It begins with: ‘Forget the headlines focused on a country riddled with teenage knife culture and gun crime – young people are more likely to die by their own hand than they are to be killed in a violent attack.’ This is all well and good. Thanks for reassuring us that the press is being sensationalist and we should ignore these alarmist headlines and articles. Ones like, say, er, the piece directly above this one. The one that reads: ‘Just one in five knife criminals is jailed’ and talks about how Labour ‘has failed to get a grip on the rising scourge of knife crime’. The following page tells how a man stabs himself in front of ITN staff next to a story about the gravitational corridors that can aid a spacecraft navigating its way to Mars. Brilliant.

Other highlights include: Usain Bolt’s 100 metre record is broken by a cheetah. You know, the fastest land mammal (a cheetah) beats a human (also a mammal) at being fast, shocker.

Swine Flu will peak before going down. Probably. But it may or may not be that bad.

THE NEXT BIG SCARE – monkey malaria! I kid you not. Better start panicking now.

A Buzz Lightyear doll has now spent more time in space than any astronaut.

An article about Syria followed by an article about polar explorers.

Scottish people spend more on personal grooming products than any one else in Britain. This could be just because they are fatter but I’m speculating.

A cat that eats nothing but lasagne. You know like, Garfield! Wow! This is accompanied by a half page picture of the fat cat next to a plate of lasagne. Just for clarity.

A quick quarter page of world news (war, famine, North Korea, etc) that ends with a story about a town in Germany that is so fed up with a prostitution area they are spreading fake vomit on the streets. It smells like the real stuff too. Apparently that’s a preferable option, which doesn’t say a lot for the town.

A brilliant story about an advertising campaign that was meant to support recycling and read ‘Taking an old bag for a ride’. Unfortunately it was on the side of a pensioners’ Dial-a -ride bus and all the old ladies got annoyed.

And so on. How could you not enjoy this smorgasbord of random, slightly interesting stuff? All you need to know about the world plus lots you don’t. The only flaw in this is that it is now Sunday. No free papers since Friday morning. I hope nothing much has happened.

The longest serving astronaut

The longest serving astronaut

Pin It

The Notting Hill Carnival

Well, I went to the Notting Hill carnival. I last went about 8 years ago with my ex-girlfriend and a couple of her friends. None of my mates wanted to go. I drank a gallon of Red-Stripe, lamented the state of the toilets, saw about three floats, hated most of the music, loved all the food, and then when persuaded to go home at about six demanded a trip to the pub.

This time it was exactly the same, except I’m married.

I don’t know why I don’t really like the Notting Hill carnival. It’s probably that it just seem a lot of grief – crowds, shuffling slowly through dancing people, piles of rubbish and a massive walk to the tube. All for very little reward. If I want to see a load of drunk people I’ll go to Soho or a park. If I want to eat West Indian food, I’ll go to a restaurant. If I want big crowds, music, expensive beer, and an extended journey home where I have to walk extra miles for transport – I’ll go to a gig at Wembley. You rarely see that many of the floats and when you do, you get bored after 4 or 5 of them. Plus there are now so many police you get paranoid that something must be about to kick off at any moment.

My wife got her master’s degree (one of them) in Louisiana and she insists I will love the New Orleans Mardi more. It has the drink and food and music but you get the added bonus of women flashing their breasts. Introduce that to the carnival and I’ll change my mind.

I think I’d just be happier eating jerk chicken in a strip club. But then I could have told you that before I went.

So What’s Been Happening?

Well, it’s 6:30am and I’m eleven hours into my shift. Or to put it another way – nothing’s happening and I’m at work being paid quite handsomely to watch Doctor Who. Is that good or bad? I don’t know. I do know that it could be a lot worse but I really need a beer. I’m doing 11 12-hour shifts in a two week period and it hasn’t allowed me much social life. Again this is both a good and bad thing. Good for my liver and bad for my brain. I finish on Monday morning, will catch a couple of hours sleep and head for the Notting Hill Carnival. When I will rectify the situation with cans of Red Stripe.

Because of all this I haven’t done much. I read the paper a lot. So er, here’s what’s been happening I found mildly interesting over the past few days:

A-level and GCSE results are up yet again. If you’re a pessimist, then you probably think that this is because they are getting easier so that schools can report better results and the government can say how brilliant the education is. If you’re an optimist and don’t want to belittle the young

The next generation of Brits.

The next generation of Brits.

people’s achievements then presumably you are in awe of the increasingly super-genius that are leaving schools. Year upon year the British are getting smarter and it’s quite baffling that we haven’t ruled the world by now. Having read a few internet forums on sites like Amazon, I have to say I’m leaning toward cynicism. The other day someone was reviewing something and said they had ‘buyed’ this and it was crap. They were 18. This was not an isolated event and one forum descended into a generational debate between 30/40 year olds and teen/20 year olds. All the younger generation were morons in this forum and defended themselves by saying it was just a forum. The older generation pointed out that buyed isn’t a word and you don’t confuse your, you’re, they’re, their, and there because you are relaxed and simply chatting. You do it because you’re an idiot. Or is it ‘your an idiot’ (just a wee joke). Most of us older types claimed it was a matter of dignity, learning, and that the younger ones sucked. With that said, the other 30/40 year olds and I, proud in our maturity, wisdom, and education left the Playstation 3 discussion room in disgust.

In defense of Britain’s youth, I suspect they are exactly equal in intelligence to all previous generations. They are just worse at spelling.

Another news story I saw was about a high-speed train that will go from London to Scotland in 2 hours. Which is cool if you’re feeling too dry and warm and crave a deep-fried mars bar.

These deep fried Mars Bars could be two hours away in the wonderful future.

These deep fried Mars Bars could be two hours away in the wonderful future.

Actually I’m being flippant here as I love Scotland. The bits I’ve been to anyway. Mostly Edinburgh in fact. I have spent the odd day in Glasgow, Dunblane and Bridge of Allan too and they were delightful. Apparently you will also be able get to Manchester and Liverpool in an hour which is pretty impressive. The article added as an afterthought that you’d be able to go to Birmingham in 45 minutes but seemed at a loss as to why. I have yet to meet anyone who has ever gone to Birmingham. Maybe it awesome and happening and a brilliantly kept secret.

Roll on 2030!

Roll on 2030!

The only problem with this train is that it won’t be in place until 2030. Which says something about British transport. There will be a moon base and we will have landed on Mars before we can build a quick train to Scotland. There is something deeply wrong with this scenario.

I wrote about how few have died from swine flu recently and struggled to think of something nobody has ever heard of that has killed more. I then read in a paper of a 16 year old girl who died of adult cot death. This is incredibly tragic and apparently kills hundreds of adults a year. I did a bit of internet research and found that this is linked to the rather alarmingly named Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Where you just die. Probably while doing something dull. I have decided to worry about this instead. I now really resent work just in case it happens there.

Apparently most Brits are staying put in Britain this year and enjoying what the media have rather tediously dubbed a ‘staycation’. On top of this, more and more people are staying in and drinking at home due to the recession, pub prices and the smoking ban. This combination of staying in and drinking has led to the biggest baby boom in 50 years. Then it was relief to have survived the war and not be speaking German but now it seems to be alcoholic boredom. There’s not a lot on telly, you’re drunk with the missus, what else is there to do? I did read that the average Brit who has left the country on holiday consumed an average of 8 alcoholic drink per person every day. This booze expenditure is probably why we are so welcome abroad.Send_Booze

In summary then, not a lot has been happening and I’ve done bugger all.

Pin It

The great Swine Flu conspiracy

I wrote a few months ago about how swine flu was coming to sweep across the globe, decimate the population, and cause fear wherever a sneeze is to be heard. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this to happen and any death from this is a tragedy.

I was going to eat humble pie when it looked like it was genuinely going to kick off a month or two ago. I actually knew some people who got it and panic seemed to spread. In China Mexicans were quarantined and in Hong Kong a hotel got blockaded. Eqypt threatened to kill all its pigs and in Afghanistan, there was talk of killing the country’s sole hog. They only have one in the whole country apparently, which is a bit weird. It must be lonely.

So far 59 people have died in Britain. Which is sad but I read somewhere that 10,000 a year die from normal flu and the number of new cases are dropping rapidly. The population stupidly started to relax and drop from their state of media-induced panic. Ministers and the press are currently trying to change this by informing us that there will be a second more deadly wave and that mass graves are being prepared. MASS GRAVES IN BRITAIN! they cry before reluctantly adding at the end that its for a worse case scenario… mumble mumble…

I was reading an article in Fortean Times that described a lot of conspiracy theories that are gleefully being slung around the internet at the moment. One of the more pervasive ones is that it is a manufactured virus designed to sell drugs like Tamiflu. I don’t really believe in most conspiracy theories (see my moon landing entry ) but this one, like others, has some intriguing coincidences.

Cut back in time to 1976. A young soldier in Fort Dix dies of swine flu (or a similar variant). Others become infected but only within the fort. This has led to the theory that the flu was manufactured as a bio-weapon. A young politician called Donald Rumsfeld calls for mass vaccinations against the flu. This policy is adopted by the Ford administration. Years later a company called Gilead Sciences develops Tamiflu and it is stockpiled in order to combat the bird flu outbreak of 2005. Which never really kicks off and the drugs are left sitting in government warehouses all over the world. The chairman for this company from 1997 to 2001 was, you guessed it, Donald Rumsfeld. Who is now keeping schtum on how many stocks he still owns.

Curious eh? A drug company with stockpiles of drugs linked to a politician and suddenly we are desperately in terror of a virus that has, relatively speaking, done bugger all. That can be immunised against by this drug and not any other ones already on the market.

It may be a coincidence, maybe not. If it is then the media and government are playing into the pharmaceutical company’s hands. What could be in it for our politicians? Apparently we stockpiled tons of this Tamiflu during the Bird Flu outbreak of 2005 and it is now getting nearer to its expiration date. It’s all going off. A massive waste of money. Suddenly there is panic instilling reports of mass graves and a million dead.

Ok maybe there is no conspiracy but it makes for interesting reading. Obviously I hope there aren’t mass swine flu related deaths as London will be the most severely affected. It will be pretty scary if a million die. Plus house prices might drop.

I’m hoping it’s just a case of the press over-reacting to sell newspapers. Apparently it has happened before but I find it hard to believe that there could be that level of unprofessionalism in our nation’s journalists.

Just remeber to sneeze in a tissue and dispose of it as shown to us by David McCusker – the actor who is the government’s ‘face of swine flu’ and appears in their ads. Who then got swine flu. And was helped by taking Tamiflu. Suspicious eh?

Science fiction looks different these days

Well, I survived yet another trip to Amsterdam and have since been working a lot. Mostly for the Syfy channel. The combination of brain-battering in both places fused together to make me wonder about something that would not bother most. At least I hope not or humanity really needs to focus.

What I noticed was that alien planets in the fictional future of my childhood look different from alien planets in the fictional future of today.

The Vasquez rocks or an alien planet?

The Vasquez rocks or an alien planet?

In my youth alien planets were desert but today they are forests. To be specific, in my youth they looked like the Vasquez rocks outside LA and now they look like a Canadian forest. The former strikes me as more realistic as most extra-terrestrial planets (not the gas giants obviously) are desert-like in appearance. Look at Mars. Or Venus. I should stress that this probably won’t bother most people but it does me and this is my site. If you do care and you want proof, here goes.

Star Trek Original series. Arena.

Star Trek Original series. Arena.

In a classic episode of the old Trek called Arena, James T. Kirk is beamed down to a planet and made to fight a green lizard thing that is the captain of another ship.

Spoilers: They are placed there by an alien intelligence to see which species should be allowed to survive. It’s a fight to the death and Kirk manages to make gunpowder and shoots a diamond at the alien with a piece of bamboo.

Which is exactly what I’d have done. He refuses to finish the alien off and humans turn out to be er, humane and we’re let off.

Notice the background?

Same episode but with alien

Same episode but with alien

In the highly under-rated Futurama, cartoon Vasquez rocks:

Futurama does Star Trek

Futurama does Star Trek

Buck Rogers went there in the 25th Century:

Buck Rogers

Buck Rogers

There’s a great bit in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey where they watch the Arena episode and then a few minutes later get thrown off the very same rocks. I couldn’t find a photo of this but here they are in preparation:

From fantazone

From fantazone

Evil Bill and Ted meet Good Bill and Ted

Evil Bill and Ted meet Good Bill and Ted

Ok so it is all to do with budgets and nearness to the studio. It’s just that my youth has been filled with images of the Vasquez rocks. The Flinstones movie has these rocks behind Bedrock. A godawful movie called Shockwave features them. In Friends, Joey is going to be in a low budget Sci Fi film that is set here.

Here’s Airwolf episode 1:

Airwolf!

Airwolf!

Austin Powers!

Austin Powers!

So there I am watching old Sci Fi juxtaposed with new Sci Fi. The difference is glaring. New Sci Fi looks like this:

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

Stargate

Stargate

As stated, it is obviously about budgets and this entry is making no point whatsoever. Except maybe don’t go to Amsterdam and then watch the SyFy channel for three 12-hour shifts in a row. Especially if you’re a bored pedant.

 

Hopefully soon, some big budget movie will come along and return to the planets of my youth with its Vasquez like rocks. Actually… that’s happened. Guess what movie? In a joke that would appeal to sad Trekkies, JJ Abrams’ brilliant new Star Trek film featured a picture of Vulcan.

It looks familiar and god bless him:

Vulcan in the new Star Trek. Genius.

Vulcan in the new Star Trek. A return to Vasquez. Genius.

Next blog entry: something completely different.

Pin It

Prostitutes and Burlesque Dancers vs the Evil Council

I wish there was a film with that title. Anyway, I digress.

I am now back to normal after my extended period of night-time toil. Apart from the swine flu and more stories about expense fraud, I didn’t feel like I had missed much. Sure there’s lots going on – terrorism, war, famine, general planet-wide misery and so on, but there’s nothing that would have affected me if I had had the day off.

Except I missed two marches in London I would like to have seen. Normally marches are full of concerned people complaining about injustice, or anarchists up for a bit of pointless violence and MacDonalds bashing, or even poor bastrards just trying to get home and being bullied by identity-less police. These were different.

Prostiutes march through Soho to give thanksThe first was a march by prostitutes through the streets of Soho to give thanks to the local residents’ support. Apparently the government (boo! hiss!) were trying to close down a lot of the rooms that the girls use in Soho to have sex in. The ones up some stairs that advertise models. Apparently.

The evil government were against this and would seem to prefer that the girls left the safety of these protected and safer environments and walked the streets instead, to be attacked and controlled by pimps as they are elsewhere. Or maybe they genuinely thought that if they closed these places down then prostitution would end. Whatever they thought they are idiots. Anyway, the residents of Soho formed a coalition with the ‘working ladies’ and claimed this was part of Soho’s charm and these girls have been doing this since Soho began and they are an integral part of the area. The fact that they can also get laid in their lunchbreak is a bonus that was curiously omitted. Good on everyone involved because they won the case and the goverment backed down. So the ladies dressed up in all sorts of exciting outfits and marched through Soho just to say thanks to all who supported them. These girls are now safer, and the residents of Soho are happier. Hooray for justice!

burlesque dancers march on town hallNow Soho is a good 15-20 minutes from my flat, so I can forgive myself for not being there. Plus, if I found myself in Soho on a Sunday morning I would probably not even be in a state to stand or see. The other march I missed though was in my own borough of Camden. Or ‘Scamden’ as the Oscar Wildean local wags refer to it. In this case it was a protest march as the council (more boos and hisses) were trying to get the burlesque troupes to pay the same amounts as strippers when it came to licences. Or taxes. Or something. Not quite sure as I was staring at the pretty pictures too much. Anyway, the ladies said it is different from stripping in that – and this seems pretty crucial – they don’t strip off. Sure they writhe sexily around in lingerie but it is more arty. It can also be quite fun and ok to take the wife to.

I hope they win! I pay a bucketload of council tax and really think that councils should be spending more time on things like crime and violence and getting sodding tourists in Camden to walk faster, than all this. They are essentially trying to close or tax things that people who live there actually like rather than sort out stuff they don’t.

Maybe I should start a march. A march for people who think burlesque dancers shouldn’t be targeted and prostitutes should be safer and legal. Those who think a bit of seediness and/or sauciness adds to the character of an area. I suspect however, that myself and others concerned with these issues wouldn’t be quite so aesthetically pleasing. So I won’t.

Pin It

I am now fully nocturnal

I have been doing a lot of work for various TV stations recently and it has completely flipped my body clock. I get up each day at 4:30pm and piss about until I leave for work. I joyfully start my toil at 7:30pm and sit on my arse until I finish at 7:30am. I get home about 8:15, chill out for a bit and go to sleep at 9:30am. I then wake up and repeat. For 10 days in a row. My brain has melted slightly.

This is my view for 12 hours.

This is my view for 12 hours.

I feel like I am living in a reality that runs in parallel with most people’s but separate. I am going to work when everyone else on the train is on their way home. As I pass pubs I see people getting drunk at what feels like breakfast. When I return, bloodshot and bleary eyed, I have the satisfaction that I’m the only one going to bed in my carriage.

This is the life of a transmission controller doing the nightshift. We walk among you looking relatively normal. We work in dark rooms without windows. We literally watch tv for a living hoping it won’t break. We are the ones responsible for putting up ‘Sorry we are experiencing technical difficulties’ pictures as we panic and realise we’ve done something wrong. We are the ones who accidentally cut to ad breaks during football matches and have our bosses apologise to parliament. I personally made the papers when I broadcast full frontal lesbian porn to the middle east at 10am. There were surprisingly few complaints. Still, it pays the bills.

At least it’s summer – or what passes for summer in this cloudy isle. In winter, more than one nightshift means you can go for days without seeing daylight once. Fortunately I’m an upbeat character. Plus, if things ever get too depressing, I am in a job with internet access, not much to do, and a credit card. The possibilities are endless.

I now have a day off. I might catch up on some telly.

Pin It

Moon landings, dashed dreams, conspiracy idiots.

moon-landing

Forty years ago we landed on the moon. It is consistently voted ‘mankind’s greatest acheivement’ in any poll that allows votes on such matters. For the next few years more people and more missions landed there and collected moon rocks, left reflectors, conducted various experiments and so on.

This inspired my parents’ generation to look to the stars and dream of what the future may hold. It was to be filled with space travel, moon stations, settlements on Mars. They looked at their children (people of my generation) with a certain amount of envy. We would live under the sea or in floating cities and have flying cars, jet packs and robots to do our work.

Then… a couple of decades of boredom. Sure, in the 80s we got advances in satellite TV, computers, mobile phones, and the space shuttle, but they were all pretty shit really. It was like everyone gave up on looking to the future and focused instead on politics, buying stuff, and wearing fluorescent socks. The world turned dull.

The 90s were better. A bit. Space stations were a bit crappy back in the 70s and 80s, but were finally showing a bit more promise. Mobile phones were finally small enough to carry in a pocket. Computer games got more colour. None of the cool stuff our parents dreamed of but it was a start.

This decade has at least brought us some cooler stuff. Slim laptops and wireless internet mean that you can play games, have video phonecalls, and look at a huge chunk of humankind naked pretty much anywhere. Our phones now take pictures, have games, surf the internet, have apple applications and can phone anyone on the planet (who has a phone, obviously). There are hundreds of satellites that can bring us thousands of channels of largely shite TV in High Definition. The space station is growing.

Also, there are new superpowers that seem to be kickstarting a new space race. At long bloody last. I firmly believe that countries like China will make America and Europe panic enough to start planning things space-wise again. The advantage the USSR had over the West was that they could chuck a few cosmonauts into space and hope for the best. If they died, so what. Apparently there is a chilling recording of a pre-Gregarin cosmonaut shouting that his country has killed him and they are all a bunch of bastards as he drifted around in space with no hope of return. The problem with the West’s space missions is that we are wimpy enough to want our astronauts to get back safetly. China has no such scruples. They just go for it. Here’s their plan for the next eight years:

In 2009-2010, build a space station in orbit.

In 2010-2011, land an unmanned probe on the Moon.

By 2013, launch a rocket with triple the lifting power of the nation’s largest. It would be able to carry a payload of 27 tons to space, three times today’s nine tons.

In 2015-2016, land another unmanned probe on the Moon to collect soil samples and return them to Earth in preparation for a human moon base.

In 2017, land a man on the Moon.

(Thanks to www.spacetoday.org for this)

In case you are interested, a Chinese spaceman is a Taikonaut, which sounds pretty nifty.

So the race is back on.

We are now also trying to race them to Mars. An actual planet. Something that may finally pip the moon landings to the number one spot.

Plus, if we go to Mars there will be more and more proof to shut the ridiculous conspiracy theorists up.

On top of the superpowers, we have now allowed independant enterprises to enter the space fray. Including the former Soviet Union and Virgin. You can now pay to become a space tourist. They have started to advertise trips around the moon. Yet another nail in the conspiracy morons’ coffins.

onion moon

You may have guessed by now that I get pissed off by people that claim we haven’t been to the moon. What they have done is look at all the stuff NASA has put out and rather than construct any decent arguments, have simply picked holes in the ‘proof’. Gathered together it seems like a strong argument and this is where the gullible become convinced. But it is easy to take every single one of their flimsy arguments apart.

Let’s look at a few:

The flag seems to wave in the wind. This can’t happen in a vacuum.

First off – they claim the moon landings were filmed in a studio. I work in TV and have never seen a studio with open windows. They are always deep in the building behind big heavy doors, usually a couple of them. Soundproofed for obvious reasons. Where did the wind come from in this ludicrous scenario? I repeat – there is now way wind can get into a studio. They use fans if they need that effect. The flag only ever moves when someone is holding the flimsy aluminium pole! The fact that it remains completely stationary for hours at a go when no one is touching it seems to be a fact that is overlooked. There’s no wind fluttering it then.

It’s impossible to get through the Van Allen belt – the radiation would kill them.

This is bollocks. The Van Allen belt would take about 30 minutes to cross and astronauts can be easily shielded from the solar radiation. One person who says this part of the conspiracy is crap and easily disproved is… wait for it… Professor Van Allen. Apparently conspiracy buffs know more than he does about this belt.

There are multiple light sources.

Yes there are. In a vacuum, light is very reflective. There are light sources on the craft, from the astronauts, from the sun, and from the Earth. Night-time on Earth is rarely pitch black because of the sun reflecting off the moon. This is the same on the moon except the earth is bigger and shinier.

I could go on but won’t. A lot more of the arguments are along the lines of: on a rock you can sort of see something that looks like numbers like you get on props. I can’t even be bothered to talk about this.

Evidence that we have been there apart from the footage is numerous.

Moonrocks have been collected and brought back to earth and have been carbon dated and proved to be older than any rock found on Earth. These rocks have been studied after having been brought back to Earth by the Apollo missions, the Russian ‘Luna’ missions (remote probes) and ejecta that have fallen to Earth. They are all distinctly different from Earth rock but similar to each other – including the supposedly faked Apollo missions. Another distinguishing feature is that they are completely devoid of any minerals found in Earth’s water. They are unique. Unless the American, Russian and geological collectors are lying, the carbon dating people are lying and chemists are lying.

They have left a reflector on the moon that scientists (and others) regularly fire a laser at, and have it return, so that we can accurately measure the distance from the Earth to the moon. Apparently it is pulling away from us. Which is interesting if you believe all these science types.

Other factors such as the amount of people who would have to lie to keep this a secret are pretty convincing. The theorists try and say that it was all ‘compartmentalised’ so no one really knew what the others were up to. 400,000 worked for a decade to make the moon landings possible. If this compartmentalisation was true there would still have to be a couple of thousand people in on the secret. Given that even the Royal Family are ratted out by their butlers and celebs secrets are always getting out, I find it hard to believe this many people would keep quiet.

For me though, the best bit of evidence flies against the principle idea that underlies the moon-landing-is-a-hoax theorists. Most believe that the whole thing was faked because of the cold war. The thing is, if there was any doubt at all that it was faked, any problem with the science or the pictures or the videos or anything – surely the USSR would have been the first to accuse the Americans of faking it. They never have. Not once. The only people who have made this accusation are ill-informed non-scientists trying to pick holes in the established facts.

So there. In fact, I need not have gone on for so long. It has all been pretty thoroughly debunked already. I think I just get annoyed because it feels like people are trying to lessen an amazing achievement. We need more of them. Plus, if humanity is to survive we need to get off this planet in case an asteroid hits.

I’ve heard people complain that we’ve screwed up this planet enough and maybe it would be a good thing that we died out. Nice thought. I just hope they don’t have kids as they obviously don’t care enough about them. Another argument is that we should spend more money on hospitals instead. You know, so we can all live longer and over-populate the planet even more, forever and ever building more hospitals. Good plan.

I say: let’s go to Mars. Let’s dream of the future. We should ban people who claim the moon landing is a hoax for a start. Damn conspiracy nutters. I just hope the aliens, men in black, and David Icke let us. They’re in control after all.

I'll admit this may be faked

I’ll admit this may be faked

Pin It