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Vogon

Vogon 0IQ

Blog October 3rd, 2015 to August 3rd. 2017..

Friday October 3rd, 2015

What is the capital city of the U.S.A?

USA Map

If you said Washington DC you were wrong.

The capital city of the U.S.A. is Tel Aviv.
           Ever since Thatcher and the worldís growing inclination to worship the economy, it has been the Israelis who have been running not only America, but most of the Western world.
           In 2008 The House of Representatives may have voted not to bail out the banks with taxpayer money, but Israelis in high positions, all carrying American passports, simply laughed and made sure the taxpayer got them out of trouble. In their view they were the high priests. They ran and (supposedly) cared for the countryís sacred economy and so the country had better show them some appreciation.
           In fact, the well known eccentric David Icke only got it half right when he said that bankers and financiers were large,   cold-blooded lizards masquerading as human beings. They are, in fact,   Israelis masquerading as citizens of America, Britain and Europe.
           To give but one example, the American military has frequently complained bitterly about the fact that its equipment is simply taken away from them and sent to Israel, regardless of the fact they need it themselves. One airforce officer got back to his base after a period of leave and found that without so much as a Ďby your leaveí, half the planes on his base had been repainted in Israeli colours and were being shipped to Israel and this left half the pilots on the base with nothing to fly. (The Great War for Civilisation by Robert Fisk. Page 968)
           But, in truth, Americans have always been colonists. It seems to be in their blood and so whereas once they were ruled by the British, now they seem happy to be ruled by the Israelis.

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Monday October 5th, 2015

Suckers

By Rose Shapiro.

Suckers by Rose Shapior

The dangers of hocus pocus medicine.

A good book which really lambasts the Complimentary Alternative Medicine business and it is most interesting. However the author seems to overlook the fact that alternative medicine is great for the worried well, especially if itís at no cost to the tax payer. The problems only arise when unscrupulous practitioners begin to fleece the worried sick with their promises of a guaranteed cure and sadly, Royal Patronage makes it all too easy for them to make a fortune from those who are sick and scared of dying.
           Hocus pocus medicine is presently growing in popularity and so this book is an important read.

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Tuesday October 6th, 2015

Big Trouble

By Dave Barry.

Suckers by Rose Shapior

A Fun Read.

Stephen King described this yarn as side-splittingly funny. So much so that he fell out of his chair and rolled about on the floor. He writes: ĎThis is the funniest thing Iíve read in almost forty years.í But I wouldnít go that far. An amusing read, definitely, and there are some laughs along the way. But I wouldnít give it the credit Stephen King did.

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Wednesday October 7th, 2015

No third runway at Heathrow.

Aerotropolis by Greg Lindsay.

The way of the future.

Aerotropolis by Greg Lindsay clearly spells out the way the world is heading. Airports of the future clearly have to be full 24/7 operations. The Heathrow curfew which allows the people of London to get some sleep means that as an airport, Heathrowís importance is bound to diminish as the years go by. It simply wonít be able to keep up with the demands of an increasingly globalized society. Instead of throwing good money after bad to trying to keep the old limping along, another location must be found. Although Iím not an expert, after reading this book I have my eye on Stanstead which is not only well connected to the rest of the country, it can operate on a 24/7 basis and also has plenty of scope for development. But this, sadly, is something only big money can decide. Are the fat cats really going to gain by throwing money at Heathrow? Or is this third runway just an excuse to pick the taxpayerís pockets?
           Aeroptropolis is an excellent read, especially if you limit yourself to the first third of the book. The last two thirds are devoted to developing the ideas put forward in the first third, so they are only of interest to those who have a special interest in the aerotropoli of the future. But the first third makes for some informative, general interest reading.

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Thursday October 8th, 2015

Idiocracy.

Idiocracy.

Our future is one of stupidity.

This may only be a C grade slap-stick comedy, but I enjoyed it. I thought the concept was very clever and in the future, a globe full of stupid people is not as impossible as all that. (Sometimes, looking at the inhabitants of Westminster, Brussels and the Congress, I think we're almost there.)

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Friday October 9th, 2015

War in the Age of Aquarius.

War in the Age of Aquariuis.

Evolution and war have always walked in tandem.

Astrologers tell us that we are in the Age of Aquarius and this means some dramatic changes to human society. But warfare has been with us since even before the murder of Able by Cain and has, in my opinion, been a main driving force in the evolution of the human being.
           If there is no warfare in the future, there will be no continued evolution and so we must have war. But how are we going to have war in this, the Age of Aquarius?
           Simply, war in the future, instead of being land grabs and the conquering of oneís neighbours, we are going to have wars of ideology. For example, the globalized Nation of Islam presently seems determined to go to war with the globalized Nation of Israel and its allies. So despite the astrologerís protestations of peace in the future, war is still going to be with us and the evolution of our species will continue,

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Monday October 12th, 2015

Voem of the Week.

Conservative Party.

Politics.

To say itís fair,
A lot of hot air,
Enables a balloon to rise,
And surprise, politicians all this prize,
For if voters cannot prove itís just hot air!
And politicians dare voters to outstare,
The heat will their careers uplift,
And to their future be a gift.

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Tuesday October 13th, 2015

Understanding the English language.


It's a gaggle of geese.
A mischief of politicians.
And,
An anthology of prostitutes.

(For have you not heard of an anthology of prose?)

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Wednesday October 14th, 2015

Intercept

by Gordon Corera.

Intercept.

Not as interesting as I thought it would be.

This book offers a general overview of the subject and has a decided lack of interesting details. From the first cutting of important German undersea communication cables in 1914 to the present, it is an interesting book but such is the generalised nature of everything, youíre unlikely to be using words like Ďwow!'.
           Books about deception can often be deceptive themselves. If you glance at the back this book it appears to have received a tremendous amount of critical acclaim, but if you look closely youíll find that all the praise is actually for a different book the author wrote. But the publishers are obviously hoping you wonít notice this until after youíve handed over your money.
           If you're interested in this topic Iíd rate this work as a B+ or maybe an A-, but no more.

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Thursday October 15th, 2015

Elizabeth is Missing.

by Emma Healey.

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey.

Excellent.

A most enjoyable read. This book has an enormous amount of critical acclaim and I can only add my voice to the songs of praise. (The trouble with growing older is that every little instance of forgetfulness becomes a cause for anxiety. The fact that I forgot plenty of things in my twenties, thirties and forties is not the point, as I get on in years the slightest threat of Alzheirermís makes me exceedingly nervous. But fortunately Iím not as forgetful as the loveable protagonist in this book.)

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Friday October 16th, 2015

How Not To Be Wrong.
The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life.

by Jordan Ellenberg.

How Not To Be Wrong.

Convoluted, arcane and difficult to understand.

This book may have had a great deal of critical acclaim but I find it hard to see why. Personally, I was quite unimpressed. Here, in my view, is someone who has clearly gone out of his way to try and let the reader know how clever he is and Iím reminded of the kind of book Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory might write.
           The simple, childlike diagrams are very deceptive and might lure the reader into thinking that what they are reading is simplicity itself, but itís a trap. All mathematical explanations are convoluted, arcane and difficult to understand. In fact I was most amused by Ellenbergís complex mathematical formula which showed that because Ralph Nadar stood for election in 2000, Al Gore lost Florida and gave the victory to George W. Bush. But in the 2015 British elections, UKIP took a lot of Conservative votes and the Conservative Party still won! Something which, in my view, makes a total mockery of Ellenbergís book. Itís a book which proves that university egg heads are quite capable of making complete tossers of themselves and, for some reason, it seems that journalists who have been to university want to say good things about one of their own, even if they are not strictly true..
           Like it or not the industrial world is becoming divided into two distinct classes of people. Those who have university degrees and those who do not and so a university degree is a definitive dividing line in modern society. Gone are the days when doctors went to medical school, dentists went to dental school while lawyers and accountants started out as articled clerks. Most people learned their trade on the job and only those interested in purely mental pursuits such as physics, astronomy and history went to university. But itís all different now.

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Monday October 19th, 2015

Voem of the Week.


Blog, blog,
On many a day I blog,
For as through life I jog,
I in my blog,
Try my views to flog.

But am I a selfish dog,
Who thinks I knowledge hog?
And are surfers all agog,
When they read my blog?

But in the great scheme of things,
My blog, no matter how it sings,
Does for little count,
As I have of status no amount.

Though if I a university degree possessed,
My words would in power be dressed,
And whatever I did say,
Over many would hold sway.

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Tuesday October 20th, 2015

The Great War For Civilization.

Robert Fisk.

The Great War For Civilization by Robert Fisk.

A book for which you need a round tuuit.

Buying this tome with the intention of reading it is one thing, but actually getting around to reading it is something else altogether. However, I finally got around to it and am still unable to decide whether it was worth the effort involved. One thing about Robert Fisk is that he is very happy to excuse almost any amount of Arabic murder, rape and pillage but should the Americans, British or Israelis even put a toe out of line, itís shock - horror! Barbarism! Whatís the world coming to?
           Factually, Fisk is an excellent reporter and if itís facts you want, this is a good book from which to obtain them. Itís just that I was rather irritated by the way he loves to occupy the moral high ground when writing about America, Britain or Israel while tending to gloss over anything brutal or murderous when writing about Arabs. I also got the impression that many Arabs look on him as an easy mark for a sob story, but it was, I will repeat, only an impression.

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Wednesday October 21st, 2015

Citizen Hearst.

W. A. Swanberg.

Citizen Hearst.

A worthwhiile read.

I really enjoyed this well-written book and can only say that if you have any interest in the history of super rich newspaper barons, you will too.

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Thursday October 22nd, 2015

Ghost Man.

by Roger Hobbs.

Ghost Man.

A good first novel.

A great read, most enjoyable. However, it was over the top in places but as it is a first novel, Iíve no complaints.
           I will note that I read this last April and intended to blog it then. But I've been busy so have blogged it today with the notes I made in April. But to be honest, I canít remember a thing about the story so I suppose I should describe it as an enjoyable but quite forgettable read.

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Friday October 23rd, 2015

Periodic Tales.

by Hugh Aldersey Williams.

Periodic Tales by Hugh A. willaims.

Most Interesting.

Read this last May and made a note to say that it was an interesting read and in some places, very interesting although some of it was over my head. However, now in October, Iím finding it very difficult to remember any of the details, even the interesting ones.

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Monday October 26th, 2015

Voem of the Week.


Yesterday at three,
It did management agree,
That as of exercise all got enough,
It would the request rebuff.
For as through each day all staff jet,
Exercise they get,
For when up themselves they pump,
They to conclusions jump,
And when told to harder try,
They off the handle fly,
Then when theyíre feeling cross,
They rundown their boss.
Responsibility they also dodge,
So they in Easy Street can lodge,
And the habit it is rife,
In the back associates to knife,
Then thinking they have pluck,
They often like to push their luck,
So no, the companyíll not pay,
For staff in gyms to play.

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Tuesday October 27th, 2015

The Secret of British Greatness.

Those who are interested in knowing the secret which allowed the British Empire to flourish and become the greatest empire in the history of the world need look no further than the King James Bible.
           Almost all the people in the country believed in this spiritual source and so, as the Empire expanded, all were reading from the same book, no matter where in the world they happened to be. Even those who didnít believe rarely dared to argue with those who did. The King's Bible was a source of power, real power.
           Historians may sometimes like to decry the power of religion and tell us about the dishonesty and skulduggery of rulers past. But they probably only do this because it is good for their ratings and they invariably overlook the fact that many of these supposedly dishonest rulers were terrified by thoughts of going to hell and so, although there was a degree of dishonesty and skulduggery, there wasnít nearly as much as there could have been.
           But now, alas, since the dawn of the television age and the Trojan Horse called ĎArtí, many highly paid, self-interested individuals have done their best to undermine religious values and make the people feel that religion is irrelevant in the modern world and those who, in the light of modern advancements, continue to believe in the King James Bible, can only be considered to be both naÔve and uninteresting. In consequence, under this Ďselfishí onslaught, the British Empire has withered rapidly.
           But many hundreds of millions still believe implicitly in the Koran. They look on every word, even the violent ones, as sacred and with so many hundreds of millions of people reading daily from the same book, often from the same pages of the same book, the empire of the future is not hard to discern.

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Wednesday October 28th, 2015

Tony blair

Tony blair, A great British Liar.

Is he Britain's Biggest ever Liar?

Tony Blair has apologised once again. But who believes him? When you think about it, does Blair mean he is sorry or is it all just Blairite yap in which the yapper apologies with the right sounding words and then insists that because heís said heís sorry, itís time to draw a line under the matter and move on?
           Tony Blair may have said he's sorry but he hasnít been inclined to demonstrate any sorrow, remorse or regret for his actions and, as this is the case, isn't it therefore reasonable to assume that he clearly has no intention of going to Canossa and, in all fairness, until such time as he proves his remorse and returns from Canossa, shouldn't he just be ignored?

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Thursay October 29th, 2015

History's Great Untold Stories
Obscure Events of lasting Importance.

by Joseph Cummins.

History's Great Untold Stories by Joseph Cummins.

Most Interesting.

This is an interesting book containing some great stories. I love the one about the crackpot Pope Stephen VI who, in 899, had the body of his predecessor, Pope Formosus and then put it on trial. This story raises some interesting questions about the legitimacy of Pope Francisís papacy because it is just possible that Pope Francis was not legally ordained. There are many other interesting stories in this book so if you want read about some interesting world history, this is one book not to miss.

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Friday October 30th, 2015

Dishonest Britain.

Dishonest Britain.

Again!

How times have changed. During the First World War when the nationís survival depended on a cohesive society, all the pomp and ceremony of the Edwardian era quickly disappeared. By 1918 many of the visible differences between the poor and the very rich had disappeared and although the very rich still enjoyed their wealth, they werenít as ostentatiously better off as they had been during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Then came the Second world War, a period during which national survival became totally dependent on a cohesive society and so the visible gap between rich and poor diminished yet again. After that there was the Cold War, a time when many believed they could all be obliterated in seconds and strangely, this is an era which research has shown to have been a happier time in Britain, despite the rationing and other hardships. In the sixties and seventies wealth began to be distributed through all levels of society but then came Thatcher and the end of the Cold War. Since then, with nothing to fear and no need for national cohesion, the gap between rich and poor has widened again and today this gap is the nearly the same or perhaps even worse than it was in Edwardian times. The rich arenít just richer than the ordinary people, they are vastly richer and not afraid to let everyone know it.
           But a lot of this, like in Victorian times, has come about by the rich blatantly stealing from the poor and nowadays the rich donít seem to see anything wrong in taking from those who are less well off than they are. There was, as you may remember, the fiasco of the Royal Mail share launch in which politicians who knew they were selling under priced shares made sure that only the very rich could buy them and the excuses they have since used, or their spiel, was probably thought out and planned before the shares were even sold. (It was, in my view, cold-blooded legislative corruption and all the politicians have to do now is talk their way out of it. Nobody can actually prove there was corruption and such is the nature of modern society, if you canít prove the politician were dishonest, they were obviously NOT dishonest.)
           But have you tried to post anything recently? A large second class letter costs 74p and must fit easily through a narrow slot. Anything even slightly larger costs £2.80 which is nearly four times more! Itís has to be theft! Big companies donít pay anywhere near these rates and the rich can usually get their companies to post all their personal mail at a rate much lower than you or I would pay.
           But then isnít our parliament full of multi-millionaires? Many important national decisions in Westminster now seem to be made with a nudge and a wink on the understanding that what is good of the national economy really depends on the good of the rich! (If the rich arenít rich they wonít invest and help the economy grow and so it is the duty of the government to mollycoddle the rich and make decisions which ensure they become even richer. The poor and the not so well off? Well, the good of the nation does depend on sacrifice and if the economy is to prosper, which class of people is it wisest for the government to sacrifice on the alter of growth? The rich or the poor?)

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Monday November 2nd, 2015

Voem of the Week.


The world keeps spinning,
Time keeps winning,
And I lack,
The power to hold it back,
But still I mind,
Its forward grind,
And would dearly loves some laws,
Which could force a pause,
Itís the kind of dream,
Which through my mind does stream,
For it's only the bold,
Who happily grow old,
But not me I fear,
As I the now hold dear.

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Tuesday November 3rd, 2015

Wool.

by Hugh Howley.

Wool by Hugh Howlet.

Unnecessarily melodramatic and boringly detailed.

I canít deny that the principle of the story was very good but I thought the author kept turning even minor instances into a melodramas and also went into great detail about machinery which was simply a figment of his imagination. The story line, as I said, was good but it wasnít too long before I began to want to get to the end of the book so that I could put it aside and get on with reading something else. In consequence, I probably wonít be bothering with the other books in the series.

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Wednesday November 4th, 2015

Tolerance and compassion.

There is no doubt that the tolerance and compassion shown by the Western world is being seen by people in other parts of the world as a sign of weakness and, as human beings are a species of animal, everybody knows what happens when one animal sees signs of weakness in another animal.
           Too much tolerance and compassion is just as bad as not enough tolerance and compassion.

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Thursday November 5th, 2015

Drones and why I think the media is so dumb.

Thereís recently been a lot of excitement about drones and how they are going to be used for a wide variety of jobs. Goodness gracious, theyíre even going to be used to deliver parcels directly to a customerís door and the excitement stretches through the media and the universities almost to the point of organism.
           But how dumb our highly paid, educated elite be?
           What happens if a drone carrying a heavy parcel has an engine failure and plummets to the ground, hits someone on the head and kills them? What happens if it falls into someoneís back garden? Who owns the package then or, more importantly, if it does not become the property of the house owner, how much can the owner of the house charge the owner of the drone to go into the garden and retrieve their property?. What happens if a drone crashes onto a busy road and causes an accidents or even a fatality? Would you involuntarily swerve to avoid a drone which unexpectedly crashed into the road just in front of you?

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Friday November 6th, 2015

Tokyo Vice.

by Jake Adelstein.

tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein.

Absolutely first class.

If you have any interest in Japan or organised crime this is a book you cannot afford to miss. When I was in Japan during the late nineties people tended to say that Japanese police preferred Organised crime to disorganised crime because disorganised crime was the one they didnít want. But times have changed and the Yakuza have, like all capitalists, become profit hungry to the point where nothing matters but the money.
           Donít miss this excellent book.

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Monday November 9th, 2015

Voem of the Week.


One Good turn Deserves Another.

In January 1945,
Allies all did thrive,
But in Berlin, a radio tower,
Still did flower,
No allied bomb,
With aplomb,
Had sent it crashing to the ground,
With effects profound,
So this day bright and clear,
With allied armies still not too near,
Hitler and Goering on the top,
Did stories swop,
But as he did the city view,
Hitler in his mind did the past review,
He said, "I really like the people of Berlin,
Taking all these bombs upon the chin,
No complaints,
All are surely saints.
They did also always vote for me,
As they my worth could see,
But now they're in a stew,
I'd really like to for them something do."
Goering towards Hitler looked,
And in his mind his answer cooked,
But to his lips unthinking words they sped,
And so Goering said,
"If you'd like to do Berliners a favour,
One which they could savour,
You should up something decent stump,
And from here right now just jump."

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Friday February 19th, 2016

The Enigma of Capital
And the Crises of Capitalism.

by David Harvey

Enigma Of Capital by David Harvey.

A great book.

A must read for anyone who wants to understand Capitalism and the fact that in the long run, it is destined to go nowhere. A Capitalist is obssessed with growth and on a self-contained planet such as ours you simply can't have a three percent compound growth for ever and ever and consequently, somewhere along the line it will have to go bust. But before the bust there is going to be some savage in-fighting as those who are determined to continue growing slash and burn their way through any ordered society. The future of any capitalist society doesn't look good and so maybe we should adopt the policies of Bhutan where the government has decreed that 'gross national happiness' is infinitely more important than 'gross national product'. (But don't think that the American government which, in reality, is run by the bankers of Wall Street, would be enamoured by such an idea.

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Saturday February 20th, 2016

Christianity Explored

by Brenda Courtie & Margaret Johnson

Christianity Explored by ???.

Not uninteresting and easy to read.

If you're interested in expanding your knowledge on Christianity or religion in general this book, although not deep, is informative and easy to read.

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Monday February 22nd, 2016

The Great EU Debate.

European Union Flag

Can you trust a politician?.

It seems politicians are being forced to take sides in this debate but as voters, we have to start wondering about how many of them really believe in the stance they are taking. How many, for example, are choosing their side with an eye to their future careers because the trouble with being a politicians is that those who support the losing side may well find themselves being cast out into the political wilderness and never allowed back into the fold.

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Tuesday February 23rd, 2016

Zero Day.

by Mark Russinovich.

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich.

Computer terrorism.

Romance isn't really Russinovich's forte so the lovey-dovey bits can safely be skipped over. But if you're into computers it's a good read as it does demonstrate how, in this the age of the computer, just a few people with the right kind of resources could bring world society to its knees. I enjoyed it but must admit to the fact that I didn't fully understand the technicals. But Russinovich is one of the top men at Microsoft so maybe he knows but isn't saying or maybe he just made all the technicals up. Who knows? But the fact that computers now dominate world society and are all connected to each other means that anything is possible. Informative definitely.

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Wednesday February 24th, 2016

The End of Time.
The next revolution in our understanding of the Universe.

by Julian Barbour.

The End of Time by Julian Barbour.

Who could understand this?.

Well, I read the words, or seventy percent of them anyway, but didnít understand any of it. I was, in fact, quite surprised to see so much critical acclaim for a book which simply doesnít make sense. I, for example, only got an idea of what the author was speaking about when I reached the notes at the end, but even still, Iím not impressed. There are, for example, many nows in a personís life, and for the religiously inclined, one now reaches from now, this moment, to the day they die. Other nows have shorter durations and some may have durations of only moments but they are only nows, within nows within nows.
           Nevertheless, one advantage of reading this book is that I did get an idea about the arrow to the target conundrum which may well enable me to have a bash at the scientists if they havenít already ditched the concept. Photons through the one and two slits is another quantum oddity this book inclined me to have a look at and that was why I couldnít resist the temptation to buy a beginnerís guide to quantum physics when I came across one in a charity shop. It only cost 50p but now that Iím faced with the prospect of actually having to read the book, it's a purchase I'm beginning to regret.

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Thursday February 25th, 2016

Anti-Semitism.

Everybody seems to have forgotten that in the thirties anti-Semitism was rife across the Western world. It wasnít only restricted to Germany. In fact anti-Semitism was popular in England and also in America. So much so that during the thirties, there were several anti-Semitic demonstrations in the U.S. But it so happened that during the thirties a Jewish women on holiday in Miami missed her train back to the north and desperate for somewhere to stay for the night, she went to a hotel and tried to book in. But the hotel clerk took one look at her and deciding that she was Jewish, he called her a Yid and told her to go away.
           But the woman was desperate and so she told the clerk that she had converted to the Christian faith and that he should let her stay the night.
           But the clerk was unimpressed and so began to question the woman.
           'If you've converted to Christianity,í he asked, Ďtell me what it's about.'
           'Jesus died, on the cross to save humanity.' replied the woman,
           'Okay, ' said the hotel clerk, 'Where was Jesus born?'
           'In Bethlehem,' answered the woman.
           'But where in Bethlehem?' asked the clerk not believing the woman had really converted.
           'In a manger.' Answered the woman.
           'But why was he born in a manger?' Insisted the clerk pushing his point.
           At this the exasperated woman replied.
           'Because some jerk of a hotel clerk wouldn't let a Jewish woman stay the night in his hotel.'

                                                                                                                                                                     (Dirty, Sick, X-Rated & Politically Incorrect Jokes)

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Friday February 26thth, 2016

Britain's Great EU Referendum.

How will you vote?


European Union Flag


If you would freedom breathe,
You must vote to leave,
But freedom calls the brave,
Who no one can enslave,
And who in the face of threats,
Their course to freedom set,
And who will their character not stain,
By voting to remain.

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Saturday February 27th, 2016.


How to devise your own personal,
safe and secure password which is also
easy to remember.


Passwords.

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Monday February 29th, 2016

How to predict the Unpredictable.
The Art of Outsmarting almost Everyone.

by William Poundstone.

How to Predict The Unpredictable by William Poundstone.

A must read for anyone tempted to fiddle their taxes.

I can confidently say that I found this to be a most useful book and it is, in fact, the book from which I got the essence of the idea for my earlier article on how to develop your own, easy to remember but very secure password.
           Although some chapters are fascinating while others are really quite boring, this book could be valuable to you for any number of reasons. If you have a tendency to fiddle your taxes, even a little, then this is an absolute must read. Humans find it almost impossible to be completely random in their choice of numbers and, as the tax office has powerful computers and details of your tax returns going back a number of years, if youíre being less than completely honest, your human inability to be completely random in the way you select your Ďfiddledí numbers means that theyíll find out about it very quickly. Iím not suggesting that you fiddle your taxes, but we are all tempted to lean towards numbers which favour us rather than the tax office and if you find yourself giving into this temptation, this is a book not to miss. The same goes for your expense account. (So it is obviously a must read for any MP in Westminster!)
           It is also a valuable read it you want to make sure others donít take advantage of you and also if you want to make sure that, should you achieve the impossible and actually win the lottery, you will have chosen the kind of numbers which will make it unlikely for you to have to share your win with someone else.
           In short: a worthwhile read.

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Tuesday March 1st, 2016

The Kind Worth Killing.

by Peter Swanson.

The Kind worth Killing by Peter Swanson.

A terrific read.

This book has received no end of critical acclaim and all of it is richly deserved. The ending is also enjoyably surprising.

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Wednesday March 2nd, 2016

Sledge Hammer.

sledge Hammer.

The Maxwell Smart of the 1980's.

This was a well done and most enjoyable two part series. How they managed to make the transition from the end of series one to the beginning of series two was also quite impressive. They did leave a few iís undotted and some tís uncrossed, but it was a fun series and as everybody wanted more, these were just incidentals which nobody was too worried about.
           It would probably be impossible for anyone to make this kind of show today. Journalists around the world would have a wonderful time expressing their 'righteous indignation'.

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Thursday March 3rd, 2016

Chaos.

Chaos.

The Breakdown of Society.

To be honest I thought this was a pretty awful movie but at the end I was still wanting the robber to get away.
           But what has happened to me?
           Back in the sixties and seventies we didnít want the bank robbers to get away with it. Banks were an important part of our society. They represented security and stability and so if crooks started to get away with robbing banks the structure of society would start to collapse and where would we be then?
           But itís different now. Who gives a tuppenny hoot about the banks these days? If you look from the robbers to the banking executives itís become impossible to tell the difference. So if you rob a bank, not only will I not care, I wonít bother saying anything to the police either.
           Believe it or not back in the sixties and seventies quite a number of old men used to walk around Marble Arch and Speakerís Corner with big signs saying: ĎThe end of the World is Nigh!í Well, they were right because the world I knew and loved back then is long gone. The end is not nigh, itís been.

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Friday March 4th, 2016

Flash Boys.

by Michael Lewis.

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis.

Nothing Changes.

Everyone in the media was talking about this book and so I just had to read it myself. It is, as the journalists say, a great read and I can certainly see why it caused such a stir. But all this need for speed is no different to what it was over two hundred years ago. In those days, to get the information first financiers used carrier pigeons and then it was the train and when the railway lines didnít go in the right direction, is was a mix of train and carrier pigeon and ever since it's been a case or speed, speed and even more speed. In those days, if you wanted to make a quick financial killing, the need to get information before everyone else was of the utmost importance and itís exactly the same today.

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Monday March 7th, 2016

Alice.

Alice - a film by Jan Svankmajer.

A truly wonderful piece of imaginative nonsesne.

Loved it.

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Friday March 11th, 2016

Charity - Schmarity.

The BBC, Jimmy Saville and Britain's £11 billion International Aid Budget.

There's a very fine line between helping people and outright self-indulgence.
                                                                                                                                                                     (Silk)

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Monday March 14th, 2016

Ambulance sirens.

Crying Wolf.

Over the years quite a large number of people who were sympathetic to ambulances have begun to hate them. Those who were once considered to be angels of mercy are now looked upon by many as nothing but shit-head showoffs. In fact, so low has their status fallen, ambulance drivers have begun to complain about drivers who no longer trouble to get out of their way when they hear the siren.
           But personally, I am not unsympathetic to those who donít bother to get out of an ambulanceís way any more. I, for example, donít exactly rush myself because the ambulance siren is aggressive, hideously high-pitched and penetrating and in terms of volume, grossly in excess of anything which might be considered reasonable or necessary. This 130 decible plus siren is designed to be heard at least a mile ahead and is situated on the left hand side of the ambulance so when it overtakes a car, it throws a bucketful of obnoxious siren into the driverís right ear. But worse is the fact that many ambulance drivers like to switch on their sirens for the most inconsequential of reasons. Sometimes itís nothing more than a broken fingernail or a small cut. But to the angels of mercy that is not a problem because it gives them the excuse to switch on their siren and drive like the wind through the streets of Britainís towns and also totally ignore all traffic regulations and speed limits. A thrill if ever there was one. In fact, itís such a thrill that ambulance drivers with nothing to do frequently switch on their sirens and go driving through busy town centres and residential areas simply for the fun of it.
           But whether an ambulance drives through the narrow streets of a town centre or residential area because itís a medical emergency, a medical triviality or because the crew just happens to want some fun, all pedestrians are assaulted by the penetrating and unpleasant sound of the siren and, understandably, they simply stop caring about the Ďsupposedí importance of ambulances.
           And what happens then? In an effort to overcome this public disrespect for the ambulance service the NHS is likely to make its sirens louder and even more aggressive, high pitched, penetrating and unpleasant.

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Friday March 18th, 2016

The Curse of Technology.

I remember back years and years ago when I was just a youngster and had to help with the harvest. We had a pony and a platform on wheels which, if I remember correctly, was called a dray. Weíd make our way out to the fields, haul a haystack up onto the dray, and then take it back to the barn. But as we clip-clopped our way through the narrow, leafy roads back to the barn with the dogs alongside, there was talk and laughter and the old fellows used to make jokes and poke fun at us kids. It was great fun and I can remember the terrible disappointment when a Massey Ferguson tractor was bought and I had to watch as a single man drove quickly out to the fields, picked up a haystack on the tines of the attached fork and brought it back to the barn. It was still work, but it wasnít fun anymore because there was no longer any time for talk, leg-pulling and laughter.

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Monday March 21st, 2016

Quantum Physics. A beginner's guide.

by Alastair I. M. Rae.

Quantum Physics by Alastair Rae.

Too much for some.

It may only be a beginnerís guide but it was still way beyond my grey matterís pay grade. Some bits were interesting though I was sorry to notice that Scrodingerís mangy pussy cat hasnít yet been strangled and declared officially dead.

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Tuesday March 22nd, 2016

Who Wrote the Bible?.

by Richard Friedman.

Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Friedman.

Altered Perspectives.

For anyone who was brought up a Christian and nurtured on Bible stories, this book makes fascinating reading. Itís certainly not what we were taught when we were young but than knock down or diminish the stories we heard, Richard Friedman gets them into perspective, builds them up and makes them stronger. It is not, as he explains, who inspired the Bible but Who revealed the Bible. Excellent reading for anyone with a religious bent.

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Wednesday March 23rd, 2016

Voem of the Week.


Sixty plus.

The days they pass,
And make of life a farce,
For I still donít know,
Where Iím supposed to go,
Iím just of time a pawn
So am in my soul forlorn

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Thursday March 24th, 2016

Night Heron.

by Adam Brookes.

Night Heron by Adam Brookes.

Why you shouldn't trust the Chinese.

This novel has received a great deal of critical acclaim from the media, but I must say I didnít think much of it. It certainly wasnít a smooth or easy read and the narrative did seem to be somewhat disjointed. Also, some of the action sequences weren't really believable. However, the acclaim probably relates to the thrust of the storyline. In this novel the reader is warned that everything electronic coming out of China is not to be trusted because it is likely to be full of malware and internet Ďback doors.í But from my point of view, having spent a fortune on a top of the range Lenovo and found that quality and security had been seriously downgraded relative to the IBM laptops I used to buy, I can also see good reason for not trusting anything electronic that comes out of China.

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Friday March 25th, 2016

Rabbits.

A little girl walked into a pet shop and asked in the sweetest little lisp: ĎExcuthe me mithter, do you keep widdle wabbits?í
           As the storekeeperís heart melted he got down on his knees to her level and asked: ĎDo you want a widdle white wabbit or a thoft and fuwwy bwack wabbit or maybe one like this cute widdle bwown wabbit on the counter here?í
           The little girl leaned forward and said in a quiet voice: ĎI donít fink my Daddy's pet python weally gives a thit. It's hungwy.í

                                                                                                                                                                     (Dirty, Sick, X-Rated & Politically Incorrect Jokes)

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Monday March 28th, 2016

Voem of the Week.

US Flag



America,
A land incredible,
Full of fatty food
Inedible,
But so you the soul can diagnose,
I will a question pose.

What goes clippity-clop,
Clippity-clop, clippity-clop,
Bang, bang, bang,
Clippity clop, clippity-clop?

But for the answer here,
Before you your mind start looting,
I will you tell,
It's an Amish,
Drive by shooting.

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Tuesday March 29th, 2016

Where Power Lies.
Prime Ministers V The Media.

by Lance Price.

Where Power Lies. Prime Ministers V The Media by Lance Price

Poorly written.

An interesting book full of interesting information but...
           There seemed to be a flaw somewhere. I often found while reading that I'd kind of lost the plot and had to go back and re-read something I'd already read. I couldn't understand this and seeing as I'm getting on a bit, I began to worry about my powers of concentration. But fortunately I nailed the problem in what was actually the very last sentence of the book. This book has been written by a journalist who doesn't seem to realise that wording which is suitable for a relatively short newspaper article is totally unsuited for a four hundred page book.
           This last sentence reads: 'The relationship between a dog and a lamp-post is no different whether the lamp is lit or not.' I don't know about you but I'm willing to bet that while this kind of phraseology may be fine in a newspaper, in a 400 page book it is guaranteed to literally disconnect the reader from the subject matter.

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Wednesday March 30th, 2016

Q.

by Luther Blisset.

Q  by Luther Blisset

Heavy going.

This is supposed to be a well known cult novel but I must admit that I found it very hard to get through. It was not an easy read and I also found the story disjointed and difficult to follow. Even the fascinating bits were just skimmed over. This is the sixteenth century and there's a brief mention of defrauding a large banking house, a few chapters later the fraud is planned, and believe me, I was interested. But after this nothing for a few chapters and then the scene was one of the bankers consulting the authorities and suggesting that rather than arresting the offenders, publicity could be avoided if they were picked up by the Inquisition and found guilty of heresy. But after this there was nothing until a few chapters later when the protagonist briefly mentions that he was picked up by the Inquisitors when he wasn't really guilty of any religious wrongdoing. But that was it, nothing more. The sixteenth century, the politics, the religions and the people who were taking to one or other of the various new Protestant sects is an interesting theme for a novel, but I found it heavy going. {Henry VIII, Edward VI and the Ottoman assault on Vienna were mentioned, but only very briefly.

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Thursday March 31st, 2016

The Third Man.

by Lord Peter Mandelson.

The Third Man by Peter Mandelson

A Study in Self-obsession.

While listening to this audio book the word vomit came frequently to mind. Hereís a person who was at the heart of Number 10 during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and also the 2008 financial meltdown, probably two of the most crucial moments in the century so far, yet all heís interested in is himself. His ambitions, what he thought, what he felt, what he said and what others said to him - blah, blah, blah. Itís nothing but a me-me-me-me-me book. So much so that the rest of the world simply doesnít seem to exist when this person starts going on about himself. Unfortunately, before I could blog this I had to listen to the whole six hours of it and now feel Iíve wasted my time listening to drivel.
           However, there is a good side. If you are bulimic and happen to have just eaten a large meal which you would now like to disgorge, there's no need to stick your fingers down your throat. A few minutes listening to Lord Mandelson obsess about himself will do the trick. Bring it up in a jiff.

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Friday April 1st, 2016

Son of Hamas.

by Mossab Hassan Yousef.

Son of Hamas by Mossab Hassan Yousef

In Palestine you canít even trust your own children.

A very informative book and a particularly good one if youíre interested in the troubles of the middle East and would like to know more about how the Israelis have managed to keep ahead of the game. But I still find it hard to come to terms with someone who betrayed their own father. Was Mosab Hassan Yousef the biggest Ďsnitchí in Middle Eastern history?

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Monday April 4th, 2016

Sex.

Two middle aged men were in a pub reminiscing about their youth and the wild oats they had sown when one turned to the other and said: ĎWhen did you last have sex?í
           ĎI donít know,í said the man. ĎI really canít remember.í
           ĎSo why donít you ring your wife and find out.í
           ĎGood idea,í said the man and, taking his phone from his pocket, he dialled his home.
           When his wife answered, without going through the preliminaries and assuming she would recognise his voice he said. ĎWhen did we last have sex?í
           But being in something of a rush the wife unthinkingly replied. ĎTell me your name and Iíll tell you when.í

                                                                                                                                                                                           (A neighbour.)

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Tuesday April 5th, 2016

Voem of the Week.


Knowing.

The modern philosophical flow,
To the toilet,
Makes me want to go.
For they say,
He who thinks he know,
Does not know,
While he who knows,
He does not know,
Knows.
But this to perspective is a blow,
As he who knows,
He does not know,
Still almost nothing knows,
Though to his life the flow,
Can come a smiling glow.
For ignorance is not a crime,
And they canít you arrest,
For saying you do not know.
However, as in life we grow,
Reality does demand,
We sometimes must
Say we know,
Even when in truth we know,
We really just donít know.

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Wednesday April 6th, 2016

Religion & Capitalism.

Capitalism cannot encourage any form of self-denying religion as it does not want people praying for the strength to live a less materialistic, theme park avoiding, film-free life. Veriety means at best, someone elseís product or someone elseís profit but it cannot be permitted to become no product at all and thus no profit for anyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                           (Jihad Versus McWorld, page 116)

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Thursday April 7th, 2016

Prayer.

Why is it that when we talk to God we are said to be praying but if we say God talks to us, we are said to be schizophrenic?

                                                                                                                                                                                           (Source forgotten)

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Friday April 8th, 2016

The Falling population of Europe.

I might gradually be becoming an elderly individual, but I can remember the sixties and seventies when I was just a young lad and full of Ďooomphí. It was all about the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Monkeys, and all kinds of freedom. Having children was, according the social pressure I remember, not a good idea. Not only because children were a heavy responsibility which would prevent me from enjoying all good times wealth and freedom brought in its wake, but there was also the problem overpopulation and the fact the planet could not support too many people. In consequence, many of my generation had few children. I personally didnít have any and now, the falling population of Europe and North America is being offset by mass immigration of peoples who have a whole different idea of what life is about and how many children they should have. When these people eventually take over, democracy will become a thing of the past because large numbers of immigrants donít believe in democracy, they respect the strong and try to be strong themselves. If they donít get to run the country and help themselves to all the goodies, it will only be because someone else is stronger than they are and they accept that. Saddam, for example, was a Ďsaqwaí or 'hard-nut' who you crossed at your peril, and, although hated by many, he was also highly respected in Iraq. In fact, most of those who opposed him opposed him not because they thought about the good of Iraq as a nation, but because they coveted his position for both themselves and their tribe.
           A culture of freedom has made the people of Europe and North America weak and self-indulgent and so itís a rule of nature that they must eventually fall prey to those who are stronger than they are.
           (The rules of nature have always been the same, the strong are destined to help themselves to both the lands and property of the weak. Think about the Israelites. Strong as oxen and hard as nails after forty years in the desert, they didnít have too much of a problem taking 'their' promised land away from the people who were already there.)

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Monday April 11th, 2016

The Benn Tapes.

by Tony Benn.

the Benn Tapes by tony Benn

Great fun.

I remember the early 1980s and a time when I really loathed and detested Tony Benn. He was the opposite to Mrs. Thatcher because although she wanted to privatise everything she could, Tony Benn wanted to nationalise the whole country.
           However, I wasnít a great fan of Mrs. Thatcher because although I fully agreed that some things should be privatised, I disagreed with her passion for privatising almost everything.
           I was one of the middle ground people who tried to take a sensible approach to the situation and so I was of the opinion that for the good of the nation some things should be nationalised, some should be privatised and others should just be left alone.
           But the nation was polarised and so I didnít get on with anybody. The Left were unhappy because although I agreed with them on some points I disagreed with them on others and it was the same with the Right. It was no fun and you might say that Mrs. Thatcher put it succinctly when she said that it was unwise for anyone to stand in the middle because theyíd get run over by both sides. You donít know how true that was!
           On another point. I donít think that MI-5 will like these tapes because Benn didnít like them at all. He claimed that MI-5 was a law unto itself and it was an organisation which would, at heart, never change. He then went on to muse on the oddity of the fact that shortly after heíd had a tiff with MI-5, the Kensington borough council unusually decided to collect his rubbish every day and not only that, they picked it up in a sports car.

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Tuesday April 12th, 2016

Britainís Criminal Classes.

Our Nationís most valuable asset.

If there were no criminals we wouldnít need a police force and vast numbers of people would be out of work? We also wouldnít need security or insurance companies and I donít think the City of London would be too taken with that idea. On top of all this is the fact that if there were no criminals, what would the film and TV industry do? Most of the entertainment they serve up involves stories regarding criminals - the bad guys. Actors, novelists, script writers, camera men, directors, make up artists etc. etc. They all depend on criminals for their livelihood and in consequence, the idea of a criminal free Britain just doesnít bear thinking about! Not to mention the vast news industry which just loves a shock-horror story concerning a criminal of one kind or another. When thereís a juicy murder with plenty of blood and violence, the media are in profitís heaven - the more blood and violence and the younger and more innocent the victim, the greater the number of newspaper columns and television talk hours; so the greater the profits.
           Crime? In todayís world we simply couldnít live without it.

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Wednesday April 13th, 2016

Ascent.

by Jed Mercurio.

Ascent by Jed Mercurio

A most enjoyable read.

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Thursday April 14th, 2016

Munich.

Munich

A good movie but....

It was a good movie and please note, I am using the word movie, not film. But it lacked coherence at times and I did find myself having to run to catch up. But worst of all is the fact that I think sex scenes were totally out of place in a movie like this. I also think that a person who thinks of cold blooded mass murder while heís shagging his missus is most likely to be a psychopath and a psychopath who definitely wouldnít be one of the good guys.
           Good guys? Well I think that if Israel had failed to respond it would have been seen as a sign of weakness and that would have led to all kinds of further attacks. It wasnít revenge, more a case ofíyou hit me and Iíll hit you backí. The attacks did continue but Palestinian terrorists were a lot more cautious about who and what they attacked and now it seems that Islamic terrorists prefer to attack Americans and Europeans because there is less to fear in the way of repercussions. Letís face it. If a terrorist gets caught in England for having masterminded a terrorist attack which killed hundreds of people, whatís the worst that can happen? Not to mention the fact that the taxpayer will hire him some of the best barristers in the country and if the police do manage to prove their case, itís only time in a comfortable prison with plenty of opportunities to complain to the media about prison officials who abuse his human rights and fail to treat him with the dignity and compassion he deserves.
           But apart from that, it was an enjoyable movie.

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Friday April 15th, 2016

Downfall.

Downfall

A really excellent film.

Bruno Ganz was very convincing as Hitler in the last days of his life. Not insane or deranged as many have suggested, but just at the end of everything. I thought it was a very good portrayal. As this film is also as historically accurate as possible it has to be one of the most enjoyable history lessons you will experience.
           The documentaries on the bonus disc are also excellent because they are not about egotistical actors looking as photogenic as possible and talking about how absolutely wonderful everybody else who worked on the film was was in the knowledge that everyone else will say the same about them, it really was a constructive analysis of the problems which beset the making of the film, including the historical details, and how they were overcome. Most interesting.

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Monday April 25th, 2016

Advertisement.

Bird's Eye Fish Fingers

Is your child a dog?

How do you feel about higly paid corporate executives insinuating that your child is little more than an animal? But I suppose that in a supermarket you should expect to find Birds Eye fish fingers and dog food on the same shelf. What do you think?

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Tuesday April 26th, 2016

As It Seemed To Me.

by John Cole.

As It Seemed to Me by John Cole

A Different View of Mrs. Thatcher.

Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Mrs. Thatcher and John Major. John Cole, as a journalist, was close to them all so if youíre interested in Britianís political history, these are enjoyable tapes to listen to. Mrs. Thatcher, according to Cole, was a complete totalitarian and as so many colleagues were actually afraid of her, she got much of her way through fear.
           Interesting reminisces.

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Wednesday April 27th, 2016

How To Break A Terrorist.

by By Matthew Alexander (with John Bruning.).

How to Break a Terrorist by Matthew Alexander

The hunt for Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

Great read. Iím sure a lot of artistic license was taken and the story isnít quite as it actually happened, but it is enlightening all the same. The major point of this book is, of course, the fact that after Abu Graib America had to clean up its act and change the way it detained and interrogated suspects. But as Churchill once said: America can always be counted to do the right thing, after it has exhausted every other alternative.

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Thursday April 28th, 2016

True Crimes in History.

True Crimes in History

An excellent collection of documentaries.

All were well done and most informative and are therefore worth watching.

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Friday April 29th, 2016

Sir Henry At Rawlinson End.

Sir Henry At Rawlinson End

Good reviews but....

This film may have got a number of good reviews but I wasnít amused. Newspapers like The Guardian said it was hilarious lunacy, but I didnít laugh. Fawlty Towers, for example, was lunacy closely tied to a reality and that was why it was so funny, but this lunacy has almost no link to any reasonable form of reality and thatís why I thought it was just stupid.
           Monty Python skits, no matter how outrageous, always had a link, however tenuous, to reality somewhere along the line. The funny walk, in the beginning, might have seemed to be somewhat off the wall. But remembering our understanding of government at the time, when John Cleese walked past that sign saying ĎMinistry of Funny Walksí we all fell over laughing because, remembering our understanding of government at the time, a Ministry of Funny Walks was, if you pushed the boundaries a little, actually quite plausible. It wasnít the walk which was funny, it was the fact that it was linked to a semi-plausible Ministry of Funny Walks that made it hilarious and, as it was the era of Concord, the Anglo-French angle also worked quite well.
           Comedy in this day and age isnít what it used to be and for some time I have been of the opinion that BBC comedy on Radio 4 is now simple stupidity - it doesnít link to reality and is also not witty, subtle or penetrating in any way. It is, to put it bluntly, just rubbish.

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Friday October 21st, 2016

Ambulance sirens.

You and the law.

Ambulance sirens.

You donít have to get out of the way if you donít want to.

In the Highway Code the government recommends that you move to the side when you hear an ambulance siren but it doesnít insist that you do so. The word is Ďshouldí and not Ďmustí and so if you donít feel like moving to the side when you hear an ambulance siren, you wonít be breaking any laws if you decide not to.
           But why should you?
           Ambulance drivers love their sirens and use them at every available opportunity. It gives them the right to drive at any speed they want, ignore all traffic regulations and also aggressively barge their way through traffic jams. The fact that their sirens are extremely loud, highly pitched, penetrating and unpleasant, is not the point. In their own mindís eye, once they switch on their siren they become a king of the road and they can do what they like. The fact that they cause serious stress and distress to anyone nearby is not the point. They have more fun than Jeremy Clarkson ever had and best of all itís legal.
           But do you like being pushed about by repulsive ambulance drivers with their sirens for what is, almost always, no reason at all? You donít have to give in to these ego trippers if you donít want to. You donít have to bow and scrape just because some unpleasant ambulance driver wants to switch on their siren and have themselves some fun.
           Itís up to you really. But the thing to remember is that it is not a traffic offence to refuse to pull over when you hear an ambulance siren. If the ambulance wants to pass you, it is not limited by any legal speed limit so it can always just overtake you.

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Monday October 24th, 2016

No Easy Day.

by By Mark Owen.


No Easy Day by Mark Owen.

A testosterone fuelled account of the raid which killed Bin Laden.

Very good. It is simply one manís account of his part in the raid, the life which qualified him to take part, and exactly what happened. He doesnít speculate on what others supposedly did or did not do, he speaks only of the raid and his part in it.
           I enjoyed it immensely

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Tuesday October 25th, 2016

Ballad of Narayama.

Ballad of Narayama End

A cinematic masterpiece.

I can only say that I was completely bowled over by this film and so Iím not surprised it won so many awards. After seeing this, when I look towards Hollywood, I find itís hard to believe that any of the directors or producers there could ever reach such film making heights.
           This film, which you couldnít possibly call a movie, has left a lasting impression on me and has also given me a much greater understanding of the word Ďtreacheryí.
           It really is something special.

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Wednesday October 26th, 2016

Traffik.

Traffik

Television drama at its best.

A 1995 television drama which has got to become a classic. Itís excellent and although the politics of the world has changed and rendered this somewhat out of date, you have to remember that historical dramas are popular. Locations may have changed, but the drug smuggling business of today is much the same as it was in 1995 - as are the problems faced by parents with children who have become drug addicts.

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Thursday October 27th, 2016

The Coming Chaos.

As each year goes by there are more and more young children who are disconnected from their genetic past.
           There are no stories about Dad or their paternal grandmother and grandfather. All they are likely to know about their father is that he is some unknown person who had a wank and may also have been looking at some disgusting pornographic pictures while he did so.
           How would you like to be one of these unfortunate children?

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Friday October 28th, 2016

Leavers or Remainers.

Who were the real crackpots?

The dream of a European Union originated with ideas of what could be done with a unified population of two or three hundred million people. The dreamers believed that if they could bind this number of people together peace would reign and the opportunities for growth and development would be almost limitless.
           But over the period, as the EU grew and developed, the concept of a united people was gradually transformed into a concept of united Ďconsumersí and, when this began to take hold, the money grubbers went to town and began dreaming of what could be done with four or even five hundred million consumers. The opportunities, it seemed to them, were limitless and they enthusiastically began their work.
           But sadly, the people of Europe couldnít be just consumers for ever. In fact they couldnít even be consumers for long because in reality they werenít even people. They were all human beings - every single one of them.
           Human beings, unfortunately, are a queer bunch. Emotive, cantankerous, and often irrational, they are inclined to chop and change their minds quite frequently and can also occasionally descend into extended bouts of narrow minded bigotry. They are definitely not the right kind of life form for the dream of a great European Union. Therefore, short of lobotomising them all and transforming every single one of them into some kind of obedient, walky-talky computer, the great European dream was always doomed to fail.
           Humanness means that too big is every bit as bad as too small.
           So who were the real crackpots?

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Monday October 31st, 2016

Hack.

Phone taps, honey traps and celebs papped - life as a tabloid journo.

by By Graham Johnson.


Hack by Graham Johnson.

Explosive, mind-blowing.
A book which could seriously threaten the Red Top industry.

We all know that newspapers aare full of garbage and that stories are slanted to titillate the readers in a way which makes them actually want to read rubbish. But here we have the confessions of a hack who clearly suffered from a guilt complex and decided to come clean.
           He tells not only about the stories he grossly exaggerated for the News of the World, but also about the ones he faked and not only how he faked them, but how he got them past his editors who were so desperate for titillating stories, they were careful not to ask awkward questions.
           This has to be one of the best kiss and tell books on journalism I have read and, as a bonus, itís full of laughs.
           So donít miss it.

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Tuesday November 1st, 2016

Globalisation.


Globalisation.

Who wants it?

Globalisation is really all about more and more for the few at the top and less and less for the many at the bottom. Why should the many suffer so the few can lives of unbelievable luxury and security?

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Wednesday November 2nd, 2016

Sicko.

Sicko by Michael Moore

Shocking.

I know this is a bit of an old movie but itís still horrifying to watch.
           But in truth, itís not truely representative of the American health industry as a whole. Itís simply the opposite of propaganda and Iíve been wondering why Michael Moore hasnít started a whole new genre of film making. Propaganda simply gathers all the good things it can find about an issue (company/political party/presidential hopeful etc.) and then, putting the whole story tastefully together, broadcasts it for all it is worth. What is being broadcast is not a balanced or comprehensive picture of the issue, but there are no lies and so who is to argue?
           The opposite simply requires the film maker to find all the bad things they can find about an issue, put the story together and broadcast it.
           So why have our nationís activists (those who love to take part in a protest march on Saturdays) not taken a leaf out of Michael Mooreís book and produced their own films blackguarding whatever it is they are protesting about? If properly done these films could be great fun to watch.

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Thursday November 3rd, 2016

Historical Maidstone.

Sicko by Michael Moore

An Interesting DVD.

A clear and coherent tale of Maidstone through the ages. Most interesting. In fact I found it so interesting, I think every British town should produce its own historical DVD.

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Friday November 3rd, 2016

Should the government
allow youngsters to commit suicide?
Youth suicides

Over the last several centuries society has changed dramatically. Itís now no longer the case that most people live in the countryside. Most now live in cities and towns and the sad fact is that many humans are genetically incapable of living their lives in a modern concrete jungle.
           Therefore, if, when young, people are allowed to commit suicide, they will not have offspring and so, as the decades continue to pass, there will be fewer and fewer people born into the world who are unable to cope with their tightly controlled and very brutal concrete environs. Consequently, as more and more people who are actually able to adapt become comfortable with the prospect of a life encased in both databases and concrete, there will be a higher degree of overall contentment, peace and social tranquillity.
           So mightn't it be wise for the government to let evolution do what itís supposed to do and let those who are unable to cope with the changing nature of the world we live in weed themselves out?

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Friday November 25th, 2016

The wonders of the Universe.

Wonders of the Universe

Quite an interesting series but I couldnít help feeling that Brian Cox was not only quite emotional about his subject, he was also quite dictatorial. The way the world is is the way Brian Cox tells us it is and there are no ifs, buts or maybes.
           I was getting a bit annoyed at this because I do know that many scientists have doubts, uncertainties and like to keep their minds open to possible new discoveries which might alter their view of the Universe. But not Dr. Cox. Dr. Cox is absolutely and unequivocally certain of his point of view. In fact he rather reminded me of a medieval pope who was so certain that his way was the only way, he threatened death to anybody who disagreed with him.
           But in this series Brian Cox also said that astrology was garbage and shortly after this I noticed that the index finger of his right hand seemed somewhat developed. This is unusual in a man but for anyone interested in palmistry a developed index finger shows a need for control and that often leads on to dictatorial behaviour. Later in the series I got a good glimpse of of the Doc's right hand and had to laugh when I saw the developed pad of flesh under his index finger.
           A developed pad here is a mark of someone with dictatorial tendencies - though in Dr. Coxís case, the developed pad of flesh at the base of his thumb indicates that he can be emotional and also likes to be personable. So, this series clearly shows that although Dr. Cox is a likeable and personable individual, (shown by the developed base of his thumb), he is also quite dictatorial. (Shown by the index finger and pad of flesh underneath.) So astrology may be garbage to him, but, bearing in mind the evidence, he might have some difficulty saying the same thing about palmistry.
           Developed index fingers and (often) a pad of flesh underneath is more normal in a woman's hand but then if you have six screaming children and a mate who keeps wanting to go off hunting sabre tooth tigers or else go for a drink with his mates, a woman has to learn to be something of a controller if she is going to make her family life work and nurture her offspring through to adulthood.
           If found in a male these tendencies usually manifest themselves in his work environment but he will always tend to stay within an environment which allows him to stay in control.

Wonders of the Universe

Dr. Brian Cox hand

More about Palmistry

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Wednesday June 14th, 2017

Is it the worst mobile network in the UK?

3 Network
Data in dribs and drabs.

When I signed with Three I was promised all kinds of wonderful things at a very reasonable price. I even got 16 gigabites of data a month which I could tether to my computer if I so wished.
           But alas, nothing but empty promises.
           There is no way I could use 16 gigabites of data in a month because Three is very mean in the way it distributes its data. I may have the strongest possible signal but there is no way I can watch an uninterupted youtube video. I get 20 seconds and then it all freezes up for 20 seconds or more before I get another 20 seconds. And so it goes. I even rang the help line and they (supposedly) adjusted their settings for my particular handset, but although it sometimes works okay, nothing has really changed. It is extremely annoying. So much so in fact that I've decided watching youtube on my phone is simply not worth the bother.
           I may have to pay more for data with another network but I think it will be worth it. As soon as my contract expires I am going to cancel it.
           Three, in my view, is a rubbish network and best avoided.

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Friday June 30th, 2017

There was a young lady..


There was a young lady from Crew,
Who found a dead mouse in her stew,
Said the waiter don't shout,
Or wave it about,
Or the others will all want one too.
                                            (Unknown)

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Friday July 7th, 2017

There once..


There once was a fellow named Finnigin,
Who escaped from a jail so to sin agin,
He broke laws by the dozen
And even stole from his cousin,
So the jail he broke out of he's in agin,
                                            (Unknown)

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Monday July 10th, 2017

Is Islam the greatest con in history?

Islam

Is it a religion held together only by fear?

Itís true that in a democratic world people are allowed to believe what they want but according to the Koran, there is nothing more disgusting to the Islamic deity, Allah, than someone who doesnít believe implicitly in the words of the Koran. Any Muslim who doubts the words of the Koran automatically becomes an apostate and must be killed by those who do not doubt. Itís the law of the Koran. Unbelievers are also disgusting to the sight of the Islamic Allah and so they too should be killed.
           The Koran, in consequence, clearly rules through fear. No one is allowed to question it under pain of death. Not only that, many millions of Muslims are actually descended from people who were forcibly converted to Islam. It wasnít only those who were threatened with death if they didnít convert, (something leaders of the Holy Roman empire were also guilty of) but it was common for Islamic raiders to invade Eastern Europe, kill all the adults and take the children back to Ottoman lands where they were forcibly converted Islam before being made into soldiers or Janissaries for the Sultan.
           In todayís age, Muslims who fail to indoctrinate their children into the Islamic faith are also apostates who risk the wrath of the believers and surely this proves Islam to be a religion which is held together only by fear. All Muslims are afraid of failing in case they become victims of the selfish few who seek power within the ranks of Islam and therefore persecute those who, by failing to believe unquestioningly, threaten the structure of the faith which gives the greedy the power and status they desire.

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Tuesday July 11th, 2017

The Pearly Gates.

It so happened that St. Peter was at the Pearly Gates scrolling through his tablet checking on his expected arrivals when a man suddenly appeared before him.
           This was not an unusual occurrence for St. Peter so he asked the man his name and then, as he searched through his database for that personís name he causally asked the man why he had come to the gates of Heaven. What good deeds had he done?
           ĎWell,í said the man. ĎI saved a young woman from being gang raped by a gang of Hellís Angels.í
           ĎThatís interesting,í said St. Peter as he continued his search for the man's name. ĎHow did it happen?í
           ĎWell,í replied the man. ĎI was driving along when I saw these Hellís Angels grab a young woman and try to drag her into the woods nearby. So I floored the accelerator and rammed their motor cycles. Then I jumped out of the car, ran up to the leader and kicked in the crotch. Then I punched in the face as hard as I could. This gave the woman a chance to break free and escape by running away.í
           ĎThat was a very brave thing to do,í said St. Peter with a sense of awe in his voice. ĎBut tell me.í He said glancing down at his tablet. ĎWhen did this happen?í
           ĎOh,í said the man. ĎAbout five minutes ago.í

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Monday July 17th, 2017

The battle of the sexes.

Egg Hunting

Why equality is impossible.

Men and women, whether we like it or not, are really two sides of the same coin. If there are to be future generations it will take two and that means that men and women have to be different. Not only in their bodies but also in their psyches. For example, in the womb the female egg simply obeys the commands of the body and drops down the fallopian tubes when commanded to. It doesnít act on its own initiative but is simply pushed down the tube towards the womb. It is, however, the sperm which has the urge or desire to compete with its fellows. To brave a million and one dangers and swim up the tunnel of Venus so it can become one with the egg which lies there passively just waiting for its champion. So desire must come from the male half and let's face it, the survival of the species is all down to its desire to survive. More primitive, self-replicating forms of life might have a desire to survive by feeding (hunger) but may not have that desire to survive any other kind of death. But every sperm is imbued with the desire to seek out and find that magic egg with which it can mate or become a one with. Like the Battle of the Somme there is a moment when millions of sperm go over the top and race towards the desired objective, but almost all of them will die in the attempt. In fact, most times all of them will die because no egg awaits their coming and even when there is an egg, all of the sperm can often find themselves being killed off by the ladies immune system before any of them attain their goal. So over time, for the trillions upon quadrillions of sperm ejaculated into the Chamber of Venus, almost all, despite their Herculean efforts, will die a sad and lonely death. But they still tried. They made the effort and therein lies the essence of masculinity.

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Tuesday July 18th, 2017

The Great Game.

by By Leopole Trepper.

The Great Game by Leopold Trepper

An excellent read.

What a tremendous book. Supberb. I can best describe this as Leopold Trepper, leader of the legendery wartime Red Orchestra, writing a report on his life from his childhood in Poland, through to his trouble with the British authorities in Palestine, his wartime work for Russia during the war and the dangers he faced and lastly his years of imprisonment in Lubyanka after the war because despite his achievements and his contribution to the war effort, he was just another person Stalin didn't trust. The late seventies probably wasn't a good time to publish a book like this because the Cold War was in full swing and nobody liked the Commies. But it is an extraordinary read. Don't miss it.

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Wednesday July 19th, 2017

The City.

London and the global power of finance.

by By Tony Norfield.

The City by Tony Norfield

Highly recommended.

An eye opener. I have read a fair amount about finance in the past but this is the first book to give me a good overview of what the world's financial situation is all about. But although the book is written in such a way that it can sometimes be difficult to stop one's mind wandering, when I'd finished it I felt as if my understanding of world finance had undergone a metamorphis. I felt as if I had a much greater understanding.

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Thursday July 20th, 2017

Zero Six Bravo.

by By Damien Lewis.

Zero Six Bravo by Davien Lewis

Definitely an exciting read.

What can I say? In 2003 the British High Command got a crackpot idea into their head and sent sixty SBS & SAS operatives off to see if they could pull it off. Nothing ventured nothing gained but it makes one wonder about the kind of people who run the British military.

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Friday July 21st, 2017

Is the famous Wordstar making a comeback?

Wordstar was the famous wordprocessor of the eighties. It was brilliant. It only had one font but for anyone who wanted to write, there was nothing to beat it. Fingers could fly over the keyboard and articles or stories could be rewritten and rewritten over and over again without any effort.
           But there was a problem. To be able to use Wordstar a person had to remember up to twelve commands and, if they were going to get jobs as secretaries, they had to remember considerably more. However, in those days Bill Gates was keen to make computers idiot simple so that more people would use them and the idea that someone should have to remember commands to use a program was an anethma to him. He hated the idea. He needed to sell his operating system and his programs and so, as far as he was able, everything that came out of the Microsoft corporation was as moron friendly as possible. Then, the crime of crimes, someone persuaded IBM to swap the control key with the caps lock key which meant that using older programs like Wordstar became very cumbersome and awkward. Fingers no longer flew over the keyboard and whereas once you could move the cursor around the page with ease, now you needed to take your hand off the keyboard and handle a mouse. It also needed a mouse to highlight any particular word or paragraph and so the age of the mouse was born. But this was only because the control key and caps lock key had had their positions exchanged. With the control key in its new position Wordstar and other older programs just didnít work smoothly and so Microsoft programs became dominant. The Wordstar corporation did try to retaliate but it failed miserably and paid the price for failure Ė it disappeared. It went from being the absolute top dog to being non existent.
           BUT. Things have changed. Now you can download a free program which, within the Windows environment, will bring the control key back to its original and rightful position. It called ctrl2caps.exe and for those of us who remember the magic days of the eighties when one didnít need a mouse to do most of the jobs on a computer screen, happiness has returned.
           But even better. Although Wordstar for Windows was a pretty poor program there is now a Wordstar emulator which is available from http://wordstar.org/index.php (mike@petrie.u-net.com). This can turn Microsoft Word 97 and 2000 and I think 2003 into programs which work just like Wordstar did. It is heaven, I promise. Having written this article I am now in a position to rewrite it many timies with ease. No need for my fingers to leave the keyboard to make changes or corrections. Everything happens in a jiff and as I am no Mozart I do need to do a large number of rewrites before I feel able to show others the results of my labours. Whereas before rewrites with Microsoft Word were somewhat tedious because I kept having to take my hand off the keyboard and use a mouse, now a mouse is unnecessary. Now and again I may have to use one, but this Wordstar emulator means my fingers can once again do the talking.
           Heaven has returned.


From the 1990s


When the control key,
I on a keyboard see,
I'm at a total loss,
As to why some computer boss,
Was fain,
To do something so inane.

For in days of old,
Control did with fingers mold,
And with a finger flick,
You could your will upon a program stick.
And a mouse you did not need,
To do your work with speed.

For if you could a dozen simple codes remember,
You could your work dismember.
And like an athlete,
Quickly it complete.
For the flow did have a finish,
Which nothing could diminish.

But the new control does the flow distort,
As it to use you your fingers must contort.
And when on this I dwell,
I sense someone wanted to me something sell.
But they decency did flout,
So Microsoft financially could all us clout.

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Monday July 23rd, 2017

World War Z.

An Oran History of the Zombie War

by By Max Brooksen Lewis.

World War Z by Max Brooks

A Deserved Bestseller.

An Opinion.

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Tuesday July 25th, 2017

Did you hear the one about..?

Did you hear about the farmer who genetically engineered a turkey with six legs so there would be more drumsticks on Xmas Day?
           When interviewed on the BBC he was asked how these drumsticks tasted.
           ĎDonít know,í he replied. ĎCanít catch the damned thing. No one can.í

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Wednesday July 26th, 2017

Skyfaring, Journey with a pilot.

by Mark Vanhoenacker.

Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker

Up and down. So-so.

This book received a considerable amount of critical acclaim and I must say the first two thirds were interesting, though I think that in the last third Vanhoenackertended to over-egg the pudding. But I really don't really feel it's a book which can be compared with the works of Antoine de Saint-Exupery or with books such as 'Fate is the Hunter'. Flying a 747 may be a highly skilled occupation but it is also very routine and in my view, if you're looking for challenges, this kind of life could become quite boring. After reading this book I'm certainly glad I never became an airline pilot, the computer controlled tedium would have driven me round the twist. Vanhoenacker has taken a very philosophical look at the life of a pilot and, forgetting that he spends most of his time simply monitoring computers, he rhapsodises about the things he sees from the cockpit and how the uniqueness of living his life in a variety of time zones can be interesting. But I certainly wouldn't want to live his life. Being in control of a 747 when it is pushed back from the gate may be a magical experience for the first twenty or thirty times you do it, but after you've done it in the same way and followed exactly the same procedure hundreds of times, Iím sure it would to become so routine it's actually boring.

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Wednesday July 26th, 2017

Power.

Hitler


Forward ho, forward ho.
It's off to rule the world we go.
Everyday in every place there are more and more of us,
So you had better dare not fuss.
We have the power of command,
And your obedience we demand.
Best of all is this we get,
So we on our way are set.
And soon upon your life we'll be an even greater blight,
As we're the mighty traffc light.

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Friday July 28th, 2017

Eight Lives Down.

by Major Chris Hunter.

Eight Lives Down by Major Chris Hunter

Brilliant. A book I really enjoyed.


                                                                             What an excellent book.
                                                                             Terrific.
                                                                             Breathtaking Boy's Own Adventure stuff.
                                                                             Loved it.

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Monday July 31st, 2017

In America.

A foreigner's view.


In America,
Moneyís is the sacred thing,
It is therefore everything,
To the inner soul
Of every citizen.

In America,
People everyday look up,
To those who have of money more
And down on those
Who less possess.

In America
Every day
In every way.
Money is
The King of life

In America,
People know money rules,
Because itís how
Almost everyone will measure,
Their human worth.

In America,
Those with plenty ,
Are top of the pile,
While those with none,
Are at best just trailer trash.

In America,
A failure to have money
Shows a lack of respect,
And complete disregard
For the national spirit.

So in America,
Failing to money worship,
Is virtual treason,
And may one day be punishable,
With death.

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Thursday August 3rd, 2017

Boomerang.

The Melt down tour.

by Michael Lewis.

Boomerang by Michael Lewis

A must read book.

An absolutely unmissable book. What went wrong? We've heard what all the media pundits have to say but here we get a very good view of the people involved and why their attitude to life resulted in such a financial calamity. Iceland, why did it end up in such a disastrous situation? Greece? Ireland? What about Germany? Why did German banks buy so many sub prime bonds and why did the bankers on Wall Street look on the Germans as idiots who would buy any rubbish they could produce? It is such an enlightening book that I'm sorry I didn't front up the money and buy it when it first came out.

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Thursday August 3rd, 2017

Memory.

The Key to Consciousness.

by Richard F. Thompson & Stephen A. Madigan.

Memory by Richard F. thompson & Stephen A. Madigan

A genuinely interesting book.

what an interesting book. Very enlightening. Though I must admit that when the authors spoke about the ability to increase the maze intelligence of rats by selective breeding I thought they were treading on dangerous ground. There are legions of self- righteous Lefties who believe it is wrong to even speak about rats (or people) people who, due to their genes, are more intelligent than others and they like to scream as loudly as they can when the possibility is even suggested. But in a complex society, too much intelligence is just as bad as too little intelligence. It's why I enjoyed the movie Idiocracy so much. The intelligencia were so busy trying to pick the best time to have babies that they missed the boat altogether while the nation's morons just jumped into bed, had sex which resulted in babies and in the end, their offspring just took over the country. But before the age of contraception the intelligent did band together and have babies and so, whether we like it or not, our society is full of people who, for genetic reasons, are more intelligent than others. (I do enjoy a bit of PI or 'political incorrectness'.)


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