Can the can

I was mooching on the net yesterday, wondering if the irritation in my nasal passages was Swine Flu or just pepper from teatime. (Spicy burgers don’t y’know.)
Anyway, I had next to me my trusty can of coke (other beverages are available) and I got to thinking that this little guy had done nearly as many miles as the dreaded lurgy.

I couldn’t decide whether I should be appalled or impressed by the coke can. On the one hand it’s amazing that you can mine aluminium, move the metal half way across the world, produce a can from it, print on it, fill it with a liquid and sell it in a multi-pack and all for a few pence.  It truly is a modern wonder.

But then again what an amazing waste of resources! All that effort just so I can have 330ml. of fizzy, frothy, nothing.

So I finished my drink and pondered, “How can we justify the enormous infrastructure that it requires just to present the bloated Westerner with a piddly bit of a drink?”

And went and got another …

can

The pen is mightier than the sword

(Especially if you’re using one to fill in a claim form. A bit easier too.)

I’ve got an expenses claim form I’ve been struggling with.

The problem isn’t what items I can claim for. You know, should I claim for that coffee? Was the taxi really necessary or should I have got the bus? Nah, I can claim for whatever the hell I want basically. The problem I’m having is I don’t know when to stop.

“What!” You cry, which company do you work for? Well I’m joking really (how could you tell?). I do need to worry about claiming for coffee and claiming for a taxi to take me to my garage is very much frowned upon.

But it seems that our erstwhile elected leaders don’t need to worry too much. Now that it’s been revealed that MP’s can legitimately claim for wide-screen TV’s and their kids Xmas present list on their allowances I thought it might be interesting to come up with a few new definitions for the initials MP.

They are (in no particular order):-

Morally Pliable
Mightily imPlausible
Maybe Presentable
Mainly Predictable
Mastercard Preferable

Most of these claims are within the rules but as rules go they are incredibly flexible. What is emerging is that our golden ones have well and truly claimed the moral low-ground with their expense claims. If it’s within the rules and everyone is doing it then why the hell not?

It’s an attitude of mind I find hard to trust. If you can stoop so low as to claim £40,000 for wages paid to your son, supposedly as a researcher, when in reality they are a full time student in Newcastle, then why should I trust you?

Really they should be above, above suspicion. No wonder we vote with our arses, by keeping them firmly attached to the sofa on Polling Day.

By the way, what’s the difference between my sofa and an MP’s sofa?

Well you guessed it pretty easily.

I paid for mine.

Sources: BBCbbc (again)

… and lots more. Go discover!

Crap: A Guide to Politics

             Quick! Claim for your lives!

Data is timeless

I was listening to good ol’ Radio 2 on the way to work yesterday and it mentioned a study that:-

‘… concluded that Children of older fathers have lower IQs.’

The study was done by Australian scientists using data from the U.S.

So I thought, “Yawn! Another red wine is bad for you, red wine isn’t bad for you paper fodder production.”

But what caught my ears (if there is such an expression) was when Liza Tarbuck said that the data they used for the report was collected between 1959 and 1965.

Eh?

Firstly I’m not sure a study done in one country is necessarily relevant in another. Secondly they used stuff that’s at least 44 years old!

I know that the results from these studies seem to be released every day and are taken with a pinch of salt (which is also apparently bad for you, a study says so) by most people.

What I never considered was how old can the data they use be? I just assumed it would be up to date as implied in the news headlines, “A recent report …” or “The latest study …”

Well it seems that it can be very old indeed. What relevancy data written on parchment paper is now is very questionable to me. Everything has changed since way back when. Unless it is meant as a Historical study but I don’t think it’s being presented as such.

But then I suppose these studies are not meant to be taken too seriously are they? After all they’re just designed to keep a bunch of scientists employed and guarantee a new grant when their existing one expires. Perhaps as long as they publish something then that’s enough to keep the cheques coming.

“Not breathing can seriously shorten your life span”, a new study shows.

“Masturbation causes Cancer.”

“Masturbation doesn’t cause cancer.” (Teenage youth heaves a sigh of relief.)

“A new report shows that staying in bed is safer than climbing K2.”

It does make you wonder how many studies out there are using data that Noah started. (“Building a wooden ark in times of severe flood can greatly increase your chance of survival”, a scribe says.)

I know we all have to earn a crust but it would be nice if people spent their time on pursuits that actually meant something in the real world. Surely there are useful things to study out there?

But I’m obviously missing the point.

Must be a lack of data.

The postman never rings twice

I don’t know about you but the arrival of the post can be something of a trauma. Not only because I don’t welcome most of my post which consists mainly of bills, but it’s the times when the posty has to knock on your door to deliver a large or bulky item or one requiring a signature.

I know I’m not the only one who’s realised that the post person will only wait for a nano-second before depositing a little red ‘I was here, you weren’t quick enough, I’ve now gone’ card through the door. They then magically disappear into thin air, like a genie in a lamp, in the 5 seconds it takes you to get to the door.

As I’m mainly working upstairs when the knock on the door does come, I experience a heart pounding, cardiac arrest inducing, scrambling around looking for the front door key, dash to get there in time only to find it has all been for nothing.
Little red rooster is lying on the hallway mat.

What do you do? I try and up my game a bit by going into training. Limbering up in the morning and practicing fast starts to try and increase my speed. All to no avail.

Inevitably I have to endure a five mile trip into town to the ‘local’ (local?) sorting office to queue up to collect my stuff, along with most of my neighbourhood. Trouble is the sorting office is only open for a few hours per day and that includes Saturdays.

So I end up stuck in a huge log jam tailback with no available car parking because everyone has arrived together.

I remember once seeing a huge notice pinned to someone’s front door. So being ever curious I went to investigate. On it was written in huge capitals something like,

“To the postman.
Please wait!!
I am in.
I’ve been in all week
but you won’t wait
2 minutes for me
to get to the door!”

I’ve now taken to hanging out of my front bedroom window and shouting, “Hang on. I’ll be down in a second (or two.)”

This amuses me as they look wildly around in all directions trying to work out where this dis-embodied voice is coming from before looking up and seeing me.
But I’m sure I detect a slightly crestfallen look on their faces as they are usually in the process of filling in their calling card which they then have to abandon.

Never mind. They’ll be delivering it very soon I guess.