Saturday, 12 December 2009

Saturday Snippets

I.D. cards U-Turn; Killjoy; C.A.L.M; Spiky Wags; and Death wish Numpty.

Another week over and deeper in debt, unless you are an MP that is, and can exploit a loophole in expenses rules to claim thousands of pounds of public money without the need for receipts.

Parliament’s failure to demand proof of purchases for items costing less than £25 led to an abundance of claims for household goods and bills of £24, or just under.

Many MPs submitted several claims each month for miscellaneous items valued between £20 and £25, which were automatically paid because the parliamentary fees office did not have the power to ask to see receipts.

Alright for some.

And I see that Boris’s team is shrinking almost as fast as the economy Tim Parker, the First Deputy Mayor and Chairman of Transport for London (TfL), has stepped down from both jobs, saying it was inappropriate for him to hold them as an unelected official.

The loss of Mr Parker comes soon after Mr Johnson accepted the resignations of Ray Lewis, another deputy mayor, over allegations of financial and sexual misconduct, and James McGrath, a senior adviser, for inappropriate comments he made about immigrants.

Doesn’t the Government have someone unelected at the top? Oh yes it’s Gord, I wonder if...........
..Nah, too arrogant.

First up:

The Chancellor suggested that biometric passports, which carry the same information as ID cards, would be sufficient.

In an interview in The Daily Telegraph today, he said there was “probably no need” to “go further” than the new passports, paving the way for ID cards to be scrapped. Although he claimed later that he wasn’t going beyond existing plans, his intervention could spell the death knell for the project.

Ask not for whom the biometric bell tolls, it tolls for Labour.

Not according to body language and relationship consultant Estelle Pollard. Ms Pollard says that employees need to keep their guard up at the office party in the same way they would in the office, remembering that it is an extension of the work environment.

She recommends only one glass of wine or mixed spirits.

And she says the same cautious attitude should extend to what you wear.

If you could not get away with it in the office, you should not be wearing it to the party.

"You clothes can be more festive than those you wear to work every day, but they shouldn't be too revealing," she said.

She says treating the office party like a singles bar is also definitely a no-no, and even the most innocent flirtation should be avoided.

But the office party can also be a chance to impress. Handled in the right way, it can improve your chances in the office.

And what are her top tips? Thank the boss for putting on the evening, for their support over the previous year and make sure you remember to say goodbye.

God; I bet her house is a bundle of fun over Crimbo.

There you are sitting on the sofa semi-comatose while “watching” a programme about the mating habits of the one eyed purple people eater when the adverts come on and your ears start to bleed from the volume, making you scramble to find the remote before permanent damage is done.

No longer in America it seems; Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has unveiled separate legislation that would require television advertisements to be no louder than the programs during which they appear, and a similar proposal is pending in the House.

"The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act of 2009" would require the US Federal Communications Commission to regulate the ads' volume.

"Every day millions of Americans are barraged with abrasively loud television commercials," Whitehouse said in a statement that declared it time "to dial down to normal the loudness of these ads."

The legislation, which would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set new rules, was unveiled with year-end holiday advertising booming and with campaign commercials ahead of the November 2010 US mid-term elections set to launch in earnest.

In a June fact sheet posted on its Internet site, the FCC said loudness was subjective and that broadcasters and program producers had "considerable latitude."

"Manually controlling volume levels with the remote control remains the simplest approach to reducing excessive volume levels," it said. "The 'Mute' button on TV remote controls is also useful to 'blank' excessively loud audio."

Or in other words “not my problem”, blame the user not the provider.

African pygmy hedgehogs have become the latest must-have handbag accessory, prompting condemnation from animal welfare campaigners.

The tiny creatures are said to be stealing the hearts of rich women, including footballers' wives and girlfriends, ousting designer dogs like Chihuahuas from their handbags.

At five inches long, owners have told breeders they prefer the hedgehogs to take in their bags because they are easier to maintain than dogs.

Their popularity has been cemented by the variety of colours buyers can choose between – from albino to apricot and chocolate to salt and pepper.

However, animal welfare experts are outraged that the hedgehogs, which sell for around £250, are being marketed as fashion accessories.

Diana Mather, a self-styled etiquette and style guru, said: "These lovely little animals should make a perfect present for the trend setter who has everything.

"They're ideal for designer mums to give to their children.

"The African pygmy hedgehog is a delightful little creature which is increasingly seen gracing designer kitchens and peeping out from the handbags of our fashionistas."

Piss off, what will happen to them when they go out of “fashion”?

And finally:

An Australian man has been photographed sitting on a dead whale while it was being eaten by tiger sharks in an attempt to dispel myths about the predators.

Leon Deschamps, 32, said he wants to show that the sharks are not merely blood thirsty killing machines and was prepared to put his own life at risk to prove it.

The conservationist from Shark Bay in Western Australia - said people perceive all sharks to be the same and that tiger sharks are victims as a result.

"We fear tiger sharks because we do not understand them," he said.

"They are lumped into the same group as great whites and bull sharks, just because they are a type of shark, but their feeding and predation habits are completely different.

"We must be more species specific when we talk about sharks.

I want to bring the animals into the public arena, educate people so that they know they are not blood thirsty killing machines.

"Tiger sharks are not constantly aggressive. And now people can see that, after I threw myself into the middle of a feeding frenzy.

"I wasn't scared because I have educated myself about the animal.”

"It was an amazing experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity and wild horses would not have stopped me from doing it."

A spokesman for Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation warned that touching whales was illegal and people were not to interfere with sharks because of the risk of attack.

He said of the stunt: “This is highly irresponsible and dangerous behaviour and puts people’s lives at risk.”

Personally I think that one less Numpty in the world is a good thing, carry on Leon.




Angus Dei politico


James Higham said...

"Every day millions of Americans are barraged with abrasively loud television commercials," Whitehouse said in a statement that declared it time "to dial down to normal the loudness of these ads."

The moment I hear or see an abrasive ad, I make a note of the product to avoid in the future.

CherryPie said...

I think Estelle sounds like the Grinch!

I thought that hedgehogs were full of flees? Best not put their sarnies in their handbags!

Yes the last does deserve the numpty award!