Monday, 29 August 2011

Simply the best: Simply the worst: Double trouble: slithering bargain: Silver budgie smugglers: Ear-ear Elfandsafety: and Earl Grey is revolting.

Sunny, coldish and a touch windy at the Castle this bank holiday Monday morn, no post yesterday-too busy on the re-modelling front, but nearly finished, his Maj had the hump all day because Him/her upstairs decided to dump sky water on the grounds in increasing amounts as the day of rest progressed.

The NHS is one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world, according to a surprising new report.
In a development which will complicate the government's arguments for healthcare reform, a Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine report found only Ireland's healthcare system saved more lives per pound spent.
"The government proposals to change the NHS are largely based on the idea that the NHS is less efficient and effective than other countries, especially the US," said Professor Colin Pritchard, the Bournemouth University academic who analysed post-1980 data for the report.
"The results question why we need a big set of health reform proposals.
The NHS saved 3,951 lives per million of the population, compared to just 2,779 in France and 2,395 in Germany.

The NHS complaints system requires drastic change if it is to operate effectively, MPs have said.
A report from the Commons' health committee suggests that the health service ombudsman is not currently given enough scope to review complaints.
Committee chair Stephen Dorrell questioned the "legal and operational framework" the ombudsman currently works under, suggesting it needed to be "widened".
He said: "The ombudsman's current terms of reference prevent her from launching a formal investigation unless she is satisfied in advance that there will be a 'worthwhile outcome'. We have concluded that this requirement represents a significant obstacle to the successful operation of the complaints system.
"Patients should be able to seek an independent review of the findings of internal reviews by care providers; the terms of reference under which the ombudsman works prevent her from properly fulfilling this role. This needs to be changed."
A report by the ombudsman in 2005 called for the establishment of clear national guidelines on dealing with complaints.
However the health committee said the organisation of the complaints procedure is inadequate and accused the NHS of being too defensive and failing to adopt a more open culture. 

No shit, tell me about it...


The number of long-term unemployed has more than doubled since the financial crisis struck in 2008, leaving tens of thousands of people with little chance of ever working again, according to the Institute of Public Policy Research.
More than 400,000 people have been unemployed for over two years – the highest number since 1997.
The IPPR analysis shows that 100,000 older workers (those aged 50 and over) who were made redundant at the start of the recession could be forced to retire earlier than they planned. This means many will be left with significantly lower pensions and therefore lower standards of living, Tony Dolphin, the chief economist at the IPPR, says. But long-term unemployment has increased even more among younger people – trebling to 95,000 since 2008. Research from previous recessions suggests that members of this group are likely to earn less than their peers when they do find work and more likely to experience further unemployment in later life. 

Still no “Plan B” Dave?

A Hollidaysburg couple got one more item than they bargained for at a yard sale Wednesday, and it came back to bite them.
Amber Thalhouser was driving on Interstate 99 in Duncansville with Donald Forshey when a snake apparently sneaked out from among stuff they'd purchased - including a weed trimmer and a milk crate full of items - slithered up front and nipped Forshey on the lower leg, Borough Police Chief James Ott said.
Forshey tried to pin the serpent to the floor with a crutch - he'd recently had an operation - and Thalhouser pulled to the shoulder of the road before they both bailed out, state Trooper David Nazaruk said.
They called 911, and authorities who "tore apart" the car looking for the snake, without success, Nazaruk said. 

I think my crutch would be the last thing I would use to pin a snake to the floor...

A group of teenage tycoons have claimed they are sitting on a fortune - after developing a range of radiation-proof pants for mobile phone users.
The special boxers have pouches lined with silver which is said to deflect up to 99 per cent of radioactive emissions from mobiles, feared to be responsible for cancer and infertility.

Student Rico Kogleck explained:"I was sitting in a lesson at school and we were talking about radiation from Laptops and mobile phones.

He told the Austrian Times: "I started thinking about what we could do to protect ourselves from it and then I thought about protective boxer shorts."

Rico and four pals took a year to design and manufacture their Safety Shorts product, now on sale for £26.

Glowing testiclemonia?

The corporation has produced a report warning that musicians playing in its orchestras are at risk of damaging their hearing, and even their health, by working in a noisy environment.
It acted after European Union rules were brought in to limit exposure to noise in the workplace.
Now musicians in its five orchestras have been told they should think about using ear plugs, chewing gum and - in a new interpretation of the term musical arrangement - sitting further away from other members of the orchestra.
The advice is contained in a 50-page report which comes after a three-year study by the BBC's in-house safety adviser.
It warns that trombonists and trumpeters are exposed to decibel levels approaching those given off by chainsaws, an average of 92 decibels.
Other musicians are also warned of the hazards they face: during a three-hour session, a horn player, for instance, is exposed to the equivalent noise of a half hour journey on a motorbike, while for an oboist it is the same as an hour spent on a London Underground train.
Even their own playing can be stressful: "The adrenaline rush you thrive on in performance can turn under certain circumstances to unhealthy stress that is associated with raised blood pressure, compromised immunity and changes to metabolism."

 Yet another waste of money report from the University of the bleedin obvious.

 And finally: 

For nearly two centuries, Earl Grey has been the tea of genteel contentment.
Now, though, its drinkers are rising in revolt against a producer which dared to change its flavour.
The unlikely rebellion was sparked when Twinings relaunched its Earl Grey.
The company was so confident it would triumph by adding "a dash of lemon and a touch more bergamot" that its website proclaimed: "Even the Earl himself couldn't have imagined how wonderful his favourite tea could taste. Do you think it's our best ever?"
They didn't - in fact they decided it wasn't their cup of tea, and they weren't happy.
Among the almost universally damning, but elegant responses now appearing on the Twinings website are remarks including "horrid", "positively unpleasant" and "vile - like lemon cleaning product."
The good news - if there is any - for the Earl Grey rebels is that every customer who complains to Twinings is being offered "the ten day challenge": £10 to try the new tea for ten days and see if it grows on them.
Perhaps more importantly, if they refuse to take part in the challenge, they get a year's supply of the old Earl Grey - an offer which may lead to cynics wondering if the whole protest over the change is an internet ruse to raise sales of the tea bags.  

Think I’ll stick to my Tesco teabags.

That’s it: I’m orf to check out supersymmetry. 

And today’s thought: "A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist."



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James Higham said...

The number of long-term unemployed has more than doubled since the financial crisis struck in 2008

And yet they try to play this down. this is the sign of a sick society.

CherryPie said...

And exactly how are you supposed to play a musical instrument with ear plugs in??

Julie said...

I remember my sense of glee when the orchestra I was in was doing a percussion concerto with Evelyn Glennie, and the violin players at the front were getting the full power of the drums rather than us at the back as we normally did.

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Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I must tell our local underwear shop about the boxers! As for the changes to the Earl Grey Tea, I am scandalised.

Agness Mumbi said...

Looking your underwear so sophisticated and comfortable.I like it.I will say to my friend about it.

Angus Dei said...

Tone deaf me, earl grey will be spinning in his grave, I do like big baggy underwaer, not so sure about the metalwork though, wait till next year James:)

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