Showing posts with label Show all posts
Showing posts with label Show all posts

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."


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Big silver bird: Dead seas: Lambo Numpty: T up your phone: Wired for sun: and Thar’s gold in the Big Apple.

Usual again at the Castle this morn-dull, damp, dingy and decidedly cool, the study is overflowing with broken things, and his Majesty is chilling out.

I see that Old fart Ken Clarke has done a Coalition U-Turn over the prison discount whatnot, and it appears that you only have a 50/50 chance of surviving a fire if you have smoke alarms.

Boeing have built a big silver bird,  The 747-8 is the largest plane ever built by the US aerospace giant, which makes it an ideal people-mover on a grand scale.

The "dash-eight", as they call the plane, flew straight into an order-flurry that saw it clock up some $5.4bn (£3.3bn) worth of deals at list price during the first day of the Paris air show.

With 17 fresh orders for the 747-8 Intercontinental, Boeing has pulled in 50 firm and five conditional orders for the passenger version, in addition to some 70 orders for the 747-8 windowless freighter.

 Let’s hope it is more reliable than the Airbus A380.

A preliminary report from an international panel of marine experts said that the condition of the world's seas was worsening more quickly than had been predicted.
The scientists, gathered for a workshop at Oxford University, warned that entire ecosystems, such as coral reefs, could be lost in a generation.
Already fish stocks are collapsing, leading to a risk of rising food prices and even starvation in some parts of the world.
The experts blamed the increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for pushing up ocean temperatures, boosting algae so there is less oxygen and increasing acidity of the water.
The conditions are similar to every previous mass extinction event in the Earth's history.

 Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.....

A Chinese man who transformed his old Nissan car into an eye-catching Lamborghini had it confiscated by police on its maiden voyage.
Liu Yuandong, of Kunming, in southwest China's Yunnan province, spent more than £8,000 on the transformation.
But he was pulled over by the police within minutes of taking the 'sports car' for its first spin around the cities streets.
Police spokesman Pu Weiping said: "His car is not registered, and should not be driven on the road.
"It appears to have been rather roughly put together and we were concerned it wouldn't meet health and safety standards."
The car is currently being held by local traffic officers who will decide whether or not to return it to Liu after a thorough inspection. 

That’s the problem when you copy something-always a flaw, in this case the Numpty behind the wheel.

A prototype T-shirt has been designed to power mobiles while festival-goers watch bands in action.
Users can plug their phone in to the shirt, which uses noise-responsive technology, for a quick top-up charge whenever they need it.
Mobile phone giant Orange will be conducting live testing of the device on site at the festival this weekend to see which acts and beats are the "best to charge to" around the Spirit of 71 stage.
Tony Andrews, co-producer of the Spirit of 71, said it could provide "a real solution to mobile phone charging" while on the go.
"Sound vibrations, particularly bass frequencies, will create enough shaking to produce electricity from a material as simple as piezoelectric film," he said.
How does that song by the Move go? I’m just sitting charging mobiles in the rain....

A New York woman has launched a lawsuit because she says her bikini was too hot.
Robin Corrente, 50, claims the underwire in her black swimsuit top heated to the scorching point when she was sunbathing in 32 C weather in August 2008, causing third-degree burns and blistering after about an hour in the sun.
Corrente reportedly sought medical attention and doctors removed a piece of flesh about the "size of a dime" from her right breast.
She's filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court against Swimwear Anywhere, manufacturer of the Coco Reef bikini. 

Sun? I have heard of it, but apparently it is banned from Blighty.

 And finally: 

An unemployed jewellery setter has taken to combing the streets of New York with a pair of tweezers to cash in on dropped gems and gold.
Raffi Stepanian, 43, has begun crawling around the New York 'Diamond District' on his hands and knees, plucking jewels and fragments of precious metals from between the slabs.
Armed with a pair of tweezers, Mr Stepanian, an unemployed diamond setter from Queens, claims to have collected $1,010 (£623) worth in the past fortnight.
His haul so far has included chips of diamonds and rubies, bits of platinum and gold fragments from watches, earrings and necklaces.
He has sold most of his discoveries to metal refiners or diamond sellers, while keeping some gold with a view to melting it down for future use.  

Should have kept quiet about it....

And today’s thought: A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Faggin hell: Carbon hatchback: Harmony of intent: Banking on a train: Up your Trossachs: Sole of a car: Neodymium attraction: Lasagne loser: and ladies sauntering.

A tad on the cool side at the Castle this morn, the butler has collected a new batch of fat teenagers for the furnace; the kitchen is empty of computers and I am still waking up at four of the am.
At about 9.30 last eve the phone rang, as I was doing my biz in the bathroom I didn’t get to it before the answer phone cut in and I heard “Deirdre, are you there?”, “Deirdre, Deirdre”, I picked the handset up and said “hello” to be greeted with “Deirdre?”
“Err, no, no Deirdre here, you must have a wrong number”
I want to speak to Deirdre, where is she?
“I don’t know, you have a wrong number”
I must speak to Deirdre, can you get her?”
“No Deirdre here-wrong number”
“Are you sure?”
Will you get Deirdre for me? I really need to speak to her

By now I was getting quite miffed, and said to the elderly lady.
“Sorry but Deirdre has run off with a Muslim Imam, and they have gone to live in Afghanistan”
Oh dear, and I really wanted to speak to her, do you have her phone number?”

You couldn’t make it up.

I see that smoker bashing has become the national sport of the Piss Poor Policies Coalition-again.
They have come up with the idea that if they hide all the fags and baccy under the counter no one will smoke.
And coming up is the cunning plan to only have white packaging on said consumables, which prompted “Paxo” Paxman to utter the daftest thing I have heard on the BBC-“so how will they know what they are buying?”
Because they will have the name on them you overpaid, arrogant twat.
I won’t go into the facts that smokers contribute billions to the purse in taxes, and that our contribution more than pays for any treatment we may need because of the filthy habit-unlike booze, no, I won’t go into that.
According to the PPP Coalition.
Or maybe…….

One of the first major manufacturers looking to take the plunge is BMW.
The luxury automobile maker has announced plans to build a range of electric city cars, under the sub-brand BMW-i, using lightweight carbon fibre passenger cabins.
The company has entered a partnership with German-based SGL Carbon, and together the firms plan to build a $100m (£62m) carbon fibre manufacturing plant in Washington State, USA.
VW has unveiled its own prototype carbon fibre car, the L1, suggesting that the company also sees a viable future for composite materials.
Not to be left behind, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have formed alliances with another German carbon fibre composite manufacturer, Voith.

The new cars will be so light that they will come with an anchor to stop them blowing away.

Apparently yesterday’s announcement by the Irritable Bowel Twins  (and Tommy Cooper impressionist) may not happen for a while-if at all.
All that happened on Tuesday is that Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith gave a speech making the case for reform.
He believes the current system is too complex and removes any incentive for people to save for their retirement. So he called for a "debate" to look at "options for simplifying the pensions system".
He said he was "working closely" with the Treasury on a new structure that would reward those who save. Chancellor George Osborne, he made clear, had been "seized of the importance of this project".
But Mr Duncan Smith did not say the new flat rate state pension will be £140 a week. He did not say how it would be paid for. He did not say when this policy may come into force.
He did not say when a much delayed green paper may be published - a document that in itself will be only a series of options to be considered. He did not say why people who have contributed national insurance all their lives should get the same pension as those who have not.
He did not say why rich pensioners should get a bigger state pension when richer parents are losing their child benefit.

He didn’t say much really did he? Thought it was a bit too good to be true.

A train has smashed into a bank in Melbourne's south.
The train overran a track at Sandringham station and crashed through a wall of the Bendigo Bank about 8.10pm (AEDT) on Wednesday.
Metro spokesman Chris Whitefield said no passengers were on the train and there was no disruption to services on the line this morning.
He said the train driver was performing a manoeuvre to turn the train around when the crash occurred and the incident would be investigated.
"We'll be doing what we do from a safety perspective in terms of our investigation, that will determine what happened, why it happened and recommendations and actions to make sure it doesn't happen again," Mr Whitefield said.

That’ll be a big withdrawal.

Thousands of copies of a new map of Loch Lomond have been withdrawn after complaints that an area was dubbed "giro bay".
Bosses at the Loch's authority announced the move today, saying the use of a "colloquialism" was an "error or judgement".

Previously unnamed areas in the park were also named after map makers and water rangers.

Fiona Logan, CEO of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: "The National Park regret that we made an error in judgment in the initial print run of the new navigational chart for Loch Lomond.

"A colloquialism was included in the chart as were some previously un-named parts of the loch being named after the British Geological Society cartographers (map makers) and our most dedicated water rangers, who worked together on this mapping project over the last four years. This is a common cartographer tradition, we appreciate it is felt to be inappropriate in this instance.

"We are grateful to local people for drawing this to our attention. As soon as we realised our mistake, immediate action was taken and we withdrew the chart."

The map had been produced to update an 1861 copy.

A new chart, minus the controversial names, should be available within weeks park bosses said.
Harp of the North! that mouldering long hast hung
   On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring
And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
   Till envious ivy did around thee cling,
Muffling with verdant ringlet every string,--
   O Minstrel Harp, still must thine accents sleep?
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
   Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep,
Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep?
Walter Scott-the lady of the lake, no mention of Giros though.

A footwear manufacturer in China has made an electric car out of a giant shoe.
It can carry two people up to 250 miles at speeds of up to 20mph on a single charge of the battery underneath the driver's seat.
The leather 'bodywork' is made in the same way as a normal shoe but on a bigger scale, using the hide of five bulls.
A Kang Shoe company spokesman said it took six months to design and build the car at a cost of around £4,000.
The company demonstrated its bizarre vehicle outside its headquarters in Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.
Workers queued up for the chance to drive the shoe car which is 10ft long and more than three feet high.
Company president Wang Zhengtao says it is designed as a promotional tool and he plans to make 40 for stores around the country.

Bet the Bulls aren’t too chuffed about that.

The race to produce the earth’s strongest magnet containing neodymium and 16 other rare earth elements continues.

 I find that rather attractive.

Giancarlo Sabatini avoided Italian police for a decade on the run, but couldn't resist his wife's lasagne.
 Police say went into hiding in 2000, shortly after being given a 3-year, 8-month prison sentence in a cocaine trafficking case.
Acting on a tip, police staked out the homes of Sabatini's wife and daughter Tuesday in Rocca Priora, a town near Rome. When they spied the daughter leaving her mother's house and furtively dashing toward her home bearing a tray of lasagne, police, suspecting a secret guest, burst in and arrested Sabatini.
Many Italians prepare lasagne with meat sauce for lunch on the last Tuesday of Carnival. Police say Sabatini came from his hideout in Belgium to celebrate the last day before Lent with his family.

The way to getting nicked is though a man’s stomach.

And finally:

Ladies sauntering: (last one).

And today’s thought: Hell hath no fury like . . . the lawyer of a woman scorned.