Sunday, 31 October 2010

that was the week that was...

This week has been one I won't forget for a while! Two very good things have happened that will enhance the quality of life for all, especially those around me.

I'VE FOUND A JOB!  Yes, I have finally got me a job. How awesome is that? I am delighted!

OK, it's only a part-time, but that's OK...It is a start. I know I will impress and within a short space of time they will promote me. That's how it normally goes.

The second important event was the performance last night of Rebecca Ferguson on X Factor. (I know, how shallow)

One word of warning - if you are going to listen on your computer make sure you have additional speakers connected to do this song the justice it deserves. OK?

I am truly gobsmacked!  Completely bowled over with this most beautiful and haunting performance!

 Rebecca Ferguson's cover of Chris Isaaks "Wicked Game". (click link)


Oh what a voice! Anyway, no more adjectives required.

If Rebecca doesn't win it this year I vow to stop watching the programme... and that's not an idle threat!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth - Book Review

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was reading this book...well, I have now! I just wish I had read it long before. It would have cleared up so many doubts, but there you go, better late than never.

OK, onto the business of reviewing:

“A beautiful and intelligent work on Evolution that
should finally put an end to the foolishness of creationism
 and intelligent design.”

This may be far-fetched wishful thinking on my behalf, but it is my conclusion after reading this enlightening book.

From plate-tectonics to the sex life of plants - from parasitic wasps to trees competing for sunlight- Richard Dawkins covers all the complexity of the origin of species, natural selection and nature with the skill set of an accomplished artist hell-bent on showing us his life's masterpiece.

I advise anyone who wishes to learn more about the origins of life to get this book and read it as soon as you can. You will enjoy the journey. I promise you will.

Onto the author now:

Richard Dawkins is one of my favourite thinkers and a man whose only agenda is to speak the truth. Like all  great scientist of the past, Prof. Dawkins is  interested in teaching as a means to counter-act the damage done by misinformation spread by religious movements.

...fighting his way through the history-denying
 crowds of ignorance...

R Dawkins is a brilliant scientist and, not surprisingly for a genius, an atheist, who is fighting his way through the history-denying crowds of ignorance with passion and conviction.

Prof. Dawkins, like many other academics, is horrified at the high percentage of people around the globe that don’t accept the fact-based teachings of science, but do the superstition-based religious mythical view of Creation.

'It is frightening to think that 40% of Americans don’t believe in evolution!' he states in the book. That figure is lower than all of the Muslim World but still much higher than the 9% or so of the northern Europeans.

In short, Richard Dawkins is as proud of his intellect as he is of his atheism, and I for one, am happy with that.
My own atheism was reached after much soul-searching and personal investigative work. For that, I am also proud and, immensely grateful to the great minds that have shaped me and led me to this conclusion; People like Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and of course, my own family.

Keep up the good work Richard, never stop fighting ignorance. I look forward to your next book in anticipation. "March on secular soldier."

Happy reading friends  ;)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Top 8 Funniest Pictures on Facebook

This is a short "Photo Blog" post with some of the funniest photos/captions to be found on Facebook.  See what you think;
This newsman looks uncomfortable...
...and in a hurry to go!

I wonder if the designer responsible realised?

Never mind camel, let's call it elephant toe!

Prejudice sucks...

Usually, my very sentiment the morning after!

Married, but still, never enough!

 Will he stroke her? Or lock her up?

"Do you want fries with that?"
That would put you off fast-food.

 "I never forget a face, but in your case
 I'll be glad to make an exception.

Some people are worse off than me and, therefore, I am supposed to feel better. Simple!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Together but apart, like both sides of a coin

After many years of trying, I unashamedly confess to knowing very little about women.

Men and women are different and neither is better or worse than the other, obviously. Just like Fire and Water, Night and Day, Hot and Cold, both are necessary for life and both have the capacity to be good and bad.

Our Universe is made up of opposites; light and darkness, matter and anti-matter, pull and push forces and of course male and female.

It is amazing that men and women share 99.9 of common DNA (not so amazing when compared to 95% shared DNA with chimps) and yet are so intrinsically different in both thought and intention.

Differences between the sexes are so extreme it beggars belief to think that both were made in the same biological “laboratory” and with the same reproductive “chemical cocktail”.

Of course men and women  share many similarities, like for instance; morals, nurturing instinct, appreciation of arts and music, thirst for knowledge, empathy and the need to love and be loved, to name but a few. That makes it even more incredible on how men and women can be so different!

The point I’m trying to get to (not so sure now) is how difficult it seems to be, to please both sexes simultaneously. When it comes to;

TV World: Tries hard but fails miserably, ensuring a couple ( um… I refer to 2 people cohabiting, male-female, the whole point of this exercise) have to own two television sets in order to share the same living space without killing each other.

Movie World: “Sex in The City” for her, the “A Team” for him. The only couples who usually persevere to see these films together are ‘just dating’ and will do anything to impress each other.

Sports World: Gymnastics (floor exercise) for her, Cage Fighting MMA and Football for him.

Alcoholic Beverages: “Cosmopolitans” and Vodka Red-Bull for her, Cold beer for him...

...this could go on forever and ever.

If anyone out there has any idea on what makes men and women so different, please let me know. I would appreciate it. One is never too old to learn and no,I won't hold my breath.

Anyway, the following is a joke for the girls;

“The problem is that Nature gave men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.”

And one for the boys;

"A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's. She changes it more often."

On a more serious note I would like to finish off with the wise words of Albert Einstein, probably the greatest thinker of the century;

“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”

Wow, meaningful or what?   Vive la difference!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Non, Je ne regrette rien...

As a continuation to my recent post "Can Autumn Last Forever?" , I would like to add the final and closing chapter. The post was written when I was feeling particularly vulnerable and sorry for myself; not the two best sentiments when trying to write anything sensible, I know.  The chapter is best described by the inimitable Edith Piaf with the song that still makes the hair on my body (and that's quite a lot - see my post "Naked Ape") stand to attention. Now before you all start insinuating that considering the great Edith Piaf died in 1963, I must therefore be extremely old, I will step in and put you right. I may not be the youngest blogger in blogosphere but definitely not the oldest either.

Although the great song was released before that fateful night when a combination of drink and the right time of the month resulted in me, it has been pulling my heartstrings ever since I first heard it, around age 9.  I could just about make sense of the title, when translated by my mum, but it meant more than the lyrical content. Much much more. The haunting melody and sublime voice, are what etched my young mind forever. Thank you for the "etching" Edith, and R.I.P Little Sparrow. x

Awesome or what!   I digress - back to my Autumn post. Due to the then dubious state of mind of yours truly, I didn't mention anything about my beloved gf Madeleine. Of course I should have!  I met her during that time and am eternally grateful for it. I dread to think what it would be like if she wasn't here. My feelings for Madeleine are mentioned in my previous post "Gratitude Attitude" . Anyway, as further good measure, here are the Google translated lyrics, and therefore, final chapter of my Autumn post:

No! Absolutely nothing
No! I regret nothing
Neither the good done to me
Nor any evil I do not care!

No! Absolutely nothing
No! I regret nothing

It is paid, swept away, forgotten
But I care about the past!

With my memories
I lit the fire
My sorrows, my pleasures
I no longer need them!

Scanned loves
And all their tremors
Swept away forever
I start from scratch

No! Absolutely nothing
No! I regret nothing
Because my life, because my joys
Today, it starts with you!

...until next time, Au Revoir  :) 


Monday, 25 October 2010

laughing pains

Madeleine and I went to the doctor’s surgery last week. We both had to register, as we are new to the area, and Madeleine needed some part of her anatomy checked or tweaked or both. I don’t quite know all the details of her illness/discomfort but it may have something to do with the fact our bedroom is on the first floor of the house. I say this because I heard Madeleine talking to the nurse and mentioning having problems “down stairs”. Mind you, she also mentioned “plumbing” so I’m no wiser.

We had to wait around 30 minutes to be seen and so I started to read every poster, leaflet, notice on every wall, as you do, to kill time. A couple of posters made me chuckle – well, a loud laugh was out of the question when surrounded by the sick and dying- and made the waiting a lot more enjoyable.

A large poster announced;

“Premature Ejaculation Class – Every Wednesday 6 pm. Please arrive early”

WTF? Of course they will arrive early. Duh!

Another poster stated the importance of eating 5 portions of vegetables/fruit per day with the witty caption;

“Human Beans Make Good Runners”  Uh!?

And another poster showed a frail, ashen-faced old lady and highlighted the plight of the elderly who are afflicted by dementia. It said;

“As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can't remember the other two...”

I know… funny as hell. You’d think I was making up these things, but I’m not!

Anyway, that same poster ended on a more cheerful note by stating;

“The good thing is, when you become senile you won’t know it!"

Charming! Mocking the afflicted! What next?

Needless to say, Madeleine and I felt much better after that unexpected spell of giggling.

"Laughter is the best medicine" some wise old fart once said...and yes, I concur.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Can Autumn Last Forever?

Autumn, I think, is an appropriate metaphor for my present existence.

You see, the last 3 years have been the strangest years of my life, so far at least. I have found in Salvador Dali’s paintings (the greatest artist ever) the visual  tools to describe my present state of affairs. Thank you Salvador and Rodin, for the priceless inspiration. 'If both you artists were blind, you would have still seen more man most.'

with my head held in my hands...

It seems not so long ago I had a family, a house, a car, a job and money and now, none of the above! Well obviously I still have family but the dynamics have changed. These things have disappeared over the last 36 months, or even collapsed, like domino pieces on the wobbly table of life.

helpless, constrained and in suspense...

I find myself trying to make sense of this senseless phase, and asking what the hell has happened in the last 3 years?

why is there no movement?

I miss having my own home.

I miss having a good job.

I miss having routine and stability in my life.

I miss looking forward to weekends, mostly spent fishing with Mattie or visiting my beloved and sorely missed brother Paulo, who has also sadly departed from my life... far too soon.

I miss being a full time dad to Mattie. I miss making his tea in the morning and kissing his freshly awakened face. I missed out last time with Shaun and Katie and now, once again, history seems to be repeating itself.

what next?...

In the last 3 years I lost all those things and now find myself stranded in limbo, head held in my idle hands, waiting for an opportunity to kick-start my life.

when will I see my REAL reflection?

I await my rebirth with anticipation...should it happen

I believe it will happen, eventually, but… when?

How much is too much?


Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Top 5 still in X Factor - 2010

Love it or hate it, the X Factor is here to stay. It is the most popular talent show in the UK, if not anywhere, with little or no competition as far as talent shows go. Of course I have been watching it! So has the rest of the country. Haven’t you all? Yeah, right.


My favourite is Rebecca Ferguson. Great soulful singer with a silky-smooth voice and a style reminiscent of a 60s Moulin Rouge diva. I hope she goes all the way.  Dreamy voice to die for , bags of talent and chic as hell.
Rebecca - the best the show can offer


My second favourite is Matt Cardle. Unique alto voice and every note delivered with the clinical precision  of a virtuoso. Fantastic vocal range coupled with a laid back style that is both endearing and genuine. His rendition of Britney Spears “Hit Me Baby One More Time” proves that a cover can be much better than the original.

Matt will make it even if he loses


Then there is the enfant terrible Cher Lloyd, beefing up her performance with the attitude of a Harlem hip-hop gangster on crack. She sometimes loses herself in her adopted role, forgetting she is just a little northern lass, not a bad-ass rude boy. Cher needs to do better in the weeks to come if she wants to stay in and emulate her famous name-sake. Still in with a shout but risks turning into a one-trick pony.

Cher needs to improve


Aiden Grimshaw sounded ever so promising in the beggining but has since slipped down my rankings with two bad performances on the trot. His version of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” last week was an improvisation pushed too far - this week’s “Diamonds Are Forever”, a complete disaster of a song, better suited to the token joke of the competition, Wagner or Vagner with a ‘v’, (or Vanker with a ‘w’)

Jury is still out with Aiden


Boy band One Direction are sweet enough and can sing but need to wait a couple of years grow some bodily hair and acquire adult male voices before they can make a real impact with the fans. They are far too young to stay up singing past the watershed hour, surely! Mind you, if Justin Bieber can do it… who knows! I wonder if there is a lower age limit for the show? I wonder if pubes are compulsory? If yes to either, the boys will have to come back in a couple of years.

a bit premature for One Erection?

That’s it folks, no one else in the running. The rest will be disposed of two-by-two until Christmas.

PS.  I promise my next posting will be of a serious nature to compensate for my 'temporary' lack of ideas.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Denial - more than just a river...

Yes, it is official, I am in denial! Yep, knee-deep in denial! “Paddling up-stream without a paddle” in denial…(‘nuff with the clichés)
But I must be in denial, hence my foolish humour and optimism when neither are justified!

Have I found a job? No.

Have I come across a stash of cash? No

Will I be affected by the savage spending cuts announced by parliament today? Yes.

Am I responsible in any way for the National debt? No

Should I pay for the National debt? No…but will anyway

So why the foolish joie de vivre?

I have been in a much better mood these last few days. I don’t know why, I can’t quite put my finger on it.

I guess the conclusion is I may not have a lot at the moment, but I do have my loved ones. Yes, my family, my children and my beloved Madeleine. I have just spent the last 20 mins talking on the phone to Mattie and that always cheers me up no end.

 When I found "Ms Right" I didn't realize her middle name was "Always"
Ta -da !

See what I mean!  Unjustifiable humour. In a good mood again !

I'll sign off with an American conundrum;

"Is it good if a vacuum cleaner really sucks?"


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

always look on the bright side...

I won’t pretend that all’s well at the moment, because that would be an understatement. I am applying for jobs and most of the time not even receiving acknowledgement from the companies I contact. How despicably rude is that! The good thing is I’ll never have to work for those inconsiderate shitheads who don’t reply. The trouble with unemployment is that from the minute you wake up to when you go to sleep you're on the job, so to speak and doing nothing is a very hard thing to do as you never know when you’re finished!? Humnmm?!

OK, so things are about as crappy as can be without anyone dying, but, despite it all, I can’t help but remain positive. Never take life too seriously; after all, nobody ever gets out of it alive!

On a lighter note, I’ve nearly finished reading “The Greatest Show on Earth” by R Dawkins and will review it at a later date. Awesome book but also technical enough to make me read some passages over and over. I’ll never finish it at this rate! It’s like a never ending trip down déjà vu lane.

Talking of which, it reminds me of a funny incident recently when Madeleine went to the local bookshop to buy me the above book. It went something like this;

Madeleine: Excuse me, where’s the Self-Help section?
Saleswoman: If I told you it would defeat the purpose.


I digress. I’m going to finish doing the gardening today (something to do). I started it yesterday afternoon and the front section is all but done. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. The next door neighbour asked me if he could use my lawn mower – I said of course, so long as you don’t take it out of my garden!

Ta-da !

Always look on the bright side of life, da da, da da da da da da…

Monday, 18 October 2010

when fact is stranger than fiction

I found some interesting stuff in the news today and would like to share it with you.
Here are the highlights;

"Cyber crime among top UK threats
Computer attacks are among the biggest threats to the UK, Home Secretary Theresa May says ahead of the publication of a new national security strategy"

Me: Humm? I think it's disgusting. How can anyone attack a poor defenceless computer?  I'll have to teach the old "Acer" some self-defence and shanking techniques ?! Better safe than sorry! ;)

"Iranian chocolate thief faces hand amputation

An Iranian judge has sentenced a man convicted of robbing a confectionery shop to have one of his hands cut off, Iranian media report"

Me: So, stealing a couple of Snickers bars in downtown Tehran can result in losing one's right hand?! How extreme! What if he had stolen a Cadbury's 250g bar? Would he lose hands and feet? This young man is unlikely to ever find a female partner now, with a such a visible label of dishonesty dangling (or not) from his right sleeve. No girl and minus his right hand?! Tragic double-blow. Overkill or what!

Me: This little gem speaks for itself. Atheists and Agnostics know more about religion than bible-bashers?!? Of course they do, hence their non-believer status. Talk about stating the obvious!

Me: If you don't believe it open the pic in your "Paint" or "Photoshop" ! Awesomely confusing!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

blue genes 4 Christmas

It’s nearly Christmas and I am so looking forward to it! I absolutely love this time of the year. I am not religious, it’s nothing to do with the presumed birthday of Christ, but having said that, I sincerely hope the tradition continues for ever more. It's too good a cultural event to lose.

"you will not be roasted this Xmas-I promise"

The festive music, the illuminations, the decorations, the cold weather and the multiple days off work all combine to create the magic of Christmas. I usually put up decorations and the tree as soon as they become available in the shops! The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned – lasts longer that way. This year may be different due to work circumstances. I so hope to be working before Christmas - it would make all the difference in the world. Anyway, here are some ideas for inexpensive gifts;
the dog has renal failure

peace and goodwill to all mankind :)

Friday, 15 October 2010

another bite at the cherry

I attended a job interview yesterday at a Ford dealer in North West London. It went very well and took longer than I had expected, which is a good sign. Got the old fave suit out, Balmain no less,whoooo, (see pic below) drab grey I think, but apparently a “safe bet” if the “find-a-job” gurus are to be believed.

This job was recommended by an ex work colleague who now works for that company and he has put in a good word for me. If the old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is anything to go by, then I should be starting a new job in time to attend the company’s Christmas party! Yay! I heart Christmas parties!

Anyways, I’ll have to wait a week or two for an answer, and I hate suspense.

Meanwhile, from the monotony of my financially-imposed jail…

…all I can do is wait...and wait.

It seems to me that lately, if it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all ?!?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Top 10 Lowest Gender Gap Countries

Here is a list of great importance I stumbled upon today and would like to share with you. The World Economic Forum has just published the Global Gender Gap Report 2010 and it reads as follows;

Lowest gender gap countries

1    Iceland - no change from 2009
2    Norway - Up from 3rd
3    Finland - Down from 2nd
4    Sweden - No change
5    New Zealand - No change
6    Republic of Ireland - Up from 8th
7    Denmark - No change
8    Lesotho - Up from 10th
9    Philippines - No change
10  Switzerland - Up from 13th
15  UK - No change     19 USA - Up from 31st

Northern European nations dominate the top of the list of 134 countries. No surprise there, as the same nations also top all of the UN and WHO polls for best quality of life.

The US has climbed to 19th place due in part to a higher number of women in President Obama's administration.

At the bottom of the list of 134 countries, the widest gaps between women and men are in Pakistan (132), Chad (133) and Yemen (134). No surprise there, taking into account the role of women in Islamic societies.

For a society to grow and prosper women must be treated equally. In fact equality for all, regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual preference, is the only way forward. FACT & PROVEN

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Gordon Ramsay - "Turd of the Week"

Why is TV celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay so popular? I have persevered for years - yes, many years - trying to like him and his programs, but have failed miserably. Is there something wrong with me? Am I the only one who doesn’t like Gordon?

I just can’t see what’s so special about this sewer-mouthed bully boy with the face of a bull-dog chewing gum. He is so f*****g rude, and yet, incredibly, so popular. Why? Is it a case of “culinary masochism" affecting the world at large?

As for Hell’s Kitchen USA, well, that simply has to be the worst ever cookery program in history. I had to give up watching after 10 minutes - I was completely knackered and totally stressed out. Not entertainment in my book.

I have decided to give Gordon this week’s “Turd” award, for pissing me off once again.

Rant over...for another week at least ;)

ideas to change the world...

I’ve just had a couple of  ideas, and the first one could help all the postal workers in the world!

It’s simple, granted, but I think it could save millions and improve productivity in a stroke! I think I’ll take out a patent just in case.

Anyway, I refer to the way envelopes are addressed.

That practice has always been done wrong the world over - why? It’s always been done in reverse, upside down so to speak. Postal workers have had to read the last line of the address first and then work their way up from there! How ridiculous!

This is how it should be done;

The other idea is based on another thing that puzzles me. Why do we all read out phone numbers in a child-like manner, as in for instance, the following number, 7589 2201606

Seven five-eight nine-twenty two-zero one-six zero six?

What’s all that about? Why can’t we read out the number properly like;

Seventy five billion, eight hundred and ninety two million, two hundred and one thousand, six hundred and six?

That’s how we all learnt it at school! ummm...? It is actually longer this way, twice as long in fact! That's a mathematical problem, twice as many letters to describe the same number! How cool is that?

OK then, maybe just the first idea.

Just a thought… that's all...I really must find something more productive to do with my time :s ...(rambling on and on...the early signs of madness)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Top 5 Funniest News Items Ever

I was trying to cheer myself up by checking out some funny sites and came across these very funny but genuine news items.

1) The Dumbest Burglar in Britain Steals Neighbour's Curtains... 

A burglar who stole his next-door neighbour’s curtains was caught when he put them up in his own window, a court was told.

Jason Williams from Slough, Berkshire,was jailed for two years and five months after admitting his fourth burglary.
The 38-year-old was rumbled when the neighbours went to his home and asked him why he had got their curtains

(mentally-challenged or what?)

2) Alleged rapist files charges against victim in Sweden on HIV infection grounds

Helsingborgs Dagblad, a Swedish newspaper, reported Monday that a man who has been arrested for sexual assault, has now pressed charges against the woman, whom he allegedly attacked, for not disclosing that she had HIV.

(Teaches the dirt-bag a lesson. He got more than his way)

3) Thousands of Dutch Prepare for 2012 Apocalypse

Many people in the Netherlands expect the world to end in 2012 and thousands say they are taking precautions to prepare for the apocalypse.

According to United Press International, theories on the supposed catastrophe varied, most tied the 2012 date to the end of the Mayan calendar.
Many of those are stocking up on emergency supplies, including life rafts and other equipment.

(Why?? What for if the world is ending?!?)

4) A Painful Lesson in Auto-Eroticism

Wedged into a two-seater sports car a near naked man was immobilized by a slipped disk, trapping his woman companion beneath him, according to a doctor writing in a medical journal here in London.

The desperate woman tried to summon help by honking the horn with her foot. An ambulance man, fireman and passers by quickly surrounded the couple’s car in Regents Park. “The lady found herself trapped beneath 200 pound of pain- racked, immobile man” said Dr Brian Richards.
“To free the couple, firemen had to cut away the car frame” he added.
The distraught woman, helped out of the car and into a coat, sobbed, “How am I going to explain to my husband what has happened to his car?”

(Cheating doesn't pay, does it?)

5) Harry Potter Broomstick - Mattel

Mattel introduced in 2008 the "Harry Potter Broomstick". It's a battery-powered toy that resembles the flying Nimbus 2000 brooms from the Harry Potter movies. For added effect, the broom makes "flying noises" and vibrates.

After a while on the market, concerned parents noticed that mostly young girls seemed to enjoy the toy - especially the vibrating part...

Here are some of the customer reviews from the Toys R Us website:

Reviewer: Ashley from TX

My 12 year old daughter is a big Harry Potter fan, and loved the part with the Nimbus 2000, so I decided to buy her this toy. I was afraid she would think it was too babyish, but she LOVES this toy. Even my daughter's friends enjoy playing with this fun toy. I was surprised at how long they can just sit in her room and play with this magic broomstick! A great buy for any Harry Potter fan! :)

Reviewer: A toy enthusiast from Maine, USA

I recently bought this for my son, Vantro. He's a HUGE Harry Potter fan. Seen the movie 32 times (in the theaters) and made the paper. This toy gives him the ability to fly around the house zapping things. My only problem I see with the toy is the batteries drain too fast and his sister fights him over it, so now I need to buy her one

(anything to keep the kids amused!)

Sometimes the truth is funnier than fiction :)

the greatest answer on earth

I’m in the process of reading a book by Prof. Richard Dawkins, entitled “The Greatest Show on Earth” and I would like to share with you an extract that amused me, to say the least. The book is a brilliant piece of work describing evolution and natural selection, without the usual jargon.

Anyway, the extract reports an exchange between Prof. J B S Haldane and an evolution-sceptic lady, that took place after one of his lectures. It goes as follows;

Evolution sceptic: Professor Haldane, even given the billions of years that you say were available for evolution, I simply cannot believe it is possible to go from a single cell to a complicated human body, with its trillions of cells organised into bones muscles and nerves, a heart that pumps without ceasing for decades, miles and miles of blood vessels and kidney tubules, and a brain capable of talking, thinking and feeling.

Prof. Haldane: But madam, you did it yourself. And it only took you nine months!

Totally awesome answer, me thinks.  I will review the book in due course - I’m only half-way through it.

Back to the book I go…x

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

but my mind is free - Part I

I was watching a program by Stephen Hawking, the brilliant English physicist, when something he said made me sit up and think.

Well, lots of things he says make me sit up and think; he is probably the greatest thinker of our times, but these words struck a particular chord.
“I am paralyzed, but my mind is free to wander”. How inspiring is that!

Stephen Hawking - Genius

Stephen Hawking suffers from neuro-muscular dystrophy and has been paralyzed for the past 30 years. With the exception of his eyes and his mind, he is completely paralyzed. With the help of a computer to ‘speak’ for him by means of a sensor that picks up his eye movements, Stephen has managed to produce mind-blowing work throughout his 40 year career. What an inspiration. I have no job or money (temporary glitch, I hope) but my mind is also free to wander!

Hence my decision to embark on a journey to the places in my bucket list, with or without money.

The first port of call is Antarctica. This beautiful frozen continent is unspoilt and largely untouched by man. Long may that continue…?

undisturbed beauty

What draws me to Antarctica are; isolation, frigid purity, stunning views and Emperor Penguins.

I absolutely adore penguins (probably my favourite animals) and I hope to see the biggest of the lot, the majestic Emperor.

adorable or what?
Here I am… moments after arrival.

battery low...yeahhhh

This last of the unspoilt wildernesses on the planet may not remain this way for long. Antarctica is administered by The UK, Norway, France, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, for geographical and colonial reasons.

The general consensus has always been to preserve the continent and avoid the introduction of alien flora and fauna, but how long for before the pressure to exploit its natural resources muscles in? Only time will tell.

All in all it was a wonderful experience, as predicted, and I enjoyed every minute of it. One of the many highlights was going for a pee outside the tent and seeing it freeze before hitting the deck! Awesome! There were signs everywhere warning visitors not to eat yellow snow?! Ew

I never did get to hug a penguin :(  but now that I have discovered this convenient way to travel...well  I can return whenever I like (I need to get a life, and quickly)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Terrorist Alert ; an open letter

Dear terrorists,

I would like to ask you to stop your hate filled and senseless campaign against the West, with immediate effect.

"Stop the killing"

You are wasting your time, effort, money and innocent lives on the wrong cause. Yes, the wrong cause.

I know you say you are angry with the West for many reasons - the main one being America's support for Israel.

According to you, that is, but I am not fooled by it. I believe, along with many other sensible people that the main reason  for you hatred is envy. Yes, pure and simple envy.

The lame excuse of America supporting Israel being your main gripe is utter bullshit. America and the rest of the West have to support Israel because you and your followers are hell-bent on destroying it! In fact you and your followers are hell-bent on destroying too many things, most noticeably;

western economies, innocent lives, civilisations (more advanced than yours), women's rights, children's rights, gay rights, animal rights, democratic rights, freedom of religious choice, to name but a few.

Does it not perturb you and your followers to know that it is all "destroy, destroy" instead of "improve, improve" ?

Does it not make you think that "destruction" is not conducive with "improving" life?

Or is the envy so powerfully ingrained in your minds that you lose all common sense and dignity?

I believe you would do better redirecting your efforts and skills to building better societies in the countries you represent! Now that, is a real necessity.

You see, we here in the West know what kind of societies you represent. Numerous reports reach us via the media on a daily basis. Terrorism, public executions, lack of human rights, lack of basic hygiene, lack of food, lack of fact a lack of most life-enhancing basic necessities. The only things you seem to have plenty of are corruption and terrorism. So why are you trying to impose on the West the very life-style so many of your people would dearly like to leave behind? It is a fact that much of your population would, and indeed do, relocate in search of better lives to the very countries your want to destroy!

Can you not see the irony in that? I'm sure you can.
You see terrorists, if you were to give up on this useless crusade (no pun intended) of trying to destroy the West, you would gain many friends and support from around the world. And with a bit of luck you would even gain the strength and support to remove your corrupt leaders and modernise your societies.

That's the way to create a win-win situation for everybody, don't you think? Much better than your chosen way of murdering men, women and children.

Here in the West, we have learned from history that the path to progress and prosperity comes from having a happy and well-cared for population. And to get that, governments need to be fair, law-abiding, honest and above all, democratic. It's not rocket science, is it? It's so bloody easy!

Do you really believe that you will ever win this so called "war" of yours?

Open your eyes and minds to the truth and common decency, not to the hate-filled bigoted leaders who preach hatred and holy war. There is no such thing as a holy war. It's all a figment of your poisoned imaginations.

So please stop inflicting pain in the world. Stop biting the hand that feeds you and instead work towards a better future for the forsaken people you think you represent.

Yours truly


sometimes it doesn't just rain... it pours!

I'm so disappointed I didn't get the job I was pinning my hopes on. It's a set-back that leaves me wandering what to do next.

I applied for the job full of hope and enthusiasm and failure was not an option. Its the kind of job I know I can do well, better than most I have no doubt. I am loyal, intelligent, smart, experienced and hard-working. I have managed bigger departments before and with more staff! What more do prospective employers want?

I went to the interview knowing there were 5 other applicants but that didn't faze me. I believed I had the edge on the others - more experience. Got past the first hurdle (first interview) and was given a second chance - along with one other applicant - to impress with a presentation of my future plans. Easy! I was convinced I'd win the 2 man race...but...sadly, I didn't.

I'm now feeling sorry for myself, which doesn't help me or anyone else, and worried at the lack of options and finance.

I have to pick up the pieces and try even harder, I know, and will do precisely that. But the set-back has dented my pride and knocked my confidence a little. That's for sure.

not amused

Next step is to wait for the next interview, which is being arranged with Mercedes-Benz, hopefully this week. Legs/Arms/Fingers crossed!

On a lighter note;  here are some quality quotes I've stumbled across while browsing the celeb pages;

These two foot-in-mouth captions were not made up by me, honestly! I know... it's hard to believe. It takes something other than brains to become a you all didn't know that already 


Saturday, 2 October 2010

Yemen - looking back...

And another disturbing report from the "old world" hits my TV screen and fills me with anger. I must stop watching documentaries, or TV in general - it's bad for my blood pressure. This time the bad news comes from the Yemen, a country in the Arabian Peninsula.

The documentary in question was made by CNN to highlight the plight of child brides – sadly still an everyday occurrence in some countries.

Reem al Numeri is a 14-year-old divorcee. Yes, you read it right.  She was just 11 when her father forced her to marry her 32-year-old cousin. Reem used to lock herself in her room at night to keep her “husband” away, but he eventually managed to break in and rape her. After attempting suicide by cutting her wrists, the so called “husband” decided to divorce her.

Reem - victim by the age of  11 -  outcast by 14

Reem now lives the life of an outcast, through no fault of her own, a victim of the cruel society she was born into. Without a husband or family to support her, she can’t even attend school.

(My blood pressure is rising again just thinking about it)

In 2009, Yemen's parliament passed legislation to rise the minimum age of marriage to 17.  Sadly,
Conservative “Koran-led” parliamentarians and more than a 100 leading religious clerics, called the attempt to restrict the age of marriage "un-Islamic"  and argued the bill violated Sharia law, which does not stipulate a minimum age of marriage.

What the fuck is all that about?  How ridiculous an argument!  Does that mean 8,6,4,2-year-olds can also be forced into marrying older men?

(I'm really pissed off now)

When will the blind and ignorant followers of religion start thinking for themselves? When will they start questioning their pathetic archaic laws and miserable existences?

Anyway, the bill to outlaw child marriages got blocked and so the practice continues for now. Yemen's parliament will look again at child marriage in the coming days, so fingers crossed, but don’t hold your breath!

Mohammed Aboulahoum, advisor to Yemen's president, wants the law to be passed, but thinks there are more important issues to deal with first. (!) He would wouldn’t he? Even after conceding that if he (Aboulahoum) was to ask most religious people if they would you let their daughter marry at the age of 12 or 13, they would most likely say no!

The human rights organization “Sisters Arab Forum” tries in vain to intervene on behalf of child brides - to stop the marriages from taking place - but without legislation they are fighting a losing battle.

The people of Yemen need to pull their heads out of the sand and try to understand the horrors of child abuse. They need to change their society's views on women, now, not in years to come but now. Never mind Sharia Law, (which most lay people don’t even fully understand). Wrong and unjust laws have to be changed, never mind the cultural or religious implications. That’s what civilized societies do and have done for centuries. To not evolve is to stagnate and eventually perish, just like the dinosaurs…


Friday, 1 October 2010

Weekly Award #2

After hours of sifting through the many celebs and politicos who annoy the hell out of me, I have come to the conclusion that no one deserves the award more than;

Bob McDonnell-State Governor of Virginia USA...

...for allowing the execution of long-term mental-patient Theresa Lewis

Republican Bob must believe it is better to put-down a sick person than try and cure her... I wish he got a job in Afghanistan or Yemen or even Chechnya - he'd feel at home, I'm sure. He would mix with politicians  with the same sort of mentality and distinct lack of noble human qualities such as empathy...decency...sympathy