Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Absent without network

I'm back!

Nearly 3 weeks without blogging!

Just returned from my two-week trip to Antarctica (photos and countless stories to follow).

Sorry I couldn't reply to your text messages, FB updates and blog comments but you know what it's like away from civilization. No contact with the the world.

Pure bliss and highly recommended if you ever feel like recharging your batteries.

It all started with a 16 hour flight to Tierra Del Fuego...well...

...and it appropriately leads me on to the next topic.

Apparently a new 'phenomenon'  in cyberworld  has just been brought to my attention by some gossip mag. It is "Lying on Facebook".


I'd say the only phenomenon is how long it took for that fact to surface.

The report states that an increasing amount of FB users are biggin' up their other-wise drab lives with tall tales. Ummm?

Facebook and Twitter are convenient modern weapons for those who like a good  gossip. And if I remember correctly, from my early childhood, when due to asthma I'd stay in reading comics while my brother and friends played football outside :(  gossiping between my aunts and neighbours often  involved exaggeration, one-upmanship and...blatant lies.

It is so much easier to lie on-line than face to face that I'd wager a bet on most people having  done it (*) least once or twice.

(*) Obviously excludes yours truly !  Only joking about Antarctica. Had no Internet, faulty router that took Sky Broadband over 2 weeks to sort out.

Here are some FB updates I have found and their real meanings;

- " fab nite gr8 party :) "  (staying in watching the Bafta Awards on telly)

- " off 2 bed now 4:30 am Zzzzz "  (just woke up in the middle of the night, can't get back to sleep, better check FB)

- " OMG... place rocks, eye-candy everywhere! :O "  (tucked in bed, reading People Magazine)

" should be illegal 2 hav so much fun :P "   (home alone again watching 'Ibiza Nights' on the Living Channel)


and finally,  the world didn't end 2 days ago as predicted by some loony evangelist (aren't all evangelists  crazy anyway?)

Well, the world did end for countless millions across the globe who died around that time. 

I would love to know why this particular head-case gets publicity, especially after getting it wrong back in the 90s.

If I predicted Armageddon do you think I would g...

...I think I'm getting inspiration for my next post


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Social-networking celebrity-style

The age of social-networking is upon us. We can all exchange information with countless people around the world at the touch of a button. We can also track and get in touch with people from our past we wouldn't otherwise do.

This modern-day phenomenon started with the launch of sites such as Friends Reunited, My Space and now, global Facebook.

I am unashamedly part of this process but constantly have to reassess whether it is a force for good or not.

We have all met people in our pasts we would rather not meet again. People who may want to contact us but not vice-versa. People who will send us a 'friend request' and we feel obliged and compelled to accept so as not to appear rude. People we did not give our phone numbers or addresses to, can now trace us.

I have long suspected most of us are diluting the word 'friend' by accepting colleagues and acquaintances as such.

Is it a good idea to allow casual acquaintances  access to our personal photos and other details that we never gave them in the first place?

Do we really want friends of friends viewing our snapshots and even knowing who we are in a relationship with?

Do we want our bosses to view our status, likes and dislikes, and posts meant for our friends? Or even knowing what we're up to on our days off?

Do we want the worlds marketing machine to target us with direct advertising?  I can't log in to my e-mail anymore without being bombarded with adverts on products I enquired about years ago and no longer require.

Where will it leads us...?

We're all living in the spotlight nowadays, centre-stage, like celebrities exposed to the world but without the wealth and  rewards our new-found status should bring.

Please let me know your views.


Monday, 2 May 2011

From one fossil to another...

After hours of wandering around the Natural History Museum, I reached two important conclusions.

The first being that whenever another follower of whatever faith questions Evolution, I will direct such person to this museum and ask them to open their eyes and minds to all the facts available before embarking on any kind of debate with me.

"Go the the f$£%ing museum!" 

All facts and no fiction! -  Reality, not fairy tales. No mambo-jumbo! Nature explained and catalogued without the need for supernatural intervention. A simple odyssey through 1000 million years of our planets existence. And the Charles Darwin Centre, a real eye-opener for the  myopic among us.

Secondly, the building housing this great exhibition is every bit as important as its contents.

  The ornate multi-coloured terracotta facade 
represents the past and present diversity of nature
Stunning and awe-inspiring, this great cathedral of 
Natural History

Madeleine and I...

Only joking, that's not me but an old fossil...which leads me to another topic altogether. 

I refer to the demise of  the other fossil, Osama Bin Laden.

54  years too late

I normally refrain from rejoicing about someone else's death. After all, even the evil amongst us have family, friends and maybe even loved ones, but I felt a sense of relief to hear OBL has been terminated. 

Relief and surprise for I, along with millions, thought he had long since passed away. How could a man who needs kidney dialysis on a regular basis survive in the remote mountains of Pakistan? Come to think of it, anywhere in Pakistan.

I was convinced he had died in the mountains of Afghanistan around the time the US Air force "daisy-cutted" an area the size of Holland, but clearly not. His video absence from Al Jazeera News compounded my wrongly-held belief for the past 9 years.

Still, I  am relieved  the evil sod is now swimming with the fishes (poor fishes - first we dump our sewage on them, then cap it all off with a sprinkling of OBL remains...ew)


Sunday, 1 May 2011

It only took me a lifetime...

Last night's party at the bowling club went on till late I can't remember. It was great to see the huge gathering of family and friends. Teresa combined her birthday with her wedding silver anniversary  and invited lots of people I hadn't seen in ages.

There were cousins, second-cousins, third-cousins and yes, even fourth-cousins!  If I ever do a family-tree it will need to be the size of a North American Redwood. 

I find it very comforting to be among relatives, especially when drink and food are available.

Of course the conversation eventually turned to religion and I can only apologise to those who had to endure hours of  debate on this most consuming of subjects.  Big hug to Tito, who, through no fault of his own, always gets embroiled in the religious debate. Well, he is a deacon so I guess he is used to it :)

I was asked the question by Michael "how could we come from a single-cell?" and somehow forgot to reply.

The answer is "I did, and it only took me a life-time to come from a single-cell" And the same applies to all life on the planet.

A big thank you to Teresa and Dennis.  Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!

Kate will and so will Will

It was an otherwise dull day. The 29th of April was an overcast day, warm enough to remind us spring is underway and cold enough to remind us we're in the UK.

The Royal Wedding graced the screens of the world with a fine display of pomp and ceremony, extravagance and great taste. It was such an incredible event that even our dear old Queen (no,not Elton John) was filmed uttering the word "amazing" to a cameraman. The Queen has attended all the major world events in the last 5 decades and can't be easily impressed!

Impressed she was and so were all of us. Even I couldn't help but feel a twinge of pride at the great spectacle.

But I was surprised to hear the wedding vows changed from  the traditional "I do" to "I will".

What's all that about? Is it because the groom is called Will or has the Church of England undergone another change?

"I will" indicates intention to do something in the future. Will they only love and honour each other in the future?

If anyone can shed light on this please let me know.