Top Gear Vs Tesla


I am a HUGE Top Gear fan. I think the programme is hosted by witty, entertaining people and that have the right mix of enthusiasm for what they do, love of what they talk about and entertainment value for the masses.

True, the show has deviated somewhat from its initial birth of a “motoring show” to a more “entertainment show involving fast cars”. Which is just fine for me. If I want motoring for the car enthusiast, I’ll switch over to Fifth Gear. I want to see a Ferrari race against a plane from the south of France to London. I want to see caravans get blown up. I want to see epic journey’s across the north pole in a sup’d-up-pick-up truck while they flaunt the fact there are no drink-drive laws there to stop them partaking in a G&T while crashing through an iceberg.

One of the things I truly love about this show though, is the tongue in cheek approach they have to many things. Take for example, the episode featuring the reliant robin. Genius. Poked fun at it, at the drivers and the image of the vehicle, without being overly insulting to something that, thanks to Del Boy, is a national icon.

So when electric sports car company Tesla gave their new baby to the Top Gear boys to review, I honestly thought them to be a tad fool hardy. This show is world-renowned. It is run, produced and hosted by petrol heads. They are going to start off being slightly against an electrical car in any case. Couple that with their general approach to reviewing things (eg. Reliant Robin), I thought Tesla might have expected a few little digs. And to be honest, they got it! The show was broadcast back in December 2008, so why they have left it sooooo long to object is beyond me (publicity I’m guessing).

But things seem to be hotting up now. Generally, the BBC don’t tend to make a big song and dance about legal action. Lets look at the Mexico incident a few months back, where the Top Gear presents (pattern emerging here?) insulted a Mexican car and therefore the Mexican people. The ambassador for Mexico kicked off, but the Beeb coolly dealt with it. This case, however, Tesla seem determined to keep in the public eye (again, publicity purposes?). I found this response from the Executive Producer of Top Gear, Mr. Andy Willman.

So it seems Aunty is showing a little fighting spirit. I think they should win. Tesla will get the publicity for its Scalextric car and we can all go on with our viewing pleasure of one of the greatest shows: Top Gear.

CLARKSON FOR PRIME MINISTER!!!!!

Japan: Before and After Tsunami Pictures


I’m sure you all agree with me that the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has been an astonishing reminder of the power of Mother Nature and no matter how powerful we think we are, we’re still small-fry in comparison. My heart goes out to all those that have been affected by this truly tragic event.

I found this piece on ABC News with before and after pictures of the areas most effected by the tsunami. They make for astonishing viewing (if anyone knows how I could have embedded the pictures rather than just link, please e-mail me the instructions or leave them in the comments) Roll the mouse from left to right on each picture to see the difference:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm

 

Illegal To Lie Down In London


Have the people in charge of our great nations capital gone insane?! According to this bylaw, it will now be illegal to lie down in public, give out refreshments for free (there go soup kitchens I guess) and god forbid you should EVER put down a pillow you’d just bought on the floor in public……..

CNN Removed This Comment


I’m a Redditor and recently found this picture posted up on there:

This raises some excellent points. I’m all up for helping other countries etc. but how do our governments decide which ones to help and which ones not to?

I heard on the radio earlier that a prominent member of the US government said US forces wouldn’t intervene in Lybia. So why Iraq? WMD’s weren’t the reason, we all know that. Why not help the people in Darfur etc?

I don’t know and I doubt we’ll ever really know. I just thought this post was an excellent piece, it needed sharing and this sort of subject has to continue being discussed so we can, in future, effect the outcome of these types of conflict for the right reasons.

I’m Not The Same Person I Once Was


Only a quick little post. Seems the viral community has been going wild for the fact that astrology has been proved wrong.

SHOCK HORROR!

It turns out there are actually 13 signs of the zodiac and not the traditional 12. Ophiuchus is the black sheep of the family we’ve been trying to forget about. Apparently, it slots nicely between Scorpio and Sagittarius and throws all of our “beliefs” in astrology out the window.

So why did we forget about poor little Ophiuchus? Apparently, when they were all set up 2000 years ago, it wasn’t a problem. But the Earth very unkindly wobbles on its axis (precession) and this, over time, has thrown everything out of sync:

But according to astrologers there are 12 signs of the zodiac. Wrong! There are 13 signs of the zodiac; Ophiuchus is the ‘new’ one yet for some curious reason I have never come across an Ophiuchian!

Taking the concept of the signs of the zodiac, I was born in July which means that when I was born the sun was in Cancer. Wrong again. Originally yes, the sun would have been in Cancer when the star/sun charts were produced about 2000 years ago. But in reality, the wobble of the Earth on its axis — which we call “precession” — has led to them being all out of sync.

In fact, when I was born, way back in July 1973, the Sun was in Gemini. News Flash: you’re all reading the wrong star signs! All those astrology columns you’ve read that seemed spot-on were a fluke. Surprising eh?

Mark Thompson


Technically, the Sun passes through Ophiuchus, and in fact is in the constellation longer than it’s in Scorpius! But we don’t include it in the zodiac for a couple of reasons; one is that the stars in it are pretty faint, while those of Scorpius are brighter and easier to recognize, and another is that we can’t have 13 constellations, can we? So poor Ophiuchus is sent off to hold his serpent by himself.Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy

This now makes me a Libra.

Good job I never got that Scorpio tattoo I was looking at!!

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces: March 11-April 18.
Aries: April 18-May 13.
Taurus: May 13-June 21.
Gemini: June 21-July 20.
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

Muslim’s Protect Coptic Christian’s


I’m an avid Redditor. I discovered this site about 2 months ago AND LOVE IT! It has everything you can want on the web with jokes, pictures, videos, news and all posted by normal people.

I was having a flick through it Friday and came across a post from an Egyptian newspaper called Al-Ahram website entitled: Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas Mass, serving as “Human Shields“.

Have a read……… Now re-read………. Now re-read AGAIN!

Now lets digest.

How many times do you pick up a western paper, website or news channel and see how Muslims and Christians are disagreeing, fighting, arguing with each other about something? I’m sure your brain has started hurting now calculating the numbers. Ok, try to find an article where they work together for a greater good than their religions or singular belief? No, I can’t think of many either.

Well here is one!

This story made my heart leap with joy! After the bombings of the Coptic Christian Churches in Alexandria before the New Year, the population of Muslims in Egypt promised to stand by the Coptic’s against the terrorist threat. The promise was kept when, according to the story, thousands of Muslims turned up at churches for Coptic Christmas eve services and held candle light vigils outside.

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife

This is a story that can and should unite the world. These people recognised that, regardless of religious beliefs, their fellow countrymen needed solidarity. They saw that by standing together against these terrorists, they would win. If not, their country would be divided and fall.

We need to learn from this. These terrorists DO NOT represent Islam and 99.9% of Muslims in the world. The sooner the majority of the Western world learns this and stops labelling everyone from Muslim religions and countries terrorists, the sooner we can start working with them to a safer, peaceful world. And no, I’m not a Muslim, I’m a Catholic. But so much more important than that, I’m a human.

I went to church Sunday (not my normal thing, but we’re getting our daughter baptised) and the priest read a passage from the Gospel of Matthew (22:37-39):

And He said to him “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost Commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself”

I don’t normally read and quote the bible, but this passage kind of says it all for me. Islam, Christianity and Judaism all worship the same God of Abraham, so all agree on the first commandment. The second is the important part for me. Basically, love each other. If we all worship the same God and he wants the same thing, why do we fight?

Ok, enough religion. I don’t know enough about it to write too much and my faith isn’t that strong in any case. But my faith in humanity is. Remember: United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Lets not let these bully’s decide our relationships with each other.

Final thought of the day: Why wasn’t this shown in Western media?

Britain’s Fattest Man


I was watching the tv last night and on channel 4 was a programme called “Britain’s Fattest Man“. The wife usually likes these sort of programmes, so I put it on and start watching. Here is the link for the trailer.

Now I’m sure you’re all thinking the same as I was at the beginning: No sympathy as you’ve gotten yourself in that state. And this is true, no one force-fed him food. We don’t have pity for drug addicts of alcoholics or smokers, so why should he be different? So with this in mind, I began to listen to his story:

He starts off by saying how depressed he gets etc. and hates himself. Well, no sympathy so far. Then you hear the narrator saying how he looked after his poorly mother and was her main carer. This gave him a great deal of stress and his only outlay was food. (ok, I’m feeling a little for him now then, reasons and all that). But he fell out with his sisters as, due to having no money, he persuade his ailing mother to re-mortgage her home to the sum of £10,000! Then they show his room, which has a brand new Windows 7 laptop and a load of other gadgets, which I’m sure cost a pretty penny. This totally removes the sympathy I had started building because there is no way in hell he could earn any money, therefore the tax payer is stumping up the cash for him.

And that was my feeling all the way through to be honest. Probably the accountant coming out in me, but I wondered how much money he has sucked out of the country purely cause he had 4 sausages, a pack of bacon, 4 eggs, hash browns and fried bread for breakfast for Christ knows how long! According to the programme (all endorsed by him, so pretty close to fact I’d say) he was averaging around 20,000 calories a day at the height of his eating:

“Fry up every morning, four sausages, a whole packet of bacon, four eggs, two pieces of fried bread, hash browns,” he said.

“At half ten I’d have sausage rolls, pastries. Lunch would be fish and chips, kebab, and then in the evening time it would be another takeaway.

“In a day I would eat 30-40 chocolate bars, three-four multipacks of 24 crisps.”

The surgeon who took the man’s case was Mr Somers (a consultant bariatric surgeon). In an interview for the BBC News Website, he supported the public funding of the operation, which would cost in the region of £20,000, by claiming the cost of letting him live in this state on government benefits would greatly outweigh the cost of the op. He has a point, but why should we be forced to pay for this man to live purely because he ate the amount he did?

In the programme, it showed Paul after the operation. He was on the phone to his social worked who informed him that his funding had been cut from £750 a week to a mere £300 a week! That’s more than I earn in a week and he broke down in tears saying he wished he’d died on the operating table. I started feeling sorry for him as he broke down in tears at this prospect, but again I couldn’t shake the fact that we’re going through a terrible economic situation in this country at the moment, where education funding is being slashed, public spending is being slashed and then this man is draining £300 a week (£750 prior to filming for god knows how long) from the public’s piggy bank, £20k for his 1 op and the £x.xx amount for his follow-up plastic surgery operations. My wife and I have worked all our lives, have a new child and we’re only just making ends meet.

The end of the programme showed him take ownership of his new, specially made motorized wheelchair. I’m pleased he can get about now, but again, how much did it cost and who paid? I work for a training provider who teaches and helps teenagers get apprenticeships and NVQ‘s and we’ve had our funding cut this year by our new coalition government. How many young people’s education was sacrificed for this selfish man’s new wheels?

Every drop of sympathy I had left me.  Harsh? Yes. Heartless? Possibly. Honest and real? DEFINITELY

In closing, I found these comments on the Channel 4 preview website:

Jax on 05 January 2011 at 20:27What you fail to realise this is a disease. Most people who get this way never feel full, the brain does not communicate properly to their bodies as it would to you or I ,so they have no control over the amount they eat. And you don’t need to be rich to buy food, its cheaper than booze and drugs. Sadly Obesity comes on faster than drug or booze addiction, and takes longer to lose weight then coming of drugs and booze. Even if you limit his diet he will indeed starve to death, as his body is used to certain number of calories, so his weight loss will need to be slowly monitored. Seems we are a nation of people who are far too materialistic, with low morals and little empathy towards our fellow-man,going by some of these comments.I feel good that some of my taxes goes to help people with genuine needs, rather than pay for an MP to have luxuries that most of the nation can’t afford. 

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trixie on 05 January 2011 at 20:16THIS IS A LETTER TO PAUL; Dear Paul, i hope your operation goes well! :)its 50% Hopefully all your family are supporting you every step of the way. May god look down on you and will hold your hand through bad times and good times, remember you can always count on him, what ever the time he’ll be their day and night, may he bless you always 🙂 Britian is behind you x 

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Terry on 05 January 2011 at 19:11I absolutely agree with Frank. This society is democratic for everyone except the tax payer! I’d like someone to ask me what I’d like to spend my hard earned tax money on for a change! As it is I have to cut down on my own food bill to manage my budget; Why? so that I can help this man eat more!!!!! A diabolical state of affairs indeed. 

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FRANK on 05 January 2011 at 18:13It’s disgraceful that the tax payer has to fund this. Where does he get his money from to eat that much anyway, who’s getting and preparing all the food for him. This is not the same as drug addiction or alcoholism, he will not suffer if he is prevented from eating too much, he just will not like it.Stop all his ‘help’ and get real.

I agree with all of this points if truth be known. Frank and Terry are echoing my own sentiments (apart from Frank’s impression that it would be easy and simple for him to lose weight by not eating, anyone who diets will tell you that just ain’t true) and I also agree with Jax on a few points. It is true that food and more importantly, junk food is so cheap and readily available compared to drugs or drink, that obesity is a very real threat. And if I had the choice, I’d rather my tax money go to people who have a problem and need help than a fat-cat politician for his duck house.

As I’m sure you can tell, I have conflicting feelings here. The accountant in me says people like him are leeches and sucking this country dry of valuable resources better spent elsewhere. Then the human being in me says that he has a problem and needs help. We all know the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, but is there really that much done to advertise the dangers and addictions of obesity? Perhaps this is a prime case where our public money would be better spent on prevention. It is better than cure, you know……..