Neglect or Nature?


I see this post on the BBC news website this morning and it got me to thinking: Is this our place to help?

It seems scientists mapped the genome for the Tazmanian Devil in the hope that they can cure the horrible disease of Devil Facial Tumour Disease and save the species from extinction.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong advocate for animal rights and I believe the way we treat our planet and the creatures that inhabit it is disgusting (majority of times) and we do little or nothing to prevent or cure problems that we ourselves have made through the likes of poaching, land incursion, pollution etc. Look at this list from the WWF website and tell me how many of those animals are on this list because of our actions? But I bet you’re all still eating Tuna with your jacket potato….

Anyway, back to my point.

The Tasmanian devil is suffering from a horrible form of facial cancer (Devil facial tumour disease) that is spread from animals biting each other. They suffer a horrible death:

And I get why passionate people want to save the last meat-eating marsupial in the world. I really do. But do we have a right to? Isn’t this Darwin’s theory of evolution in action? Natural selection? We play god enough with our own species, let alone another. For all we know, evolution has it in mind that this creature is to become extinct thanks to this facial cancer and another creature take its place.

I feel I shouldn’t really have posted the second picture, as any human with the slightest compassion for living beings will feel appalled and want to help them. I do too. But there is a conflict raging in me whether we should or not. Should our work be aimed at the animals onthis list because we put them there more so than the devil whom nature has decreed should suffer this fate?

We, as the human race and self-appointed guardians of the planet, need to make this judgement call. There is no right or wrong answer. Either way, a species will die due to our actions (directly or indirectly) as many have done before and will do again.

I’d be interested to find other people’s views on this as it’s a subject that doesn’t get enough press when you compare it to human causes.

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!!!!!

A Different Image of Russia


Russia come in out of the Communist Cold in 1991. Well, that’s how some see it.

After my school history lessons, I was always under the impression Russian‘s would have enjoyed turning their backs on communism and Imperial rule, but according to this BBC report, maybe that isn’t the case:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9204815.stm

Of course, I don’t take this as the gospel for Russian society views or how 99% of their population feel, but it does make a lot of sense when you look at the state of their country. Or is this simply how the powers that be want us and their own people to view the situation while they sit there and cream off the cash?

I have to be honest, I’ve no idea to the answer. I’ve no comprehension of Russian politics or the views of the people, but it certainly raises interesting questions, when a country of this size and potential power is so unstable.

Then we come to the pole dancing part. Are women REALLY doing that in Russia? Are things that tight that women perfect their sex skills in order to land a wealthy man and essentially become a wag (something lots of Essex girls would be proud of!)? Or was this a freaky, one-off class for peculiar people? I’ve always heard the rumours that there are more women to men in Russia and the women are gorgeous and the men ugly, but is this proof? The comment I loved was along the lines of :

no real woman would believe in women’s rights

SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!

I think this video has caused me more questions than answers to a subject I had never really given much thought to, even though Russia has always fascinated me. This country is and always has been a sleeping giant, with its wealth of natural resources and HUGE numbers of man power, could potentially be the new China and influence international politics (even more so than they do already). But this could also be linked in with the way the country is run and the views of the people. More investigation is needed I think on my part.

Nice To Know You’re Loved


I’ve fallen a bit behind lately on the latest series of Doctor Who (thank God for sky plus!!) So last night I sat down to try and catch up. I watched the episode with Vincent Van Gogh. As ever, a great episode with inventive ideas and doesn’t leave the viewer feeling childish.

The final scene however had me in tears (nearly anyway, I had to man up in front of the wife). As we all know, Van Gogh was a troubled man with a history of mental illness eventually leading to his suicide (and ear incident). The Doctor and Amy knew this and tried to give him some hope by bringing him to the future to see his paintings in the Musée d’Orsay. Here, he heard just what people thought about his work.

And it got me thinking, wouldn’t you just love to know that someone, somewhere thought you were amazing. We all hear from our parents, spouses, children that they love us and this is fantastic, but to hear it in a different aspect would make you soar.

To put a bit of a morbid approach on it, I’ve often thought what would people say about me at my funeral. Would a lot of people turn up? How many would cry hysterically into their tissues? What words would people use to describe me? You find people don’t tell you what they really think about you when you’re around. To me, when I hear what someone has been saying about me, it really makes me feel special.

I’ve probably not explained myself very well today, but watch the Youtube clip from Doctor Who and you’ll understand what I mean.

Hitler’s A Cool Leader


It appears the West Midlands ambulance service has caused a bit of uproar due to a survey they gave their staff asking them to rate various leaders. One of them was Adolf Hitler:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8672781.stm

I’ve often had a similar discussion with many different people. Not necessarily “is he cool?” but more along the lines of a successful leader for his country.

I’d like to point out at this stage that I am NOT a Nazi and never will be. I think they are disgusting and should never be allowed near human society.

Now, back to my point. I have often argued that Hitler was a successful leader and he revolutionised post WWI Germany from a country on it’s knees to one of the strongest in Europe. Obviously, this was on the back of some amazingly sick ideals and laws and at the expense of the likes of the Jews, but nevertheless, he did make Germany a strong country again.

It does leave us the quandry of whether he would have been so successful as a leader in other situations. For example, if Hitler weren’t a Nazi, but a Labour party leader, would he have been such an influential speaker, an innovative thinker in regards to national and international policies and as charasmatic a man?

Some would say not (myself included). It would have been his life experiences and his fierce racist and facist beliefs that made him willing to push through radical policies and his beliefs which made him the potent public speaker that he was. This does leave his natural charisma but this alone is not enough to produce a true leader.

So on that conclusion I’ll leave you with a question: are leaders of people (politicians, soldiers, team captains!) born or created through life experiences?

And Who Said British Politics Was Boring


Today is the day for the General Election in Britain. It’s the closest run election in years and we’re looking at a hung parliament if all sources and opinions polls are to believed. The main problem for this is the age old issue of our politicians being untrustworthy, slimy, dull private school boys with no touch on reality.

In the last round of elections for our MEP’s, the British National Party got a shock result by gaining two seats. This outraged the nation as the BNP are believed to be a racist political organisation. The BBC invited Nick Griffin onto Question Time in light of the result and he was torn to shreds and shown for the farcical plank he really is.

But one thing the BNP are is not dull:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/england/8663681.stm

Now I have to say, I think the young Asian men walked over looking for trouble. You can tell by their saunter, needless language and the spit in the face. But this only showed the BNP for their true selves as, after this spit, the gloves came off (literally) and everyone piled in for a huge street brawl! Obviously, the young guy should NOT have spat in Mr. Bailey’s face, but his reaction was a total disgrace. How can this man hope to represent a constituency of people when he reacts like this? Politicians are always being abused (verbally and physically) but they have to accept that as figureheads, they will be inline for this sort of attention.

The worst part was his entourage. Instead of trying to split the brawl up, the jumped in and started kicking and punching also! Absolutely, the three asian lads were so wrong and should be punished within the law, but so should Mr. Bailey and his cronies. Would David Cameron and his Torries kick off in the street?