Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thank you, I'm here for at least two more years

I wonder which of these comedians is more to your taste?

Perhaps Rodney, with his rapid banter, or Dick with this charming characterisations. Do many of you find Bazza, with his subtle satire, obliquely camouflaged by apparently mundane observations to be the new force in America humour? I think that his patter needs to be sharpened to match his content, and were he to attend to this, his ratings would rocket.

“We can’t allow the corporations to take over our democracy”. I’m sure that we all fell about. Did any of you rofl? Are any of my dear readership (aMToNW) buttockless this fine day having lmfaoed? I thought it was a very clever idea, delivered with a straight face and no clue as the underlying irony. How could the performance be improved? Well, perhaps with reference that even the most humble person can become president, juxtaposed with the cost of an election campaign would have added some weight to his theme. Surely his audience still remembers Dubya, and there could have been some further humour extracted by referring to him. I am not sure that the introduction and exit music that featured in Rodney’s act would be appropriate in these times, but some acknowledgement of, if not interface with, the audience would have added to the mirth. I also think that the potty mouth approach, as adopted by Mr Prior, would have detracted from the aura of the performance. 

Apparently, in yet to be broadcast episodes, Barry goes on to say it that it is important we avoid a terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre, that the rain forests must not be depleted for profit and that it is essential for democracy that  the defecatory habits of the family Ursidae in areas of aboreal density is restricted.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Long Haul

I would like to express my thanks to Priyamvada Natarajan and Eric Jull, the latest pair of prize Herberts conspiring to keep me from my bed.

They have distracted me by publishing a study which hypothesises that the universe will expand for ever, and eventually become a cold, dead wasteland. Much like Basingstoke, then, probably with more roundabouts and a slightly larger branch of Tesco. 

Before you start to panic, and stampede through the streets wailing and gnashing teeth, I should explain that this latest spurious conglomeration of fanciful brainfart is predicated upon the existence of dark energy. You will recall from previous studies here that dark energy does not exist, and is merely an attempt to explain some inexplicable rather than just calling it God. The piffle also depends on their calculations about how light bends round something called Abell 1689, apparently a massive cluster of galaxies, somewhere east of Aberystwyth. 

They predict that the temperature of the universe will approach absolute zero, so I have been out gathering logs and kindling this evening. You are all welcome to drop in and huddle round my fire, but don’t rely upon sharing my body warmth, as I am English and we don’t do that sort of thing.

May I refer you to this somewhat simplified article in Wikipedia for an alternative and somewhat more sensible explanation?

You may think that my perspective is slightly awry in worrying about my bed time in comparison to all of these things, but I need to be alert tomorrow for the Test Match.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A guide to democracy

On the news this morning is the latest world-saving policy from our nice new government. They want to abolish mixed-sex wards in hospitals. I should perhaps explain that they want to curb the practice of having people of differing genders in the same room. They are not attempting to abolish “mixed sex”, whatever that is. It seems an unsavoury habit, and I will not go down that particular street of seediness, at least today.

I haven’t had to stay in hospital for over 30 years (no, not many people have, I hear you wittily say, you would have to be very ill). It is over 30 years ago since I had to stay in hospital, there, is that better? My dentist took exception to the sight of my tonsils and decided that he would refer me to the fang-fondler in chief at the royal infirmary to have my wisdom teeth pulled out. I can recall little of my sojourn; particularly I do not remember harbouring feelings of antipathy towards my fellow patients. These days I am probably more choosey about night-time company, and I wish Jennifer Aniston would stop pestering me about the subject.

Normally, I would feel supportive of proposals to bring practice in line with the desires of the majority. Hospital accommodation is not a topic which vexes me greatly, but I would, all things being equal, go along with the consensus.

But, you see, things are not equal. This measure is being proposed by the Tories. I am therefore beginning a campaign for open plan hospitals, merged with veterinary hospitals. When you come round from your anaesthetic after having your gall bladder scraped, you may be in a bed/compound/sty next to a Thompson’s gazelle suffering from chilblains. This may seem harsh, but if the Tories want it, it must be wrong.

If Cameron announces world peace, I shall take to the streets with a grenade launcher. If Lickspittle Lansley announces a return to the days of “free at point of delivery” and the abolition of trusts and private hospitals, I shall buy shares in BUPA. If Gormless Gove  proposes  an education system based upon the writings of Kropotkin, I shall demand tougher control. If Halfwit Huhne announces a system of tax based entirely upon environment impact, I shall burn my refrigerator in a national park. Fuck ‘em. Unless they bring in a policy proclaiming free love, in which case I shall be celibate.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Nato annuled after delegate swallows treaty.

I feel a need to break my self imposed exile from this journal in order to reach out to my adoring audience tonight. I am sure I will find some succour here.

Firstly, Mrs S and two of our friends began discussing pottery, ornaments, flat pack homes and other such nonsense until I was driven, muttering “Kaliyuga, Kaliyuga” to consult the DellFick oracle in the corner of the room. I can only attribute my poor choice of information source to the late hour. I could pretend that what I was seeking was proof that one only had to search for seven seconds to find some true moron spouting much more poisonous guff than the decoration obsessed trio mentioned above. The truth is more mundane, alas. I simply found the news at the BBC too boring and trickled over to the Torygraph. 

WTFFF as young people would say, were they as capable of the degree of astonishment that I experienced over there.

At least the Daily Mail have some sense of proportion. The slow and miserable death we will suffer from whatever made up story appears on their front page always has the benefit of being slow. The Torygraph, who appear to have hired the headline writer from “The Day Today”, are much more positive.

“Nasa scientists braced for 'solar tsunami' to hit earth”.

They shriek. They go on:

“Experts said the wave of supercharged gas will likely reach the Earth on Tuesday, when it will buffet the natural magnetic shield protecting Earth.”

Buffet? All you can eat for £5.95 no doubt.

Read the article yourselves, I can’t even be bothered to provide a link. It reads like the wailing of the prophet Jeremiah on the morning he poured curdled milk on the last of his Cocopops. 

Reading between the lines, what is likely to happen is that round about Tuesday, or it could be next Michaelmas but three, a lady in Mogadishu is likely to find her afternoon play on Radio 4 slightly more difficult to hear, and a chap in Norfolk is going to feel a tad warm. Or the planet could be wiped out by some giant magnetic storm. I will let you know which, if you miss it.

More implausible still is the other “science” story I found. They have found it necessary to devote some space to the incoherent jabbering of Nikodem Poplawski, of Indiana University, Bloomington. I must warn you that what follows will seem strangely familiar to any of you unfortunate enough to have experimented in your youth with hallucinogenic drugs. Cannabis and d-lsyergic acid diethylamide are two such substances in that category. You may recall propped up against a wall (if you were luckly) next to some callow slob from Barnsley who kept you awake and confused by expounding the profound realisation that had revealed itself to him during his ingestion of said narcotics. If you were really stoned, you may have found his theory interesting or even believable. You may have even been the tripe perpetrator yourself. If so, you probably don’t remember. 

Doc Pop,  or “Nutty Nik” as he is known on campus, offered one of the following insights. Can you guess which one?

A) “Maybe Nicholas Soames is the New Messiah, come to lead us to a land of eternal orgasm”, he told The Watchtower.

B) "Maybe the huge black holes at the centre of the Milky Way and other galaxies are bridges to different universes," he told New Scientist.

C) “Maybe broccoli has an IQ beyond the measure of our current tests”, he told the Theresa May edition of Penthouse.

D) “Maybe I forgot to take my tablets this morning”, he told the Bloomington Sheriff’s Department.

I can do little but copy from the Torygraph. I am at a loss as how I can embellish it. Here is a lily so pre-gilded that it positively shines like fifty thousand suns.

He says instead of matter reaching infinite density in a black hole called "singularities" in Einstein's theory of relativity - the behaviour of the space-time acts more like a spring being compressed with matter rebounding and expanding continuously.
Dr Poplawski explains that this "bounce-back" effect is caused by the torsion of space-time having a repulsive force against the gargantuan strength of gravity in a black hole.
Dr Poplawski also claims that this recoiling effect could be what has led to our expanding universe that we observe today and could explain why our universe is flat, homogeneous and isotropic without needing cosmic inflation.

Here comes a really good bit. No, honest, it is good. You will love it. You may experience quasi-orgasm. 

It is hard to see how we could test whether or not Dr Poplawski's theory is correct; the force of gravity in black holes is such that nothing can escape, so no information about what is going on inside one can ever reach us.

Yes, there you have it. Some chump, and we can only guess what nonsense his wife was spouting to cause him to toddle down this particular avenue, has added to the already overloaded truck of scientific speculation with a theory as useless as the gibberish issuing from the gob of a semi-comatose hippy, and been reported in the national press. 


To be fair, though, his theory, if proved to be valid, would explain the oscillation of neutrinos. That particular conundrum has deprived me of many hours of sleep over the years. 

I am going to bed.