Thursday, November 4, 2021

Merry Xmas Adverts in November

Yes, it's the beginning of November so it's the Great Game of Ads in the UK.

In 1st place is John Lewis


 I'm not crying - you're crying! Disney you Mother Truckers! 


Seriously, I'm not crying. Much.... 

 Now this one, from Boots, was a bit odd. But enjoyable... 




Monday, June 21, 2021

In Honor of Pride Month Here is a List

I love Facebook.

Simple really. it connects me with friends and family around the world and I get to judge people from the safety of not being anywhere near them.
I recently put up a post stating that Israel recognizes same-sex marriage

It got 55 reactions - nice.
But it also got, for the first time, a 'missing context' addition.
Let me just clarify, I see (and actively seek out) much more controversial stuff on Facebook. There are friends of mine who are so Facebook naughty that they are banned more often than they're allowed on the platform - I'm looking at you, Ken and Larry.
The truth is very simple. I did not want to be a naysayer and post something like 'Israel recognizes and respects same-sex marriage, as opposed to the Palestinians who recognize and then kill the happy couple'
I didn't want to say that Hamas or the PA throw gay men off rooves, or that they drag their bodies through the streets behind motorbikes, or that officially there is a 10-year penalty for being gay (not sure how that works).

There was no mention of the fact that in the Palestinian National Authority, selling land to Jews is a crime punishable by death. That has nothing to do with LGBTQ rights, it's more about how the death penalty is still used there.
So Facebook used independent fact-checkers, which on the surface is awesome. And then I saw that it was USA Today. The last time I read that paper it was literally 8 pages. Not 8 pages on sport or on politics, just a total of 8 pages.
So Mr. Facebook, below is what I originally wanted to say. But now I'm going to state, categorically:
Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Gaza routinely used torture and other ill-treatment with impunity - source Amnesty
Consensual same-sex sexual activity is criminalized in Gaza and the West Bank and is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment - source Amnesty
Well done Facebook, by criticizing my innocuous, flippant image, you made me more aware of just how horrific the LGBTQ community life is in Gaza and the West Bank.
Now go do something about it.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Starting at the End

The rise of antisemitism has led to me feeling very uncomfortable indeed. With hatred and fingers being turned to Israel the arguments that turn antisemitism into anti-Israel rage could/should/would be silenced now. 

Here is the ending. 

Let's see how much hatred spews at Israel now that their democratically elected ministers have office. 



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Refreshingly Simple

We recently moved house, a nightmare with its own 7 levels of hell, which is then plagued even further by the standard phrase 'do we really need this? Why do we still have this?'

We found wedding presents still in their original wrapping. We were married in 2006....

We found puzzles we'd slaved over, glued together and then left untouched for over a decade.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a children's book by Laura Numeroff. Quite simply, if you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw, and so on and so forth.

It's a slippery slope and one that we all go down now and then. The main trick to break this downward spiral is to stop, think and wonder 'why is this process the one we use?'

Think about it, is the way we do things the best way, the easiest way or just the way we've always done it?



Saturday, August 1, 2020

Dodie. Awesome

In the past I've spoken about musicians breaking the mold in the past, such as Pomplamoose and OK GO 



She really does have a beautiful aura I hope she'll realise all her dreams ;-) Good luck Dodie

And she's from Epping - near where I grew up so, yeah, supporting local art too.




Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Jon Stewart Speaks to Congress on Behalf of 9/11 First Responders

The 2001 Victim Compensation Find is running out of money again. 18 years later Congress has still not found a long term solution to help 9/11 first responders suffering from health issues resulting from the toxic conditions at ground zero.

It took first responders all of 5 seconds to officially start helping. Why is it taking almost 20 years to help these heroes with the same no-nonsense attitude?

When an international TV star, and a guy who has presented many times to the US Congress nearly breaks down, twice, then you know that this is serious. Watch the whole thing. It's not that long and he's really good.

Not that’s precisely 9:11 long

So what can you do? Go to the Renew 911 Health website and see if your Member of Congress is a supporter, or not.



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

I've been a bit remiss with this blog in the last few months but finally have time to come back and share with you.

I've seen this chap before, and I was 'meh' about what he had done. Now he has taken it to a whole new level and I've turned that frown upside down:

Below is a video from 2014 and it is still very interesting today - heck, it has over 11.8 million views.

Only 28,666,167 views for this video though :-)



Friday, August 24, 2018

Marching Orders by Netflix

It's been a busy summer on Netflix. The Punisher, Queer Eye and of course Narcos.

One of the most interesting Netflix TV shows I've seen is Marching Orders. It follows the marching band of a Floridian university.
What makes it interesting is the format. Each episode is less than 15 minutes.

There are 3 groups of kids in the band and each episode covers them in turn. And then altogether when they go to 'The Battle of The Bands'.

As an insight into the goings on of university age kids, and how they can be focused, skilled and fun-loving, it is rather awesome.

Binge watch it and enjoy!


Wednesday, August 22, 2018


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Not an exact quote, but it's the essence of the TV show Killjoys.

It's the distant future, bounty hunters are out there and, like the Strontium Dog in 2000AD or Bruce Willis' character in The Fifth Element, crazy adventures ensue.

You've been locked and served;

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Elle King - Pretty Awesome

Spotify has not only made music much more accessible, it has made it infinitely easier to find new music that you are going to like.

In the past I've raved about OKGO and Pomplamoose, and now there is a new queen of my musical heart - Elle King.

I think it's the mix of bluegrass banjo(?) int he background that really gets the toes a-tapping!

And yes, I'm not the first to like this video that was posted in August 2016. Nor am I one of the first 7,000,000 to watch it, but you know what? It's good music and I like it.



Monday, July 23, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

Let us all get ready for a bit of Freddy.

The subject matter is such a classic and yet also controversial figure that this film will really need to walk on a tightrope to get the audience behind it.

Whats not to love? Freddie Mercury's life story. A great man, a great singer and a great band. But that is just it, he means so much to so many people that just portraying him will cause many die-hard fans to have a conniption!

It's going to be interesting, that's for sure.



Friday, July 20, 2018

How Did I Not Know About This Film

The Tour de France is an iconic bike race. Usually won by Lance Armstrong, the race winds up and down France on main roads and side roads, over bridges, under bridges to their destination.

Map of France and the Tour de France

Officially the total race, running from Saturday July 7th to Sunday July 29th 2018, the 105th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,351 kilometres.

That's one heck of a sporting achievement - to be the first one through the finish line, at the end of all that!

Lance Armstrong is renowned as being a drug cheating scumbucket for this event, so I was surprised to see that he was in a mockumentary about the race.

Tour de Pharmacy, as the name suggests, is about a group of competitors in the Tour de France in the 1980's and their challenges through the different pitfalls of being a rider.

I was surprised i hadn't heard of it because it has some HUGE names appearing in it;

Andy Samberg
Orlando Bloom
John Cena
Danny Glover   
Mike Tyson   
Jeff Goldblum   
Lance Armstrong
Dolph Lundgren
Kevin Bacon
J.J. Abrams
Edgar Wright

I look forward to watching it soon.



Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thai Cave Rescue

I've been caving, a lifetime ago, when all the equipment we had was a helmet and a flashlight and a sense of adventure.

I remember wriggling and squeezing through small crevices to get through passages, where the walls seemed to be closing in on us and even points where the adults amongst us were told to turn back as the going ahead was only suitable for smaller people.

There are some caves that have their own ecosystem, including vegetation, streams and even unique insects that look exceptionally adapted to their dark, moist environments.

We weren't the first people to inquire as to where caves lead to as this article in shows Remains of 'Maya Underworld' Found in World's Longest Submerged Cave

So far we can confirm that caves exist and humans are curious about them. Now we have the final piece in the puzzle. Caves are dangerous;

From what information I can gather, cave disasters occur when the rains begin. My research led me to this article, which is definitely not for the faint of heart. 10 True Horror Stories Of People Trapped In Caves

Today's astonishing news, that the Thai cave rescue has proven, so far only partially, succesful really surprised me. That 13 people could walk 4km into a cave complex and survive for 10 days with no food, just amazed me.

This map is from CNN's explanation of the partial resuce, and whilst I dislike their sensationalising in their normal coverage, they do present most of the facts as we kinow them, in this case.

 The missing boys, with their coach, are seen here in a photo taken from the coach's Facebook page

Who are the crazy people who  went to rescue these kids? The Thai Navy SEALs were created in the 1950's as the wars on the Asian continent were beginning to blossom. Unlike US Navy SEALS or the British equivalent, the SBS, the Thai Neavy SEALs are not secretive about their personnel or their operations.


Thailand cave rescue underway: authorities evacuate site and send in 18 divers

“We’ve been waiting for this exact moment to begin the evacuation, when we’re all prepared and the survivors’ safety can be 100 per cent guaranteed,” Narongsak told reporters at the Phong Pha sub-district administration office, where the media had relocated after the Tham Luang cave area was cordoned off by authorities on Thursday night. 


Good luck!


Friday, June 15, 2018

Comedry Music Video

Mumford and Sons came onto the music scene back in 2007, and rose to fame with their songs 'I Will Wait', 'Sigh No More' and 'The Cave'.

Great music, all of it, and that's coming from a chap who regularly listens to Dolly, Johnny and Elvis!

We all listen to music in my office, headphones help the concentration, so I was surprised when I looked up during a Mumford and Sons video on YouTube to see some very famous comedians playing the music;

Enjoy the whole video.



Monday, June 4, 2018

The Life of Brian v The Clergy

John Cleese has been doing the rounds recently promoting his US tour and has thus been on the talk shows. Again.

He has had some very memorable interviews over time, especially around the time of release of The Life of Brian. This one caught my eye yesterday;

Years later the Monty Python team were interviewed about that very interview;

And here is John Cleese on a talk show today. With Taylor Swift.



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jesus wouldn't be riding a donkey

Like 99% of the population of the world, I have never had much time for televangelists. They prey on the gullible and the weak in their greatest time of need.

Pat Robertson is a character in South Park who is 'a key member of the Christian Broadcasting Channel, Pat Robertson is a former minister and presidential candidate'

Pat Robertson is also a character in The Simpsons 'He is one of the many people on "Ned's List of Laudable Lefties".'

So there is definitely comedy in the air around these swindlers. Even so, I was surprised to see this on that bastion of sense, the Christian News Network:

Does this man have no shame? I guess not. Nor does he have much respect given to him by the same publication as it begins its story..

False teacher and prosperity preacher Jesse Duplantis is now asking his disciples for money to buy a jet that costs $54 million “so we can go anywhere in the world in one stop.”
Wow, no punches pulled here then. Don't worry though,, CBS News and the LA Times also derided the televangelist.

Louisiana televangelist seeks donations for $54M private jet: report

Evangelist who wants $54M jet says "Jesus wouldn't be riding a donkey"

Televangelist wants his followers to pay for a $54-million private jet. It would be his fourth plane

Apparently this chap preaches the 'prosperity gospel', which says God shows favor by rewarding the faithful with earthly riches. Giving money to pastors and their ministries, leaders say, is a sort of investment.

So that's nice. He is not like the Preacher I enjoy watching on TV:

Somehow I don't think we'll be making any donations to Jesse Duplantis any time soon.



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial Weekend Much?

I find that Memorial Weekend has lost some of its value in the last few years, even though wars continue.

According to the History Channel:

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2018 occurs on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

So here is Picture of Heartbreak, I know it affected me.



Monday, May 21, 2018

Netta Vs Blur - TOY 2 (Eurovision 2018 WINNER Israel Mashup)

A mashup (also mesh, mash up, mash-up, blend, bootleg[1] [2] and bastard pop/rock) is a creative work, usually in a form of a song, created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.

That's not the point, this is;

Scary eh? Even the videos kind of melt together.

And now the songs melt into each other...

Sometimes the videos and songs are surprisingly similar. Heck, its an industry, not a single artist.



Thursday, May 17, 2018

I Love Bullpups

I grew up learning to shoot on the Lee Enfield IV rifle, and graduated on to the SA80 to go full automatic - well, semi, anyway. If there had been a GM6 Lynx I would have wanted to fire it, but never would have - far too much to play with on a range day!

The GM6 Lynx is a 50 cal semi-automatic anti-material rifle. It is a bullpup, but that is not the interesting part. The barrel reciprocates all the way back. Just watch the video, I could watch this thing shoot over and over again. What a beast;



Monday, May 14, 2018

Ain't Nothing New Under The Sun

You might have heard recently of a popular musician called Childish Gambino. On many levels I hope that isn't his real name, mainly because as a kid he would be called out for being 'too Childish'. And possibly a member of the Gambino crime family.

Anyhoo, he came out with a bit of a controversial and thought provoking video recently, This Is America:

Which is all fine and dandy. Then someone realized that it was at the same tempo as another famous song;

So yes, there is nothing new under the sun.