Monday, 22 December 2014

Ads Ruining Christmas Surprise

There are three parts to present buying at Christmas. The first is to find the thing you want to buy, the second is to then go and buy it with the final part being finding somewhere to stash it so the recipient doesn't find out what you have got them.
The first two parts are straight forward but the third is hard enough and that's without the new addition of the computer blabbing it to them by showing what you have been buying for Christmas showing up in ads.
When you visit a retailers website, your viewing is shared with other websites and shows the particular product you looked at or purchased.
Along comes hubby and sees an advert for the trainers or coat that you have been mulling over to put under the tree for Christmas Day and he knows that the smelly Adidas with the holes in the sole can be thrown binwards.
Apparently you can opt out, the adverts have a little triangle in the top corner of the ad but that only works for that product, look at another store and you get their adverts instead and you have to scroll through pages of text explaining why they use targeted ads.
For advertisers, perhaps this is a lesson that they are being a bit too cute with their algorithms especially when it’s common for people to share computers.
Of course they don't really want you opting out, the whole point of advertising is to persuade you to buy something and you can't do if you don't see the adverts, but they must be able to do something so the surprise isn't ruined.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Queen To Abdicate Rumours

The Queen's Christmas Day speech is usually only on the TV screens of the Brits who have fallen asleep after a heavy Christmas Dinner but this years may be worth a viewing because the bookmakers have suspended bets on the Queen giving up the throne in this years message to the Commonwealth.
The move comes after 'an unusual amount of bets placed on Her Majesty handing the crown to her son Charles or grandson William' and the bookies are not in the business of losing money so when they think they are about to take a caning, they pull the plug.
The rumour was further boosted when Buckingham Palace refused to deny the Queen was about to hang up her crown by issuing a bland 'No Comment'.
The Queen is due to become Britain’s longest serving Monarch next year when she overtakes Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years and seven months so i can't see her going just yet so it smells of an attempt to boost her flagging TV ratings so i still wont be tuning in unless the remote control goes missing and i am physically unable to turn over the Television after Top of The Pops but i will be keeping an ear out for the sound of celebrations as the nations largest receiver of state benefits decides her days of waving at crowds are over.

The Squirrels Did It

It could just be a massive coincidence that at the same time that humans began throwing Greenhouses Gases into the air in vast quantities, the amount of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere began to climb and warmed the planet.
Instead those who didn't want to stop piling further pollutants into the air blamed everything from Sun spots to a conspiracy to introduce a World government but the latest sounds a winning way to stop the Climate Scientists shutting them down, the squirrels did it. 
Apparently squirrel nutkins and his climate warming buddies are digging their burrows in Siberia and bringing oxygen to the soil and fertilising the soil with their urine and their faeces which releases greenhouse gases from the permafrost.
As i see it there are two alternatives. We can either exterminate every squirrel on the planet and carry on as before or stop paying attention to people who come out with loony stuff like this. I vote the latter.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Enjoy The Cheap Petrol While It Lasts

The most obvious winner from the falling cost of a barrel of oil are drivers who have seen forecourt prices trickle downwards and many experts are predicting 99p a litre by the turn of the year which is proving to be very popular.
The question is why is the cost of a oil down to around $60 a barrel when a few years ago it was up around $130?
The Automobile Association explain that because of soaring oil consumption in countries like China and conflicts in key oil nations like Iran and Libya, oil production couldn't keep up with demand, so prices spiked.
Now, due to the long lasting recession, the demand for oil in places like Europe, Asia, and the US has been tapering off and with Libya and Iraq now producing again, there is a surplus of oil so the price has gone down.
Another reason is that the US and Canada have started drilling for new, hard-to-extract crude in North Dakota's shale formations and Alberta's oil sands adding another 4 billion barrels per day to the now saturated market.
Then there is OPEC who are the oil-producing nations that pumps out about 40% of the world's oil and who influence the price of oil by coordinating either to cut back or boost production.
At its meeting in Vienna in November, it was decided by the major player, Saudi Arabia, that it wouldn't cut production and was willing to let prices keep dropping so it would not lose its market share. 
It also know that it is cheaper to pump oil out of their places while much more expensive to extract oil from shale formations in places like Texas and North Dakota so they would be the ultimate loser from falling prices. So as the price of oil keeps falling, North American oil producers will become unprofitable and go out of business and remove their oil from the pool forcing the oil prices to stabilise for OPEC.
The ploy seems to be working as the Financial Times is already pointing out that the oil-producing states like Texas and North Dakota are seeing a drop in revenues and economic activity while Alaska's state budget is under pressure but meanwhile, enjoy the low petrol prices and the imminent fall in gas and electric bills because sure enough, they will start rising again soon enough.

Words Fail Me...And Him

It it said that Obama is going to face much protest against his plans to make pals with the Cuban Government. 
Protesters like this chap on the right who proudly holds up a six word protest banner for the media with a third of them spelled incorrectly.
If i was Obama I wouldn't be to worried about the level of the people arguing against him if this is typical of the protest movement, by the time they get help putting their shoes on the right feet it will all be over. 
  

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

USA Making Friends With Cuba

Hard to argue that Obama's presidency has been anything other than a complete disappointment on all fronts and so desperate to have any sort of accomplishment he would be remembered for Obama announces the US and Cuba are to normalise diplomatic relations and end decades of hostility.
Obama explained that: 'We fully expect we will continue to have strong differences, particularly on human rights' and it is true that American Human Rights abuses are many but i expect the Cubans will be more willing to overlook the abuses if the Americans close the torture chamber in Guantanamo Bay.
The smart money is less on Obama doing this out of the kindness of his heart but to undermine Russian and Cuban ties but for whatever reason is behind it, the Cubans should be wary of the about turn as we have recently learned with the revelations of spying and stirring up revolutions in other countries.
Maybe, being charitable, this is less about sinister motives and more about America making friends and we can look forward to Obama spending the last two years of his presidency actually earning that Peace Award he won, next step cutting off the funding to Israel!!

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Aspirin Made Me Do It

Pharmaceutical companies must be hurriedly rewriting the pamphlet on their medicines to read: 'may cause drowsiness, racism and homophobia after UKIP candidate blamed his description of gay people as 'fucking disgusting old poofters' and the Chinese as 'chinkies, the fault of the prescription drugs he had been taking at the time.
Be warned when the flu season hits the UK because hit the Lemsips too hard and you can also become a steaming great bigoted twat also and then its a short leap to becoming a UKIP member. 
Might be best to reduce the amount of paracetamols you take each day just to be safe and and remain non-racist and un-homophobic.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Holy Leaked Emails

After a successon of leaked emails, the newest email leaked as a result of the hacking attack on Heaven shows the chain of events which led to the Christmas Celebration.

From: God@Heaven.com
To: AngelGabriel@Heaven.com
Hi Gabe - Got a problem with my new wi-fi connection, no reception here. Can you email VirginMary@Nazareth.com for me and let her know she will soon be pregnant with my kid. Thanks.
PS. Can't decide between Jesus or Colin for kids name so you decide.
--
From: AngelGabriel@Heaven
To: VirginMary@Nazareth.com
Hi Mary. Good news, you have been chosen to be the recipient of God's immaculate seed and bear the saviour of the World. Short notice i know, soz. PS. His name is Jesus. Any probs let me know.
--
From: VirginMary@Nazareth.com
To: CarpenterJoseph@hotmail.com
Hi babe. You will never guess what happened today. I'm preggers by God LOL!!! Will explain when you get home. xx
--
From: CarpenterJoe@hotmail.com
To: VirginMary@Nazareth.com
WTF!! and How TF? You're a virgin!!
--
From: AngelGabriel@Heaven.com
To: CarpenterJoseph@hotmail.com
Hi Joseph. I see Mary told you about the baby. Sorry if it ruined your plans but God does things in mysterious ways so they say LMAO. Seriously, d/w. 
--
From: CeasarAugustus@Rome.com
To: CarpenterJoseph@hotmail.com
cc: VirginMary@Nazareth.com
Please head to your hometown of Bethelehem for the census. Register names of first borns on arrival and receive a free toga.
--
From: CarpenterJoeseph@hotmail.com
To: DonkeyRentals@Vehiclehire.com
Hi, can i please hire a donkey from December 20 to December 31.
--
From: CarpenterJoseph@hotmail.com
To: SunnySideInn@Bethelehem.com
Hi, can i please book a room for 2 adults from Dec 20 to Dec 31 and a place for a donkey.
--
From: SunnySideInn@Bethelehem.com
To: CarpenterJoseph@hotmail.com
Hi Joseph. Sorry but fully booked those dates. I do  have a stable you can rent for those dates at cheap rates.
--
From: Wisemen03@magi.com
To: VirginMary@Nazareth.com
Hi Mary, congratulation on the imminent birth of the Lords child. Can you forward address as we would like to visit.
--
From: Melchior74BC@magi.com
To: Belthazar@magi.com; Gaspar@magi.com
Hi guys. Any ideas for baby gifts? Camel has been stolen so looks like im traveling on foot unless one of you can give me a lift.
--
From: Belthazar@magi.com
To: Melchior74BC@magi.com   
Not much notice and it's early closing today so all i could get was some Frankincense. Gaspar says he has some Myrrh he got last birthday he won't ever use so he will give it that. Gold is always handy so grab some of that. My Camel is a two seater so pick you up about 8-ish.
--
From: VirginMary@Nazareth.com
To: Wisemen@magi.com
Hi, all are welcome. We are in the stable behind the SunnySideInn, Bethlehem. Excuse the mess, its a bit of a pigsty. Literally ROFLMFAO
--
From:VirginMary@Nazareth.com
To: AngelGabriel@Heaven.com; God@Heaven.com
Hi, Baby born all healthy. Called him Jesus as instructed. Joseph bit confused over what is going to happen on Father's Days but excited about showing him how to use a hammer and nails. Have to go, a sheep is nibbling at Jesus's blankets. Will email later re: Maintenance payments and if you have any ideas what to do with 2lbs of Myyrh, they will be gratefully received.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Sexy New Weather Language

Being British we do obsess about the weather and the weather forecasts are watched religiously so everyone would have noticed how the MET Office has been sneaking in some new terms such as Weather Bomb, Pineapple Express, Continental Blowtorch and Explosive Cyclogenesis.
Once upon a time the weather forecaster would appear on screen, slap a few magnetic symbols on a map and vaguely explain in 30 seconds how it would be sunny in the south and rainy in the north and then we got computer graphics with the countries city names and everyone was desperate to get their city or town on the weather map. 
Now the graphics has got sexy with swooshing through rain clouds as the camera zooms up and down the country, the forecasters have caught up with sexy new names for weather systems.
Where previously we had warm air moving up from the continent, we now have a continental blowtorch and a deepening area of low pressure heading our way has become the much more excitingly named Weather bomb or explosive cyclogenesis which is the same thing.
I love the new terms but a pineapple express storm doesn't sound particularly sexy or exciting, just makes it sound like a cocktail.
I would go with an accelerated detonative tempest or a screaming shatterstorm but then i would also make Alex on Good Morning Britain do the forecast in nothing but budgie smugglers so might be better not to ask me.

Geminid Meteor Shower Tonight

The Geminid's is the Northern Hemisphere's most spectacular meteor shower but because it happens in the depths of winter, it is not as well viewed as the Perseid's in the much more clement August.
For the past two years we have driven out to the dark South Downs, sat in a field and watched a heap of clouds obscure the view but tonight the Society for Popular Astronomy have said that conditions will be as good as they get and with a waning moon it should be a spectacular for the climax of the meteor shower.
The MET Office are not quite so confident and forecast mist and cloud for this part of the woods until 2am and a temperature of 0c so it might be another evening of cloud watching in freezing conditions.
The best time to view them is from 10pm to 2am with as many as 100 of the multi-coloured meteors an hour shooting across the sky so it's grab a flask of coffee, a blanket and reserve your place in the NHS for hypothermia treatment tomorrow morning and enjoy the Solar System at its amazing best and remember it's only a meteorite if it lands, it's a meteor otherwise.