Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Gore-y Truth

Nothing like the taste of old-fashioned hypocrisy to make your blood boil, is there? A couple of days after Al Gore won an Oscar for his documentary 'An Inconsiderate Truth', it turns out he isn't exactly living by his own standards.

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization, issued a press release late Monday. Here it is in full:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

It feels a bit like me ranting about everyone should be vegetarian, then nipping home for a sweet and sour kitten. I know he's raising awareness, although I suspect that is mainly back-slapping, as if by merely seeing the film immediately makes you more environmentally-friendly. I just wish he'd done something about it when he WAS in a position of power as Vice President, when he could have legally changed American environmental policy. Rather than drowning us all in a pool of his own crocodile tears.

Suspect Role Models

In a moment of spectacular blindness that even Arsene Wenger would have been proud of, Sports Minister Richard Caborn has praised the Arsenal and Chelsea players for their restraint in Sunday's Carling Cup Final.

"I've said many times that what happens on the park on a Saturday happens in the playground on Monday," Caborn said. "Sunday showed the youngsters that it is possible to have a disagreement without resorting to physical violence. We hope they follow the Arsenal and Chelsea's players lead by arguing passively - without punches being thrown or anyone getting hurt, let alone seriously injured. At a time when the use of guns and knives is rife in Britain's school playgrounds, it was a great example to be followed."

I'm not sure whether Sports minister Richard Caborn watched the same game as me on Sunday, but 3 people got sent off and two more got booked in a mass brawl. Both clubs have now been charged by the FA with bringing the game into disrepute. Nice to see the politicians are still keeping in touch with what's going on in the world.

Threat of the Year

I bet Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski didn't know whether to laugh or be scared when he received an anonymous letter containing three bullets, threatening "you, your mother and the cat".

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Joke about Bush

George Bush has a heart attack and dies. He goes to hell where the Devil is waiting for him.

"I don't know what to do here," says the Devil. "You're on my list but I have no room for you. But you definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got 3 people here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I'll even let YOU decide who leaves."

George thought that sounded pretty good, so he agreed.

The devil opened the first room. In it was Ted Kennedy in a large pool of water. Kennedy kept resurfacing over and over and over, gasping for air. Such was his fate in hell.

"No!" George said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and don't think I could do that all day long."

The devil led him to the next room. In it was Tony Blair with a sledge hammer and a room full of rocks. All Blair did was swing that hammer, time after time after time, and more rocks appeared.

"No!" Bush said. "I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day!"

The devil opened a third door. In it, George saw Bill Clinton lying naked on the floor with his arms tied to stakes over his head, and his legs staked in spread eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best.

George Bush looked at this in disbelief for a while and finally said, "Yeah, I can handle this."

The devil smiled and said... "OK Monica, you're free to go."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thanks for the Mammaries.

So Anna Nicole Smith has been found dead, having said she wanted to go out like Marilyn... Well, Marilyn Monroe actually had a career. I never actually worked out what ANS actually did? Apart from the odd grumble flick and marrying an 89-year old oil billionaire, what else is she famous for? Selling her soul for pretty much any publicity she can get, no matter how low... I can't think of anyone that has courted publicity in the same way she has.

Don't believe me? Did you know that you can actually watch Anna Nicole Smith having a Caesarian Section on Youtube?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I used to be...

When it's OK to say 'Fuck'

A Joke about Pest Control

A woman was having a passionate affair with an inspector from a pest-control company. One afternoon they were carrying on in the bedroom together when her husband arrived home unexpectedly.

"Quick," said the woman to the lover, "into the closet!" and she pushed him in the closet, stark naked. The husband, however, became suspicious and after a search of the bedroom discovered the man in the closet.

"Who are you?" he asked him.

"I'm an inspector from Bugs-B-Gone," said the exterminator.

"What are you doing in there?" the husband asked.

"I'm investigating a complaint about an infestation of moths" the man replied.

"And where are your clothes?" asked the husband.

The man looked down at himself and said, "Those little bastards!"

Actual Call Centre Conversations.

Travel Centre
Customer: "I've been ringing 0700 2300 for two days and can't get through to enquiries, can you help?".
Operator: "Where did you get that number from, sir?"
Customer: "It was on the door to the Travel Centre".
Operator: "Sir, they are our opening hours".


Samsung Electronics
Caller: "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?"
Operator: "I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about".
Caller: "On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?"
Operator: "I think you mean the telephone point on the wall".


RAC Motoring Services
Caller: "Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia?"
Operator: "Doesn't the product give you a clue?"


Directory Enquiries
Caller: "I'd like the number of the Argoed Fish Bar in Cardiff please".
Operator: "I'm sorry, there's no listing. Is the spelling correct?"
Caller: "Well, it used to be called the Bargoed Fish Bar but the 'B' fell off".

Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.
Operator: "Woven? Are you sure?"
Caller: "Yes. That's what it says on the label; Woven in Scotland ".

A man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator:
"I haven't got a pen, so I'm steaming up the window to write the number on".


IT Help Desk
Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop".
Customer: "OK".
Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?".
Customer: "No".
Tech Support: "OK. Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No".
Tech Support: "OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?".
Customer: "Sure. You told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'".

Tech Support: "OK. In the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"
Customer: "Wow. How can you see my screen from there?"


Word Perfect Helpline
Operator: "Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?"
Caller: "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
Operator: "What sort of trouble??"
Caller: "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
Operator: "Went away?"
Caller: "They disappeared."
Operator: "Hmm So what does your screen look like now?"
Caller: "Nothing."
Operator: "Nothing?"
Caller: "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
Operator: "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out??"
Caller: "How do I tell?"
Operator: "Can you see the C: prompt on the screen??"
Caller: "What's a sea-prompt?"
Operator: "Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?"
Caller: "There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."
Operator: "Does your monitor have a power indicator?"
Caller: "What's a monitor?"
Operator: "It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"
Caller: "I don't know."
Operator: "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"
Caller: "Yes, I think so."
Operator: "Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall".
Caller: "Yes, it is."
Operator: "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"
Caller: "No."
Operator: "Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."
Caller: "Okay, here it is."
Operator: "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
Caller: "I can't reach."
Operator: "Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
Caller: "No."
Operator: "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"
Caller: "Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle - it's because it's dark."
Operator: "Dark?"
Caller: "Yes - the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."
Operator: "Well, turn on the office light then."
Caller: "I can't."
Operator: "No? Why not?"
Caller: "Because there's a power failure."
Operator: "A power......... A power failure? Aha, Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in??"
Caller: "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
Operator: "Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
Caller: "Really? Is it that bad?"
Operator: "Yes, I'm afraid it is."
Caller: "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"
Operator: "Tell them you're too STUPID to own a computer."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Taking the Michael

A pub has sparked fury by serving a 'Barrymore Pie' - and describing it on the menu as: "Faggots swimming in gravy." Gay rights groups called for the dish to be scrapped at Mad O'Rourke's Pie Factory. But defiant boss Peter Towler vowed to keep the crusty favourite on his menu at the pub in Tipton, West Midlands. The 47-year-old said: "It's been on the menu six years during which time I have had hundreds of thousands of customers and not a single complaint. Why don't these people worry about something important - like the National Health Service"

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oh Goody

Seems like Jade Goody has decided to convert to Islam in an attempt to overcome her recent racist slurs. From now on, she will be known as Yafat Fuqa.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Saltmills Angels

Here is a pic of my friend Anna hard at work with her friends Lina & Vanessa. In the background, you can just see the sign 'Friday is Pieday', and indeed it is. Every Friday, they make the best pies I've had in ages. As well as ice cream smoothies, oh yes, that's certainly something I'll be trying when I get home.

And it's my last full day today, I'm flying home tomorrow. Where did the time go? But I've thoroughly enjoyed it, it's been great to catch up with Anna again and make sure she's alright. And she looks happier than I've seen her in ages, which is fabulous. I can report back home that everything is ok and she's got some great friends out here. It's a great life out here. You walk into any bar and you're guaranteed to see someone you know.

I've been snorkelling, kayaking and sailing. I've practiced tai chi on a moonlit beach. I've walked about 50 miles these last 2 weeks. I've been swimming with a turtle, I've seen pelicans, a couple of storks, 2 hummingbirds (which bizarrely look like flying seahorses), 2 sharks and a million lizards. I've met some great people and I've been bumped and ground by the local girls. But most of all, I've had a deeply relaxing holiday and am feeling full of beans. I just hope it's not too cold when I get back.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

3 Days to Go...

Yup. It's gone mega quick, but I only have three days left out here. I'm sure someone nicked a week while I wasn't looking. But at least the weather has returned to being brilliant. Today I went snorkelling for the first time and swam with a turtle, although sadly it wasn't one of the teenage ninja variety. But still pretty damn brilliant. It's going to be hard coming back, I can tell you.

Get Under the Bed, Doggy...

Anyone remember Silvio Berlusconi's 'roasting' of poor Sheva back in December? For those that don't, Berlusconi is the owner of AC Milan and also Godfather (ahem) to Andriy Shevchenko's children. And when Sheva decided to leave Milan for the mega money on offer at Chelsea, Mr Berlusconi was not best pleased. Particularly at the rumours that Sheva didn't want to go, but was convinced by his American wife to move to London. Anyway, the roasting from Berlusconi:

"A true Milanista and a real man would not have behaved like this. At my home I'm in charge and decide what happens. Instead, when Shevchenko's wife shouts, he runs under the bed like a lap-dog."

Yesterday, in response to his wife's demands for an apology after he was overheard propositioning a couple of showgirls at a gala dinner, Mr Berlusconi issued the following press statement:

"Dear Veronica, here's my apology. Forgive me, I beg you. And take this public show of my private pride giving in to your fury as an act of love. One of many."

A true Milanista and a real man.