Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Best Website on the Internet. Ever.

Very occasionally, you come across something that just makes you truly understand. Perhaps a song that makes you realise that all music up to this point had just been tuning up. Ladies and gentlemen... I have today been shown such a thing. It is, quite simply, the reason why the internet was invented for everything up til now has been simply mucking about. I give you (and Leah, I'm eternally grateful for this):


Shatner vs Palin

And there's only ever going to be one winner. This is William Shatner reading Sarah Palin's farewell speech verbatim. Enjoy.

Click here to watch the video if you're reading this by email.

Jeremy Clarkson Beat Box

No need to add anything, really. Here you go!

Click here to see the video if you received this by email.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm an experienced health professional, no time to talk

Whilst trawling through the internet today for news, I stumbled across a rather useful article in the Daily Mail (and it's not often that you say that). It's title is How to Save a Heart Attack Victim. It is a worry of mine that someone will have a heart attack or something and I won't know what to do, so I read the article with some gusto. I'm really glad I did.

Amongst other things, it has the following advice about giving CPR:

"Put your hands in the middle of the chest on the breastbone and push down as hard as you can, 100 times a minute (roughly the same rhythm as the 'ah, ah, ah' bit in the Bee Gees song Staying Alive; I'd sing it in your head, though)."

I actually can't stop laughing at that. I cannot think of a more surreal and funny situation than performing CPR on a heart attack victim, whilst singing 'Staying Alive' in a Bee Gees falsetto. On the plus side, I'm never going to forget it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mailicious Reporting

As I'm currently experiencing the joys of Swine Flu, I am pleased to see that the Daily Mail has got my back. They're not getting swept away by sensationalist scaremongering:

"Do you ever feel as if The Authorities are doing their damnedest to scare us all to death? First, there's swine flu" writes Lorna Martin in today's Mail.

"When raising the threat alert for swine flu from level four to five in April, Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organisation, declared that 'all of humanity is under threat'..."

"While sadly, at the time of writing, 31 people have died in the UK after contracting the virus, as many as 29 of them had other underlying, life-threatening conditions. That means there have been as few as two deaths solely caused by the swine flu virus. Two! T. W. O. Six thousand people die from normal flu every year in Britain."

Quite so. Those dastardly, irresponsible, scaremongering 'Authorities'.

On a completely separate note, here's a headline from The Daily Mail on May 1:
'How swine flu could be a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear warfare.'

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why Facebook is Weird

Facebook is a funny thing. One one hand it's a great way of keeping in touch with friends all over the world without actually having to talk to any of them. On the other hand, it seems to be a breeding ground for all manner of weird and wonderful things.

On the news feed this evening, I noticed that one of my friends has become a fan of 'Getting Paid'. I have to say, I was somewhat flummoxed by this. It seems to suggest that 'getting paid' is a choice - as if you go to work and think "Yes, I think I'd like to get paid this month."

Which got me wondering what other fan groups there are that state the bleeding obvious. Once I managed to get past the 'Punch Babies in the Face' group, it turns out there is also a page for 'Not Being Punched in the Face', with a great picture to really put make that fact hit home. This group has over 1000 members.

However, this fan group pales into insignificance when compared with fans of 'Not Being Murdered by Clowns', which has over 44,000 members. That's twice more than the Facebook petition against knives group. Although the group for 'Rape = Not Cool' only has one member. So there you go.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Brown and Out

You know, I've always liked Dr Ian Gibson, the former Labour MP for Norwich North. Oh, I don't actually know much about him or what he stands for. As an Ipswich boy, I just loved his Alan Partridge-esque comments that his constituents were inbred.

But despite that minor faux-pas, they continued to like him and many took great exception to Gibson being made Labour's scapegoat for the expenses scandal. I can't really see why he was so furious - at best his expenses claim was outside the spirit of things and at worst, downright illegal. Using taxpayers money to buy a flat for his daughter to live in for nothing, and then selling that flat to his daughter for a vastly reduced amount has got to be wrong in anyone's book. One less rotten MP has got to be a good thing and in my book, he's lucky not to be in prison.

But now we've had the by-election and Labour got hammered. Which isn't particularly unusual when it comes to a by-election, the governing party always gets trounced. But this one just feels different. More than ever it feels like a dress rehearsal for the real thing.

I particularly enjoyed Gordon Brown's reaction after the by-election "It's disappointing, but I don't think any party can take a great deal of cheer from this."

Really Gordon? Really? Because I have to say, on the news, the Tories looked quite cheerful.

Gordon Brown is making an absolute dog's arse of the Labour Party and is showing himself to be totally and utterly out of touch with pretty much everyone in the whole country. He seems to be driven by only one motive and that is to cling to power for as long as is humanly possible, no matter what. He does not possess the humility to let go and his party does not seem to possess the strength to make him. His quest of power for power's sake is shredding any credibility that Labour has left.

I can't help thinking about the General Election in under a year. Gordon Brown's death grip on power is currently making a Tory landslide a frightening inevitability. David Cameron doesn't have to do or say a damn thing between now and then - Gordon Brown is winning the election for him all on his own.

After John Major, I thought the Tories would be finished as a political force, particularly after the energy and enthusiasm of Tony Blair. It's taken them 12 years to reinvesnt themselves to the point where they are vaguely electable again. But David Cameron doesn't have the charisma of a young Tony Blair - David Cameron's main character trait, his number one reason for voter popularity is that he isn't Gordon Brown.

If the Tories get in next year, it saddens me to say you can pretty much forget about Labour as a political force for quite some time. I just hope that someone picks up the slack on the Left or we're in for some frightening times.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Best Cat Name Ever?

My cousin LZ asked "was the cat owner a big Beatles fan, do you reckon? I can't think why else you'd name a cat 'Help'." Personally, I think it's genius. And if ever I get another cat I'm going to call it 'Fire'.

Erm, Sorry about that.

Ahem. Your writer is feeling mildly sheepish today after this heartwrenching outburst yesterday on stopping smoking. It turns out I was simply overtired from not enough sleep. 10 solid days of getting up way too early, going to bed way too late and generally kicking the arse out of everything inbetween finally took its toll, turning me into a whining puddle of pathos. All it took was one good night's sleep and I'm back to feeling normal again. Yeah... sorry about that.

Thanks to everyone for the lovely messages of support and for those that did have to listen to my pathetic grizzling. I think the funniest thing of all is that when I am that overtired, just like any self-respecting 6-year old boy, I do take it really seriously. Thankfully I was able to get some good advice (you know who you are!) and then slept for 14 hours solid.

On a positive note, I do feel proud that I didn't fall over on the smoking thing and that stopping smoking wasn't actually the cause at all. Although I do need to perhaps take on a little bit less than I have been doing recently. Anyway, normal service has now been resumed and I will now stop whining like a bitch.

This is how sorry and sheepish I am.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Confessions of an ex-Smoker

Today it has been exactly three weeks since I stopped smoking and I am aware of the fact that I am doing well. I managed to get through the first couple of days of face-melting anguish and dribbled through the blancmange-brain phase. I feel that things should be getting easier now and in some ways they are. So why do I feel so crap about it all today?

It's often round about this time that my previous serious attempts to stop smoking have fallen down. Non-smokers may find this strange - Surely once the strongest cravings have subsided, it should be plain sailing? And yet it isn't.

Smoking is a particularly insidious and manipulative addiction, quite capable of changing a person's behaviour and character. I actually externalise my addiction into a separate entity, the 'nicotine monster'. I find this helps no end in providing a focus for any frustration or irritation I may have. And today it's being an utter shit.

You might think that withdrawal symptoms from smoking are linear - it starts strong and gradually reduces to nothing. This is not the case. You can have a month where you don't think about it at all. Then, on a rainy Tuesday in July, it attacks you from all sides without warning or provocation. Today is one of those days.

How does it make me feel? I feel both furious and yet totally vulnerable. I feel short-tempered beyond belief - and yet incredibly needy and insecure. I want to scream at the world and to cry until my eyes hurt. I want to run for 10 miles, although I'm too tired to even leave the house. I feel like someone's tied a knot inside my stomach. I want someone to hold me, stroke my hair and tell me everything will be OK.

And what's most irritating of all is that I know none of this is real. This is not real emotion. I am not an angry or insecure or needy person. So I'm trying to ignore it and wait for it to go away, albeit today with limited success. Hence why I'm writing this.

I can handle the cravings. In many ways, that feels like a bare-chested man-fight, a struggle of will, a battle between good and evil. And although it hurts, it's a good hurt. It's a battle you can see and it's a fair fight.

This is much more subtle and much more dangerous. It's like a fake depression, I guess. The nicotine monster is trying to make me feel that everything is rubbish - and that I am rubbish - so that I go back to smoking. Things that are good are undermined, it throws a veil of deceit over everything. And it takes tremendous willpower to remain positive.

Sigh. At least I know that it will go away. And it does strengthen my resolve to never smoke again. I just wish it didn't make me feel so crap. Thanks for listening.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pandemic Pandemonium

Whenever I think of Swine Flu, I always think of flying pigs. This is perhaps a little disrespectful, seeing as official forecasts suggest it will kill us all by next Friday. Still, I haven't got much on, so it could be worse.

I do however feel sorry for anyone who is pregnant after the National Childbirth Trust (the UK's biggest parenting charity) warned that "the risks of the pandemic were so great that women should delay having babies."

Expect cases of infibulation amongst white middle-class women to soar as Daily Heil-reading expectant mothers try to hold it in as long as possible.

As a man, obviously I do understand the very real danger and pain that any type of flu presents. However, if I were a pregnant woman right now I would be slightly more worried about the prospect of pushing a live human through my vagina.

After childbirth, your vagina is never quite the same again. A bit more worrying than feeling crap for a few days

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Topical Lookey-likie

One is a near-mythical being that likes to let a young boy ride on his head etc and so on.