Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Plight of the honeybee

Einstein said that if the honeybee became extinct, so would mankind. Bees are vital to all our lives.
It is frightening that over the past few years there has been an inexplicable decline in the honeybee population. Bees are a barometer of the health of the environment, and their decline is telling us that we have serious problems and time is running out.
No one seems to know exactly why they are dying. Is it a virus, is it something in the environment – no one has the answer.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has agreed to fund research at Warwick University.
I hope they find out what the problem is, because if Einstein is right (and I am afraid I have to agree with him) then we could be heading for trouble.


Friday, 23 October 2009

Talking in lectures

It seems the norm for students to take phone calls and to chat to their friends during lectures.
What do you all think about this?
Should we be allowed to do this, after all we have a right to free speech don’t we.

Or do you find it extremely irritating and disrespectful. Is the background noise in lectures disrupting your learning experience?
Can you hear what the lecturer is saying above the din of conversation about who did what to whom at the Hog’s Head the night before - Yes, we would all like to know the latest salacious gossip too, and would appreciate it if you spoke a bit louder so that we could all be party to it.

Should the culprits be made to stand at the front and take over the lecture – then the lecturers could sit at the front and heckle them, to make them see what it feels like to give a lecture with a lot of background noise.

What is the general consensus on this one – should chatting be allowed or is it wrong?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Now is the winter of our discontent

It looks as if we will be in for an interesting winter. I’m not talking about the weather, but the rumblings of rebellion that are stirring in the masses.
The postmen are planning mass walk-outs, and run the risk of playing into the government's hands regarding privatisation. Bin workers up north are striking, and so are fire-fighters in Warwickshire.

At a university in the West Midlands there are rumblings of a different kind. Students are being gagged for wanting to express an opinion about 250 staff redundancies. This is not acceptable. What has democracy been reduced to if people can’t complain about things?

So, if any passing readers (especially journalists) are appalled by this, feel free to comment here and elsewhere.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Have you seen this?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Stephen Gately RIP

17th March 1976 - 10th October 2009

Stephen was adored by millions of fans across the globe. Louis Walsh said that he was his ‘very, very best friend’.
People were horrified however by the article penned by Jan Moir in yesterday’s Daily Wail. The article, entitled ‘A strange, lonely and troubling death’, was a homophobic diatribe against Gately, insinuating that his life-style choice was the cause of his death. She also managed to link Gately’s death to Kevin Mc Gee’s suicide (ex husband of Matt Lucas), implying there was something sinister about it as well.
Well, people unfortunately do die suddenly from natural causes at all ages.
People do sadly commit suicide over failed love affairs.
Gately was gay – so what Jan Moir.
A lot of people liked him.


Friday, 16 October 2009


Apparently the latest fashion trend for men is to flaunt a large fuzzy beard.
Lots of celebs are jumping on the beardy bandwagon, and even David Beckham is following the fashion trend rather than instigating it.

Do men think beards make them more sexy and appealing to women?
Is it a way to advertise ones masculinity?
According to a survey by Lynx (the spray stuff that is supposed to make women throw themselves at your feet) there is a division of opinion on the subject of beards.
63% of men polled reckoned that beards made them look more manly, and attractive.
Whereas 92% of women said they preferred clean shaven men.
95% of women did not want to be kissed by a beardy bloke.

So what is going on here?
Are men staging a manly rebellion against women by growing breads?
What do you think about beards – do you love them or hate them?


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Grow your own

In Scotland it has been suggested that some of the golf courses should be turned into allotments. This sounds like an excellent idea to me.

In the Times this week, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that we should all get back to nature and start growing our own crops on allotments. I think he has a point. We seem to have become an overworked, consumer driven society. I think a lot of us have lost touch with simple things like the pleasure of producing something.
There is nothing nicer than freshly picked organic produce…yum. The earth has a natural seasonality, which has been lost with the globalization of the food industry.

I’m sure some of you will disagree and not want an allotment. You may not like fruit and vegetables, or the thought of getting dirt under the fingernails does not appeal.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009


The latest form of mindless stupid behaviour seems to be to flash laser lights at planes coming in to land on runways. Aeroplane and helicopter pilots have reported being temporarily blinded by these laser lights.
This dangerous form of anti-social behaviour began a few years ago, but the number of reported cases has started to rise exponentially. There have already been >400 reported incidents this year. It is only a matter of time before there is a serious mishap.
The laser lights are easily purchased on the internet.
I’m terrified of flying at the best of times, but a twerp armed with a laser adds another, totally unnecessary, element of fear to the process.

Monday, 12 October 2009

National Identity Fraud Prevention Week

This week is National Identity Fraud Prevention Week

Did you know that 79% of businesses make no effort to protect your personal information?
In the UK 4.3 million people have already become the victims of ID thieves, and there has been a steep rise since the recession.
The link below will give you information on ID fraud.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Here is a list of the ways ID thieves get your personal information:
1. They raid bins for bank statements, utility bills etc – so shred your stuff before you stick it in the bin
2. Remember to get your mail forwarded if you move house
3. Tell random unsolicited callers wanting personal information to piss off.
4. If you use Facebook, be careful about how much personal information you disclose.
5. Phishing – delete any weird looking e-mails claiming to be from your bank requesting urgent personal information.
6. Thefts of purses and wallets.
7. Card skimming.

Have a nice week!


Saturday, 10 October 2009

Nobel Peace Prize

I was delighted to read yesterday that Barak Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He stated that the prize should be shared ‘with everyone who strives for justice and dignity’. The Nobel Prizes have been awarded since 1901.

Alfred Bernhard Nobel (21.10.1833 – 10.12.1896), was a Swedish engineer, chemist and business man. He bequeathed his vast fortune in 1895 to set up the Nobel foundation to award prizes for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. The first awards were granted in 1901. Nobel invented dynamite. He never married, but he had three close relationships. The most enduring was with Sophie Hess, a Viennese flower seller.



Friday, 9 October 2009

Election fever??

The political parties are all getting ready for the next General Election.

Are you excited about this?
Can you be bothered to vote?
Do the three main parties all look fairly similar?

YouGov figures out today suggest that the Conservatives are currently the most popular party: Con 40% Lab 31% LibDem 18% and the rest 11%

Vince Cable is the person most preferred for Chancellor, but only by a small percentage: Cable 19%, Osborne 17%, Darling 16%

Over the past year or so the Conservatives have enjoyed a rise in popularity. Is their lead in the ratings war due to their policies or has Labour failed to live up to its promise. Are people disenchanted with Gordon Brown?
60%of people polled rated David Cameron as too posh to understand the problems of real people. Do you agree with them?


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Booker prize winner 2009

This year’s Booker prize has been won by Hilary Mantel for her book Wolf Hall, a Tudor tale of intrigue focusing on the life of Thomas Cromwell.
Looking at the reviews of Wolf Hall today it looks like a book I would love to read, but critics have described it as a ‘hard’ book to read. Unfortunately I will probably have to wait until I have finished my degree before I tackle it.
Last year’s Booker winner White Tiger was excellent, and I would strongly recommend it if you haven’t had time to read it yet.
The 2007 winner was The Gathering by Anne Enright - a very well written book, but it left me feeling emotionally drained at the end.


Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Does anyone else think that good TV comedy programmes are a thing of the past?
Today David Attenborough lamented the passing of ‘Porridge’, saying that it ‘entertained and educated, gave you insight into psychology and current affairs, and was the greatest programme we've ever seen’.
Does anyone agree with him?
David Attenborough believes that as the number of channels increases, dwindling audiences will lead to a diluting of quality which bodes ill for the future.
Do people feel that the days of good programmes are numbered?
Or do programmes like the IT Crowd and Peep Show surpass Porridge for comic brilliance?


Sunday, 4 October 2009

On the make

Apologies to all you TB fans out there, but I couldn’t resist this one.
I can’t forgive him for plodding into Iraq, and I hate people who profess to be socialists, but live like Royalty.
Well, if TB gets the Presidency then he will be laughing all the way to the bank.
Salary: £270,000 per annum
Housing allowance: £40,500 pa
Removal fees: £45,000
Residence allowance: £40,500
Incredibly generous ‘household’ and school fees allowances
Entertainment allowance: £15,663 pa, as well as numerous payments and pensions when he leaves.
I’m hopeless at maths, but that looks like an awful lot of money.


Saturday, 3 October 2009

President Ahmadinejad

I couldn’t believe it today when I read that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hails from Jewish roots. As you all probably know President Ahmadinejad of Iran has repeatedly threatened Israel, and denied the Holocaust.
During the 2008 elections he held up his identity card. A close-up of the document revealed that his family had been previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.

An internet blogger, Mehdi Khazali, called for an investigation of Mr. Ahmadinejad's roots but was arrested this summer.


Friday, 2 October 2009


The bookies bets in Ireland are on a ‘yes’ vote in today’s referendum on the Lisbon treaty. But we will need to wait till tomorrow to find out if they are right. A consequence of a ‘yes’ vote is that we might see the return of a prominent public figure, yes Tony Bliar. He is a hot favourite for the position of president of the EU, and even Frau Merkel might be amenable to his appointment, although she would rather the job went to someone from a country that has embraced the Euro.
A yes vote will cause problems for the Tories, as they have promised a referendum if they get in at the next election.
This is a tense time.
Will Ireland vote yes?
Will Europe want TB as its president?
Will Tony accept?
Will Irish ayes be smiling?
Watch this space…