Thursday, 29 July 2010

Fake pound coins

Have you ever had the annoying experience of trying to pay for a ticket and the machine keeps spitting out your pound coins. The chances are that the pound coins you are using are fake. I was horrified to hear that 1 in 36 pound coins currently in circulation are counterfeits. The figure is rising year on year.
It is illegal to use counterfeit pound coins so how do you spot them?
This depends on the quality of the fake.
Here are some guidelines from the Royal Mint – you can look at their website for more detailed information.
The date and design on the reverse do not match (the reverse design is changed each year) – see royal mint website for details
The lettering or inscription on the edge of the coin does not correspond to the right year.
The milled edge is poorly defined and the lettering is uneven in depth, spacing or is poorly formed. The obverse and reverse designs are not as sharp or well defined.
Where the coin should have been in circulation for some time, the colouring appears more shiny and golden and the coin shows no sign of age.
The colour of the coin does not match genuine coins.
The orientation of the obverse and reverse designs is not in line.

So next time you hold up the queue at a ticket machine as it spits out your pound coins you can thank the scumbags who are making the fakes!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Toxic mothers

Do you have a loving mother? Well, if you do, then you are very lucky. You are likely to have grown up with good self esteem and you are likely to be good at handling the stresses of life.
If a mother is emotionally cold or hostile, then a child more likely to grow up suffering from anxiety and have a poor self image.

These findings came from a study carried out at Rhode Island over a thirty year period. The researchers studied interactions between mothers and babies and interviewed the ‘babies’ again thirty years later to see how they had turned out. The results were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Many people have the misfortune to have odd mothers, but hostile, critical mothers who don’t show their children that they love or want them do a lot of damage.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Britain’s Got Talent vs. British heroes

I’ve been in France – hence the lack of blog postings for a while. I got back to see these two items in the news. One was about a woman, Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai, who claimed she had been humiliated by Simon Cowell and was suing him for £2.5 million for the distress she suffered as a result of his comments about her on the show. I saw a clip of Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai ‘singing’ and it was awful (although there is another clip of her on YouTube in which her singing is a lot better). Everyone knows that Simon Cowell is very forthright with his opinions, but demanding compensation of £2.5 million for what was a truthful opinion, is in my opinion, barmy.

Contrast her ridiculous demands with the treatment of brave soldier Aron Shelton by the benefits agency. He lost his £180 p.m. mobility allowance after honestly stating on his claim form that he could walk 400 metres with his prosthetic leg. That is, on a good day. He is in constant pain and the effort leaves him wiped out. He saw his friend killed in action and has clearly suffered a great deal to help his country. I hope that he gets his mobility benefit back, as he clearly needs it.

As for the operatic prima donna- I hope her extortionate claim is laughed out of court.

Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai - Britains Got Talent 2009 Ep 5
Uploaded by metora83. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Bad teachers

Did you have any bad or useless teachers at your school?
Did the bad teacher affect your grades or sabotage your career plans?

Zenna Atknis, the chair of Ofsted, does not think it matters too much if a school has bad teachers. She thinks it can help people cope with life.
Do you think that is a valid reason for people having to put up with bad teachers?

We had one notoriously bad teacher at our school, called ‘Zombie’, who taught French. That was not his real name, but the name we called him behind his back. He was very timid, despite his vast stature, and he was unbearably boring .I don’t think anyone learnt anything in his lessons because people were too busy tormenting him. Those of us who wanted to learn could not hear the lesson above the din of mockery and disruption.
We also had a maths teacher who was an aggressive psychopath, with a volatile temper. His lessons were terrifying ordeals involving routine humiliation, and the hurling of homework books at the ignorant. Needless to say I am completely maths phobic thanks to him.
Then there was the PE master who thought he was God’s gift… but that’s another story…

Meanwhile in Essex, the children at one school have been having sex education lessons from a teacher who leads a double life. In his spare time he is Johnny Anglais - porn star, pictured above.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Paul the psychic octopus

I have been fascinated with Paul the octopus. He is the most interesting thing about the World Cup.
So far he has accurately predicted all the German results in this tournament.
But poor Paul has had death threats from disgruntled fans, who want to boil him and eat him.

Paul has predicted that Spain will win on Sunday (and that Germany will come third in the play-offs).
Now Paul has a rival in the prediction business – a parakeet from Singapore has predicted that Holland will win instead.

We will have to wait till Sunday to find out who is right – Will it be Paul or the parakeet?????

Thursday, 8 July 2010


Have you been watching the police manhunt for Raoul Moat?
It is only a few weeks since the murdering rampage by Derrick Bird, and here we are again with another murderer on the run. I hope these murderers have not set a precedent for a proliferation of copy-cat killings by people who ‘snap’/ hate their mothers/ have been jilted/ got out of bed on the wrong side that morning etc etc. England is starting to feel like the Wild West, and it is very scary.

Moat’s mother has disowned him, which may be an indication of the awfulness of his personality and behaviour prior to this atrocity.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Paul’s predictions

Are you watching the football match tonight?
I’m not. I’m going out.
But if you are interested then Paul the psychic octopus at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre has predicted a win for Spain.
I find the antics of the octopus far more interesting than the football, although the German players have been very impressive on the pitch.

Will Paul be right again, or are his psychic powers waning??
We will know tonight.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Tough times for graduates

A poll of employers has revealed today that due to a shortage of jobs there are as many as seventy graduates chasing each job vacancy. Employers are also demanding a 2.1 degree as a minimum requirement.

I was annoyed when a man on TV this morning said that the job problem for graduates was the fault of people doing too many ‘soft’ degrees like the one I’m doing and ‘media studies’. He also said that students should be made to do ‘proper A levels’ and only people wanting to enter a profession should be allowed to study at university. Everyone else should consider apprenticeships and vocational qualifications.

Do you think he has a point?

Would the world be a better place without humanities degrees?