Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Stating the bleeding obvious

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about signs stating the bleedingy obvious. As this post was received with mind-numbing apathy I've decided to repeat the process. Also, this type of post is piss easy to put together as the pictures write the story. Being a particularly lazy, but wonderfully put together fella, imbued with idleness and sloth, this sort of post suits my nature. All have to do is add is a few dry, wry, laconic comments and then I can bugger off to the pub for a quart, or two, of refreshing ale with my beer drinking ferret, Shagger.

Read and be amazed.



To be honest it is probably better to throw away the pizza and eat the box as far nutrition and taste is concerned. Have you tried Domino's pizza these days? The advice on the box is clearly aimed at the product demographic: dumb, young and intoxicated. 




Perhaps aimed at the consumer with a lacklustre appreciation of the gravity concept. Though to be fair most folks don't understand that gravity is merely an artefact of mass warping space-time. You know that 'civilisation' is doomed when you start to see this sort of advice. Of course, the folks who don't know which way up to hold a cup are also unlikely to be able to read. 


I've done some stupid stuff when I was a young man. I suppose it's a natural part of growing up. Luckily, most men learn from experience and come out the other side as decent citizens. For some folk, it is a near run thing. And for a sad minority it turns out to be their continuing reality. There is nothing as sad as seeing a middle-aged man acting like an immature teenager. And being drunk is never a valid excuse. From a developmental perspective they have become stuck. The learning process has become bypassed and they are doomed to become a target of ridicule, for ever. When I was 19 and drunk, I might have thought it a good idea to sit on a patient and inert crocodile. Luckily, for the furtherance of mankind, I never had the opportunity.




Now for me, this is sound advice. I'm drawn to fire. It activates and titivates a primeval atavistic desire. As I've aged, I have managed to keep my incendiary proclivities under control. There are those who aver that I burned down my alma mater (Tipton Secondary Modern) the day after I left. Scurrilous rumours, say I. The circumstantial evidence might have been strong, but the rozzers could never pin it on me as they were reliant on a frank confession, which they never got; eat your heart out, Inspector Drysdale.

Anyway, the notice is rather sensible. Don't ever throw your children onto a fire. C'mon, kids are precious little dumplings. However, if they are really naughty you could always expose them to a little, light singeing.  Nuff said.


If you don't know how to check whether your baby has had a shit then I suspect that this parenting thingy is not for you. Just get a ferret, they shit and piss all over the place. No need for a nappy, just put paper down in every corner. For some strange reason ferrets like to shit in corners. I've always thought it wise that prospective parents should undergo some form of IQ test. Those that don't make the grade are then sterilised. It's an observation of mine that those folk least fit to be parents are the ones that have the most kids.


Continuing with the bad parenting theme. Although it has to said that if you wash item with little L'Oriel (pronounced: poor white/black trash) still inside you will be saving on water and energy. And we must take care of the environment or hippy, greeny, whiney types get very upset. 



Not sure what to make about this disturbing image. When would it occur to anyone to stick a fuel nozzle up their arse (arse)? Takes anal probing to a whole new level. "Honestly doctor I slipped in the petrol station forecourt".  

Enough insanity for now. I promise my next post will be quite sensible about sensible stuff, honest.



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The man who stares at sheep

Looks a bit like Jesus, but a bit Slavic looking for my taste


How would you like to earn loads of cash for doing bugger all? Sounds like a dream job, doesn't it? Surely no such job exists except in the realms of fantasy or a fancy in a madman's dream. But you would be wrong.

Let me introduce you to Braco. This fella holds an audience in his thrall and induces mild hysteria. So what does Braco do to deserve this devotion and attention? Well, not a lot really. He stands on the stage and gazes beatifically into the middle distance. That's it. For the privilege of watching Braco stare wistfully, you can expect to part with $10 for a 10 minute staring session after the obligatory flim flam introduction by his acolytes. At his best, he can entertain 10,000 people a day. This makes Braco a very wealthy man, indeed.

His adherents say that Braco's gaze has healing properties, although Braco has never explicitly stated that his gaze can heal he is clearly complicit with the notion and has never denied the claim. Actually, we never get to hear Braco talk on his 'abilities' as he never gives interviews or talks in public, at all. Tis all part of his mystique and enigmatic character. Usually, scam artists are adept at the patter and have a certain verbal charm and elegance/eloquence. Not so with Braco, he has stripped down the process to a bare minimum. It is even reckoned that simply staring at a picture of Braco will elicit peace, harmony and a cure.  

There will always be folk looking for a spiritual quick fix to find meaning and happiness in this life. Likewise, there will always be those who are happy to exploit the gullible and hard of thinking out of their gelt. Shamans, priests, gurus, televangelists and other charlatans have always been there to benefit financially. Rarely do mystics provide a service for free. And not only do they make money they make a hell of a lot of money. So much for the austere spiritual life. 

And is often the case with 'gurus' he has attracted celebrity endorsement. Apparently, Naomi Campbell is quite a fan. Why we should take heed of an unpleasant, air-head, clothes horse is completely beyond my ken.  

I've left a couple of links for my reader's perusal. I'm interested in hearing other opinions on 'Braco the Gazer' in the comments.





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Monday, 11 September 2017

Scrotometer




It has been incumbent upon myself to invent a novel device for the measurement of testicular movement in all three planes. This is a neglected area of study and to date, I can find no article dealing with this most sensitive of topics. I, therefore, provide valuable and ground breaking research into this vexed area of study. Truly imbued with the pioneering spirit it is my fondest desire that others will take up the challenge and cast new light onto the field of scrotal metrics.

Try this at home
This invention was suggested to me after taking a hot bath, and noting while lying naked on the bed, the random, rapid and independent movement of my testicular tissue, without the intervention of external forces. I have been researching this phenomenon for many years and have come to the sound empirical conclusion that this represents normal scrotal behaviour after a thermal challenge. Hence, I have invented, the ‘Scrotometer.’ This device allows quantitative and objective measurement of scrotal activity. This is a scientific instrument that anyone can make in their home and should be a ‘must have item’ in every man’s bath room cabinet.

The Technical bit………
After a leisurely bath, simply take a sterile wooden skewer and insert into the posterior portion of the scrotal sac, taking care to avoid sensitive testicular tissue. Please note, a metal skewer will not do as the weight detracts from the instrument’s sensitivity. Place a child’s crayon on the non-testicular end of the skewer. Feel free to choose a coloured crayon of your choice. I like to use a mauve crayon as it contrasts nicely with the blend of seminal fluid and blood. Try to avoid an erection during the process. Place a piece of card or stiff paper next to the crayon. Your palpitating scrotum will do the rest. Consequent renditions make a suitable counterpoise for your living room décor or failing that you can stack them adroitly on your coffee table.

Friday, 8 September 2017

More shit about Tipton......

How pickled I am.

The Mayor of Tipton, Sir Enoch Vowel Jnr III, announced today that Tipton will host the forthcoming ‘Miss Gypo Universe’ contest. Sir Vowel is earnestly seeking a compere to judge the prestigious event but unfortunately suitably slimly and ingratiating ‘hosts’ keep dying by the bus load. It was hoped that Sir Benny ‘How pickled I am’ Pod would be in the running for the job. However, it was revealed that Pod had actually been dead for the past five years unbeknownst to his manager and wife, Trixie Bell. Apparently, Sir Benny’s high blood alcohol level had prevented major decomposition and his inactivity was ascribed to a period of rest following extensive dental surgery.

Already, glamorous gypos from all round the West Midland Metropolitan region have been clamouring to register for this once in a life time event. Sharon ‘It’s not eczema it’s impetigo’ Mugumbo, from Dudley North East, is as excited as a ferret eating polystyrene and gushed wantonly: “I be so excited, innit. I can’t wait to meet *****". Complete as necessary from the following 'celebs' according to current animation status:  Ben Pod (dead); Arthur Askew (dead); Henry Kissinger (mostly dead from the neck down); Richard O’Sullivan (not sure if he’s dead. Will have to Gogle it. Definitely did not look well last time I saw him in Aldi); Wee Kranky McSherbet (not looking good, might not make it to the podium). Sharon can’t wait to grapple with Chardonay ‘Hep C’ O’Magumbo (Smethwick West), in the emptying crap everywhere and not paying taxes round. She is certainly a strong contender in the whippet hurling and being drunk and obnoxious in the local hostelry playoffs.

If she wins the contest Sharon would like to work with children displaced by war and hunger; foster goodwill amongst all nations; promote world peace and round up of the inhabitants of the Gornal Wood gypsy encampment, hand them over to the special Einsatzgruppen battalion for special treatment and liquidation with extreme prejudice.

Laudable sentiments indeed, Miss Mugumbo.  


 
Sharon in repose


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Charles Robert Darwin

Behold a great man

Charles Darwin was typical of the gentleman savant of 18th/19th century Britain. An amateur meddler who, because he enjoyed financial independence through inheritance and land, could do as he pleased. And fortunately for the furtherance of science he chose biological research.

Charles Robert Darwin was born in 1809 to English landed gentry in the town of Shrewsbury, situated north-west of Tipton. Darwin was originally destined to become a physician, like his father, and began study in 1829 at Edinburgh University. However, Darwin was not enamoured with the profession and had the ungentlemanly (not a real word, but you get the drift)  habit of fainting at the sight of blood. Darwin's father thought that a change in career choice would be in order and Darwin dutifully resumed his studies and prepared for a career in the Church as an Ordained Minister. During this time Darwin developed a passion for natural history and geology and he was fortunate to come under the wing of a succession of eminent scholars. In 1831 he was awarded a BA degree in Theology. Darwin was considered a lack lustre student and perhaps a poor intellect by his father and peers. In Victorian England the route to the parish was paved with the sons of the rich who were considered not bright enough to pursue a conventional career in Medicine or Law.

Darwin's zeal to embark on a life as a 'Country Parson' was non-existent and in 1831 Darwin obtained passage as resident naturalist on HMS Beagle. For the next 5 years the Beagle would explore the Southern Atlantic before traversing the Straits of Magellan and entering the Pacific Ocean. Stopovers were frequent on the mainland and the many islands encountered en route.

As the ship's naturalist, Darwin took a keen interest in the exotic fauna he encountered. I'll not dwell too much on his research as it is not the purpose of this brief post. Needless to say his experiences whilst on the Beagle gave forth to a germ of an idea which when fully matured gave birth to his theories on natural selection and evolution. His famous book: 'Origin of the Species' was finally published in 1859. Even without his work on natural selection, Darwin would be considered an exceptional scientist due to his ground breaking work in geology and biology in general. He was the foremost authority on earthworms, beetles and animal husbandry. What is so astonishing is that he never received a formal education in the sciences. Darwin represents the last of the Great English Gentleman Naturalists.

Darwin rushed his book into print because it became known to him that he was not alone in his conclusions. The Englishman, Alfred Wallace, had also worked out the same thesis. A Gentleman's agreement was swiftly reached and papers written by the two men were presented at the Linnaean Society in 1858. How interesting that these men, working at that time and independently should arrive at the same intellectual place? Curious indeed, but not unprecedented. It is to be remembered that Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz invented infinitesimal calculus at the same time. In the case of Newton and Leibnitz no gentleman's agreement was reached resulting in a nasty, permanent, petulant break between the Great Men.

In regard to the theory of evolution, all the pieces of the puzzle were available to the astute biologist of the mid 19th century. It took a genius to place all the bits of evidence into a comprehensive whole. Actually, the theory of evolution is deceptively simple, so simple that only a genius could have worked it out. So what were the great Darwinian/Wallace insights? It can be considered thusly:

It is an observation that organisms will rapidly breed until a check intervenes. Most likely this will occur due to an exhaustion of available resources, usually food.

Individuals within a species differ in their behavioural and physical characteristics and these characteristics are heritable.

Changes in the environment drive selection. Those organism best suited to a given environment, at a given time, thrive and beget more offspring than their less 'biologically fit' brethren. Thus adaptive traits become fixed in the surviving population. Over eons large scale biological change can occur in a population resulting in the formation of new species. .

That is the quintessence of evolution. The rest is mere commentary- go read.

It is difficult for modern educated folk (most at least) to imagine the impact Darwin’s theory had on the scientific community and Victorian society in general during the mid 19th century. Most scientists welcomed the theory and rapidly assimilated its implications. The established church and those of a conservative nature, or of a pious disposition (often the same thing), recoiled in horror. The advance of science was almost complete in removing the need for a deity to describe nature and natural phenomenon. The ‘God of the gaps’ had nowhere to scurry and shrivelled under the cleansing light of the scientific method (you couldn’t resist waxing lyrical, could you Flaxen?). As for poor Wallace, the man never received the credit he deserved. But this was not of Darwin’s doing. Darwin remained, always a fair, equitable man and it is not Darwin’s fault that history has been unkind to Wallace. Perhaps one day I’ll redeem and redress the balance and give fair credit to Wallace’s contribution. Or perhaps I’ll forget, who can say?

If you would like to gain insight into Darwin and 'Evolutionary Theory', consider the following links and be amazed: Darwin influences   Preamble  Evolution


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Wednesday Whimsy


We all deserve to be loved but finding a suitable mate can be fraught with difficulties and frustration. In my day we used to hit the local disco on a Friday/Saturday night. The lack of light, pounding music and a belly full of ale made for indiscriminate selection criteria. In the 70s everyone had long hair making it even more difficult to pick out a mate. The opening gambit usually consisted of: "Are you a guy or chick?"  It is best to sort this sort of thing out at the beginning otherwise you may wake up with a hairy miner from Walsall.

Tis much more simple these days. Just upload a profile and picture on the netty and watch all the gorgeous chicks come to you. No rejection, no having to buy a dozen Babyshams and brandies and no daft gyrations on the dance floor as you try to convince your intended that you actually watched 'Saturday night fever' all the way through.

For some folk it may be prudent if they took a little time and effort to make sure that the picture they upload shows off their assets in the best possible light. Sound advice, you say. But some folk are just irredeemably dim.

   
Who you looking at?
They notice your sword, first? You sure it's not the fact that your eyes are too far apart. Worst case of hypertelorism I've ever seen.


Lawrence of Tipton
I think he already knows the answer to his question. Throwing a towel over your head and looking freaky ain't helping your dating chances. Or at least put on a clean towel- might corner the niche Middle East market.



You sure it's not shooting women?

Was this picture taken at the Bate's Motel? Where is the ski mask and chain saw? 

Wot a fucking nutter

Well that's something you don't hear every day. My first question would have to be: what does Jesus look like? Is he tall, of a fair complexion/hair with dreamy blue eyes or is he short, dark and Jewish looking?


Me lika women- honestly
No repressed issues here. This is a straight up and down man who definitely likes girls. If you are into bum fun, do not message this exclusively heterosexual man. Doesn't he look a bit like that Bonaduce fella?



ARSE
I'm strangely drawn to this young, hot blonde. Not sure whether it is the lack of gag reflex or her arse (it's her arse).




O, those Russians


In Russia, it get cold. Come in warm bath. Together we can soak up all the water with our flock jackets. Then we make love with our clothes on. Squelchy, squelchy.


Pies, num, num
What more does a women need in a man? I guessing he is not a sensitive 'new man' type. Don't try to share at the same food trough, he might shoot ya.


Fucking weirdo
This pretentious twat has a face you just want to punch repeatedly, then bang his smug bonce against a brick wall. I'm not advocating violence but some folk really deserve a good hearty kicking. Well at least it would fulfill goal number 4. 


Anyway, enough for now. I'm orf to the pub for a snifter....
Toodly Pip

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The No Blame Culture

ARSE!


Yesterday, I fucked up big style. It all started with a submitted 'incident report' concerning a precious pathological sample that went missing during transport. Said sample was eventually located and everyone breathed a sigh of relief and patted each other on the back for being good fellows. But, as we subsist in a no blame culture, we are encouraged to submit reports even if the problem gets resolved in a manner deemed satisfactory. This would come under the designation: 'near miss'. And of course, if we didn't record it somewhere there would be no one to blame, would there? No 'blame culture' is just meaningless jargon for: 'who can we blame?'

The boss volunteered me to fill in the necessary paperwork. So off I scurried to my haphazard office conveniently located next to the faecal waste sluice. I knew there was a programme somewhere on the departmental drive dedicated to this sort of thing and therefore I searched diligently until I encountered an application suitably titled: 'SERIOUS INCIDENT REPORT. Twas rendered in large, red, bold font and I knew immediately that I'd found the rightful repository for our near mishap.

Dutifully I filled in the various drop down boxes and free text cubicles. I started to have fun and inserted a few grammatical flourishes. I even managed to slip in 'albeit' and 'hitherto' into the text. Today was a good day. Finally, I espied a drop-down choice regarding the seriousness of the incident. I pondered deeply as my finger hovered over the respective options. In the end, I opted for: 'CRITICAL EVENT' in bold shininess. Yea, potentially it could have turned out rather nasty and I'm drawn to shiny things or anything that glitters in the sun if truth be told. I hit the submit button and went home to my cosy warm house to sleep the sleep of the just and self-righteous.

Whilst abed, the programme whirled away in the dark chasm of computer land until it came across the embedded code: 'CRITICAL EVENT'. Somewhere in mid suburbia a middle manager was contacted and informed of a code red situation. He considered the matter for quite a while before calling his manager, who called his manager. Thus the 'situation'. continued up the greasy sullied chain of command until at about 1.30am a frantic call resonated on a cell phone strategically placed on a tastefully bedecked cabinet athwart the CEO's ornate super king sized bed.

Once the CEO figured out that the prime mover in the whole sorry/soggy episode was a geneticist in one of his minor research departments he phoned my boss about 2.30am. The boss was none too pleased and phoned my cell phone in order to illuminate and throw light upon this dark and ponderous conundrum. Of course, my phone's battery was completely drained ( no one ever phones me- ain't dat sad) and so the boss had no recourse but to drive the 30km to my palatial abode. He banged on the door and rang the bell with furious abandon. All was to no avail as earlier that night I had quaffed deep of a soporific sleeping draught (double positive ) of laudanum and alcohol and consequently was adrift in an ochre sea of oblivion. He wrongly surmised that I'd buggered off to my mistress's apartment (rent: $450 per week, but I'm a sucker for red heads). Yea, thankfully the boss is not privy to such personal and private information. Standards need to be maintained otherwise they tend to leak out of the sides. I've digressed.         

After a delightful night’s rest, I awoke refreshed and invigorated, I broke my fast with a good hearty repast comprising: bacon, eggs (poached), sausage, pig’s pud, hash browns and sautéed mushrooms washed down with strong black coffee with a tincture of fine brandy. Suitably imbued with sustenance I toddled off to work and arrived at my department at a sedate and civilised 9.30am. As I approached my office I noticed the boss conversing with a gaggle of suits and expensive haircuts. The boss looked harassed and unkempt and shouted out: "Dr Saxon, in my office, now"! The lead suit chimed in: “Mr Mugumbo (not his real name), I want a full report on my desk, by noon". As the lead suit turned on his heels he was followed by an assortment and coterie of middle management lackeys. Within a thrice they had dispersed/disappeared like a fart in a colander.  

Once ensconced in the boss’s well-appointed office he proceeded to relate the whole dismal episode. Apparently, I should have filled in the internal departmental incident form and not the ‘serious sentinel’ form which initiates corporate Armageddon. O, we did laugh. Under the circumstances, the boss suggested that I send a grovelling email to a host of middle and upper management types, including the CEO, expressing honest contrition for my transgression. I refused, pointing out that I committed a genuine mistake with no malice intended. I reminded the boss of the 'no blame' company policy and finally, I pointed out that management folk get paid very well for sorting out this sort of shit, especially the CEO who earns in excess of $1,000,000 a year plus a generous bonus. The boss said I should re-consider my response in the light of how this might impact on my illustrious and glittering career. I pointed out that at 62 I couldn’t give a stuff about ‘career progression’ and was on the verge of retiring, anyway. For this, he could offer no rejoinder. After shaking his weary head, he asked me to leave.

Moral of the story: If you do fuck up mightily and refuse to apologise and kowtow to the ‘suits’ have the good sense to ensure that it occurs at the end of your career and not at the beginning.            



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Tipton mourns one of its own

Bruce Fourwives in repose

A Befuddled Populace
Shock news from the picture perfect, 'Tipton upon Tip’ as it resides cosy, snug and warm within the receptacle of human detritus which is the West Midlands. For today it can revealed that the great impresario and chanteuse, Bruce Fourwives, has passed away peacefully in his Dudley mansion.

Inception
Bruce was birthed in Tipton in 1843. Even from a young age it was clear that he was destined to be a star. At age 4 he would entertain the local abattoir workers by clog dancing to the refrain of ‘Colonel Bogey’ whilst juggling a barrel of ferrets. His unrestrained risibility and gall bladder infection made him fans from the undiscerning, hard of hearing and Dr Mendip of the Emergency Department.

Sausages and Ferrets akimbo
His big break came in 1920 when he was asked to host the forgettable game show: ‘Chuck a Sausage’. As you will no doubt recall, the gist of the show turned around the premise: 'A thrown sausage is a good sausage'. Minor celebs would throw half a pound of best pork sausage at a butcher's dog wearing a tutu. The first celeb to induce vomiting in Trixie-Bell would earn thunderous applause and gain automatic entry into the ferret wobbling play off round. The genial host, Sir Fourwives, would seamlessly dance the light fantastic while screaming in a querulous stentorian tenor: "Nice to see ya, to see ya, ARSE" and who can forget: "Didn't he throw up well; "Cuddly ferret, cuddly ferret"; “Oops missus I've left my latest wife in the kindergarten, again".

O no, it's that wretched Mugumbo women again
Dame Edna ‘Where’s the Cheque’ Mugumbo was beside herself with grief at his passing. "Oooh he was a lovely man. We will never see his like again. A national treasure chest. He was loved by everyone except by his wives.  Bruce was a veritable leg end. A man so talented his could train a one legged whippet to spin on the spot (sans sausage)". She continued in this vein for several hours spouting a plethora of banal, gushing, platitudes, until the cheque arrived.

Sadly Pissed
Old Bruceeee had a penchant for beautiful young women and accumulated over four wives during a career spanning 80 years. He met his last wife whilst judging the Miss Tipton contest in 1984. Predictably, the soon to be Mrs Fourwives came in first, at a canter.

Bruce is loose in the hoose
During his later career, Bruce gained critical acclaim as the ring master to: 'Come Clog Dancing'. Using the well trodden formula, various D list celebs would rampantly clog dance while chucking sausages (prime beef) at a dwarf called Gerald. The viewing public loved it and he became a firm favourite with Queen, HRH Sharon of Tipton.

Bruce will be remembered as the irrepressible, cheeky cockney; lovable, and vulnerable with a touch of pathos tinged with a modicum of wit and comedic timing. Today we have another star in the firmament, this time with a very, very, large chin.    


Jerry Lewis was 102 years young.   

Monday, 14 August 2017

Monday Bollocks


View the above and gape in wonder. A backpack fashioned in glorious ‘scrotex’. Note the texture of the wrinkled retainer. Imagine being the proud owner of a capacious load of bollocks strapped snugly upon your back in resplendent array. Delight in the rugose texture and hair sprouts. Express delight at the symmetry and attention to detail. When applying pressure to the blue vein it instantly drains of synthetic corpuscles. What more do you want of a scrotum cum bag?

The inventor of the ‘scrote tote’ hopes to manufacture copious amounts of the product and sell to them to the discerning punter for $120- that represents $65 a bollock. A handy receptacle for seamen (geddit? What a load of rollicks): contact the navy; contact my psychiatrist (Prof Mugumbo, 100 guineas an hour). This product should not be kept under wraps. It needs to spread its elastic tissue and soar in the wind like a winged scrotal thingy.


All this brings me neatly to my own testicular story. When I was a young spunker I basted/boasted under the moniker, ‘sprout sack’, guess why?




Saturday, 12 August 2017

Friday Random Rambles

I initially grew up with the Imperial System of measurements and weights. The Imperial System was formulated as a 'rule of thumb' by an agrarian/barbarian society not overly concerned with absolute measurement. Twelve inches to a foot and sixteen ounces to the pound is an incredibly quirky system that could only arise in a pre-industrial society. The fact that the Imperial system worked so well over many centuries in the English speaking lands is a testament to its practical robustness. And today, the Americans are still happy to embrace this illogical but useful system.

Sometime in the 1960's, the British decided to embrace the logical Metric System. A system based on the rule of tens. Ten millimetres to a centimetre and ten centrimetres, to a metre and so forth. Weights also became destined to be decimalised. Now this is a sensible and pragmatic solution to weights and measurements. And let us be frank, the decimal system makes a lot of sense in our modern world. But here is the rub. Although the change in system occurred when I was a mere stripling, I still can't get to grips with the concepts of kilograms and metres. When someone says to me: 1 metre 75 centimetres (cm), this does not form a conceptual picture of length in my mind. I engage the brain and apply basic arithmetic and convert to feet and inches using the principle that 2.5 cm is very near to 1 inch. Sanity is restored (not really, I rely on the blue pills twice a day for that) and I can picture the height in Imperial terms. The same is very true with weights: by applying  the notion that 1kg is equal to 2.2 pounds I can grasp the item and weigh it according to my workable conceptual model. Clearly at my age I’m never going to be truly comfortable handling Metric quantities in a conceptual fashion. It matters little during my professional duties where I’m dealing with small quantities of materials being weighed. I really don’t have to conceptualise 00.257 grams. It is simply a matter of following a protocol.       

I’m not a ‘nay sayer’ when it comes to the Metric system. It is vastly superior to the Imperial System, although I acknowledge its eccentric lovable quirkiness and its historical and cultural value.


Just to be inconsistent, I still order beer in pints. Both in Britain and in my adopted country of New Zealand, a pint is still the standard measure for a foaming tankard of ale. And let’s be honest, who the bugger can visualise what 500 mls actually  looks like?             

Monday, 7 August 2017

Philosphy in a 'nut shell'



Philosophy is an interesting topic to expand the mind. But let us be frank: it offers no constructive or concrete answers to life or our physical existence. Tis an intellectual toy. Most of the answers asked are of the sort that can't be answered. No longer life light bulb is created and there is no mechanical device that saves space and time. So why bother to pursue simple, sublime philosophy? Yea, here is the great conundrum. As a professional scientist, I have no truck with the irrational. Philosophy is a halfway station between scientific rationalism and the frank irrational. Thus to gain knowledge from philosophy is like entering a mine field. Tread very carefully. And if you happen upon a bomb, don't forget to catch the severed foot (modern surgery can achieve so much if you get to sophisticated medical facilities, quickly). Retreat carefully and take another path.

Personally, a deep reading and contemplation of the Great philosophers is not about uncovering empirical knowledge. Nay, for me tis a method of thinking. It allows plasticity of thought which is endearing and helps solve scientific conundrums by approaching problems from a different stance and aspect. Most scientists and lay folk are ignorant of philosophy. Tis a great shame as the enquiring and diligent thought processes engendered by philosophic thought can clear the mind and offer new avenues for intellectual direction. If the endeavour leads to a dead end, then pick a new philosopher/philosophy. There are many to chose from and most of the doctrines are complete shit.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Stinky Eric



Lucky old ‘Stinky Eric’. When you spend all your begging money on Thunderbird wine and that cheap ‘Pirate beer’ which comes in at a noggin twisting 9% you don’t have much left over for the fripperies of life. I know you don’t have to pay for internet porn these days but you still need to pay for the netty and ensure that you have enough data thingy so it doesn’t stall during the groany moist bits. O yes, and of course there is the problem of having no fixed abode. The fella who runs the ‘Night Shelter’ doesn’t allow porn on the communal telly, so the poor itinerants are doomed to watch reruns of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ on a continuous loop. Stinky Eric is even showing signs of pathos and connection with the characters especially the one who plays ‘Hoss’ or is it the other brother? Who can actually say after 3 litres of Thunderbird, the premium wine of champions?   And anyway, Mr Mugumbo (who else?), the ‘Night Manager’ and sluice cleaner has a stash of DVDs in his office/broom cupboard which would make a scoutmaster/priest blush. His favourite, apparently, is the delightfully entitled: ‘The Crippled Nun and the Rhino.’ Bit like the sound of music without Julie Andrews and singing, but with more screaming and blood. 


As it turned out, Filthy Eric was in for a let down. He blamed the cold and she said it didn’t matter. Poor Eric didn’t even manage to get to the vinegar strokes. Too much wine Filthy Eric, too much wine. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Life, the universe and everthing

Why is this image at a jaunty angle?
Most of us at some time in our lives have reflected on the deep mystery concerning the 'meaning of life’. Those of a religious persuasion are generally sure in their conclusions. This life is a mere preparation for the next ethereal and eternal existence in paradise or life is part of an endless cycle of growth and rebirth. Thus there is solace and meaning for religious folk. The reason why we are born at all or why we require a testing corporeal interlude is rarely addressed.  As an atheist, by default, I cannot think or gain consolation from these doctrines. And in a way I feel a grudging envy for those whose minds find satisfaction and stillness in religious belief. But the distraction is fleeting. Gaining any degree of cheer or comfort from something fantastic and patently false is a wondrous diversion and a sweet lie.

As a biologist living in a post Darwin/Dawkins intellectual paradigm it is hard to consider life in the sense of purposeful direction. Life I suspect, in the universe, is relatively common, 'life' as is understood by a professional biologist anyways. Complex life, however, I suspect is a rare beast indeed. Mayhap we are lucky that conditions on earth fostered complex life that eventually evolved into sentient intelligent life capable of self awareness and self contemplation. Indeed, evolution is not progressive in any sense. Any organism which survives its environment and passes on its genes is an evolutionary success. I suspect that the evolutionary line resulting in increasing brain capacity and ultimately intelligence has proved a successful strategy, for now. Remember, that some of the most prolific organisms on earth are bacteria- creatures without a nervous system and hence consciousness. Evolution does not favour the brave or the smart, just the reproductively successful and on occasion, the lucky; evolution can be capricious.    

Classical Greek philosophers tended to consider the ‘meaning of life’ in terms of living a good and virtuous life without malice and evil. There is a down play of the pleasures of the flesh to be replaced with the attainment of knowledge and mental development. However, Aristippus, a pupil of Socrates, emphasised life’s pleasures of wine, food and sex. Although not as morally uplifting as some of the other classical notions, it is probably more in tune with reality, at least for most of us. Even the lofty distracted intellectual must climb down from his/her ivory tower for a belt of single malt and a gentle caress once in a while, unless their aesthetic is rigid and severe. Aristippus certainly bucks the main philosophical trend. For Aristippus, hedonism is the way to go and physical gratification is more intense than mental pleasure. Later Christian philosophy was subsumed to devotion to the one true God and the meaning of life was meaningless. Life itself a mere passport to heaven or if you failed to gain the entry stamp, hell.

So if there is no God, heaven or eternal paradise how can life have meaning? Surely a disbelief in a redemptive God leads to nihilism? And I agree nihilism can be an attractive alternative for the non-believer. On dark winter nights, whilst alone in my unlit study, the state of nihilism can be alluring, like a perfumed whore. However, in my rational and lucid moments, depending on medication cycle, I realise that nihilism is not a real concept as such; just a negation of life and therefore an epistemological dead end. Nihilism is not a new concept and certainly the Ancient Greeks articulated something akin to metaphysical nihilism. Nihilism has never left us and paradoxically raises it’s truncated and muddled head in times of relative comfort among contemplative folk who really should know better. 

With the coming of the Enlightenment in the West, secular philosophers by their very designation discarded much of the religious focus and swerved to a consideration of ‘life’s meaning’ according to the individual and social interaction. Lofty ideals came to the fore without a consideration of mundane humdrum human nature and reality. Surely there is nothing new under the sun.

Nietzsche is sometimes associated with nihilism. Undoubtedly Nietzsche wrote about nihilism but I see little evidence that the man was a nihilist himself. In fact his attitude to the meaning of life was one of subjectivity. Each can find an answer which is valid for the individual. This is a sound pragmatic viewpoint not overly dressed up in philosophical finery but Nietzsche, towards the end of his life, was completely barking mad. Make of his philosophy what you will.

There you have it: no great insight from the golden haired one and I confess that I side with Nietzsche on this one. The meaning of life is not an objective or empirical question. Each individual must make up their own answer. The subjective conclusion, if there is one, is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, I could be writing total, utter and complete pretentious bollocks. I have a tendency to do this, especially when drunk. Arse. 








Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Pooh


Beware of bears bearing no underwear should be the watchword for any prudent individual. Methinks piglet should be justifiably worried. A bear in musk is frightening to behold. Hang onto the nearest tree root Piglet and think nice, fluffy, pink thoughts. Nothing lasts forever.

As for Pooh, he is a very naughty bear and I'm sure he will show appropriate contrition once the white heat of the mating season disperses like a fart on a windy day. Advice to Piglet: find a nice cool mountain stream to sit in and idle away the hours in quiet rumination and contemplation. Next time Pooh comes a calling with testicles unfettered, run fast and far away and don't stop until Pooh bumps into a wood nymph or a slow moving mammal.  

Friday, 21 July 2017

British Understatement



The little devils.... At least it shows ingenuity and a modicum of practical skill. I've heard that they managed to bag: one itinerant; two romantic couples; brace of Japanese snipers left over from the Second World War; various assorted pansy types  and a whole gypo encampment. Good for them I say. Anyway, tis a basic instinct to protect your 'home'. A place where you feel safe, far away from lunatics/zombies/millennials. I've always believed you should keep your home as long as you can protect it. If that means having to dig up the potatoes for a shallow grave, so be it. Don't forget to put down lots and lots of lime.


Happy hunting

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

In a World Gone Completely Bat Shit Crazy........

WTF?
As my readers will no doubt know, I have a pathological hate for liberal PC bollocks. My particular bugbear is so-called ‘gender fluidity’. When I was a lad the equation was very simple: there were two genders of the contrary nature: male + female= humanity. As I became knowledgeable in things biological I learned that a rare number of folk had the reproductive organs of both sexes. This is not to say that they had two distinct and discrete reproductive organs, but they certainly had male and female reproductive tissue with varying stages of development. I realised that these poor folk did  not fit easily into the male/female dichotomy and therefore I could envisage a third biological gender: hermaphrodite, or inter-sex.

Then something happened a few years ago when various ‘fruit n nuts’ started to manufacture genders to suit their lifestyle. I could care less about individual’s lifestyle choices. I’m a tolerant type of cove; I’m sure you have noticed. Although I’m not overly fond of gypos, Japanese snipers and Arthur Askey. What I won’t stand for is the PC Brigade and assorted liberal lefties imposing this nonsense onto me. I can stretch to three gender states, anything else is a mere social construct and completely meaningless and devoid of biological content. To emphasise the arbitrary nature of forced gender constructs let us consider ‘genders’ recognised by the Australian sex survey conducted by researchers at The Queensland University of Technology. This study identifies 33 separate genders. I have listed them all for my reader’s edification:
Transgender Woman; Transgender Man; Trans person; Transsexual; Transgender; Trans Man; Trans Woman; Female to Male; Male to Female;  Transsexual; Cisgender; Cis Female; Cis Male; Gender Non-Conforming;. None Gender; Non-Binary; Neutrois; Genderfluid; Genderqueer; Demigender;. Demigirl; Demiboy; Agender; Intergender; Intersex; Pangender; Poligender; Omnigender; Bigender; Androgyne; Androgyny; Third Gender and  Trigender.
And let us not forget the mundane but accurate designation- Male and Female. 

According to Facebook there are 56 recognised genders. Surely this just underscores the whimsical and capricious (nay, absurd) nature of gender insanity.

Should we pander to a minority of weirdo’s and inadequate folk living on the margins of society? Tis bad enough to hear the whinging, whining minority, insisting that we don’t assent to the patriarchal notion of binary gender and woe betide you if you call them by the wrong pronoun. Expect a shrill screech of entitlement. What is even more disturbing is the willingness of the ‘The Establishment’ to comply with this madness. The government inspired ‘Women and Equalities Committee’ chaired by British Members of Parliament are of the opinion: That gender should be removed from official documents and passports. 

These MPs are turning gender confusion into a judicial stance that cries out for  enforcement. The committee are also of opinion that the act of denying gender fluidity is tantamount to a hate crime and wants: ‘stirring up hatred’ against trans people to become a criminal offense. This includes insulting and derogatory remarks ie denying irrational gender assignment. It seems that the hard won right: 'freedom of speech' should only apply if no one is offended. May Woden forgive us.

If an individual considers themselves a trans-gender cis-trans, then good luck to them. Just don’t expect me to be complicit and comply. Germaine Greer caused a stir when she sensibly stated: “that transgender women ‘can’t be women", adding: “Just because you lop off your penis … it doesn’t make you a woman.” A lucid moment of sanity from an unexpected source in a debate bordering on the surreal. Rant over.

I’m off to my expansive Drawing Room to consume a quart of brandy and smoke a good cigar. I may be some time.

Cheers.

Watch and weep with laughter.......




Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Wednesday Bollocks


Are folk getting dumber? Is the education system of the Free World failing its inhabitants? Why is it that women who obtain a degree in ‘free expression feminist dance’ work in MacDonalds and complain that they can’t get a high paid job as a ‘free expression feminist dance teacher’. Mayhap they should have majored in electrical engineering.  

In a modern world we need less liberal arts graduates and more scientists, engineers, programmers and estate agents. But people without intellectual smarts will always gravitate to the social 'sciences' (no such thing). They do say (the voices in my head, that is) that the service industry is a growth area especially since the decline in the manufacturing industry. So I suppose they are fulfilling a role. I’m sure a degree in philosophy is wonderful for your personal intellectual development just don’t expect to end up as a professional philosopher. Many are called but none are chosen.

This rambling introduction of despair is just a prelude to extreme asinine stupidity. Regard the following images and weep mightily……




Yep not a good idea to swallow a coat hangar or stick them up your arse either. Best just to use them for the casual abortion. You know it makes sense.





Sound advice, I'm sure: breathing under water represents a novel means of respiration and ultimately expiration. Cease and desist! Rain is indeed wet- please note for future reference. Also, be aware that rain tends to make other things, wet.  





This sign is not effective if you are very drunk. A large hole in the wall is easy to aim at and helps to keep the floor free of piss.







It is important to stop at 'stop signs' and further reiteration is vitally important, otherwise you may fail to see the original 'stop sign' and advance into oncoming traffic. As for sitting on the fence. I'm sure this sign is designed for folk who indulge in a particular niche activity. Judging by the bent tip of the 'spiky things', this sign is not effective. 




This library is closed and it stands to reason that it will open at opening time, otherwise it will remain steadfastly closed until it opens. What a strange tautology we live in.





Peanuts do contain peanuts. From a logical position, this 
proposition cannot be faulted. Nuff said.





Arse, big sore arse 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell in 1876

Bertrand Russell

There is little doubt that Bertrand Russell represents the foremost quintessential philosopher and all round savant of the 20th century. Russell burst from the womb in 1872 and had the good fortune to be born within the British nobility and consequently thrived- good for him. He received an early liberal education and eventually graduated from Cambridge University in 1893 with a First Class degree ( BA) in mathematics.
Russell’s mind was exceedingly dynamic and far reaching and he exemplifies the popular notion of the polymath; a man of prodigious and exceptional intellectual gifts. Throughout his long and mentally active life (d. 1970) he contributed majestically to analytical mathematics, logic, historical research and most areas of philosophy, except aesthetics.

He was considered a Socialist and a Pacifist during his life, although his views did waver between extremes during various geo-politico calamities. Prominent in his opposition to the Great War, for which he was rightly imprisoned, some of his latter writings suggest the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on a Post Second World War USSR. After 1949, when the USSR developed a nuclear retaliation potential, this sort of thinking became unfashionable, even amongst pacifists.

Russell was fervently involved in politics and various protest movements throughout his life. Despite, or perhaps because of his early views, he became a prominent activist for the nuclear disarmament faction and a dabbler in national and international affairs/politics. It is an observation of mine: men of profound intellectual gifts are moved to meddle in internal and international politics. It is all well and good that they should hold private opinions and views; however, they are often unfit, due to their mental temper, to interfere in matters that should be left to the second rate intellect which is the hallmark of the career politician. Alas, due to their intellectual status they gain an influence all out of proportion to their private citizen status. And in addition receive a high degree of protection and accommodation from the State. Russell’s pacifistic stance during the Great War should have earned him an appointment with the hangman, for treason (he was not tried for treason), or mayhap he should have been shot for grave naivety. I’m sure the world of philosophy, subsequently, would have been a poorer place from a pure intellectual standpoint however, justice would have been served.

His private life was erratic and quite scandalous for the time even amongst a class of Aristocrats noted for their loose morals. Aristocrats have always remained unfettered from the mores of the plebeian, regardless of intellectual attainment. One of his wives begat children from another man and he fathered a child to a woman who was not his wife of the time. He engaged in many affairs sometimes simultaneously. The man's mental stamina was formidable and only matched by his physical prowess.

Unlike many professors, Russell's prose is not pedantic and intelligible unto a few. Reading Russell is an absolute delight. His clear exposition of complex technical issues is sprinkled with a heavy dose of wit and laconic humour. As a matter of recommendation I suggest a close reading of his book: 'The Problems of Philosophy' published in 1912. This deceptively slim volume attempts to introduce the educated reader to the core questions of philosophical thought which have resonated with thoughtful men and women down the centuries. And in this regard Russell is eminently successful.

There are a few books I’ve read which have changed my intellectual perspective. If I were of a pretentious nature I would say that they changed my life, but I wont, cos that would be silly, wouldn’t it? Anyway, ‘A History of Western Philosophy’ is one of those books. This highly acclaimed and ambitious project was completed in 1945. Tis a mighty tome indeed and runs to over a 1,000 pages. It covers a span of over 2,500 years from the earliest pre-Socratic philosophers to the analytical philosophy of the early 20th century. An extremely difficult synthesis and a book that could only have been completed by Russell. On reading this great book I was struck by the depth and breadth of knowledge possessed by the man; it truly staggers the mortal intellect. What he manages to do, and do exceedingly well, is provide historical, social and cultural context to his philosophers. Each is considered within the framework and milieu of his time. For instance, it is impossible to consider the nationalistic tone of the late18th/early 19th century German philosophers without a consideration of the despoliations of Napoleonic France upon the German states. Or the role of 'The Enlightenment' on the developing theories of the British Empiricists. Past influences on the development of ideas concerning individual philosophers are brought forth to form a chain of advancing intellectual thought. To understand Aristotle you must first read Plato. Anyone thinking of entering into the murky waters of philosophy would do well to read this book as a primer.

On a mundane and practical level, I’ve used the book as a springboard into areas of philosophy which have piqued my interest, in particular the philosophy of the British Empiricists. The sublime philosophy of David Hume struck a chord and strangely enough I am able to apply the basic tenets to my personal and professional writings. Therefore, I must revise my initial opinion that Russell should have been hanged/shot. Perhaps a lifetime in prison would pass as sufficient punishment. And at least it would allow Russell to continue writing and produce works for future generations to read and experience wonder. Would Russell have been happy in gaol to peruse a life of quiet contemplation, far away from the drama of life, so long as he was not billeted with Bubba from ‘B’ Wing? But here is the rub: Russell being famous and an Aristocrat to boot would have languished in his own apartments. In fact during Russell’s first incarceration in 1918, the man wrote thusly: " I found prison in many ways quite agreeable. I had no engagements, no difficult decisions to make, no fear of callers, no interruptions to my work. I read enormously; I wrote a book, "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy"... and began the work for "Analysis of Mind". Bertrand Russell (1998)." The First War". Autobiography. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780415189859. 

Methinks he protests too much. Russell was of an amorous nature and  unlike some philosophers, was not divorced from the pleaures of the flesh. Mayhap, over time, he  may have become extremely restless without a women's caress. And who can blame him?
 
So there we have it: Russell,  a man of high genius, high humour, high treason and perfidy. What more do you want in a Great Man?
.