Jan 012020

The vegan sausage roll. What is it made of? Given the logic of naming meat products (“Pork sausage”, “Beef sausage”, “Turkey sausage”, …), you would kind of expect it to be made out of vegans. Sorry … that’s a joke I keep making because I find it funny.

But who is the vegan sausage roll (and all meat-free meat products) really for? I’m no vegan, but I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years, and I say the vegan sausage roll is not really for vegans at all.

It’s not bad, but the best part of it is the pastry wrapped around that faux-meat. The faux-meat is too much like meat to be something that a vegan or vegetarian hankers after (except those who are newly converted). I’ve also just tried an incredible burger, and the results were quite similar – the burger was impressively meat-like, but frankly a spicy-bean burger is nicer (for me).

No, this stuff is for those who hanker after meat but want to limit their meat intake. Which is no bad thing, but can we at least start naming these thing properly? Apart from anything else, it’ll stop me making really bad jokes about meat products consisting of vegans.

Two Bridges

Aug 042018

There is now in the USA a bunch of conspiracy theory nuts called QAnon who are followers of the fictional mole within the “Deep State” called “Q”. They are of course all followers of Trump, and are all too quick to believe in some of the most inane political conspiracy theories :-

  1. The “Deep State” is planning a coup to unseat Trump.
  2. North Korea is a puppet state controlled by the CIA.
  3. Certain members of the Democrat party have hired MS13 to murder rivals within the Democratic party.
  4. The Mueller investigation is actually on Trump’s side and is secretly investigating child sex rings within the Democratic party.
  5. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros are trafficking children and are also planning a coup.
  6. J.P. Morgan sank the Titanic.

They also believe that their source Q will eventually reveal the secrets of the universe.

It is clear that QAnon are deeply stupid and deeply ignorant people; in fact dangerously stupid and ignorant. One supporter when asked if they had any evidence that Q was for real, answered with a No, but added there was also no evidence that Q wasn’t real.

Which is itself evidence that at least one Q believer is dangerously stupid and ignorant. And it probably goes for the whole crew – after all believing the partial list of ridiculous conspiracy theories is evidence enough of stupidity.

And of course they’re all Trump supporters – you would have to be stupid to vote for someone against your own interests.

Of course Q is just a troll to expose just how stupid some Trump voters are, which I know because I taught Q everything they know; I’m P.

Mar 102018

Alfred is a former Anglo-Saxon (actually Saxon) land-owner who has been reduced to serfdom for swearing to support William the Bastard and then breaking his oath in rebellion. Understandably he’s a bit put out by this.

William (no, not the Bastard; another one) is a Norman lord who has taken over Alfred’s estates. He is a bit of a thicko, and his main strength is bashing people with big lumps of optionally sharpened metal; his language skills aren’t especially pronounced which is somewhat ironic as a Norman is really a Viking with a French accent.

Bruce is William’s sword brother and is currently present so William can utter asides to him during the following dialog; he is presently visiting William as a break from his somewhat grimmer estates in Northumbria near the Scottish border, and to drink as much as is humanly possible.

William: “Oy! Alfred. Bring bœuf”

Alfred looks puzzled; he’s heard the word bœuf before but isn’t sure what it means, and isn’t in the mood to be helpful (he rarely is).

William (in Norman French which I have rendered in English because my Norman French is non-existent, and I’m not sure Google Translate is up to this job. It is also in italics to clarify that William is making an aside to Bruce): “These Saxons are a bit thick; can’t even understand the simplest commands.”

William: “Bring ox(masculine ending)”

Alfred: “We don’t have ox(masculine ending), how about ox(feminine ending)?”

William: “Just bring it”

Alfred leaves the hall looking puzzled, and is gone for an unusually long time.

Bruce: Is he trying to breed with the cow so he can bring a bull?

Alfred arrives back leading a cow on a rope; it is obviously still alive. William stands and starts to draw his sword whereas Bruce hurls his nearly empty tankard at Alfred which fortunately bonks his head. This seems to satisfy William who slumps back down in his chair and mutters: See what I have to put up with?

Alfred: “Did you mean ox(ending indicating a roasted dish)?”

William: “Bring food”

Alfred hands the cow’s rope to another serf, heads out of the hall, and comes back a few minutes later with some roast ox.

The Bench

Feb 072018

I have made the dreadful mistake of having two winter coats. To those who are used to making clothing decisions, this may seem trivial, but I am now in danger of standing in front of the coat pegs trying to decide which one to choose. And just to emphasise that, this post is written because I spent 30s doing exactly that the other day.

Should I choose the sensible coat (which seems to have mysteriously lost girth in the last few years), or do I choose the extreme weather coat? Weather sometimes makes the choice for me, but more often than not it doesn’t. Which one looks better?

Now that is a daft question. I can make myself look “smart” but that comes at the cost of looking like I work for one of the Kray twins (or rather their spiritual descendants). Probably one with an affectionate nickname like “Murder Mike”.

Although that could have something to do with the expression that automatically appears on my face whenever I put on a suit. The kind that causes small children to burst into tears when they see me with it.

On a slightly more serious note, it is worth noting that con-men have also heard the phrase “Clothes maketh the man” and makes use of it.

Or which one is more comfortable? Well in extreme weather, the extreme weather coat of course, but it also quickly becomes too warm. And it’s heavy.

So now I’m stuck with two coats, and if I’m late into work this morning, it’ll be because of the coat choice.


Apr 202017

Today I pointed out that persuading teenagers to stop thinking “filthy” thoughts is roughly comparable to the task of emptying the ocean with a teaspoon, and someone retorted that the later was possible. Well perhaps, but until we’ve worked out a rough calculation we don’t really know do we?

And yes I am weird enough to have gone ahead and worked it out.



Swirling Sea

According to the wonder that is Wikipedia, the average teaspoon can contain approximately 5ml of liquid – not often ocean but the type of liquid is irrelevant.

According to a handy table, there are approximately 1.3 billion square kilometres of water in the world’s oceans. And according to a handy units calculator this equates to 1.3e21 litres of water. Dividing this figure by the volume of our teaspoon, we get the value 2.6e+23 teaspoons of water in the ocean.

Assuming that it takes 10s (we could argue about how accurate that is, but trust me it doesn’t make too much of a difference to the final conclusion) to move a teaspoon of seawater into a truly ginormous container that magically appears to contain it all, it will take approximately 2.6e+24 seconds to empty the oceans.

Now you could work on this non-stop, but I’m no Victorian factory owner, so I will be assuming an 8-hour working day, and a 5 day working week. Admittedly no paid holiday (you want pay for this? I don’t think so).

So dividing the stupendously large number of seconds by 60 (to get minutes) by 60 (to get hours) by 8 (to get days) by 5 (to get weeks) by 52 (to get years) we get approximately 3.5e+17 years. Good! We’ve reduced the E numbers somewhat!

Now if we divide this number of years by the expected lifetime of the sun (10 billion years – and ignoring the fact that we’re approximately half-way through the sun’s lifetime), we get a much more manageable figure of 34,722,222 sun lifetimes.

However it is not unreasonable to assume that something will happen to the oceans before we get anywhere near completing this little task.

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