Tuesday, 29 January 2013

One Nation Labour ?

Ed Miliband has announced that he is not old Labour or New Labour but "one nation Labour".    Predictably, the idea of "one nation Labour" was a sound bite from Tony Blair's from 1995.  Tony Blairs Head of Policy at the time was David Miliband


Friday, 25 January 2013

The single market

Almost everybody is it seems in favour of the European Union being a single market.  Almost no one can explain what the single market is.  Anyone want to have a go ?

Another reason to become a vegetarian


Perhaps people are lucky if their 'beef' burger does contain a bit of horse meat instead of the usual stuff ?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Words of Wisdom

"no you won't be bored, because the world opens up for you, you can do anything you want, you don't need to be addicted'

There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The no brain tax is back

When the national lottery was introduced, some people wisely said it was a no brain tax.  The 'joke' being that the lottery was basically a tax and only people with no brain would pay it. (or alternatively that deciding whether to play was a 'no brainer' in that it didn't require a brain to work out it wasn't worth playing.

Now Camelot have announced that they are increasing the price of a lottery ticket from £1 to £2, and changing the odds on winning some of the prizes.

This has been met with 'outrage' by the more mathematically challenged members of society.

The chances of winning the national lottery is usually given at 14,000,000 to win.   That is for every person who wins, there will be 14 million who won't.

Most people can grasp that the chances of throwing a six on a standard 6 sided dice is 1 in 6.  Two sixes, 1 in 36, 3 sixes in a row will happen on average once every 216 throws.    No wonder those games that need a double six to start are so boring !   But to win the lottery is more like being given 10 dice and being told you win if you throw all sixes.
It it wrong to mock people for playing the lottery, for some, probably many people it may represent a way to riches when they have no other option, but there is something inherently cynical about lotteries.  We all like to think we are special, and we all hope that we are lucky, so almost all of us have the urge to play the lottery to day dream about how we would spend our winnings.  the reality is throw that most people are simply giving their money to someone else. If you don't mind doing that, then fine, but try and remember, we are all special, most of out lives are truly blessed with the most marvellous things, and often winning the lottery hasn't brought people happiness, rather the opposite. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Sherlock Holmes

Caracatus recommends - The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (BBC Audio). Gripping well written and acted additions to the Sherlock Holmes cannon. Written by Bert Coules from references in the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

Friday, 4 January 2013

The Daylight Gate - Pendle Witches

The Daylight Gate is a book by Jeanette Winterson.  It tells the story of the women and men accused of witchcraft in Pendle (Lancashire England) and their subsequent trial.

The book weaves in fact and fiction and includes cameos from Dr John Dee and William Shakespeare.

The writing is good, the descriptions often gruesome yet not gratuitious but based on the reality of the time.

I won't give the plot away, but it was a gripping read which I read in less than a day.