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Blogjob - internationally noted comment diary

A compilation of some of the entries from our main website NuGgets column since it started.
The latest material may not have arrived here yet - try the main NuGgets column.
Authors: EM, StO, NG-1 (the boss and editor of the official column,) NG-2, with occasional ideas from others.
All items are copyright; reproduction by any means in any medium is therefore illegal without
permission and acknowledgement of both source and authorship.
Site written in restricted HTML to allow older computers to read it.

Pick your time period:
 year 2004 - first part  
(Lunatic, dollar, cot death again, Hutton, abuse abuse, fireworks, cockle sharks, baby rights.)
 year 2004 - part two  
(Osama tetroxide, Opera Flopera, Munchausen, UK ID cards, BBC, police faLLure?)
 year 2004 - part three  (Blah's bad bet, ArrogFrance-2, Saddam Milosovic, Ethics x2, B52 misses, crap, cat, paranotonTV.)
 year 2004 - fourth part  (Synaesthesia, Mars, no Wales, EU con, no NERA, after Blah, Yasser, Kiev, chicken fly, wide TV, love rats.)
          Pre-2004 back to index page - Blogjob pages AD 1000 - end of 2003
        euro crosses (eastern) swords with dollar
NOTE- not all NuGgets articles are recorded here - visit Nuggets regularly to catch all our comments.


dateline 2004 - part one

Kid's Play - EM
   Moon base by 2014? Well not if the teletext subtitles to Bush's speech are right. This strange caption briefly appeared: 'conkering outer space' - guess he's expecting to do it on a shoestring budget!
   Geddit? Conkers... oh never mind.

Dollar Dollar on the Fall - who's the barest of them all - StO
   The euro, which was launched amid derision in the US and was supposed to have roughly the same value, now buys one and a quarter dollars.
   That's close to a 40% swing since the euro launch date just over a year ago. Told you so!

Cot a Pickle We're In
   After years of campaigning, at last the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, has announced a review of hundreds of cases where parents or carers have been accused of murder when an infant dies mysteriously. (See also various paragraphs in earlier BlogJob pages, and Ken Norman's book
The Lynch-Mob Syndrome.)
   Understanding of multiple Cot Deaths, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS, was almost hijacked by prof Meadow and some other doctors for a pet theory, and even though the proof was never there that 'Munchusen's Syndrome by Proxy' ever existed, egos in the profession are such that mothers have been sent to prison virtually on his say so.
   Proof, what proof, I'm a specialist... I'm God!

Flip-Flop Flap - EM
   Greg Dyke ex director of the BBC reportedly accused Lord Hutton of seeing things solely in black and white. (Weapons of Mass Destruction expert David Kelly death inquiry.) Like an old binary logic flip-flop, it's either on or off, yes or no, nothing in between.
   Hey, what's so surprising? The whole criminal legal system is like that; guilty or not guilty. That's what you get when an old judge investigates.

Compensation - Care We Go Again! - abuse abuse
   After agreeing, at last, to review all infant death prosecutions, (see Cot a Pickle We're In, on this page,) the government's legal weevils have realised that many child abuse cases are also flawed and based on unreliable evidence. This week Anver Sheikh, an ex care worker, was released from prison on appeal, he had originally been convicted in a case that would never have gone to court if the investigation had been more thorough. Police and the Crown Persecution Service have been too keen to accept the word of 'witnesses' who were clearly financially interested parties. And at an average compensation payout of UK£20,000, there's rather an incentive for claimants to lie.
   The question is, what will happen to those who falsely made claims. One suspects nothing; leaving the tax payer to pick up the bill as usual.
   At one time government spokemen said they were going tackle compensation culture by cutting out the money-grubbing lawyers and having a table of fixed rates; much cheaper to run without lawyers or courts. That has been queitly dropped... of course lawyers have influence don't they, they sometimes become politicians, even Prime Ministers, or their wives.

Firework Night
   Fuel and fertiliser, they use that to blast quarries don't they? Top it off with some lovely sulphur, just like in gunpowder, and what do you have? Any al Qaeda man could tell you that... a bomb.
   So what do Iranian railways do? Yes you guessed it, accidentally make a bomb the size of a train. 5 villages destroyed, 200 people killed instantly.
   Bush doesn't need to invade.
   It makes one wonder, apart from the obvious overdose of religion, what do Iranians get taught in schools. Not much science by the look of it.
   Let's hope they don't have nuclear trains.

Winterton's Cockle-Up - EM
   Q: how many Chinese Cockle Sharks will it take to shut up Ann Winterton?
   A: Morecambe than you think.

(Disowned! Ed.)

Ne'er the Twain...
   USA; mom's apple pie and maple syrup, Tom Sawyer, fat burgers... land of the free.
   Not for one unfortunate woman if we believe what we read here. Melissa Rowland, who has the misfortune to reside in Salt Lake City, Mormon country, is charged with murder for one of two twins who was stillborn. One emotional, and irrational, media interview complained how sad it was that the living twin would never know her brother. Well she's unlikely to know her mother either now.
   Most folk in The West take it for granted that humans have rights, like for example the right to refuse medical treatment. For example Jehovah's Witnesses don't have blood transfusions. That's not liked in medical circles, but is accepted here in the UK. Poor Ms Rowland, for whatever reason, (and those reasons are disputed in the media,) chose not to be treated for what was predicted to be a potentially hazardous childbirth. One died. It's not certain if it died before or during birth, but that isn't the point.
   The point is, however, that the authorities have chosen to respect the right of her unborn child rather than of herself, a grown-up human.
   You can't have it both ways. Human rights need to approached with common sense. Otherwise you might have pregnant women and new mothers being jailed all over the place and hundreds of motherless kids. Oh what a great society that would be!


dateline 2004 - part two

Osama Tetroxide
   A shadowy so-called terrorist group are reported to have been making a 'dirty bomb' in Britain using osmium tetroxide.
   Er... hang on; what?
   For some strange reason, maybe as simple as the fact that strangers could buy it legally and it sounds spooky, people have gotten all worked up over this little known compound. Let's look at this a little more closely. Osmium; very dense, good catalyst, stable metal, nothing fancy or worrying in its metallic state, it's even used for plating objects that humans can safely handle. As a tetroxide, very unstable and eventually reverts back to the lowest (relatively safe) oxide or even base metal. So no plutonium then, or come to that half a dozen other more common metals which are toxic. So why the fuss?
   Well, like several thousands of other chemicals that can be bought quite legally, for example bleach, or caustic soda, it is a severe irritant. Toxic? Well not really when you compare it to metallic compounds of arsenic or barium which can kill with little chance of a cure if not treated immediately. Nowhere near the same danger as nerve gas or smallpox virus. Let's face it, it's just another high power oxidising agent. Like pure oxygen extracted from air. Or chlorine used to disinfect swimming pools and drinking water. Or chlorate weedkiller.
   The difference, the sensationalist claim, is that this is concentrated. Ah, but being heavy it falls out of the air rather quickly, unlike oxygen.
   Which brings us sadly back to the fact that another blistering publicity coup by the media, and possibly the authorities, is either a shameless sham, or just reveals that al Qaeda recruits are only educated in religion and blowing people up; in other words stupid.

Opera Flopera - E.M.
   How many people go to the opera? Not many in Llanfairfechan I reckon. The opera going population in England, outside London, is guesstimated at only about the same as of said small Welsh town.
   EM used to, but now listens on FM radio as it's too much hassle going all that way from my backwater home. Do I miss the atmosphere, snobbery, dickie-bow clad twits, stacked up drinks for that mad 15 minute bar scramble in the interval? Not much: actually from a BBC broadcast heard on a really good hi-fi, music often sounds clearer and more dynamic than to most of the audience in the same auditorium. But one big snag of radio is the incredible, crappy stories they almost inevitably explain at length, often told in a dull, reverential monotone by an ancient old git. (If you listen the The Met broadcasts you'll know who I mean.)
   Boy meets girl, loses girl, girl comes back and dies- La Boheme. Knight fancies maiden, she fancies him but he can't tell her his name- Lohengrin. Man hires assassin, then cleverly dresses his daughter up as a man and she gets accidentally topped by the assassin- Rigoletto. Sailor has wives on both sides of the Pacific, one finds out and guts herself- Madame Butterfly. Bloke keeps getting his crew boys drowned so drowns himself- Peter Grimes. Those are some of the better ones! Blimey it's enough to make you want to top yourself as well in sheer frustration of good music spoiled by silly storylines.
   But EM has a cunning plan. Bring the stories up to date and make them believable. Like- President fails to bring down dictator, loses election, his son tries to make amends by bringing down dictator, then loses election too. Set it to music; Souza maybe, 'Liberty Hell.' Or, diva Prime Minister warns of WMDs, goes to war, no WMDs, so loses his powers. Hum along with the chorus... 'Tony, Tony give me your answer do,' etc.  *
   That's a bit more cheerful, ain't it?

Munchausen's Tales
   The paediatricians organisation in the UK has made a rather unsubtly timed rebuff of media criticism about infamous Professor Meadow's insistence that Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy was the cause of many infant deaths. They claim this very rare, if even at all existent syndrome which led to many dozens of probably innocent women being sent to jail, or had their children removed, has been unfairly vilified.
   The fact is that almost everybody except those doctors directly involved in prosecuting these cases regard this as a massive and widescale injustice.
   So why only speak out now, over a year on after the first high court appeal threw out Meadow's allegations? Well it just shows how cynical some of these specialists are: it's British Medical Association election time soon and they are most likely worried they'll have no high level support for upcoming legal actions.
   One law for rich consultants and another for... ?

Eyeing the Cards - E.M.
   Fraud, terror, car insurance, and and and. We're talking Identity Cards. Blunkett's had his way on most of his plans in the past and it looks like he'll do it again.
   Problem is though that professional fraudsters are usually well up with the game. There's little doubt that fake or stolen IDs will be on the black market almost as soon as they're introduced. Pundits will say use biometric scanning; fingerprints, cornea, toenail clippings, who knows.
   Picture the scene; Friday early evening at ASDA. Queues at the checkouts so long that the shopping isles behind them are blocked. Thank you madam, that's so many pounds. Oh, credit card, you need to have a scan. Leaves trolley blocking checkout and joins the even longer queue to stick her eyeball onto a scanner. No.
   But EM has a cunning plan...
   Well two actually. When I was a kid in the boondocks, everybody in the village knew everybody else and you had no dealings with strangers unless introduced by someone you trusted. No fraud.
   Hey, Blunkeypoo, you've two choices mate: either demolish the cities and make everyone live, work and shop in small villages; or make everybody meet everybody else. Should be quicker than queuing at the eyeball machine.

Dumbing up, Dumbing down
   BBC, Britain's pride and joy independent broadcaster has had rough times recently: Andrew Gilligan going 'off script' about Iraq 'weapons of mass delusion,' (our words;) complaints about endless repeats from before the John Birt outsourcing era of rubbish programs; dumbing down of almost everything to crappy American standards, and of course those totally ghastly and completely unfunny formulaic, 'sound-effect laugh every 15 seconds' US sitcom imports, which only bribed reviewers and simpletons hail. It's not all bad news though...
   In the last 3 days we've seen monumental and significant examples of both.
   Panorama did what will inevitably be an award winning documentary, (unusually with no introduction of substance and no end commentary,) consisting almost entirely of unprompted, live recorded descriptions from children of drug addicted parents - wow, that was sensationally well done and quite moving. Then there was a thorough and un-emotional analysis of AIDS in South Africa: classic reporting. Finally the let down. Horizon used to be the Beeb's flagship science program; the last sensationalist and badly thought out presentation on global warming, or cooling as they ask us to consider, was neither novel nor comprehensive. May 12th program was patronising and unsophisticated from a series not known for such cheap and shallow journalism. This sort of over-dramatised, sensation-seeking reporting is neither professional nor scientifically convincing. Science programs of the calibre of BBC's Horizon simply shouldn't show such trite, drawn-out and contrived material.
   The best, least biased news and general information broadcaster we can receive here in northern Europe, (BBC,) don't have to resort to this, despite recent frenzy.
   Anyone listening, Beeb?

FaLLure of Investigtion? - (no misprint.)
   For our many overseas readers this needs a little explanation. Twenty year old Stephen Hilder died almost a year ago in what can only described as a bizarre 'accident.' His sky-diving parachute release cords, both main and reserve, had been cleanly and deliberately cut through and during a competition he fell 2 miles to his death in a Lincolnshire field.
   Murder, Humberside police initially stated. But nobody could be identified as his killer. Now they've discovered his scissors, not surprisingly, have his DNA on them and traces of his own parachute fabric. Well people do cut straggly bits off to make sure their chute works correctly.
   But Humberside cops, unable to pin the blame on anyone else, have concluded that he cut the strings himself. That is despite both testimony that he was in good spirits and video showing him looking happy just before the fatal jump.
   Something readers may be interested in is the fact that Humberside police were recently heavily criticised for their record keeping and poor investigation prior to the employment as a caretaker in a local school of a clearly implicated, if unconvicted sex offender who subsequently became the Soham double child murderer, jailed last year.
   For worry of libel, we have to say that this is no proof of current police incompetence.


dateline 2004 - part three

Blah's Bad Bet - E.M.
   As predicted by almost everybody in Britain, including Prime Minister Blah, Labour lost a massive number of votes in the June 10th local elections; a backlash against war in Iraq. Now if he'd found those Weapons of Mass Delusion, well... Basically non-listening Tony took a gamble and lost. We're all paying for it now.
   The polls do show though that Tories only climbed back to their Wee Willy Vague levels of support. If 'Something of the Night' Howard is ever to be Prime Sinister, they'll have to do a lot better.
   But EM has a cunning plan...
   Arouse the sympathy vote, give someone senior in the Tory party an incurable disease... no: all paid members of any political party have that already. Better to assassinate a high profile member - apparently J F Kennedy was never more popular than when he'd been killed. But there aren't any other high profile members still in the shadow cabinet.
   Guess it's the cross and wooden stake through the heart for Michael H.

Grenouille Gripes - ArrogFrance again
   French dismay at euro-constitution negotiations outcome, favouring those nations who want some freedom to run their own countries, (rather than be run by incompetent eurocrats of France's Federal Europe,) was highlighted by arrogant dismissal of the common sense outcome.
   Implying, we think, that Tony Blah had done a blinder: "You MUST accept," emphasised Giscard d'Estang, "That Europe has hundreds of millions of citizens and..." words to the effect of you cannot allow one country's opinion to dominate.
   Precisely Giscard! We've watched France and Germany try to stitch up Europe in their own style for many years now. A taste of your medicine at last.
   If the new constitution gets passed, which it may well not be, then all those millions you talk about have a chance of being heard over the arrogant blasts of pompous, centralist euro-has-beens.

Sad Man Hushed In, Slobbertons Getawaywithic, Dubya, oh, er, and God
   With little ceremony that bogeyman of the US, Saddam Hussein, is finally handed over to Iraqi authority. The world is a safer place... ?
   You might also consider whether it's just coincidence that within hours, the bogeyman of Europe, Slobodan Milosovic, had his trial for genocide suspended due to 'ill health.'
   Well, if the form book is followed, Iraq will descend into chaos with Saddam laughing his guts out in a luxurious rest home, Pol Pot will be declared a saint, George Dubya Beligerantbush will gain a second term. Belgrade will be invaded by NATO and the UN will squabble over it for months while injustices go unpunished.
   World order? There never was such a thing and it's not getting closer.
   When you realise that 90% of world violence is instigated by less than 1% of world's people, it's clear those people have got something wrong. If there ever was a god, surely he'd strike soon. At who though; everyone is convinced God is on their side. Watch out GWB, maybe it's not so clever to woo the religious right in your election campaign.

Ethics Revisited - Ed
   In 2002 this column had a go at stuck-in-the-mud Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in the UK. Well, it seems to have worked... much to the annoyance of 'pro-life' groups. Recently HFEA admitted they were looking at circumstances where embryo selection would be considered appropriate- that is a result of the case mentioned in 2002 having had a highly successful outcome, saving a terminally sick child. (
Blogjob 2002 - designer babies.)
   Which now brings into question the function of these so-called Pro Life activists. If they really do believe in preservation of human life, why are they anti stem-cell programs, such as the life-saving action of selecting an embryo for compatiblity with a sibling? These are not freaks being made, they are the true genetic offspring with no tampering, just selection. No foetuses are aborted, nobody is 'killed' - the intention is the exact opposite.
   Pro-Life? Think about changing your name to pro-death.(Since this first went up on the website, HFEA has confirmed it is
changing the rules in favour of embryo selection in some cases-
they call it 'donor child screening' and will be a 'last resort.')

Flypast Bypassed
   Farnborough air show, one of the world's greatest, were looking forwards to a flypast of a mighty American B52 (years old) bomber. The landlord whose pub backs onto a different airfield over five miles away was bewildered by the overpowering noise, then realised the B52 was low over his pub. Interviewed on BBC radio, he was asked if he had any military experience himself. Yes he had, in Angola. Asked if he had experience of US bombers too, again the answer was yes. The commentator asked: "Are you surprised he missed Farnborough?"
   "No," the landlord answered, "From my experience, US bomber pilots would have trouble finding England!" See more on US bombers - Nesstown Zoo Saga.

Doctors Speak Crap - our dietary correspondent
   No not those disgraced paediatricians, Southall and Meadow. Yet another doctor, who should know better, is raking it in with quirky dietary 'advice.' This time it's a woman and as far as I know not fat like Atkins.
   Dr McKeith talks about poo in the Guardian. She claims it should be 'sausage shaped and sized,' (Cumberland or cocktail? Ed.) 'odourless, not sticky and only need three wipes to clean your rectum.' This is at odds with older advice.
  About 100 years ago another well known doctor advised that it should be at least 1 foot long, smell faintly of cabbage and curl around the bottom of the pan. (Cumberland! Ed.)
   Now there's a dinner party conversation for you.
See our own diets page, no quirks!

Condoning Cloning - ethics 3 - see also Ethics revisited, up page
   It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago - 'Therapeutic Cloning.' Starting at Newcastle University in northern England human embryo cloning for medical purposes has been approved.
   Infinity Junction's NuGgets column has voiced opinion on genetics several times in the past, both in favour of life-saving techniques and against general release of uncontrollable, genetically polluting crops.
   British authorities have been rather backwards at coming forwards at times in medical fields, so this is something of a surprise. Valuable? That remains to be seen. Brave? Absolutely!

Sleeping Cats Lie
   Another classic auto text translation error (see many previous ones) - Purr Cushion, it said. Where Tiddles sleeps? No; drums.

   The latest poll shows 47% of UK citizens would help a suffering, terminally ill person to die; euthenasia. A remarkable 72% would seek medical help to do the same. A teacher friend plagued with intolerable behaviour from one particular pupil wanted to perform said kind act too, but a spoil-sport headmaster said no; jobsworth!

Running Battle - EM
   What has America got against the disabled? Not a single TV broadcast covering the Paralympics. Shame on you. One would have thought that in a country with an allegedly mentally disabled president, this major international tournament, including many Americans, would have made good viewing figures. It does in Europe and Australia.
   EM has a cunning plan. (Oh no, Ed.) Tell George dubya B that there's T52s there fighting for honour. (T52 is one of the disabled athletes categories. Ed.) Before you can say Colotorial Damage, he'll invade and you'll have all the TV coverage you like.

(Read the Nessown Zoo Saga backnumbers for an explanation of Colotorial.)

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dateline 2004 - part four

The Word of *¿¡!ø*!
   Glad to see BBC's Horizon science series back on track after criticising it not long ago. (See up this page, dumbing up/down.) It was a program about the strange but apparently common condition of synaesthesia, where, for example, words trigger colours or pictures, or a sensation generates a word in the mind. They suggested this might have an evolutionary role or be part of literary and artistic development. That's believable...
   Picture the scene; Stone Age Britain. Somebody imports a new tool, a tree is cut down, the tribe are impressed. Then a show-off young would-be warrior swings it around and accidentally clouts himself on the elbow.
   "AAAHcss!" he yells in pain.
   The tribe respond: "Oh so that's what it's called; an axe."
   Synaesthesia in language evolution.

Miserable Mars
   Another teletext subtitle blunder: "We continue to explore the miseries of the red planet..."
   Second thoughts, after the total failure of Beagle 2 earlier this year, maybe the auto-translator got it right?

Blown Away
   Those clever clogs in Brussells have done it again, this time they've lost one the the EC member countries. If you look at the map on the front of Eurostat's latest report, Wales is missing.
   That has interesting repercussions, for one thing all those highly controversial windfarms can go ahead as there is no longer any view to spoil. Another is that we should be able to see Ireland now from the Infinity Junction HQ. It also means that Chester is the nearest port to Dublin and Airbus' wings factory is several hundred yards off shore. Should make the boat journey to Toulouse easier and cheaper.
   No doubt some spoilsport will put Wales back in the way.

ArrogFrance-4 - Stew the Oil
   "Europe is to have a new constitution!" So announced French financed English language TV Euronews in the very most dramatic terms it could. Typical!
   As often, the French have omitted uncomfortable facts, failed to say that nearly one third of the current (expanded) European Community population don't like the usual Franco-Belgian-German stitch-up and some nations, including Scandinavian, new-north-eastern members and the UK have promised their people a referendum on the matter. (To give you some idea of French 'euro' TV bias; a recent sports-hatchback car review of 'european' cars included Renault, Citroen and Peugeot- all French- but no German, East European, Scandinavian or British cars that were equally eligible.)
   Chances of the current version of the new constitution's success; 20% at best. Another x million euros wasted on a futile exercise. Denmark is likely to kill it off long before Blah's UK government have the embarrassment.
   Wake up eurocrats, please- you're living 20 years or more behind the times- Brussells is not the centre of the universe.

(Neston is! Ed.)

N.E.R. A Doubt - EM
   In a shock result this week, the people of Little Puddington on the Marsh voted not to adopt a Regional Assembly but instead retain the existing gossip in the corner shop. But Deputy Prime Minister Presscote, hearing the result in North East England, was visibly upset. "They have spoken emphatically," he said. "I just can't understand why people don't want another layer of government."
   But EM has a cunning plan... If the government really wants to waste millions of pounds of taxpayer's money, why not start a war. Must be somewhere in the Middle East suitable.
(Unusually caustic for you EM; run out of Drambuie? Ed.)

Drawing Close - StO
   With the 'best friends' scores now level at two elections each, (thicko Bush re-elected and saint Blair aiming at a third term,) one starts to wonder if it would be timely for Blah to relinquish leadership while he's quits. He's not the only credible labour big name and his siding with Bush on Iraq has done the UK absolutely no good at all.
   But what would the other possible contenders for Blah's halo have made of Bush's claims of WMD etc to justify regime change? (See also
Nesstown Zoo Saga)
   Presscote - Deputy PM at present... No WMDs needed. With his notorious, reactionary right hook, Saddam would only have had to throw an egg at him to start war ! However he's not one of the clique, having been state educated, so isn't in line.    (Labour PM state educated? Nonsense! Ed.)
   Brown-Gordon - Chancellor at present... Boring but steady son of a Scottish vicar, he's careful with cash; keeps his mouth shut on the subject but I reckon he'd have stayed at home.
   Straw Man - who? Foreign Secretary... He's a talker, which is why he's been edged out of the limelight. Ranks as a dark horse, not much chance: there'll be a stitch-up to keep him out.
    Cuddles Blunkett - Home Secretary Screwcretary... Daft and as blind as a bat; a Blah arse-licker, he'd have gone. Stands a very remote chance.
   And what about other politicians? Thing-of-the-Night Howard would have gone, so would all Brown-Gordon's prudence with the number 11 purse and I dare say a few pints of blood after dark. GingerNut Cookie - resigned in protest so he'd not have gone; but what other daft things might happen with him at the top?
   Much as we'd like to see a shift of emphasis, it isn't realistic to think anyone other than Labour will win the next UK election. The Tories threw out their only people of standing ages ago and they've never recovered. Lib-Dems simply don't have the clout. So who's the lesser of two evils? Vain Blah or zzzzz Brown. Answers by e-mail to Brownose, C/O The White House, USA.

Sing Along'a Yasser?
   An organist in Lancashire trying to break a record for Children In Need charity night would, one hopes, be surprised at the subtitling on satellite TV. According to the robot translator, he was asked: "How many jews did you get through?"
   Killer chords, eh.

What's Your Vector Victor?
   Will the real victor stand up please!
   Shadows of Tiblisi last year are covering Ukraine at present, (see last year's blogjob.) The two Viktors, Yushchenko and Yanukovych, standing off and lost in murk rather like that famous 'Airplane.'
   Are we about to see another ex soviet country self-destruct and split up like Czeckoslovakia? That happened peacefully, but there's more at stake here. And rather a lot more outsiders trying to put their oars in.
   Are we about to witness farce or force? ... Bring on the singing nun!
*(NOTE- Three days after the above was put up in our NuGets column, Abkhaz
would-be break-aways in Georgia announce almost the same thing again.
Five days after, eastern Ukrainian Yanukovych announces that if he doesn't
get his way he'll break the country in two, just as we suggested was possible.
Much later still we learn that Yushchenko has been poisoned... by this opponents?)

180 - the answer to the question above
   So top judges in Ukraine order a re-run. I'll repeat the second question - are we about to see another ex soviet country split up? With the two Viktors pulling in opposite directions and neither likely to concede defeat, it looks very possible, (see above)...

Cluck, Cluck, Blueerrk! - EM
   The International Chicken Sequencing Consortium, that august body of... who? Surely you've heard of them. No, neither had we. Anyway, they've just unravelled the genetic code of chickens. The important news is that unlike chimps which are only 0·7% different to humans, chickens are a mere 2·5% the same. If my recollection is right, (see blogjob 2001,) mice are half human by the same measure.
   That's probably why we can't fly and mice only do it under duress.
(Guess that makes a McNugget about 1% human? Ed.)

The Curse of... Widescreen - EM
   It looked as if it was going to be a film about Duck's Disease; (your bottom too close to the ground, shortarse!) Or a freak show with 'alf humans, 'arf ducks roaming the streets and frightening small kids. Maybe the ICSC (see above) had turned to the dark side.
   But no, the middle-aged TV just couldn't cope with the titles; ARTHQUACK, it proclaimed in bold.
(Was that the one starring Arlto Esto and Ava Ardne? Ed.)

Love Rat - EM
   No, not Home Screwcretary 'cuddles' Blunkett this time. MIT announce that they've grown self-beating heart tissue in the lab. 'Cure for a broken heart' ... but only if you're a rat.
(The curse of EM strikes again! 6 hours after this
was put up, Blunkett becomes EX Home Screwcretary.)

Auld Lang Tyne
   What have John Lewis got against Newcastle and Scotland? Their 'New Years Day Sale' advertised on TV had a very brief disclaimer flashed up - 'except Newcastle and Scotland.' Clear anti-Northernism. Either that or they know something about local drinking habits at Hogmanay!

That's all for 2004          boggler-blog-blog

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