Week commencing 15.08.05

Friday:

Diddy
US rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs is changing his name again – by dropping the “P”. Combs said he now wanted to be known just as “Diddy” as his old name was causing confusion and he wanted to “simplify things”.

The 35-year-old singer and producer has already changed his nickname once – from Puff Daddy to P Diddy in 2001. The change forms part of a publicity campaign for the MTV Awards, which Diddy is hosting later this month.

Combs might have wanted to think that one through a bit more. In Scotland diddy means small, throughout the Caribbean diddy means stupid and  in Ireland diddy means breast. So when he is on tv, people are earth saying “You’re not big, and you’re not clever” or they are simply saying “look at that tit.”

Thursday:

A Levels
The A-level pass rate in the UK has risen slightly this year to 96.2% of the entries, up 0.2 percentage point. As candidates received their results, there was a slightly bigger rise in the proportion of the 783,878 entries awarded grade A: up 0.4 to 22.8%.

Girls’ performances remained ahead of boys’, but the gap continued to narrow. The biggest change in subject popularity was in religious studies, with 16.9% more entries than in 2004, at 16,859 in total.

The argument here is that the quality of teaching is getting better which is why the standards are rising. Alternatively it could be that the spectrum of subjects is so broad that high pass marks are guaranteed.

For example, Media studies is a subject devised to get into the media, yet anyone in the media would not give a job to anyone with Media studies. They would be looking for English language, English Literature, Government & politics, and History.

What is next, a qualification in homemaking, or maybe a master in day-dreaming.

Wednesday:

Jean Charles Menezes
Leaked documents appear to contradict the official account of how police mistook a Brazilian man for a suicide bomber and shot him. The documents, from the probe into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes and leaked to ITV news, suggest the he was restrained before shot by officers.

The documents, including witness statements, also suggest Mr de Menezes did not hurdle the barrier at Stockwell tube station, as first reports previously suggested, and was not wearing a padded jacket that could have concealed a bomb.

The latest documents suggest Mr de Menezes had walked into Stockwell Tube station, picked up a free newspaper, walked through ticket barriers, had started to run when he saw a train arriving and was sitting down in a train when he was shot.

Last night, BBC news also suggested that security officers had already subdued the man who had his hands by his side and unable to detonate any device. It was also stated that twelve shots were fired at Mr Menezes, of which eight hit him in the head and four missed.

As if that is not scandal enough, it is suggested that Mr Menezes was not videoed leaving the block of flats where he lived, and therefore was incorrectly identified, because the officer in charge of monitoring exits to the flats had go to relieve himself and panicked when he came back to find Mr Menezes enroute.

Earlier I stated that we should wait for the results of the inquiry into the shooting of Mr Menezes before we cast judgment on the police. I put my personal feeling about the police on hold and rallied behind then in support of finding the bombers. But it would appear that this report has been leaked in order to make sure that a cover up does not take place.

The original circumstances were unacceptable but understandable considering the pressure that the police were under and the alleged behaviour that he Mr Menezes had displayed. But now we find that the alleged behaviour was a fabrication by the police to cover up their mistake. Mr Menezes is not a victim of the bombings, he is a victim of the police. Where is their honour now?
Tuesday

Surprised
It would be “very very surprising” if the two sets of London bombings in July were not connected, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has told the BBC. But Mr Clarke said there was “not a direct linkage formally established”.

His comments come after he said on Monday he remained “worried” about the possibility of further attacks. That followed talks with Met Chief Sir Ian Blair, who has said the fact there were two attacks made further bombs “more rather than less” likely.

Now I am no lawyer, but surely Clarke giving his opinion has prejudiced the trail? Does that not mean that these men can now not get a fair trial? Any way, he also thinks that these attack were not as a result of our intervention in Afghanistan and then Iraq, so what does he know.
Monday:

Sowing your seed
Laws governing fertility treatment and embryo research are to be overhauled for the first time in 15 years, after a public consultation. The screening of embryos for disease and the creation of “designer” babies to cure sick siblings are among the issues the government wants to debate.

Ministers will publish their plans before asking medical professionals and the public for their views. Experts say the laws need updating to keep pace with technological advances.

Ministers will ask what should be done with embryos stored after couples undergo IVF treatment but then split up and disagree about their use. The right of parents to choose the gender of their children will also be discussed. A crackdown on internet sites selling fresh sperm – not regulated under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act – will be proposed.

What about sperm bank fertilisation, and the fact that men donating to a sperm bank are now held responsible for the ‘fruits of their labours’. Not really fair when you were only giving a childless couple a ‘helping hand’

Other news this week:

Noise
The surge in sales of iPods and other portable music players in recent years could mean many more people will develop hearing loss, experts fear. If the volume through headphones is too high, there is a real risk of permanent damage to hearing, they say.

Sydney’s National Acoustic Laboratories found a quarter of personal music system users in a random sample listened to music at dangerous volumes. The Royal National Institute for Deaf people urged awareness of the risks. Millions now own MP3 players – Apple has sol more than 20 million iPods.

A recent study by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) found 39% of 18 to 24-year-olds listened to personal music players for at least an hour every day and 42% admitted they thought they had the volume too high.

The RNID regards 80 decibels as the level at which hearing is threatened – 20 less than a pneumatic drill. Some MP3 players can reach 105 decibels. EU iPods have a sound limiter to comply with noise safety levels, however sometimes users hack through this in order to listen to it louder.

Well they will not be told, well, they can be told, they just can not hear you. They should have those sound inhibiters attached to whining partners and screaming kids.

Black & Brown blood
Ethnic groups are being urged to give blood, as a survey suggests only 3% of donors are from the Asian, African or Afro-Caribbean communities. The campaign is being launched by the National Blood Service (NBS).

One problem is that some Muslims wrongly believe donation is against the teachings of Islam, NBS officials said. The NBS launched a similar campaign last year, but say it is unlikely to have reached its target of recruiting 20% more donors from ethnic minorities.

The survey of 1,750 people also found those from ethnic groups were nearly six times less likely to know their own blood type when compared with the national average. Only 7% said they knew their own blood type compared with 41% nationally.

There is not a lot funny here, the black community needs to provide this for themselves. There are no hand outs here. Goodness knows that there are enough elements to today’s society that contrive to eliminate these communities.

Less profit
Wembley Stadium developer Multiplex has reported lower-than-expected profits and warned of tougher times ahead. The property firm described full-year net profits of 148.1m Australian dollars (£62.3m) as “disappointing”.

Multiplex has been hit by delays and cost overruns at its Wembley project, and said it needed an extra A$8.6m to complete the redevelopment on time. Work on the English national football stadium is due to end in March 2006, in time for the FA Cup Final in May.

How many times will the UK government fall for the same trick? When will they realize that the lowest offer is not necessarily the most viable? Lack of profit should not be an issue for the government, because there should be the appropriate penalty clauses in place, you can guarantee that the government will end up bailing out the company in order to get the works completed for a specific event.

Land down under
Australia is looking for 20,000 skilled immigrants to fill vacancies in what has been described as its biggest recruitment drive since the 1960s. Immigration department spokesman Abdul Rizvi said the nation needed engineers, doctors, car mechanics and accountants.

Exhibitions in Europe and India will be set up to promote the scheme, but Mr Rizvi said: “We are looking for skills from anywhere.” Australia often comes under fire for its tough immigration policies. But analysts say the country is currently suffering from a serious labour shortage, which is threatening its economic growth.

In the 1950s and 60s, Australia mounted a major campaign to attract immigrants from Britain, and about one million people took up the offer. But this time, the migration will be more targeted to fit specific labour requirements. The Department of Immigration is organising a series of exhibitions later this year in London, Berlin, Madras (Chennai) and Amsterdam.

They do not see the irony of this campaign. Most of the under forties Australians are in England They have come to England because they can get paid more here that in Australia. They can then take that money back to Australia and it is worth three times as much. Also they can travel the world from the UK, into Europe or over to the US.

Conversely the people migrating to Australia are a little older. They are starting in the late thirties and are doing to Australia to slow down their lifestyles. Not so keen to work quite so hard.

Working hours
Working long hours can greatly increase the risk of suffering injury or illness, a study says. Workers who do overtime were 61% more likely to become hurt or ill, once factors such as age and gender were taken into account.

And working more than 12 hours a day raised the risk by more than a third, the University of Massachusetts found. A 60-hour week carried a 23% greater risk, the study of US records from 110,236 employment periods found.

The study looked at data from 1987 to 2000. An employment period relates to the time a person spent at one firm. Counting this way meant some individuals might have been covered by the research more than once.

I knew it, this is why I always have a cold.

Beer Money
Beer bottle caps are being used as currency in parts of Cameroon, which is in the grips of a promotion frenzy by rival breweries. Intense competition between beer companies has seen 20 million bottles given away since the start of the year.

The prizes, which are revealed beneath the bottle top, include mobile phones, luxury cars and of course more beer. With a beer costing $1, some punters are using their winning bottle tops to pay for taxi rides.

They should introduce that here. They can use Smarties caps, because remember when we were kids and would collect Smarties caps, well it is about time that Smarties actually made good on that. As far as I am aware there was never any promotion, they just but random letters on the caps and put a rumour out that you could win a prize. Yes, a blue Smarties cap with the letter ‘p’ is worth a free black cab ride, and  an orange cap with the letter ‘q’ is worth a free sandwich from ‘Subway’. Let us make it happen people.

Pop TV
Malaysia’s culture minister has criticised the country’s satellite TV operator for broadcasting shows in which people eat worms or talk too frankly about sex. Rais Yatim said the programmes offended local sensibilities, and he asked the company to be more discerning.

The nation’s main TV channel offers an unrelenting diet of grim-faced Islamic scholars and wholesome family entertainment. But while such programmes may be morally superior, a growing number of Malaysians prefer watching people enjoying a very different diet.

They would rather tune into shows like Fear Factor, where people eat bugs and do other revolting things, to win $50,000 (187,743 ringgit).

They want to be worried in Malaysia, have a look at what passes for entertainment in our country. ‘Big brother’ and ‘Celebrity love island’. We could do with a bit of piety.

Head chef
A Philippines-born woman has been appointed the first female head chef at the White House after a six-month search led by First Lady Laura Bush. Cristeta Comerford was for 10 years the assistant to Walter Scheib III who quit the top position in February.

Her duties will include preparing all menus and meals for the First Family and their private entertaining, as well as office and state dinners. In recent years the head chef has earned about $100,000 (£55,000).

She was the head chef’s assistant for 10 years, and it still took them 6 months to make a decision? What better work experience could she have had? What were they looking for in a candidate?

Jailhouse rocked
At least 30 prisoners have been killed and more than 50 have been injured during battles between rival gangs in several prisons in Guatemala. Hundreds of armed police and soldiers were deployed and fired tear gas to regain control of the prisons.

At least 18 of the inmates died during a fight at a prison known as “The Hole” in a town south of Guatemala City. The gangs emerged in the US and later spread to Central America when their members were deported back home.

Officials said an array of weaponry – including knives, automatic rifles and hand grenades – had been smuggled into the prisons. Some of the inmates were killed by gunshot wounds and hand grenade blasts – others were found with their throats cut. The bloodiest fighting appears to have taken place in the “The Hole” prison in Escuintla town.

How on earth did they manage to smuggle this sort of weaponry into a prison undetected? I have a feeling that someone had an idea of letting the problems in that prison take care of themselves.

Man is not always the product of his environment,
But the environment is shaped by man’s successes and failures.

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~ by jeditopcat on 8 November, 2008.

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