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Situation Vacant: Waste Management Specialist – (Extra-terrestrial)

Photo Credit: NASA

Ever since I was a child, I have had an interest in space exploration. Growing up at the same time as the Apollo missions was a magical experience. I was immensely disappointed when the programme was cut short and I couldn’t understand why the average person could not see the benefits that space exploration brings, not only to life on earth, but for the future of humanity which ultimately will have to move off this planet.

As I write this wee blether, several projects are on the go with the idea of sending people to Mars. NASA intends to set up a kind of base camp to support future missions, while Elon Musk and SpaceX have an eye on colonising Mars in the future, but in the meantime, intend to have crews spend time on the planet before being rotated back to earth. A Dutch project, on the other hand, promotes the idea this should be a one-way mission, with people signing up to live permanently on the red planet.

Now, this got me thinking (run for cover!) There are individuals on earth whose sole interest is making money. They don’t care how they do it, what harm it does to the environment, who it hurts in the process, or they have reached the point where making any more personal wealth is pointless. Making money is the focus of their lives.

Then there are a number of politicians who only have an interest in furthering their careers, not serving the people they were elected to serve (did your careers officer ever mention to you that ‘politician’ could be considered a job? I know mine didn’t.) There are very few politicians who could say, no fellow humans were harmed in the making of this career.

And what about the death and destruction caused by armed conflicts, still happening over one-hundred years since the start of the war to end all wars? We didn’t learn our lesson then and we are still not learning it. I saw a meme on the internet the other day, Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now we manufacture wars to sell weapons.

Proposed first extra-terrestrial garbage vehicle.

The world is in a dire state, so I have an idea. Space exploration is vital to the future of the species, but could we not make the first few extra-terrestrial missions a sort of garbage disposal run and send the politicians, arms manufacturers, unethical business men and anyone else who cares not a jot about his fellow man, on a one-way trip to another world? It would make this one a much better place.

Nominations on a postcard please, to the usual address.

Tree Fellers Wanted….Only One Found

I was engaged in my third favourite occupation the other day, browsing that well known news site run by the Broken Biscuit Company (no, I am not telling you the first two!) when I came across a little piece about a van driver; not a white van for once, but a blue one…well, blue when you could see it.

Brings a whole new meaning for this sign

This enterprising (not quite sure if that is the word I should use about him, as you will see in a minute,) young chappie came up with what he thought was an ideal solution to his problem and gave a new meaning to a road sign many of us are familiar with.

Now, as is often the case in these situations, he didn’t quite think it through. Like many people, he set about the task entirely focussed on what he needed to achieve, without considering the wider implications of what he was doing. The task? To take a newly felled tree and transport it somewhere else. We are not talking mighty oak or Californian redwood here, but what looks to be a leylandii that may have got a little too big for its boots, or the owner’s garden.

Whether this chappie was the feller (sorry about the pun) who cut down this tree, or whether he saw an opportunity to grab himself a bit of timber, I don’t know, but I do know what you should do to avoid making the same mistakes.

First and foremost, don’t do the equivalent of the male thing with the shopping; you know what I mean. It doesn’t matter how many bags there are in the car, they are coming in the house in one go, even if the circulation of several of your digits will take days to recover, you are not making a second trip. If this is what you are going to do with a tree, you will either need to make more than one journey or use something substantially larger than the average Transit van; here is the vehicular equivalent of the loss of circulation in your fingers.

Secondly, if you insist on overloading your vehicle, then avoid driving it through the town centre disguised as a small forest because it is

The Police were looking for tree fellers, but only one was found. Photo: BCH Road Policing

probably going to attract a bit of attention if you do, and indeed, the Sherriff of Nottingham (sorry, Hatfield), in the form of Her Majesty’s Constabulary, duly noted the arboreal expedition and decided to investigate.

And finally, should you still be contemplating ignoring the advice above and do it anyway, you should perhaps ensure you have the relevant driving documents in place to present to said Sherriff for inspection. This gentleman had a provisional licence and should have been accompanied, but perhaps his designated supervisor was at another branch.

I suspect the only trees this chap is going to be carrying in the near future are bonsais in a basket, on his bicycle.

Lies, dam*ed lies, statistics…and the News.

As both of my regular readers know, I often trawl the news sites looking for, well, news. Yesterday was no exception and I read a couple of articles on that well known bastion of current affairs based in the UK (yes, of course, you know where I am going with this; it’s the one run by the Broken Biscuit Company.)

What I am about to tell you will come as no surprise to some; the news we receive these days is the news that someone wants us to receive and in a way, they want us to receive it. In other words, it is at the very best spin, passing through propaganda and arriving at the very worst of news, lies; nowadays referred to as ‘alternative facts.

By The original uploader was SilkTork at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.→This file has been extracted from another file: GravityCask.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1754095

The two articles I mentioned were published on the same day and both on the front page of the UK section of this particular site.

The first was about alcohol consumption in the UK. Apparently, the Brits have fallen out somewhat with having a bevvy, a wee dram or getting blootered. In a poll carried out in 2016, just under 60% had had a drink in the past week. This apparently is the lowest rate since 2005. The report did urge caution as the survey was based on the personal recollections and for those who drink to excess, that may not be too clear. It also stated the young are not big drinkers… I think that certain European destinations may not agree with that. Perhaps the fall is due to that very fact, with the amount of tax placed on alcohol it could well be cheaper to book a flight on SneezyJet to Prague and have a few glasses there.

The second article suggested that a fall in public violence had been offset by an increase in domestic violence. In a request made under the Freedom of Information Act, a report highlights the move away from violence in public places into ‘private’ places.

The report went on to suggest the Police believed the increase in violence may be down to an increase in the consumption of alcohol and the use of psychoactive drugs.

So, there we have it;

  1. The British are drinking less.
  2. The British are drinking more.
  3. The statistics are being manipulated to suit the teller’s tale.
    By Rwendland – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52347525

I think I know which my money is on and of course if you want to see the finest examples of this, watch any politician in the run up to the election; except Dianne Abbot, who has gone back to primary to learn to do sums.

This was a party political broadcast on behalf of the , When Is Somebody Actually Going To Tell The Truth? party.

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