Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay
Linsey McGoey has been writing about The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation for the Guardian. The article begins with a rather ghoulish view that the charity would be better were Gates dead:
Would the Gates Foundation do more good without Bill? Philanthropic organisations such as the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations have had greater flexibility since their founders died
As Gates wonders whether death would be helpful to his causes, McGoey looks at the living Bill Gates:
What the sociologist Darren Thiel and I term “charismatic advantage” is more than just celebrity pulling power; it is the way one of the most powerful organisations in the world largely escapes negative media attention because Gates has come to signify something sacred about ourselves.
It’s an advantage that Bill Gates did not strategically design, and in many ways, to his credit, he doesn’t necessarily cultivate. But it means that important critical debate doesn’t happen as openly as it should.
Good job the Guardian is there to peer inside and investigate Bill.
At a time when activists are challenging corporate clout, the Gates Foundation is enriching for-profit companies: it has offered tens of millions in non-repayable grants to wealthy corporations such as Mastercard and Vodacom.
We need to challenge this silence. We need loudly to ask an uncomfortable question: do foundations narrow wealth inequalities or simply preserve them? Are foundations at their most radical when they exist to serve a benefactor’s hopes and whims – or when they’re emancipated from such an obligation?
In other news in the Guardian:
Former boy scouts, listen up. Your skills are needed. Tesco is hiring “Christmas Light Untanglers”. If you are “able to untangle 3 meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes” and are “passionate about Christmas”, you can spend your days elbow-deep in flex.
Your roles and responsiblities will include:
• Man and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand
• Taking time to listen and help out wherever you can: Every little helps
• Check lights and bulbs for signs of breakage / broken bulbs and report findings to the customer
• Handle customers Christmas lights carefully to keep everything in tip-top condition
• Talking to colleagues, sharing your enthusiasm and helping to create team spirit
• Getting to know your customers, greet them with a smile and serve them with pride.
• Give a brilliant customer experience, making sure you deliver only the best service and put a smile on customers faces
• Successfully untangle customers Christmas lights neatly, quickly and efficiently and in an orderly fashion
• Abide by our Health and Safety policies
• Always be there on time and properly presented
• Be passionate and knowledgeable about the service you are offering
Try not to slit your wrists. Those bulbs can be sharp! Also: strangling.
In the Anorak Inbox today, this missive form a desperate
A UK betting site has offered odds on which England football will come out as gay, following the news over the weekend that two Premier League footballers are set to do so. Players such as Luke Shaw, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner all appear in the low tier with odds of 10/1 or lower, whilst the likes of Joe Hart, Jordan Henderson and Wayne Rooney all appear at odds of 20/1 or lower.
More information can be found below, but please do get in touch if you require any further information.
Following the news over the weekend that two Premier League footballers (one of whom allegedly plays for England) are ready to come out as gay, a betting website based in the UK has become the first to offer customers the chance to bet on which footballers might do so. Visitors to the site can take a punt on which footballers they think will make the announcement; with the sportsmen split into low, medium and high tier odds according to the perceived likeliness of their involvement in a potential upcoming announcement.
The odds for different players vary according to likelihood, as judged by Win Cash Live’s trading team…
Speaking about offering odds on which footballers are likely to come out as gay, Ashley Faull (founder of www.WinCashLive.com), said the following:
“…there’s no denying that this is a very hot topic right now and we couldn’t see that any gambling sites were offering odds on which footballers will come out as gay, following the news and rumours over the weekend. We know that there is a lot of speculation and the public will want to see if they can guess correctly, so we’re offering them the chance to get a return on their inklings.”
You think you’ve reached rock bottom but there’s always someone with a new spade whose ready to dig….
Liverpool have appointed affable German Jurgen Klopp and the papers agree that he’s terrific.
But what’s he earning at Liverpool?
Daily Telegraph: Klopp signed a three year deal worth £7 million a season.
The Times: £25m for three seasons.
But it’s just £6m for the migrant worker the Mail:
In Bild it’s €10 million-a-year. That’s around £7.4m a season.
But it’s down to £5m in the BBC:
Such are the facts.
For just £500 a month, you can live in a cupboard in Clapham, south London.
Alex Lomax, who travelled from Nottingham to view the property, says:
“There was a landlord and I was shown the kitchen and the under-stairs cupboard – he seemed deadly serious, which is the worrying part. He said, ‘You would be sharing with three others people’, and I just wanted to get out of there, so I made my excuses and left. I wish I’d been more angry because it’s clearly ridiculous and I’m annoyed at myself for basically just making my excuses.”
Sunderland FC striker Jermain Defoe is looking for a new executive personal assistant to keep his life in order. The role is “demanding“. You will take his calls, stock the fridge, build him apps and turn Jermain Defoe into a global brand with a clothing line and fragrance.
The job appears on SECS In The City:
Arsenal director Philip Charles Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham, tells the Daily Mail the Gunners are rich enough to buy almost any player in the world.
So why don’t they?
The story begins: “Arsene Wenger has more than £200m in the bank, says Arsenal director.”
“We would back him to break the club’s transfer record. If he wanted the man, he could have him,” says Harris (estimated wealth: £285m). “Apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, he could have any player.”
Karim Benzema? Eden Hazard? Gareth Bale?
Arsenal’s most expensive recruits have been:
Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid, £42.4m, September 2013
Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona, £35m, July 2014
Andrey Arshavin – Zenit St Petersburg, £15m, February 2009
Santi Cazorla – Malaga, £15m, August 2012
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Southampton, £15m, August 2011
Undoubtedly Arsenal are spending more on players than ever before. But surely it’s fantasy to believe they have the same financial muscles as Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City, Chelsea or Bayern Munich.
“Money was tight when we moved to the Emirates but it’s a lot freer now,” continues Lord Harris. “We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable. We get a list of the players that Wenger wants. On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is.
“You’ve got to get the other team to want to sell him, but I think he wants to come. It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don’t have to sell.”
So. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema it is, then. Unless PSG, Chelsea, Man City, Man United etc. outbid the Gunners.
To Salzburg, Austria, where brothel keeper Hermann ‘Pascha’ Müller, owner of the licensed Pascha brothel, vows to no longer be “the tax office’s pimp”. So Müller is offering free sex at his houses of ill repute. He is, however, paying the prostitutes’ usual hourly rate “out of his own pocket”.
“In the last decade I have paid taxes of almost €5 million,” says Müller said. “The problem is, the tax office wants more and more, and they are not cracking down on illegal street and apartment prostitution.”
We wonder why Pascha doesn’t enlarge his BDSM business and invite masochists to pay his pax bill for him? After all, he’s already appealing to the every kind of pervert – including golfers:
The result from the ‘Walmart-palooza’ company shindig in Fayetteville, Alaska, has resulted in a list of changes to keep the 1.3 million workers working.
Item 1: Celine Dion and Justin Bieber will not longer be played over the P.A. system.
“There is nothing I like better than hearing about your jobs, your ideas, your hopes and dreams, and frustration, and listening to how we can make your lives easier,” said Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran.
No small ambition to make the dreams of so many reality. Bob in Texas dreams of riding a pink windmill to Mars; Su-Anne from Maine wants to date Brad Pitt; and Steve from Iowa has ideas that require urgent therepay, and that he is never left alone in the store’s gun section – although removing Dior and Bieber from earshot should curtail his visions of fire-bombing Canada.
But none of them, were among the 3,000 assembled workers who made it to the show.
Things Greg – can we call you Greg? – can do are as follows (via D&T):
Individual stores will now have more control over their thermostats rather than having headquarters decide.
Associates will now be able to wear black and khaki denim.
Associates doing more physical work will be allowed to wear blue denim.
Walmart associates will wear new name tags that say “Our People Make A Difference” so that they never forget that they are, in fact, people.
Walmart associates will get more opportunities to socialize through a new rule in which they are required to greet and make eye contact with any customer within 10 feet of them.
Store associates and managers will be able to give suggestions to headquarters regarding what items their local Walmart sells based on their day-to-day interactions with any customers within 10 feet of them.
Modest cash incentives.
Who does not dream of ‘modest’ cash incentives, or pay as the workers call it?
Tumblr of the Day is YesThat’sTheJoke, a site featuring pedants and other people who missed the joke…
Like this exchange featuring @MrnickHarvey:
And our pick of the bunch from @bechillcomedian:
“Dear god almighty, you’ve got to read this,” writes Tim Worstall.
He links to a story on the FT about Max-Hervé George, 25, who has taken on insurance company Aviva France.
Dan McCrum says it is “the worst contract in the world”, a peculair thing first reported in the French magazine Challenges:
The company was L’Abeille Vie. In 1987 it began to offer a special deal to its richer clients, a Fixed Price Arbitrage Life Insurance Contract… prices for the funds were published each Friday, and clients were allowed to switch funds at those prices anytime before the next price was published, even if markets moved in the meantime.
He’s rich. Very rich.
Is it advisable to make a bad first impression and then set about undoing it? We ask in light of the story of the man on the London Underground. Last Mondy, a passenger as blocking his way. Our hero did as the mild-mannered Englishman must: he shoved the blocker out the way and told him to eff-off.
He then continued on his journey for an interview as Python Developer at Forward Partners.
How’s life treating the great and good in Davos? Last time a mountain people were on the news, it was the Yazidis up Sinjar “mountain of death”. Is the G21 Tribe fairing any better?
Kevin Williamson writes:
“The stories add up: Jeff Greene brings multiple nannies on his private jet to Davos, and the rest of the guys gathered to talk past each other about the plight of the working man scarf down couture hot-dogs that cost forty bucks. Bill Clinton makes the case for wealth-redistribution while sporting a $60,000 platinum Rolex.”
The great and good are meeting in Davos. It’s the World Economic Forum, dummy, the rich and powerful’s AGM. It’s here they elect what free gifts banks can give customers, who Prince Andrew shags and if attacking Mars is worth it.
We’ve had look at some of the tweets and news emerging from on high.
Grab a bucket. It’s a puke-arama!
Can bacon be associated with failure? Can the smell of bacon be link with wasting your money on games of chance? The New Hampshire Lottery has launched its first scratch-and-sniff scratch ticket. “I Heart Bacon Scratch Ticket” costs $1. The big prize is $1,000.
You scratch the ticket and relase the heady scent of bacon.
Job ad of the day:
Strange happenings on holiday:
The fun of travel is in finding new and exciting cultures, trying novel foods, and generally expanding your horizons—literally and figuratively. But how would you feel if one of these happened to you while you were on holiday? Strange things can occur anywhere, but we think these take the cake!
Coming across a chalk outline
This icon of criminality is probably not your favourite thing to encounter while trying to relax… but unfortunately, if you visit the University of Dundee, you may well come across one.
Finding a goat…
Specifically, one dressed like Abraham Lincoln. We don’t totally understand how it happened—though since it apparently involved a stag party, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.
…or a top hat.
Speaking of leaving valuable things in odd places, how about we all start trying to keep track of our top hats? Or, for that matter, our stuffed mice and refrigerators, all of which have at some point been left on an airplane for the cleaning crew to dispose of.
Duck parade, anyone?
The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, prides itself on a twice-daily duck parade that, according to the hotel’s website, was the brainchild of two friends who went on a hunting trip to nearby Arkansas. The website claims: “The men had a little too much Jack Daniel’s Tennessee sippin’ whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys in the beautiful Peabody fountain. In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, a former circus animal trainer, offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous Peabody Duck March.”
Oh, by the way… DUCK!
If you happen to be in South Africa for New Year’s, you may want to watch your head… apparently it’s a tradition to drop old appliances out the window in Johannesburg. Talk about out with the old, and in with the new flat-screen!
Hang out in a sewer pipe
Linz, Austria is home to the Das Park Hotel, where you can spend the night in your very own, state-of-the-art, super-luxurious sewer pipe. Actually, we have no idea how these could be comfortable, but at least they’re affordable!
We appreciate our taxi drivers, we really do
We just don’t always appreciate how mind-bendingly awkward they can make a journey. For example, this guy, who apparently wants J.Lo to take him “away from this life.”
Or this driver, who apparently has a thing for TLC. Though then again, who doesn’t?
A pilot who seems less than confident
You probably don’t want this announcement on your next trip: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard this British Airways flight to Denver. If your travel plans do not include visiting Denver, then now would be the perfect time to make yourself known to a member of the cabin crew.”
Got any strange occurrences from your last holiday? We’d love to hear about them!
The Guardian is not beyond parody yet. The story is headlined:
After a pay cut we had to sack our cleaner. Now nothing is being cleaned! How do other couples manage to get the work done?
Was the sacked clearned married?
A pay cut means we have had to sack our cleaner to save the £25 a week she cost, but, a month on, nothing’s being cleaned and the house is starting to resemble a squat. We set aside two hours on a Saturday morning but it’s not happening.
Readers are invited to respond.
You ever find treasure? Real treasure? One Reddit user went to his grandpa’s home in Tenneessee and found a haul. Evilenglish writes: “I always dreamed of finding something like this.” You and use all.
The adventure began on April 22 2013:
“Found a secret safe under the stairs while cleaning my Grandparents house!:
My dad passed away a few years ago and he inherited an old farmhouse in middle Tennessee from my Grandparents. The house was a home for my Grandparents for 20 some odd years. They bought this house in the late 70’s/early 80’s to escape the oppressive summer heat of the South.
My Grandfather was an avid sportsman and enjoyed collecting various firearms. My Grandmother was a collector of coins and other antiques and curiosities. My Grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998, but I think the last time they had traveled to the Tennessee house was around 1997. After my Grandfather passed away, neither my Grandmother nor Father returned to the house. My Father passed in 2009 and we’ve been working to close out his estate and traveled to the farmhouse to prepare it for sale.
Lots and lots of work to do here as it is an old house. I was working in a closet below the stair case, and saw that the rug was pretty disgusting.
He pulled iup the carpet:
I started pulling up the rug and noticed a block of concrete. This was very out of place since all of the downstairs flooring is hardwood.
I pushed the carpet back further and saw a round cap with a circle indentation on it.
“I pulled off the cap and… a secret safe!”
I gave the handle a tug, but it wouldn’t budge. If you twist the handle it will still spin.
I called several locksmiths in TN, but it is impossible to get someone to come out on a Sunday up there (the whole city shuts down about noon on Saturday). Couple that with a 20 mile drive back to town to get cell service. Will try to head back up on a Friday and deliver.
I spoke with my Mom, and she said that my grandparents had a safe in Florida and the combination was my Dad’s birth date. She also recommended trying his SSN as a back up to that.
I called Major Safe Co., now known as American Security and confirmed the unlock sequence. Left 4x then #, Right 3x then #, Left 2x then #, Turn back to the Right until it stops. Also trying to work it see if I can switch off days and drive back up to the farmhouse tomorrow (Tuesday, 4/23).
But no joy:
The locksmith arrives:
And on April 30th, 2013…
Here is our locksmith scoping out the safe. He said about 30 mins into this that if he had known what he was getting into, he would have referred the job to someone else. It looked like a complete pain in the ass to open this up. He had to keep his weight above the drill and the workspace was very uncomfortable.
It looks so different with the flash on. I looked down in there and it looked like there were several stacks of bricks. I also noticed a LOT of moisture inside the safe. I remember that there was a pipe leak in the house a few years back. I’m sure some of the water from that had accumulated in the safe. Very dark…. Where are my gloves again?
The door opens:
This one looks like a book of coins from a particular year. There were so many like this down there. The moisture in the safe makes the covers very mushy, but the coins inside are in surprisingly good shape!
Lots and lots of coin boxes! I knew my Grandmother collected coins, but I thought we had found all of them!
Silver bars found…
In a rusty tool box in the bottom of the safe, jewellery is uncovered.
Readers help out:
“Just so you know anything from 1964 or older is 90% silver worth about 20 time face value of the coin. $0.50 = $10, $0.25 = $5, $0.10 = $2.00. I also believe 1965-1971 coins of those denominations are 40% Silver and still worth more than face value as well. That’s a pretty good score even if half of those pre-date 1965 and not to mention those silver bars!! They’re worth about $22.10 per ounce. 16 ounces in a pound = $353 and those are most likely Kilos which are 2.2 pounds and worth $778″.
I should also say that early last year my brother in law and I was moving some of the furniture. He went to move one of the coffee tables and when he went to pick it up, the table top came off of the base. Underneath the table top of the coffee table was a hidden, standalone safe. It was pretty heavy, but we were able to load it in the truck. He took it to work and was able to cut it open. Inside of it were several pistols (.22s, a 357, and a few others) there were also about 300 single one dollar bills. We found out that there were “Barr Notes” and supposedly rare because that particular Secretary of the Treasury died like 29 days in office.
Get digging. Anf never fall out with older relatives…
The Reddit user promises to post more pictures once he cleans the items up. Stay tuned!
ISIS, IS, Islamic State, whatever they’re calling themselves this week, claim to have enough uranium to make a dirty bomb. Which they probably do: but it would be a pretty useless dirty bomb if truth be told. They’re simply not got enough material of any sort of power or problem for a bomb to make any difference to anything.
Islamic State fanatics claim to have constructed a dirty bomb after stealing 40kg of uranium from an Iraqi university.
Militants boasted of the device on social media, with one even commenting on the destruction such a bomb would wreak in London, four months after the chemical was reported missing from Mosul University.
Among extremists making online threats to the West is British explosives expert Hamayun Tariq, who fled his home in Dudley, West Midlands, for the Middle East in 2012.
Yeah, well, that uranium is not the sort of stuff you make a nuclear bomb out of. Which is why they’re talking about a dirty bomb of course. But it’s not going to be much use as a dirty bomb either. There’s just not that much radioactivity there. The stuff they’ve got is actually the stuff that was used all over Europe as a tile and pottery glaze before WWII. And no, the bathroom tiles in your old house are not going to kill you and nor would a dirty bomb with this amount of this type of uranium do any harm (after the actual explosion itself of course).
Quite seriously, if they set this off in Oxford Street then after the area had been washed down (or it had rained perhaps) you’d not be able to tell that it had gone off. There’s more uranium in the tarmac on the street than there is in this supposed bomb.
It’s Black Friday, the day when shops seduce shoppers with bargains.
Two faces of the show:
1. Cheerleaders at the Asda store in Wembley, north west London during Black Friday.
2. Victoria’s Secret, Liverpool.
It’s quite amazing the things the Daily Mail is able to tell us about sex, society and that all important feminism stuff. And here’s a case in point. According to information gathered from Alibaba, the Chinese tat emporium similar to Amazon and or eBay (depending upon which division of it you want to talk about) the bigger a woman’s tits are the more likely she is to be a spendthrift.
It’s not the size of your purse that reveals your shopping habits, but the size of your bra, according to new research.
Ladies with a cup size of B or smaller tend to save their pennies, while more well-endowed women are more likely to splurge on luxury items, claims e-commerce group Alibaba.
The Chinese group compared underwear sales on their site to the total amount spent and placed customers into five categories: low, slightly low, middle, slightly high, and high.
The data revealed only seven per cent of B-sized women buy in either of the ‘high spending’ categories.
Around 17 per cent of C-sized are high spenders, D-sized women are at 24 per cent, and E-sized women are at 33 per cent.
The reason offered for this was that the younger and more slender women are more likely to have lower incomes than their older sisters. Which sounds sorta reasonable but not really reasonable enough.
Other explanations do come to mine: for example, a Chinese lady who tops out at an EE is rather more likely to be willing to pay a bit more money to corral those monsters than a bird with an A cup or two who can bother or not bother with a bra as she sees fit. And they were comparing spending upon bras with bra sizes.
Delving a bit deeper into human motivation we can think of other explanations too. For example, it could be that those with more money have already gone out and bought themselves a larger chest. It’s not exactly unknown for this to happen in our modern world.
And there’s been a wag or two pointing out that larger boobed ladies are likely to have access to the wallets of richer men to buy their lingerie with too.
Quite exactly what is the driving factor here is unknown: so we’ll end with that ritual call that more research is needed. Volunteers form a cue to the right please.
How can roads be made safer? Well, you could do what they’ve done in London and charge a high fee for cars to enter the ‘nondom zone’ and make parking very expensive. Less cars. And more chance of being hit by an insured driver with an executive motor. Win. Win.
In Australia, academics have picked up the idea:
More than 200 lives could be saved on Australian roads a year if fuel prices were increased to the same level as prices in Britain, a study by an Australian National University academic suggests.
Dr Paul Burke and his co-author, visiting Japanese academic Dr Shuhei Nishitateno, compared road deaths and petrol prices from 144 countries between 1991 and 2010.
They found that eliminating fuel subsidies around the world would mean 35,000 fewer deaths a year among drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians – 3 per cent of the global death toll.
Higher fuel prices meant fewer vehicles on the road, shorter distances travelled and lower-speed driving to save fuel. Lower prices also had a disproportionate effect on high-risk drivers – the young and old, who were especially sensitive to prices, according to the study.
Worse than that, worse than trying to tax Brits who want to jet off for a bit of sunshine, Yvette Cooper is also proposing that that tax money should go to foreign governments. This is not, you might think, really all that sensible a thing to be proposing.
What’s she’s suggesting is that foreign types who desire to come to the UK to enjoy our lovely weather should have to pay 10 quid for the privilege of not having to pay 100 pounds for a visa to come here. That income can then be used to hire more immigration officers.
Labour will seek to beef up its pitch to voters on immigration with a pledge to pay for 1,000 extra border guards by imposing a charge on visitors from the US and 55 other countries.
Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, will criticise other parties for engaging in an “arms race of rhetoric” on the issue, which has been thrust to the centre of political debate by the rise of Ukip.
But she will accept that the opposition “needs to talk more” about public concerns and will say action to restore public confidence that illegal entrants are being caught and dealt with is “vital for a progressive approach”.
Under the proposals, nationals in countries enjoying a “visa waiver” system of fast-track permission to enter the UK will be hit with a charge of around £10 per visit, which the party said would more than cover the £45m cost of the additional staff.
Well, yes, except that there’s a problem here. Which is that all visa systems work on the following basis. Whatever you do to our citizens then we will do that to your citizens. So, if we start charging Johnny Foreigner to come to Blighty then Johnny Foreigner will start charging us to go in foreign. And it’ll be the same amount too.
And here’s the thing. We’re pretty certain that more Brits go out of our country than Johnny Foreigners come in. So, we Brits will then be paying more money to foreign governments in visa waiver fees that HM Treasury will be collecting in them.
This isn’t a great way to raise money in tax really, making sure that foreign governments get more than the British one does.
Just not thought through this proposal, just not thought through.