Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay
WE don’t really need an international economics organisation to tell us this: that Britain should build more houses. That prices are going through the roof, that no one normal can actually afford on in London any more, is all the evidence we need that there’s simply not enough of them to go around.
Because, you know, when prices go up that’s a signal that supply is falling behind demand, that basic idea at the heart of economics stuff. But the IMF has gone ahead and told us so anyway:
On the issue of planning, she said: “But we also recognise that rising house prices fundamentally reflect demand that greatly exceeds supply. Addressing imbalances in the housing market by alleviating supply-side constraints will require further measures to increase the availability of land, land for development and to remove unnecessary constraints to land use.”
The IMF’s report also criticised the “unnecessary constraints on brownfield and greenfield developments”.
IT’S rather sad to see the people who actually run the NHS being so confused about the realities of that very NHS. The latest being this idea that all of us becoming fat lardbuckets will mean that the NHS runs out of money. So, therefore, we’ve all got to be dragooned into eating less so as to save the taxpayer.
The problem with this is that fatties don’t cost the NHS cash, they save it. Here’s the standard story:
IT’S one of those little tragedies that hits most peoples’ love lives at one time or another. One starts out the evening lookin’ fer a little lurve and the eye alights upon one carrying a little extra weight. Some interesting handfuls perhaps: and then one wakes up next to a beached whale. Fortunately, now we know the answer. You should have eaten before you went looking:
It is a well-known maxim that you shouldn’t visit the supermarket when feeling hungry, but new research suggests the same is true when going out in search of romance.
Both men and women are more likely to be attracted to people who are larger when they go out on an empty stomach.
Men, in particular will choose more voluptuous women if they have missed a meal while women go for larger, heavier set men.
But scientists warn that when then hunger is sated, they may not feel the same.
THIS looks like a nice little piece of multi-tasking. There was a non-commissioned officer in the US Army who was tasked with making sure that the number of sexual assaults was kept to the minimum possible (obviously, preferably none). And he decided to do this by asking some of the more hard up female soldiers whether they’d like to do a bit of escort work, a bit of prostitution, on the side.
Well done that man:
THIS sounds like a very odd theory, that it’s actually a virus that is turning us all into fat lardbuckets. But while it’s an odd theory there’s enough evidence out there that we should at least consider it seriously. Not to the point that we just assume that it’s correct of course: but to the point where we investigate more to see if it might be true.
Coughs, sneezes and a runny nose are not the worst a bad cold can do to you – it might also make you fat.
Scientists believe a virus behind the common cold could have fuelled the obesity epidemic that has swept the developed world. The culprit? A contagious bug called adenovirus 36.
Experts told the European Congress on Obesity in Sofia that eating and exercise habits haven’t changed enough to explain why people worldwide started piling on weight at around the same time.
There’s two serious points behind this.
A DYNAMIC Bass Player is looking for work in Nashville:
WHAT looks like the new iPhone 6, due for release this summer, can be seen in that video above. The information source is a French website, nowhereelse, and they’ve been pretty reliable in the past. For an English description of what’s going on:
We have already seen dozens of moulds, designs and claimed leaks of Apple new iPhone.
However, a new video provides the best look yet at the rumoured design for a larger, 4.7inch screen handset.
Apple is rumoured to be preparing to launch the handset in August, a month earlier than expected – with an even larger 5.5inch model following a month later.
THAT you’re able to think up and found one of the web’s hotter properties does show that you’ve got some smarts. You’re good at doing something at least. But that’s not to say that having done that that you’re smart, as Mahbod Moghadam of Rap Genius has just proven. For he’s gone off and done something so dickheaded that he’s had to immediately resign from the company that he himself founded. He took the manifesto of the UCSB psycho shooter who killed all those people last week and loaded it up onto his own site. Fair enough, that’s what it’s for, you put a document up on Rap Genius and then people can add their annotations to it. But then he started to make his own annotations. Which were not cool, not cool at all:
Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam has been fired from the annotation service after posting appalling comments on the memoir of mass murderer Elliot Rodger, who killed six people in a shooting spree earlier this week.
In now-removed annotations on the site on the sick 141-page manifesto, Moghadam added a tasteless series of comments, including “beautifully written” and also “MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot.”
THERE’S intriguing evidence that last year’s run up of the price of Bitcoin on MtGox was simply a pump and dump operation by the owners of the site. For there was a result buyer, every few minutes, of ever more of the cryptocurrency. And no one can really say where that money has gone. It seems to be a phantasmal account, one that existed only on the site, in order to increase demand for the currency and thus push its price up. In the finance world this is known as a pump and dump scheme. Keep buying small amounts of something and watch the price creep up. Then dump the whole holding back into the market before anyone cottons on to what you’re doing. Done right this can be very profitable.
WHEN Adam Yauch passed away, his fellow Beastie Boys were told, in no uncertain terms, that they should respect his legacy by never allowing their music to be used in advertisements.
And so, the Beasties are now taking on the Monster Energy drinks company over music used for commercial purposes.
IT’S at least an interesting entry for that accolade at least, the worst drug smugglers in the world.
So, two Brits decide to try their luck smuggling a tonne and a half of hashish from Morocco into the Algarve. Sounds like a plan: Morocco’s not that far away, the Rif and such places are hotbeds of cannabis production (they’re not just the right sort of climate, they’re also pretty lawless even today). As such the drug is cheap as chips there.
SO, we think there should be less stuff wasted. Sounds like a plan: so, therefore we will fine people who waste less. This is, well, this is monstrously stupid, isn’t it? But it is what the European Union is going to do to Britain. We now waste less paper and glass than we used to. Therefore we are going to be fined.
Recycling rates will fall for the first time in over 10 years due to “green fatigue” caused by councils imposing numerous confusing bins on households, one of the country’s biggest bin collectors has predicted.
The fall will make it almost certain that Britain will miss tough EU targets of recycling half of all household waste by 2020.
A combination of “green fatigue”, declining glass usage, and local authority budget cuts are also likely to have contributed to the fall, which risks the UK having to pay millions of pounds in fines.
SO says one of the more conservative churchmen of the Balkans, that Conchita Wurst, the bearded bloke in a dress who won the Eurovision song contest, caused the Balkan Floods that have forced 150,000 people from their homes. Quite remarkable what God gets pissed off about really, isn’t it?
In more detail the claim is being made by the Montenegrin Patriarch, that the floods are not a coincidence. Oooh, no, it is a warning from God that people should not join the dark side. Although quite what’s so dark about a bearded drag queen isn’t explained in any detail:
Conchita Wurst is responsible for flooding that left over 50 people dead earlier this month, church leaders in the Balkans have claimed.
The Austrian drag artist, whose real name is Thomas Neuwirth, seized international attention after winning Eurovision 2014 with his hit Rise Like a Phoenix.
However, several church leaders have now claimed the recent devastating flooding across the Balkans, which was the worst in a century and left over 50 people dead, was “divine punishment” for Conchita’s victory.
“This [flood] is not a coincidence, but a warning,” Patriarch Amfilohije of Montenegro said, according to e.novine.com. “God sent the rains as a reminder that people should not join the wild side.”
THERE’S a very stupid piece of labour activism going on over in the US. It’s a series of strikes and demonstrations against McDonald’s over the pay that the people working in the stores receive. The reason it’s such a silly set of demos and strikes is simply that McDonald’s doesn’t actually employ the workers. So why shout at the people who can’t change the situation?
More than 100 demonstrators seeking better pay for McDonald’s workers were arrested as protesters swarmed the fast-food chain’s corporate campus near Chicago demanding a minimum wage of $15 (£8.88) an hour and the right to unionise.
The protest against McDonald’s Corp, the world’s biggest restaurant operator by revenue, came a day before a shareholder vote on executive pay, including that of Chief Executive Don Thompson, who earned total compensation of $9.5 million (£5.62 million) in 2013.
IN America, if you’re poor and you commit a crime, you go to prison. You need to pay your court fees. If you can’t pay your court fees, the State will lock you up. To maintain law and order, they will feed you, cloth you and house you. It’s a genius plan:
In Augusta, Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2.
In Ionia, Mich., 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt caught a fish out of season; then a judge sentenced him to three days in jail.
In Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Papa, a homeless Iraq War veteran, spent 22 days in jail, not for what he calls his “embarrassing behavior” after he got drunk with friends and climbed into an abandoned building, but because he had only $25 the day he went to court.
The common thread in these cases, and scores more like them, is the jail time wasn’t punishment for the crime, but for the failure to pay the increasing fines and fees associated with the criminal justice system.
A yearlong NPR investigation found that the costs of the criminal justice system in the United States are paid increasingly by the defendants and offenders. It’s a practice that causes the poor to face harsher treatment than others who commit identical crimes and can afford to pay. Some judges and politicians fear the trend has gone too far.
A state-by-state survey conducted by NPR found that defendants are charged for many government services that were once free, including those that are constitutionally required….
THIS is rather fun. The FBI, over in the US, is one of the most staid and white bread organisations in the world. They’re cops, of a sort, yes, but the internal culture at the place is still pretty much 50’s America. Flag, Mom and apple pie. And one of the parts of that is that pot smoking is absolutely verboeten.
Yeah, we all know, half the damn country smokes it at some time or another and no one comes to any great harm. But then again the FBI is one of the organisations that has to try and track down the drug dealers so perhaps the policy isn’t entirely stupid. The law is, but given the existence of the law the FBI might not be. But even here they’ve had to relax a little bit: you can apply for a job at the FBI if you have ever smoked pot (something they wouldn’t allow if you had ever robbed a bank) but not if you’ve smoked it in the past three years.
THE Daily Mail is on one of its head explodey little warpaths shouting about how the family of Abu Hookand (aka Abu Hamza) live off state benefits. But if they are in fact British then why the hell shouldn’t they get the same benefits, rights to them, as any other British people?
There was growing anger last night that Abu Hamza’s family are continuing to be bankrolled by the British public.
As the hate preacher was convicted of 11 terror offences in the U.S., it emerged his wife and children are still being housed at an extortionate cost in one of the most upmarket areas of the country.
It is thought the family have cost taxpayers more than £3million in benefits and social housing, as well as legal fees for Hamza and his sons.
Hamza’s second wife Najat Mostafa, 55, with whom he has seven children, lives in a £1.25 million five-bedroom council house in Shepherd’s Bush, West London – an area popular with bankers and City lawyers.
Last night, neighbours said they were ‘sickened’ the family were continuing to benefit from state handouts.
ARE YOU READY TOP MEET THE WORLD’S SADDEST MAN and his hard-nosed former lover, who just happens to be a stripper named…Moaner?
Robert Wallace, 32, says he broke up with exotic dancer Nomi Mims on May 3, and then waited a week for her to give him back the things he lent her—$2,000, a laptop, and the aforementioned DVDs—before taking legal action.
Those were Harry Potter DVDs.
Mims says she “really likes him as a friend,” and the items and cash were gifts, not loans.
“I don’t believe in loans because I don’t want to pay anybody back,” she told FOX 26.
AN interesting little report trying to insist that people who grow rice are more social, more cooperative, than people who grow wheat. Unfortunately, while the phenomenon they describe might well be true they’ve not quite ascribed it to the correct cause. It’s not the crop being grown that makes the difference but the method of growing the crop:
Scientists have long wondered why the U.S. and Europe are so culturally different to China and other countries in Eastern Asia.
Now one study claims the answer lies in an unexpected area: the different farming methods used by people living in the East and West.
While Westerners are known for their individualism and analytical thinking, eastern culture tends to be interdependent and holistic, the study claims.
ONE thing you can always rely on, with the music industry, is that someone is going to sue someone else, trying to stake a claim to a song, or music, they had no part in writing.
And people wonder why the music industry is on its arse.
This time, the High Court in London is hearing arguments in a copyright dispute over 13 songs by Bob Marley. You’ll know Bob Marley because, to 90% of the world, he’s the only human on Earth who ever recorded a reggae record.
ONE of the great problems in this modern world is that people are forever confusing cause and effect. Or if you prefer, forgetting that correlation does not mean causation. And so it is with this latest report that the internet is making our precious little children sad. For what’s forgotten, not even considered here, is that it could well be that sad people, those with few friends in the real world, go on hte internet more than others, instead of it being going online that makes people sad:
Children who spend too much time on the internet are developing mental health problems, according to government health advisors.
Those who sit behind a screen for more than four hours a day are particularly at risk, although very low levels of use can cause issues, they say.
Public Health England, which issues guidelines to the NHS, said children face social problems such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and heightened aggression as a result of overusing computers.
The huge improvements made in children’s welfare over the last 20 years had now been “curtailed and may now be in reverse”, it said.
In a dossier to MPs it warned of a clear relationship between the amount of time spent on social media sites such as Facebook and “lower levels of well-being”.
ONCE again the scientists have come to our rescue, explaining one of the world’s great mysteries. Why is it that some people en up having more sex with more people than some others? We could posit that good looking people have more offers. Or that intelligent people know how to manipulate people into offering it. Or rich people flash the cash and get offered it. Or, well, come up with your own theory, why not?
As it happens this vital research has been one for us and the answer is that more highly sexed people get more sex:
How intensely a person responds to sexual images can be linked his or her number of sexual partners, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of California of Los Angeles asked 40 male and 22 female subjects how many sex partners they had last year before they showed them 225 images, both sexual and non-sexual.
The researchers analyzed subjects’ ‘late positive potential, which reacts to images depending on their emotional intensity,’ by using an electroencephalogram (EEG), according to a press release. People with more sex partners reacted in the same way when they looked at ‘graphic and less-graphic’ images.
BACK in April, the New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson told us about the T-for-Times tattoo on her back.
One month later Abramson was sacked. Her offence? She had been moaning about her meagre wages.
As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000. Her salary was raised to $503,000, and – only after she protested – was raised again to $525,000.
She learned that her salary as managing editor, $398,000, was less than that of the male managing editor for news operations, John Geddes. She also learned that her salary as Washington bureau chief, from 2000 to 2003, was a hundred thousand dollars less than that of her successor in that position, Phil Taubman.
IT’S a generally accepted bit of health woo that there are good animal fats and bad ones. The nice tasty kind, lard, beef dripping and so on are very bad for you: cause a heart attack as soon as you look at them. There’s also the good ones, like from fish, seal and whale blubber, known as Omega 3 fatty acids. These must be good for you because they taste like crap.
And thus we get thousands of people waxing rich on flogging us fish pills to protect our hearts.
There’s even some sciency bits behind this. For researchers did declare that Inuit (aka Eskimos to us less than PC types) had low levels of heart disease because they ate all that fish and whale blubber.