We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
AMERICAN wapper 50 Cent has been mugged on stage…
US light sweet crude rose to a record of $120.36 a barrel in New York yesterday.
It then fell back (surely, swooned – Ed) to a record close of $119.97 – up $3.65.
Anyone who thinks it will end there can take the sell.
The rest of you worried about rising energy costs, rising fuels costs and why filling your lighter costs more than a pack of fags used to in 1950, can take the buy and try to earn enough to buy, well, oil.
You think oil is a stable market?
“Nigeria is the lingering hotspot the markets will be focusing on,” says MF Global analyst Ed Meir. Reports are that “rebels” have attacked oil wells and pipelines which lead export terminals.
Nigeria produces a lot of oil. If this oil cannot get to market, then there is less oil in the marketplace and those who have oil find that it is in greater demand and so worth more. Oil goes up in price.
And over in the exotic regions of Northern Iraq, the Turkish military is fighting the Kurdish insurgents.
Oil is a stable market? On the markets, 63.4 per cent of you are backing more rises.
But it’s not all about violence. There’s the US currency.
Says Damian Cox, of John Hall Associates, to the BBC: “Since about August, commodities appear to have been responding to movements in the currency markets. As the dollar has weakened, some people have moved into commodities.”
So oil is being used to hedge against the weak dollar. Which means that if the dollar begins to strengthen then oil will weaken. Right?
But if people see oil as strong they will be less likely to out their money in the US and so the dollar remains weak. Discuss.
At the time of writing, one pound equals $1.97229. That’s a little down from the 52-week high of $2.11610 but up on the 520-week low of $1.93340.
Most punters on Tradefair think the dollar will weaken against sterling.
British holidaymakers looking for alternatives to the costly euro may well agree…
WHAT does a poker chip look like to you?
It’s not a trick question, and, no, there’s no GSCE in Chipology for answers of between 200-300 words. Discuss.
It’s just that the Poker Anorak has just spotted a 20-year-old Canadian visiting her local bank.
In her hand she holds a roll of chips.
We should note that in Canada there exists the two-dollar coin, the Twonie.
The name is a cunning blend of the number “two” with the name of the Loonie, Canada’s one-dollar coin.
We should not mock. In the UK, the two pound coin has yet to earn a nickname.
Suggestions on a postcard as to what it should be called.
Back to the woman in the bank. She hands the teller the coins and makes off with the equivalent in cash, about $100.
Only she then tries the same trick again in the same bank and is collared.
Who has not be so defrauded by chips or tokens? Is there any gambler who has not sifted through their fruit machine winnings and found a Kenyan Schilling, a washer or a homemade piece of metal?
We can recall those halcyon days of 50pence parking meters, which could – we are told, yer honour – be triggered by wrapping a bent matchstick around a 10pence piece.
The question is not so much one of honesty but if poker chips have any intrinsic value, other than the number the casino has ascribed them.
What is a chip worth, and can a chip ever be worth as much as money?
NEW Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk says of Poland:
We have no oil and gas. We don’t have high tech. Our centers of development, are far, far behind others. We will never be an extraordinary tourist attraction. Poland is quite a mediocre country in some regards. The only natural resource that we have, and with which we can compete, is freedom.
AS Gateway Pundit notes, the death of FARC leader Raul Reyes is just the start of the matter:
The information found in the computers of the deceased leader of the rebel Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), Raúl Reyes, was not manipulated by Colombian authorities, according to an Interpol’s report to be released next May 15, as disclosed by Bogota El Tiempo daily newspaper.
The Colombian National Ministry of Defense reported last month that authorities had seized 60 pounds of uranium that belonged to FARC after its dead terror leader’s computers were seized.
Closer to home…
HOW do you fingerprint a woman with no arms?
Spokesman Vincent Moaga said the commission was concerned the department had requested that a woman with no arms could not get an ID unless she was fingerprinted.
Victoria Modise, 37, of Diepkloof Zone, Soweto, who lost her ID last year, applied for a replacement but was told she needed to be fingerprinted.
Perhaps you’ve forgotten us. We are the tax paying, voting people. Remember the folks who put the X in the box in 1997, and waited with you, fingers and toes crossed, for the results to come in? The ones who sang to D:REAM as Michael Portillo was slumping, shell shocked into the background. We are the ones you said you’d listen to, and would work for. The plan was that you’d go in there, make them behave. Take away the power ball, and give it back to us. We made sure you got the job.
It’s a decent pun on Gordon Brown’s tax on household waste. And the pay-as-you-throw tax will be dumped.
The Mail has the scoop.
Or as the BBC puts it:
Trials of a scheme to tax householders who throw away too much rubbish are to forge ahead, Downing Street has said.
The Mail, of course, didn’t say which rubbish tax Brown would dump, only that he will…
RICHARD Littlejohn versue “pet” Polly Tonybee on the BBC.
Is there a third way?
GIVE up America, we have you surrounded. Did the Rom,an Empire fall becsue of depression?
Americans are glum at the moment. No, I mean really glum. In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the “wrong track.” In the 25 years that pollsters have asked this question, last month’s response was by far the most negative. Other polls, asking similar questions, found levels of gloom that were even more alarming, often at 30- and 40-year highs. There are reasons to be pessimistic—a financial panic and looming recession, a seemingly endless war in Iraq, and the ongoing threat of terrorism. But the facts on the ground—unemployment numbers, foreclosure rates, deaths from terror attacks—are simply not dire enough to explain the present atmosphere of malaise.
THE religion of global warming in the EU:
“an informal dialogue took place on 5 May in the headquarters of the European Commission, bringing together around twenty high-level representatives of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in Europe…This year, discussions centred around “Climate change: an ethical challenge for all cultures“. President Barroso declared: “Climate change obliges all of us to take urgent action. Each part of civil society must contribute to ensuring a sustainable future of our planet. Thanks to their outreach and role in our societies, religions and communities of belief are well placed to make a valuable contribution in mobilising them for a sustainable future“.
Which religion is the most environmentally friendy?
Clue: It’s not the Cargoists, who are polluting scum.
Let’s have a heated debate…
BRAD Pitt and Angelina Jolie are to marry on board Octopus, a yacht – the world’s largest privately owned yacht – owned by former Microsoft owner Paul Allen.
Namibia was deemed too small…
MR Tibbs was identified as a traitor and a fascist in 1940. He lived in Rutland:
Writing from his cell in Liverpool Prison, Mr Tibbs admitted he had indeed, years before, belonged to the British Union of Fascists. They had an excellent agricultural policy, he said.
The victim of wagging tongues and English spite?
It has seen a report from the Defence Plans Division, released by the National Archives, and what the Government of 1955 “assumed” would happen in the first two weeks of a nuclear war.
“The tea position would be very serious,” notes one civil servant. “With a loss of 75 per cent of stocks and substantial delays in imports and with a system of rationing, it would be wrong to consider that even 1oz per head per week (enough for about 12 cups) could be ensured.”
To the Mail the tea shortage is headline news. But surely the bigger story is what the Russians deem worthy of annihilation, and if the plan takes into account a post-apocalyptic Britain, and which places the invading Russians would feel most at home in.
The top five targets of the Soviets were London, Birmingham, Merseyside, Manchester and Clydeside.
In addition, 14 less powerful atom bombs, “similar to the one dropped on Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War”, were to fall on Tyneside, Teeside, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Derby, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bristol, Plymouth, Cardiff, Coventry, Belfast and Purfleet in Essex.
Indeed, dear reader, Red Russians hell bent on destroying all that is good/bad in Britain deemed Wales worthy of saving.
Or else, not worth a bomb?
GLOBAL warming – the truth is out there:
On April 24 the World Wildife Fund (WWF), another body keen to keep the warmist flag flying, published a study warning that Arctic sea ice was melting so fast that it may soon reach a “tipping point” where “irreversible change” takes place.
This was based on last September’s data, showing ice cover having shrunk over six months from 13 million square kilometres to just 3 million.
What the WWF omitted to mention was that by March the ice had recovered to 14 million sq km (see the website Cryosphere Today), and that ice-cover around the Bering Strait and Alaska that month was at its highest level ever recorded
In Snowdon, where there’s no snow, tthe builders are getting snowed on (gerrit?)…
THE BritBlog RoundUp No. 168 – as compiled by Liberal England:
First a mention for the three bloggers who were featured on the BBC election coverage: Luke Akehurst, Iain Dale and Alix Mortimer. They all did a much better job than Jeremy Vine or David bloody Dimbleby.
And also a mention to Andy D’Agorne for recognising that the elections did not just take place in London. He went to Sheffield and saw strange goings on involving postal votes and taxis.
“One of the ten cleverest men men in Britain” is worried that Londoners did not understand the electoral system, so I suppose we should be too. Pandemian has some ideas for making voting more exciting. And Burning Our Money gives reasons why you should have voted early and often.
So how will Mayor BoJo do?
Croydonian speculates on Boris’s first 100 days. The more cynical Diamond Geezer has produced a newsletter for him so that he can get some ideas. And Barkingside 21 detects a climate of change in London – as well as leading me to the picture above.
Cruella-Blog has collected a range of reactions to Boris’s victory. Other reactions to the elections – in London and further afield – come from Elle Seymour and Ben Brogan. More reaction still comes from Liam Mac Uaid (Respect), Dave’s Part (Old Labour) and A Blog from the Back Room (New Labour).
Phew! We’ll give politics a rest and look at more interesting things for a while.
Meanwhile Feminist Philosophers has been to the Fem 08 conference in Sheffield – this week’s place to be if you are not in London.
Elsewhere Amused Cynicism explains why people go anti-science, Around My Kitchen Table writes of extreme sports and adrenaline rush deprivation and Bag’s Rants invites you to find the man in the coffee beans.
It tells you something important about the right and left of your brain, apparently.
Back in London, Northwest 6 reports on the restoration of some green space in West Hampstead.
Random Acts of Reality has received his first letter of thanks as an ambulance man.
NHS Blog Doctor detects “a little sleight of hand from those dear ladies at the Kent Midwifery Practice”.
The nominator admits that it is not British, but Jewcy is written by Mike Godwin of Godwin’s Law fame – the first person to mention Hitler in a discussion thread has lost the argument. Here he marks the law’s 18th birthday. “If Godwin’s Law had been a child, this year it would be old enough to vote.”
And Freeborn John looks at why some people have such laudatory Wikipedia entries.
To finish off, we go back to a few political postings that did not concern Thursday’s elections.
Gaian Economics urges the establishment of a “housing entitlement day”.
Freeborn John has a second nomination, this one looking at government plans to force people learning to drive to use an approved driving instructor.
And Burning our Money turns up again too, looking at Gordon Brown’s plans for a Great Leap Forward.
Finally, Blood and Treasure has found the perfect word to describe the prime minister.
TIM Blair: “Awareness is always the goal when enviro targets aren’t met. Awareness is the participation medal of goals.”
OPRAH Winfrey leaves Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church becasue “There is the Church of Oprah now”…
“Excellent point: In Houston, a Texan protesting amnesty for illegal immigrants argues that anyone who can’t master English doesn’t deserve to live in America.”
It might be ironic, sorry, colonic?
Stem the tide of US ignorants.
There are more – read on for them…
The notion that the Amazing Obama might be just another politician doing what politicians do seems to have affronted the senator more than any of the stuff about America being no different from al-Qaida and the government inventing AIDS to kill black people. In his belated “disowning” of Wright, Obama said, “What I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing. Anybody who knows me and anybody who knows what I’m about knows that – that I am about trying to bridge gaps and that I see the – the commonality in all people.”
Funny how tinny and generic the sonorous uplift rings when it’s suddenly juxtaposed against something real and messy and human. As he chugged on, the senator couldn’t find his groove and couldn’t prevent himself from returning to pick at the same old bone: “If what somebody says contradicts what you believe so fundamentally, and then he questions whether or not you believe it in front of the National Press Club, then that’s enough. That’s – that’s a show of disrespect to me.”
And we can’t have that, can we?
SAUDI Arabia’s SECRET AGENDA for Australia:
The Saudi Government – largely through its embassy – is believed to have funnelled at least $120 million into Australia since the 1970s to propagate hardline Islam, bankroll radical clerics and build mosques, schools and charitable orgnisations.
And Islam be linked to global warming and the hole in the ozone?
HIZBOLLA is filming in Beirut:
A fierce political row has broken out in Lebanon over claims that the radical Shia movement, Hezbollah, secretly filmed aircraft at Beirut’s airport.
PHWOARR! Wot a corker: News of the World scholarship
The News of the World is delighted to announce its 2008 Graduate Scholarship in journalism.
My graduate tabloid shame…
What’s more, I couldn’t even use my carefully hoarded “5p off petrol” vouchers from Sainsbury and Tesco, as there was no such filling station nearby and I needed petrol urgently because, tomorrow, we are off to visit friends in Oxford.
Even with a Family Railcard, it has to be cheaper to drive than to let the train take the financial strain of transporting the seven of us (two parents included) 100 miles.
Which broadsheet will die first?
Boris Johnson’s first few days as mayor of London...