Anorak

Key Posts | Anorak - Part 4

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Gemma Collins seeks spiritual advice from Kerry Katona

kerryt katona

Who better for Gemma Collins to turn to for spiritual advice than Kerry Katona, former Queen of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity jungle and long billed in the tabloid press as “troubled”? Kerry is the women who had her cosmetic surgery televised and was once so hard up, she was forced to sell her parrot to buy Tampax.

Collins, 38, currently between injuries in ITV’s Dancing On Ice is “seeking help from crystal-loving Kerry Katona”. That’s an unfortunate or conniving play on words by the Mail, given Kerry’s battles with drugs – and crystal is a shorthand for crystal meth. The People reminds readers that Katona is an “ex-addict” whose nadir – or at least one of them – was being filmed taking coke a caper that led to her getting sacked by Iceland (the frozen food store and not the nation). In any case, Collins wants help calming down not speeding up. A source arrives to explain all:

“It sounds a bit woo and wacky, but Kerry’s obsessed with meditating and yoga and it’s helped her so much with her stress and anxiety. Kerry has been choosing crystals she thinks will help Gemma cope with the pressures of Dancing on Ice and all the diva accusations she’s had.”

Anorak advices Collins choose the homophonous Krsytle Carrington, who was always ice cool in a crisis, save for when Alexis pushed her too far and she resorted to fisticuffs.

PS: Cynics will point out that Katona and Collins have have the same agent. This in no way diminishes from the truth of this story.

Posted: 10th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Liverpool balls: Mane offside for ‘lovely goal’; Howe wants VAR; Bournemouth and West Ham robbed

Liverpool

Sadio Mane was “offside” (BBC) when he opened the scoring in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Bournemouth. Mane has scored in four successive Premier League games for the first time in his career. The first goal should not have stood. What says the media – is it biased?

The AFC Bournemouth website says, “the Senegalese frontman was offside as James Milner’s delivery was swung into the box”. Bournemouth manger Eddie Howe added: “VAR will help us in those situations, I think that will benefit everybody, it was tight but offside was the right decision.”

The Liverpool FC website makes no mention of VAR, noting, “Sadio Mane set them on their way to victory with a header midway through the first half.” The offside goal was not one of the site’s ‘Talking Points”. This is how the LFC liveblog saw the goal:

GOALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! MANE!!!
Breakthrough for Liverpool and yet again it’s Mane.
The Senegal international meets Milner’s delivery from the right with a firm downward header beyond Boruc. A lovely goal.
Get in!
Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth

Offside! Not on Liverpool where it was a “lovely goal”. Liverpool scored their first goal during a 1-1 draw at West Ham from a blatant offside position. The LFC website reported that egregious error thus: “Sadio Mane’s swift spin and finish put the away team ahead midway through the first half at the London Stadium.”

Lallana’s immaculate control and quick feet on the right touchline freed Milner to roll a pass to the front post and Mane. The No.10 artfully rolled around Issa Diop and planted a confident left-foot finish beyond Lukasz Fabianski.

Or as the official West Ham United site put it:

West Ham looked to have valid protests that Milner was in an offside position, but the linesman’s flag stayed down.

They say luck and bad decisions even out over a season. Liverpool will be hoping that’s not the case. If it is, they’re in big trouble.

Posted: 9th, February 2019 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Sir Philip Green allegedly paid woman £1m for kissing and groping her

Philip Green

The injunctions are dead. Sir Philip Green wanted the law to prevent the Daily Telegraph from revealing details of alleged sexual and racial abuse against him. Today the paper leads with allegations that the fashion mogul paid five staff members of staff at his Arcadia Group money to keep shtum. One female employee was allegedly paid more than £1m to keep quiet after she accused him of kissing and groping her. All five signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA) stating they would not repeat their allegations.

Green denies allegations he behaved wrongly. His lawyers argue he was a “passionate businessman” who “can at times be exuberant and hot-headed”. Green “categorically denies any unlawful… sexual behaviour”. He also denied any “unlawful… racist behaviour”.

The Daily Mail looks at Green’s legal bill. He has, says the paper, “started a new war with accusers”. They should honour the NDAs or face “further legal actions and significant losses”.

Sir Philip said the law “recognised that the signatories to the non-disclosure agreements have ongoing obligations to honour those agreements, which they entered into willingly after receiving full independent legal advice about their rights and responsibilities”.

The BBC outlines the claims:

A female employee received more than £1m after Sir Philip groped her, kissed her, called her a “naughty girl” and made comments about her weight

A black male employee received £1m after Sir Philip mocked his dreadlocks and suggested he was “throwing spears in the jungle”

A female employee received hundreds of thousands of pounds after Sir Philip sexually harassed her and grabbed her face

A female employee received hundreds of thousands of pounds after Sir Philip put her in a headlock and groped her waist

A male employee left his role with one month’s pay shortly after Sir Philip smashed his mobile phone

The Telegraph is gunning for Green. Will other leading businessmen and figures – say, Royals – get the same attention?

Posted: 9th, February 2019 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News | Comment


Jeff Bezos dick photos and Trump’s Pecker

Jeff Bezos penis

PSST! Wanna see what Jeff Bezos’s penis looks like? American Media Inc. (AMI), the National Enquirer’s parent company, thinks you might. Mr Bezos, who owns Amazon and the Washington Post, isn’t keen on you seeing photos of his bellend. “Of course I don’t want personal photos published,” Mr Bezos wrote in a blog post before adding: “I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.” He’s accusing AMI of trying to blackmail him over the dick pics.

Bezos posted an email he claims was sent to his intermediaries by AMI lawyer Jon Fine. The alleged email contains threats to publish photos of Bezos and his lover, former TV host Lauren Sanchez. “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail,” writes Mr Bezos, “I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.” Bezos says AIM wanted him to go on the record, to make a “false public statement” that the National Enquirer’s story was not politically motivated. But there are allegedly “strong leads” to suspect political reasons. Bezos says President Trump is mates with AMI’s boss – get this! – David Pecker.

AIM says it “acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr Bezos”. It is “in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him”. The board “convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims”.

God bless America, where billionaires hire lawyers over photos of their peckers.

The BBC:

AMI recently admitted in court that it had co-ordinated with the Trump presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 (£115,000) in hush money to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Mr Trump. Mr Bezos noted in his blog post how the publisher had confessed to a “catch and kill” deal to bury Karen McDougal’s politically embarrassing story. AMI’s agreement to co-operate with federal authorities means it will not face criminal charges over the payments, Manhattan prosecutors announced in December. Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen – who facilitated the hush money at the direction, he says, of Mr Trump – has already admitted violating campaign finance laws.

As for the Enquirer, well, remember John Edwards. It should have won a Pulitzer.

Posted: 8th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, National Enquirer, News, Politicians | Comment


Walmart sells Hitler pillows

Hitler pillow walmart

Who wants to buy a pillow bearing the image of Hitler’s face and a swastika? People of Walmart do. The Fresno Bee:

When the Very Rev. Ryan Newman bought the pillow on walmart.com in November, he could see it featured large images of a bicycle and the Eiffel Tower, and the word “Paris.” What he didn’t see were Nazi party seals with swastikas, along with Hitler’s face on postage stamps with the German word “Reich” – referring to the Third Reich, the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 – on the top near the pillow’s seams. The images cover several inches on each side.

Newman said he was dumbfounded, and then angry and upset.

“To me this is a symbol of hate,” he said. “This is a symbol of evil.”

Walmart were only following (online) orders:

A Walmart spokeswoman provided the following statement: “This pillow was listed by a third-party seller on our online marketplace and is in violation of our policy. We regularly scan our marketplace for these types of items, but, unfortunately, the offensive image wasn’t visible on the pillow’s photo and we were not aware of it until the customer reached out. We removed the item immediately and are reviewing the seller’s assortment.”

Anyone buy one and keep it?

Posted: 8th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Rolf Harris is alive and coming to a school near you

rolf harris wood

Convicted child abuser Rolf Harris is alive. Who knew? This week the man once famous for asking kids “Can you tell what it is yet?” as he panted his way through a TV show and now known as a sexual deviant who persistently abused minors is reported to have entered the grounds of a primary school near his home and “waved at pupils”. The Mirror doesn’t tell us if the pupils waved back as they waited in the school hall for their lunch nor what part of his body Rolf waved. The BBC adds – and try not to gag: “He was talking to sculptor Nick Garnett, who was working in the school’s ‘Kiss and Drop’ area.”

(In June 2014 Rolf Harris was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault. The crimes were committed against four girls – one of who was aged just seven or eight. He was released from prison 2017. That same year, an appeal saw one conviction overturned, but the other 11 remain.)

Mr Garnett tells the BBC: “I turned round and there was Rolf Harris, which was a strange moment.” Fight or flight? “He asked for a piece of timber. Apparently he’s interested in making some carvings, so I gave him a couple of pieces.”

The headteacher at Oldfield Primary School in Bray, Maidenhead, goes on the record, telling us: “We’ve got a wood sculptor working close to the road at the moment and Rolf Harris lives about three doors down from the school. He must have seen him (the sculptor) and come into the school area. He had no access to the children whatsoever. I went over and shook his hand and introduced myself. He explained what he was doing – that he was getting some wood from the sculptor. I said, ‘You need to go’.”

Was it a crime? Harris has no offspring at the school, one assumes. A copper is quoted: “A report was made that a man was on the site of the school. An officer attended the scene but no offence was committed. No arrests were made.”

A non-story, then? The Mail says Harris “was handed a police warning”. The Mail includes a few words from a local man: “One elderly male neighbour said: ‘He’s an asset to the area, he’s been a tremendous supporter of any charity we’ve been part of… We know he had sex with a 15-year-old but we find it terribly sad that the end of his life has been marred by continual investigation into what happened 30 or 40 years ago.”

People, eh, some really do believe in rehabilitation for paedophiles. Others believe in buying your own wood.

Posted: 7th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


See you in Hell, Donald Tusk

Dante and Virgil escape from Hell, from a 15th century manuscript of the Inferno
Dante and Virgil escape from Hell, from a 15th century manuscript of the Inferno

European Council President Donald Tusk says there is a “special place in Hell” for “those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely”. There’s no referendum for anyone seeking to escape Hell. No ‘in’ or ‘out’ vote. The exit, as tried and tested by Dante and Virgil, is to descend into the ninth and lowest circle of Hell, slip down into the chasms below Satan’s waist and after a long walk emerge into the sunny uplands of the southern hemisphere – to strike a new deal with Australia, Kenya and the Maldives. Hades Exit – aka Hexit – is possible. Pack the suncream and a cricket bat.

Tusk hell

Who Tusk’s sinful promoters are is debatable. The BBC says: “The softly spoken politician who holds the authority of all EU countries [Tusk] has just completely condemned a chunk of the British cabinet.” It might be MPs who led the Leave campaign – Michael Gove, Gisela Stuart and Boris Johnson – Tusk was damning. It would not be George Osborne, Tony Blair and the Big Banks, who are, in Tusk’s spiritual view, on the side of the Heavenly. Maybe – just maybe – it was the 17.4m of us lost souls who freely voted to tell Tusk to naff off he was was casting into the pit.

Not that Tusk (EU salary: €33,000-a-month) has reappraised a view and found democracy wanting. He called the referendum “so dangerous, so stupid”. That’s what he thinks when politicians ask people what they think. Don’t ask. Tell. That’s how the EU does politics. Tusk predicted “the destruction of Western civilisation in its entirety” in June 2016, if British democrats voted to leave the EU. Health secretary, Matt Hancock, notes: “It’s this sort of arrogance that drives antipathy towards the EU.” It does. DUP MP Sammy Wilson went a tad further, describing the EU leader as a “devilish Euro-maniac”. European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt poured oil on the fires by tweeting: “Well, I doubt Lucifer would welcome them, as after what they did to Britain, they would even manage to divide hell.”

The Irish premier Leo Varadkar – hearing his country has not an Irish border but an EU border – thought it the right time to hand Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, a thank-you card from a family in Ireland. “For the 1st time ever Ireland is stronger [than] Britain,” the card read. “That strength comes not from guns … it comes from your word and that of your colleagues. Britain does not care about peace in Northern Ireland. To them it’s a nuisance.”

Perhaps the most revealing part of Tusk’s snideness was when Varadkar turned to him and snarked: “They’ll give you terrible trouble in the British press for that.” As the BBC put it: “Mr Tusk nodded at the comment and both laughed.” They find it funny. They giggled. Get a load of Europe’s new aristocrats. And you know what Europeans do to them. Laugh your heads off, lads. Laugh them right off.

Posted: 6th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Scum: Liam Neeson uses rape and racism to promote a movie

liam neeson black bastard

Actor Liam Neeson reacted to the rape of a friend by asking her what colour skin the perpetrator had. Funny question, no? He then armed himself with a cosh and spent a week of his life hoping a “black bastard” would “have a go at me about something so that I could kill him”.

Neeson said this in an Press junket interview to promote his latest movie, Cold Pursuit, a revenge thriller in which the 66-year-old embarks on a revenge mission to right wrongs with extreme violence.

Yep, that’s what I thought: what kind of a c**t uses rape and racism to promote a movie? Frederick Joseph makes a sound point when he tweets: “Even him telling the story demonstrates a level of privilege and understanding that there may not be repercussions.”

Neeson uses the same interview to voice regret at his odious behaviour. He is “ashamed”. He says his behaviour was “awful”.

But that phrase, “black bastard” rolls so neatly from his tongue. “Rub some coal dust on those wounds you fuckin’ black bastard!” bellows Ray Winstone’s Carlin in the 1979 movie Scum. The phrase is bald, hard and horribly familiar. Some words go tougher, their use combined into a manta we all know: fuck off; Jew-boy; Paki-basher; stupid bitch; silly cow; black bastard.

Those are the words of adolescent ignorance and wilful adult malice. Neeson didn’t use them then. He’s using them now.

Posted: 5th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Love Island winner Jack Fincham: being famous gets you drugs and booze

Jack Fincham, winner of TV’s Love Island, and Mr Dani Dayer, wants to talk about “My coke shame”. But before the shame, the sympathetic back story. The Sun, which leads with the news of Fincham’s drug taking, tells us he “caved in” to the “temptation” of “regularly being offered drugs in the wake of his TV triumph”. Other reality TV shows offer less mind-blowing prizes. But that’s showbiz.

Jack, 27, tells us: “I’ve made a terrible error.” And ..? Well, why are you telling us, Jack? Are you getting in first before an expose hits the papers? Is the Sun now an extension of the therapy industries – “If you want a sympathetic ear and a chance to talk, call 0800 Snort ‘n’ Tell (You’re amongst friends!”)?

There are two more pages of Fincham to browse. And we note that he’s “dreading telling hardman Danny Dyer about his cocaine shame”. Danny is, of course, Dani’s homophonous dad, the EastEnders actor.

But surely Danny will understand how “dangerous elements of the showbiz scenes” can pull young noses towards an incidental table in an Kent hotel. Says Jack: “Since winning the show I’ve been offered cocaine a lot”, plus “free drinks” and a chance to appear in another reality TV show. Yes, that’s right, Jack’s shame trails the TV show The Full Monty, named in honour of the film in which a group of down-on-their-luck men from the impoverished provinces turn to the skin trade to earn a few quid and fame. Showbiz, eh. The top prize used to be car.

Posted: 5th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Arsenal Balls: 4 years since last away win over Big 6 team; greedy Stan Kroenke to blame; Emery needs 10 new players

Stan Kronke arsenal
Stan Kroenke – the man with one plan: milk the club and, er, that’s it

It is now four years and 21 matches since Arsenal last won away from home against a big-six rival — a 2-0 win against Manchester City in January 2015. Under Stan Kroenke’s ownership, Arsenal have dropped and dropped. Kroenke is the greedy, absentee owner the club never deserved. He puts no stock in the team winning on the pitch. There is no reflective glory. Arsenal fans would wager and win the bet that Kroenke doesn’t even know who Unai Emery is. It’s all just about dividends and cash. Kroenke doesn’t support Arsenal; Arsenal supports him and his avarice.

Arsenal’s way form against their so-called Premier League title rivals is dire. These are the points won in games away to the big six since that City victory:

Team
Man City Games 23, points 31
Liverpool 21, 24
Man Utd 21, 23
C Palace 24, 20
Southampton 24, 16
West Ham 24, 16
Chelsea 18, 16
Tottenham 19, 15
Leicester City 26, 14
West Brom 21, 12
Swansea City 20, 12
Burnley 19, 9
Everton 25, 8
Bournemouth 22, 8
Arsenal 21, 7
Newcastle 19, 5
Stoke City 19, 5
Watford 20, 4
Aston Villa 10, 3
Sunderland 15, 2
Huddersfield 10,2

Spotter: The Times

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Historic sex abuse: 33 men arrested in Yorkshire on the word of one woman

In Yorkshire, 33 men have been arrested over claims they were involved in child sex abuse. The men, aged from 30 to 40, were arrested in Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford districts. The alleged crimes happened years ago. They are allegations of ‘historic sex abuse’. And, as the Examiner notes: “It comes after one woman has come forward alleging she was abused as a child, predominantly in the Halifax area, between 2002 and 2005.”

One woman makes a number of claims and 33 men are arrested. The paper tells us us: “All those who have been arrested have since been released under further investigation.”

Detective Inspector Laura Nield, of Calderdale District Safeguarding, goes on the record:

“Protecting and safeguarding children is a top priority for the Force and this operation forms part of West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing commitment to investigating both current and non-recent sexual offences against children. These crimes affect the most vulnerable in our society and are truly heinous crimes.”

Alleged offences. Surely she should have said the offences are alleged. The 33-men now being eyed with suspicion deserve that, don’t they?

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Maltipoo proves Ant McPartlin is not a shit

Ant Mcpartlin the sun bgt multipoo

The Sun doesn’t bother to hire a dog whisperer to translate what the pair of Mulitpoo dogs hooked in Ant McPartlin’s paws think of their new ‘owner’. But we do know that Ant (pedigree: Geordie) “kept them warm in his cosy jacket”. what else Ant keeps in his anorak is also left unsaid, and the pooches are advised to avid licking the ‘tic-tacs’.

Two more pages of Ant (not a shit) and his “2 poos” follow. We hear from a source (unnamed – pedigree: house-trained PR firm mutt), who tells us that Ant and his new love Anne-Marie (pedigree: a cross between Anne of Green Gables and Marie Antoinette) are in a “positive place”. No, not bed, you cynical sluts. Ant is taking a stroll on Wimbledon Common, and showing not the slightest hint of being affected by the man with camera tracking his every move. “Ant has never been so happy.” So there, Lisa (pedigree: ex-wife and former employee of aforesaid Anne-Marie).

By the way, the Sun lets it be know that Ant is now clean of booze and drugs (and Anne-Marie) and gainfully employed. You can keep track of his movements in your role as Ant Mentors as he treads the boards on TV show Britain’s Got Talent. First up is a man who says he can spin gold from a piece of shit. He works in PR and performs as ‘anonymous source’…

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Rapper Murs breaks it down: ‘Beastie Boys is the Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time’

I saw the Beastie Boys play live. They were fabulous.

Rapper MURS considers The Beastie Boys to be the greatest hip hop group of all time.

Do I think the Beastie Boys are the best? No. Are they my favorite of all time? No, but they are close. Did they have an unfair advantage? Yes. Do I feel like they show love and respect for the culture throughout their career? Yes. Their staying power, their dope live shows, their innovations, their philanthropy, their numbers. When I sit back and look at the facts objectively, I have to say at this point in hip-hop history the Beastie Boys are the greatest rap group of all time.

He’s right:

Beastie Boys VHS 1987 Licensed to Ill FULL from nutri871 on Vimeo.

Posted: 2nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Music | Comment


Ban mobile phones from schools and Parliament

Parliament mobile phones MPs Commons

You can read the Times’s story on calls to ban mobile phones in school – but only for the kids, natch. – and not have the foggiest idea why you’re reading it. It’s all about fanning the opinions of Nick Gibb. But nowhere in the story does the Times find space to tell readers who Gibb is. Well, he’s Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department for Education. Who knew? Gibb, a man with a profile lower than a spoon, says mobile phones should be banned in schools. The ban will ensure the kinder have better chances of concentrating in class. The kids should be educated about the dangers of too much screen time at school, and at home.

Says Gibb, whose clearly not one of those MPs who sit in the Commons assembly hall ignoring the head’s addresses as they tip-tap on their phones and talk – like the kids must not do in their halls.:

“I believe very strongly that children should be limiting their own use at home. Every hour spent online and on a smartphone is an hour less talking to family, and it’s an hour less exercise and it’s an hour less sleep. And of course it is a lack of sleep that research is showing can have a damaging effect on a child’s mental health.”

An hour less slumped in front of the telly. An hour less watching video nasties. An hour less fighting the Rockers with switch blades. An hour less telling your mum you hate her and never asked to be born. An hour less reading comic books. An hour less having sex. Stop it. Stop it now!

Posted: 2nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


A look around Roald Dahl’s Dylan Thomas-themed writing shed

In 1982 Roald Dahl, showed us inside his writing shed at his home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England. The shed was relocated to the Roald Dahl Museum. The desk – a board balanced on the arms of a tatty chair – we knew about. Dahl called the 6ft x 7ft hut his “little nest, my womb”. One thing we didn’t know: Dahl modelled his shed on Dylan Thomas’s own writing shed in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The BBC:

Although Dahl based the design of his hut on Thomas’s shed, there was one major difference – the lack of natural light. He often kept his curtains drawn (10) to block out the outside world and was dependant on an angle-poise lamp for light….

Dahl’s widow Felicity said: “He realised he had to have a space of his own in the garden away from the children and the noise and the general domesticity and he remembered that Dylan had felt the same.

“And so he went down to Wales to look at Dylan’s writing hut and, like everybody, fell in love with it.”

Built to the same proportions, with the same angled roof – the similarities could be a coincidence. But according to his widow it was built in a similar design by Dahl’s builder friend Wally Saunders, who the BFG was based on.

“He built it exactly to the same proportions as Dylan’s hut, the same roof, one skin of brick,” said Mrs Dahl. “Of course Dylan’s hut was a garage originally, whereas Roald had nothing, it was an empty space that he built on.”

Roald dahl writing shed

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Books, Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Prince Philip: look who Freaky Phil could have killed

prince Philip accident car

The Sun has an “exclusive” on Prince’s Philip’s car accident in which one woman travelling in the other vehicle sustained a broken wrist. It’s an exclusive based on the opinions of one Graham Oakley.

Oakley might be the person behind the company Graham Oakley – Crash Detective Ltd, which you can access via something called The Federation of Forensic & Expert Witnesses

The Sun mentions neither company but does tell us Mr Oakley is a “retired cop”. He tells us that had the accident occurred differently then someone could have died. “It don’t beat thinking about,” he adds. Only it does because the Sun mocks up what “could” have happened. “A split second later and there would have been a tragedy,” the Sun states.

prince Philip accident car
Not ‘Phil the Greek’

The paper then adds a look-alike image of the Prince and a figure in the 1493 Leonardo Da Vinci artwork A Man Tricked By Gypsies. This gives space for the pun “Phil The Freak”. The image, which featured in the Royal Collection, is described thus:

The man at the centre of this drawing is surrounded by a band of Gypsies in traditional dress. He raises his right arm to have his palm read by the old woman in traditional Gypsy dress on the right – unfortunately the sheet was cut at an early date and the palm-reading trimmed off. While the man is distracted, the grinning Gypsy on the left reaches under his sleeve to steal his purse. The two figures behind stare with hooded brow or laugh hysterically, adding to the sense of claustrophobic menace.

A Man tricked by Gypsies.

Just wait til Phil sells his story to the papers.

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Ariana Grande: new Japanese tattoo spells ‘Japanese barbecue finger’

Ariana Grande: new Japanese tattoo spells 'Japanese barbecue finger'

Into the ever popular realm of crap tattoos steps elfin singer Ariana Grande who invested in a new hand tattoo written in Japanese kanji characters to mark her new single 7 Rings (Hard cheese – Zsa Zsa Gabor had nine). It turns out that the tattoo actually promises not 7 rings but “small barbecue grill”.

Grande tweeted that she “left out ‘つの指’ which should have gone in between” the symbols, but “it hurt like fuck”. She “wouldn’t have lasted another symbol lmao”. The tweet is now deleted. And the tattoo has been updated:

Still, as BuzzFeed notes, it doesn’t read exactly right: Her tutor said that her original tattoo, 七輪, reads “seven circles” — or, as we have heard, “Japanese barbecue grill” — and suggested Grande add 指— the kanji for “finger” — between and above the characters, so it would read as 七指輪, or seven rings. But it seems there wasn’t room for that, so Grande had it added below. And since Japanese is mostly read from left to right, her solution means that the new one roughly translates to … “Japanese barbecue finger”.

Right now some Z-lister is kicking themselves that they didn’t get in their first with the barbecue finger tattoo and get some much-needed career exposure in TV Quick and the Argos catalogue. Stick to the A-list stuff, Ari, and leave the idiocy to those who need it.

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comment


Don’t make Fiona Onasanya a victim of our prejudice

Fiona Onasanya

Labour MP Fiona Onasanya is one of the rarest breed: a politician actually jailed for lying (what – rather rather than getting a peerage? – ed). Onsanya claimed she wasn’t behind the wheel when her car was spotted being driven at 41mph in a 30mph zone, in July 2017. She was. She lied. This week she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and jailed for three months. She was expelled from the Labour party in December 2018. She remains an MP.

And some people think she got off lightly. The Mail hears them:

Jailed MP Fiona Onasanya could have her sentence increased after members of the public complained that it was too soft. The ex-solicitor, who has been kicked out of Labour, was locked up for three months for perverting the course of justice after lying over a speeding ticket. But the jail term is now being reviewed by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the Government’s chief law officer, under an unduly lenient sentencing scheme.

From being a crime it is now a moral offence. We expect better from our MPs, see, what with them being role models for the mentally negligible. So she should be given a tougher sentence so that we can feel pure and whole again. It should be different for them.

“You voted for a Labour Party person. Unfortunately the people of Peterborough were failed,” said Ian Lavery, the Labour Party chair. We want a Labour Party MP here who will do the people of Peterborough a great service.”

One aside: Fiona brother is called…Festus. He was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the smatter, after pleading guilty to the same charge.

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


State refuses compensation for two innocent men who served 24 years prison

Sam Hallam innocent

Hard cheese Sam Hallam, who was convicted of murder, and Victor Nealon, who was found guilty of attempted rape. Bother men had those convictions quashed in 2012 and 2013 respectively. They are innocent. Between them they spent 24 years in prison (Hallam: 7 years; Nealon: 17 years) before their convictions were overturned. Compensation, then – how much for having a large chunk of your life ripped away for a crime you did not commit? Nothing. Why not? Because the evidence demonstrating their convictions were wrong isn’t enough.

The Indy:

Their compensation claims under the 1988 Act were rejected on the basis that it was not the case, as required by the Act, that a “new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice”.

What about the State trying to make right what it make wrong? What about doing the decent thing? When he was freed, Hallam’s mother, Wendy Cohen, told media: “I am just shocked. I knew this would happen, he should never have been in there. My family has gone through hell, it is like we were all being tortured. Sam’s father killed himself while he was inside, all of us have suffered.”

Henry Blaxland QC, for Hallam, said: “Sam Hallam – and I put it boldly – has been the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice brought about by a combination of manifestly unreliable identification evidence … failure by police properly to investigate his alibi and non-disclosure by the prosecution of material that could have supported his case.”

And for that he gets nought.

Mr Nealon was wrongly convicted and left to rot. The BBC:

A man who spent 17 years behind bars wrongfully convicted of attempted rape has received an apology from a body set up to examine miscarriages of justice. Victor Nealon, 53, was convicted of attacking a woman outside a nightclub in Redditch in 1996. He asked the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to examine his case but was turned down twice. His conviction was quashed last year… Commission chairman Richard Foster said: “I regret the fact in this particular case we missed something and I apologise to all concerned for the fact we did so.”

Simple question: what would you do if Mr Nealon was a loved one? Would you ignore his long protestations of innocence?

“I depended on people in that position to research paperwork and they didn’t do it,” Mr Nealon said… “I could have been out at least ten to 12 years ago but, on account of the CCRC and their failure to research a paper trail, I remained in prison.”

The law is unfit for purpose. “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” is a thought expressed by William Blackstone in his work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s. So what changed? When did we become such swine?

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Italy dips into recession; UK out-performs EU; BBC ignores figures

Italy dips into recession; UK out-performs EU; BBC ignores figures

Something is missing from the BBC’s report on the Italian economy slipping into recession. In the final quarter of 2018, the Italian economy shrank by 0.2%. That followed a 0.1% decline in the third quarter. The BBC tells us:

Growth in the euro area remained at 0.2% in the final quarter of 2018, the same as the previous quarter and in line with analysts’ expectations.

Bad news, then. Time to leave the EU. But hold on because the BBC has more news:

The figures, issued by the Eurostat agency, showed that in the 28-nation EU as a whole, fourth-quarter growth was 0.3%.

That figure includes the UK – which is leaving the EU. But the BBC doesn’t mention the UK’s economy anywhere in its report. It only says:

In contrast to Italy, some other eurozone economies expanded more than expected, with France and Spain posting growth rates of 0.3% and 0.7% quarter-on-quarter respectively.

In the third quarter of 2018, the UK economy grew by 0.6%. The next quarter looks to have produced a rise of 0.4%. Why doesn’t the BBC think this important to mention? Might it have something to do with Brexit, and how Remain-supporting MPs told us a vote for Leave was a vote for a deep recession? George Osborne told us every household would be £4,300 worse off by 2030 if we voted Leave. We didn’t. And we’re not.

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Writer turns sleep apnea mask into an Alien Facehugger

CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger

Who says you can’t have fun with sleep apnea? Not Jared Grey, who fashioned his Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask into an Alien life-size foam Facehugger. And here’s how he did it, telling us:

I’ve been joking for years that if I ever ended up needing a CPAP mask, I’d incorporate it into a facehugger. Because obviously. …I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and now have my own CPAP torture machine. Seriously, these things are awful and create as much discomfort as they prevent. So I may as well have some fun with this thing while it’s intruding on my life.

CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger
CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger
CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger

Spotter:  Jared Greyvia Technabob

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Brexit: May the appeaser becomes ‘Our Theresa’ in the tabloids

‘SHE’ who must be obeyed

Any idea what the tabloids made of yesterday’s vote in which MPs despatched the PM to Brussels to ask the EU to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement – you know, that deal she agreed and her peers thought was crap; the one the same MPs voted down by a record margin of defeat for a serving Government a whole two weeks ago? Take a look. The tabloids it. They love “Theresa” (Mail), “She” who must be obeyed (Express) and a pretty chipper public school “May” (Mirror).

Theresa the Wheezer is limping to the finishing line. Theresa the Squeezer is eking out every last drop of credibility for her fudge. Or how about any one of Caesar, freezer, pleaser, teaser, appeaser, bumfreezer, displeaser, misfeasor, tranquilizar and any other pun the tabloids could have employed to ridicule the painfully absurd state of British politics?

Remainers and Brexiteers like to promote themselves as opposing sides in a frenzied, thrusting debate. But both camps are united only in their introversion, a chamber of inward looking dullards seeking truth in a solid past and never daring to press on. Calls for a second vote are as steeped in nostalgia and insecurity as the Brexiteers they deride, for whom distance is always measured in yards and bad teeth are a national treasure.

The tabloids must try harder. We get it: they want anyone but Corbyn, But the papers’ sappiness means we also get May. And that’s got us nowhere.

Oh for a Leaver leader capable of embracing the vote and blessed with courage and an expansive outlook. But the loud, arcane Brexiteers left it to May, a Remainer, to cobble something together as they snarked and sniped from DJ booths, newspaper columns and the back benches, turning the simple act of writing a letter, something they must have dictated to a nanny, tutor or divorce lawyer hundreds of times, into a group therapy session they flunked. Sat across the way is Jeremy Corbyn, a monocular visionary so stuffed with contradictions and hypocrisy that Michael Gove, the MP who stabbed Boris Johnson in the back, managed to toss a wreath over the Labour leader’s frowning bonce and reel him in for a pasting. And that frown, the one Corbyn uses to portray, in his mind at least, deep thought and knowing but gives him the look of a confused viewer trying to work out how Dirty Den came back from the dead.

So farewell, Theresa. Off you pop to serve the EU’s wonks the Parliament-backed Brady amendment, with its “alternative arrangements” to the Irish backstop. Best of luck. May’s shuffling back. Nigel Farage and Yvette Cooper can only look on approvingly.

Posted: 30th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Thailand fires water canon to clear Bangkok smog; London learns

smog pollution london

You know you’re in Bangkok, Thailand, because you can see the air moving. But worry not. The Thais are defeating the smoggy pea-soupers with water cannon.

Global News has more:

Thai authorities used water cannons on Monday in an effort to combat Bangkok’s air pollution. Masks were also provided after hazardous dust particles reportedly reached an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 180.

Any level above 150 is considered unhealthy and Bangkok ranked in the top 10 of polluted cities worldwide on Monday.

The particles, known as PM 2.5, are a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that can include dust, soot and smoke.

Diesel fumes contributed up to 60 per cent of the pollution while burning rubbish and crops attributed about 35 per cent.

The Straits Times says the “PM2.5 air-quality index (AQI) in Bangkok on [last] Sunday reached a peak of 195, an unhealthy level, while some areas such as Bang Khen district were at hazardous levels, with PM2.5 AQI at 394 on Sunday morning”. That’s way over the target of 50.

The Mail:

Stagnant weather conditions mean it is unlikely to clear quickly own its own. But the government is set to deploy rainmaking planes to seed clouds by dispersing chemicals into the air to aid condensation. 
The weather modification technique should in theory result in rain, which would help to clear the skies.

‘The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation… expects the rainmaking to be done tomorrow but it depends on wind and humidity levels,’ Pralong Dumrongthai, director-general of Thailand’s Pollution Control Department, told reporters. 

Waiting for rain is dull – as is cutting the reliance on pollutants. Better to fire up the water canon. But the water don’t taste like what it outta:

Thai media reported that in a desperate attempt to bring down critical air pollution levels in Bangkok, local authorities started experimenting with sweetened water, instead of regular one. The idea behind the bizarre pollution-fighting strategy is that by increasing the viscosity of the water using sugar will allow it to trap more dangerous particles when sprayed into the air. However, some experts believe that the unconventional approach could do more harm than good.

Dr. Weerachai Putthawong, a professor of organic chemistry at Kasetsart University, told Workingpoint News that he has serious doubts that the sweetened water will yield better results than regular water. He claims that the increased viscosity of the liquid won’t make much of a difference, because the equipment used to spray it isn’t powerful enough to pulverize it into small enough droplets to catch dust and particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns in size. The current machines used to spray the water can only catch particles down to 10 microns.

To make matters worse, the added sugar could cause the surfaces the mixture lands on to develop dangerous mold, as the organic additive would allow bacteria and fungi to develop.

Back in the UK, London just sold its convoy of three water canon. “Although London’s air often appears clear to the naked eye, the city has suffered from illegal levels  of air pollution since 2010,” says the FT. Recall the canon. Fire at will!

Posted: 30th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Morrisons offer: 20p for a paper bag or 15p for a more environmentally friendly plastic bag?

plastic bag tax
Bag. 2012.3045.04. McDonald’s: Toy Story 2.

Morrisons is offering its customers the chance to buy a reusable paper bag. Prince: 20p. The supermarket chain is also offering a reusable plastic carrier bag. Cost: 15p. The offer runs for eight weeks. So you’ll all buy the more expensive bag one, right, because it’s more environmentally friendly to do so. Or not.

Waitrose is not currently introducing a paper bag because “it can take three times more energy to make a paper bag than a plastic one”. True. And – get this – the paper bag is made of paper, which gets wet and falls to bits. The durability of paper bags – ie: the lack of it – is why plastic bags were so popular and needed. A good plastic bag is so very hard to destroy – just look how long they can survive in the ocean.

The BBC notes:

The production of paper bags uses more energy and creates more CO2 emissions than the manufacture of plastic bags. But paper decomposes much more quickly, while plastic can remain part of the environment for hundreds of years, causing damage to animals and marine life.

Tim Worstall adds:

How many times do we need to reuse a bag for it to have as little resource use – and thus environmental effect – as just the one use of those thin single use plastic ones? Obviously enough, the single use that we’re told not to use has a value of one here. The bag for life must be reused 35 times. A bag for life from recycled plastic 84 times. A paper bag must be reused 43 times – yes, paper. A cotton bag 7,100 times and an organic cotton? 20,000.

The answer: grow everything yourselves and eat out. Careworn urbanites can eat actual ‘street food’ in streets, rather than street food in new restaurants. Or maybe not. Those street food Meccas are pretty polluted:

 Shocking report reveals that 95% of plastic polluting the world’s oceans comes from just TEN rivers including the Ganges and Niger. “More than half of the plastic waste that flows into the oceans comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.”

Five. How about 8?

Just eight countries in the region are responsible for about 63 percent of total plastic waste flowing into the oceans. Little of that junk has been exported by rich economies. Instead, it’s almost solely generated by Asia’s newly minted consumer classes, the vast majority of whom lack access to garbage collection, modern landfills and incineration. Any progress in reducing ocean plastic will have to start with them.

A boom in garbage is almost always the result of two related phenomena: urbanization and income growth. Rural dwellers moving to the city shift from buying unpackaged goods to buying stuff (especially food) wrapped in plastic. As their incomes rise, their purchases increase. That growth in consumption is almost never matched by expanded garbage collection and disposal. In typical low-income countries, less than half of all garbage is collected formally, and what little is picked up tends to end up in unregulated open dumps. In 2015, scientists estimated that as much as 88 percent of the waste generated in Vietnam is either littered or tossed into uncontained dumps. In China, the rate is about 77 percent. By comparison, the U.S. rate is 2 percent.

Every big city in developing Asia faces this problem. Jakarta’s waterways are choked with plastic trash. In Kuala Lumpur, instances of open dumping line the high-speed train route to the airport. On the outskirts of any Chinese city, loose plastic bags and instant-noodle cups litter every road’s shoulder. Much of this junk ends up in waterways — and, eventually, the ocean. One study found that eight of the 10 rivers conveying the most plastic waste into the oceans are in Asia. China’s Yangtze alone delivers 1.5 million metric tons of plastic to the Yellow Sea each year.

Paper bags and ready-made food is the answer. McDonald’s all round it is, then…

Posted: 28th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Arsenal balls: sex, Joe Willock and The Sun’s Ashley Cole rerun

When back in December the Sun told us about Arsenal players allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide – “hippy crack” – we were assured that the “images will horrify Arsenal fans and enrage no-nonsense Spanish team coach Unai Emery”. Fast forward to January and club’s teenage prospect Joe Willock is the subject of an alleged huff ‘n’ tell. And the Sun once more tells us: “His antics will horrify Arsenal fans and enrage the team’s no-nonsense Spanish coach Unai Emery.”

Arsenal hippy crack
The Sun – December 2018
The Sun – Janaury 2019

The fallout from the December story has been softer than an autumn leaf dropping from a woodland tree. So will the Willock ‘The Pillock’ story travel better? It has a chance because it features “French model Eglantine Flore Aguilar”. You may recall her from her time with former Arsenal player Ashley Cole? Yeah – like the quote, she too is a repeat. Says La Eggplant: “He certainly moved quickly. One minute he was messaging me on Instagram, the next he was buying me tickets to London. His conversation was very boring, possibly because he’s so young. The sex was also really weird. He wanted to try all different positions in the shortest possible time. I didn’t enjoy it.”

The unmarried lad’s a nippy utility player. And:

The Sun – with typo

The paper’s typo and repetition will surely horrify Sun fans and enrage the team’s no-nonsense editor.

Posted: 28th, January 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment