Archive for 26/02/2010

Crazy! You Couldn’t Make it Up: Series 1 Episode 2

Posted in Britain, Children, England, Justice, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Terrorism, Terrorists, UK with tags , , , , , , on 26/02/2010 by floroy1942

What’s in a name? It would appear that many parents don’t think hard or long enough about such an important event judging from some of the examples dredged up recently. How about Hazel Nutt, maybe Pearl Button or Ray Gunn, Jo King, Terry Bull or Barb Dwyer, Paige Turner, Lee King, Sonny Day or Tim Burr? Americans suffer from the same problem with Carrie Oakey, Bill Bord, Annette Curtain and Anna Prentice.

We think nothing about surnames, but when coupled with certain christian names some become hilarious. The giving of these comical christian names may be thought funny or quirky at the time of birth but can in fact be a curse in later years. Take the case of Stan Still, 76, who said his name “has been a bloomin’ millstone around my neck my entire life”. During his RAF service he says his commanding officer took great delight in shouting; “Stan Still, get a move on” before roaring with laughter.

Rose Bush of Coventry said she had had many comments about her name combination, but thankfully they had all been positive. On the other hand, Jenny Taylor had many a ribald comment come her way (No, I didn’t get it immediately either, but think about it!). I guess its nice to read about it and have a laugh, but I’m glad I don’t have to live with it!!!

If you want to ‘Go Out’ in style and have plenty of cash, you may be interested in something that was exhibited at the International Luxury Fair in Verona. If you wish to make your mark at your funeral service you can  buy a golden coffin, complete with cell phone (I guess in case you are not quite dead when they bury you, or you can call ahead to order your suite in Heaven) for a mere $381,000 (€280,000).

Also on sale, an armchair covered in the skin of 20 crocodiles and decorated with diamonds, rubies and gold for a paltry €200,000, a hand-crafted billiard table covered in gold sheets for only €60,000. Other items for sale to the super rich were a 24-carat gold racing bike, a crystal covered piano and a boat running on a Ferrari engine. Some people have so much money they don’t know what to do with it. I would be happy to give them some ideas!!!

Something a little less frivolous concerning the open court Hearing about the establishment of Inquests for the deceased in the July 7 2005 bombings in London. The bombers lawyers have enraged relatives of the victims by referring to the bombers at the hearing as the “apparent bombers”. The four men concerned were all found guilty and are currently in prison, but it would seem their lawyers are still not willing to admit their guilt. It was without doubt a disgraceful display of the utmost insensitivity.

The lawyers have been severely criticised for their use of the word ‘apparent’ by all the relatives and many journalists who wrote; “These lawyers have no shame, morals or heart”. Personally, I never thought lawyers had any of these attributes!!!

A Vietnamese man thought to have the longest hair in the world has just died at the age of 76. Although no-one is absolutely certain, Tran Van Hay’s hair was estimated to be 6.8 metres long. It would seem he began to grow his hair at the age of 26 because having a haircut often made him ill. He lived his life as a herbalist and during the day balanced his mass of hair on his head, protecting it with a scarf. Its understandable that he never washed it, it would have cost him a fortune in shampoo!!!

The Queen’s grand-daughter Zara Phillips (28) and her fiancé, rugby player Mike Tindall have just splashed out £6,000 on a bath for two. It was so large, four men had problems carrying it into the mansion. The couple are busy doing up their £800,000 Georgian house and have so far spent over £250,000 on the renovations. I’m sure I would not go so far as to spend that amount of money on a bath, but at least if they have an argument there is room for them to retire to their respective ends and sulk!!!

There is no doubt its a weird world at times!

Roy.


Welcome to Plastic Island

Posted in Environment, Modern World, Toxic Waste with tags , , , , , , , , on 26/02/2010 by floroy1942

Have you ever wondered what happened to the plastic bottle that drifted away after you dropped it in the sea during your last visit to the beach? Well, I can’t tell you exactly where it is now, but I can make a fairly good guess as to where it will end up. If you were on the North American continent east coast or anywhere on the west coast of Europe or North African it will eventually end up some 1,000 miles SSW of the Azores.

If you were on the east coast of South America or the west coast of Central/Southern Africa it will end up some 1,100 miles SW of the island of St. Helena. Now how could he know that I hear you gasp???

Yesterday the report of a 22 year study was released by a group called the Sea Education Association (SEA) at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland USA. In 1997 oceanographers discovered a huge island sized patch of floating plastic debris half way between Hawaii and the American west coast. They gave their discovery the name ‘gyre’ due to its location and how it is formed, and have now found a similar ‘gyre’ in the Atlantic.

After a study of ocean currents, scientists believe there is now a minimum of five floating conglomerations of plastic in all the world’s oceans. Apart from the one in the Pacific and the recently discovered one in the North Atlantic, there is thought to be one in the South Atlantic and one in the Indian Ocean. It seems a fair bet there will be more.

We drop a piece of plastic into the sea or local river and forget about it, but that plastic will travel thousands of miles before it reaches its final destination. It travels down rivers to the sea, and is then caught by the currents that carry it out to the deep ocean where eventually it is caught in a place where currents are weaker but surrounded by strong ones. It then moves into a circular motion from where it cannot escape.

During the study period, scientists retrieved 64,000 pieces of plastic rubbish during 6,100 sweeps of the North Atlantic. They consisted of everything from bottle caps and toothbrushes to crates plus a conglomeration of unidentifiable bits.

The maximum density of rubbish they found was 200,000 pieces per square kilometre. Because a large amount drifts just below the surface of the sea it was impossible to get an accurate measurement of the size of these plastic islands.

Trapped In Our Plastic Waste

Trapped In Our Plastic Waste

We have known for decades that our carelessness with plastic waste has had a major environmental impact, but in regard to the sea, the extent has only recently become known. Evidence has been found to confirm that many marine birds have ingested pieces of plastic thinking it was food, or swallowed it accidentally when the plastic became entangled in seaweed. They subsequently died. Large samples of fish sent for stomach analysis have confirmed that more than a third had ingested plastic. The reason is, after prolonged exposure the plastic is reduced in size by a process called photo-degradation, until it becomes about 1 centimetre across.

Relevant YouTube video:

There is little doubt that we are contaminating the seas daily with tens of thousands of tons of plastic garbage that has to go somewhere. The magnitude of this contamination has until now not been fully understood. The one remaining question is; What do we do about it? It would be prudent to clear it up, especially as nature has provided part of the answer by bringing it all together, but I fear international agreement for such a project will be a long time coming.

Next time, hang on to the bottle!

Roy.

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