Snake Oil

I would like you to meet Bruce McBernie.

He has a product which is perfectly safe to consume [though the long term effects could be problematic].

That product can cure virtually everything from athlete's foot through asthma to cancer.

He can produce no scientific evidence for this yet is convinced from anecdotal evidence that his claims are 100% accurate.  He is utterly convinced to the point of fanatical religious zeal.

Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?


I would like you to meet the Anti-Smoker.

His hatred is for a product which is perfectly safe to consume [though the long term effects could be problematic].

He claims that product can cause virtually everything from athlete's foot through asthma to cancer.

He can produce no scientific evidence for this yet is convinced from anecdotal evidence that his claims are 100% accurate.  He is utterly convinced to the point of fanatical religious zeal.

Is it not strange that our Mr McBernie is [rightly] reviled as a snake-oil salesman and a nut-case and is thrown out of the studio, yet out Anti-Smoker is revered and is listened to by world governments?

Just sayin'.

[H/T Holy Shmoly]

How to live with yourself

I somehow stumbled across an article over the weekend.

It was an interesting little piece about a woman who married herself.

Naturally most people will think she has somehow lost the plot, but I think she may be on to something.

First of all, she apparently didn’t rush into things as she had been having a relationship with herself for the previous six years and in that time she must have got to know herself fairly well?  I always worry when I see people marry in haste.  The proposal [on a park bench] must have been quite a moment of suspense?  After all, how would she react to such a strange proposal?

The concept of self marriage does raise some interesting points though?

Just think – no more rows.

No more fights when you come home late from the pub, pissed out of your mind, because your partner is as pissed as yourself and is out just as late.  And the trip to the pub is a lot cheaper, unless of course you have to go drink for drink with your spouse?

Sex is never a problem.  It’s there when you want it and not when you don’t.  No more headaches or being “just too tired”, because if you’re up for it then so is your partner.  You needn’t worry about contraception either.

Holidays will be a lot cheaper.  Only one plane ticket and half the baggage.  You can also avoid the single-room supplement if you point out there are two of you.  A romantic meal out will also cost just half the norm.

No more fighting over the television remote control.  After all, both yourself and your partner have equal access to the buttons.  You are guaranteed anyway that your partner will want to watch the same programme as yourself.

There is one inherent and massive disadvantage though, and frankly it’s one that requires careful thought.

If the marriage breaks down and you get a divorce, you’re going to be stuck living with your divorced partner for the rest of your life.

Maybe not such a good idea after all?

Dissolving Irish Water

The more astute of you may have observed that I have a new addition on the sidebar?

Sign the petition NOW

The Right2Water crowd have not only got a petition going online but have organised a National demonstration next Saturday.

I saw a poll over the weekend.

The question was simple and unambiguous – Will you pay your water charge bill?

At the time of writing -

No: 52%

Yes: 31%

Undecided: 16%

Total votes: 23,573

The comments made interesting reading too.  There is much mention of the Siemens offer, which could have saved in the order of hundreds of millions, but where the gubmint decided to rob the National Pension Reserve Fund instead, to the tune of €450 million.  There are very few arguing in favour of the charges and those that do tend to toe the gubmint line that non-payment would lead to cuts in Social Welfare which frankly is a load of bollox.  Seeing as the income [less the vast running costs] is supposed to run the water system, then what has Social Welfare got to do with it?

So this fiasco has already cost a billion euros and they are not even off the ground yet?  Their computer system has already crashed on the first day of operation which doesn’t auger well for the future? Then there was the little incident where they posted 6,329 people’s details to the wrong addresses?  Would you hand over your personal and financial details to these people?

This is yet another example of the incredibly ham-fisted way in which our gubmint operates.  It is a total disaster and the only solution is to scrap the whole scheme.  It is unjust and is just an excuse for additional taxation, and the creation of a national asset which can be sold off to the highest foreign bidder at some time in the future.

Now if they had just spent that billion on fixing the existing infrastructure…………..

Winter defibrillators

Winter seems to have arrived.

I’m not talking about the temperature, though it has gone a little chillier over the last couple of days.

I’m not talking about the rain, even though it has become a little damper of late.

The leaves are still on the trees and are barely turning colour, though there are more leaves on the grass.

No.  The first real sign of Winter was yesterday when I went out to drive to the village – the fucking car battery was dead.

I don’t know what it is about my car but the battery never works in Winter.  I have tried changing the battery but that made no difference.  I just means that after every couple of journeys I have to plug the car into the mains and charge the battery which, to put it mildly is a pain in the hole.

About a year ago I bought myself a defibrillator.


It is fucking brilliant.

Now when I have an urgent need to go somewhere and the battery is in its usual Winter state of morbidity I open the bonnet, shout at the top of my voice “Charging to 12 volts…. CLEAR!”, hook the leads up and just start the car.  It works every time.  I give myself a high five [whatever the fuck that is] and go my merry way.

I did that yesterday.  When I first got into the car, turning the key produced a series of frantic clicking noises and fuck all else.  I did my routine of hooking up the defibrillator, and I swear I barely got the key into the ignition before the engine was purring happily.

I left the car hooked up to the mains overnight though I doubt that will do much good.  It will be dead again in a few days.

I also hooked the defibrillator up to the mains though it didn’t need charging [I think the last time I charged it was around last March], and from now on will carry it permanently in the car.  I usually put it behind the driver’s seat so every time I slam on the brakes, it shoots forward and digs into the small of my back with a thump.  It’s a small price to pay.

Maybe I should just put it in the boot?

Combating loneliness

People calling to meet the lonely is the simplest, quickest and most cost-effective way of combating unwanted solitude, new research suggests.

Well, smack me across the face with a wet mackerel but is that an incredibly unexpected result?

So they isolate people by preventing them from driving the tractor to the pub and then not allowing them to have a quiet pint and a pipe-full and then they worry about loneliness?

They get two groups who describe themselves as lonely and then send volunteers for an hour once a week over three months to one group, while the other group are left to stew in their own misery.  Then [shock…  horror...] they discover that the groups who got the visits felt less lonely?  Well, but isn’t that an astounding turn up for the books?

Of course they fail to mention any details about the volunteers which I would have thought would have a bearing on the matter.

Were they nice nubile young women who weren’t averse to providing some little “extras”?

Or were they transition year students who spent the entire visit sulking in a corner, taking “selfies” and updating their Twitter accounts for the whole hour?

Are the victims given any choice in the matter?

“The public health message here is that loneliness is common, extreme loneliness is not uncommon, and we know there are significant mental health impacts of extreme loneliness. And here’s an intervention, by the community, that can make a difference.”

Fuck me but these “studies” have a great habit of discovering the blindingly obvious.