Displeasure In The News

Relaxing road laws could create 1,650,000 jobs

Experts will today present a proposal to the Government that road laws should be relaxed in the interests of increasing employment and stimulating the economy.

Professor Bob Falconfucker bellowed “My colleagues and I have spent the last three months running simulations in The Raccoon And Firebucket, and our findings have been quite surprising. We found that if we relaxed various aspects of our current road laws, such as increasing the legal alcohol limit from 80mg/100ml to 8000mg/100ml, and increasing the maximum speed in built-up areas from 30mph to 250mph, then this would create millions of new jobs in the fields of automobile repair and manufacture, morticianary, bereavement counselling, tarmac-mopping, motorcycle helmet manufacture and wall reinforcement. We’d also be able to get rid of those pesky speed cameras once and for all, and the police could spend more time going after real criminals, amIright?”

Prof. Falconfucker would have said more, but at that point an envoy from ITPOSTIA ((the *Institute for the Thumping of People who are apparently Oblivious to how Stupid Their Ideas Are*)) arrived and the interview was unfortunately cut short.


Daily In The News

Daily links for Tuesday 4th November 2008

  • “It used to be easy to recognise politicians, via the ham sandwich system.”
In The News

Why hedge funds are a bad idea

> What is upsetting the hedge funds is that if between 10% and 15% of VW shares were on loan to be shorted and only just over 5% were available in the market, it is likely that many of the funds that shorted VW had borrowed the shares from Porsche.

> It meant that because Porsche had not declared the proportion of VW shares it controlled, traders may have been indirectly and inadvertently borrowing shares from Porsche, selling them to Porsche, buying them back from Porsche and then returning them to Porsche.

And there it all is, in a nutshell. If ever you’ve wondered why hedge funds have a reputation for being a bit edgy, then here’s the explanation. Money is strange stuff.

Here’s the original article.

In The News

An open letter to Iceland

I do not support our government’s inappropriate use of anti-terrorism laws. Our leaders are idiots. Rest assured, we’re going to vote them out at the next available opportunity. I wish that we could vote them out sooner.

All of the real human beings in the UK have sympathy for the real human beings in Iceland. The shit that we are going through is nothing compared to what you are experiencing, and we are all aware of this.


Daily In The News

An ominous warning that the rapid rise in oil prices has only just begun

  • “The price of everything from food to energy would see significant price rises. Household electricity and gas bills are particularly vulnerable. Power companies have begun warning of a second round of major tariff increases for household bills this year that they say they will need to push through just to break even.” Wow. I guess they’re also going to have to reduce the salaries of the top executives just to break even. Seriously though, this is crucial stuff. Your petrol prices are about to skyrocket. Now is a good time to ask your boss for a raise.
Daily In The News

Daily links for 3rd June 2008

Displeasure In The News

The laws don’t work

> The home secretary has said cannabis is to be reclassified as a class B drug.

Obviously this won’t improve anything at all. But what most caught my eye is the handy table at the bottom of the article, reproduced here for your perusal (content unchanged but HTML vastly improved):

Drug class Type of drug Possession Dealing
Class A Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms, amphetamines (if prepared for injection). Up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine or both. Up to life in prison or an unlimited fine or both.
Class B Amphetamines, Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Pholcodine. Up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine or both. Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.
Class C Cannabis, tranquilisers, some painkillers, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Ketamine. Up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine or both. Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

(I wonder why they used words (seven, five, two) in the third column and numerals in the fourth)

In the interests of making the punishment proportional to the severity of the crime, here’s my proposal for new drug laws. Does anyone have a problem with this? If anything, I think they might still be a little on the harsh side.

Drug class Possession Dealing
Class A Confiscation Up to 10 years in prison or an unlimited fine.
Class B Confiscation Up to 7 years in prison or an unlimited fine.
Class C Confiscation Up to 5 years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Disclaimer: I don’t do any of the above drugs.

In The News

Fatty ate all the pies, ner ner ner ner ner

> Parents in England may be warned if their children are found to be overweight, under government proposals.

There used to be a (admittedly somewhat flawed) system in place for dealing with childhood obesity. It was called “peer pressure”. But that was deemed to be too cruel, so it was outlawed, and surprise surprise, kids started getting fatter. Now the government want to send letters back to the parents that say “YOUR CHILD IS OFFICIALLY A LARDARSE. FEED IT FEWER PIES.”

There is quite clearly no way that this could possibly have unintended consequences.


In The News Music


> Music retailer Fopp has announced it is shutting down its 105 shops, as the firm becomes the latest victim of the slump in CD sales.

This is terrible, terrible news. Fopp was the only music store that sold desirable CDs at a reasonable price. It was the only place where DVDs were priced at £7, rather than all being on a “3 for £21” offer. It was the only chain music store that I could get enthusiastic about.

I feel a bit lost now.

*UPDATE: Bobbie Johnson feels exactly the same way as I do.*

In The News

Those crazy Belgians

Two amusing aspects of this article, entitled “U-turn lorry stuck in cul-de-sac”…

> The foreign-registered lorry was carrying 23 tonnes of coke when it became trapped while manoeuvring in Whiterock Road in Wadebridge.

Do they mean coke? Or Coke®? Or perhaps a solid carbonaceous material derived from destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal?

> Traffic was largely unaffected, but police urged motorists to find alternative routes after the accident, which occurred at about 0600 GMT on Friday.

Find alternative routes… it’s a cul-de-sac!

*(bangs head against desk repeatedly)*