Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Murder by TV

What a waste of time. I have just wasted a whole hour of my life watching a Murder Mystery program on TV and at the end I am none the wiser.

I want to protest to someone but the chances are that if I write a stiff letter, (on cardboard), to the TV company, the producer, the main actors, or even the writer; none will take me seriously.

Instead, I am writing to you for some sympathy, at least.

No sooner the program started that a man was found murdered in suspicious circumstances. Has there ever been a murder in not suspicious circumstances? I ask myself.

The victim was shot in the chest and buried in the back garden of the local vicarage.

At first the police suspected suicide. Then they looked into the hole where the man was found and decided someone had put him there.

Who was it? Who tried to bury the victim and did such a bad job of it?

Was it the local vicar, the Reverend Cassock, who has a penchant for licorice sweets and growing broccoli?

Was it the church housekeeper, Mrs Murgatroid Tidy, who keeps a hamster in her bedroom and likes to hide in the bell tower drinking herself to sleep?

Was it the local nosey spinster librarian, Gertrude Pepper-Back, (you always need a spinster in a murder mystery), who always looks from behind the curtains of her house to see who is going where and with whom and at what time; and who also grows all her herbs in alphabetical order? At one point the detective asked her where she finds the time, and she replied, "It's next to the sage!"

Or was it the pub landlord, Archibald Brewer,  who often waters down his beer to make it go further and thus cheat his customers who have no other place to go for a drink because it is the only pub for a million miles around?

I hate it when, half way through the program, they introduce new characters and a new sub-plot to the main plot. Like for instance the "Ye Merry Emporium" which serves coffee and English tea with scones and cream and strawberry jam. It is run by Matilda Rowbottom and her lodger/boyfriend/lover/lothario/seducer/Romeo/Casanova/Don Juan waiter and chef named Bacon Risotto who hails from Scandinavia yet is from Welsh descent.

Or the gardener, Ivor Lawnmower, who apparently years ago fathered a child with the spinster librarian, and that child died suddenly, when grown-up, without saying goodbye when a box of Cheerios fell on him at the local supermarket.

At this point, whilst watching this melodrama, I had a craving for Cheerios; but we only had corn flakes in the house. So you can imagine my frustration and anger at this murder mystery with its incompetent detectives.

As you can see, there were plenty of suspects for this murder.

The police have so many potential suspects that Detective Chief Inspector Barnacle does not know where to start. He checks his script to see where to investigate next and finds he has some pages missing; so he makes it along just to keep the TV program going whilst half the population of the village is decimated, (or is it dessicated), by a murderer or murderers unknown. His plan is to wait until the end of the program and the only character still alive must be the culprit.

The police start making enquiries and questioning all and sundry when, (surprise), the vicar is found dead in an industrial washing machine and is thus eliminated from their enquiries; which is a pity since he was the main suspect. At least it was a clean death at 40 degree washing temperature and a spin dry cycle of 1000 revolutions per minute. You should have seen the colour of his cassock after this brutal clean murder.

So the police turn their attention to the church housekeeper whose job includes cleaning the church vestments. But this proves to be a wild goose chase because the lady in question was at the library at the time borrowing a book entitled, "How to murder people using a hamster as bait."

By the time the police go to the library to confirm the housekeeper's alibi they found the librarian dead in the Zoology Section half-eaten by a crocodile which escaped, or was released, from the local zoo.

In any case, the church housekeeper is herself found dead in a barn full of hamsters pretending to be Guinea pigs.

The pub landlord is killed when a barrel of beer fell on his toe resulting in him bleeding to death.

Matilda Rowbottom sells the "Ye Merry Emporium" to a French woman called Madame Leggert.

And Bacon Risotto falls in love with Madame Leggert's daughter, who is only knee-high, only to discover that she wants to live in Portugal instead of being in this Midwinter Village where murders happen every few minutes; including when there is an advert break on the TV programme.

There is no one else to suspect for this series of murders or mysterious deaths except the many cockroaches who inhabit the Tea Emporium. But unfortunately, they all provide alibis for each other thus causing total confusion to the police and all TV viewers who have wasted their time watching the show.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Would you Adam and Eve it?

Once upon a time there was Adam. He was alone in Paradise but, to be honest, he was happy. Plenty of food to eat, plenty of walks in the sunshine, sleep when he wants, wake up when he wants. No chores or jobs to do; like taking out the trash, washing the dishes, painting the garden fence ... and all that. Just happiness.

God saw this and created woman ... Eve!

So for a while there was Adam and Eve living happily in the Garden of Eden (another word for Paradise). They had nothing to do except enjoy themselves walking naked all over the place. No troubles, no concerns and no worries, just like before - apart from watching out for the cactus plants and not getting too near them.

All was happiness and joy and bliss.

Then one day Eve asked Adam, "Do you love me?"

Adam looked around and said, "Who else is there? It's only me and you here."

Eve blushed and said coyly, "us ladies like to be re-assured every now and then."

Adam wondered why. A sentiment echoed by all men ever since.

I mean ... what is it with you ladies? Why do you want re-assurance all the time that we love you? We married you didn't we? And every so often we buy you chocolates, don't we? Especially when they are on offer at the supermarket. And we give you flowers when we fill up the car with petrol at the gas station. And don't we write nice things on your birthday cards, anniversary cards and all other occasions cards? Why don't you keep these cards and read them when you want re-assurance that we love you?

We men don't need such constant re-assurance. As long as there's a hot meal on the table we know all is OK.

Anyway, to get on with the story. In Adam's case there was no one else he could fancy instead of Eve. Despite the big hairy wart she had on her nose, Adam still loved her all the same.

There was no point him fantasising about glamourous sexy women like in Hollywood films because cinemas had not been invented yet.

So he told her that she was the only love in his life because there was no one else in the whole world to love as much as her.

"You know ..." she said, "there is someone else here?"

Fearing the worst, and wondering whether his hot dinners were assured, he asked tentatively, "Who else is there my sweet darling?"

"There's a beautiful big snake," she said, "I have seen him often. He is so sweet and speaks so softly. Have you not seen him?"

"A snake!!! If I had seen him I would have covered my bits in case he took a bite," said Adam covering his manhood, "not engage in conversation with him!"

Any how ... I am sure you know how the story ended. You can read all about it in Genesis 2. That's Genesis in the Bible, not Genesis the English rock band with Phil Collins.

Now the thing to remember in all this is that Adam and Eve's sin was not just a sin of disobedience. It was worse than that. It was a sin of rebellion. They wanted to be gods. The snake had told them if they ate the forbidden fruit they will not die; "when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”

Monday, 21 January 2019

Dog Food Lands Me In Hospital

I am sorry to tell you folks that I am writing this post from my hospital bed. The doctors say I am OK; albeit a bit ruff ... ruff ...ruff ...
OK ... enough with the dog jokes already. Here is what happened.
A friend told me that the quickest way to lose weight is to eat those dog food pellets you get at the supermarket. 
 Apparently,  dog pellets have all the necessary nutrients and vitamins and minerals one needs. All you have to do is load your pockets with a few of them  and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete and it works well; so I gave it a try.
All went well for a week or so until yesterday. I stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle's butt and a car hit me.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Terrible day with St Peter

I don't mind telling you, it was a terrible day when I met Saint Peter. I had been standing there in the queue outside the Pearly Gates for at least an hour. I must have died at a busy time, because there were plenty of people waiting to be let in Paradise. I had already consumed two bottles of soft drinks and a packet of potato chips; and to be honest, I wanted to get to the toilet.

Eventually my turn came to be next by the Pearly Gates. An angel opened it and let me in. He led me to a room and asked me to wait.
I immediately realised by the Saint's absence that he was not taking his job seriously. Here I was, having waited for an hour to be let in, and bursting to go to the toilet, and he was out fishing, or doing something else more important, no doubt!

A few minutes later he came in and sat at his desk. He asked me my name and tapped furiously at his computer.

He then looked at me from on top of his spectacles and asked, "Why do you want to get in Heaven?"

"I want to be with God for eternity!" I replied confidently to impress him.

"And what makes you think He wants to be with you for this length of time?" he asked abruptly.

I hesitated. He continued, "You'd be surprised how many people think they have a personal right to get in here as if it was a hotel with all expenses paid!"

He looked at his computer monitor and then asked, "Why have you been so half-hearted about re-cycling and caring for the environment?"

I was knocked sideways by this unexpected question. There I was, trying to remember my sins since my last confession when the slate was wiped clean, and here he was asking me about re-cycling and the environment.

He noticed my hesitant silence and said, "I see from your records that you never bothered to re-cycle old plastic bottles, newspapers and cartons, metal cans, glass bottles and such materials. You had the choice to return them to the re-cycling centre but you disposed of them as trash."

"Eh ... gulp ..." I heard myself say.

"And you have a terrible carbon foot print ..." he added reading from his screen.

I looked at the bottom of my shoes and said nothing. I did not even know what he meant by carbon foot print.

"You always left all the lights on in the house; even in empty rooms. Wasting electricity and adding to carbon emissions. You had a wasteful car and always drove everywhere; even down the shops only half a mile away, instead of walking. You boiled a whole 2 litres kettle of water to make one cup of tea. Your home was either too hot like an oven, with windows open; or too cool with the air-conditioning at full blast. You were wasteful of the earth's resources and did not care about the environment, the planet, your fellow human beings or generations to come!"

I was totally flabbergasted. Since when did St Peter join the Save the Planet Police? Re-cycling and the environment were never mentioned by the priest in his Sunday sermons. Admittedly, he droned on a bit and sent me to sleep, only to be awakened by a sharp elbow in the ribs, but I never heard him preach about re-cycling.

I tried to justify myself and mumbled, "Excuse me your Sainthood ... I have always been a good man. A good husband ... a good father ... an acceptable son-in-law ... a good employee. I have never cheated on my wife. Even when that young secretary was only too willing and encouraging. I never had impure thoughts towards her ... let alone carry them out. I have been faithful to my wife ..."

"What do you want? A medal?" he interrupted, "being faithful to your wife is your obligation. It is what you promised in your marriage vows.

"Pity you did not also promise to look after and protect your planet. It is your duty to leave the place in a better state than you found it."

"Give me a second chance ..." I cried and pleaded, "give me second chance and I will re-cycle ... I will re-cycle ... I will re-cycle ..."

I woke up mumbling to myself, "I will re-cycle my mother-in-law ..."

For some reason, I got the silent treatment that day. No hot meal either.

Friday, 18 January 2019

An up-date on Cosmology

I don't want to be alarmist. This article is factual and true. I have checked all the facts in a scientific book which I am writing.

Not to put too fine a point, let me state here and now that the earth is getting heavier. And like most of us, as we get heavier, and somewhat long in age, we tend to slow down. Now, this may not have a great effect in humans, but in the case of the earth it has very serious and dire effects indeed.

Let me explain. Why is the earth getting heavier? Why is it slowing down?

Let's think about it. Over the years, millions and millions of people have been born, grew up and died. When they die, they either get buried or cremated. Either way, their remains do not leave the earth. They stay on it. Add to this the number of animals, birds and fishes who have also been born and died; and also the number of plants and trees which grew from tiny seeds to huge forests and then got cut down, made into furniture, ships, building materials and what have you; and you'll realise that all these are also added to the earth's weight over the years.

Nothing on earth has ever left earth and not come back. Except of course all the satellites we have out there in space which we can exclude from our calculations.

So in effect, the earth has been putting weight over the years. And as it gets heavier, the earth slows down too.

Ordinarily, we believe the earth goes round once every twenty four hours. But this is not strictly accurate. As it slows down, it takes the earth longer to go round full circle around itself.
Have you heard of the leap second? This is an extra second which the experts add to the clock every now and then to account for the earth slowing down as it spins around itself. The "World clock", as it where is adjusted by experts to account for this slowing down. And we either adjust our own watches manually every now and then, or those of us with self-adjusting watches and clocks will not notice that the change has been made centrally by the world time-keepers.

But that's not all. Also, as it gains weight, the earth is taking longer to go round the sun. Normally we believe it takes the earth a whole year to go round the sun. But again, this is not strictly accurate. We have all heard of leap year when we add an extra day to the year; but it seems, according to my calculations, that we should be adding more than just a day every four years because the earth, as it gets heavier and slower, is taking more than a year to go round the sun.

Let us visualise it another way. Let us assume you are on the dance floor and you pirouette around all by yourself, (this means spinning round on the spot in French - it sounds more classy and makes me look learned).

Let us now imagine that as you continue to pirouette around yourself you also move around the whole circumference of the dance floor. (Imagine it is a circular dance floor, not a rectangular or square one - just work with me for a moment, will you?)

Let us now imagine that as you pirouette around yourself and around the dance floor you are also eating pizzas, burgers, cakes, gateaux and whatever else you can imagine. (I am imagining mayonnaise).

In time, you will get fatter and fatter and heavier and you will slow down. Both in your pirouetting and in going round the dance floor. You might even bump into something or another.

What does all this mean? I hear you ask. (Well ... ask it then!)

OK ... I'll tell you. Because the earth is getting heavier and fatter because of all the weight of dead people and animals and trees and so on over the years it slows down. In this slowing down, it may well lose it's normal trajectory and bump into other planets and stars.

As it gets slower it is exposed to the sun for much longer. Imagine someone lying naked on the beach thinking she's been there for an hour, whereas in fact she has been there for longer.

Oops sorry ... got distracted there. As the earth takes longer to spin around on itself, and longer to go round the sun; this means it is exposed to the sun's burning rays for that much longer.

Hence global warming. The melting of the ice cap. Raised sea levels. Floods and so on.

Now personally, I have no worries about rising sea levels, because if the sea rises and covers the land then more of us will live by the beach. And that's nice, isn't it?

Also, my calculations have shown that if the ice caps melt then the safest place to be is in Australia. Let me explain.

If the Northern polar cap melts then all the water will flood Europe and the Northern hemisphere. If the South Pole melts, the water will not rise up the globe towards Australia will it? It will drip down into space just like when you wash your hair out of the water tub. The water drips down not rise up!

And another thing I have worked out. Global warming has nothing to do with us burning the wrong fuel, and using too many cars and all that.

Global warming is caused by all the candles that we light. Candles create a lot of heat for no reason. Can you imagine how many candles are lit in the world at any one time? Candles in romantic settings in restaurants, at the dinner table at home, in the bath … I ask you … what is the purpose of candles in a bath tub? They are dangerous you know. What if you were to singe your hair, for instance?  Candles in churches ... candles on birthday cakes ... wherever you turn people are lighting candles. Now that’s a lot of unnecessary heat I tell you! That's what's causing global warming. Stands to reason, doesn't it? Ban all candles and global warming will stop.

As for the earth slowing down. I suggest when people die instead of burying them or cremating them we should just catapult them into space.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

How Time Was Invented

Let us settle down now and learn some history together. Have you ever wondered how we first learnt to measure time?

Here's a quick lesson you'll never forget. At the end of this session you'll say, "well that was a waste of time wasn't it?"

Many years ago at the time of the Romans there was an Italian called Role. He was the tenth son of a tenth generation of men called Role - in fact he was known as Role the Tenth. Which in Roman times was written Role X.

Anyway Role X, and everyone else for that matter, noticed that it was sometimes daylight and sometimes night. "But how do we measure such a recurring occurrence to see how long is daytime compared to night time." thought Role X.

So he asked the opinion of his friend Galileo who at the time was looking up at the sky and wondering why the sun was always in different locations.

This is not the Galileo physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who lived between 1564 and 1642 - but most probably an earlier ancestor of his; which shows that the Galileo family were very clever for generations. But I digress.

Anyway, after a short discussion with Galileo, Role X planted a big candle which he had borrowed from his local church right in the middle of his garden. (The candle was in the middle of the garden - not the church. Just pay attention).

He measured the candle carefully. He waited until the sun was right above the candle, (i.e. no shadow), and he lit the large candle and left it lit until the following day when the candle had no shadow again. He then blew the candle out and measured the bit that was left. From this he deduced how much candle had burnt over the period it was lit.

He then got another candle with exactly the same dimensions and marked with his pen 24 equal segments from top to bottom. That's the candle's bottom not his bottom that he marked! Are you really paying attention? This is important.

He called each segment "hours"; or because he was Italian he called them "zee hours!"

He quite rightly thought that if he lit the new candle at the same time as the previous day, (i.e. no shadow), he will call that MIDDAY and then every segment as it burnt down would be an HOUR, until the following day when there will be no more segments on the candle; and when there was no shadow (i.e. MIDDAY again).

Role X decided he'd call the 24 segments one DAY; or in Italian "Uno day!"

Are you still paying attention? Good.

So, Role X having set up the candle with 24 sections he waited until it was midday and he lit the candle to certify his experiment of measuring time would work. But the experiment did not work because it was windy that night and the candle blew out.

He went to church and took a third candle. By this time, the priest, (in Italian "il priest"), was getting fed up selling candles to Role X; so he increased the price to two liras a candle!

Role X prepared a third candle like before by marking it from top to bottom. This time he kept the candle indoors. Again the experiment did not work because the sun did not cast a shadow indoors. So another candle was wasted.

In total desperation, Role X invented the watch and solved all his problems about time.

The early Role X watches required a big pendulum worn by the Romans around their necks, (under their togas), swinging left and right to keep time and to wind the watch.
Unfortunately, this proved very unpopular with the Emperor, and embarrassing, to have a big pendulum swinging to and fro under his toga as he walked. That period in history is known as the "Swinging 60s (AD)"

The very angry Emperor commanded Role X to improve on his invention.

The watchmaker designed a new model whereby Romans would walk around all day swinging their arms instead; and this movement would wind the watches on their wrists.

Sadly, this meant that many careless citizens swung their arms in other peoples' faces and the hospitals were full of casualties as a result of this new fad of wearing a time piece as a bracelet. The Emperor banned all swinging in public, whether by hands or under the toga, and commanded Role X to develop another time piece.

That's when Role X invented the electric, battery operated, wrist watch. The early models required a big and heavy battery the same size as the ones used to power cars these days. Many Romans developed hernias and back problems having to carry such heavy contraptions around.

Since then Role X and his family went on to develop arguably the best watches in the world.

Well ... I did promise you a quick lesson you'll never forget. Go buy yourself a watch and forget about lighting candles in the wind.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Baffling Science

I was never good at science at school. Come to think of it, I was not good at other subjects too. One teacher saw my true potential when he wrote on my report: "Victor will go down in history ... and geography, biology, maths, ... ... ..."

At least he predicted my success at being a failure. Yes ... sadly, as a child I had failure written all over me. The other kids did it with their biro pens.

And that's probably why as I grew up there are a lot of things I do not understand about science and technological things. Perhaps some of you, my readers, will be able to explain things to me.

For example, why is it that people are small when they are far away? And as you approach them they get bigger and bigger. Are they eating as you get near them and they grow fast? The same happens in animals when I am out in the countryside. They are small when far away and grow as they graze and come near me.

Now this leads to another mainly historical question. Was Napoleon a small man or was he always far away? If he was far away then how did his troops know what to do to follow his orders?

Another scientific question I have never understood. Why is the sky blue in the day time, when not cloudy, and dark at night? Some say it is the reflection of the sea. But the sea does not change colour from day to night. What about if you are away from the sea, like in a forest. Is the sky green there? Or yellow in the desert; and white in the polar regions?

How about sound and the travel of sound. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it does it make a sound? I'm sure you've heard this question before; but do you know the answer? Sound is a wave which travels through the air, (and water), and eventually reaches your ear and it vibrates the ear drum and consequently, eventually, this vibration is interpreted by the brain and you hear the sound. But if there's no one in the forest then the wave will not reach any ear. Therefore the tree will make no sound.

Also, as I said, sound travels through air and water; but not in a vacuum. In a vacuum you will hear no sound of a tree falling; especially if the vacuum is switched on at the time or the dust bag is full. 

Whilst we're on the subject; if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to see it; does it remain upright?

As a child, I always loved forests. There was one near where we lived. I used to get up early in the morning and run to the forest before the trees got there. They were always there first. Once when I got there someone had stolen the river; because it was all dry.

The universe is full of unexplained questions. For instance, if the universe is always expanding, as scientists tell us, then where is it expanding into? The universe is everything - this means all planets, solar systems, black holes, Star Treks and final front ears. So if the universe is everything, where is it expanding into? There must be something outside the universe for it to expand into.

Medicine is confusing too.
Take that squiggly abacus thing that is inside us all. They call it DNA apparently, whatever that is. What happened to all the people who lived in the past before they found DNA? They didn't bother whether they had it or not? So why invent something knew that only serves to confuse people?

For instance, did you know that in Australia the DNA goes round the other way round than in the Northern hemisphere ... and it is spelled AND?

It's like water when it goes down the plug hole in your bath. In the Northern hemisphere the water goes round anti-clockwise. Whereas in the Southern hemisphere the water goes down the plug hole clockwise. In the Equator the water spurts right up and hits you in the eye!

Now you can see why all this scientific stuff is so confusing. I think education is a bad thing. It plays with your mind and makes you think. And a little thinking is bad because it makes politicians out of us. And see where politicians got us to.
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