Stress Busting Sat-Nav Senses Traffic Jams

2 07 2008

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth have announced they’re working a sat-nav system which informs motorists of traffic jams along their route.

The in-car navigation system can sense traffic build up from up to 10 miles away by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interpret live traffic info shared between vehicles which have a special GPS installed.

The system, of course has a needlessly confuffled name- CADRE- “Congestion Avoidance Dynamic Routing Engine”. Drivers will be able to keep their stress levels down as the sat-nav will flag alternative routes to help you avoid the traffic jams where possible.
CADRE may be on the shelves in 18 months time. I am sooo going to be at the top of the queue for this gizmo and I’d imagine I’ll have plenty of company. A recent survey revealed that people in Dublin spend an average of 55 minutes commuting to work. I barely spend 25 minutes on my way to work and it’s about as much as I could take. I thought a vein in my forehead was going to pop this morning…I’m sure this gadget will add a good five years onto my life expectancy!

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Atkins Diet,South Beach Diet,Smoothie Diet-the Monkey Diet?

2 07 2008

Diet culture has really taken a hold- Atkins Diets, celebrity yo-yo dieters, size zero….we hear these stories every day and magazines around the world fly off the shelves as we flock to look at pictures of celebrities oozing out of their bathing suits or looking “too thin” at some event somewhere. Many people look for that miracle diet…the one that impacts in no way on their daily lives but yet they wake up after just a few weeks, look in the mirror and step back agast- “Holy Shit. After just 6 weeks I look like Cheryl Cole!”.

Overweight Japanese Monkey\'s

50 Rhesus monkeys at Ohama park in Osaka have been put on a strict diet after they’d been putting weight on steadily over the past few years as a result of overeating. Some of the poor little things became so fat they couldn’t move around (if they were human they would already be featuring in an emotional rollercoaster documentary on the Discovery Channel).

I found these images really upsetting…I mean surely the zoo keepers would be aware that the park visitors were throwing food to the animals and could have taken precautions before the situation became so grave. People visiting such animal parks should really get a clue…I mean if you saw this monkey (above) would you throw it a banana?

The monkeys calorie intake has now been cut by around 60% in efforts to help them to shed the poundage. [ As an aside if human’s can have “baby fat”…what would the monkey equivalent be? Also baby fat??]

So how long before people around the globe write letters to the Japanese Park to find out what they fed their monkey’s in order for them to shed their excess weight? I can see the Oprah show now….”How I lost 6 stone and got my life back on the Monkey Diet”.

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Ireland not ready for Gay Marriage

27 06 2008

In a radio interview this morning on Newstalk’s Breakfast Show, a Fianna Fail Senator (name escapes me now) stated that she supported the proposed Bill on Civil Partnership which would give equal rights to gay couples in terms of inheritance tax, taxation, etc. However she stated emphatically that she did not support gay marriage because Ireland wasn’t ready for gay marriage. (!)!)!)

This comes off the back of a report in today’s Irish Times which reveals that a group of Fianna Fail TDs and Senators put forward a motion demanding nothing should be included in the Bill which would in any way lessen the “special status” enjoyed by heterosexual marriage under the Constitution. Apparently 30 individuals have signed this motion which is being spearheaded by Senator Jim Walsh. In typical cowardly worm fashion the Senator was “did not return calls from the Times last night”. Too busy out sharpening his pitchfork. Cretin.

This almost put me off my morning coffee….My problems:

  1. If Ireland “isn’t ready” for gay marriage what facts do they have to support this. The majority of our EU counterparts have had civil partnership laws for gay couples for years now. We are behind the times already. How long more must we wait and who decides when we’re ready…Fianna Fail? It’s attitudes like this that gives people outside Ireland the perception that we are all going around saying “top of the morning to ya laddy” and leaving our thatched cottages via horse and cart in the mornings for a hard day toiling in the fields. The Irish Government should be focusing on getting Ireland out of recession mode rather that wasting resources debating and delaying a Bill which should have been passed years ago.
  2. If there is any debate around this issue it should be why doesn’t Ireland take a leading stance in Europe on this issue as it did with the Smoking Ban and move to give same sex couples TRULY equal rights and bring in same sex marriage…no doubt Senator Walsh would burst a vessel at the thoughts of such folly!
  3. It’s a miracle I got to work unscathed this morning as I was blinded from the light emitted from the halo’s of all the heterosexuals with “special status”. Could a more derogatory phrase have been used? I don’t think so. This demotes same-sex couples to a standing below the general populous and thus is a deeply prejudiced remark. Where are all the other politicians. Why has no-one spoken out against such comments. Surely it would be an ideal opportunity for Opposition Parties to earn some brownie points?

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British Minister of Defence under pressure to launch UFO Inquiry

26 06 2008

The crew of a police helicopter and military personnel in South Wales claim to have seen thirteen “amazing craft” in the sky. As a result the British Minister of Defence is under increasing pressure to launch a full scale inquiry into the incident.

This makes sense…you’re an alien zig-zagging your way around the Galaxy. You pass over our World. ‘Where will I check out today?’…Paris…the pyramids in Egypt…mmm…I know…Wales. You see whizz over Charlotte Church’s farm and see she’s preggers again. Wow! What spacetastic news…of course you’re going to call your mates to come check this out…???

The Ministry of Defence have confirmed today that a corporal on guard duty at Tern Hill Barracks near Shropshire, captured footage of the alleged UFO’s on his mobile phone on the 7th of June. This footage is now being examined by experts.

UFO footage taken by soldier in South Wales

There have been claims that what was actually seen were chinese lanterns (???- don’t look like lanterns to me!) but this has been discounted by former UFO expert at the Ministry of Defence, Nick Pope: “If they were balloons or Chinese lanterns, it’s highly unlikely they’d form a shape like that. One option is that we’re actually seeing lights attached to the underside of a vast craft”.

UFO experts believe that the fact that well respected members of the military have reported these latest sightings, will add greater credence to the claims and thus are stating this incident is “particularly significant”. Nick Pope appears to be in agreement as he expressed the belief that “something quite extaordinary does seem to be going on in British airspace at the moment”. He also called on the Government to act saying: “There has got to be an official inquiry into all this and we need a senior air force officer to take personal charge and oversee the inquiry”.

This will no doubt open the floodgates with every Tom, Dick and Harry claiming to have seen alien craft!

Fiery Naomi Campbell sent to the Naughty Corner

25 06 2008

Granddad is mad. Very mad. Naomi Campbell was on the list of celebs due to introduce acts at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert but has been dropped following her conviction for air rage.

Campbell calls Mandela her “grandfather” and has done significant work for his charity 46664. As a result the decision to banish Naomi to the grandstand is likely to embarrass and shame Campbell given that it’s been said he was involved in the move to distance her from the charity. He was hardly thrilled with the brand association derived from the model being arrested wearing a cap with the charity’s logo!

Naomi Campbell

The supermodel batted her eye lids and avoided jail time, being sentenced to 200 hours of community service after pleaded guilty to assaulting two police officers following an “air rage” incident at London’s Heathrow Airport. Apparently she kicked and spat at police, used abusive language and accused airline staff of racism when she was told that one of her bags had not been placed on the British Airways flight to Los Angeles on 3 April.

This is just another in a string of incidences surrounding the fiery singer. She’s been charged with assault several times since 2000 for abusive acts such an attack on an assistant with a deadly jewel encrusted mobile phone and leaving an Italian actress Yvonne Sciò with a bloody nose because they wore the same dress.

Will a snub from grandad calm Campbell…mmm…unlikely since anger management classes and fines haven’t done so in the past!

Presenting the Mc-Marriage Burger at your nearest McDonalds!

25 06 2008

Will we soon see posters for the McMarriage burger? Only £1.99 at a store near you? Probably given the latest news that a couple from Cornwall in England went straight from their wedding ceremony to a McDonalds before heading on to the wedding reception. WTF?

Apparently the bride disliked buffet food but surely given that it was her wedding she could have arranged food that she actually liked!?

The response from McDonalds was hilarious. Check it out: “We all know that weddings can be stressful and we’re glad that the simple good value and great taste of our food can take some of the hassle out of the special day.” Mmm…yes perhaps the next generation of fast food addicts will make a stop at Maccy D’s on the church. I mean on your wedding day you dress up, surround yourself by your nearest and dearest and then what….cheapen the experience by a trip to a burger joint? Someone should have given the bride a good breakfast!

Amazingly this is not the first bridal party tucking into a Big Mac! A Welsh couple in 2002 had their wedding reception at McDonalds to save money, spending only £136.87 for the food and drinks for 33 guests! As Ireland is apparently heading into a recession should we expect to see bridal parties ahead of us in the drive thru’s? How far is too far when it comes to saving a few pennies and surely there are some days that should be special (i.e. not a McFlurry is sight!), regardless of budget.

Civil Partnership Bill Outline Unveiled in Ireland

24 06 2008

Same sex couples in Ireland have been waiting years for action from the Government on legislation in relation to civil partnerships. The first hint at positive action came today when the Government today approved the Heads of a Civil Partnership bill which, according to Dermot Ahern (Justice Minister) shows that the Government recognises the ‘‘many forms of relationships in modern society”. The Bill provides “for Civil Partnership Registration for same-sex couples, it will also provide certainty as to the status of cohabitation agreements, and a legal safety-net to people living in long term relationships who may otherwise be very vulnerable at the end of a relationship, whether through break-up or through bereavement.”

Driven by Senator David Norris (the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland), this Bill has been stalled since 2005. At that time the Government was criticised for attempting to kick the Civil Partnership Bill to the curb. They moved at a late stage to publish an ammendemnt to the Bill, thus grinding the process to a near halt. Senator Sheila Terry of the Fine Gael party stated that “It was clear that the Government wanted to stymie debate and delay the move towards equality.”

The Irish Government have been painfully slow to act on this issue leaving Ireland trailing the rest of Europe in terms of rights of legally recognising the relationships of same-sex couples. Other counties have had civil partnership legislation with several years, for example France (since 1999), Germany (since 2001) and even our nearest neighbour, the UK (since 2005). Despite the fact that this Bill is a step in the right direction it cannot be considered “equality” as under this bill same-sex couples won’t have the full right to marry due to the fact such rights “wouldn’t pass muster” under the Constitution according to Ahern.

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) welcomed the Bill but highlighted the fact that it does not provide legal protection for same-sex couples and their children. In a press release today Kieran Rose of GLEN stated “The proposals in the Heads of Bill however, do not provide for legal recognition of the many same-sex couples, particularly women, who are parenting children together, leaving these parents and their children outside the protection of the State”

This “Heads of Bill” is essentially an outline of what the government proposes to bring forward and in the coming months the Government will engage in consultation with other groups on this issue. It is hoped that a bill will go through the Dail (the Irish parliament) later this year.

Progress…but the wheels of Government are turning as if powered by a geriatric homophobic hamster.