Category - News

A Food Recall – Monty Python Style

I get food recall alerts from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). There are usually at least several a day.

Sometimes, you have to wonder at what the world is coming to. The one I just received concerns Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Peanut Butter Cookie Dough ice cream – and the recall is because… it has ‘undeclared peanuts’ in it’!

Apparently, one batch being sold at Sainsbury’s has the wrong lid on it and it says ‘Salted Caramel’. It reminds me of the case a few years ago where Lidl had to recall bags of roasted peanuts because they contained, well, peanuts – but weren’t labelled in English. And the one where Milbona had to recall a brand of yoghurt because it didn’t declare it contained milk.

If I had an allergy, I’d be a lot more careful. Like that tragic case a few years back where someone who was mortally allergic to sesame bought a Pret-a-Manger baguette which had sesame in it. I mean, sesame is not an unusual ingredient – and ‘Peanut Butter cookie dough’ does seem rather self-explanatory to me, as does buying a bag of things that look like peanuts when you are allergic to them, but are labelled ‘erdnüsse’ instead.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Speaks

And he speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Yesterday, Arnie released this video aimed at the Russian people, telling them the truth about what Putin has done, and about what is happening to their families in Ukraine (many have Ukrainian relatives), and about what is happening to Russian soldiers (most will have sons or brothers in the military).

It appears that it is trending on Russian social media.

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Putin’s Screw Up

Putin - Hitler's Dwarfen HeirThe last blog article simply stated the obvious detail that anyone of sound mind will already be aware of. Vladimir Putin is a f**king w*nker.

A BBC article gives some technical info which explains this fact in more precise detail.

Ukraine has fought back much harder during the first week than Vladimir Putin expected, or very probably than his generals promised him, it would…

Ukraine has proved a hard nut to crack, and the reaction of Western countries, particularly Germany, has been far fiercer than he thought. Russia’s economy has already been savagely hit. Putin’s one big friend, China, now seems worried that this Western upsurge of anger might, one day, be turned against China itself – and that serious damage could be done to the Chinese economy. It has already distanced itself from the invasion…

Finland and Sweden could both end up joining the alliance for their own protection. Putin launched this war in part to stop Ukraine one day joining NATO, but he could find more NATO members on his north-western border.

It doesn’t mention that huge swathes of Russian people are also opposed to his pathetic and diminutive Soviet-era mind. He has screwed up big time. He has fu*ked himself, and he has fu*ked Russia. And he won’t stop fu*king anyone, because he is a complete w*nker.

He has already threatened the use of nuclear weapons. This is absolute proof he is not of sound mind and needs to be stopped before he can use them. Because if he is backed into a corner, like the pathetic midget he is (he wears elevators in his shoes, by all accounts), he would undoubtedly use them. There would be nowhere else for him to go.

I don’t want to spell it out completely, but the abstract phrase ‘an ass in a nation’ comes fairly close to what is really needed right now.

Everyone is completely sympathetic to Ukraine’s plight in the face of this madman. But the West cannot get directly involved because of the modern risk – some would say the ‘certainty’ – that Putin would push the nuclear button if he were anywhere near losing. The fact that he’s already threatened it is enough for that to be beyond debate.

Eighty years ago, the last complete madman we had to deal with put a bullet in his own head to avoid being pulled up on crimes against humanity.

This one would push the button to achieve the same thing – but with greater consequences to humanity than a loud bang in one of the back rooms of a bunker. In a way, that gives Putin the height he lacks in the physical sense: he is head and shoulders worse than Hitler.

Putin is the vilest of creatures. Even extinction would be too good for him – but better for the rest of the World. And all Russians.

And his extinction is the only rational solution.

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DVSA: Theory Test Extension

DVSA LogoA DVSA alert clarifies once and for all that theory test certificates will not be extended for road safety reasons.

The government has further considered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the validity period of theory test certificates.

After careful consideration and in response to a recent petition the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates for road safety reasons.

This is the government’s decision – not DVSA – so I’d advise a lot of people to think of that before venting on social media.

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Plymouth Hoe and Facebook

Plymouth Hoe - Historic UKBasic geography lesson for non-UK readers.

It will undoubtedly come as a surprise to learn that ‘England’ consists of more than just ‘London’. Yes, I’m looking at you, Americans. It actually has quite a few other cities, towns, and villages – thousands, in fact.

However, although never originally intended to cater for primary school toilet humour, some places have strange names. For example, we have ‘The Wallops’, the ‘River Piddle’, ‘Sheepy Parva’ and ‘Sheepy Magna’, ‘Wetwang’, and so on. Then, for those whose minds have never left primary school, we have ‘Shitterton’, ‘Cocks’, ‘Bitchfield’, and many others.

All of these have completely logical etymologies – ‘Wallop’ for example (the three villages that comprise ‘The Wallops’ are ‘Upper Wallop’, ’Middle Wallop’, and ‘Nether Wallop’) is derived from the Anglo-Saxon or Old English words for stream (waella) and valley (hop), and is mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Wollop’. ‘Shitterton’ probably comes from the Old English word for sewer (scitere), meaning the place by the sewer. Even my own city of Nottingham was once called ‘Snottingham’ – or ‘’Snotengaham’ – and that began in the 6th Century when it was a settlement called ‘Snotta inga ham’ (‘Snotta’ was a person – a Saxon chieftain, whose people were the ‘Snotingas’ – ‘inga’ means ‘belonging to/the people of’, and ‘ham’ means ‘village/homestead’ in Anglo-Saxon). Nottingham appears in the Domesday Book as ‘Snotingeham’ and ‘Snotingham’. The ancients seemed happy to move vowels around and vary the consonants a bit without worrying about consistency, but you get the general idea. They were never intended as rude names, and they aren’t rude names.

As an aside, when I was seven, I began to support Arsenal Football Club. I freely admit that it was the ‘arse’ part which attracted me, but I grew up, and by the time I was learning German and French at school the desire to laugh at words which ‘sounded’ like rude things but weren’t had long since passed. Not so for many of my peers – a certain Mr Spence in my class found enormous humour in words like ‘fuchs’ (fox), and sought out every opportunity to say them loudly and with great emphasis.

Of course, and back to the present, in the last few years all hell has broken loose. Even place names that even once related to someone who lived in colonial times are under scrutiny. Most of the time they shouldn’t be, but such is the mindset of people today. And that leads further in the direction this discussion is going.

On the south coast of England – and no, Americans, I don’t mean ‘London’ – there is a coastal city known as ‘Plymouth’. It’s in the county of ‘Devon’ (which is also not in ‘London’). There’s no real problem with that name, because there’s a Plymouth in the USA, too. However, the original one in the UK has a seafront on a limestone cliff that is called ‘Plymouth Hoe’. The word ‘hoe’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘hoh’, which means ‘a sloping ridge in the shape of a heel or foot’. The same Saxon word is in the root of another place name in the UK called ‘Sutton Hoo’ (the inconsistent spelling of the same word by the ancients, again). Plymouth Hoe is known as ‘the Hoe’ to people who live there. As you can see, there is nothing untoward in any of this, and nor has there been for centuries. The name simply related to the Anglo-Saxon word for the geographical feature it is built on.

Enter: Facebook. The refuge of those with primary school minds and intellects.

It seems that a group on there which is based in Devon had been having posts removed and users receiving warnings for breaching ‘community standards on harassment and bullying’. Some were even banned from posting. It seems that one user had been making hats, and had forgotten to mention where people could pick them up from. So she said ‘Plymouth Hoe’.

Although the actual mechanics of what happened after this are extremely unclear – was it a manual report by someone or an automated software action – this was what triggered the removals and bans.

Facebook has apologised and has said it is ‘looking into what happened’. My money would be on some prat trawling Facebook groups looking through a dictionary of words, which they then automatically complain about and have removed. Seriously, some people on Facebook (a hell of a lot of them, actually) only use it for this purpose these days anyway.

Some forums use automated checkers which are basic at best. You’d probably never get ‘Shitterton’ past the censor, for example. My own local newspaper will happily write an article about the discovery of a cannabis factory being shutdown by the police, but woe betide anyone who uses the word ‘cannabis’ in the comments section. It immediately goes to ‘awaiting moderation’, and it is 50:50 whether it will be approved once one of the trained monkeys (aka moderators) has looked at it.

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