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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A message from you, Rudi

I'm delighted to share, word for word, a text message from a very good friend - a German - who is currently working in a local school:

'Quotes from the English teacher: "Take out the work you done last week" and "where is Justin and Colin?" :) '

Monday, December 1, 2008

Spend, spend, spend

I don't intend to spend, spend, spend my way to financial security. I'm no economist but I do know that anything you don't need is not a bargain at any price. Here are things we DO need, in no particular order, that might have benefited from the injection of some billions of pounds:
  • fixing crumbling schools and restoring free milk for primary kids;
  • revitalising our bloated and bureaucratic health service;
  • a proper re-nationalised public transport and utilities infrastructure;
  • an end to fuel poverty;
  • proper equipment so that if we have to fight wars we don't want, at least we have the tools to do it;
  • £400 million into each of the above; or
  • £33 for every citizen. It would end up in the banks or in the shops anyway AND it would keep circulating.
Just an idea.

Friday, November 28, 2008

To die for

Anyone who says a piece of cake is 'to die for' is an idiot. Think about that. There isn't a food in the world that is so delicious that it's 'to die for'. The safety of your family, high ideals of freedom from oppression - these are things to die for. Has our language become so devalued that we need to seek greater and greater superlatives to express straightforward sentiments? Next time the thought even flits across your brain that something edible is 'to die for', consider these excellent alternatives: tasty, appetizing, delectable, luscious, delicious, or exquisite.

Shoes are not 'to die for', boy- or girlfriends are not 'to die for'. If you offered a dying man the choice of a cure for his illness or a piece of delectable cake, which do YOU think he would choose?

Don't even start me on people who say "awesome ..."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It can't only be me ...

I used to think that shouting at the TV was something for old people to enjoy. I'm not old. I shout at the TV. I can't hear the words 'nourish your hair' on a TV advertisement without shrieking "your hair is dead! You can't nourish it!". Made-up science to sell beauty products gets me going more than anything else. Apart from made up product names to give a pseudo-scientific glitz to some greasy stuff to smear on your face, that is. Revitalift. That's one. Andi McDowell smears something on her face, because she's worth it, and in the closing shot of the ad, her hair is a rich chestnut colour when it was nearly black before. Well, if it's what makes you happy, do it. If you want a face that looks as if it has never experienced sorrow or laughter, fall for it.

If you ask 200 women a question and 166 of them agree with you, it does not mean that 83% of women agree with you by the way. It means 83% of the tiny sample you asked, having been given free stuff, agreed with a vague, generic question. It also means that 17% of those asked did not agree. That's about one in six. Put that into a jury and you'd probably have reasonable doubt, the one stubborn juror who doesn't believe. Give that juror time. I believe there is a film about this :-)