Monday, 31 May 2010

All Change

New month tomorrow and also a new country the day after.

We'll be packing and taking one last look around town tomorrow and so there won't be much happening on the Blog over the next few days.  We should have an internet connection when we get to Langkawi and most certainly when we come back to Georgetown, but in the meantime, we'll do the best we can as and when the opportunity arises.

We'll also set the Blog up to reflect show us being in Malaysia in advance, while we have good access to the web.

Blinking Hell

On average, a pair of sunglasses lasts for seven months before being lost.

Occupational Hazards

Public Sector Mottos in Full

Bureaucrats at hundreds of public sector organisations have spent thousands of pounds of tax payers money creating new mottos.  TTel takes a look:

Maldon District Council changed its "strapline" motto from "To maintain a district which takes pride in itself" to "To maintain and encourage a district which takes pride in itself".
Forest of Dean District Council went for "We want the Forest of Dean District to be a thriving community where people are proud to live". This was changed from "We want the Forest of Dean District to be a place where people fell part of a strong and prosperous community and are proud to live and bring up their families in a quality environment."
North Dorset District Council
New 'vision statement' – "Where thriving, balanced and environmentally responsible communities in our market towns and surrounding villages build economic prosperity while safeguarding our unique surroundings" – replaced the near identical – "Where thriving and balanced communities in our market towns and surrounding villages build economic prosperity while safeguarding our unique and diverse environment.e_SDRq
Cheltenham Borough Council introduced "Working together to create a great future for Cheltenham" because it wanted "just to clarify what we are trying to achieve as an organisation," said a spokesman.
Somerset County Council has had three mottos since 2007: "Lets make a Difference", which was considered "not customer focused enough", "Providing for Life", which was scrapped as "it was felt that this was no longer relevant" and, finally, "Opportunity when you want it, help when you need it".
Dartford Borough Council's motto sounds more like a beer commercial – "If only all Councils were like Dartford"
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council introduced "A borough to be proud of" because an Audit Commission assessment concluded that the authority "lacked a clearly articulated and communicated corporate direction".
Hyndburn Borough Council switched from "Making Hyndburn a better place to live, work and visit" to "Hyndburn The Place to Be – an excellent Council"
Warrington Borough Councile_SSRqs "vision" was developed in two phases over three years. The final result was "By 2030, Warrington will be recognised as one of the best places to live and work in the UK, where everyone enjoys an outstanding quality of life", as well as a new set of "values" and "ambitions".
To create their "vision" – "Outstanding and sustainable quality of life for everyone in East Devon" -East Devon District Council carried out consultation with the public, town and parish as well as young people.
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council changed its vision from "To maintain and develop those distinctive characteristics that make living and working in Epsom and Ewell something our residents do as a matter of conscious choice by working with others to provide quality and innovative services that are based on the identified priorities of our residents" to the almost identical "To maintain and develop those distinctive characteristics that make living and working in Epsom and Ewell a matter of conscious choice and, in conjunction with others, provide quality and innovative services that are based on the identified priorities of our residents."
Gravesham Borough Council opted for "Gravesham – A Place of Choice" to replace "Taking Pride in Gravesham". The slogan was introduced to reflect the aspirations of the council and its emphasis on regeneration.
Oxford City Council said it changed its strapline from "Building Pride in our City" to "Building a World-Class City for Everyone" because "it was felt that the new strapline more accurately reflected the ambitions of the council and its partners to work together to enable the city to fulfil its potential to become a world class city for all – not just for some – of its citizens."
Derby City Council has used both "One Derby one council" and "Transforming Derby" in the last five years.
Northamptonshire County Council last year launched its new motto "Proud to make Northamptonshire a great place to live and work" on a set of posters costing £329. The previous strapline had been: "To make Northamptonshire an excellent place to live and work".
Bournemouth Borough Council adopted "At the heart of your community", which it said was "to reflect the council's chosen style of community leadership".
Wandsworth Council replaced "An Excellent Council" with "Number one for service and value" in an exercise that cost £3,232.
Redditch Borough Council changed its 'vision' from "The Council wants Redditch to be a safe, successful, vibrant town which is rich in diversity and pleasant to visit. A place where people want to live" to "Redditch is an enterprising community which is safe, clean and green", following the arrival of a new administration
As did Newark and Sherwood District Council which went from "We want to make Newark and Sherwood an excellent performing council" to the wordier "We want Newark and Sherwood's urban and rural communities to take pride in being vibrant, sustainable and having a high quality of life. To achieve this we want to deliver excellent, appropriate services and value for money."
Chorley Borough Council's motto, since 2007 is "Making Chorley Smile"
Swale Borough Council switched from "To be a learning organisation, championing the community's needs" to "To deliver, directly and in partnership with others, a variety of services to meet and champion the needs of the local community" because "the new motto was felt to better reflect the council's purpose". It was selected by working with a "member led corporate plan working group". A spokesman said the local community was also consulted on the new motto.
Cumbria County Council replaced "Putting People First" with "Building Pride in Cumbria".
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council opted for "Great lives, excellent service" in place of "An Excellent Council".
A spokesman said: "It was felt that a more general strapline that had wider public appeal would be more relevant."
Warwick District Council has both a mission statement "Building on Excellence, to become World Class by 2012" and a vision "To make Warwick District a Great Place to Live, Work and Visit". They were preceded by "To become an Acknowledged Excellent Council" and "Warwick District to be a Safe, Healthy, Fair and Prosperous place to live".
It was felt the new mission statement was needed to "guard against complacency". The changes formed part of a corporate strategy which cost £3,024.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council replaced "Aiming for Excellence" with "Achieving Excellence".
Hertsmere Borough Council's motto "Working with you, for you, improving our communities, our places", has changed three times since 2006. The latest is part of its corporate plan, which cost around £3,000.
Slough Borough Council's motto "Taking pride in our communities and town" replaced "Local government for the 21st century", because the old one was "felt to be tautological".
North Tyneside Council's motto of "Closer" has been replaced by "Widening Horizons".
West Sussex County Council spent £13,000 on paying a private company to "better understand what residents wanted". This produced the new motto "With you, for you, making the most of West Sussex".
Fife FRS switched from "Making Fife Safer" to "Making our Communities Safe".
The service said this followed "detailed discussions and consultation with staff". A spokesman added: "The new statement is more challenging in the delivery of improving safety within our society and the use of 'communities' provides a greater focus."
Strathclyde FRS ditched its Latin motto "Semper paratus" ("Always ready") in favour of "Making our communities safe places to live, work and visit."
Highlands and Islands FRS changed from "To protect, serve and respond to our communities across the Highlands and Islands" to "Helping Make the Highlands and Islands a safer and better place to live".
London FRS switched to "To be a world class fire and rescue service for London, Londoners and visitors" from "Making London a Safer City"
Durham and Darlington FRS's motto has undergone three changes from "A safe place to live and work" to "Safer People, Safer Places" and finally "Safest People, Safest Places"
Warwickshire FRS has gone from "Working together to make Warwickshire safer" to "Protecting the community and making Warwickshire a safer place to live".
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) spent £13,200 on a "corporate identity review" which resulted in the organisation's motto being changed from "Making Hampshire Safer" to "We Make Life Safer".
Merseyside FRS changed its motto from "Making Merseyside a safer, stronger community" to "To make Merseyside a safer, stronger, healthier community"
Mid Wales FRS – switched to "Engaging, Connection, and Inspiring People to Deliver an Excellent Service" from "To build Safer Communities". A spokesman said: "It was replaced following a wide ranging employee consultation and engagement process around culture change. A representative group of employees developed the new mission statement in consultation with senior management".
Staffordshire FRS introduced a brand new "Leadership Message" at a cost of £65,000. The glossy 16 page document features a number of messages such as "All managers are leaders, but don't have to be a manager to lead", "Our leaders will strive to be inspirational role models who motivate our people and promote our values" and "This is your vision. This is about you".
South Yorkshire FRS's new strapline "Working for a Safer South Yorkshire" was introduced as part of a £5,200 project.
Leicestershire FRS's vision altered from "Making our communities safer" to "Safer communities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland"
Suffolk FRS opted for "To make Suffolk a place where people lead safe and fulfilling lives" when replacing "To make Suffolk the Safest County in England"
Cornwall FRS went from "Making Cornwall a safer place to live, work and visit" to "Working together to make Cornwall safer"
Humberside Police's mission statement of "Protecting Communities – Targeting Criminals" replaced "Help Protect Reassure" at a cost of £3,470. The force said: "A decision was made to alter the motto to clarify for both our own staff, and the general public exactly what we deliver as a police force."
Merseyside Police changed its strapline from "Neighbourhood Policing" to "Total Policing" as part of a £12,300 "rebranding exercise";
Warwickshire Police, which spent £1,234 to change its vision from "Warwickshire – the safest place to be" to "Protecting our communities together" said it was "to give our entire workforce, officers and staff, a very clear focus on why they come to work and what is expected of them".
Lothian and Borders Police introduced "Creating Community Wellbeing" to replace "Building Safer Communities".
Lancashire Police changed from "To be the best police force in the country" to "To consistently be the best police force in the country".
Cheshire Police switched its motto from "Helping Make Cheshire Safer" to "Be Safe, Stay Safe".
Nottinghamshire Police replaced "A safer Nottinghamshire for all" with "Policing for you".
Surrey Police switched from "Being Safe, Feeling Safe" to "Safe and confident Neighbourhoods in Surrey", in a change which cost £1,035.
Gloucestershire Police's motto "Striving for a safer Gloucestershire" was replaced by "People First Policing"
Northamptonshire Police opted for "Putting Communities First" after ditching "Making the Difference".
Wiltshire Police no longer uses "Primus et Optimus" ("First and Best"). Instead, it has introduced "Keeping Wiltshire Safe", which was later changed to "Delivering Safe and Satisfied Communities", before being modified to "Delivering safe, satisfied and confident communities".
West Midlands Police changed from "To reduce crime and disorder and make our communities feel safer" to "Serving our communities, protecting them from harm", at a cost of more than £21,500
Thames Valley Police went for "Serving with Pride and Confidence" to replace "Leading, Caring, Professional". This was to satisfy the "strategic move from judging success against targets towards serving and protecting people", according to the Chief Constable.
Staffordshire Police came up with "Keeping our Communities Safe and Reassured" after hiring a consultancy firm for £2,000 for a "planning day" involving the force's executive team. It cost a further £5,000 to introduce the new mission statement on signs and stationery.
Sussex Police came up with "Sussex Police Serving Sussex" to replace "Neighbourhood Policing, Accessible, Visible, Responsive".
Suffolk Police said its new motto "Taking Pride in Keeping Suffolk Safe" – replacing "Suffolk first for you" was "to highlight why it exists".
The Metropolitan Police changed its strapline from "Working for a safer London" to "Working together for a safer London", at a cost of more than £10,000
North Yorkshire Police's "To deliver Modern Policing in a Traditional Way" was introduced when current Chief Constable took up post. It replaced "Reducing Crime and The Fear of Crime"
Northumberland National Park's motto is "Inspiring Landscapes - Thriving Communities"
Pembrokeshire National Park's is "Conserving and enhancing the qualities that make the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park special". This replaced "Keeping the National Park special".
When David Miliband became Foreign Secretary, he commissioned a £4,200 project to create a new mission statement for the Foreign Office after he decided that the existing one – "work for the UK's interests in a safe, just and prosperous world" – needed "a clearer focus" and "should be more memorable". The result was the motto "Better World, Better Britain".
The Department for Children, Schools and Families, now the Department for Education, introduced the mission statement 'to make this the best place in the world for our children and young people to grow up' in 2007.
The Department of Health spent £50,000 on a "statement of its purpose" a diagram featuring a series of slogans under the heading "Improving health and wellbeing".
At the Department for Work and Pensions, the motto "Work, welfare, wellbeing, well-delivered" has been used.
The Department of Communities and Local Government has "Community, opportunity, prosperity".
And the Cabinet Office – "Making Government Work Better".
The Met Office has changed its motto three times in five years, from "Through unrivalled know how, to enable individuals, society and enterprises everywhere, to make the most of the weather and the natural environment" to "Making our forecasts essential to everyone every day" to "To be recognised as the best weather and climate service in the world".
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has had five mission statements since its creation in October 2007. These are: "A society built on fairness and respect. People confident in all aspects of their diversity", "For a society built on fairness and respect", "Our job is to break down inequality, build opportunity and support a civic society where fairness and the right of the individual to a life of dignity and respect is not merely an ideal but a fact", "We secure and implement legislation for an equal society based on the rights of all and founded on good relations", "We promote understanding of our mandate and strive to be an authoritative, responsive organisation" and "Our job is to promote equality and human rights, and to create a fairer Britain. We do this by providing advice and guidance, working to implement an effective legislative framework and raising awareness of your rights." The commission has also spent more than £2,000 putting the mottos on mousemats and posters.


Slogans Are Us

More than 200 councils, police forces, fire brigades, and Whitehall departments have replaced their mottos in the past five years, with some going through as many as five during the period.  Organisations spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on their new mottos, with payments to marketing and brand consultants as well as the costs of new signage, stationery and clothing.

Merseyside Police changed its strapline from "Neighbourhood Policing" to "Total Policing" as part of a £12 300 "rebranding exercise".

West Sussex county council paid a private company £13 000 to help it "better understand what residents wanted". This produced the new motto "With you, for you, making the most of West Sussex".

Hammersmith and Fulham introduced five new mottos to replace its old one, "Serving our Community" – which it felt "no longer reflected the values of the council" – as part of a £10 000 exercise.

Similar schemes in Redbridge ("A better place to live") and Harlow ("Working together for Harlow") cost £80 000 and £65 000 respectively.  The Campaign for Plain English said:

"These are stunningly vacuous and inane forms of drivel They are worthy of David Brent - they are totally meaningless and achieve and say nothing.  It is criminal to think people are wasting public money and public time to come up with this rubbish."

Some bodies have ditched traditional mottos, sometimes in Latin, in favour of sayings featuring modern "buzzwords".  Others have introduced new mottos which are hardly different from earlier ones.

Wiltshire police achieved both feats. The force dropped "Primus et Optimus" ("First and Best") from its crest while changing its "strapline" motto from "Keeping Wiltshire safe" to "Delivering safe and satisfied communities" before settling for "Delivering safe, satisfied and confident communities".

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) ditched "Semper Paratus" ("Always Ready") for "Making our communities safe places to live, work and visit".

Many of the new mottos reflect the public sector's interest in health and "sustainability".
Amber Valley council went from "To improve community well being" to "To improve the sustainability and well being of local communities".

Merseyside FRS changed "Making Merseyside a safer, stronger community" to "To make Merseyside a safer, stronger, healthier community"; it said the change was because "people in poor health or at risk of developing medical, physical or mental health conditions are at a greater risk from fire".

Critics said many new mottos were "vanity statements" marking the arrival of a new chief or minister.

When David Miliband became Foreign Secretary he spent £4 200 creating a new mission statement for the Foreign Office because the existing one; "Work for the UK's interests in a safe, just and prosperous world", needed "a clearer focus" and "should be more memorable".  The result was the motto "Better World, Better Britain".

South Yorkshire Fire Services's new strapline "Working for a safer South Yorkshire" was introduced as part of a £5 200 project.

Warwick district's mission statement "Building on excellence, to become world class by 2012" formed part of a £3 024 scheme.

Further examples of TTel's survey were:
  • Many changes are only minor tweaks. Northamptonshire council went from "To make Northamptonshire an excellent place to live and work" to "Proud to make Northamptonshire a great place to live and work"; Maldon council switched from "To maintain a district which takes pride in itself" to "To maintain and encourage a district which takes pride in itself".
  • Fife FRS went from "Making Fife safer" to "Making our communities safe", while Durham and Darlington FRS went from "A safe place to live and work" to "Safer people, safer places" to "Safest people, safest places".
  • Some mottos can take a long time to introduce. Warrington's 27-word "vision" took three years to develop and entailed a series of staff "workshops".
  • Others are quicker. Staffordshire Police came up with "Keeping our communities safe and reassured" after paying consultants £2,000 for a "planning day". It cost a further £5,000 to put the new statement on signs and stationery.
  • Some mottos seem to be statements of the obvious, such as "Sussex Police Serving Sussex".
  • Others appear to go beyond the organisation's remit; Suffolk FRS changed "To make Suffolk the safest county in England" to "To make Suffolk a place where people lead safe and fulfulling lives".
  • Oxford city's motto changed from "Building pride in our city" to "Building a world-class city for everyone" because the first motto was considered too exclusive; a council spokesman said the aim was to improve the city "for all - not just some - of its citizens".
  • The Met Office has changed three times in five years, finally settling on "To be recognised as the best weather and climate service in the world".
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission has had five mission statements since its creation in 2007 and has spent more than £2,000 putting them on mousemats and posters.
  • Even National Parks now have mottos. Northumberland's is "Inspiring landscapes, thriving communities", Pembrokeshire's "Keeping the national park special".
  • Many straplines are self congratulatory. Staffordshire Moorlands council changed from "Aiming for Excellence" to "Achieving Excellence", Dartford's is "If only all Councils were like Dartford"; Wandsworth spent £3,232 changing from "An Excellent Council" to "Number one for service and value".
  • In an apparent u-turn, North Tyneside changed its motto from "Closer" to "Widening horizons".
In total, 129 councils, 26 fire services, 30 police forces, nine Whitehall departments and 14 other public bodies said they had introduced a new motto, "mission statement", "strapline" or "vision" in the past five years.

Meat Eaters Around the World


During the 19th century, men in wealthy European social circles would wear a tuxedo, on average, 26 hours out of any given week.

Cutting Out The Middle Man

A man left his car parked with the window open and went off to an interview.  On returning, his car was missing and so he rang Plod.  They advised him they had removed the vehicle because it was at risk of theft and charged him £150 for storing the car overnight at the compound.  A Dibble spokesburd said:

"Officers regularly patrol our communities looking for opportunities to prevent crime, which is exactly what has happened on this occasion.  The vehicle was left insecure with valuables on show in an area with significant levels of car crime and we were unable to locate the owner.

We make absolutely no apology whatsoever for the officer's actions, which have prevented this vehicle becoming a target for thieves. Had a thief got there first it would have been a very different story.

We need people to take responsibility for their own property and take any valuables with them when they park up. We hope this story will serve as a reminder." 

Excellent- we now have the Rozzers nicking cars to prevent them from being stolen.  :o)

Slur URLs

Another tome for the bog, a book of inadvertently "witty" or "amusing" company names  which don't quite translate well into website addresses.  Nicknamed "slurls" they include the following:
  • Mole Station Nursery, a business in Australia selling gardening goods was first "molestationnursery" before changing it to "molerivernursery". 
  • Italian home page for energy company Powergen – powergenitalia.
  • Experts Exchange – a site where programmers can trade advice – is found at 
  • American Scrap Metal – a scrap metal recycling firm – has its website at  
  • Speed of Art – a collective or art designers – are online at
More inane nonsense at TTel.

Winners and Losers

Despite the awful lyrics, it's fairly catchy.  However, if this won the Eurovision Song Contest the rest must have bloody awful.  Let's have a look at England's entry:

Oh yes, fully deserving of last place for the Basildon boy- utterly dire.  :o)


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
- Aristotle

Same, Same- Thankfully

BANGKOK (AFP) -- Thailand's prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday the country appeared to have returned to "normal" with the lifting of a curfew imposed in the wake of deadly anti-government protests.

The premier lifted the curfew Saturday but said emergency rule was still necessary after two months of mass rallies by "Red Shirt" demonstrators that paralysed the capital and left almost 90 people dead.

"The situation last night was normal. Authorities will keep an eye though, then we'll consider lifting the state of emergency," Abhisit said in his weekly television address.

The Reds' street rallies, which were broken up by the army on May 19, sparked several outbreaks of violence that left 88 people dead, mostly civilians, and nearly 1,900 injured.

After the army crackdown, unrest spread to several cities in the Red Shirts' stronghold in Thailand's impoverished northeast, and a curfew was imposed in Bangkok and 23 provinces, out of a total of 76.

Authorities on Tuesday extended a midnight-to-4:00 am curfew for four more nights as the government sought to restore order.

Anyone violating the curfew had faced up to two years in jail. The measures made life hard for people who usually work during the night and put a damper on the capital's normally lively nightlife.

The Red Shirts, many of whose leaders have been arrested and are in police custody, were campaigning for elections because they consider Abhisit's government elitist and undemocratic.

Thailand declared a state of emergency in Bangkok on April 7 after protesters stormed parliament in an escalation of their street rallies.

A Thai court last Tuesday approved an arrest warrant for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on terrorism charges, which carry a maximum penalty of death, in connection with the violent protests.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Even Better Than Coffee

No Penalties This Time

Germany take top spot in the 55th Eurovision Song Contest and predictably the Brits came in last.

I think I'd prefer the English result...

Another One Gone

Another death and another good actor leaves a blank on the screen.  Dennis Hopper has died at the age of 74.  :-(

Farewell to the Sunday Times

With the new pay to view The Times kicking off on Tuesday (1st June) this has been my last free perusal of the paper via the web.

It's not been memorable; more disappointing, which is a shame as it used to be far more involving and fun.  C'est la vie, as they say.

Air France Stats

On-line statistics place Air France 65th in a world safety ranking, but with 1 783 fatalities on record, the airline is second only to Aeroflot for passenger deaths, according to the Swiss-based Aircraft Crashes Record Office.

That makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Obsolete Laptop? No Problem

Out With the Old, In With the New

The cost to the taxpayer of paying MPs’ salaries and expenses and ensuring they do not break the rules has hit £175 million a year.

The figure has been released in parliament in the 2010-11 budget for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).  In 2008-9, the total cost of MPs’ salaries and expenses hit £167.5 million.

Ipsa is responsible for all payments to MPs, as well as its own 58 full-time staff, which includes a chief executive on £160 000.

Same old, same old...

The maximum MPs can claim for accommodation and constituency costs was slashed from £56 915 to £40 957 in London and from £40 192 to £26 915 outside the capital.

Bee Power

A bee produces enough energy in a year by flapping its wings to power a 60 watt light bulb for 2.5 hours.

I mention that as we recently watched Bee Movie and along with its stunning animation, the dialogue was witty and laugh out loud funny.  Good for a night's monging in front of the TV.

Odd Timing

We recently discovered we could get BBC World on our TV and for short periods of time it's quite watchable.  Over the last few weeks though, the BBC (along with CNN) has taken quite a critical pasting due to its perceived pro-Redshirt bias and then just a day or two ago, we lose it from air.

No doubt just a coincidence, but it did make us chuckle.

Second Glance

We’re all used to unusual ads these days, no matter what the medium.  But once in a while, something is so bizarre, so hilarious or just plain insulting, we can’t help but do a double take. Woman's Day checks out the 10 most outrageous billboards they could find:

Mistress Exposes Affair

Love hath no fury like a woman scorned, and YaVaughnie Wilkins proved it when she paid approximately $250,000 for billboards in New York, Atlanta and San Francisco revealing her eight-and-a-half-year affair with married Oracle CEO and Obama advisor Charles Phillips. Apparently the billboards were her revenge after he reconciled with his wife. She even created a website—which was allegedly full of photos, love notes and other evidence of the affair—that has since been taken down. Photo by Jen Gallardo.

PETA’s Diet Plan

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals attracted a lot of attention with this billboard, though most of it was negative. So much so that soon after it went up, it came down and was replaced with “GONE: Just like all the pounds lost by people who go vegetarian.” Photo courtesy of PETA.

Have an Affair

Ashley Madison, a dating site for married people who are looking to have an affair, is controversial enough. So it’s no surprise that an advertisement for the website would stir the pot even more. Photo courtesy of @topgold via Flickr.

Prepare to Die

The message is loud and clear here—it’s just totally tactless. While we all can agree that everyone is going to die and it’s best to be prepared, this was a little over the top. We hope this funeral home will go the slightly-more-subtle route for its next campaign. Photo courtesy of Terry Foote via Flickr.

Barack Obama, Jacket Salesman

 The Weatherproof Garment Company attracted the attention of the White House when it created an ad that used an Associated Press photo of the President wearing a Weatherproof jacket. Though it wasn’t exactly illegal for the company to install the billboard in Times Square, they never asked the President for permission to use his likeness, and the White House generally doesn’t utilize the leader of the free world to sell products. Photo courtesy of Brechtbug via Flickr.

Heavenly Endorsement

The marketing whizzes at a local Moe’s Southwest Grill probably thought they were geniuses when they came up with the idea to use God to sell burritos. Of course, pastors living in nearby Orlando, Florida, knew better—as did Moe’s corporate headquarters, who ordered the franchise to take it down since it violated company policy. Photo courtesy of Local6.

Freedom of Speech

Ellis Miller of Gilmer, Texas, doesn’t like how things are being done in the White House, and he’s letting everyone know it. “I was frustrated by how things were going with the health care bill and other aspects of the administration,” Miller explained. So he decided to put his freedom of speech to use with billboards like this one. Photo courtesy of James Gagliardi.

Too Much Sex…

Tiger Woods’s sex scandal did his own endorsements no good, but leave it to PETA to make lemonade out of lemons. Using his, ahem, multiple indiscretions as inspiration, they urged pet owners to spay or neuter their pets with this advertisement. Photo courtesy of PETA.

Funeral Home’s Heavy-Handed Hint

Bergemann & Son Funeral Services seems to have no shame when it comes to finding new customers, as can be seen from this billboard in the Berlin subway. It’s one thing for a funeral home to help you after death, but it’s a whole different story for them to help you get there. Photo courtesy of Reza Amanatch via Flickr.

Ring Finger

At first glance this billboard was pretty shocking to drivers on Signal Mountain Boulevard in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But upon closer inspection they got the joke. While the lady in this local jeweler’s ad is indeed giving the finger, it’s the ring finger, accompanied by the tagline “She’s tired of waiting.” Photo courtesy of cwalker71 via Flickr.

FCO Update

Asia and Oceania


Flag of Thailand
Still current at: 29 May 2010
Updated: 29 May 2010

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Summary, Security and Local Travel section (to reflect post-curfew amendments). The overall level of the advice has changed; we no longer advise against travel to Bangkok and Chiang Mai.  We currently advise British nationals in Thailand to exercise caution.

Not This Year

BANGKOK: -- Government needs to restore peace and put reconciliation programmes in place: Abhisit; Curfew lifted but state of emergency retained to handle security situation, premier says

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva suggested yesterday it would now be difficult to hold a snap election this year because of the destructive riots on May 19.

The government needed to restore peace and implement its reconciliation programme before holding the next general election, Abhisit said.

However, the premier did not give any new timetable in regard to the election.

Prior to the riots, he offered to dissolve the House of Representatives in the second half of September and call an election on November 14 as part of the reconciliation programme.

During yesterday's meeting with Bangkok-based foreign diplomats and representatives of international organisations and chambers of commerce, Abhisit also said it was still necessary to use the emergency decree to run the country at this stage.

However, the government yesterday lifted the night-time curfew in Bangkok and 23 provinces, which has been imposed since May 19.

Eric John, the American ambassador to Thailand, said the US supported the rule of law and democratic measures adopted by the Thai government.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand said the Thai government had so far handled the situation relatively well and he hoped that the reconciliation road map would be put into action quickly.

Officials from the Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce in Thailand said the recent riots had not hurt the export sector, but new investment projects were hit and it would take time to restore foreign investors' confidence.

International businessmen in Thailand had also expressed concerns about the execution of reconciliation plans, as well as the transparency of criminal investigation into those involved in the May 19 riots and arson.

Abhisit said his administration did not extend the curfew largely because security agencies were confident they could manage the situation as the emergency law was still in place and that was sufficient.

All public buses, the Skytrain and subway services in Bangkok returned to normal services yesterday.

At Government House, the premier urged foreign diplomats from 76 countries and representatives from international organisations and foreign chambers of commerce to help restore Thailand's image abroad by clarifying what had happened.

Abhisit also asked for co-operation to help disseminate the government's post-riot measures and plan for reconciliation.

During the meeting, the premier was quizzed by diplomats and other foreign representatives with regard to terrorism cases, the timeframe on investigation into alleged wrongdoers and arrest warrants against former premier Thaksin Shinawatra on terrorism charges.

Abhisit said the number of 'terrorists' among red-shirt protesters was relatively small. Most red shirts were ordinary citizens.

The emergency decree, he said, would be lifted when officials are certain the security situation was fully under control. However, the government would continue to push for enactment of a law on public gathering so protests could be handled more effectively.

Another area of concern was illegal war weapons.

"It was clear that war weapons were in the hands of people who had no rights to use them and caused loss. I am sure that if they had never had the weapons in the first place, we wouldn't have lost (any lives). From now on, we have to be more effective as far as war weapons are concerned," he said.

Foreign diplomats were also reassured that inquiries into riot and related cases would be fair, based on guidelines of the Human Rights Commission and National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Opposition had also requested to investigate the government's and the military's handling of the crisis so a fact-finding committee would be set up soon.

The investigation should proceed quickly without any compromise, he said.

That's More Like It

Once more into town yesterday and after the public holiday and the fact it was a Saturday, it was fabulous to see things far busier and throngs of people out and about in the centre once more.

You'll be pleased to know we also did our duty and contributed a few more Baht to the economy by going shopping and while the sales are still not exceptional, it's to be expected.  Currently the suppliers need all the money they can get.


They always talk who never think.
- Matthew Prior

New Blog description?

'S Not Bollocks

Mistakenly identified as a swear word, "bollocks" was in fact ruled as not being obscene after the Sex Pistols famously used it in their début album, Never Mind the Bollocks.

Testimony in a resulting prosecution over the term demonstrated that in Old English, the word referred to a priest, and could also be used to mean "nonsense" (see wiki).  Defence barrister John Mortimer QC and Virgin Records won their case.  :o)

No More Early Nights

BANGKOK (AFP) -- Thailand's authorities have lifted a night-time curfew imposed 10 days earlier in Bangkok and 23 provinces after deadly anti-government protests, the prime minister said Saturday.

"The curfew will be lifted but the state of emergency will remain in place," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters.

He said security officials had proposed ending the measure "as the situation is under control."

The curfew was imposed on May 19 after enraged protesters went on a rampage of arson following an army crackdown on their mass rally, which descended into several outbreaks of violence that left 88 people dead since mid-March.


Unmasked: Thailand's men in black
By Kenneth Todd Ruiz and Olivier Sarbil

BANGKOK - A cigarette hanging from his lips, a sinewy man with a knotted-up beard perched on the back of a plastic chair and spoke into a military-grade radio.

''Happy birthday," he said in English. Moments later a sonorous detonation boomed from afar in the heart of the Thai capital. A cluster of anti-government protesters crowded around him exulted, shouting ''Happy birthday'' in unison. Many more such coded celebrations would follow in the next 24 hours.

It's five days before the army would send armored personnel carriers into central Bangkok on May 19 to decisively quash the
''red shirt'' occupation, and your correspondents are inside a tent with the infamous paramilitaries, dubbed ''men in black'' by the media, as they prepared for war.

They let us inside their secret world on one condition: if we took any pictures, they would kill us.

These were not the regular black-attired security guards employed by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, or UDD, anti-government protest group who generally didn't carry guns. These were the secretive and heavily armed agent provocateurs whose connections, by their own admission, run to the top of the UDD, also known as the red shirts.

Several UDD co-leaders have since been detained and branded as ''terrorists'' by the Thai government. On Wednesday, Thai authorities issued an arrest warrant for self-exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on terrorism charges, alleging a link between the fugitive politician and the UDD gunmen's violent campaign. Thaksin swiftly denied the charges.

There was a simple honesty to our arrangement with the fighters, but their death threat didn't preclude Thai-style hospitality. Only one man voiced displeasure with our presence; he asked his comrades about us, but he used the Thai pronoun for ''it''.

As the sun set on May 14 behind the UDD's bamboo-and-tire fortress erected in the heart of one of Bangkok's top commercial districts, the men ate hot noodles and whispered anxiously about army shooters. Snipers angered them.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Bangkok had been plunged into chaos after the man whom they said issued their orders directly, renegade army officer Maj Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, was struck down and eventually died from a sniper's bullet as he spoke to a reporter. The government has denied responsibility for the hit.

Khattiya, a celebrity rogue revered by many red shirts, often spoke fondly of what he called the ''Ronin Warriors'' - Ronin being samurai with no lord or master. In February, he boasted to reporters of training an undisclosed number of former military men to defend the red shirts, but later publicly denied leading them.

Absent Khattiya's leadership, discipline inside the red fortress was on the decline. Alcohol flowed freely, fueling tempers and fist-fights. Earlier in the day a Ronin fighter fired an Israeli-made TAR-21 assault rifle, seized from the army in April, at an army helicopter overhead.

Competing personalities vied for dominance among the disordered Ronin, but the bearded man who spoke little was calling the shots for now. "Do you know who is in charge here?" he said. "It's me."

At least until another unnamed commandant he described as second to Khattiya arrived to assume command and investigate why journalists were with the gunmen.

''Not Terrorists Not Violent; Only Peaceful and Democracy,'' read a banner hanging outside the barrier of jumbled tires. Inside, it was an open secret who the gunmen were; no less secrete were the perimeter bombs, connected by dirty gray cables, designed to inflict heavy casualties on any advancing government army soldiers.

Some of the men held their firearms tightly concealed under jackets. Just after sunset, oblong packages wrapped in black plastic were carried into tents in Lumpini Park from elsewhere in the camp. Running at a crouch, we were moved to a different tent nearer the memorial statue of Thai King Rama VI. The Ronin moved between tents often in this way to avoid detection from government snipers.

Twenty-seven men crouched in darkness inside the tent. Newspapers covered any illuminated displays from radios or other electronics, and we were asked to turn off our cell phones. One gunman suggested army snipers would kill them all at first light if they had the chance.

''Don't worry; safe. Thai-style,'' their combat medic said to us in English, gesturing to layers of tarps obscuring the ground from potential snipers where we were camped with them.

Fewer than half were paramilitaries, the rest regular black-shirts providing support and catering to the gunmen's needs. Some ran errands, others fetched water, coffee and M-150 energy drinks. The Ronin were structured like a military unit, complete with a radioman and the combat medic. They apparently had had training in explosives and munitions, which they put to use in handling plastic explosives and planting bombs for remote-detonation along the camp's edge.

Despite media speculation that the Ronin were comprised of former anti-communist commandos, most of the men we met were much too young, looking to be in their early 20s. Many had been paratroopers and one said he came from the navy. Most originated from the same upcountry, rice-basket provinces the majority of red shirts called home. Several said they were still active-duty soldiers.

Eventually a call came in from a UDD guard. The army had succeeded in securing a location near Pratunam, the intersection bounding the northern extent of the red-occupied commercial district, and was pushing hard against protesters. They needed help.

M16 and AR-15 rifles slid free from concealment under plastic or inside their clothing. In less than 10 minutes, the gunmen loaded ammunition into clips and locked them into place.

Ammunition was running low, they said. Each fighter was given no more than 30 rounds to carry. Although we didn't see any M79 grenade launchers, the Ronin discussed a bulky sack of grenades they were carrying. Just after 9 pm, the dozen fighters rose and scurried silently into the night to sow another round of mayhem.

For the next nine hours, bursts of intense gunfire erupted from areas around the red-zone perimeter. first from the direction of Pratunam, later from points along Rama IV Road.

Their tactics were consistent with those of trained guerrillas and snipers, letting off brief fusillades of gunfire before repositioning. They terrorized regular Thai army soldiers throughout the night, winding them up and denying them sleep.

At 6 am on May 16, they swaggered back into the camp under covering fire from homemade rockets to the cheers of the assembled reds. Visibly weary but beaming triumphant smiles, the men shouldered the night's spoils - body armor, riot shields, batons, helmets, flashlights and other gear taken from Thai security forces - some of which they handed out as gifts.

If the battle for Bangkok was largely a hearts-and-minds campaign for public support, the Ronin's actions undermined the nonviolent ethos espoused by the UDD.

They described their purpose as ''protecting'' the demonstrators and standing as a force-equalizer against Thai security forces. They perceived themselves as ''black angels'' watching over the unarmed farmers and families who comprised the red shirt rank and file.

Despite this heroic self-image, these angels brought death and chaos. Their campaign of violence is believed to have claimed a number of innocent lives and possibly provoked the deaths of dozens more.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government, along with other observers, blame them for tipping an already tense stand-off on April 10 into bloody pandemonium by killing army officers and attacking soldiers, who then fired live rounds into red shirt crowds. Twenty-five people died that day.

''Soldiers are lining up with their war weapons and shooting into crowds of red shirts, all of whom are completely unarmed,'' UDD spokesman Sean Boonpracong said from the Ratchaprasong stage on May 15, only hours after the Ronin returned from their mission.

Their actions also handed the civilian government the excuse it needed to send in troops with deadly purpose on May 19 to end the UDD's six-week occupation of Ratchaprasong. Seeking to justify the government's use of lethal force, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban revealed seized weaponry before foreign diplomats and the press on May 22.

"Terrorists have used these weapons to attack officials and innocent people," he said.

Earlier this month, Abhisit branded their now deceased chief, Khattiya, a ''terrorist'' ringleader. Before he was shot, Khattiya, a larger-than-life character given to brash claims and with an uncanny ability to predict unclaimed grenade attacks across Bangkok, sometimes made little effort to conceal his role as Ronin commander.

When hundreds of pro-government protestors rallied near the UDD's fortress on April 22, he announced the imminent arrival of ''some men wearing black'' to aid the reds. Soon thereafter, five M79 grenades landed near a pro-government group, killing a 26-year-old woman and injuring nearly 100 others. That weapon, the M79 grenade launcher, is consistent with a months-long campaign of violence and property destruction, which the government has also pinned on the UDD.

In his May 3 comments, Abhisit also linked Khattiya to Thaksin, the fugitive billionaire the UDD aims to return to power. Khattiya's relationship with Thaksin raises the question, as posed by the government's terrorism case, what is the politician's knowledge of the commandos?

He didn't address the question when it was put to him directly in an interview on Wednesday with the Australian Broadcast Corporation. "There is no evidence at all, it's just the allegations," he said. [1]

Khattiya traveled to Dubai to meet Thaksin in March, according to press reports. He also said they spoke by telephone on occasion, most recently on May 3. That was one week before Thaksin is believed to have scuttled a peace plan and Khattiya threatened to seize control of the UDD from its more moderate leadership.

Those leaders were poised to accept Abhisit's five-point ''reconciliation road map'', which included a proposal for early elections in November, and the deal's collapse precipitated the military crackdown. On the day of the crackdown, the Ronin fought the army as they fell back in an organized withdrawal from the red fortress.

Just after 1:30 pm on May 19, these correspondents witnessed two Thai soldiers and a Canadian journalist seriously injured by one of many M79 grenades fired from an elevated position believed to be a nearby Skytrain station. Later, as Central World Plaza mall, was set alight and burned, they engaged in a fierce firefight with the army several blocks away. Then they just disappeared.

It isn't clear why the Ronin raised the veil of secrecy for us, but perhaps it was knowledge that their fight, and possibly their lives, could soon end with the coming military crackdown. That doesn't seem to have happened, however.

Leaders of the UDD may have surrendered to police and their followers have dispersed or been arrested, but the deadly fighters have are believed to be loose in the city, ready to fight another day. Thaksin suggested without elaborating after May 19 that angry UDD protestors might resort to ''guerilla'' tactics.

Meanwhile, Bangkok struggles to reclaim a sense of normalcy while the gunmen remain at large. On Monday, Suthep Thaugsuban argued for extending a curfew then in effect, citing fears that an ''underground movement" planning to cause chaos was still loose in the capital.
1. For interview, see here.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Great Ad

Poor Chap

Sad to hear that Gary "Diff'rent Strokes" Coleman has died at just 42.  :-(

Wino Aussies

Beer consumption in Australia has dropped to a 60 year low as the younger generation abandons the "amber nectar" in favour of wine.

I see it as a far more obvious reason; price.  At around five quid for a frozen, gassy, glass (not even a pint) of horse urine, people are simply waking up to the fact they're having the piss taken out of them.

Good for them- walk with your feet.

Less on the Hips

The number of homes being put on the market has soared by a third since the Government announced plans to scrap Home Information Packs, an estate agency has said.  The UK's biggest estate agency Countrywide said it had seen a 34% rise in the number of people selling their home after the announcement.

Estate agents had campaigned against Hips, complaining that the typical £299 to £350 cost of compiling one of the packs was deterring people from putting their home on the market to test the water.  There was also little evidence that the packs benefited consumers, with 91% of estate agents saying they thought house hunters paid little or no attention to them.

Bloody right it was a useless idea and we should be entitled to claim our money back.


A novel way to advertise your new album.  Ozzy has some fun at Tassauds.  :oD

Pretendy Friendy

The average mother makes eleven new friends outside her original circle at baby and toddler groups- but can’t stand half of them.  Six in ten mums claim they have nothing in common with most of their new pals and that they are forced to talk about children 100% of the time.

43% admit they would never have considered socialising with half of their "mum friends" if they hadn’t started a family and a third of mums say they get fed up with others thinking they know everything about raising children. 

Moral of the story?  Don't have kids.  :o)


A Team Eng-er-land football fan has travelled to South Africa for the World Cup- after cycling, swimming and running all the way from the UK.

He set off on the mammoth 11 800 mile journey last October and has just arrived ready to watch his country play.  The Spurs fan says he took on the challenge, which is the world's longest triathlon, to raise money for a charity which ships second hand bikes to Africa.

He cycled through Europe before swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and then competing in a 56 mile marathon this weekend. 

Let's hope his team don't let him down.

Avoid the Strikes, Holiday at a UK Beach

Fewer UK beaches covered in your excrement, finds survey

Fewer UK beaches covered in your excrement, finds survey thumbnail A survey by The Marine Conservation Society has found that fewer UK beaches are likely to see you lounging around in human faeces than at any point since 2006.

It rated 421 of 769 beaches as “almost entirely shit free” - 33 more than 2009, but below the 505 rated highly in 2006.
The results, though positive, show that it is still highly likely that swimming around most UK beaches could leave you with a mouthful of the contents of several well-used toilets.

The society’s coastal pollution officer said they were pleased with the progress made, but that recent flooding had caused pollution issues.

“This country produces an inordinate amount of shit, a large proportion of which is pumped out to sea for you and I to wade through during a thoroughly disappointing domestic holiday.”

“This situation was only made worse by the floods of the last two years, meaning much of the shit you’re swimming through is completely untreated.”


The current European rules on shit-free beaches is due to change in 2015, with many currently ‘clean’ UK beaches to be reclassified as ’skat pools’.

One beach inspector told us, “The maximum amount of shit you are allowed to swim in, according to the current ‘generous’ EU legislation, is actually surprisingly high.  I’ve seen cess pits technically clean enough to swim in, according to Brussels.”

“It would be nice to think that one day our children, or even our children’s children, might be able to paddle in our waters without the threat of contracting a lethal dose of dysentery, but right now I’d suggest wading in full hazmat suits, or just stick to hill walking holidays if you’re not going abroad.”

“Unless ingesting other people’s shit if your thing, of course.”

Unemployment in UK to Drop

THE long-term jobless must stand about in big shops wearing polo shirts, the government has confirmed.

Ministers have warned that those not prepared to put on a cheap uniform and loiter with the equally indolent while chatting about car stereos and intercourse could lose their benefits.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan-Smith said: "I think the real tragedy for this country is that many people have chosen to stay on benefits because they believed that if they got a job they'd have to do some work.

"In fact there are loads of jobs that involve no work whatsoever, such as shops, tourist attractions and rapidly failing Cajun-themed restaurants. Plus you can steal things, which helps to compensate for any money you lose in coming off the government's teat."

He added: "This gives people from deprived backgrounds the chance to continue doing absolutely nothing but doing it in a structured way that will give them the confidence they need to win a fight in a pub car park."

Tom Logan, managing director of a big shop selling carpets and tiles, said: "We're always looking for people with a slightly glazed look who can lean on things. We just like having them around."

Stephen Malley, who was unemployed for 12 years before doing nothing, said he never knew how rewarding work could be until he was offered the job of standing in the middle of a discount supermarket.

"Holding a clipboard and occasionally moving a box of cereal slightly to the left has given me so much confidence."

He added: "I'm now going to pretend to look for something in the warehouse, although I shall actually be smoking a bifter by the skips."


BP's New Logo

Lahm to the Slaughter

Bayern Munich full-back Philipp Lahm will captain Germany at the World Cup in place of injured Michael Ballack.

The 26 year old, who can play on either side was one of the stars of the 2006 World Cup and has racked up 64 caps since making his debut in 2004.  Germany coach Joachim Loew said at the team's training camp:

"Lahm has played in his position with great class and will take over the role of captain."

A good choice but we still stand no chance.  :-(

France to Host 2016 European Championship

France have beaten Turkey and Italy for the right to stage the European Championship in 2016.

France previously staged the tournament in 1960 and were hosts again in 1984, winning it with a team captained by Michel Platini, the Uefa president.

The French, hosts and winners of the 1998 World Cup, beat Turkey by just a single vote after Italy were eliminated in the first round of voting.

Euro 2016 will feature 24 countries playing 51 matches over one month.

Personally I'd have picked Turkey as they would have done a grand job and the country is beautiful.  It would have been miles cheaper too.  Nor do I think any country that has previously hosted the championship should get another opportunity before someone who hasn't had the chance.

However, France will undoubtedly a fine venue too but it's going to cost the fans lots more in accommodation and food/drink bills.

More at the BBC.

Curfew to be Lifted?

BANGKOK: -- The government said yesterday it was ready to lift the curfew in Bangkok and its adjoining provinces, provided the police were ready to take security responsibilities over from the military.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the authorities would assess the situation in different areas to determine if the curfew should be extended.

"If the police say they can take over from the military, we are ready to lift the curfew," he said. However, he added that such a decision would be based on careful consideration, taking into account the negative impact the curfew would have on residents.

"We are aware that people want their lives to return to normal, and we must try to make that happen as soon as possible," Abhisit said.

The curfew in Bangkok and 23 other provinces, which was declared after the May 19 riots and renewed a few times, expired at 4am today.

When asked how long the state of emergency would be retained, the PM said yesterday he could not set an exact time because the decree was needed to prevent a resurgence of activities that could threaten national security and complicate the situation.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said yesterday the government wanted to lift the curfew as soon as possible so as to avoid a bigger impact on local residents.

Suthep, who heads the Centre of the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), said he was waiting for the police to confirm they are capable of maintaining security in Bangkok and taking over from the armed forces.

"I will then report to the prime minister, who has the authority of declaring or lifting the curfew," Suthep said, adding that the decision on the curfew would be made no later than today.

Earlier yesterday, national police chief General Patheep Tanprasert said it was likely the curfew would not be extended in Bangkok and surrounding provinces because the situation appeared stable.

Patheep said he had given the Metropolitan Police commissioner the job of evaluating the situation and reporting to Suthep, who would then decide whether an extension was necessary.

"There is a tendency there will be no extension because the situation in Bangkok and the surrounding areas is stable," Patheep said. "Extension of the curfew might affect people who have to make their living at night."

On Thursday, CRES spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd said there was a likelihood the curfew would not be extended in the North and Northeast, because regional commanders had said the situation in those areas was under control.

The military has also reported "gradual positive development" in Bangkok and adjacent provinces, the spokesman said.

Suthep has given Patheep the job of deciding whether the police are prepared to deal with security matters once the curfew is lifted.

Meanwhile, Department of Special Investigation director-general Tharit Pengdit said yesterday his agency was seeking arrest warrants for more red-shirt leaders who had violated the emergency decree by leading street protests in Bangkok and the provinces. He said he expected the warrants to be issued next week for these "third-generation leaders".

Lt-General Wiwalit Jonsamrit, commander of the Second Army Region, said the situation in all 19 provinces in the Northeast was returning to normal, with no more violent attacks taking place recently.

He said military authorities had told community radio owners in the region to avoid breaking the law.

Community radio stations, mostly operated by red-shirt leaders, are blamed for inciting unrest and spreading anti-government sentiment.

20 Dishes and Drinks Named After People

From Woman's Day:

1. Arnold Palmer
In the 1960s, golfer Arnold Palmer was relaxing at a bar in Palm Springs, California, when he decided to order a blend of lemonade and iced tea. The woman next to him overheard his order and said, “I’ll have that Palmer drink.” The beverage quickly spread throughout the golfing world and beyond. Photo courtesy of Arizona Beverage Co.

2. Baby Ruth
Back in the 1920s, the Curtiss Candy Company decided the perfect name for a candy bar should come from President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth. At the time, the family called her “Baby.” Photo courtesy of Nestle.

3. Bananas Foster
To promote the city of New Orleans as a banana port, Owen Edward Brennan, the owner of the French & Creole Restaurant, created this dessert in 1951. Needing a name for it, he used the last name of his customer and friend Richard Foster. Photo by Shutterstock.

4. Beef Wellington
Legend has it that in 1815, after winning the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, was a public hero. His personal chef decided to honor him with a special dish, which looked somewhat like a Wellington boot (and which was also named after the Duke). Photo by Shutterstock.

5. Bellini
In 1948, Giuseppe Cipriani created a cocktail at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, by macerating peaches and mixing their purée with Champagne. He named it after Bellini, the 15-century painter. Photo by iStockphoto.

6. Caesar Salad
Chef Caesar Cardini is credited for this famous salad. In 1924, he allegedly constructed it in Tijuana, Mexico, on Fourth of July weekend when he was running low on food. He was lucky enough to find good basic ingredients in his kitchen—lettuce, garlic-flavored olive oil, lemons, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce and eggs—which he tossed together to create the dish. Photo by Shutterstock.

7. Chicken Tetrazzini
In the early 1900s, opera singer Luisa “The Florentine Nightingale” Tetrazzini was a nationwide sensation. It was a popular tradition at that time to name dishes after the person who inspired them—or at least that’s what legend says Chef George Auguste Escoffier did. Photo courtesy of Zack Sheppard via Flickr.

8. Cobb Salad
The Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood claims that around 1937, owner Bob Cobb was scouring the kitchen for something to curb his appetite, so he began throwing random ingredients into a bowl. He later added the dish to the menu and named it after himself. Photo by Shutterstock.

9. German Chocolate Cake
Believe it or not, this treat was actually invented in the U.S. In 1852, Sam German created baking chocolate for the well-known Baker’s Chocolate Company and named it “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.” But the first appearance of the recipe wasn’t until 1957, when a homemaker submitted it to a Dallas newspaper. Photo by Shutterstock.

10. Graham Cracker
Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham invented this high-fiber snack of unsifted, coarsely ground wheat flour because he believed a strict diet would help curb unhealthy sexual urges. Photo by Shutterstock.

11. Earl Grey Tea
It is said that Prime Minister Earl Charles Grey of Britain named this tea after himself in the 1830s. He received tea leaves made with bergamot oil and citrus as a gift and later gave the recipe to the London tea establishment, Jackson of Piccadilly. Photo by Shutterstock.

12. HEATH Bar
In 1928, the HEATH English Toffee bar came to be, thanks to Heath Brothers Confectionery. Almost immediately, the Heath brothers found success with the candy bar, which is still manufactured by the Hershey Foods Corporation. Photo courtesy of Hershey's.

13. Margarita
In 1948 Dallas socialite Margaret “Margarita” Sames wanted a refreshing poolside drink while on vacation in Mexico. Using her favorite liquor, she tested different combinations of tequila, Cointreau and lime until she found the perfect combo of sweet, salty and sour. Photo by Shutterstock.

14. Margherita Pizza
Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, and her husband, King Umberto, were traveling in Naples during the late 1800s when Chef Raffaele Esposito made them three specialty pizzas at his restaurant. Their favorite was the mozzarella, tomato and basil, created to mimic the colors of the Italian flag, so Esposito named the pie after the queen. Photo by Shutterstock.

15. Melba Toast
When Australian singer Dame Nellie Melba was ill in the late 1890s, she was fed these crisp cracker-like toasts to settle her stomach. Chef Escoffier, who first created the crackers, named them after the singer, for whom Peach Melba is also named. Photo by Shutterstock.

16. Nachos
One night in 1943, across the U.S. border in Piedras Negras, Mexico, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya was working as maitre d’ at the Victory Club. When a group of military officers’ wives came in as he was getting ready to close down, he couldn’t find the chef, so he threw together baked tortillas, Cheddar and jalapeños—and nachos were born. Photo by Shutterstock.

17. Reuben Sandwich
Arnold Reuben, founder of Reuben’s Restaurant and Delicatessen, concocted this combo one night in 1914 when he was making a sandwich for a down-and-out actress named Anna Selos. He originally named the sandwich after her, but later changed it to the Reuben Special. Photo by Shutterstock.

18. Salisbury Steak
Dr. J.J. Salisbury, an American Civil War physician, was adamant about his dietary beliefs, which included the notion that vegetables and starches would cause heart disease and other illnesses. He created a ground beef and onion dish to be consumed three times a day with lots of hot water to flush out the system. Photo by Shutterstock.

19. Shirley Temple
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel of Honolulu claims their bartenders were the first to serve this nonalcoholic drink in the 1930s. It was named after a regular guest of the hotel, child actress Shirley Temple. Photo by Evan Sklar / Getty.

20. Tootsie Roll
Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfield opened a small candy shop in New York City in 1896, where his goal was to create a chocolate that wouldn’t melt as soon as the heat hit it. He named his sweet treat after his then 5-year-old daughter, Tootsie.   Photo by Leo Hirshfield/Tootsie Roll.