Sunday, 30 April 2017

Viz's Top Tip of the Day

Give me Strength

I am old fashioned when it comes to the written English word and make no bones about it.  I shudder at "text speak" (LOL), contractions (Brexit) and acronyms (YOLO- you only live once).

I also abhor rude and ignorant travellers and tourists who seem to feel that as they are on holiday, they can do as they please (for they never behave like this at home- or do they?) and to hell with the locals.  "I am boosting their economy by spending my money in their country so I am entitled to let my hair down and go a little wild".

Except it never is a little, it's always a lot.

But I digress, the point of this post is the amalgamation of both these pet peeves of mine.  It's called a belfie.

Now I have heard of a selfie (even typing that makes me cringe) but I genuinely had to look up the latest monstrosity:

a 'bottom selfie' - a photographic self-portrait featuring the buttocks, usually posted by female celebrities on social media networks

And it seems this fad is now sweeping the nations from whence these vulgar people come from.  I could bang on and maybe one day will, but check out TInd where the Julia Buckley has saved me the bother.  Nicely written and I so agree.

News Thump

Following the furore surrounding Liberal leader Tim Farron’s thoughts on gay sex and some homophobic cake-based nonsense, popular deity God has broken his silence on the matter.
“Listen, the ten commandments were the bits you were really supposed to listen to,” boomed God from on his cloud.
“I was very clear about this to Moses, it was the reason we etched them in stone.
“Don’t kill, don’t steal, always worship me…that one was Moses’ idea by the way, I always thought it was a bit egotistical.
“To be honest, I’ve never really had much of an opinion on bumming or frottering or whatever you people decide to do with your genitals.
“I would certainly never deem it an important enough matter to issue a stone commandment one way or the other.
“In fact, the very fact that I gave you genitals and that they’re really rather fun should indicate that they’re at the more recreational end of the human spectrum.”
At this point someone shouted up at God – ‘but what about Leviticus 20:13?’
“Right,” continued the bearded overseer of everything.
“Firstly; deity speaking. Show some respect. Secondly; Leviticus Shemiticus. Work on the commandments first and when you’ve all stopped killing each other with wars, famine, corruption, and pollution then we can talk about Leviticus. It’s mainly filler to bulk out the book for the publisher.”
At this point, God refused to take any further questions as Corrie was on and he’d forgot to set the Sky+.
NT

Well Said

A cult is a religion with no political power.
Tom Wolfe
US author & journalist (1931 - )

Mr Bean

Can fuck right off.

Every time I try and find Mr Ben, I get "did you mean Mr Bean?".  No, I did not mean that, for had I, that is precisely what I would have typed.

Anyone else remember the delightful adventures of Mr Ben and the magic fancy dress shop?

DYK?

BBC Sports

Is getting right on my tits as it spends more time reporting and favouring other leagues outside of the UK.

Yes, it's nice to know what is happening in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and so on but I don't want to see that at the top of the page nor do I want to browse through other pages to see the results and tables of our own domestic leagues.

Priority should be given to local games, not foreign matches.  How about a separate page for European news and leave the Brit stuff on the main site?

One Up, One Down

I'm not sure what was more inevitable.

Newcastle getting promotion back to the Premiership at the first time of asking, or Sunderland making way for them as they get relegated after yesterday's poor result, a home loss to Bournemouth.

What I do know is that there will be a household divided up in Peterlee as the in-laws are split 50:50 between black or red white stripes.

Make or Break

Irrespective of Chelsea's game earlier in the evening, this is the big one for Tottenham.  Win here and we beat The Arse in the table for God knows* how many decades.  Surely we deserve that now?  Yeah, right...

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head
  • Arsenal's only win in their last eight Premier League visits to White Hart Lane was 1-0 in March 2014 (D3, L4).
  • However, the Gunners have scored in 35 of the last 36 Premier League north London derbies - the exception being a 0-0 draw in February 2009.
  • A Spurs win will ensure they finish above Arsenal in the league for the first time since 1995*.
Tottenham Hotspur
  • Spurs have only suffered one defeat in 18 Premier League matches (W15, D2), winning their last eight games in a row.
  • They have won 12 consecutive games at White Hart Lane and are the only side unbeaten at home in the league this season (W15, D2).
  • Tottenham have amassed 74 points in the Premier League this season, their best ever return in the competition.
  • Christian Eriksen has been involved in 16 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions, with five goals and 11 assists.
Arsenal
  • The Gunners have won four of their last five games in all competitions.
  • However, they have lost four of their previous five Premier League away matches, conceding 13 goals in the process.
  • Arsenal's tally of 60 points after 32 Premier League matches is one more than they had at this stage last season when they went on to finish second.
  • Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 28 Premier League goals this season, with 19 goals and nine assists.

Archer XI

After the rather odd series 5, Archer Vice, it was good to see the calamitous super spy back in the groove and fucking things up for ISIS (the original) consulting for the CIA.

The rather unfortunate news is that we whizzed through the series far too quickly.  We do have Archer 7 but I think we'll wait to break the seal off that.

Bon Voyage

Karen and Dean will be preparing to fly back from New Zealand a little later today and we're looking froward to seeing them tomorrow.  Have a safe flight and we can't wait to catch up son.

C & H

Saturday, 29 April 2017

DYK?

Tuesday is the most popular day of the week for giving birth. Part of that factor has nothing to do with Nature and everything to do with hospital staffing; elective C-sections and induced labours are often scheduled during traditional working hours.

Well Said

A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.
Bert Leston TaylorThe So-Called Human Race (1922)

All Clear

We've had three major operations in the family a couple of days ago and I am happy/relieved that all have been thoroughly successful.  Now the rehabilitation must begin but we wish both aunts and in-law a speedy and full recovery.

Kodi

Facing a constant stream of rumors and inaccurate news reports, the Kodi team has felt the need to clarify its stance on DRM. The Kodi software will never prohibit users from accessing content, legal or not, they stress. Compatibility with low-level DRM is an option, but only so that external parties can offer their content securely.
The Kodi media player software has seen a massive surge in popularity over the past two years.
With help from a wide range of third-party add-ons, some of which offer access to pirated content, millions of people now use Kodi as their main source of entertainment.
Earlier this month we interviewed the Kodi team to talk about their plans and piracy-related challenges. They were very upfront about these issues and happy to provide some counterbalance to often misleading news reports.
The Kodi team itself sees no value in actively banning third-party addons. Instead, they would like more legitimate content providers to join their platform. One of the things that could make this easier is by allowing Kodi to interface with DRM.
DRM-compatibility would make it possible for major movie studios and the likes of Netflix to stream their content in a protected environment, which is a minimal requirement for many.
However, the words “Kodi” and “DRM” in one sentence proved to be a rather volatile mix.
Soon after we posted our article, wild theories started to emerge, and social media, YouTube, and other news outlets started to spread inaccurate claims, with some predicting the end of Kodi.
This week the Kodi team decided to clarify their stance. Responding to the “ill-informed idiots on YouTube” and click-bait writers, the team makes it clear that DRM poses no threat to the media player software that people have come to love.
“Let’s try again and make this crystal clear: Kodi is a free, open-source neutral software. Kodi will never, ever require DRM to work, nor will it ever be a locked software. Ever! Read that a couple more times for good measure,” they write.
Since Kodi is open source, released under a GNU General Public License, the software itself can’t ship with DRM. However, there might be ways to set it up so it is compatible with DRM software that’s already on users’ systems or devices.
This will help to bring content providers on board and change the perception of Kodi as a piracy facilitator, the team says.
“From our perspective, supporting low-level DRM is a first step to changing that. Basically, what this means is providing some sort of interface to work with the DRM already present on your system.
“For example, Android ships with software that plays back DRMed content from Netflix. Kodi could hook into this already existing software in Android to playback the same content, so you never have to leave Kodi,” they add.
In other words, the only thing that Kodi is trying to do is help content providers to embrace the platform, not to hunt down or limit the availability of third party add-ons.
To the many news outlets who spread inaccuracies or falsehoods, the developers say they are always happy to answer their questions. In any case, readers are warned not to fall for wild claims, as they are often incorrect.
As for DRM, the Kodi team said its formal position can be summarized with the following four sentences.
– Kodi will never provide content, DRMed or not.
– Kodi will never stop working with your content.
– We will never prevent you from using Kodi as you so choose.
– We do not condone, condemn, encourage or recommend any particular use of Kodi.
Period.
TF

Is This Wise?

Spurs have confirmed they will play their home games at Wembley for the 2017-18 season while their new ground is being built.

Considering our track record there, I think we'll be lucky to avoid relegation next year.

BBC

Erm...

crave pictures 06

Card has Landed

James was due a debit card replacement and asked if he could get it sent over here from the UK.  That was not a problem but it has taken quite some time to arrive.  Then again we're not sure when it did land here as our main office had left the receipt notice taped to the wrong letter box.

Fortunately wifey had a good look and found it, so we are happy to report all is well and we look forward to seeing J and his girlfriend next week, after their tour of the islands.

Keeping the Peace

In a bid to calm the neighbours we bought one of those portable speaker/MP-3 things so wifey can listen to music without singing herself.

It is a nice bit of kit picked up in the sale but I suspect it may be faulty and we might have to exchange it for another unit.  The USB charging cable was missing and it doesn't seem to want to play every time.  Hopefully it's just a glitch and all will be well once I have read the instructions.

Al Fresco Workshop

Wifey is now on her second floor construction of her doll's house and finds it best to work on the balcony.  She has put in a work surface, draws and a cabinet for all(most) of her tools and materials and I get to see her once in a while as she stocks up on coffee or cold drinks throughout the day.

She can and does spend hours on there and is making good progress.  It occupies her time, she is more than happy doing her thing and you can hear her singing along without a care in the world.

Luckily I spend most of the time in the bedroom and can turn up the TV volume to drown out the sounds coming from the balcony.  It's the neighbours I feel sorry for, I am sure they must think she is being strangled.

C & H

Friday, 28 April 2017

Sweet But...

This letter was left on the desk of Markus' teacher and while their is no doubting its sentiment, I would be highly embarrassed if I were the tutor to the kid.

It's quite illiterate and full of errors yet this seems to be completely ignored.  Why?  Is this the standard of teaching in schools?  And am I the only one feeling a little concerned by the teacher feeding the lad and hugging him?


To Mr. J

Thank you for being an awesome teacher and for being amazing! This school year was so fun and I enjoyed it because if you.

I wish more teachers was like you. I will never forget you.

I look at you like my dad. I never met my real dad but it okay because you treat me like I’m your son.

You make me so happy. Always feeding me when I am hungry and hug me when I am sad.

I will never forget you Mr. J. I love you and I will never forget about you!

Love Markus

i100

News Thump

The football association has banned Joey Barton for 18 months for doing the sort of thing football sponsors definitely want to see more of.
The FA explained that betting on football matches involving your team, even when you’re not playing in them, is definitely bad, despite the plethora of adverts in football urging fans to do just that.
A spokesperson for the FA said, “We’re in a difficult position. Obviously, we would like to say that gambling is a pernicious industry that is subtly ruining the purity of our national game – but on the other hand, it’s an industry that does continue to write some lovely, lovely big cheques to both football tclubs and the TV channels showing our matches.
“So it’s probably best all round if we just heavily punish Joey Barton for doing what the gambling adverts encourage you all to do, and stay silent on the obvious rank hypocrisy of taking such a position.”
The announcement of Barton’s punishment was delayed due to a break in the FA hearing, during which Ray Winstone went before reporters to explain that Bet365 were offering odds of 5-1 that Joey Barton would get a ban of 12 months or over.
NT

Life Hacks

100+ Life Hacks That Will Instantly Improve Your Life For The Better:

No Rest for the Wicked

Can you believe we have to be back at the immigration offices next week?  It's time for our 90 day reporting and they will not accept any documents longer than a week before due date.

Oh well, we're getting quite good at this now.

Well Said

What's the use of a good quotation if you can't change it?
Doctor Who

Bad Brit Boys

I wonder how the Feds are going to crack down on this?  Ban the internet?
Almost five million Brits are regularly streaming TV content from illegal Internet services. That's one of the findings from a new YouGov study which shows that Kodi-powered devices and Android apps are particularly popular with users. Of concern to authorized services is that hundreds of thousands of pirates say they're canceling their official subscriptions.
With Internet access almost universal across the UK and a young, tech-savvy audience fully clued-up on the wonders of on-demand content, little wonder that new ways to consume content are being gobbled up across the country.
Unfortunately for content providers, those methods aren’t always official. In fact, all signs point to an uptick in illegal content consumption from a range of relatively new devices which excel when it comes to ease of access.
We’re talking about software such as Kodi, the legal media player that can be super-charged to provide a full-on piracy experience. Or custom Android apps like Showbox, Terrarium TV and Mobdro, each capable of delivering premium movies, TV shows and sport, without the user ever paying a penny.
The popularity of illegal streaming has prompted market research firm YouGov to conduct a survey on the consumption habits of Brits, with the company concluding that such services pose a “major threat” to TV subscription brands in the UK.
According to its “Illegal Streaming” survey, just short of five million people in the UK are using pirate TV streaming services. YouGov says that around 10% of the adult population (4.9m people) currently have access to custom Kodi boxes, modified Fire TV sticks, and illegal streaming apps running on smartphones and tablets.
The part that will send shudders down the spines of companies like Sky, Virgin and BT – who are not only ISPs but major content providers too – is that pirate consumers are backing away from premium services.
YouGov says that one out of every seven ‘pirate’ streamers say that their use of unauthorized platforms has caused them to cancel “at least one subscription service.” The market researchers note that the actual number of subscriptions is likely to be lower due to the discrepancy between households and individuals but still, the numbers remain significant.
For now at least, there is a significant number of people who maintain both legal subscriptions and parallel pirate setups. However, YouGov reports that almost a third of pirates (31%) say they will cancel official subscriptions during the next 12 months.
There can be little doubt that the rise of so-called “living room” streaming can be attributed to word-of-mouth marketing, with people finding excitement in the range of content on offer for a negligible outlay. With that in mind, YouGov reports that six out of ten pirates say they intend to promote the availability of unauthorized services to both friends and family.
If the growth that promotion fuels meets YouGov’s expectations, the numbers of people getting into the piracy scene could be significant. The market research company reports that 2.6 million non-pirates say they’re preparing to start using illegal streaming platforms in the future, with 400,000 predicting involvement within the next 90 days.
And here’s the problem. YouGov reports that almost 90% of these non-pirates currently have a subscription to an official TV service but should they get involved, almost half are predicting that they will cancel them within 12 months of obtaining a pirate device.
Over in the United States, it was recently reported that more than half of all millennials regularly use pirate streaming services to watch TV shows or movies. The numbers in the UK aren’t so high, but they remain significant nonetheless. According to YouGov, 18 to 34-year-olds account for 37% of pirate users, around 1.8 million people.
The survey also touched on people’s attitudes towards unauthorized streaming, and it comes as no surprise that many feel the high prices of genuine products justifies the use of illicit alternatives.
Bundled packaging means that people in the UK are often required to spend large amounts of money on channels they don’t even watch, so when cheaper options are made available, few have sympathy for what are perceived to be rich content providers.
TF

A Place in Spain

Inexplicably, wifey and I watched all 22 episodes of this "show" which focused on a couple trying to buy property in Spain to build a snail farm (among other get-rich-quick schemes).

It was like watching a train wreck and the more we tried to stop, the more difficult it became so we just gave in and finished the series.

The problem is, we have since found the Greek series and plan to do the same over this weekend.  Are we beyond help?

C & H

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Well Said

Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be.
Jim Horning

Just Shut Up

Prompted by the usual blowhards at the pub who are experts on anything and everything until you ask them direct questions, this delightful little piece should lay most of the guff to rest.

I happen to like beer and know my way around a bar and its contents.  Why is that so difficult for some to accept?

Myth #1: The Guinness served in Ireland is different to the rest of the world

Actually, the Guinness served in Ireland is most likely the same as that served in Boston or Berlin. However, many people will attest that Guinness simply tastes better in Ireland, which is why the myth spread. There’s a certain amount of sentimentality in this myth, but when you dig into it, most of the reasoning is pretty circumstantial.
There are a few reasons why it may taste better in Ireland – most likely freshness and rapid keg turnover (a pub in Dublin will serve the freshest Guinness in the world) – but the actual product is not any different to the black stuff served around the world. Also, a Guinness drinker in Ireland is guaranteed to have their drink poured correctly in Ireland than in some parts of the world, which will have an impact on the quality of the experience.

Myth #2: Lite beers will help you lose weight

On average, a lite beer will have 90-100 calories, while a regular beer might have under 200. In the grand scheme of things, lite beers will contribute very little to your dietary goals, and considering their typical lack of taste, you’d be better off drinking one or two regular beers.

Myth #3: Dark beers are stronger in alcohol

The color of beer has no relation to its alcohol content. For example, Guinness, one of the most popular dark beers has an alcohol volume of 4.2%, while several light-colored Belgian beers have alcohol content of 8%+.

Myth #4: Corona beer contains urine

This was a nasty rumor claiming that Mexican brewery workers were relieving themselves into the beer. Allegedly, the rumor was spread by a Heineken distributor and was only refuted following a lawsuit by Corona.

Myth #5: Imported beers are stronger than American beers

Traditionally, American beers measure their alcohol content by weight, while many other countries (across Europe and in Canada) measure by volume. The alcohol by weight figure will always appear lower than the alcohol by volume – for example, 4% ABW = 5% ABV, hence the myth creation.

Myth #6: Beer should be served ice-cold for best flavor

This is an unfortunate myth perpetuated by the major commercial breweries – especially for their lite beers. The fact is, flavor typically diminishes when beer is served ice-cold. It may make for a thirst-quenching, refreshing beverage, but often bears little resemblance to traditional beer. Several beers are, in fact, best served much closer to room temperature or slightly cool and are considered undrinkable when icy cold – such as Guinness and many of the traditional English ales.

Myth #7: The best beers have green bottles

Another myth that circulated imported beers. Brown glass is the best color to protect beer from light, which is why most beers are bottled with it. A shortage of brown glass in Europe during the last century led to many breweries using green glass to bottle their beer – therefore, green bottles represented imported beer for many years and people incorrectly assumed the color indicated a better beer.

Myth #8: “Beer before liquor, never sicker – liquor before beer, in the clear”

This is common drinking advice shared but not scientifically true. In reality, alcohol is alcohol, and the overall quantity you imbibe will determine your resulting (in)sobriety or hangover. Drinking beer before drinking hard liquor may prolong the onset of inebriation. However, it won’t ultimately matter whether you drink beer first or last; it’s the quantity of alcohol that does the damage.

Myth #9: You can’t get a hangover from drinking organic beer

If only being eco-friendly was this rewarding! This myth is based on the idea that organic beer is cleaner or purer than other beer, but there’s no existing proof that it manages to avoid giving hangovers when consumed in sufficient quantities.

Myth #10: Beer will raise your cholesterol levels

Beer actually contains no fat and no cholesterol! Perhaps this is one reason that Guinness was originally advertised as good for your health.

Myth #11: A good beer must be high in alcohol

Many people unfairly associate low alcohol with low flavor. There are plenty of poor quality beers that are high in alcohol content, and the opposite is also true. Some of the famous Belgian and German beers have traditionally high average alcohol content – perhaps 8% or 10%. However, the alcohol content is only one feature and doesn’t necessarily account for the good taste. In England, many of the best mild ales have alcohol content of 4% or less – resulting from a higher tax on stronger beer. Of course, the advantage is finding good-tasting, lower alcohol beers is that you can drink more of it!

Myth #12: Beer kills brain cells

Possibly the most damning of all beer myths, and we’re happy to explode this for you. An Australian study has determined that beer is not responsible for killing brain cells as was once thought.
Legends of Beer

Here we Go

Premier League
Standings
#
Team
GP
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PTS
1
33
25
3
5
69
29
40
78
2
33
22
8
3
69
22
47
74
3
34
19
9
6
70
42
28
66
4
32
19
7
6
63
35
28
64
5
32
17
12
3
50
24
26
63
6
32
18
6
8
64
40
24
60
7
34
16
10
8
60
37
23
58
8
33
12
8
13
39
42
-3
44
9
32
11
7
14
39
44
-5
40
10
33
11
7
15
37
54
-17
40
11
34
10
9
15
37
50
-13
39
12
34
11
5
18
46
54
-8
38
13
34
10
8
16
49
63
-14
38
14
34
10
8
16
44
59
-15
38
15
33
10
7
16
41
54
-13
37
16
34
10
6
18
33
49
-16
36
17
34
9
6
19
36
67
-31
33
18
34
9
4
21
39
68
-29
31
19
34
5
12
17
24
43
-19
27
20
33
5
6
22
26
59
-33
21