A smoky round-up

Twitter throws out interesting stuff among all the babble. I now have far too many browser tabs open…

In Cambidge, England, the local authority wants to raise the age for buying cigarettes to 21 and ban smoking pretty much everywhere. If you like to smoke, Cambridge is not a place for you. In the rest of the UK the age for buying cigarettes is 18, a few years ago it was 16, and before that there was no age restriction at all. Soon it will only be us over-50s who are allowed to buy them. We’ll make a fortune reselling them to 30-year-old children, one at a time.

In Western Australia, they propose a tax on Electrofags. The tax will be 95% of the purchase price. It isn’t a typo. 95%. This will apply to all of it – the vapourisers and the batteries too. Time to work out how to wire a battery to a little heater over there, folks. I think it’s already illegal to grow tobacco in Australia but it will happen. If it hasn’t already. Big place, Australia.

Ireland have passed a law banning smoking in any car with a child infestation. Leave the damn things at home when you drive, then you can smoke away to your lungs’ content. The Irish police are not going to apply the law until they figure out a way to enforce it. It is a silly law, a useless law, a pointless law and an unenforceable law. Ireland passed it anyway. Unfortunate stereotype compliance there.

England is about to do the same. Then these bans will be extended to all cars because children tend to be quite small and hard to see through the side windows of a passing car.

Of course, since the cheeldren are dying in such numbers that they are piling up faster than the bin collectors can handle, the ‘next logical step’ is to ban smoking in private homes if they are infested with the banmeister’s favourite mini-menace.

I wish you people would stop having children. Every time you pop one out, that’s another stick to beat smokers with. I mean, it’s not even as if you get to keep them. The first time you have to take it to Casualty it gets whisked away to be part of a politician’s depraved shagfest and you get prosecuted for a made-up crime. But the drones are all fine with that as long as the perv isn’t smoking indoors while buggering a baby. There used to be a thing called ‘priorities’ where we used to deal with the really serious stuff first and leave the trivia for later. That’s all out the window now, isn’t it? Investigation into child-sex politicos takes years and usually gets quietly dropped. Any chance to bash smokers is fast-tracked. Anyone who thinks that’s a good thing.. well, you work it out.

If you have children, would you leave them with me (a smoker) or with Cyril Smith? Oh, forget it, you don’t have the option to leave them with me. Keep them well away from me, leave them with the politician getting ready for a party with no trousers on. I don’t care about your children. Why would I? They are only tools for you to hate me with.

They will ban smoking in homes with children. It will happen. Then they will ban smoking in all homes in case a stray child wanders in and wanders out lumpy. And they will be lumpy because I will whack them with a large wooden spoon until they get the message that this is not a child-friendly house. I have sharp corners everywhere. Fallen foul of them myself recently.

The ban on all homes will follow a decree that a smoker’s home is worth less than anyone else’s, even if nobody has smoked in it for years. So that’s all the Royal residences worthless then. Dear old Queen Mum (rest her soul) must have turned every ceiling in Balmoral yellow.

Oh, and every room in every university. When I started we could smoke anywhere, even in the labs. Nobody cared. Now I can’t even smoke in my one-man (rented) lab. It would affect nobody. Absolutely nobody else ever goes in there because of the big ‘biohazard’ sign on the door. There are frozen bacteria in there that are not a risk, they are a certainty.

My first science job after B.Sc. involved oil-degrading bacteria. I was based in the radioactive room fractionating carcinogenic bits out of oils. Someone once nagged me for smoking in the common room. I explained what I was doing and said ‘If I’m likely to get cancer, I’ve already got it’. I admit that the offer of a PhD involving animal shit was very, very appealing from that perspective so that’s what I did next. I’ve dealt with dangerous stench-producing things since. Now I deal with customers. I had a good preparation for it.

Every house that is not a new build. Certainly every house that existed in 1950-1960 when even nonsmokers had ashtrays for visitors. You antismokers can go and live in a tent. There is no safe house for you.

In the face of all this antismoking Nazism (yes, that is what it is, it is even hand in hand with antisemitism), the Righteous think that our protestations are the mere squeals of shouty fools.

I suppose those who supported Hitler, and voted him into power, felt they were ‘doing the right thing’ too. And you can ram your Godwin up your arse, Nazis. They revelled in their hatred then as now, and pretended it was love for their fellow man. They banned and isolated and finally marched off to the death camps all those they pretended to care about. Not just Jews, not at all. The disabled. The gays. The smokers…

This time around it’s going to be the Muslims too. They are just playing right into their own destruction. Child-rape, killings, ‘behead the infidel’… and not a peep from the innocent ones. Do you lot not realise that when the Nazis come for you, hardly anyone will stand up for you now? All you will have are the few bleeding hearts of the talk-but-never-do Lefties speaking for you and they will shut up quick in the face of the mob.

The Lefties compare UKIP to Hitler’s party. They are wrong.

Hitler’s party is in power now and has been since Blair took power. It’s the same party. Blair still runs it.

Heil Blair!

 

 

 

Electrofag is not Satan!

I should point out at the outset – I’m afraid I am very, very drunk. I will try to correct most typos but some might slip through. Frankly I am way past giving a shit. Tomorrow is my first day off after 12 days of work so… yah, bollocks.

Twelve continuous days of work and tomorrow and Friday are my weekend. So I have decided to have a night off the whisky.

Instead I have Delaney’s Irish Whiskey because the Co-op have had it on offer all week and I caved in. Not bad, it’s not as ‘bourbon-y’ as many Irish whiskies (whiskeys? Oh, I don’t care). Very smooth and very, perhaps too, easy to drink.

Several Emails and a few Twitterers have pointed to a Daily Weasel article on Electrofag.

Finally there is mainstream acceptance of this little gadget. Rancid Glans will be Outraged but then he always is because he likes it. I pay no attention to people who hate me by default without ever bothering to meet me. They are worth no more than septic pimples on an anaecephalic’s brainstem. Not worth my time unless they are stupid enough to believe the shite I make up to scare them to death.

A current favourite is – do you have second-hand smoke cancer? Tilt your head up and run your fingers along the base of your jawbone. If there are lumps at the end you are doomed. Doctors will fob you off because you don’t smoke so can’t have lethal jaw cancer but you do. Keep at them or you’ll be dead in a month. Next you’ll find a lump in the middle of your chest where the ribs meet… you have two weeks.

Drones are fun. I’m glad the antismokers made them so gullible. I haven’t had so many laughs since school, when I persuaded an idiot that Gorgonzola cheese was made of horse smegma. Okay, that’s not difficult but I was young and just starting.

So it is now MSM-true as well as reality-true that Electrofags are less of a risk than real fags. Well that was pretty much a given from the outset because Electrofags have pretty much fuck all in them. Steam, flavour and nicotine. The rest is the same chemicals as asthma inhalers. They don’t all even have nicotine.

Electrofags can not be a gateway to real smoking. It is not possible. It might once have been possible. I grew up in a home where coal fires were normal. Smoke was part of life. Now you all have radiators and many of you don’t even have chimneys. You don’t know what smoke feels like.

Those kids on Electrofags will never switch to real leaf. The ‘cool’ factor is being seen puffing smoke or steam. To them it does not matter which. It’s the action that is cool. You can blow steam-rings with Electrofags, I’ve done it. They are great gadgets. Real smoking is an entirely different experience. New-kid-vapers will not like it. Really, they won’t. You have to be hard to really smoke and the last generation is not.

I am a smoker. I like to smoke leaf. I especially like to smoke pure leaf with no additives which is why I grow it myself. I. Like. Smoke. I don’t care if you don’t like it. Don’t do it, fine with me.

I also like Electrofag. Using a Titan I have smoked roast chicken and it really does taste like roast chicken. I have smoked absinthe and brandy and coffee and French Pipe and all sorts of things. They were experiences I never dreamed would ever be possible. Aside from the one point that ‘tobacco flavour’ is crap, the rest of it is a great invention.

Ah, but Rancid Glans and all the Gubblements hate Electrofag almost as much as they hate smokers. Why? Well, they get a lot of money from the hated smokers and if we all switch to Electrofag (now even on sale in Poundland) they’ll have less to fund ASH and all their other Puritan crap.

It is not about health. Surely that is clear to even the dimmest drone now? (it’s not)

It is about control.

It always was.

Cash, books and the EU

No, it’s not about the EU’s cashbooks never balancing. It’s about two separate things with the EU as a common theme.

First, there is Outrage! within UKIP because Smoky Nige has accepted EU funding for his new grouping.

I don’t see the problem. As the article says, if Smoky Nige’s anti-EU group refused the money, the EU would give it to a pro-EU group instead. The EU will never consider giving a single penny of tax back to the taxpayer. Neither will the Government – in whatever country. Once they have it, they will spend it.

Besides, this is the EU having to pay its own tormentors. To a smoker that looks like karma.

Second, the EU have decided to change the VAT rules on eBooks. Paper books are VAT-free but eBooks are not and never have been. They were VAT-ed at a low rate and you paid the rate that applied in the country you bought it from. Now they are to be fully VAT-ed and you pay the rate in your country, no matter which country the servers reside in.

A snippet from Amazon’s email to authors on the matter (note that this is not an exclusively Amazon issue, it applies to all eBook retailers operating in the EU and the complexity and expense will destroy the small ones. Which is probably the point of it):

On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of digital products (including eBooks) will change: previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country – as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country. As a result, starting on January 1st, KDP authors must set list prices to be inclusive of VAT. We will also make a one-time adjustment for existing books published through KDP to move from VAT-exclusive list prices to list prices which include VAT. We’ll put these changes into effect starting January 1st; you may always change your prices at any time, but you do not need to take any action unless you wish to do so.

It is not yet clear what happens if you buy an eBook from a server based in the USA, but the rules suggest that you would pay VAT at your local rate, no matter what. The interesting part is – what if someone in the USA buys a copy from an EU server? They should pay no VAT at all in that case.

It means that after Jan 1st I will have to set an eBook price for every EU country based on their current VAT theft, and adjust it for each book every time they change their theft rate. Or I can set one fixed price and just put up with lower royalties for the same book when it’s bought in a high-VAT country.

This is not good news for authors at all. It makes self-publishing and small-publishing murderously complex. All those low-priced eBooks are going to be more expensive from January 1st but the authors get not a penny more. Neither do publishers or booksellers. All the extra money goes into the EU tax pot to be wasted.

So yes, I am with Smoky Nige on this one. The more he bleeds from those damn vampires the better. I’d rather see the money go to those who want to put a stake through that vile EU heart than to any other cause at all.

Of course, I’d much rather the EU or government didn’t steal so much of it in the first place – but that will never be an option.

They are addicted to other people’s money. It’s so much easier than actually working for it.

Evil Robots?

Quick one tonight. Tomorrow is Day 11 of continuous work and there’s one more before the next day off. I’m worn out. Good thing Stimpy is back. We’ll be back to normalish.

The Daily Moonhowler has some vague story about the imminent creation of Skynet and Terminators. They seem to think that since a robot cannot make a moral decision, that automatically makes any form of artificial intelligence evil.

It’s all based on a theoretical moral dilemma. There are five people on the tracks and there’s a loose wagon heading for them. You have access to a lever that will switch the wagon to another track that has one person on it. What do you do? It’s supposed to be unsolvable but under modern British justice it’s easily solved.

Whatever you do, don’t touch the lever. Shout a warning, since you can see all these people but don’t switch tracks.

If the wagon hits the five idiots who shouldn’t have been on the bloody tracks in the first place, it’s a terrible accident. If you deliberately aim it at the one person on the other track, that’s murder. If you thought about it, it’s premeditated.

So you ignore the lever and shout a warning.

The robot will also ignore the lever if it’s programmed according to Asimov’s robot rules. If so, it can never harm a human or, through inaction, allow a human to come to harm. Therefore, if it cannot warn the humans, it will attempt to derail the wagon by throwing itself on the tracks. If it has artificial intelligence it will know that it can be repaired even if totally smashed, but a human cannot.

If it was programmed by a rail geek it will hold the lever halfway (assuming old style cable connections), or switch tracks while the wagon is on the points so the wagon derails at the points. A properly-built robot’s reactions would be fast enough even if the wagon is travelling at speed.

The robot will look for a means to save all six. It will not choose between five or one. Is that evil? Surely ‘evil’ lies in deliberately aiming a wagon at one person, even when that action might save five.

Besides, they never define who these people on the tracks are. If they are politicians we’ll need another wagon.

Artificial intelligence is still going to be only as good as the programmers. It might lead to a programmed intelligence that can develop and adapt and go beyond its original program but robots, no matter how powerful, have something we don’t have. An ‘off’ switch. Which can be built with a remote operating facility.

There are robots with some autonomous functions already, but they are pre-programmed. True artificial intelligence is some way off yet but there are quite a few very clever people working on it. One day it’ll happen.

When it does, the inventors will realise there’s no actual use for it beyond stellar exploration and fierce chess games. Robot vaccuum cleaners already exist, you don’t need a smart machine to hoover the floor. Robot assembly lines already exist. They do the same thing over and over and need no intelligence. The only use for an artificial intelligence is to send it into space. It won’t need food supplies and does not have a finite lifespan so it can take hundreds of years to reach other stars and send back selfies to its Farcebok page.

Will it get bored? Will it go mad? Depends on how you program it. It could ‘sleep’ in a shutdown mode for years at a time. Even if it goes totally doolally, it’ll be light years away when that happens so it’s no danger.

Maybe it will encounter planets populated by robots. Oh wait, it’ll pass one on the way out. Mars is currently populated only by robots but they aren’t really ‘robots’ in the science fiction sense. They are still remotely controlled. Even so they are the only things moving around there.

If we send an artificial intelligence to Mars it could direct mining and smelting robots and produce steel and other metals and build big tripod war machines and… maybe that’s not such a good idea.

Finally, if any Daily Can’tbearsed ‘researchers’ ever read this, it’s ‘I, Robot’. Not iRobot, you halfwitted festering donkey’s bellends.

Steve Jobs didn’t write it.

One man, one country.

In Australia at this very moment, a lunatic is holding hostages in a chocolate shop. Reports are vague so far but it seems it’s one Islamist loon with a sawn-off shotgun and 20 hostages.

Most of the city, including airspace, has been shut down and major locations evacuated. The loon says he has bombs everywhere. He probably doesn’t but fair enough, it’s not impossible.

The Australian Prime Monster is going to address the nation on this issue. That’s right. All of Australia brought to a standstill by one maniac with a sawn-off shotgun.

How can this happen? It’s quite simple. The loon knew for certain that nobody else in the shop was armed because law-abiding people are not trusted with any kind of weapon at all. He knew he was in no danger because if someone so much as threw a spoon at him, he’d be the victim and they’d get prosecuted instead of him. They dare not resist. Impeding a criminal in the execution of his duty is a crime.

That is what the West’s governments have done to the people. Shit-scared sheep who run and cower at the sound of a dog barking. Meanwhile they arm the police with more and more weaponry so they can look after the herd that is no longer allowed to look after itself.

A few short decades ago, that loon with a shotgun would have found himself looking down the barrels of twenty guns before he said a word. It doesn’t even have to be twenty. If 10% of the people carried guns then a shop with twenty people in it would likely have two with guns.

Would you risk it? Which two have guns? Is one or both of them behind you when you shout ‘This is a stick-up’?

Now there is no risk. Any criminal knows they can walk into any crowded public area and be the only one armed.

I’ve never owned a live-round gun. I used to have an airgun but no longer. The Scottish Nannying Puritans plan to ban those too so I sold mine before they do it.

The thing is, any criminal attacking me in the past would not have known whether I had a gun or not. Or whether I had a Crocodile Dundee knife strapped to my back. Now they are absolutely certain I have neither because only criminals have them. The law-abiding don’t even have a Swiss army knife in their pockets. The criminals’ weapons were illegal before all the bans anyway, it made no difference to them at all. Except to make their lives easier.

I once returned from a camping holiday and we left the train at Cardiff to visit some shops on the way home. Specifically, Bud Morgan’s model shop. This would be around 1974 – 76. We had been in town for quite a while before I realised I still had my very sharp camping knife on my belt. Nobody had remarked on this, nobody had even noticed.

Try it now and you’ll have police helicopters overhead and will face years of jail. Even if you had no intention of unsheathing the (rather more than three inches) blade.

Oh, you can still buy the knives. You just can’t use them anywhere. Rather like cigarettes and booze.

You are not permitted to have a gun without intense licencing and if you get one you can’t carry it around. Handguns are not even legal in the UK to the extent that the UK Olympic pistol shooters have to train in other countries and ex-SAS soldiers are not trusted with them. Yet shootings happen all the time because criminals always bought theirs illegally so the ban had only one effect on crime.

It made it easier. The criminals are delighted to know for certain that they will not be shot when they attack you.

And so, one man with a crappy sawn-off shotgun can walk into any shop anywhere and shout ‘I have a gun’ and he can watch the sheep baa themselves into any corner he wants.

He knows for sure that there is nobody behind him pulling out a ’45. For sure.

This is how one man with a shotgun takes down a country. The country has made itself ready for him.

Slow handclap time.

 

So money is behind it after all…

Well, another day of work. Seven in a row, all long shifts, more tomorrow. At least there are no early starts. I can work very late but I really hate early. I hope Stimpy is back Monday but that’s not guaranteed. He was left quite shaken by the Thing he had to do so his return date is uncertain. Big strong lad, but not too well blessed with mental fortitude. Can’t say more publically because of a reason.

Today, someone stopped me as I was crooning the opening lines of ‘Cheeldren roasting on an open fire, screams die down as flames get high’ and trying to corrupt the whole song.

“In your mind, you never got past Halloween, did you?” she said.

I gave her my very best evil grin and replied. “In my mind it’s always Halloween.” I think I might give her a little book for Christmas.

Speaking (well, writing, I’m past the stage of saying it out loud as I write) of books, I have to hurry up Panoptica. I owe copies to people who have sent me things. Stimpy’s return would help a lot. I normally do 24-25 hours a week, this week it’s over 40. Can’t be helped, it’s not his fault.

Okay. Hopefully I have the digression out of the way right at the start this time. Now for the money part.

It has long baffled me why the food industry is so keen to adopt the tobacco template. They must surely recognise it for what it is? Tobacco then booze and now food. By now the process is obvious to all but the dimmest of drones and those who build up huge businesses cannot be all that dim (Duncan Bannatyne is the exception that proves the rule).

There is a reason. It came to me as a result of something Lysistrata Eleftheria said.

Take out the preserveatives and the food won’t last as long. Reduce the salt and sugar (the only preservatives still allowed) and food won’t last as long. Why would food companies fall over themselves to adopt such nonsense?

Lately there have been more and more bumper-size packs of foods at bargain prices. Why? Because they all say ‘refrigerate after opening and consume within three days’. Nobody can eat a half-kilo of mayonnaise within three days without growing uncommonly fat – and then the fatbusters get you.

So it’s cheap but it lasts for such a short time that you soon have to buy another one. After you’ve thrown away most of the one you bought three days ago. It’s the rapid volume throughput that makes it so cheap.

Economically, it’s brilliant. You sell food that is mostly thrown out and then you sell more that is mostly thrown out and so on and so on… meanwhile your wasted food goes into a composting plant and you can sell it again later. To the same people who threw it away. So they can have a Pointlessettia on their Christmas table.

OIf course, ecologically, it’s an absolute disaster. But you don’t hear Greenpeas and their ilk talking about it.

There will be more salt reductions and more sugar reductions and the food industry will lap it all up.

What the idiot managers don’t see coming is the flood of lawsuits when their customers get botulism from their barely-salted preparations.

Unintended consequences. You gotta love ‘em.

 

Salty time again.

I can’t remember the last time I had a headache. I mean a proper one, not just normal morning fuzziness brought on by cheap whisky. The malts don’t have that effect, I notice. Unless you overimbibe. Also the lighter coloured whiskies are far less head-fuzzing then the darker ones.

All to do with secondary metabolites and proper ageing, but more of that another time.

My last real headache must have been years ago. They just don’t seem to happen any more. Maybe these days I just give them to other people.

It was ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ at work today. The idea was that everyone would buy a Christmas jumper, wear it to work and give money to some charity or other. Well, why spend £15-£20 on single-use horrible knitwear and then give a few pennies to charity? Surely it would have been more sensible to say ‘If you bung in a tenner, you don’t have to look like a prat all day’? More for the charity and less spending for the staff.

It didn’t really affect me because the Secret Ninja Cleaning Company is separate from the management of Local Shop. So I didn’t have to do it. Instead I wore my Christmas T-shirt under my shirt (the underjumper) and flashed it at anyone who asked why I wasn’t wearing a daft jumper. Here is a quick and crappy phone-photo of the front.

shirtIt has red in it and a circle of elves so it’s Christmassy. It’s Satan and his elves. That explanation alone caused closed eyes and a deep breath and an intonation of ‘Santa’. Honestly, some people have entirely the wrong idea about Christmas. The dragon isn’t out of focus in real life, my phone just has a crap camera.

Yet there were those who said my underjumper had nothing to do with Christmas! I insisted it had elves on it. “Those are skulls,” they said. “Well,” I said, “They’ve been ill.” Anyway that’s now in the wash so I won’t be wearing a garland of elf-skulls tomorrow. It’ll probably be Chef from South Park. I can pull open a little bit of shirt to let Chef peek out every time I have to chest-eyes someone.

You know, I think I have enough little skulls to make a garland of elf-skulls… but I have already digressed mightily.

Headaches.

These are apparently caused by salt. Which is utter bollocks. If it were even remotely true I would be in permanent head-pain. I put salt on everything, including and especially salads. Celery on its own is disgusting but dip the end in a little pile of salt before each bite and it’s great. I don’t put salt on ready meals without tasting them first because the article is right on that point – there’s already salt. Just… sometimes not quite enough.

Three grams, half a teaspoon… I rarely buy fish and chips because it’s a lovely greasy treat but when I do I want a hell of a lot more than half a teaspoon of salt on it. It’s fish and potato so it’s skirting the dangerous reefs of the health shores already. Even deep-frying can’t totally kill the healthiness. Salt those chips!

Incidentally, I recently saw a pack of vegetable flavoured crisps. Really. They are made of potato and flavoured with um… vegetable. Crisps are ALL suitable for vegetarians. Even smoky bacon flavour. The flavour is artificial,  not a single pig was involved in their production. So they are halal too. And why are smoky bacon ones no longer covered with red dust? I liked the red dust.

We used to call those potato-flavoured crisps ‘ready salted’ or ‘salt and shake’ back in the old days. Now they probably taste of mangos and parsnips.

Remember getting the plain crisps with the little blue twist-bag of salt? Remember the delight on finding two little salt bags instead of just one? In those days you had a choice, salt or no salt. Too simple for today’s bansturbators, of course.

No, you must not have the choice. The salt has to go. Resistance is futile. You will be desalinated. If you refuse we will nag and nag until you have a headache and then say ‘we told you so’.

There is a thing called botulism. Clostridium botulinum. You may have heard of it. It does not grow in you but it grows and produces fifteen different nerve toxins in food. And then you eat it. And then you die.

Its growth is inhibited by salt. That’s why the old sailing ships had barrels of roast meat encased in salt. It stopped those chunks of meat becoming dangerous. It is an effective preservative.

Take it out and you’ll see even more cases of food poisoning than you did when the E-number preservatives were taken out of food.

It’s not in there to make you salty. It’s in there to stop you dying of diseases that can be easily prevented by adding a little salt.  I think everyone involved has forgotten why they added the salt in rhe first place.

Or maybe they just want us all dead.