Saturday Babble.

Lots to write about, but it’s the Night of the Long Shifts again so it’ll have to be quick.

I haven’t been doing much newsreading. All of this post came from Twitter or Email. Could be difficult to do much newsreading in the future since all newspapers are to be hidden from the sight of children, in case they get a bad case of second-hand knowledge leading to terminal education. There is still no cure for education although Socialism has been trying very, very hard. In the meantime they try to minimise childrens’ exposure to the slightest risk of education and have done quite well at that.


Tipped in Email by both CT and SB is the news that Electrofag can give your computer a virus. Yes, the hellish diseases of nicotine are no longer confined to the real world (where they never existed) but are now poisoning microprocessors too.

As usual with the anti-Electrofag stories, it has nothing at all to do with Electrofag. The idea that those inscrutable Chinese could hard-code a virus into a USB charger or device has been around for a long time. Any USB device. Those little desk toys. A third-party phone or Kindle charging cable. Anything at all. Electrofag is just one of many things that recharge via USB.

The solution is too simple for the news to mention. Get one of those plugs that plug into the mains and which have a transformer inside linked to a USB socket. All they do is charge. Unless the virus has learned the magic of cigarette smoke and can transfer itself via the mains, it cannot infect anything.

If only the Cybermen had thought of that –

B3Eim_IIcAAdWMR.jpg large
After catching a virus from his Cybersmokes,
Unit 731 switched to the less hazardous alternative.

Picture electronically thieved from @oldpicsarchive on Twitter.


The smoking ban is still the subject of discussion, years after the matter was settled and everyone agreed (well, everyone the Puritans were listening to agreed) that it was a great thing. Pub closures continue in the real world while in the Puritan mind, the ban has boosted business.

Nobody sensible wants all the pubs closed. I don’t want them to close but a) I cannot bring myself to support a business that hates me and b) I live in the north of Scotland where the prospect of going outside is, for most of the year, a most unpleasant prospect indeed. Besides, local byelaws forbid drinking in the street so it is not possible to have a drink and a smoke at the same time.

Pubs aren’t dying. They are changing. The newspapers love to document the elaborate shed-pubs people have installed in their gardens since the smoking ban but have never thought to question why this new trend has become so popular. They are smoky-drinkies (the ones I visit are not as good – yet) and they cannot be open to the public, they cannot be run as a club nor as any other kind of business and they cannot employ anyone. Do any of those things and the smoking ban applies.

Having a shed-pub instead of a smoky-drinky in your house is thinking ahead. Moves to ban smoking in the home are already well advanced.

The ban will fail, as all Prohibitions fail, and when it does there are already a lot of small ‘ale houses’ ready to start up in business. You can stick your Wetherspoons where the used curry comes out.

Yes, you could simply equip every existing pub with recirculating charcoal filters and there’d be no detectable smoke in the air (although the really really weak ones now believe that even if you can’t see or smell the miasma, it will still kill them). You could have smokers, vapers and nonsmokers in the same room and nobody need be bothered by anything.

If, instead of the ban, Government had opted to give grants to pubs to help with the cost of installing mandatory filters, the imagined misama would have disappeared, those who had a genuinely respiratory reason to stay away from smoke would have been okay, those who live in terror of a smell would have had to shut up and pubs would have carried on as before. They’d still be in business. It would have, in the long run, been a hell of a lot cheaper than enforcing the ban and keeping all those ex-bar-workers on the dole.

Too late now. The pubs that had a chance of affording that are almost all gone. The new shed-pubs and smoky-drinkies cannot possibly afford it. Most couldn’t even fit a filtration system into the space available. We will soon be back to the exclusion of anyone who does not like smoke, or who cannot (medically) tolerate smoke, from social interaction. And they will expect the smokers to give a damn about that because they cannot understand why we aren’t happy about being the socially excluded ones now.

Instead of a compromise that suits everyone we will have an eternal see-saw between extremes. If only someone in government was capable of thinking without jerking their knee.

It’s too much to ask.

Instead, Government is blinkered and led by zealots along the path that leads to this.

Oh, it;s parody now, but give it a few more years…



I’ll catch up with comments tomorrow. Too tired now, and suffering limited whisky intake. Which will be rectified tomorrow night.


11 thoughts on “Saturday Babble.

  1. **Contains spoiler on PC version of Little Red Riding Hood story**

    Nice variation on LRRH, but isn’t the “Little” sizeist? She’s obviously a Red and likely to replace Harriet Harperson at some stage. Or would have…

    I like this one too, because it’s not just people who get the blame for everything, but inanimate objects too: My Gun.


  2. Once upon a time there were three little pigs, Daveypig, Edpig and Nickpig. They would never have called themselves pigs, of course, realizing that some in their village viewed pigs as unacceptable (but each secretly thought of the others as pigs). The village wanted a new leader and each of the little pigs thought that he was the pig for the job. Daveypig (who really thought of himself as a bull terrier) said, “If you have me as your leader, I will make you happy by taking your money which I will give to my friends who say that they’ll create jobs for you to toil at for 12 hours a day in return for a little bit of money; those unlucky enough not to win a job needn’t worry though, kind people will provide free tinned food for those who prove that they’re starving.” Edpig (who, in his mind’s eye, was a lion) said, “If you have me as your leader, I will make you happy by taking your money and using it to give everyone a job and everyone will be given the same little bit of money no matter what job they do because we’re all equal.” Nickpig (who liked to think of himself as a poodle, failing to realise that the villagers held poodles in contempt) said, “Um – I agree with them.”

    The villagers couldn’t decide and tried each of the little pigs as their leader and were surprised that none of them made them happy. They noticed that, while they lived in houses made of straw, the little pigs lived in houses made of bricks and, while they lived frugally, the little pigs lived lavishly. They noticed that the little pigs seldom came among them only appearing every now and again to beg them to let them stay in their brick houses for another few years. The villagers were miserable and some began to feel that they’d been duped into believing that any of the pigs had any but their own best interests at heart.

    Then one day a Gloucestershire Old Spot came to the village. The villagers gaped. Now there was a real beast, a heritage breed! This pig (who thought of himself as a Gloucestershire Old Spot) told the villagers that many leagues away there lived a big bad wolf who had cooked up a plan with the little pigs: if the pigs gave the wolf the villagers’ money the wolf would look after them when the villagers learned the truth and drove them from the village. The angry villagers marched to the pigs’ houses, led by the Old Spot who shouted at each house, “Little pig let me come in or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!” Daveypig tried to square up to Old Spot by admitting the existence of the big bad wolf but promising to negotiate with him but the villagers no longer believed anything he said and drove him out of the village. Edpig, not comprehending the situation at all, cried that the wolf wasn’t bad but a friend to the villagers and the villagers, incensed that he took them for fools, drove him out of the village. Nickpig had simply fled in terror when he heard the words “huff and puff” believing – rightly – that Old Spot was smoking a cigarette and that ETS would kill him.

    Old Spot released the villagers from the claws of the big bad wolf, they chose him as their leader and they all lived happily ever after.


  3. Another old medical assumption has also taken a knock of late. It turns out that nobody had ever done the obvious experiment regarding saturated fat in peoples’ diets, to whit if you increase the amount eaten, does the blood level increase?

    Turns out that when you perform the completely obvious experiment that nobody thought to try performing, then there isn’t a mapping of dietary fat to blood fat levels (just like there isn’t one for cholesterol). However, there most definitely IS a mapping from dietary carbohydrate to a fatty acid known to cause quite a few problems in the diet. In other words, we ought to be eating a paleolithic-style diet which is high in fats, proteins and similar sorts of things, and which is NOT high in processed carbohydrate which (surprise, surprise) it turns out we’re not really all that adapted to eating.


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