Category: Ranting

A tale of two airlines

In the first tale, despite a 90 minute delay I get a complimentary hot meal, whisked across the airport to make the connection, and generally made to feel like I was welcome on board.

In the second tale, I hand over my passport with the boarding card in the photo page.  The stroppy cow on the gate pulls out the boarding card, and gives the passport back to me and asks me to open it at the photo page because “it’s quicker for her”, then yells at the rest of the queue to open their passports to the photo page.  I point out that I’d left the boarding card in the right place, but this was obviously too much effort for her.  The same airline proceeds to charge me for a cup of mediocre coffee in a penny pinching exercise that would have warmed what little heart Ebeneezer Scrooge had.

Now, one of these airlines was Kingfisher Airlines, a new airline in India that knows how to look after their customers.  The other was Aer Lingus, a sad and sorry excuse for an airline whose raison d’etre seems to be to compete with Ryan Air on the grounds of poor service and customer abuse, and who I only fly with because there isn’t really an alternative and if I could get the ferry to Ireland in future, I would.

Can you guess which is which?

More Anti-4×4 Bias from the BBC

Once again the BBC writes an article where there’s unnecessary emphasis on the driver in the wrong driving a 4×4.

This article mentions “Range Rover” four times. The fact that the driver of the vehicle was suspected of being under the influence is mentioned only once, and the fact that the victim was illegally driving a quad-bike on the road whilst underage and therefore with no licence or insurance is only mentioned once.

It must be heart-breaking to lose a child at Christmas. Doubly so when it’s your own fault.

Oh, and the article adds insult to injury by referring to Brake as a road safety charity, when in fact they are an anti-car propaganda movement.

Speed Cameras cause accidents

Those of us who understand road safety, rather than using it to promote anti-car claptrap, already know this.

What’s the first thing you do when you see a scamera?  Take you eyes off the road, look at the speedo, and hit the brakes just in case you’d slipped a few mph over the limit.

See what happens when people do that?

scameracrash.jpg

We’ve got to get these idiots off the roads, folks.

Thanks to Barrie from Bridgend for the photo.

Good Rant

Over at Twenty Sided Tale, Shamus Young has an excellent rant against

“the evil retarded pedophilic inbred cannibal Nazi liars at 2kGames. I will not be satisfied until the company is driven out of business and the involved parties are all conscripted into forced labor working in a malaria-infested South American turd mine. The company headquarters should then be burned to the ground and the ashes gathered up and disposed of in the same manner as depleted rods from a nuclear power plant. The building site will forever after remain a barren scar on the face of the world, since no life could hope to grow where…

I don’t know what pissed him off quite so much, but it’s a good rant.

The world is going insane

First of all, the news that a British church has banned a toddler’s yoga group because it “promotes an alternative spirituality”.   This prompts several observations:

  • Toddler’s yoga? I’m sorry, but you’ve got to be at least a teenager to appreciate what you’re doing in yoga or any other similar discipline.
  • Who needs paying customers when you can always bleed the faithful for the money to maintain the property?  Oh, of course, every church in the land because people are seeing sense and not going to church any more.

Secondly, from the WSJ Online, stories of men walking past lone children in tears, for fear of being cast as a predator.   The same article points out that 4 scout leaders are required to organise any outing, so that if a child is taken ill, two people can take the child back and there’s never a child alone with a single adult.  What if a second child is taken ill?

The current witch-hunt against paedophiles is reminiscent of the days of the Salem Witches.  Yes, paedophiles are evil.  But when innocent people fear to help in case their motives are mistaken, we’ve gone too far.

And finally, I just got some phone-spam from American Express.  Offering me an optional benefit from my account.  Excuse me, if you’re charging me for it, it’s not a benefit, it’s a service.  If you can’t at least be honest about the fact that you’re trying to sell me something, you’re a con merchant.  Simple as that.

How to lie with statistics, as shown by the BBC

Take a look at this BBC article.

graph-bbc.GIF

Pay particular attention to the graphs.

They look similar to these two, which I reconstructed by reading data off the charts on the BBC site. The first shows the cosmic radiation rate in neutrons per hour. The second is the temperature change since 1975 when it started.

Big scary temperature change, isn’t it.

Now look at the two graphs below. They show THE SAME DATA. From the same columns of the same Excel Spreadhseet.

Virtually constant solar radiation. Virtually constant temperature. You can’t extrapolate anything from this data. Doubly so when the solar radiation is known to be an EIGHTY year cucle, and you only have 25 years of data. All we’re seeing is the last peak of the graph!

And that, ladies and gentlemen is how to lie with statistics.

There are two morals to this story. The first one is don’t believe any charts you look at unless you understand what the data really means and how it’s being presented. And the second is to get some real data before trying to influence political decisions that will cost millions of people thousands of pounds and dollars!

graph-andyc1.GIF

Lord of the Rings: The Stage Show

We went to see Lord of the Rings in London yesterday.

Let me start out by saying that the highlight of the evening was dinner before the show.

There wasn’t enough special effects for it to be truly spectacular.  There wasn’t enough music for it to be good as a musical, there was too much dialogue to keep the action from flowing, and there wasn’t enough story of the for it to work purely as a play.

I think they show tried to be all things to all people, and ended up being none of them.

For£25 MILLION to put the show on, it was sorely disappointing.

To the dumb bint in a burgundy Fiesta this morning

You know, we all make mistakes when we’re driving.  But I’m genuinely confused by the reaction this morning.  So I pull up behind this Fiesta in a queue of traffic this morning, and the driver stops dead.  Waits until there’s some space in front, and pulls forward.  Then hits the brakes hard long before the queue in front.  Now, I’m not too close, but I am taken by surprise so I’m a bit close (3 feet or so) when we stop.  Lather, rinse and repeat all the way along Mill Lane.

By the time our routes diverge at the next junction, she’s making various gesticulations at me. I shrug, and head off to work.

WTF?

What on earth is this dumb bint trying to do?  Does she want me to drive into the back of her car?  Is she desperate to meet men?  Or is she just objecting to the fact that I don’t leave at least five car lengths space behind her when she decides to jam on the brakes for no reason.

I don’t know.

But I hope the stress of taking offence to everything that happens around her gives her a stomach ulcer.

Flickr – Photo Sharing

There’s a really cute photo linked from Reddit this morning.  But with a request from the poster that people don’t blog about it without permission and photo credits.

WTF?

The whole point of the Internet is that people can create links to whereever they like.  It’s not like I’m stealing a copy of the photo, or profiting from linking to it in some way.  But since I don’t regularly use Flickr, I need to find my password,  login in, send a message to Kazzie, wait for a response, and then write this.

Can’t be arsed – why should I do all the work to give you free publicity?

Consider this post as a request for permission.  If you want to deny that permission, please write to me in triplicate on bond paper with Noodler’s Polar Ink in a Mont Blanc pen.  Or just comment below or something, whatever.

Fancy cooking rant

I’m more than partial to a nice dinner. Somewhere between three and five courses is about right, followed my liquers and coffee if you can manage it. It should leave you feeling well fed, but still able to walk to the cab to get you home.

This is the story of a dinner at L’enclume, which sounds fantastic but I expect cost between five and ten times what I’d be prepared to pay for it: I’d go to £100 if there was a (small – 50mls or so) glass of wine to match every 2-3 courses. But not one of these courses was actually a meal. When it comes down to it, they’re all basically the chef showing off, and there’s a maximum number of courses in a meal which should be the chef being clever: one.

If I’m entertaining (and I need to be organised enough to do more), I aim for one course to impress and two to delight. In other words, I cook one course purely to show off. It might be the souffle to start, the perfectly roasted potatoes with the meat, or the secret weapon creme brulee. And if I can figure out how to insert accents when editing this blog, I’ll come back and add them. That’s partly because if I’m cooking, that’s all I have time for, and partly because food is about the enjoyment in eating it, not the smugness factor of the chef.

If Heston Blunenthal at the Fat Duck (almost on my doorstep) or the chap at this place wants to invite me to prove me wrong, I’ll happily take them up on the invitation. But I’m not sponsoring the vanity of these guys by actually paying for the stuff until someone can prove it’s worth it.

Oh, and if you’re can cook that well, how come you can’t hire a web designer who understands that the usual screen ratio is 4:3 or 16:9, not 37:3!