Thursday, 26 February 2009
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn't my strong point.
Theakston: There's a clue in the title.
Stewart White: Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World? Contestant: I don't know.
White: I'll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?Contestant : Arm.
White: Correct. And if you're not weak, you're...?
White: Correct - and what was Lord Mountbatten's first name?
White: Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: Frank Sinatra?
UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (BBC2)
Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for 'cherrypickers' and 'cheesemongers'?
Paxman: No. They're regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you.
LATE SHOW (BBC MIDLANDS)
Alex Trelinski: What is the capital of Italy?
Trelinski: France is another country. Try again.
Contestant: Oh, um, Benidorm.
Trelinski: Wrong, sorry, let's try another question. In which country is the Parthenon? Contestant: Sorry, I don't know.
Trelinski: Just guess a country then.
THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC2)
Anne Robinson: - Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: - Prison, orthe Conservative Party?
Contestant: The Conservative Party.
BEACON RADIO (WOLVERHAMPTON)
DJ Mark: For £10, what is the nationality of the Pope?
Ruth from Rowley Regis: I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?
Bamber Gascoigne: What was Gandhi's first name?
GWR FM (Bristol)
Presenter: What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?
Contestant : I don't know, I wasn't watching it then.
RTE RADIO 2FM (IRELAND)
Presenter: What is the name of the long- running TV comedy show about pensioners: Last Of The...?
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC RADIO MANCHESTER)
Phil: What's 11 squared?
Contestant: I don't know.
Phil: I'll give you a clue. It's two ones with a two in the middle.
Contestant: Is it five?
RICHARD AND JUDY
Q: Which American actor is married to Nicole Kidman?
A: Forrest Gump.
RICHARD AND JUDY
Leslie: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?
Contestant: Er. . .
Leslie: He makes bread . . .
Contestant: Er . ... Leslie: He makes cakes . . .
Contestant: Kipling Street?
LINCS FM P HONE-IN
Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I'm sorry, I don't know the names of any countries in Spain.
NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1)
Question: What is the world's largest continent?
Contestant: The Pacific
ROCK FM (PRESTON)
Presenter: Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Contestant: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN (ITV)
Steve Le Fevre: What was signed, to bring World War I to an end in 1918?
Contestant: Magna Carta?
JAMES O'BRIEN SHOW (LBC)
O'Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth ... ER...ER ... Three?
CHRIS SEARLE SHOW (BBC RADIO BRISTOL)
Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna?
Searle : I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again. Caller: Er ....Mexico?
PAUL WAPPAT (BBC RADIO NEWCASTLE)
Paul Wappat: How long did the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel last?
Contestant (after long pause): Fourteen days.
DARYL DENHAM'S DRIVETIME (VIRGIN RADIO)
Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland? Ireland?
Denham (helpfully): It's a bad line. Did you say Israel?
PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC GMR)
Wood: What 'K' could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er. .. .
Wood: It's got two syllables . . . Kor . . .
Wood: Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . . .
Contestant: (Silence)Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . . .
Melanie Sykes: What is the name given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?
LUNCHTIME SHOW (BRMB)
Presenter: What religion was Guy Fawkes?
Presenter: That's close enough.
STEVE WRIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON (BBC RADIO 2)
Wright: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?
Can I remind you that when you are abroad, you represent Scotland as the First Minister of a devolved parliament, not as the leader of a minority party.
In giving a lecture in Georgetown on independence you have once again abused your position as First Minister. There is no majority for independence in Scotland. Indeed, opinion polls consistently show that separation from the rest of the United Kingdom is a minority aspiration.
As First Minister you speak for all of Scotland, not merely as the leader of one of Scotland's minority parties and it would be a gross distortion for you to imply otherwise.
Annabel M Goldie MSP
Monday, 23 February 2009
This strikes me as something of a populist reaction to the concerns of UK workers who were facing redundancy recently when a foreign company won a contract in the UK and promptly shipped (literally) a workforce in from abroad. The UK workers rightly threw Gordon Browns statement of "British jobs for British workers" back in his face.
The irony is of course that in this instance, the foreign workers were from inside the EU and not from the outside, so her protectionist measures would have achieved nothing whatsoever.
The whole thing strikes me as a tad frothy given the global recession, and I wonder just how many people outside of the EU were actually planning to come here to work over the next year or two. I know two highly skilled Australians that have recently returned home because the pay and conditions were far better there than here.
No doubt immigration will fall because of the financial climate and Westminster will attribute this to their shiny new policy.
The only mention of EU immigration (ie the type of immigration that caused such an adverse reaction to the workers down south) comes here:
"The Government also plans to change the laws regarding the deportation of EU citizens convicted of sexual, violent and drugs crimes. At the moment EU citizens can only be deported if they are given a jail sentence of two years or more. Ms Smith said that she intended to reduce this to 12 months."
I'm not sure what it takes to get a 12 month sentence these days never mind two years, but I suspect it would have to painfully serious, especially here in Scotland where Kenny MacAskill's abhorence of jailing criminals means that it is unlikely many will fall into that category.
All in all, I suspect that this proposal is more spin than substance, but time will tell.
Sunday, 22 February 2009
On one hand I can see the point. I'm always amazed at the amount of shiny new 'Chelsea Tractors' that are driven in Edinburgh. Trying to get to work in the morning can be like driving through the set of Stepford Wives when you go past a school. The irony is of course that most of the city dwelling 4x4 owners have never driven a vehicle off road before in their lives and a wee bit mud on their expensive wagons would induce a fit of the vapours in them.
There's no question that these things produce more pollution than smaller vehicles, but that said, what about those on low incomes with old cars with large engines that they can't afford to replace? This is especially pertinant in times like these and I'd hate to think that anyone who is struggling financially already might be hit with higher charges by the 'holier than thou' eco warriors.
Monday, 16 February 2009
For those of you who are blissfully unaware of what the Turner Prize is, their website describes it as:
"The Turner Prize is a contemporary art award that was set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art.
The prize is awarded each year to 'a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding'."
Personally, I would describe it as a collective of Guardian reading, Tofu loving pseuds who indulge themselves in an 'emperors new clothes' type of artistic bunfight every twelve months, and award a sickening amount of money to some arty type who cobbled together an 'installation' out of a couple of bricks and a coathanger. If you don't get their thinking, then you simply don't understand art dahhling.
Yup, it really is the art equivalent of a train wreck. There have been some utterly crap winners and nominees for this over the years. Look some of them up for yourself and you'll see what I mean, unless of course you are fully supportive of this type of thing, in which case you may have just spluttered some organic yoghurt over your monitor in synthetic outrage (dislodging your designer specs, which you don't really need at the same time) at the opinions I expressed above.
Anyhoo, I digress. Tom thinks it would strike a blow for us ordinary types if as many people as possible nominated his blog for the prize. I fully agree with him and am happy to support his nomination. You can find his blog post on the subject here.
Saturday, 14 February 2009
1) The first vehicle I was licensed to drive on the road was a 60 ton Chieftan tank. I found it difficult to learn how to drive a car after this.
2) I was a guard on the Berlin Wall for a time. Three of us got into some bother for climbing it and sitting on top for a photo at the Brandenburg Gate.
3) After school I used to work in a fish factory every night. I never eat fish.
4) I love pets. My German Shepherd died 10 years ago and I still miss him.
5) I was a marksman in the army, but have not handled a firearm since I left the forces.
6) I played rugby for my school and regiment as a loose head prop. The same position as my Dad played even though he is a lot smaller than me.
7) I love art, but no-one believes me when I tell them this.
8) I enjoy martial arts and hold black belts in kickboxing and karate. I'm a qualified blade arts instructor and former assistant Judo coach. I have broken several toes and fractured most of my ribs down one side doing this.
9) I have a large collection of historical weaponry and armour.
10) I wanted to learn jousting and had not fallen off a horse in a year until I took former fiance. Ten minutes after she arrived I fell off a very large horse. It was a tad sore.
11) I practice archery with an English longbow. It took almost a year of practice before I could draw it properly.
12) My sense of humour is very dry and has got me into trouble several times.
13) I can be very cynical at times. Actually, quite a lot of the time.
14) Japanese history and culture fascinates me.
15) I loathed primary school and did not get on with the teachers. (I could expand on this, but wont)
16) I hate cruelty to animals and sponsor a dog from a national charity.
17) I worked on oil rigs for several years. Hard work but enjoyable.
18) I get bored easily and fidget a lot.
19) I love old films.
20) I rarely watch tv except for documentaries and current affairs type stuff. I hate game/quiz/chat/magazine/car shows.
21) I enjoy reading. I prefer horror and factual stuff
22) I spend most of time working and put in hours every evening and weekend.
23) I never forgive and forget.
24) I'm 42 next month.
25) I love visiting old churches, abbeys and castles. How they were built and how the stones were cut fascinates me.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
John Swinney, realising the policy was about as popular as a fart in a spacesuit has announced today that it has been ditched until after the next election.
The SNP had to be forced to honour their pledge of 1000 extra cops, the promise to wipe out student debt was a lie, the undertaking on class sizes is in chaos and now LIT has sunk without trace.
Surely there must come a time when the only people the SNP big guns are fooling will be themselves.
Saturday, 7 February 2009
I'm getting two more stands made for my harnesses of 15th and 16th century plate armour. My new harness of 15th century Italian armour is still being made, although the helmet has arrived. I'm looking forward to fighting in it, although I will try and avoid a recurrence of an incident when some 'friends' put a few tropical fish fridge magnets on me in places I couldn't reach. It was a colourful albeit bizarre incident which confused small children.
I'm coming to the end of the 15th week of my diet. I'm down five suit sizes, and feel much healthier, although a journalist friend phoned me up and told me that "everyone preferred cuddly Jim". Encouraging. The leader of the council also asked if I had surgery. The answer to that is no, I simply stopped eating crap and drinking alcohol.
I now train with one of these for four hours a week:
It's a Russian Kettlebell and it provides an amazing workout. If you want to see rapid results you could do a lot worse than try training with one, though be warned it is incredibly hard work.
The dreaded Valentines Day is almost upon us and having promised Girlfriend dinner in some nice and suitably expensive restaurant, I have left it too late to get a table anywhere. To be fair to girlfriend, she is being very good about it and seems to have known this would happen.
That very nice blogger Fox in Detox (who is also reticent about Valentines Day) has tagged me with a challenge to post 25 random facts about myself. I'll compile them over the next day or two and post them up (though I may be a tad circumspect given some of the people that read this blog).
I haven't booked a holiday yet, but this year looks likely to be France or Italy. If it's Italy, then we would have to drop in on my relatives, and Girlfriend isn't that keen. In a strange coincidence, my cousin was elected to his local council near Pisa at the same time I was elected here. Last time I was there was with former fiance and they lent us a car which was so impossibly small I had to have the sunroof open so I could sit up straight whilst driving. This provided two weeks of amusement for the locals as I drove around with the top of my head sticking out of the roof.
I have finally persuaded Girlfriend to come to Japan with me next year. I have wanted to visit Japan since I took up martial arts twenty years ago, but have never managed it. Helpfully, having lived there for some years, Girlfriend speaks and reads Japanese which is really the only way the trip is possible for me given my notoriously bad sense of direction.
Apart from all of that, things remain very busy both on the council and work front. The announcement by the Scottish Government that local elections will be put back until 2012, giving us a five year term, instigated a sense of humour failure in Girlfriend, but I enjoy serving the community and at the end of the day it's a privilege to do so.