Friday, 12 August 2011


On a very positive note indeed, the results are in, and I don't have to worry about tests were perfectly normal. May be it really is because the shock that I might be a sufferer made me stop my marshmallow binge. But whatever, it's quite a relief. I have modified my diet, am doing more exercise and hopefully that will relieve me of the higher levels of cholesterol too.

Did you know, or even care, that the battle for the pound in your pocket is being fought by tech giants not through clever marketing, or even fabulous products, but through the law courts? If you could be bothered to spend more than five minutes looking at places like Engadget, Gizmodo or TechRadar (as I do), you'd know that just about all the tech giants such as Apple, Nokia, Samsung and a good deal of other you would never have heard of are busy suing each other for patent infringement. The latest round has seen Apple use he courts to effectively ban a new product from Samsung that would by all accounts knock spots off the iPad. I've no idea about the ins and outs, but I certainly think it's a very sad day when the lawyers start creaming it in when we should all be able to choose what we buy and what we don't. It doesn't bode well for the future. If you're interested, there's more here.

It's hardly a surprise outcome of Carol Vorderman's study into maths education that she recommends that all pupils should study it until the age of 18. Evidently, too many are unable to work out how much change they get from a £50 note after buying a spliff and two hits of crack cocaine. Or how much they should be getting for flogging new trainers down the pub on a Saturday night. News paper reports barely mention the problem is that kids are not able to do even basic maths at the age of sixteen, although they're already being taught trigonometry. Simply requiring schools to teach maths until kids are eighteen sadly misses the point completely. They just need to be taught until they grasp the essentials of maths which get them through life in a modern world. I'd certainly hate to see The Kat and The Boy burdened with an extra two years of maths which they both loathe with a passion, when they have the maths skills they need already.

Equally unsurprisingly, there has been a complete lack of leadership in the UK over the last week or two. I've already mentioned that the government's comment that the downgrading of the US credit rating vindicates our own economic policy. Now David Cameron has come out with the comment that over the last few days, the police "Got riots wrong". I'm not sure of the full context, but that doesn't matter. As a former PR man, he should know and understand the sound-bites the media are looking for....and got in this case. In the face of a very fluid situation, completely outnumbered the police did a remarkable job. But Cameron's comment today follows on from his earlier statements which could have been made by any Daily Mail reader after their morning tea. What we need and want is a Prime Minister who will stand up and set out a vision for the future not make knee-jerk reactionary comments which just fuel the problem. At this time we don't need another middle-management politician, but some one who can make the leap and make the changes the country needs for the better.

If you've got this far, you're doing well.

This week, The Boy has been doing work experience, at one of my clients. That's enough to make anyone nervous, but it seems to be going well. Today he's sitting in a workshop with a rail company, looking at human factors and ergonomics....don't ask! So if your train is late or uncomfortable you know who to blame. Meanwhile,The Cat is pursuing her interests having been selected against fierce competition for a two week course with The National Youth Theatre. If you happen to be passing the National on Saturday at about four-ish, do pop along and give her a bit of encouragement...she deserves it.

In the meantime, here is my list of riot-inspired is always good at a time of upheaval I find! I had another list but lost it, so have cobbled this together at short notice, so chip in if you have any additions:

Muse - Uprising
The Who - My Generation
Manic Street Preachers - If you tolerate this

10cc- Rubber Bullets

Rage Against The MAchine - Killing in the name

Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK

Elton John - Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

The Prodigy - Firestarter

The Clash - London's Burning

The Smiths - Panic

And finally (of course)

Kaiser Chiefs - I predict a riot