David Coleman

Coleman worked as a sports commentator for 50 years and holds the rare distinction of becoming immortal before he was immortal. He was made famous by the Private Eye column "Colemanballs", a reference to his numerous commentating errors.... such as:

"If that had gone in, it would have been a goal."


"That's the fastest time ever run, but it's not as fast as the world record."

Peter O'Toole

He was best known for his 1962 role in the epic David Lean film Lawrence Of Arabia, possibly the most boring film ever made, if we overlook Ben Hur. However, we can't blame O'Toole for Lawrence, he was without a doubt one of the 20th century's best actors.

Margaret Thatcher

Mrs Thatcher will forever be remembered as the first British female prime minister. After that there's little to remember, she was just the mouthpiece for a scheme to reshape Britain. She served her purpose well for 10 years, from 1979 to 1990 and then she was dumped by the Tory party, when she started thinking too much about what she was doing.

It is Thatcherism that will be remembered, an ideology that even the working poor subscribe to - a mindset that persuades citizens that their circumstances have arisen naturally, due to their own personal inadequacies. This mindset occupies every waking moment, which means that the plebs rarely, if ever, pause in their pursuit of personal improvement for long enough to consider the big people in their counting houses who sell them horse meat....

More goodbyes

Michael Winner - will always be remembered for those car insurance adverts.

Lou Reed - possibly one of the few people who could say "been there, done it, got the tee shirt".

David Frost - forever famous for waking up the nation with That Was The Week That Was. Sadly, it didn't last and slumber returned.

Reg Presley - his place in music history is guaranteed, with Wild Thing and Love is all around. The royalties from the latter song proved to be a gold plated pension pot for Reg!

Mikhail Kalashnikov - good riddance, his AK47 made carnage on the battlefields much easier.


Findus horse lasagne


Fast food connoisseurs were surprised to learn that not few of their favourite dishes contained suspect contents. They were also, perhaps, a little miffed to discover that their refined palates had been hoodwinked by the sneaky food industry.

Findus, the private equity wrapper of ready-meals, was surprised to learn that its 100% beef lasagne meals contained horsemeat. Comigel, the French supplier, was surprised to learn that it was making fraudulent claims on its packaging about the beef content of its ready-meals.

Romania, the source of the horsemeat says they hadn't supplied Comigel with any meat. Ah, but they did supply someone in Cyprus, who supplied someone in Holland, who supplied a French firm, who supplied Comigel. Then, the FSA raided abattoirs here and found horse!

We have heard from the Food Standards Agency, they don't test for horsemeat, that's the job of the supermarkets. And why doesn't the so-called Food Standards Agency test for adulteration of meat products? Because some clever person decided back in 2003 to adopt instead an “intelligence-led” approach to detect fraud or adulteration. Clearly, intelligence in this instance was at a premium.

Testing DNA, to check for “food authenticity”, was passed to Defra, that would be the same Ministry that has managed to loose 700 trading standards officers over the past couple of years.

We have also heard from the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who says, everyone who has some responsibility should be responsible (roughly translated as, 'I don't have a clue'). No surprise there, then.


The Pope retired


Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation saying it's hard work trying to keep pace with a world beyond the Vatican that refuses to remain stuck in the Ist Century. Papists everywhere gasped for breath, a Pope hadn't retired for 600 years. How brave they gushed.

Press speculation reached fever pitch, would this moment open the door for a moderniser; someone who will deal with the buggers in cassocks and someone who doesn't deny the Church's role in promoting the AIDs crisis in Africa, or someone who doesn't think that women are second class citizens. Don't be silly! This is a Church that still retains the Inquisition and believes that Harry Potter is the 'work of the Devil'.

They say that the new Pope Francis is the moderniser the Church needs - time will tell, not that anyone here at Blast-it gives a proverbial, it's all voodoo to us. Although we do agree with the Church's sentiments in regard to Harry Potter.

Redition and Torture


Abdel Hakim Belhaj, was suing over being kidnapped and tortured via a joint operation between Britain and the CIA at the behest of the Libyan dictator, 'General' Gaddafi. Belhaj put an offer on the table. Belhaj said he would settle his claim for £3.00 and an apology, i.e., from the government, Jack Straw, and Sir Mark Allen, former head of counter-terrorism at MI6.

Belhaj made this offer, he says, because he likes the British, but has no wish to see his case enter the secret court system, which the Justice and Security Bill seeks to introduce.

The Justice and Security Bill would create a mechanism allowing court evidence to be heard in secret where there is a need to keep information from the public on grounds of national security. The problem with this is that the person seeking justice will not be allowed to know what the other party has told the judge. In other words, a judgment will be made and only the judge will know why.


2013 was the year that we heard much about excessive payoffs to public sector bosses due the reforms and cutbacks of the Coalition. Press focus was mainly on the NHS and the BBC where no one appeared to be able to explain or justify the the size of the payoffs. And more mysteriously, many of those paid off were re-hired? No one could explain this either.

The Health Secretary and well known amnesiac, Jeremy Hunt, said that the redundancy takers, who have been re-employed, will be pursued for repayment to the taxpayer and then a flock of pigs flew by.

Lords a leaping


You'd be leaping too if you could get away with going to work for a few minutes, just long enough to give the time keeper a nod and claim your £300 for the day's 'work'.

According to Lord Hanningfield 50% of peers are working the same scam. The Daily Mirror says on 11 of 19 occasions he attended the Lords in July he spent less than 40 minutes there. He was paid over £5000 in attendance fees.

Hanningfield stupidly explained that he wasn't really making anything on his brief visits to the Lords, afterall he was spending half on expenses like food and electricity.

In case you need reminding, in 2011, Hanningfield served nine weeks of a nine-month sentence for parliamentary expenses fraud. He says it was a travesty, no, not the fact that he only served a quarter of his sentence, it was a travesty that all those other MPs and Lords got away with their fiddling.

There are currently 779 "eligible" members of the House of Lords.

The Chilcot Inquiry

Chilcot was tasked by Gordon Brown to carry out the inquiry in 2009. Brown said that the inquiry would take about a year to report. Then we were told that the report would appear in 2012 and now we hear that it has been held up again by a refusal on the part of David Cameron not to allow the release of records of important meetings between Blair, Bush and Brown.

That's the thing about duplicity, once you get caught up in the lie, you become a part of the lie and end up just as guilty as the conspirators.

And did you Know?

Last year more than 570,000 data requests were made to companies by the police, security services, HMRC and various public bodies, including local councils and organisations like the Charity Commission, Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive. Why these requests were made will forever remain a mystery.

Still, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing ot fear. Now, remind us again, why wont Cameron release those papers for the Chilcott Inquiry?



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Chris Huhne: Liar


MP Chris Huhne was arrested last year for getting his ex-wife to take the rap for a speeding offence, so that he wouldn't get any more points on his licence. At the time he said: "I'm innocent and I'll prove it", silly man.

A policeman appeared outside the court case in March this year, to tell us that perverting the course of justice was a very serious crime and that the sentences - 8 months each - reflected this seriousness. The policeman was just a very silly person.

Both spent a few months in open prisons and went on their merry way. If this was British justice, it was justice for wealthy influential people.

The next time some liar appears in court accused of such a serious offence will they not expect the same sentence as Huhne and Pryce and not the life in prison, which the judge could have handed this daft pair.


Ex-Labour Minister Jailed


Former MP and Europe minister Denis MacShane was sentenced to six months' imprisonment after admitting making bogus expense claims amounting to nearly £13,000. As ever, he'll do six weeks if he's unlucky.

Lies, Damn Lies and Liberals


"In 27 years of working for the Liberal Democrats I received no complaint or allegation about my behaviour."

That was Lord Rennard and yet we knew for certain that Danny Alexander was told by Nick Clegg in 2008 to speak to him about his inappropriate behaviour towards female party members. How could this intellectual giant, shining star, power broker of exception, maker of men (and women) forget his caution for touching up female party activists.

And why did Nick Clegg say, after Channel Four first brought Rennard's behaviour to our attention, that he knew nothing about it. Then, the next day he popped up saying he did know about general “indirect and non-specific” allegations up to five years ago. The rabbit in Alice in Wonderland makes more sense than Clegg at his point. We do know that Clegg's office was sent details of the allegations against Rennard in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph. However, all Clegg's lackies are saying he knew nothing about the information supplied by the Telegraph.

And former LibDem leader Paddy Ashdown, talking to a TV camera, said, quite clearly, that he knew and heard nothing about Rennard's hamfisted attempts at playing Lothario. Then, later in the same day, Ashdown announced that he knew and heard all the details, that indeed, Rennard's behaviour was the talk of Westmister.

The Great Royal Mail Robbery


When something is 700 times over subscribed it tells you the chumps who did the valuation got it wrong. Actually, it was only seven times over subscribed but there's nothing wrong with a little bit of exaggeration, ask the Daily Mail. Vince Cable and Co. treated the sell off of the Royal Mail like fire damaged stock. This sell off ranks with the BT and Gas giveaways of the Thatcher years and once again they are allowing the bulk of the shares to go to institutional investors - to make another killing.

Note: The Royal Mail's pensions deficit was transferred to the taxpayer. You know it makes sense, after all, the Kuwaiti royal family wouldn't want their profits eroded by the postmans' pensions.

Dial 111, not 999

A new non-emergency phone number was introduced on the 1st April and almost immediately needed emergency help itself.

The new 111 number was supposed to replace NHS Direct, which was working perfectly fine becasue it provided access to trained paramedics who knew what they were talking about. The new number provided callers in trouble with access to call centre staff, trained only to operate a commuter program that asked a string of irrelevant questions.

Upshot, people have already had enough of 111 and are going straight to their A&E departments.

Another triumph for privatization.

Tagging the dead


G4S and Serco were caught out charging the tax payer for tagging criminals that didn't actually have a tag on because they were in prison or had left the country. There were also charges for people who had never been tagged and dead people. In some cases monitoring charges continued long after the actual monitoring had ceased.

It got worse; apparently civil servants were aware of the scam as far back as 2008, oddly no ministers were informed. Fear not, our man Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, got PriceWaterhouseCooper on the case, to thumb through all those past invoices, at further cost to the tax payer.

The scam had been going on certainly since 2005 and possibly as far back as 1999 and the money involved runs into tens of millions - let's face it, privatised help doesn't come cheap. But Chris said this instance of wrong doing does not condemn the whole of privatisation project. (Yes, it does.)

We should add that Mr Grayling did not call spurious billing for tagging a scam, nor did he categorically say that illegality has taken place. It may just be the case that two of the biggest UK company recipients of tax payer largesse both made a long series of administrative errors - which of course is hard for the Tory mind to cope with, given its devotion to the gospel of private sector efficiency.

Wimbledon Winner

Andy Murrey won Wimbledon, the first time a Brit has won since Fred Perry, 77 years ago. So, for a brief moment the Scots had something to cheer about.

If they decide to vote Yes for independence next year such cheerful moments will not just be rare, they will be non-existent.

Climate Change


The para-military wing of the Met Office, the Hadley Centre, met with other climate change radicals from around the world - to talk about our unseasonable weather.

None of these geniuses have a clue why the winter lasted six months, or why it's still spring when it should be summer. Although the meeting will give these chaps an opportunity to dust off their pet theories on melting ice caps, sun spots, jet stream shifts, deforestation and third world industrialization.

The latest review from the Hadley Centre has identified methane emissions as the likely cause of the chaotic climate change we are experiencing or it just might be short term variability, in which case further time wasting meetings can be cancelled.

And another thing, why doesn't anyone talk about the hole in the ozone layer anymore.

Duggan Update:


A police marksman, known only as B53, says that after he shot Duggan, Duggan's gun just vanished? The judge sent for Fox Mulder and Dana Scully!

The IPCC finally announced its findings in the Duggan case, they said the police killing of Duggan was lawful and the police have no case to answer.

Plebgate, the saga continued


Thus far the Plebgate saga has cost the taxpayer £230,000, investigating a 45 second incident. Currently being investigated are several police forces for lying and collusion, Hogan-Howe, Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron for sloth and duplicity.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill


Just another new piece of legislation silently wending its way through the parliamentary process. Nothing for citizens to be concerned about.

Well, actually, apart from dumping the discredited ASBO system, this legislation is giving local authorities, the police, and private security firms new powers to prevent lawful protests, disperse, and direct protestors away from particular areas. So protests like the Occupy Movement's camp at St Paul's or the anti-war protest of Brian Haw at the Houses of Parliament will not be allowed.

Under the legislation, local authorities will be allowed to invoke public spaces protection orders (PSPOs), allowing it to prevent everything from skateboarding to public meetings. The space in question is undefined, or may be defined by the apparatchic making the order, in other words the order will be open-ended, and open to abuse.

ASBOs are being replaced by the Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNA). And the difference between the old and the new is subtle. ASBOs were designed to crack down on behaviour considered as causing “harassment, alarm or distress,” the IPNA replacement will target conduct “capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person.”




Another year in which nothing much changed for the better.

A Special Child Was Born


Nothing symbolised the lack of change more than the site of the world's media camped for a week in the street outside St Mary's Hospital, waiting for Kate Middleton to give birth. Throughout this bizarre vigil the BBC kept its viewers updated with images of the hospital's front door, accompanied by reporters telling viewers that nothing was happening.

Eventually Middleton gave birth, as did 2000 other women on that day but her child was born from the seed of William Windsor, so her child was special. Who knows what special gifts this child will bring to the world. Perhaps he will join the forces, learn to fly a helicopter and play polo well. Perhaps he will work as a tea boy for some second rate theatre company. Perhaps he will become a special envoy and fly all over the globe, with his over-sized ironing board, meeting and greeting and dining with murderous dictators. Perhaps he will dress like his grand father, talk to trees, set up a worthy trust, and spend his days wondering if his turn will ever arrive.

In truth, we simply don't know what specialness this new addition, to those who occupy the top of the social canapy, possesses, so we will just have to take it on trust and wait for special things to happen.

Canadian Import

Mark Carney took over as governor of the Bank of England and continued Mervyn King's craven grovelling to the debt burdened Sambuca City spivs via a do nothing 0.5% interest rate policy. Carney, however, put his stamp on things early by inventing something called 'forward guidance', i.e. letting the markets know that interest rates would not rise unless unemployment fell below 7%. He predicted that this wouldn't happen until 2017. It now looks likely that it will happen in 2014.

This situation will face Carney with two options, lower his unemployment benchmark so that it will not be reached sooner than 2017 or shift the focus of his 'forward guidance' away from the employment level and on to something more relevant like the national consumption of tea bags.


Was television less awful in 2013? Did the programmers go out and buy a few new box sets to lull the nation into a comatose state? Was there less cheap pointless fly on the wall televison. Were there less celebrity chefs serving up their dynamic personalities along with everything that resides in their kitchens, the garden, the neighbour's garden, the supermarket, the farmers' market, the forests, the seas, outer space - now there's one they haven't thought of yet "Jamie Goes into Orbit" - yes please!



The death of Nelson Mandela reminded everyone how little change and progress had come about since the end of Apartheid. And after a week of some of the worst BBC reporting of any event, except possibly the birth of a royal baby, the corporation was finally forced to acknowledge the reality of South Africa when a crowd of mourners booed President Jacob Zuma.

When Mandela was released from Robben Island in 1990 very few people on the planet failed to join in the celebrations of black South Africans. When black policeman massacred striking black miners at Marikana, August 2012, the world remembered the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 and had nothing to cheer about, mostly, the dead were shot in the back.

South Africa now belonged to Jacob Zuma and the ANC, and the Lonmin mining corporation. Lonmin, does that name sound familiar? It should do - its Lonrho, Ted Heath's "unacceptabe face of capitalism" still doing its dirty business under a new name.

Gangster Zuma and Lonmin are the reality of South Africa. They may drive Mandela's bones all over South Africa, until the cows get fed up with the flies but it will not change the signal fact - the constructors of Apartheid had a plan, the ANC couldn't plan a children's birthday party. Or more specifically, couldn't book a competent deaf signer, the man chosen by the ANC for the memorial service, Thamsanqa Jantjie, was clearly off his head and is now in a psychiatric hospital.

George Osborne

The silliness of George Osborne continued apace and the British Psychiatric Society are still refusing to acknowledge his silliness as a mental disorder.

Baronet in-waiting George continued to insist that Britain is booming and to make ridiculous claims on debt reduction and private sector job creation. Throughout 2013 George made visits to factories that make things, to make his announcements seem grounded in Britain's industrial resurgence. He dressed for the occasion, with overalls and hard hat although there was little under the hat that required protection from heavy falling objects.

George was all gloomy at the beginning of the year but by the end he was in self-congratulatory mode, having told the public sector workers to expect another year of pay freezes, sold Royal Mail for a song, and created a housing boom with his return to 95% mortgages. Well done, George.

PS. George's parents are still locked in a legal battle with St Paul's over their claim that the school missold the benefits of private education - citing George as proof.

Murder in Woolich


Following the killing of Lee Rigby in Woodlich, David Cameron and his chums on the Cobra team decided to crack down on the radical Islamists and their hate preachers. We're surprised they didn't call for a drone strike on Bradford as well... Allah Akbar.

But they have created a new strike force, in the shape of TERFOR (Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force). Perhaps it never occurred to these school boys that we are already paying the spooks from MI5 to deal with the extremists and radicals and if they fail, we can send in Cressida 'shoot to kill' Dick, the killer of Jean Charles de Mendes.... Allah Akbar.

The problem is Islam

Establishing TERFOR is typical of Cameron, a pointless jester. The problem to be tackled is Islam, not so-called Islamists. Islam is a political ideology with elements of spirituality thrown in to persuade its supplicants that there's a purpose to their subordination to the nostrums of long dead clerics... Allah Akbar.

A few years ago New Labour set up Prevent to deal the terrorist threat from within. They say the role of Prevent is now under review again, obviously everyone involved will have been working tirelessly, just like the spooks, behind the scenes, saving us, without us ever being aware of our salvation... Allah Akbar.

That's all good then, now all we need is a Data Communications Act, to go with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and those terrorist will wonder what's hit them... Allah Akbar.

Meanwhile, fly tippers and dog foulers had better watch out, the Coalition is not paying millions of pounds to Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems Detica for deep packet inspection for nothing....Allah Akbar.

The Prism


We discovered that the Empire of America is spying on the world of Internet communications using a snooping program called Prism.

At an internal presentation, given to NSA employees, it was revealed that the program was used to access data held by the world’s major internet companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Skype.

These companies all claim to know nothing of the program's use and are keen to assure citizens that they take your privacy seriously. All very mysterious, given that this has been going on for years and our own 'listening spooks' at GCHQ have been receiving reports from the NSA, acquired using the Prism program.

Politicians of all shades here also claim to know nothing about the program and its use or GCHQ's involvement. Laughably, opposition MPs are lining up to ask Theresa May, the Home Secretary, questions in the House on Monday - the odds of Ms May supplying a useful response are inestimable, according to William Hill, the bookmaker.

The interesting thing about Prism is that it is able to access the contents of emails and live chat. Which takes it way beyond the now in doubt Data Communications Bill, with its focus on capturing metadata, i.e. simply listing the destination and duration of communications.

Democracy in action

The story of Prism reveals democracy in action, politicians pass legislation to fight terrorism, meanwhile agents of the state subvert individual liberty without a remit from the legislators - apparently?

Public Relations Exercise

Update: Dec.

Many of the big Internet players have been complaining about NSA/GCHQ snooping but the list of complainants does not include any of the giant US telcos? The likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook have formed a kind of protest group against the snoopers. Perhaps hopeful that their customers will swallow their hogwash about knowing nothing of the spooks' black boxes, that have been monitoring Internet traffic for years. In truth, their profits rely on them keeping on the right side of the Patriot Act.

Man of the year

Edward Snowden must surely be the man of the year, for blowing the whistle on the NSA's snooping and their tie in with GCHQ. And let's not forget poor young Bradley Manning, who was given 35 years in prison this year for being unpatriotic.


Sir David Nicholson, the man from Abattoirs-Are-Us


rotten appleNicholson said sorry for the 1200 unnecessary deaths at Mid Staffs but what exactly was he apologising for. Was he apologising for his abject uselessness as a manager, a fawning puppet, working at the behest of an antisocial diseased political mindset that thinks that healthcare can be run like a Brillo factory. Now, he's chief executive of NHS England but not so long ago he had clinical oversight for the Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA, you know, where the patients at the Mid Staffs abattoir were drinking the water from the flower vases because the nurses couldn't be bothered to give them a drink.

The Francis Inquiry into Mid Staffs told us that the target driven culture of the NHS must change but so must the indifference and ignorance of the politicians who feign astonishment when mass murder occurs on their watch. These are the people who publicly claim to know nothing about gagging orders and huge pay offs to those who wont toe the line but privately they condone the culture of silence - Andrew Lansley, Alan Johnson, Andy Burnham are all guilty.

In the case of Mid Staffs, Nicholson's behaviour was criminal beyond doubt and his reward, a better job with a bigger pay packet. The most important part of NHS England is the commissioning board, the body that supervises the spending of tens of billions by GP-led commissioning groups and Nicholson's the man in charge - he must know where all the bodies are buried to receive such a pot of gold.

Syria: The Carnage Coninues

It's December and the papers are full of news of the death of British Dr Abbas Khan in a Syrian prison cell. They say he hung himself and everyone else says he was killed by the regime. PM Cameron says it was terrible and has told Foreign Secretary Hague to write a letter to someone.

They say that a humantarian crisis on the scale of the 1994 Rwandan genocide is underway. Well, we remember that, you know, when everyone did bugger all but now its different, countries are queuing up help out, well, except Britain that is. As many as 16 countries have offered extra resettlement places to vulnerable Syrians. They say every little bit helps but in reality the world has given up on finding a resolution to Syria.

This is all rather strange because a few months ago Big Dave and Hague (and Ed Miliband) were looking to go to war in Syria, before they realised it was a very silly idea, that is, helping one faction of Islamist bigots defeat another group of Islamist bigots.

Dr Khan was a casualty of the regime's strategy of targeting all and everything to do with medical support for the opposition forces. The fact that targeting medical facilities is a war crime means nothing to Assad, the man is already as good as dead. And you are hardly likely to feighten a corpse with a letter from William Hague.

Technology Update

Good news, the youth are fleeing from Facebook, now deemed uncool and Facebook's attempts to break into the mobile space (note, space is the new 'in' word for the next few years) came to nought in 2013.

The mobile space is seeing a major battle between Apple and Samsung, essentially this is a battle of operating systems, expect Android and Samsung win out in the longer run but law suits in the US courts may slow Samsung's progress. Also Apple has just done a major deal in China. Also, the Windows phone is on the rise, now that the software has a Start button. And the poor old Blackberry, once the moble of choice for politicians and Tottenham rioters, is now gathering dust in the back of a million draws.

The tablet space is still firmly in the hands of Apple but expect more competitors like Tesco's budget priced Hudl that will seriously dent Apple's market ascendence, unless they re-think their top dollar price structure. The worry for Apple is that they do not know how to do cheap, witness the flop of 2013, the plactic iPhone 5C. Meanwhile its Amazon's Kindle that will fall first to the Hudl, unless Amazon decide to lose even more money selling the things.

The wearable tech space is currently in the grasp of Samsung but Google is also in with a shout, e.g. with Google Glass and assorted other gimmicks like watches that take pictures. This space may turn out to be a passing fad, once all the marketing hype fades and companies stop paying celebrities to use Twitter to tell all their 'followers' about their new watch. (Sad buggers)

We have seen lots of hype in 2013 over 3D printing, which is surprising because it's been around for decades but now prices are falling - yours for a mere $1500 dollars and when you get fed up with making ashtrays for yourself there's always eBay. These printers are used in industry for making design prototypes. For those only interested in making things for the coffee table would better off joining a pottery class.

We have also seen not a few false reports of the demise of the sturdy PC. It's probably true that many US companies are jumping ship, moving into the mobile space or having moved too late, going into receivership. However, the Chinese have other ideas, Lenovo have not given up on the PC and they are the biggest Chinese manufacturer.

In the entertainment space we have finally seen the death of 3D TV, a completely hopeless project, now hopefully forgot. Apart from the requirement to wear silly glasses, there simply wasn't any content for those expensive 3D TVs. Highstreet video rentals also disappeared in 2013 as Blockbuster finally bit the dust. No sympathy for this company who couldn't see how the market was leaving them behind and worse didn't even know which market it was in. Interesting to note, Blockbuster had the option to acquire Netflix in 2000 but turned it down?

In the games space we have two contenders as ever, the PS4 from Sony, which is straightforwardly a games console and the Xbox-One which, because it's from Microsoft tries to be a games machine and a home entertainment system. Who wins the battle doesn't matter to humans.

Something to chew on for 2014

Back in March, the Mail and the Telegraph told us that 1 in 30 will die before their time due to eating processed meat. Now, reading the funny papers you'd believe that the study this amazing fact came from was exclusively about the effects of processed meat. It wasn't, the study was broadly concerned with examining the life-styles of meat eaters.

The bottom line to this story is not that eating processed meat will shorten your life but eating cheap processed meat will shorten your life - it's cheap for a reason, it's designed for poor people.

So good journalism, rather than the churnalism we get from the Mail and Telegraph, would have reported that poor people are dying before their time due to the life-style choices that poverty forces upon them.

The press release that accompanied this study's results tells us:

"One of the difficulties in measuring the effect of eating meat on health is the confounding effect of lifestyle on health."

There you have it in a nutshell, without confounding factors the world would look just like the Mail and Telegraph thinks it looks.

So, if you do nothing else in 2014, focus on the confounding factors.

And keep in mind what Marshall McLuhan told us 50 years ago... the medium is the message, the content is "like a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watch-dog of the mind”.




The Troubles

Can you hear the deafing silence from the media on events in Northern Ireland. The assassination of Pat Finucane, that came to light last year, couldn't be ignored. All the bombings and killings this year have been largely ignored.

We are currently being told that the 'final' obstacles to the so-called peace process, i.e. flag waving and marching are being mediated to a conclusion.















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