Tuesday, 28 April 2015
There is one question that comes up time and time again. And even though it has no correct answer it is debated for hours across the world.
That question is:
"If you could go back in time and change one event in the history of mankind, what event would you change?"
And with such a question there is always the usual answers, going back in time and stopping someone from dying - Jesus, John F Kennedy, John Lennon, or Martin Luther King. Going back in time and stopping someone being born - Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, or Kim Kardashian.
But the problem is that when you head back in time and alter the past, in theory anyway, it would alter the present and future too. And the bigger problem is that you don't know what will alter what.
Sure, saving Jesus would be a great idea. But then he doesn't die for your sins, the Bible has no ending, and the Christian religion falls flat on its arse because of it. With no Christianity the major religion becomes Judaism. A quick step forward to 1939 and Adolf Hitler is Jewish, the holocaust never happens. All sounds so easy. But just before jumping into that time machine, you got from some mad scientist on eBay, there is the other side to consider. What happens to the world without Christianity? It is hard to say, but the Black Death that sweeps through Europe in the 14th Century claims 500 million lives instead of the estimated 200 million because Europe as a whole is less compassionate.
It is all swings and roundabouts. Save one group of people and another group die.
Head back in time and stop Adolf Hitler being born. Great. World War 2 doesn't happen. Everyone can party and celebrate. But the problem exists that at some point some person will come along with the idea that they can run the world. So stopping Adolf being born just delayed the fact. Because although it is hardly mentioned Adolf Hitler is a great example to any despot that is thinking of trying to run the world - the world doesn't want it and you will fail.
Hitler being born might appear as a travesty, but if another mad man, despot, dictator comes along maybe 50 years after the time World War 2 would have happened the technology has improved and so has the way to kill millions more. So instead of the estimated 60 million that died it may be more like 600 million. You have to think that the first idiot nation to launch a nuclear weapon will trigger a string of events with everyone launching them. Maybe the death toll is in the billions; all because someone decided Hitler should not be born.
But all of this is pure speculation. Nobody can be sure what happens if certain events in history don't happen. And nobody can be sure it has to be a major event change. The slightest thing could change the history of mankind.
The driver of John F Kennedy's limousine is getting a coffee just before he gets ready to pick up the president. After he gets his coffee, he is walking back to the limousine. He opens the door to get in, and a bee stings him. Allergic to bee stings, he starts to feel unwell. As he arrives to pick up the president, it is noted by the president the driver is looking like shit. The president has to wait while another driver is found to replace him. Leaving 15 minutes late, the president makes his journey to the airport. Why didn't Lee Harvey Oswald shoot him? Because he got scared. He knew when the president was meant to drive by. He got scared that someone had found out and changed the route, any minute kicking the door in and arresting him.
But there was no bee, or if there was there was no driver that was allergic to bee stings, who just happened to get stung. So the president drove by at the time he was meant to and Lee Harvey Oswald shot him.
And that is the main thing, not all changes have to be major. Little events have a knock-on effect.
As a final example - a human sperm is 50 micrometres in length. Remove that one sperm and Kim Kardashian is not born. And no matter how much you think about it there is no bad that can come from this one very small change in history.
Saturday, 25 April 2015
Adolf Hitler, possibly the most hated person in history, after the Kardashian family, and the person who invented parking tickets. But what if he had took a different path. What if he had decided to do something else rather than invade Poland?
Hitler: OK, we have Germany running like a well-oiled machine. The people are happy, the country is making money what shall we do now?
Göring: We could exterminate all the Jews.
Hitler: Whoa! Where is that coming from? I have a neighbour who is Jewish. Very nice chap. Keeps his garden immaculate. I really think you might need some counselling for your issues.
Göring: Sorry, just a bad night. Didn't get much sleep.
Hitler: Well, no need to take it out on the Jewish people. Why not just get a couple of hours sleep in the corner there?
Göring: Yeah I might just do that.
[Göring goes to the corner for a sleep]
Hess: Why don't we design a car?
Hitler: That is the spirit. Give something back to the people. What shall we call it?
Hess: The Volkswagen Cockroach.
Hitler: What? That is terrible. Who in their right mind would want to drive a car called cockroach? Imagine you are at the NSDAP Christmas party and you manage to get a date, she is hardly going to be impressed with you saying: Hey, want to go back to my place in my cockroach?
Rosenberg: True that. What about the Volkswagen Daffodil?
Hitler: I am working with fools. One is a moron and the other seems to have some crazy idea that we should name a car after a flower.
Brandt: How about we call it the Beetle?
Hess: Was you not listening? I said cockroach and Adolf didn't like that idea. You might as well have French cheese in your ears.
Brandt: But a beetle isn't a cockroach. Now who looks stupid?
Hitler: (shouting) Shut up!
Hess: Now you have made him mad. So it will be no chocolate biscuits for you today when we have our break.
Hitler: I like Beetle. I think we could call it Betty. Maybe have a cute children's book that goes along with it.
Hess: How is a beetle any better than a cockroach?
Hitler: Maybe the next one will be called a cockroach.
Brandt: Or a Polo.
Hess: Either you call it cockroach or I am not playing.
Hitler: OK. The next one will be called a Volkswagen Cockroach.
Hitler: (loudly) Göring, wake up. We need you to design a car.
Hitler: Design a car.
Göring: I have never designed a car in my life.
Hitler: Give it a go, I have faith in you.
Göring: OK. Can I have some paper then?
Hitler: I gave you paper yesterday. What did you use all that on?
Göring: Posters, advertising our knitting club.
Hitler: It is meant to be a secret knitting club. We can't be advertising it. Next thing you know everybody will want to join. Then before you know it the whole idea of our little club has got out of hand and is no longer what we envisioned.
Göring: I know that. But I thought a few more members would give us a greater choice of patterns.
Hess: Got to agree with that. I'm getting bored of knitting swastikas.
Hitler: (annoyed) Whose club is it?
Hitler: And who decides who gets to join?
Göring: You do.
Hitler: And if I am not here to make decisions, who does?
Hitler: And where is Papen?
Göring: No clue. Haven't seen him for weeks.
Hitler: OK then. Hess can be in charge when I am not here.
Hess: Can we change the name of the club then?
Hitler: To What?
Hess: The Socialist Knitting And Sewing Party?
Hitler: No. It is meant to be a secret. What bit of the word 'secret' do you people not get?
Braun: I found out about it on the work notice board. There was a poster advertising it.
Göring: I told you them posters worked.
Hitler: Look, we meet and knit in secret. Nobody is meant to know. There will be no more posters. There will be no new name telling people what we are doing. We will continue to meet each Wednesday and knit. We will share patterns, wool, and ideas. That is it. Nothing else.
Göring: What about the car?
Hitler: Don't mention that we did it. Blame it on Volkswagen. That way we can remain secret.
Hess: I'm on a diet. Could I have plain biscuits today?
Hitler: Right. No biscuits for you. No biscuits for anyone. Now all of you be silent and get back to your knitting.
Axmann: (whispering) Who died and made him Führer?
Hitler: I heard that!
It may not have happened that way but it could have. Maybe they just ran out of wool. So if you see a short little Austrian complaining there is not enough wool, just give him some wool. Who knows what might happen if he doesn't knit.
Friday, 24 April 2015
Remember, back in the day, when you was a complete and utter pain in the arse at school it meant you got a trip to the Headmaster's office, and felt the cane a few times until you eventually learned that it was easier just to skip school. But now, act up in class, and you get sent to some psychologist's office and diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), and the school will then make a lot of changes and get you your own 'helper' within the classroom. And you will be a 'special' student.
But it isn't just in schools that things have gotten out of hand. Scared people have had so much time on their hands they have a phobia for practically anything.
In no particular order, the following are all real phobias:
Zemmiphobia, the fear of the great mole rat. Not just rats but the great mole rat. Luckily I wasn't even aware there was such an animal so I have no fear of it. But I suppose in the defence of this particular phobia if you are going to be scared of a rat, then the great mole rat is a good choice.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, the fear of the number 666. The sign of the beast scares the Hell out of Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobics the world over, but 667 is fine. And who the Hell thought up the term? 29 letters to say you are scared of 3 numbers. What about all the Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobics who also suffer from Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia? Well to put it bluntly they are well and truly fucked. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the fear of long words. Possibly the longest phobia is used to describe the fear of long words. Someone had to be laughing their arse off as they thought of that phobia.
Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. I have to say I have never met anyone who has said they have a fear of belly buttons. I think God may have been a Omphalophobic but that is just a guess based on the fact that Adam and Eve would have had no belly button, doesn't necessarily say he feared them, more he just didn't need them.
Phobophobia is a fear of phobias. Yes, you can be scared of being scared. I'm not sure how that works to be honest. Is it possible to be scared of being scared? Surely if you are scared of being scared you are in fact scared, and no longer scared of being scared. It gets way too complex and I think most Phobophobiacs end up disappearing up their own arsehole.
Now, to tie this blog post up, we shall return to the start, and end with - Didaskaleinophobia, the fear of going to school. Because in theory if you are scared of going to school you really can't cause problems there.
For the full list of all possible phobias head on over to the Phobia List.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
In 2013, footballer Gareth Bale transferred from Tottenham Hotspur (England) to Real Madrid (Spain) for the fee of £85,000,000. Don't ask me how I got to know this, I have no clue how I landed on the Wikipedia page of the most expensive football transfers.
But as usual when these massive figures are thrown around for some guy to kick a football, I wondered what the money could have been spent on.
Nurses in London (where Tottenham Hotspur are based) earn a starting salary of £21,388. So, Real Madrid could have purchased 3,974 nurses for a year; or 397 nurses for 10 years.
Doctors in London earn on average £60,000. Real Madrid could have purchased 1,416 doctors for a year; or 141 doctors for 10 years.
In London a pint of bargain ale costs £3.60. Real Madrid could have purchased 23,611,111 pints; a million pints for each of the 23 members of the Real Madrid squad. Or if you wanted the whole country to join in the whole population of Spain (46,818,216) could have had half a pint to celebrate something.
The price of gold is £788.74 per ounce. Real Madrid could have purchased 107,766.8 ounces of gold. Gareth Bale weighs 74 Kilos (2,610.27 ounces), so they could have had 41 gold statues of Gareth Bale made.
The average property price in London is £514,000. Real Madrid could have purchased 165 homes in the London area.
There are approximately 6,437 homeless people in London. Real Madrid could have given each one £13,204.90 each. More than enough to give each one a new start.
Heroin is selling at £56,000 per kilogram in London. So, Real Madrid could have purchased 1,517.85 kilograms. Travel to the Republic of Georgia, supposedly the most expensive place to buy heroin, sell all of it and make enough to buy 5 Gareth Bales.
Although transporting over 1,500 kilograms of heroin will most likely end in a prison term, so best avoided.
And as I wrote this there was some news on the TV, in the background, saying that the figure £200,000,000 is being thrown around for Lionel Messi. So take all the figures and times them by 2.35. As an example you can now get 9,338 nurses for a year.
I'm pretty sure Spain needs nurses, doctors, and places for homeless people more than an overpriced footballer that is being paid to do what most school kids do each week for their school for free.
Just a thought.
Ever watch some advert for some wonder pill that will cure everything and then see the side effects are worse than the original illness.
Antidepressants are the classic case. Every single advert trying to push their product to cure depression lists suicide as a possible side effect. I have no clue how the hell that even works, does it mean you can kill yourself and die happy? Who in their right mind (sorry, that pun was not intended it just happened) would want to get rid of depression to replace it with suicidal tendencies?
And it gets worse. There is a drug called Propecia, that is used for reversing male hair-loss. So what is the worse that can happen? Maybe it doesn't work and you stay bald. No, that would actually be a great outcome. One of the possible side effects is an affliction called 'gynecomestia'. No clue what that is? It is the term for men developing fully functional mammary glands (the proper name for breasts) that lactate. So you may have a full head of hair, but should you ever go to prison you could be one of the most popular inmates.
If you have restless leg syndrome then you could be tempted to take a prescription of Mirapex. But if you do keep an eye on your bank account balance. Not because the medicine is so expensive but because taking Mirapex has been known to cause people to start compulsively gamble. Your legs may be still as you sleep at night but you won't get much sleep as you fall deeper and deeper in debt while you gamble.
So, if you started with restless leg syndrome, and took Mirapex you could end up with a gambling problem that could lead to depression. For the depression you take any one of the SSRI antidepressants that leads to suicidal thoughts. This results in more and more worry and you start to lose hair. You start taking Propecia and before you know it you have fully functioning, lactating, breasts.
Maybe the restless leg syndrome wasn't so bad after all.