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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Love Babies, But I Couldn't Eat A Whole One

One out of a notorious pair of brothers in Pakistan, one Mohammed Arif, has been arrested for eating a (according to some reports) new-born baby, but not the whole baby as its head was discovered in their house after reports of a stench coming from their property. Perhaps they should have curried it.

Another report (in the New York Daily News) says that the corpse, or what was left of it, was that of a three-year-old boy and that it had, indeed, been curried, although they confuse matters slightly by saying that "Ali [I think they mean Arif] admitted to boiling the toddler's body into a curry along with his brother, Farman Ali, whom police were still looking for." Surely, they should be looking for the brother in the curry pot. Maybe among the sticky bits at the bottom.

Still other reports state that this was just the tip of the ice-berg (or meat mountain, if you prefer) and that the brothers had already done two years of porridge for digging up and eating over 100 corpses. (Legal note: cannibalism itself is not a crime in Pakistan. The brothers have been previously convicted, and now charged again, with grave desecration and public order offences.) It looks like more time in the joint awaits them.

And here are the two brothers, pictured last time they were in stir, in case you are wondering what a high protein diet can do for you.

Farman Ali and Arif Ali, two brothers previously convicted of cannibalism, are taken to a local court after they were arrested again for cannibalism, in Sargodha, Pakistan

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bunnie Tyler

I heard on RTHK's news the other day that the missing Malaysian aeroplane "disappeared off the west coast of Australia". Errr ... no. It disappeared about 40 minutes north of KL which, last time I looked, was not off the west coast of Australia. The plane might be found off the west coast of Australia, but that is a slightly different matter.

But, moving from careless journalism to general not caring, what do we find? Hong Kong's very own Tony Tyler in the unexpected and surely uncomfortable position of having a sinecure (awarded after many years of taking Cathay' Pacific's share price absolutely nowhere) turn into a job requiring some action.

And what else do we find from this lifetime wallower in the corporate gravy train - yes, prevarication, flannel and obfuscation. Here is his response to the problems exposed by the missing aircraft.

"While constant downloads of all available information from every flight would be too tough to monitor and analyse, it should be possible to find a way of targeting critical data subsets". This is a classic straw man argument followed by jargon. No one is saying that all data needs to be monitored and analysed, but this is being used as a reason for not transmitting the data at all. And note how Tyler switches from everyday language ("too tough") when saying what he doesn't want to do to jargon when he talks about what he might get done. "Targeting critical data subsets", FFS!

“We make safety our top priority, but on very rare occasions tragedy strikes. We are all saddened by this event.”

Sad Tyler is "hopeful" that finding the missing plane "will allow us to transition from the current speculation to a full investigation.” In other words, not finding it will be an excuse for doing nothing. And he hopes that the investigation could be finished by the end of this year (only 9 months away when he said that) as it is "urgent". I'd hate to see what happens if something is not urgent.

But we have already seen that. Tyler also said it was time to “accelerate” ideas arising from AF447. Let me see, when was the Air France tragedy, which doubtless also saddened Topless Tone? Only 5 years ago? Oh, a mere drop in the ocean of eternity. The cynical might look even further back, to the September 11, 2001 hijackings, which highlighted how the system (of being able to turn off transponders) could backfire. The hijackers of three of the four commandeered aircraft “hid” the planes by turning off their transponders. So a mere 13 years have passed since the value of continuous contact with aircraft has been demonstrated.

“Our goal is to find out what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” says Tony. Yes, just like you did 5 and 13 years ago. Not.

But even though safety is the "top priority", and even though Tony is sad, he said in Abu Dhabi at the Global Aerospace Summit that the cost of tracking would have to be examined in any decision. He said profit margins for the global industry this year were still very narrow (perhaps not as narrow as they were at Cathay after Tyler's foray into the hedging markets, eh, Tony?), and he expected them to be around $5.65 (£3.40) per passenger. “Clearly, cost is one of the issues that will have to be considered when we are looking at what to do about it. And we have to make sure that what we do is something the airlines can afford.”

Ay, there's the rub. Luckily, the cost of finding NH370 MH370 is being borne by Australian and other tax payers. And, with a bit of luck, they still won't find the plane and Tony can go back to sleep.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Who's Judas And Why Are We Subbing Him?

Pootling around on Saturday, I heard on the radio Hong Kong's Commissioner of Police, Tsang Wai-hun, commenting on the current case of the Indonesian helper, who has been on Hong Kong TV screens for the past week lying apparently injured, allegedly as a result of physical abuse by her Hong Kong employer, in hospital back in Indonesia.

Mr. Tsang commented that inquiries with the Indonesian authorities and with the "victim" had gone well but then stated that he could say more as the matter was sub judice (or "sub Judas" as he put it).

Setting aside Mr. Tsang's unfamiliarity as a senior police officer with the pronunciation of a basic legal term, is he not aware that in a criminal case both actus reus and mens rea (or to make it simple for Mr. Tsang, fact and intent) have to be proved.

If the helper is already established as the victim, then Mr. Tsang seems to have pre-empted the courts' right to enquire into whether there was a crime in the first place.

What's next, Mr. Tsang? Predetermination of guilt?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rotor Ruin

A US Air Force helicopter has crashed in Norfolk. The BBC reports that it was "flying extremely low" before crashing.

Isn't that often the way with flying accidents?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fat Of The Land

A UK politician has said that people should no longer use expressions which are synonyms of the word "fat", even those who are using them about themselves, in the great British tradition of laughing at oneself before everyone else does it anyway. (Or is it so that you are then free to make derogatory comments about others?)

fat, fat talk, minister, muffin top, jo swinson, jo swinson, jo, swinson, equalities,
The politician, one Jo Swinson, one will note from her photo, adopts the classic photo pose of looking up to avoid her chins multiplying out, although her original chin does the job of three. It reminds me of how "Princess" Diana, the latter day Whore of Babylon, used to face down (but look upwards in that wounded puppy sort of way) so her ginormous conk wouldn't look so big. Pity she couldn't do anything about her great big navvy hands.

So, “Muffin tops, thunder thighs, cankles (fat ankles) – fat talk and body shaming too easily become a habit and an expectation” and are therefore to be avoided, along with British self-deprecation of all kinds, according to Jo "Chinson". But is it all right to just say someone is a fat cnut, I wonder?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Methinks They Do Protest Too Much

I am having difficulty with this story from the SCuMPost. Headlined "Police with shields block mainland Chinese from Causeway Bay firm after rip-off claims", at first sight it looks like either a standard Hong Kong rip-off or a tale of aggressive and lawless Mainlanders. Which is it? Or is it neither, or both?
DCHL, a well-established group purveying the usual over-priced "luxury" wares but which recently got some publicity for alleged infringement of the trademarks of a European company whose goods it had previously distributed, is accused of ... err ... overcharging Mainlanders for so-called luxury goods. Where it gets complicated is that it is not just a case of charging a lot of money for something shiny or with extra diamonds stuck onto it, as every "luxury" brand seems to do nowadays in order to satisfy PRC perceptions of what is tasteful. The gullible tat-buyers, from Guangdong and Hunan provinces, actually wanted to pass the stuff on to their compatriots. In other words, they wanted to make a turn by charging Mainlanders for so-called luxury goods. Does the expression "hoist by one's own petard" come to mind?
Imagine their surprise when they found out that the French-sounding brand names, such as ED Pinaud, that they had assumed were well known because, well, just because they sounded French, actually just sounded French. And so they exercised their democratic right, outside the Mainland, to protest.
But what are they really protesting about? Yes, they are protesting that they didn't do their research and so paid more for something than it was worth. Goodness, if only I could use that argument to get back all the money I spent on second hand cars in my youth!
10bfd9736bc0277123c6102b81ff0d70.jpgBut they are also protesting because they, citizens and residents of the Mainland where pyramid selling is illegal, were able in Hong Kong to buy goods for the purpose of engaging in pyramid selling. You see, it is Hong Kong's fault that they had the opportunity to break their own laws at the same time as buying stuff without knowing what they were buying. Life is so unfair.
Their logic seems to extend also to their maths. One of the protestors said that the group of 150 had lost from $80k to $3m per person, "adding up to" HK$10 million between them.
OK, take out the biggest loss of $3m, leaving $7m between the remaining 149. That's an average of $47k, little more than half of the lowest claimed loss. And the losses claimed are based on the prices a pawnbroker was prepared to pay them. Yes, if I wanted a fair value put on something, a pawnbroker is exactly who I'd go and see. Or perhaps pawnbrokers were these gullible buyers' target market?
(Mind you, that one in pink looks quite doable.)
But look on the bright side, suckers. Think how much Chinese import duty and VAT you will save on these goods. (You were going to declare them, weren't you?) Not to mention the lower IIT you will pay. And at least ED Pinaud is a world famous brand now!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Unfergettable (Geddit?)

So, "Sir" Alex Ferguson has written a book about himself, telling the world about all the slights he suffered while manager of Manchester United and how he was right in every case, just as Man U should have won every title for 26 years, if not for some appalling refereeing decisions.

Perhaps the expression "let sleeping dogs lie" should have come to mind before he published it as he has at best simply shown how much everyone got under his skin during his career. As a result of the book he has been slapped down firmly by several of the people he wrote about and has been accused of being unprofessional for breaching dressing room confidentiality.

It will never have occurred to him that there is some sort of conflict of interest in rushing out such a self-serving book (in time for Christmas) while his successor is struggling with the poor squad he has been left. Any more than he would have thought that suing a fellow director of MU when he was still manager might be exactly the sort of sideshow which he accused David Beckham of creating. The hypocrisy and arrogance of the man are staggering.

Alex Ferguson holding up his book

Just in case there is any doubt, Fergie is shown as the author and the title is given as "My Autobiography". Well, who else's would it have been, if he wrote it, the daft Jock? Yes, it's by you, about you, and to line your own ckufing pockets. You, you, you. We get it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over

 A woman rejoicing in the appropriate name of Sara Crewe (geddit? SCrewe, screw. Oh, never mind.) has caused much hilarity and probably a fair bit of embarrassment to her husband, perhaps even to herself, by letting the world know about their "penis beaker". Addressing the eternal problem of post-coital mess, the proverbial wet patch, the maps of Africa, she asked the world on a website called Mumset whether it was normal for her hubby to have a glass of water (in Ulie's case, possibly an egg cup or thimble) next to the bed in which to "dunk" (Screwe's words) his todger after making the two-backed monster, before wiping off with tissues.

Apparently, her hubby can't be bothered to quickly hose down, although the wife does, so he dips his old fellow in the water, wipes off with the tissues and goes to sleep. (To be fair to him, most people probably just go to sleep.)

This raises all sorts of technical questions. Given that Mr. Crewe's member should, as the Chinese say (though I don't think they were referring specifically to Mr. Crewe), be at the half past six position when in repose, does he tip the beaker to accommodate this? If so, is the beaker less than full to start with (or even less than less than full, to both allow for tipping and avoid displacement)? Is the water warm and, if so, does he (or she) allow for cooling in the time between pouring and ejaculation? How long do they allow for this - 2 minutes, twenty? (After all, a cold dunk would be a bit of a shock.)
One Mumset reader asked what happened if there was a middle of the night shag and presumably a second cup at the ready, to which our Sara replied that having a 4-month old meant that she needed her sleep and this was not going to happen. So that's your lot, mate, and if hubby has a potential dawn breaker he is just going to have to grab for any remaining tissues and the baby oil.

Clearly, images of a cup of cummy water and a pile of crusty tissues may be distasteful to my more fastidious reader and I hope he or she can get them out of their mind before too long. Unless they want to unburden themselves of their own practices on this site.

(Picture stolen from Jean Barker, because I couldn't be arsed to take my own photo. No need to thank me for the traffic, Jeanie.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Where's The Beef?

I had breakfast in one of those Simply Life places the other day - well, it makes a change from the Mandarin or the Four Seasons (but isn't the "Four" redundant once you say "the"?).

I had the all-day breakfast, which means that it is available all day, not that it takes (like in some places) all day to arrive. Imagine my surprise when I found that the scrambled egg was made only of egg whites. To put it another way, it was egg, but effectively without the ckufing egg. What's that all about?

It can't be a health thing, as the breakfast includes tasty therefore unhealthy stuff like bacon and sausage. No, it must surely be a way of charging customers twice for the same egg. I'm not sure where the other half of the egg goes - maybe into egg-white-free omelettes - but, sure as eggs are eggs, it must be going somewhere billable.

FFS! Whatever next? Taste-free Cantonese food? Hang on a minute ....