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H teu O

It’s a fairly known fact that the adult human body is typically 60% made out of water.

Hence comes the common sense that if you happen to become dehydrated, you have to drink water to get well. It’s an instinctual event, this is why our body developed the essential mechanism of thirst.

NHS health guidelines state clearly that drinking water helps avoid dehydration, and that people should drink at least 2.2 litres per day (half a gallon). The European Food Standards Authority* EFSA acknowledges that “water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions” and “water contributes to the maintenance of normal thermoregulation (body temperature)”

All fair, well and logical so far eh? No need to dwell on this at all really. Water is essential for our well being and prevents us becoming dehydrated.

Simple.

Logical.

Nothing to see here – move along……..

But wait, here is the European Food Standards Authority* and they’re taking another look.

They’ve just completed a three year study and found that water does not prevent dehydration, and as such bottled water manufactures should not advertise any statements on labels or during campaigns that claims it does.

So just to recap, the European Food Standards Authority has spent three years deliberating on whether water prevents dehydration.

They’ve found that it doesn’t.

And if you say it does you risk two years in prison.

Good that the normal work of the EU, wasting thousands of euros on completely useless nonsense safeguarding the public, can continue while the continent’s economy collapses.

Thanks to ZME Science

Elephants in Space

AnElephantCant stay earthbound for ever
He has dreams of one day travelling through space
Just like an astronaut
Whether he can go fast or not
The thought leaves a smile on this elephant’s face

There is an expedition to land on the Red Planet
AnElephant isn’t sure if he’d go so far or not
But he’ll give it a try
He will fly through the sky
With the prospect of becoming a Marsonaut
He has ambitions of being a spaceman
He wants to cruise down the great Milky Way
Chocolate bar in his pocket
To munch in his rocket
Because a Mars helps you work rest and play
He’ll see millions of things of great interest
Like black holes and meteor storms
He’ll spot Jedi and Klingons
Bypass-building Vogons
And he might even meet Major Tom
He’ll go out and claim planets for Scotland
With a giant Lion Rampant as plain as
The nose on his face
He’ll explore outer space
And plant it on Saturn or Uranus
But his Sputnik must be totally reliable
Because on Jupiter you can’t jump a train
You can’t find a taxi
To go south of the galaxy
And it’s a long cold walk home in the rain
On his return he will have lots of stories
Where he has been and what he has seen then
A couple of lite beers
To pass the light years
With his friends the Marsvellous wee green men

Ptarmigan Ridge

I spotted this cracking photo at ‘Explore Loch Lomond’s’ Facebook Page

It was taken by Mark Wilson from Ptarmigan Ridge, Ben Lomond.

Why Women Can’t Sleep

Have you ever wondered how a woman’s brain works? Well, it’s finally explained here in one, easy-to-understand illustration (Click on the picture):

Every one of those little balls is a thought about something that needs to be done, a decision or a problem that needs to be solved.

A man has only 2 balls. They consume all his thoughts, and he sleeps like a baby.

Thanks John O’Hare for elucidating.

Weir’s Way

I see that Euromillions winners Colin and Chris Weir have donated £1,000,000 to the SNP for use in the forthcoming independence referendum. This comes a month after poet Edwin Morgan left a similar amount in his will to the party.

And of course there was the half million donated by Christian fundamentalist fruitcake respected businessman and moral campaigner, Brian Soutar.

The Nats are in the money and they are clearly riding the crest of the Zeitgeist.

I’m just conscious that donations and investments usually come with terms and conditions….

The Last Resort?

This morning’s Telegraph reports:

“A total of £36.2bn was wiped off the UK’s biggest companies on Monday as the FTSE 100 dropped 2.6pc. European markets lost more. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 3.2pc; the French CAC and German Dax sank 3.4pc each; Italy’s MIB dropped 4.7pc and Spain’s Ibex fell 3.5pc. US markets also fell, with the deadlock on plans to cut America’s debt driving the declines. The costs of insuring Spanish, Italy and French debt rose.

Investors were shocked by the rapid downward revision of the Bundesbank’s prediction: five months ago, the central bank forecast growth of 1.8pc in 2012. On Monday in its monthly bulletin it said Europe’s powerhouse economy could suffer “pronounced” weakness if the eurozone debt crisis continued.”

Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister who led Spain into the euro in 1999, said the European Central Bank (ECB) may have to stand in as lender of last resort “to avoid a disaster”.”

Now this set me thinking. Until now my image of a ‘lender of last resort’ was something like this:

And not this:

However as a lender of last resort, the principle will be roughly the same. So you take your gold or your iPod (or your national debt) along to the pawnbroker.

You remember fondly buying the iPod on a special offer at Asda for £180. The pawnbroker looks at it and has a sharp intake of breath. “Hmmmmm fourth one of these I’ve seen this morning and the model’s now been updated – I can give you a tenner”.

So you decide to hang on to your treasured possession meantime and thank the pawnbroker. You say you’ll “think about it”.

“Don’t think about it for too long – it’ll be £7.50 tomorrow” says the pawnbroker with a cheery smile as you leave.

So here we stand on the verge of a repeat of the 2008 crisis, but this time with added raspberry sauce, sprinkles and a flake.

Most of the various governments borrowings have been made with a notional value of their reserves which no longer apply.

No-one, not even the most qualified financial expert, would dare predict what is going to happen next.

We’re doomed.

Glasgow

Was in town yesterday.

I referred here and here on how the Duke of Wellington is Glasgow’s main, although by no means only statuesque repository for traffic cones.

Council workmen used to regularly remove them but I don’t think I have passed the spot for years without a cone or some other adornment being part of the memorial.

Christmas was in full swing.

St Enoch's Centre

I even went to Princes Square where the ‘aspirational’ shopper goes

The tree at Princes Square

As a regular at Primark and Matalan, I find myself questioning the sanity of people, apparently quite willingly, handing over £150 for a shirt or £200 for jeans.

Further up Buchanan St is the tardis

I was left wondering if this still serves any operational purpose or if it is maybe now a listed building?

And on the subject of mysteries…..

I spotted this vehicle in Dumbarton High Street the other day

It seems to be a kind of two thirds size VW camper, bedecked in the livery of Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine! It had a life size Scooby Doo soft toy in the passenger seat but there was no sign of any pesky kids.

Maybe Shaggy, Velma and co had popped into Greggs for a steak bake.

What IS a Neutrino?

Is it a cocktail?

A sweetener used in soft drinks and beverages perhaps?

An ethnic sub group?

A new diet?

Actually it is a neutral subatomic particle with a mass close to zero and half-integral spin, rarely reacting with normal matter.

Neutrinos are similar to the more familiar electron, with one crucial difference: neutrinos do not carry electric charge. Because neutrinos are electrically neutral, they are not affected by the electromagnetic forces which act on electrons. Neutrinos are affected only by a “weak” sub-atomic force of much shorter range than electromagnetism, and are therefore able to pass through great distances in matter without being affected by it. If neutrinos have mass, they also interact gravitationally with other massive particles, but gravity is by far the weakest of the four known forces.

Three types of neutrinos are known; there is strong evidence that no additional neutrinos exist, unless their properties are unexpectedly very different from the known types. Each type or “flavor” of neutrino is related to a charged particle (which gives the corresponding neutrino its name). Hence, the “electron neutrino” is associated with the electron, and two other neutrinos are associated with heavier versions of the electron called the muon and the tau (elementary particles are frequently labelled with Greek letters, to confuse the layman).

Ah! isn’t cut and paste a great tool!

I don’t pretend to understand much of what is going on at Cern in Switzerland but in basic terms, it seems that scientists have discovered that if they shoot a beam of neutrinos through 732 km of rock, they travel sixty billionths of a second faster than light.

Sixty billionths of a second is not a long time. For instance the euro can appear to be a stable currency when viewed for sixty billionths of a second. It is precisely the amount of time it takes for one reader of this blog to answer in the affirmative the question “Would you like a dram?”

The full article on this is at the BBC who also broadcast a layman’s explanation here

This pictorial diagram explains matters in a fairly concise method.

So this apparently opens up the possibility of time travel.

Aha! but surely if time travel is to be discovered sometime in the future, someone would have come back from the future to explain how they did it!

So if time travel were possible, what time or age would BLFP readers like to revisit?

Fatty Foulke

When I mention fat goalkeepers you could be thinking Andy Goram or Neville Southall but this guy William “Fatty” Foulke literally took the biscuit!

He played four first-class matches for Derbyshire County Cricket Club in the 1900 season, but is remembered primarily as a goalkeeper for Sheffield United although he also played for Chelsea and Bradford City. He also won a single international cap for England in 1897 against Wales.

After being discovered playing for village side Blackwell in a Derbyshire Cup tie at Ilkeston Town, Foulke made his debut for Sheffield United against West Bromwich Albion on 1 September 1894 and led the team to three FA Cup finals (winning two) and a League Championship.

At the end of the first match in the 1902 Cup Final Foulke protested to the officials that Southampton’s equalizing goal should not have been allowed. Foulke left his dressing room unclothed and pursued the referee, Tom Kirkham, who took refuge in a broom cupboard. Foulke had to be stopped by a group of F.A. officials from wrenching the cupboard door from its hinges to reach the hapless referee. In the replay, Sheffield United won 2–1, with Foulke being required to make several saves to keep United in the match. He was also in goal for United when they suffered an FA Cup exit to Second Division Burslem Port Vale in 1898.

Here he is, apparently wearing the same strip as the outfield players, in the 1901 FA Cup Final:

He then moved to Chelsea for a fee of £50 and was made club captain. Foulke by now was remarkably temperamental. If he thought his defenders were not trying hard enough, he would walk off the field. Opposing forwards who incurred his displeasure would be picked up and thrown bodily into his goal. He was, however, a great crowd puller, and Chelsea decided to exploit this. To draw even more attention to his size, they placed two small boys behind his goal in an effort to distract the opposition even more. The boys would sometimes run and return the ball when it went out of play, and quite by accident, ball boys came into being.Foulke stayed for just one season before moving to his final club, Bradford City.

Foulke died in 1916 and was buried in Burngreave cemetery, Sheffield. His death certificate gives “cirrhosis” as the major cause of death.The stories of pneumonia caught whilst earning pin money at a “beat the goalie” booth on Blackpool Sands seem to be without foundation.

This quite remarkable Mitchell and Kenyon film from 1902 briefly features Foulke but is worth the watching for the superb quality.

And I couldn’t watch those old clips without recalling possibly my favourite all time TV comedy sketch.

Thanks to Ken Fitlike for the inspiration and Wikipedia for the information.

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