It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Archive for October, 2014

The usual suspects

Posted by chrisrick13 on October 16, 2014

It is obvious: stand up and be counted

I am concerned about Ebola.  There are a lot of people dying that really should not be.  However the incompetence that the USA has exhibited dealing with its outbreak does show that with limited resources the West African nations that have the disease are making a very good job of some very poor circumstances.

The disease could take a lot of lives before it is contained.  It could take a lot of lives before there is sufficient fear in Europe and the US for a concerted effort to be made to find preventions and cures.  Think back 20 years ago when AIDS was a death sentence with only a short time on death-row.  Now, if you live in the right place, you will be kept alive for a long time.  Long enough for the next medical advance to kick in and preserve your life even longer.  At some point this will be the path for Ebola.

To get some perspective for those of you who, like me, are afraid, in the time that 4,000 have died from Ebola 400,000 have died from Malaria and 600,000 have died from Tuberculosis.  They are diseases with different infection routes.  Ebola if unchecked will double the number of dead every, I don’t know, n weeks.  This is the same as putting a ruler on two points on graph paper and drawing a straight line.  This is a geometric curve but it can only keep on doubling if there is a population for it to double into.  As travel is more and more restricted the disease will be contained to kill most of the populations of where it exists but not beyond.

So it is in every country’s interest to help contain the disease where it exists and to try to find cure/prevention.  I have read of promises of aid by countries where the aid workers have said that they always promise but never produce.  I notice that two countries that always to do seem to promise and produce are there.  I am talking of UK and USA.  It does not matter that it is ultimate self-interest.  Where are the others?

There is one country that has run round putting money into Africa with a vengeance.  Securing resources for its own consumption and gaining favour in those countries.  After having spent billions of dollars can it put a few million into those countries to save some lives?  Of course it can.  Has it done it?  Of course it hasn’t.  Who is it?  Of course it is China.  What else would you expect?

I would mention to the top men in Beijing that they have a large country (and other countries that are not theirs).  They have polluted it with a vengeance.  They have provided toxic and exotic environments that they have just left to…fester.  How long will it be before some harmless virus in one of these environment turns into something highly dangerous to human beings?  At the very least I would be helping other countries so that come the day they might help me.

It is obvious: stand up and be counted as there are few downsides and lots of ups.

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Baa. Baa. Baa.

Posted by chrisrick13 on October 10, 2014

It is obvious: you can do anything you want

I had an odd experience in the cinema this week.  We went to see ‘Walk among the Tombstones’.  The ticket said screen 6 which we went to.  A bit earlier than usual so sat through trailers and adverts.

Then came the tricky part.  Flashed across the screen was a Film rating certificate for ‘Rewrite’.  Then the banner stuff for a film company and then Hugh Grant talking.  After a minute of him talking I said to my wife that this was a bit long for a trailer.  Another 30 seconds and I said that as embarrassing as it was we were in the wrong cinema and had to leave.  I felt a fool creeping out as everyone just sat there.  Some 60+ people.

The one thing that helped was that outside screen 6 another guy joined us looking at his ticket in puzzlement.  I spoke to him and he was sure he was not there to see Rewrite.  We went back to the ticket man and explained our problem.  He went into oh-my-god-mode.  “We don’t have a spare screen to show Tombstones on.  I’ll talk to the manager.  Wednesday night it should be Rewrite.”  I said that it was not a problem and refund easily fixed things for another day.

We ambled back to screen 6.  The manager came running up to the projection room with the ticket guy.  “We’re going to put the right film on.”  I responded with a “which is?”.  He confirmed that it was Tombstones.

Everyone in the cinema was now 15+ minutes into Rewrite – some 60+ people.  I expected a flood of people out the doors going to make a similar complaint to ours about their film being changed after 15 minutes of viewing.

The manager came out the projection room.  “The film is starting.  You can go back in.”

We went in and sat in our seats.  I looked around.  Everyone was just sat as they had been, watching the film.  Nobody said a thing.

It is obvious: you can do anything you want and as long as they are comfortable nobody will say a word

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To boldy go…innit

Posted by chrisrick13 on October 3, 2014

It is obvious: I mean what I say

“‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c'” does not have the same impact when it is more correctly stated as: “‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ in nearly half of all occurrences”.

For years I railed over those upstart colonists using ‘z’ in words where we use ‘s’…until I discovered that the old English usage was a ‘z’ and they are closer to correctness than we might be.

Winston Churchill is famously misquoted as writing “…up with this I shall not put.”, to which I have now added to that long list.  He was annoyed at some editorial interference in his writings, when none was needed, concerned with the placing of prepositions.  (Whatever one of those is.)

Language changes and if enough people adopt the new bits, no matter how incorrect they might be in some grammatical sense, then that is that.  Dinosaurs die out.

What matters to me is that people understand the same thing by the words.  This is my argument about jargon as well.  As long as the people receiving your words understand the same thing as you when you created them then it really does not matter.

One of the ‘errors’ that I see that stands out of every page and screams at me is the split infinitive.  I write them all the time.  But a re-read and I spot them and remove them.  Ugly beasts.  The problem is that I have just discovered that there is nothing wrong with a split infinitive!  Not wild monsters to be captured and shot but cuddly things more suited to a children’s petting corner.

Being right in what you write is something you need to really work hard at.  To finally say “this is right” about something you have written is not easy.

There, that didn’t hurt a bit.

It is obvious: I mean what I say which still gives you little chance of knowing what I mean.

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Can’t be…surely?

Posted by chrisrick13 on October 1, 2014

It is obvious: I promise to give everyone in the country £100

The government will increase the point where tax begins from £10,500 to £12,500 by 2020. Notwithstanding that you pay a tax on your earnings from £1 on up and that is not changed.

I must have it wrong.  With 3% inflation £10,500 becomes £12,537 all on its own in 2020.  So I hope that the figures will be adjusted for inflation…they will be won’t they?

So who is going to hold Mr Cameron to account on this promise in 2020?  Do you think he will still be in politics then?  Will anyone remember this promise if he is?

Easy isn’t it?

It is obvious: I promise to give everyone in the country £100…in 2060

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