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Daily Mail Time Traveller

Story location: Home / Blog / news /
17/Oct/2009

Proof that the Daily Mail is stuck in some kind of time warp. Apparently 1966 was only 33 years ago.

It was 33 years ago today...

The rest of the column discusses other events of the year, such as John Lennon claiming The Beatles were more popular than Jesus, and the England winning the World Cup.



A question in today's Daily Mail

Story location: Home / Blog / news /
24/Jul/2009
Q: When Halley's Comet reappeared in 1969, that winter a flu epidemic killed more than 60,000 people in Britain. In 2008 Comet Nostradamus (and others) passed by, and now we face a flu pandemic. Is this mere coincidence, or were the ancients right to fear comets as bad omens and bringers of pestilence? What other natural disasters have been attributed to comets?

An interesting question, and one which is wrong on almost every level. The question's author may be referring to the theory of panspermia, where micro-organisms or disease can be brought to Earth by comets. Unfortunately the question gets pretty much everything else wrong.

Halley's comet did not appear in 1969. It was around in 1910 and again in 1986. I can't find any record of a Comet Nostradamus. There is a bright comet every few years - they aren't that rare so claiming co-incidence doesn't really make sense. Also the Earth passes through comet dust several times per year. The major meteor showers are associated with dust and debris from comets. If comets were all full of germs and pestilence, then there would be major outbreaks several times per year.

At least the questioner didn't claim the world was going to end in 2012.



The Bin Police

Story location: Home / Blog / news /
12/Jun/2007

I remembered reading a news story recently about how local councils plan to introduce 'Bin Police' to enforce strict recycling policies and to stop people from throwing away recyclable material. I was wondering how such a policy could be enforceable when around here, people regularly throw rubbish into our bin. It happened again this morning when someone had moved our bin a few yards down the road and filled it with cardboard.

Funnily enough, when I tried to check a reference for the 'bin police' story, the only mention I could find was the new newspaper where I originally read it, the good old Daily Mail. Now I'm not too sure about the veracity of the story. You can sum up a typical issue of the Mail as follows:

OUTRAGE FOREIGNERS OUTRAGE LABOUR GOVERNMENT OUTRAGE IMMIGRANTS OUTRAGE RESTRICTIVE LAWS OUTRAGE ERRODING CIVIL LIBERTIES OUTRAGE DESTROYING OUR WAY OF LIFE OUTRAGE

displaying a journalistic flair for working itself up in a lather with very little regard for any actual facts. So I think I'll take the story with a pinch of salt.



Another food moron story

Story location: Home / Blog / news /
10/Jun/2007

Good old Mail on Sunday, carrying the baton of outrage... After yesterdays story about people not knowing the origins of foodstuffs, we now get a story about the new 'Whole Foods Market' supermarket which has opened in London. I really wasn't expecting two completely different stories highlighting food ignorance and apathy in Britain.

To test out the new shop, they sent two people along:
Food writer Tom Parker Bowles, and the woman who shot to fame by shoving burgers through the school railings during the Jamie Oliver school dinners campaign. She claims to be championing freedom of choice when she really seems to mean freedom to feed unhealthy crap to their kids, freedom to fail to educate them about healthy food, freedom to encourage bad eating habits which will eventually kill them

There were some good quotes from her in the article. She seemed puzzled as to why more than one cheese existed, having only ever bought cheddar herself:

As for all those goat's cheeses, you must be kidding. Who would want to eat something that smelt of goat?

Hmmm. When even chavs-choice supermarket Asda manages to sell goat's cheese, how can someone who shops at Morrison's be so sceptical of it. I don't think Goat's cheese smells of goat - that's like saying ordinary cheese smells of cow. I don't know if she's been mis-quoted by the paper but when I read that I thought: 'what a moron'.

Further down the article she expressed incredulity that anyone would buy bread with fruit or vegetables in. Has she never heard of a fruit loaf? or bread with onions in? (I was going to mention olive bread but that's obviously foreign muck and she wouldn't be interested in that)

I won't say much about Tom Parker Bowles experience in the shop, suffice to say he seemed to drool over most of the specialist foods and liked the place.



Oh my God, I'm surrounded by stupid people

Story location: Home / Blog / news /
09/Jun/2007

There is a story in today's Daily Mail which reports how most adults have no idea where food comes from. According to the article, adults were asked if they knew whether the ingredients used to produce certain foods could be produced in Britain.

22% of adults didn't realise that sausages and bacon could be made from 'ingredients' produced in Britain.
One third didn't know that the same was true for omelettes. The article didn't elaborate whether they knew that omelettes were made from eggs or not. According to a similar study of children, which was also mentioned in the article, bacon comes from sheep and cows lay eggs.

OK, this was in the Daily Mail which is famous for it's We're going to Hell in a hand cart school of journalism but it's frightening to think that there are so many stupid adults in the country. Actually, a quick stroll around the streets near here would let you know that there are a lot of stupid people around, but even stupid people should know where bacon comes from.



Over 16

Story location: Home / Blog /
28/May/2006

I didn't realise you needed to be over 16 to buy either prawns or the Mail on Sunday. Sainsbury's seems to think so.

over 16

Update: 11/06/06
It's definitely the Mail on Sunday. We bought it again today and it had the same confirmation. We bought alcohol and it had the 'over 18' confirmation above that as well.