More ‘Expert’ twaddle

By way of an intermission in my current Musical A-Z, I had cause to once again consider the information provided by ‘experts’ today.

I caught the news at 12:30. Just after, the weatherman appeared. Mature, benign, and smilingly confident. He waved his hand around a back-projected map of Britain for a while, before making this definite statement. ” Once the cloud clears from the east, counties like Norfolk* can expect a sunny afternoon, with temperatures close to the seasonal norm, around 21 degrees.” That was music to my ears.
(* Where I live)

I informed Ollie that we would be going out early for our walk, to enjoy that seasonal warmth of around 70 F, and the sun that would accompany it. No need to lug an umbrella around, or to wear uncomfortable waterproofs. We set off at 12:45, ignoring the grey skies that I had been reliably informed would soon be a thing of the past. Ten minutes later, and I felt a heavy raindrop hit the back of my hand.

What followed was no light summer shower. This was heavy rain, serious in its intent to soak us. I was soon wet through, and not long after that, sodden. I could only stand it for 70 minutes, driven on by the need to get exercise for Ollie, but uncomfortable in wet clothes, and unable to see through the water running down my face. I got home, and discarded all the wet gear. Even the boxer shorts had to come off.

I then had time to ponder on the nonsense that is weather forecasting. So, BBC, how can you get it so wrong, so often? How useless does a weather forecaster have to be, before he or she is just told to leave? Can you imagine a restaurant that served the wrong food five times out of six? Or a car mechanic who repaired the wrong part every time? Or perhaps a doctor who operated on the wrong person, at least four times a week? How long would they all last? Not long, we know the answer to that.

But inaccurate guesswork, posing as so-called weather-forecasting has been tolerated for my lifetime. These people, who cannot patently tell their own arses from their elbows, parade on to our screens every day, and tell us what is going to be happening. They use scientific charts, serious-looking maps, and lots of technical terms. They even call themselves meteorologists. Experts, undoubtedly. Buffoons, undeniably. When they go back to their colleagues in the office, or staff room, they must really piss themselves laughing at how seriously we take their expert predictions. Waving their hands in front of a map, and saying the first thing that comes into their heads.

I would like to get them all, and tie them to a post in the middle of Hoe Rough. Let them experience the reality of their expert predictions for once.

And I have a suggestion for the BBC. Instead of these expensive ‘experts’, just put a card up on the screen, with two words on it. NO IDEA.

Expert medical nonsense

I have just watched a detailed report on the BBC. It appears that a huge study, undertaken in America and Europe, has established that drinking at least three cups of coffee every day will make you live longer. Over 18% of those male coffee drinkers lived longer than those who never drank any coffee, and for women, the figure was lower, at 8%. And no need to go caffeine-free either. It makes no difference, according to these medical geniuses.

Not that long ago, other medical experts considered that coffee was little better than poison. They urged us to stop drinking it, or face medical problems, and early death. Now they have changed their minds. Too late for everyone who gave it up though, and now risk dying earlier than the heavy coffee drinkers who ignored that advice.

I have lived long enough to see many such ‘expert studies’ bandied about on the news, and in the press.
I am old enough to remember when some doctors urged people to smoke, as it was ‘good for the lungs’. As I child, I was constantly fed carrots, to supposedly improve my sight. Then in later life, I made sure to take a lot of vitamin C, because the experts told us it was essential. They just forgot to mention that it would also destroy my stomach lining, and leave me with decades of acid indigestion.

Eat lots of fruit! Five a day, fruit and vegetables. That might stop you getting cancer. Or might not. Drink lots of orange juice, or other fruit juices. Much healthier than fizzy drinks. They forgot about fruit acids and sugars ruining your teeth though. I’m sure that particular pearl of wisdom was started by dentists.

What about eggs? They give you high cholesterol, apparently. Very bad for your arteries, so stop eating them. Now! Oh, hang on, they are not that bad for you at all really, as the cholesterol in eggs is good for you, as opposed to being bad cholesterol. But it doesn’t matter either way, as you now have Statins to combat cholesterol. So, eat what you want within reason, as long as you take lots of Statins for the rest of your life. But they forgot to tell me something else. Statins can also destroy muscle tissue, which migrates into your liver, and causes problems for life. And that muscle doesn’t grow back, so forget doing any heavy work. Forever.

Drink some red wine every day. It’s very good for you, according to the experts. It helps with blood flow, reduces the risk of strokes, and it also tastes good! Hold on a minute! Not THAT much red wine. That much is bad for you, and will enlarge your liver, cause high blood pressure, and make blood clotting harder.

Sugar is very bad for you. It provides short-term energy, affects your teeth, and can make you obese. Cut out the sugar. All of it! Use artificial sweeteners instead. According to the experts, Aspartame is a good alternative, so try that. Be careful though, because different experts will tell you that it will give you bladder cancer. So, once you have died from that, it doesn’t really matter how fat you might have got, or how many times you needed some dental work.

I am so sick and tired of ‘experts’. Fed up with their pointless pontifications, their ‘sponsored studies’, their pompous pronouncements. Listening to them harp on about their theories is like watching a tennis match, with my head swivelling from side to side, trying to make out which side is actually doing something right. You can be certain of something though.

What is good for you today, will surely be bad for you tomorrow.

My Movie Alphabet! An A-Z Of My Favorite – And Most Offbeat Films!

My good blogging friend, John, compiled his own favourite A-Z top picks. Enjoy his unusual taste, and his own ‘insider’ thoughts on the film industry.


My Movie Alphabet!

Yes, the poster art says “Vol. 2” – because I missed the first “go-round” on this fun exercise in cinema! A movie for every letter of the alphabet – who can refuse?

For many of us, this is our great escape – a movie auditorium where magic happens – I have seen so many incredible films in my life…oh, outside too!

I love this idea – thanks to “MettelRaySe7en” for doing this, here is the link to see how you can participate:

Let’s get started with a film that, while fictional, captured one of the most exciting and influential pop culture changes in our nation’s history!

A – A Hard Day’s Night

Hard to imagine how culturally significant “Beatlemania” was in today’s social media world, but this film captures the pop culture impact of The Fab Four through a hilariously droll, fictional film the band starred…

View original post 1,539 more words

Car repairs, and some photos

The Dereham Town sign, spanning the narrow High Street. It features the hunting of deer, once popular here, and shows the date when the town was founded, 654 A.D.

All photos can be enlarged for detail.

I had to take my car in today. It was to have its annual compulsory inspection, as well as a full service. Add the need for a new water pump and cam-belt, and I was facing a hefty bill. I got more bad news. The back axle needed attention in order to pass the inspection. The estimate was beginning to come close to the resale value of the car, which is now ten years old. As a new replacement would cost in the region of £26,000, I told them to go ahead with the work, at close to £900.

After that shock, I decided to do something more cheerful, and took a few photos in the oldest part of the town of Dereham, before clearing my head with a walk home of almost four miles.
Staying positive, in 2017. Just about…

The oldest church in town, St Nicholas. This church was founded in 654, and has remained unaltered since the 16th century. It is distinctive in having a separate bell-tower.

The bell tower, or ‘Campanile’

Next to the church is Dereham’s oldest remaining house. Built in 1502, (Roman numerals on the outside show the date) Bishop Bonner’s Cottage was named after that man, and is now used as the small town museum. It was once three separate cottages.

A brief look at the more interesting parts of our local market town.

Celebrate The Day

Do you remember back when we only had a few ‘Days’? There was Christmas Day of course, followed by Boxing Day, all after the sombre mood of Armistice Day, in November. My own Birthday, always a cause for celebration, then Mother’s Day, followed by Father’s Day. Good Friday qualified as a Day, as did Easter Monday, and Bank Holiday Monday, in August. That was about it at the time.

Then I noticed that they were trying to sneak in ‘Grandparents’ Day’, from America. I avoided that one, as after all, enough was enough. But it was only the start of an avalanche of ‘Days’. As I got older, I read about International Women’s Day, and May Day, to celebrate workers around the world. I thought, ‘OK, that’s enough.’ I was wrong. The Internet arrived.

There was an explosion of ‘Days’, accelerated by the world-wide web. Most of these were actually good ideas, and raised money for charity. Aids Awareness Day, Mental Health Day, Alzheimer’s Day, and so on. You get the idea. Support Our Troops Day, (once we started to become involved in foreign conflicts once again) was one of many more that were instigated to embrace good causes.

But then it got out of hand. Circulated via social media, we soon had such things as ‘Stroke Your Pet Day’, (who doesn’t stroke their pet?) ‘Adopt A Hedgehog Day’, ‘Throw a Sickie Day’, ‘Cuddle A Vagrant Day’, and many more too numerous to mention. Once I started blogging, I noticed a trend towards sub-division of days. ‘Mental Health Awareness Day’ was no longer enough. That had to be split into ‘Bipolar Day’, ‘ADHD Day’, ‘Manic Depression Day’, and on and on. Animal days followed suit, with ‘Save A Tiger Day’, ‘Adopt A Panda Day’, and as many as you can possibly imagine.

Then came Climate Change, and Recycling. Soon, I was inundated with yet more days. ‘Save The Icecaps Day’, ‘Polar Bear Day’, ‘Conserve Your Local Wetland Day’ and possibly hundreds more. ‘Ride Your Bike To Work Day’, ‘Do Fifty Press-ups Day’, my head was spinning. If I thought that was it, I was sadly mistaken. Think of a day, any day you like, and it is taken by something. It will be ‘—–Day’, be certain of that. ‘Poetry Day’, ‘Literature Day’, ‘Singing Day’, and ‘Feed Someone Day’. They have all been thought of. Believe me, there is nothing left. Days have had to be claimed by more than one of those ‘—– Day’, and they are now competing for attention like pups in a box. (Oh, ‘Adopt A Puppy Day’, I almost forgot.)

When the days were overrun, they migrated into months. ‘World Literacy Month’, ‘World Water Aid Month’, ‘Bake A Cake Month’, and ‘Learn A New Skill Month’. Think of anything, and it has a month, believe me. There are even years of this stuff. ‘City of Culture for —-‘ (year). Good luck with trying to think up 365 things to give the impression that your city is remotely cultural. Not only that, you will be competing with 365 (or 366 in a leap year) other things that the ‘world’ is celebrating, alongside many months of ‘this and that’ going on all around your cultural ‘hub’.

When will enough ever be enough, I wonder?

My own non-scientific research has discovered that each year is already ‘full’. There are no days left, and these ‘events’ are now sharing days, marching on relentlessly, driven by Facebook, Twitter, and Bloggers. Not only are there far too many, some of them trite in the extreme, but there is just no space left for ‘National Cut Your Pet’s Toenails Day’, or ‘National Stroke A Rabbit Day’. I am worn out, ‘Dayed’ out, and bewildered by the choices on offer.

Something’s got to give, or we are going to need a lot more days.