Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
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25 April, 2012

Why can somone be worth more dead than alive?

I have already been criticised for this question on Twitter but when has that ever stopped me saying what I think. It is not mean as disrespectful to anyone, if you take it that way that is up to you.

In the London Marathon last weekend thousands of people ran for charity, well  they will tell you that but in the majority of cases the truth will be more that they wanted to run the marathon and decided to get sponsored to do it. I doubt anyone actually thought I have to run this for all the homeless hamsters in the world and if I don't my life is worthless.

Sponsorship is something I have never understood, why would I want to give someone money to go and do something they want to do so that they can give it to a charity. Why not just be honest and tell me that they think I should give money to homeless hamsters or one legged ducks or whatever.

Yet millions of people are not logical, they don't think it strange to give away money for someone to walk the great wall of China, or amble 20miles through the wonderful countryside.

What makes sponsorship even stranger is what happened at the weekend. A woman died while running and because she died hundreds of thousands of pounds has been given to the charity she was running for.
According to one person who slagged me off already  "she gave her life for a charity". No sorry she didn't, she died while she was running and happened to have been sponsored for £500 for the charity. There is a world of difference.

It is terrible that the woman died, and her friends and relatives must be in a terrible state, but none of this explains why thousands of people gave money to the charity she had been sponsored for. What about all the people who ran for equally or more worthy charities, just because they didn't die they get deserve less?

I am not, as one person suggested, being disrespectful to the dead woman, why would I want to be, all I am trying to do is understand why anyone can be worth more dead than alive, why so many think that sending money to a charity does anything relevant to her death and why most of those people had not already given to The Samaritans before.

There is a comment button below, if you have a view please share it.


The Great UK Drought Scam

As I sit with rain lashing against the conservatory roof the rain gauge is showing that we have had another 20 mm of rain  in the last 5 days, taking the total to over 40mm this month so far. I sound a bit weather geek but its only a plastic rain gauge for £5.99 stuck in the garden.

And the point of sharing this information, simple, this area of the UK is officially in DROUGHT.

Hands up anyone who thinks 40mm of rain in a month is a drought, OK and now anyone working for a privatised water company put your hands down. Look no hands.

The most likely reason that the water companies think we are in a drought is because they have all moved their offices to India, with the next reason being that the population of the country has doubled in 80yrs but water towers have been ripped down or sold off, under ground reservoirs have been filled in and built upon and not a single new reservoir has been built.

But, you might say, the environment agency have just been on TV showing a river depth gauge that's showing how low the river is.
That man made depth gauge stuck in the river shows what? We are given an expected depth for April but that is a figure completely made up, is has no relevance other than for someone to say "oh look how low this river is" If you started working out the averages this year then when  the river is 3 metres deep you would be saying the river is very flooded for this time of year.

Nature is nature, it didn't grow a depth gauge and it doesn't have a correct level of water for a river, the river drains the rain away if and when it comes. It is only man that has decided how much water should be in the river at any given time and that is decided by how much the water companies need.

There is no drought in the UK, I have collected 300ltr of water just off of my greenhouse roof and the waterbutts have been overflowing for a week. But there are privatised water companies who have not invested in collection and storage enough to keep up with the massive explosion of population in this country.
They have however put up our bills by an average 6% this month. They didnt say as much about that as they did about hosepipe bans, did they.

16 April, 2012

Professorship in Wrong - And statins kill

An article I read the other day just touched upon something very important.
It said that although people have been told that they need to take statins to reduce their cholesterol scientists are realising that statins are not safe, we don't need to take them and that if you do you are more likely to die from cancer. Great, good one the medical profession.

Eating just 2 apples a day will control your cholesterol level with no side effects, well other than the $26billion industry in the USA alone producing statins might suffer as golden delicious take over. But cholesterol is probably not harmful after all, its all to do with inflammation and not cholesterol.

Your GP won't tell you you don't need them after all because he can't be seen to have been wrong, he has also agreed with a supplier to prescribe their Statins. Go on I dare you to ask a GP "is it true statins are dangerous and no one needs them" I bet you get a " I don't know who told you that but statins are the most important drug since ......."

Back to the point, what was also mentioned is that although someone may be a professor or an "important" person with letters after their name maybe even  published numerous papers or articles on a subject, if they are wrong they are wrong, no matter how many times they write about something.

No matter how clever, anyone can be wrong, the more they write and publish about a theory the less likely they are to firstly to realise they are wrong, and secondly if they do they find they have been wrong they  are very unlikely to stand up and say " hey guys, sorry all the papers I have published in 20yrs are wrong, oops, as you were". The world was once, without question flat remember!

Someone famous once said "a theory maybe taken as fact, but only until another theory comes along".

So next time an eminent person stands up and tells us something is fact say thank you smile and suggest they please contact you again if they change their mind.

Remember, the only information you know for certain is true is what you read here ,and if I find I have been wrong I promise I will tell you.

06 April, 2012

Stuart Turner Pumps

The other week I read an article about how the furniture industry pay for "independent assessors" to turn up when people have a problem, they then write reports saying there is nothing wrong,  I was disgusted that customers are treated this way.
Then I had a problem with a Stuart Turner shower pump and experiences the situation first hand.

Initially I was extremely pleased, when I phoned up their pump assist line to say I had a problem with a pump that is only 16 months old,  the guy took details and within the week an engineer was attending, it all seemed so easy.

I had expected the engineer to come in with a new pump or at least a tool box so I was a little bemused that he only had a clipboard and pen. A pleasant enough chap I showed him to the offending pump and without even looking at it he started ripping off the pipe lagging in the cupboard. Next he asked to go into the loft and on the way up asked "are you off the water tower" , "not a clue" I replied.

He clambered into the loft and lifting the top of the 100 gallon tank there exclaimed that was the problem, my tank fills too slowly, "you have really low pressure downstairs don't you?" " um no, really good actually".

He explained that what was happening was I was running the tank empty taking a shower and causing problems with the pump. I don't think I used that much water, not for a shower!

He proceeded to turn on both showers on full and hot and let them run for 10 mins to prove my tank would empty. After using my days supply of hot and costing me a few quid in water he clambered back into the loft, I could almost hear his disappointment, the tank had only gone down about 5%.

OK so can't blame it on the water the next thing was to start on the pipework, jackpot, look this is 15mm pipe it should be 22mm and oh look another bit of 15mm here too. I could hear the joy in his voice.

He hadn't even looked at the pump and during the whole visit the only time he touched it was to stick one of his company adverts onto it, it was at this point I realised the way it works.
Unless the pump is fitted 100% to a load of details in a booklet that comes with it then even if the pump was manufactured with half its bits missing its not their fault, its an "installation problem".

The guy was possibly a very good plumber/engineer but his only purpose on behalf of Stuart Turner Pumps is to find a get out for their warranty to be void.

I had been told that the pumps are so well made you can "run them with the valves closed" , yet when a section of 15mm pipe is found where they say it should be 22mm in their booklet, not matter what any plumber on earth may say your warranty is void.

"Its usually installation faults that cause the problem" , yes I bet it is, I also bet he didn't have a replacement pump in his car and probably not even a spanner. I can imagine him telling all his mates how in 10yrs of being contracted to Stuart Turner Pumps he hasn't yet not managed to find a reason to void the warranty.

Maybe they do sell thousands of pumps that have no problem, but I wonder how many of the people who have a problem ever manage to get it fixed under warranty. Oh and did I mention a huge call out charge if they don't find a problem with the pump.

The moral of this entry, don't waste money on an expensive pump with 5yrs warranty, go buy something cheap, then when it fails after a few years you can chuck it out and buy another and still be in pocket.

05 April, 2012

Anglian Water Hosepipe Ban is a disgrace!

From today 20 million people in the UK can't use their hoses. Well unless you have a Blue Badge for your car, which for some reason exempts you. Yes really!
It would make sense if every water company in the area was banning hoses but some companies, right in the middle of the "drought area", are happy that they have no need to bring in a ban and see no problem with supply this year.

Our provider is Anglian Water, and they have introduced a ban, yet just 12 miles away the water company there has not.

I bet that if anyone from Anglian was asked about this they would reply along the lines of "the other company covers a far smaller area and fewer customers than Anglian".  So what have Anglian done about this, have they build more reservoirs in the last 30 years, have they improved water capture in this part of the country to make water available for the millions of new housed built around the South East in the last 20 years. NO!

All Anglian water have done to ensure that they provide water for their customers is fix a few pipes, put up the prices and hoped it rains.

Now that we have had a period of dry weather (but didn't it rain loads last summer)  its up to "everyone to play their part and conserve water"
Buy a water butt from Anglian water and you can get one half price, it will still cost you more than 2 from a DIY store which goes to prove that Anglian Water is in the business of making money not providing a service.
Of course I agree water should not be wasted and we are lucky in the UK to be able to turn on a tap and have safe drinking water. But as some companies can manage water storage during this "drought" then it proves beyond any arguments that the companies that are imposing bans are just not good at their jobs.

If you are unhappy with a shop, your electricity/gas supplier or maybe your car mechanic you simply go elsewhere, but with water you are stuck there is no choice, so if like 20 million people you have a company that is just not up to the job its tough. I guess some locals around here are thinking I'm wrong and just look at Abberton they are spending millions on the reservoir, yes they are, its in the middle of Anglian Water area but its not theirs and the water from there doesn't go to the local area.

And what happens if we don't have what Anglian Water call "enough rain", they will impose further restrictions until I guess the taps stop running and we have stand pipes.

If your a share holder dont worry, we wont be seeing a reduction in the daily standing charge so profits are safe.