December 21, 2009
... but I'm pretty sure that God had something to say about stealing. Again, I'm not religious person, but I seem to remember that there are some sort of rules that were laid out in the Bible. I think there were ten of them. And, unless the knock to the head I took in that car accident last week damaged my brain more than I thought, I'd bet the entirety of my daughter's Christmas presents that one of those ten rules was something about how stealing is bad.
A priest from North Yorkshire has advised his congregation to shoplift if they find themselves in hard times.
Father Tim Jones, the parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda in York, said people should steal from big chains rather than small businesses.
He said society's attitude to those in need "leaves some people little option but crime".
However the Archdeacon of York said: "The Church of England does not advise anyone to shoplift".
North Yorkshire Police described the sermon as "highly irresponsible".
This is a very special kind of UK fail, methinks.
December 16, 2009
My pain meds have made me a little too dopey to do any serious digging for things to blog about. But even in my very loopy state, there was simply no way I could pass up this gem of a story involving global warming, cocaine, and some good old fashioned UK fail:
Law enforcement agencies destroy fragile ecosystems when they target illegal coca plantations, often dropping more chemicals on them from the air.
Environmentalists hope that images of rainforest destruction will make cocaine use as politically incorrect as wearing fur from animals caught in the wild. “Just telling young people that using cocaine is bad doesn’t work,” said John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace.
“You need to change teenage culture and point out that it has all sorts of consequences. Then they start talking about it more loudly and you could get into that fur coat situation.”
The new approach follows evidence that cocaine use is increasing among young people in the UK, partly driven by lower prices.
Some MPs believe the “save the planet” message will also appeal to environmentally conscious middle-class cocaine users.
So, the new British anti-drug campaign is that doing drugs kills the planet. Even your hybrid won't offset your cocaine footprint!
December 15, 2009
December 08, 2009
December 07, 2009
The UK has a mixed economy. That means it's part free market and part government control. On the surface, you look at the average London street and see all the same kind of shops you'd see in, say, New York. The big difference is that, while here in the US, occassionally the FDA or some other regulatory body will step in and say, "Uh, dude, that toy has too much lead," or, "Yo, that diet pill is totally made of crack," in the UK, they can step in and say things like, "The snarky, funny labels on Vitamin Water are illegal because idiots might think they really can make you beat your granny in an arm wrestling match," or, "We have to limit the number of people who fly because they're killing the earth and stuff. Except Prince Charles. He can do whatever he wants in the name of global warming."
If the aviation industry continues to grow unchecked, passenger journeys would increase by 200% in the next 40 years, but that cannot be tolerated because carbon dioxide emitted by carriers in 2050 must not exceed 2005 levels.
"This is a very challenging target," said David Kennedy, the committee's chief executive. "Don't be deceived by the fact that demand can grow. It will have to grow by much less than if we didn't care about carbon dioxide."
Today's report says ministers must consider measures including: a carbon tax on passengers; limits on runway expansion; and restrictions on flights at existing airports. Passenger growth will have to be limited to 60% over the next four decades, compared with an increase of 130% since 1990, allowing the UK a maximum of around 370 million air travellers by 2050, from 230 million currently.
"Demand can increase, but only in a limited way," added Kennedy. The committee forecasts that unchecked airline growth would shatter emissions targets, increasing passenger numbers by 200% to 695 million per year.
Asked if fares will also have to increase in order to choke off demand, Kennedy said: "The price has to cut back some of the growth, so you do have to have rising prices."
Even with an anticipated carbon price of £200 per tonne passed on to fares, the creation of a high-speed rail network, and more use of video-conferencing to cut business travel, the committee warns that more action such as constraining airport use might be needed in order to stop the population from flying. The report singles out a "carbon tax" as one of the solutions, which would be levied on top of the £200 per tonne carbon price.
"The policy instruments which could achieve this restraint include a carbon tax on top of the forecast carbon price, limits on further airport expansion, and restrictions on the allocation of takeoff and landing slots even where airports have the theoretical capacity available," the report says.
December 04, 2009
You better hope that next time you see a UFO, you're nowhere in the U.K., because there'll be no one to call any more. In a "cost-saving measure", the British government will be closing down its UFO phone and e-mail tip-lines, saving the government approximately $73,000 (US) a year. Panicked Doctor Who fans across the country react:
"I think it's a stupid thing to do because this could create a threat to national security," said Roy Lake, founder of the London UFO Studies group. "We take this quite seriously. We know that sometimes things can be explained as natural phenomena but there could be that one thing that's not. I think the government knows damn well what's going on up there and they're covering it up."
[ ... ]
Nick Pope, who helped the British military with its UFO investigations for many years, said the decision is wrongheaded.
"It's a great shame," he said. "This is the end of over 50 years of research and investigation into one of the biggest mysteries of our time."
[ ... ]
London event organizer Rachel Keane, 25, said the hotline was important.
"Who's to say there is nothing out there?" she said. "If there is, it's a bit scary that there is no one to call to inform them of what you've seen. I think someone is out there and we've got to be given a chance to report something strange if we see it."
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