Monthly Archives: March 2009

Who Wants To Live Forever ?

News that Simon Cowell wants his body frozen when he dies so that he can come back to host future versions of the X-Factor has re-opened the debate about Cryonics. Cryonics is when a body is frozen and then brought back to life in the future when technology has advanced to the extent that this will be possible.

Technology and science is advancing at such a rate that things we think of now as science fiction may well be reality in a few hundred years time, but whether the technology will exist to bring a frozen body back to life and then make that person fit and healthy again really is at the far realms of science fiction !

At the moment, the only way you could have your body frozen is in the United States, however there is a voluntary body of scientists in the UK who have set up Cryonics UK and they are there to offer advice and details of the latest procedures that are available. It seems more and more people are considering being frozen when they die rather than the traditional burial or cremation. It is even possible to set up a fund where you can pay £10 a month towards the costs of being frozen !

Of course, this raises the question of whether you would want to be unfrozen in 200 years time and what it would be like to be alive again after being “dead” for so long ! All your family and friends wouldn’t be around and you might be looked upon as a bit of a freak. Maybe it may not be a bad idea if they could also reverse the ageing process to make you look good again.

Personally, I can see the attraction in Cryonics. I would love to know what the world will be like in the future. Imagine being told that you had an incurable disease but that is was likely a cure would be found in 50 years time. Imagine being told that you had the option of being frozen for 50 years and brought back to live when the cure was available. What would you choose to do in that situation ?

This whole Cryonics thing is fascinating and it, of course, raises many serious ethical issues. Would I do it ? Do you know, I think I would. Why ? Because you have nothing to lose. If it doesn’t work you are dead anyway !

Media Sinks To New Depths in Jade Goody Saga.

The reality TV personality Jade Goody’s battle with cancer has been well publicised in the past few weeks. Her publicist Max Clifford has been milking the poor girls situation for all its worth and obtaining maximum publicity on the grounds that he wants to earn as much money as possible for Jade Goody’s children.

Several newspapers are now beginning to question whether it’s right that she should be going along with the media circus. I must admit that I am uneasy about the situation. It’s a tricky one, but I think I feel that it’s not right. Many people are obsessed with so called celebrities and this attitude is fuelled by the media who are only interested in selling newspapers and magazines.

And it now turns out that OK magazine has published a tribute to Jade Goody with the headlines on its latest edition cover saying “Jade Goody 1981 – 2009, Tribute Edition” and it is supposed to include what her final words have been ! I find it amazing that a magazine has effectively published an obituary before someone has actually died !

The whole media circus surrounding Jade Goody is not really about caring for her but in my opinion seems to be a way of generating more sales on the back of someone else’s misfortune. This countries obsession with celebrities needs to come down several notches. Maybe in times of doom and gloom though we all aspire to being one as we see it as a quick and easy way of escaping the drudgery of everyday life.

More people should look at the longer harder way of becoming a celebrity by actually being useful to society and to themselves. It’s like winning the lottery. You can’t expect to win so you need to use your own resources and achieve your goals through talent, hard work and enterprise.

Top 10 You Tube Videos Of All Time

I love You Tube. In my opinion it is more entertaining than watching television, so I decided to find out which videos are the most popular of all time. The number 1 most viewed video is this one by comedian Judson Laipply which so far has attracted over 115 million views and a staggering 306,000 comments. The video shows him dancing a six-minute routine encompassing 32 songs spanning more than 50 years of music and dance. Take a look if you are one of the few people who haven’t seen it already !

Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend video is running at nearly 117 million views

Music videos rank amongst the most highly watched and this one I have seen many times, the guitar player has had over 56 million and is superb and this one by Leona Lewis has had 84 million views, Bleeding Love

This one is someones home video of their two children which has had an amazing 86 million views. It’s called Charlie bit my finger.

In the You Tube sports category the number one video with 8 million views is this one of the Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho

In the Cars and Vehicles category this video from the BBC Top Gear TV show featuring Jeremy Clarkson driving the incredibly fast Ariel Atom has had nearly 5 million views.

Woman Calls 911 Over Chicken McNuggets

The emergency services are always complaining about some of the emergency telephone calls that they receive.  The 999 and 911 services are meant to be for emergency calls only. Last week, however, a woman in Florida called the 911 emergency service after her local McDonald’s ran out of Chicken McNuggets !

Latreasa Goodman had ordered and paid for 10 chicken nuggets at the Florida McDonald’s  store when staff told her they hadn’t got any left.

Because they had put the transaction through they asked the 27-year-old to pick something else from the menu instead. Goodman refused to choose a different meal and instead dialed 911 from her mobile phone demanding a police officer come adding “This is an emergency.”

A spokesperson for McDonald’s said she should have been given a refund, and that she has been sent a gift card for a free meal … I think it will take more than a Happy Meal to make her happy though the spokesperson added.

It’s not the first time that silly time-wasting phone calls have been made to the emergency services. Last year it was reported that a woman dialed 999 after her boyfriend refused to let her watch Eastenders ! She was trying to wrestle the remote control from him and couldn’t !

In another incident, a woman  rang the emergency services because she didn’t have £1 for a shopping trolley. Another caller wanted the police to come and remove his mother-in-law, who had been staying at his house for 18 days.

Pets also proved a common problem with one caller asking police to arrest her boyfriend “because he put my hamster out in the rain” and another seeking guidance because she had a small kitten in her house and “I don’t know what to do with it.”

We all know, of course, that you should only call  999 where a crime is in progress, violence is being used, an offender has recently been disturbed, or if there is a road accident where someone is injured or the road is blocked.  Non-urgent crimes should be reported to the local police station.

You can listen to the call on the YouTube link below

I Went To See Slumdog Millionaire

If a movie wins 8 Oscars then it is reasonable to assume that it’s going to be worth watching, so I went to see Slumdog Millionaire on Friday evening. What a brilliant film it is too. I really enjoyed it and it kept me riveted throughout.

The film is about a young boy and his brother who grow up in the terrible slums of Mumbai. Their mother is killed so the two brothers have to fend for themselves and they beg steal and borrow to survive. The two brothers end up taking different paths. One is a gangster and the other somehow ends up being quite intelligent and sensible and finds himself on the Indian version of Who wants to be a millionaire. He manages to get all the questions correct but ends up being interrogated by the police as they think he must have cheated.

The movie then goes back to periods in the boys life and the story explains how he knows all the answers. For example, one of the questions is “Whose face is shown on the back of a $100 US bank note. The reason he knows is because he was given one whilst he was conning tourists at the Taj Mahal !

The movie carries on like this and it is a fascinating insight into how people from the Mumbai slums live. The film is entertaining and fascinating at the same time. The film also has love interest as the two brothers fight over the slum girl, Latika, who grows up with the brothers but gets separated from them before meeting up again.

All the characters play good parts and the music is good, but not quite as good as I expected, but overall the film is excellent and I would give it five stars. It is one of the few films that I have been to where the audience stayed seated for the credits at the end.

Watch the Slumdog Millionaire trailer here -

A Sunday Afternoon Walk Along the Canal At Horsforth, Leeds

Spring is in the air and it’s a bright cool day so I decided I needed a walk. Horsforth is a nice suburb of Leeds but it’s not all houses. You can, as any Horsforth resident will tell you, find some nice rural views and at the same time take in a bit of local history. For those that know the area here is the route I took.

I headed down Newlay Lane and towards the River Aire.  When you reach the river there is a footbridge called Pollard Bridge. I took this photograph and you will see it’s very old. The plaque says it was built in 1819 by John Pollard. I can remember driving across this bridge which was a short cut between Horsforth and Bramley, but it was closed to traffic many years ago.

Pollard Bridge Horsforth

After you cross the river you head up the hill towards the Leeds/Liverpool canal and then I walked along the canal towpath towards Calverley. There are plenty of interesting sights. I took a photograph of some canal boats moored up. The route along this part of the Leeds/Liverpool canal is quite rural and you are actually walking between the canal and the River Aire. The canal towpath winds past old industrial buildings and several canal side houses. You also walk past a nature reserve.

Canal boats at Horsforth, March 2009.

As the crow flies Liverpool is about 60 miles from Leeds, however, if you were to go by canal boat, cycle it or even walk it using the canal or the towpath you would end up travelling 122 miles ! I haven’t personally measured it but to prove it I took a photograph of the mile marker which is on this part of the Leeds/Liverpool canal.

Horsforth walk March 2009 003

Eventually the canal towpath reaches the Leeds outer ring road. Steps lead up to the road and then the traffic noise hits you and it’s a constant stream of cars. You go from relative calm to one of the busiest roads in Leeds. When you walk up the Leeds ring road towards the roundabout at the A65 you realise how fast cars are travelling, especially going up the hill.

This is a photo I took of the River Aire from the bridge on the Leeds outer ring. It is one of the busiest roads in Leeds but this picture makes it look quite rural.

River Aire at Horsforth Ring Road

You also cross the Leeds to Ilkley railway line at this point. It’s good to get out and walk around your local urban area. You notice things that you don’t see whilst driving. One of the things that struck me was the amount of litter. Plastic bags, cans, plastic bottles and even carrier bags full of rubbish that lazy people have just dumped. It’s appalling. All this rubbish looks like it has been there years which begs the question as to who is responsible for cleaning it up.

This is the Leeds outer ring road. It is one of the busiest roads in Leeds with a constant stream of traffic, although this photograph that I took doesn’t really show the amount of traffic that this road has.

Horsforth Ring Road, March 2009.

I took  photos of some of the litter and rubbish that I saw, but they don’t show the full extent of the problem.

Horsforth, near Leeds litter problem