The vinceunlimited Opinions Page

Roll up, roll up! Get your opinions in here!

The great thing about having your very own website is that you can have a great whinging rant about absolutely anything you like. No counter opinion. No arguments. Just have a blast and get it off your hairy chest. So scroll down to whisk you off into the warped mindset of the author.

Please be warned that the content of some of these pages may be a bit strong for some. Opinionated certainly, but that's the point. You don't move preconceptions without grating some up the wrong way. But they are my own thoughts and if you look carefully there is a spot of tongue in the old cheek. If you don't agree with the thoughts then don't take offence. It's easy to butt out. Free speech is the greatest gift we have. Keep it.

Of course, being a miserable old cynic I could fill this section ten times over so if you are moved or amused by what you read please return at a later date as I intend to add more cantankerous comments for your delectation.

If you feel moved enough to add anything, why not drop me a vMail and have your say. Or get your own page up here in cyberspace. It's your right as well.

Below are the first of the articles originally written and published in 2003-2005 in the original versions of the vinceunlimited website and each represented an opinion at the time, based on contemporaneous knowledge. They are re-mastered below.



Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.113 15 May 2018
First Published: Version m1.00 in Oct 2003
First published in this format: Version m5.003 6 Oct 2017
See individual article notes for specific dates added




vSearch by Title

Animal Parts - The Millennium Dome - Bad Driving Habits - Being European - Face Transplant - Fuels - Gender - Hi-Fi - Hollywood - Lottery - Public Announcements - Predictions - Water



This article was originally written and published in October 2003 in the original version of the vinceunlimited website and represented an opinion at the time, based on contemporaneous knowledge. It is reproduced below updated and edited.

Animal Parts As Spares

A monkey sat on the shoulder of Vince
A monkey transplant

One of the big issues facing mankind today is the moral question of whether we should be allowed to grow animals purely for use as spare parts for humans. Technological advancement is reaching the point where soon we will be able to grow compatible human parts within live animals.

And in 2017 the UK issued plans to make organ donor presumed consent a thing. If we have to go to the trouble of opting out then so can the mammals. Unless they fill out a form on the internet.

Imagine, a man's spare spleen, if you can, grown by a dog. Or a newborn baby's amputated lower arm being re-grown by a monkey. Or an arse transplanted from a horse onto a woman (I'm sure I've seen her already).

The issue centres on whether it is moral to do this. I believe it may be immoral not to do it. I would argue that mankind is no more than a species, albeit a very successful one and one which we are lucky to be a part of. And like all other species humans have developed the best way to survive and prosper. Being able to harvest parts from other species is just another development in the clear superiority of humans. All species use the resources available to them and just as our food farming is a clever extension of this ability so is improving this to include repair of damaged or old body parts. It is a natural extension. Nature.

And who wouldn't choose to live longer, providing the quality of their life through use of renewable, healthier parts was assured.

The only concerns I would personally have is to impose controls on the supply. I couldn't accept that the system was open to be abused by undesirable people. And I'm not scaremongering about a dozen cloned dictators. That just couldn't occur. No, I would worry about persistent drunks using surrogates to grow banks of spare livers. And I would have concerns about stinking smokers using animals to constantly transplant their lungs. Transplanting their brains might be a better idea.

My own view is that I would be happy for a pig to grow a heart for me, then for me to have it transplanted when mine is worn out. And I could enjoy a good bacon sandwich afterwards. Long live technology.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts a Barbary Macaque monkey sat on the shoulders of the author in Gibraltar and was added along with minor text updates in Version m5.003 6 Oct 2017
The preheader was contained within the article body in Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017



The Millennium Dome

A tribute to the Greenwich blister

A landscape image depicting the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome

An enormous carbuncle or visionary monument? That is the question

Many say that the cash should have been spent on the NHS instead? They questioned the extravagance of a structure built of a seemingly temporary design and only there for a year. And no one can see where the £800m and counting went. So why am I a supporter of this apparently whitest of elephants?

Let us consider some facts. The Dome was built in the UK, not a third world country riddled with debt and plagued by civil war. We are a first world power so shouldn't we be able to afford a bit of luxury? The money is better spent on this plaything for a few than on another weapon of mass destruction.

And I do not believe that one hospital or nurse has been cancelled because of the project. I agree the National Health Service is currently under funded and would be happy to pay additional taxes if I could guarantee an efficient service but I do not confuse this issue with the Dome. That is the job of the British Press.

As for the contents I am not a believer of criticism without seeing things first hand. So I visited this monument in it's heyday in early March 2000 and enjoyed the whole day. The content was generally of an excellent nature and there was more to see than I could in the day's visit. In particular I noted that the Journey Zone was top draw stuff (Incidently, I could not find the actual top shelf stuff).

The only disappointment was the main show. Set on too grand a scale with things happening everywhere and a pretentious story line too far up its own tent-pole to make any sense.

I predict that the Dome will eventually be fondly remembered. The media in this country is controlling how we perceive the image of this stunning structure and up to now the press has been slagging it off. Its image is at a low point so the media-mongrels [deliberate misspelling] will soon decide it is time to re-launch it as a success story.

And as for the slogan 'Only open for a year'. It will still be up and running in some form in 20 years - Mark my words.

Think about the publicity that we could get for our country if we had all got behind it - I believe it is big enough.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome and was taken by the author in August 2003. It was added in Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017



Bad Driving Habits

Driving Me To Distraction

A photo of a motorway scene showing cars and vans approaching a junction on the M27

Is there anyone who has not got an opinion on driving?

Well this is one to get you all going - unless you are in London at 5.30 p.m. on a weekday. Speed limits, don't we all just hate them? Come on, admit it. If you like limits then you are beyond hope. Just go out and stand in the road now. Only you won't get hurt because all the cars are going so slow nowadays because of the restrictions, humps and hopeless drivers who couldn't drive a Scalextric car.

And it's our own fault. Limits are only put there because the general imbeciles driving around today can't control their vehicles or judge when it is safe. Speed does not kill - bad driving does. And the general driver, despite their own high opinion of their ability to match Schumacher, drives pretty poorly.

So to counter this threat to innocent passers by and other road users the authorities (i.e. our elected representatives) put up arbitrary tin plates suggesting a recommended maximum. Now that would be fine if that was all it was. Instead, our protectors (i.e. the police) do their best to catch people going a bit quick and then to fine and humiliate us.

Fines themselves are fine, one could say a fine deterrent. It's the points system that gets me riled. A few misdemeanours over a matter of years can lead to diabolical insurance premiums and possible incarceration with all the attendant bottom stretching. With possible loss of employment, status and respect. Ask yourself - Is that really fair punishment for going too fast?

Sure, I'd agree that bad driving deserves all the bottom expansion in the world but bad driving is difficult to measure. And all this makes for an increasingly stale road system. And for people like me with four star in their veins it isn't good enough. We need to fight back.

We should concentrate instead on bad driving and eliminate those poor habits. So, take a look at the few listed below and if it's you - shame...

  1. Hogging the outer lane. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Move over you pussy. I wanna go past and you ain't the police sunshine. Imbecile.

  2. Hogging the middle lane. See above. And stop worrying about filtering off the motorway. The junction is at least two miles away and its well signed. Nerd.

  3. Inappropriate speeding. I know, after all I said but 30 mph passing a school at 9 a.m. is much worse than 120 mph at night down an empty highway. Idiot.

  4. Using your hazards whilst stopped in town. There's always another car stopped behind you so all the passing cars can only see one of your indicators. Looks like you are about to pull out! Wombat.

  5. Parking on the 'other' side of the road with your lights on. The headlight dipping system blinds every passing car. And as you are stationary you hardly need to see. But we do. Dipstick

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.015 4 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts a typical motorway scene and is not intended to be a comment on the vehicles involved. It was taken by the author in Feb 2016. It was added in Version m5.015 4 Nov 2017



Being European

One day all this will be mine, or mined. Your choice

Image of a Border Collie Dog, stood with an arched back.
A Flexible Border...Collie

Why do so many residents of the UK fail to acknowledge that they are European? Take a look at any atlas (apart from those with the flexible borders produced by the Israelis) and the landmass of Britain is clearly in Europe. We are Europeans. End of discussion.

Of course those xenophobic Brits who refuse to acknowledge their position are really saying that they refuse to be 'European'. Some sad misapprehension that they would be forced to eat horses in the manner that the French do, be good in bed like the Italians or strut around like they own the place like most Germans. And that just isn't British.

My personal opinion is that having closer ties with your neighbours is a good thing. Less war, more trade and better pasta imports. As long as we don't have to drive Czech cars. Why suffer passport and travel restrictions? We can save all that malarkey for the other world citizens nibbling at the borders.

Europe today is a small place and should be accessible to all Europeans, including us Brits. Furthermore, European union is the first step towards world union and ultimately peace for all mankind.

And the rule applies to other parts of the world too. Africa for all Africans. The Middle East for all nations - even the Israelis. And Australia for the kangaroos.

Mind you, if it comes down to a clear choice between speaking Esperanto or becoming the next state in the good old US of A then I'm a happy hamburger eater. I'll even forgive them for not helping out in the Falklands. Or for charging us for their help in the Second World War. Or for accidentally shooting their allies every time they open fire.

Just as long as the Yanks acknowledge that the word mum has a 'u' in it. Much like the word neighbour.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.016 9 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Slightly edited in Version m5.016 9 Nov 2017
The image depicts a Border Collie dog taken by the author's family around 1974. It was added in Version m5.016 9 Nov 2017



Looking Through Gary Gilmore's Eyelashes

Face On


The History

During mid September 2005 a surgical team made an announcement that they were to become the first to carry out a human face transplant and it unleashed a whole raft of press comment about the morals of such a procedure.

Too many commentators have taken the weak journalistic option of trying to stir up outdated, backward and religious prejudices by suggesting that there will be a moral outcry. As usual this counters the brilliant scientific advancements heralded in these new procedures.

The additional twist this time is identity and the allegedly dubious grounds that taking someone's face will mean adopting their identity and perhaps personality. This is despite the surgeon's assurances that the face is shaped by the bones, not the skin.

However, this does not deter those who think that the procedures could lead to cosmetic demands.

My personal belief is that if it did so what? If someone is prepared to fund research through vanity then let them carry on.

And so what if it changes the way someone looks or raises questions about identity? What rule says that identity has to be fixed? If they bring out such a law I'll grow a beard. And so will my wife.


Famous Faces

Taking the arguments about altering identity a little further I note that one interesting thought that hasn't yet been raised until now is the spectre that one day a celebrity may offer their face after their demise. Think about the consequences for a while.

Currently playing on some sub-standard channel on my Freeview box is a programme called 'I Want a Famous Face'. This is the latest in the current trend of titillating, voyeuristic cosmetic surgery programmes that follows desperate wannabes sadly seeking to look like a celebrity because their own self-esteem is too low.

A natural extension to this idea is having the actual face they so desire. And bidding wars could send the value of deceased celebrity faces sky high. After all their fiscal worth in life is elevated, why not in death?


Been There Done That

These concepts are not particularly new. 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' was a song was released following the real life transplantation of a dead killer's donated eyes.

This spawned a fictionalised Hollywood film called 'The Eyes of Laura Mars' suggesting that the transplanted eyes held secrets about how Laura met her demise.

'Face Off' was a grand Hollywood blockbuster featuring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta who as goodies and baddies respectively routinely swapped identities during the movie to maintain a high level of thriller element and not a small amount of confusion.

Even before that, in the grand old days when everyone was in black and white a film was released called 'The Hands Of Orlac' which featured a talented concert pianist who having lost his hands in an accident had a pair transplanted from a deceased killer. The twist this time was that the hands were more concerned with stabbing than tinkering with the ivories.


The Future

So what of the future?

I predict that this will become commonplace.

I'll further suggest that there will be routine face swapping. Maybe a business face for the day and a party face for the evening. Presently women change their hair colour, length and shape and tint their eyes with contact lenses so changing faces is a logical extension.

Maybe friends will have fun swapping faces to confuse their parents.

Of course, society will gradually learn to distrust external features and we will eventually be judged on who we are and not what we look like.

And me personally? I have never wanted to alter my face, my desire is technically easier but way more complex. I don't want to look like Brad Pitt, I want everyone to think that my look is as good as Brad's.

Oh, and I'm thinking about putting in a bid for Jennifer Aniston's face.

Not that I want to wear it - just sit on it.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.110 1 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 in Sep 2005
The world's first partial face transplant with parts from a stranger was claimed to be carried out on Isabelle Dinoire in Sep 2005 who had her face mauled by her dog. The work was carried out by Dr Bernard Devauchelle, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Benoit Lengelé, a Belgian plastic surgeon, and Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. The operation was successful but her immune system's response was difficult and she eventually died in 2016 following a long illness.
An earlier transplant was reported by The Guardian on a 9 year old Indian boy, Sandeep Kaur, who had his face ripped off by a thresher machine in 1994. His mother's quick reactions allowed reconstruction of his own face by Dr Abraham Thomas, one of India's top microsurgeons. This is recognised as the first face transplant. The Guardian reported that in 2004 Sandeep was training to be a nurse.
'I Want A Famous Face' is an American documentary reality TV programme first shown on MTV which originally ran between 2004 and 2005
Gary Gilmore was an American double murderer who was successfully prosecuted and eventually executed in Utah in 1977. Within hours two people had received transplants of his corneas
'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' by songwriter T.V. Smith is a single performed by punk band The Adverts produced in 1977
'The Eyes of Laura Mars' is a 1978 film written by John Carpenter and David Zelag Goodman
'Face Off' is a 1997 film written by Mike Webb and Michael Colleary
'The Hands of Orlac' is a 1924 film written by Maurice Renard
Jennifer Aniston is lovely



Fuels

Image of toy Shell classic petrol pump

Oil be seeing you. Oilways

Do you consider yourself green?

I suppose the answer would be yes if you are either a resident of the planet Nerasis (sector 45AF.789 in the Zarciod Belt, turn right past Uranus and it's only a block or two away) or a pedal cycling, anally retentive killjoy with a huge chip on your shoulder. Either way, you ain't gonna like what I say.

Fossil fuels. Burn 'em.

I make no secret of the fact that I'm a turbo charged V8 with nitrous injection.

I overtake people on the pavement (that's the sidewalk to all you Yanks) in the same way that I pass them on the road. Life is for living and we today are fortunate to have been blessed with the black stuff.

Oil. Fantastic product, all that energy easily stored and able to take us on adrenaline fuelled trips that crack cocaine would struggle to produce. I'm a petrol junkie.

Hold it old chap, I hear you politely say. What about the resource issue?

If we all go around mindlessly using these decomposed dinosaur reservoirs then there won't be any left for the next generation. Stuff them! It doesn't matter. If we didn't have oil we would invent some other way of getting our automotive kicks and so will the next generation.

Let's pass on something useful - The ability to have fun.

Just one reservation about oil. Why did someone invent Diesel, then think it might be a good idea to use it in cars? Beats me.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.017 10 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The unedited content represents a view held at the time, long before the adoption of powerful electric or hybrid vehicles and modern, clean diesel engines
The image depicts a toy Shell classic petrol pump, circa 1970, taken in December 2002 and was added in Version m5.017 on 10 Nov 2017



Gender PC

Two similar photographs of the author and his wife both sat astride a Can-Am three wheeled motorcycle

A man and a woman. Entirely different.

First things first. Let's not confuse gender with sex. Heidi Klum doesn't have gender appeal and I've never had gender in the back seat of a car. Nor Heidi Klum come to think of it.

However, I am against too much of this modern fetish with political correctness. Men and women are different. Live with it. In fact, celebrate it. We don't want to end up in an andronomous society where you can't tell your mother from the plumber.

I'm not a misogynist (look it up) and I'm not against lesbianism. In fact I think I might be a lesbian. I share all their ideals, I just don't get to change in the same cubicle when I go swimming. And I have better hair.

I applaud equality. That is, I applaud fair equality, not the trumped up excuses used in positive discrimination. All women shortlists should only be reserved for surrogate breast feeding jobs. Not to select members of parliament. Even if they are all tits which people suck up to! - Couldn't resist that one.

Men love the way women look so good. In all shapes and sizes. Keep those curves on view and appreciate it when we look at your thighs. You know that if you hide yourselves away you will end up putting up your own shelves. And it has taken men millions of years to learn how to read a map. Women won't achieve it in their lifetime.

And as for the men. Stop being a bunch of wimps. Don't be afraid to get down the gym and pump those pecs. And it's not an insult to hold open a door or offer your seat. Stand up and be counted. Women will only be Kylie if you are prepared to be Russell Crowe.

As for me. I'm off down the gym, to pick up my map and drive over to Heidi's.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.018 13 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The text is reproduced, unedited, as published in Oct 2003 and represented the author's views at the time
The image depicts the author and his wife sat astride a Can-Am Spyder three wheeled motorcycle as manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products. It was taken on 25 Sep 2016 and added in Version m5.018 13 Nov 2017



The Meaning Of Hi-Fi

Image of a high end Hi-Fi stack comprising top-loading DVD player, sound processor, laserdisc player, video cassette deck and a pair of power amps on a substantial alloy triangular base stand
My Hi-Fi in 2001

This page is not about to describe my hi-fi to you. You'll have to get to know me much better if you want to hear my set up.

No, this page is a direct attack on all those manufacturers and suppliers out there who bandy about the term hi-fi when it clearly isn't warranted.

Hi-fi, or to give it it's full title, high fidelity, was popularly introduced in the seventies. The term may be older but it's use became more widespread, probably to coincide with the style of denim Jeans at the time. The distinction allowed for the purity of sound extracted from the growing number of specialist separate components that outperformed the all in one music-centres of the time. Eight track anyone?

I know that the latest head-banging, superwoofered ghetto blaster can outperform these early attempts at music reproduction but that's not the point. The term hi-fi is a moveable datum. As the general melee of equipment improves, the true high fidelity components are those that still rise above the masses producing crisp, clear sounds to die for.

And the number of lights, displays, bells and whistles don't count either.

So, next time someone tries to flog you a 'hi-fi' product, at a price a teenager could afford, ask them how it compares to a top end CD transport coupled to a pair of dedicated amps and running through some major floor-standing speakers. Then get them to show you.

You might just get an idea of what my system sounds like.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.019 16 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts the author's Hi-Fi stack in 2001 and was added in Version m5.019 16 Nov 2017



Hollywood

Cellulite and Celluloid

Image of the author in his back garden holding a clapperboard, next to a tripod mounted classic shoulder mount camcorder, next to a wallpaper table on which is a clipboard a book.  In the background two deck chairs and some soft toys
An audition taping in action

I'm in two minds about this one. These pages are all about getting a gripe off my chest, without the use of a fine pair of tweezers and Hollywood must be a prime target.

There is much to dislike about the pumped up, pretentious American film industry.

The powerful network can easily create a dream but so often wrecks them.

The play it safe attitude of film commissioning stifles genuine new raw talent and makes it hard for newcomers to break in.

The industry's hypocritical attitude to sex which rams it down your throat but ensures you never see it.

The obsession with mindless violence and the assumption that pain, maiming and killing have no subsequent consequences.

All these things are gross and frankly unnecessary in such a matured industry.

Yet, somehow, all the glitz, glamour and style makes me hold back from really winding in the knife.

Some of my best memories come from watching the spectacular stunts and settings that multi-million dollar budgets can achieve. And anything associated with Kristin Scott Thomas must be OK.

And then there is the British Film Industry.

Great ideas, talent and films but no balls when it comes to funding. So don't go whinging when Mr. USA rewrites the great British stories in his own style and makes zillions from them.

So, I have to decide one way or another, whether Hollywood is destined for the landfill dump or the mantelpiece.

Let me put it this way. Deep down, anyone who writes harbours a deep wish to become part of the circus.

Case closed.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.020 17 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts the author in the process of creating an audition tape in May 1998. The show was a Channel 4 project entitled Trash Talk and the audition taped failed to do it's job. The show now appears nowhere on the internet [It's not the later NFL show]. Was it even made? Has it been removed from history? Did they pick the wrong presenter? You do the maths. The image was added in Version m5.020 17 Nov 2017



Lottery

A personal view of the British Lottery system

Image of the author stood next to a Bentley Arnage
Typical pose of a lottery winner

I'm a big fan of the National Lottery.

Where else could such a simple act as shelling out a pound bring such substantial life altering consequences?

And I do not fall under the category of 'it won't change my life'. The hell it will. Big time.

Not that I have such a bad life, it is just that I do have an imagination and too much of my precious time is spent doing what I must, not what I would like. So winning would be a truly selfish act. Yes. Bring it on.

I will not try to convince you that I play the game for good causes. I have a strong belief that we should not need charity because need should be properly addressed through taxation. I have no issue with the government taking a percentage of the lottery cost for extra special causes as long as it stays that way. The causes should remain special, not need based. The organisers already make a tidy profit and the winnings seem to be sufficiently generous to tempt me.

The only downside I see is lack of integrity.

Virtually every week one, two or more people are made very wealthy. Camelot boast of the hundreds of millionaires made. But there is very little evidence.

Bentley Motors shares are not going through the roof and I, nor anyone I know, is personally aware of any big time winners, except the tiny minority of reprobates featured in the red top rags.

And don't tell me that mostly they want to keep their identities quiet or that they are all wrinklies who stuff it all under a mattress. If I won a jackpot everyone would know. The smile alone would give it away.

So, what stops the organiser saying there are four jackpot winners when there is only one? I am sure that the system is correctly monitored but the ease in which this could occur stirs the conspiracy side of my mind.

Camelot you need to demonstrate your propriety better.

Finally, a lottery tip.

Buy two sets of numbers.

The second set (providing they are a different set, numbski) will double your chances of winning. You could not improve on that.

Shelling out another quid will only increase your new chances by a third, a fourth will only increase your chance by another quarter, etc.

And don't play on Wednesday, you'll just bugger up my chances of a rollover from Saturday if you win.

P.S. Calling it Lotto doesn't fool anyone. It makes it sound cheap. Which, I guess is the idea. Trouble is, it is still a pound. And I, for one, do not want a 'cheap' win.

What I couldn't do with twenty million? Well, a better website for a start.


Links



Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.028 30 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
This article was written when Camelot owned the rights to the British lottery. It has since been sold to some teachers in Canada [seriously, look it up] and because teachers are not well paid it now costs two quid a go. So now I cannot afford it.
The image depicts the author stood next to a Bentley Arnage in 2000 and was added in Version m5.028 30 Nov 2017



The vinceunlimited Public Announcement Opinion

A Hi-Fi speaker positioned on top of a wall unit
Our mission is to inform you

"'Hum'. 'Crack'. This is a public announcement. Will all those 'pop' who are 'crackle' please 'fizz' so that 'silence', 'pop' and 'fizz' to 'crackle'. Thankyou."

In these days of modern communication, where you can speak to your friend in Coventry or Kuala Lumpa without distortion (baring the midlands accent, that is) why can't a local public speaker be understood? They are only connected by wire. Hardly, cutting edge technology. However, this page isn't really about the poor quality of sound, but the poor quality of words. All the quotes below are real world examples and the culprits are named and shamed. I'll add more as soon as I can decipher what they are actually saying.

Message on South West Trains on nearing Clapham Junction, that applies to most station platforms that are shorter than the actual train. "Would customers alighting at Clapham Junction, please use the first five carriages..." Doh! Should that be '...one of the first five'? But then I suppose that the train staff cannot really be expected to be precise when the graphics manager responsible for the train stickers use phrases worded as 'Do not lean out of the window when it is open.' Surely an unnecessary use of the words 'when it is open'? And don't get me started on the 'Mobile free' zones

And to keep on the railway theme I regularly travel on the London Underground system and users are often advised to '...walk on the left and stand on the right of the escalators...' This I have tried but end up going round in circles! Surely they should suggest that it is an either or option. Ahem.

Onto roads and my local council's latest 'Kill your speed' campaign. What on earth is that all about? How on earth do you kill speed? It doesn't possess life so how can it be killed? And the roadsign that accompanies the message. It depicts a hand lowering onto a speed limit. So how does that work then? How does putting a hand down kill speed? Lifting a foot would be more appropriate. The only vehicles that have hand throttles are motorbikes. And putting the hand down is more akin to the method of speeding up! I suppose some cars adapted for disability use may have hand throttles. Perhaps the Government is really targeting these particular arch criminals.

Finally, I recently noticed an advertising slogan proudly plastered in huge lettering in Marks and Spencer. 'Our bread is baked from authentic recipes from around the globe.' As opposed to what? Does a non-authentic recipe exist? Is anything baked somewhere that isn't around the globe? The copywriters really earned their crust on this one!


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.061 25 Jan 2018
First Published: Version 1.02 in Mar 2004
London Underground comment added in Version m5.061 25 Jan 2018 but first published in Version 1.03 in Feb 2005
The image depicts a Mission speaker positioned on top of a wall cabinet and was added in Version m5.051 4 Jan 2018



Predictions

First things first. The future may be bright but it won't be orange. You see some things are easier to predict than others. For instance I'd have difficulty predicting next weeks lottery numbers but I'll have a go. 4, 12, 36, 37, 40 and 42. Let me know if you win.

So here are my predictions for the future.


Prediction 1 - Spumps [made September 2005]

In the future speed humps will be called spumps. I am confident of this for three reasons. Firstly, they are a fairly new phenomenon and therefore ripe for a bit of slang. Secondly, the merging of two words into one is a common way of abbreviating and 'spumps' is a good merge. And finally, I bet you won't be able to resist repeating this. In other words the publication of this word has set its use in motion.

Prediction 2 - Cookery Explosion [made September 2005]

In the future, when all the hard working couples of today retire they'll have more time on their hands and one thing that they'll take up is cooking. They will have more time to do this but soon realise that they are sadly out of practice. Being cash rich they will take up classes to learn how to cook well. So my prediction is that there will be an exponential growth of adult cooking class attendees.

Prediction 3 - Perpetual Websites [made September 2005]

In the future egoists like myself will want to will the responsibility of maintaining their presence on the Internet to a trustee. I predict that there will be a market for perpetual web hosting. Currently, www.webperpetually.com and other derivatives such as .co.uk are still available for purchase. You heard it here first.

Prediction 4 - Face Transplants [made September 2005]

In the future face transplants from deceased celebrities will attract bidding wars. Other face altering transplants and procedures will become routine and identities will be freely swapped. This will lead to societies' reassessment of identity and people will be judged on who they are plus what they can and have achieved and not by looks, which will have become stale and androgynous. For further argument refer to the Opinions section under Face Transplants.

Final Prediction [for now] [made September 2005]

In the future one, if not more, of my ideas will spawn a fiscal return. Click on the vSections Ideas button link above and try to guess which one.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.113 15 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 in Sep 2005



The vinceunlimited Water Opinion

Difficult to Swallow

A young Vince swimming into a seemily endless sea
When I was young water went on for ages

I don't want to appear to be a bit of a wet fortnight but don't you just hate the privatisation of essential services such as power, gas, telecommunications, water and hamburger joints.

Well perhaps the last one would be a good idea but that is an entirely new subject for a rant. Here I want to bemoan the hypocrisy of privatised water companies.

Since privatisation the water companies have been taking the p1ss in more ways than they were obliged to do.

Why have we been subject to increasing restrictions, poorer supply and inflated bills?

Why, for instance, in our green and pleasant land [read wet] do we suffer hosepipe bans as soon as there are three sunny days in a row?

And why is the water mains pressure so weak you can no longer take a shower standing up?

The answer is 'fat-cat' profits.

Consider for a moment that you are that fat-cat executive on the board of one of the water companies.

What do you think the biggest priority is? - Fuelling your customers.

Nah, bleeding them dry is a much better business proposition and doing it is easy.

Firstly, you create an image that water is more precious than gold. Just wash over the fact that the product you sell for profit actually falls free from the sky.

Feed stories about drought and waste then try adding a bit of guilt about the environment for good measure and soon everyone will start to use less.

It would also be wise to shift blame firmly onto your customers claiming that their desire to live in cities makes it difficult to serve them. Gloss over the fact that when packed together it is cheaper to serve their collective needs, or the fact that most cities are built on rivers.

This all saves the cost of new reservoirs you see. In fact you may be able to sell off some existing ones for prime building plot charges.

And whatever you do don't invest too much in desalination plant technology, that will just remind your customers that the damn stuff floats all around their country in huge quantities.

Of course a few will try to persuade you that it is your leaky old network that wastes the most and you may consider doing something about that. Or you could reduce pressure to the absolute minimum - as set by your colleagues in the watchdog that your own industry set up. That should delay expenditure for a few more years whilst your valuable stocks and shares mature.

You might even suggest 'fun' items like sharing a bath, or play on your customer's basic laziness by suggesting it is good not washing the car or tending to the five-hundred pounds worth of shrubs in their garden.

You could even encourage the manufacturing industry that sells loos that only partly flushing is a good idea and that to add a brick in the cistern is a sensible measure. That should make the customers use less of your liquid gold.

Finally up the ante so much that government, or as you see it your old mates who got you the job in the first place, raise legislation to put a water meter in every property.

Obviously, the metered supply will have to reflect, on average, the non-metered rates, but as no one but you know how much the average is you can easily charge more than the average for everyone, no matter how frugal they are.

The downside may be disease and pestilence but it won't affect you, unless the proletariat happen to brush up against you in Harrods.

Another small problem will be that occasionally you will have to flush some water down the drains just to free them up as the network was designed with actual use in mind.

Then, as a piece-de-resistance, you could drop the quality of processing - just enough to not kill or poison too many but persuade the rest to buy bottled water instead of the 'free' stuff from the tap. If you are really good you could even bottle the stuff yourself and make even more cash. After all the idiot in the street is happy to pay more for water than petrol and water doesn't even have the excuse of 85% tax.

Mind you the most surprising thing about all this is why you 'fat-cats' are involved at all. I always thought cats hated water.


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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.079 6 Mar 2018
First Published: Version 2.00 in May 2005
The image is of the author swimming into the distance off The Isle Of Wight and was originally added in Version 3 in Mar 2010