Elitest Bastard (aka Hussar goes off on one) Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 

See that blue button with Richard Dawkins on it?  Click on it (not yet- I haven’t finished ranting at you) and you will go to the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards.  Who?  A bunch of bloggers generally pissed off with everything being so damn stupid.

Why am I proud to be an elitist?  The question should be why are you so unconcerned not to be?

We are people who are just annoyed that there is a movement against intellectualism.  I am sick and tired of being clever being seen as somehow a bad thing.  Someone who can kick, throw or hit a ball gets paid millions of pounds, while those who actually work worry about the recession.

People revel in not being good at maths.It’s seen as something funny.  I know I’m good at day to day maths, but I am amazed how many people don’t understand basic principles.

“How does this affect you?”  you say “why should you care?” Because a dumbed down population affects the economy and the planet.

People who don’t understand basic maths GET TO VOTE, often based on what they think will be best for the economy.  They can’t do percentages, for FSM’s sake, how are they supposed to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of a Keynsian solution?

It is a fact that people, all of us, even Stephen Hawkins, are stupid to one degree or another.   We are very good at ignoring evidence that doesn’t back up our personal beliefs.  Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like the fact that cars are contributing to destroying the planet. Solution? Insult environmentalists.  Republicans don’t like the fact that Neo-Con ideas have screwed up the market. Call Obama a socialist. The Religious Right don’t like the fact that science shows the Bible isn’t literally true. Solution? Attack anyone who relies on evidence rather than 4000 year old fairy-stories.

And where does it leave us? Click on the break, and I’ll tell you. Forcefully. (more…)

Bit of an incident- and thanks Sunday, Jan 25 2009 

Had a bit of an incident at about 11:30pm last night- my wife knocked the cooker and somehow switched on the hob.  This caused a shallow frying pan to over heat, and the oil in it ignited.  This in turn set fire to a plastic saucepan handle.   When the fire alarm went off I rushed down stairs (everyone was in bed or going, or reading blogs), and ran into the kitchen. I turned off the hob, soaked a towel, throwing it over the flaming fat, and managing to cover the plastic handle at the same time.  I then opened the kitchen window.  I was in the kitchen for about 30 seconds to a minute.

I then called the Fire Brigade (despite my wife saying “why are you doing it that if it’s out”.)  They checked everything out and called a paramedic for me because of the smoke inhalation.  While waiting they put me on oxygen, partly because I was coughing (due to the acrid plastic smoke).

The paramedic checked my O2 level in my blood, and then took me up the hospital.  They checked my heart rate, and blood pressure which was 170 over 130!  They were a little concerned.  20 minutes later this had dropped, but was still high.  Because it was smoke inhalation I was put on pure oxygen for an over an hour.  Another blood pressure test was more normal (high end of acceptable), and a blood test (“This will hurt”, “I give blood”, “This will hurt”.  It did- turns out taking blood from an artery is a bit more hit and miss than taking it from a vein) showed no carbon monoxide.

I returned home (at 3 in the morning) wide awake, but with a sore throat!  House smells and the toaster has been condemned by the Fire Brigade (was close to the fire), along with the two pans in question (traitors).  They apparently have conducted a risk assessment (classing my 12 year old as a ‘Hazard’, much to his amusement), giving advice, and put up a couple of new smoke alarms.