Christmas doesn’t half get in the way of blogging. I’ve hardly set two fingers on my keyboard over the festivities, not that there is much to write about except the obvious — ate too much, watched a lot of telly, got some presents, etc, etc.
And there isn’t much else to comment on. The media may not sleep over the holiday, but they do let the work experience students loose with the editor’s blue pencil and green eye-shade judging by the stories they cover.
Like the one about men being more than a stone heavier than they were in 1986. Well of course they are — they’re 25 years older for goodness sake, they’re bound to have put on a bit of a middle-age spread.
From this you can guess that I’m only half listening to the news, like everyone else. I’ve tried and failed to find the Christmas Day sermon that a Welsh vicar posted on YouTube that I heard him interviewed about on radio.
“Many of the congregation couldn’t get to church due to the weather and Cardiff City Council,” he said, and his solution was quite resourceful. I thought he was hard on the council though. Surely this was something to take up with his Boss?
And speaking of snow, they had rather a lot of it in New York which gave the media endless scope to make comparisons with the way the authorities coped on each side of the Atlantic. But why did the report that they had 20 inches of snow in the US instead of the centimetres that they talk about over here?
Today I read that University College London has found evidence that the brains of conservatives are a different shape to those with more liberal tendencies. Apparently self-proclaimed right-wingers have a more pronounced amygdala, while their political opposites had thicker anterior cingulates.
It’s all Greek (or Latin) to me too, but apparently the amygdala is a primitive part of the brain associated with emotion. There must be a Margaret Thatcher joke in there somewhere, but I can’t think of one.
On another page of the paper is another group of “researchers”, ubiquitous at this time of year, who claim to have found a “Midas touch” gene. It is called MAOA-L and if you have it, you are more adept at making risky financial choices, but only if the odds are stacked in your favour.
If only we could now organise some therapeutic genetic engineering on the world’s bankers, we might yet put the economy to rights.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail fell back on its predictable seasonal favourites. Swine Flu: The Perfect Storm it roared today, predicting a battering for Britain’s health services after the four day holiday. Just like every other year then?
Two Father, Two Mothers, that was five pages on Elton John’s surrogate son, Zachary Levon, conveniently born on Christmas Day, and that timeless favourite, Kelly inquest ‘is now imperative’.
I particularly liked The stars’ quack remedies are junked by scientists pouring cold water on Cheryl Cole’s ‘blood group diet’ among others. This from the paper that has a whole section on voodoo medical science every day.
This got me as far as page 19 and We’ll have to work two extra days to pay next year’s tax bill. I would have thought that anyone who is working and paying tax in 2011 will consider themselves very fortunate indeed after George Osborne has finished scrapping jobs and generally lining his pockets.
But there was good news to report, at least for the broadcast and electronic media — England retain the Ashes! Sadly, the Mail, like other print media could only report the previous day’s exploits in Melbourne, limping along like the lame-winged carrier pigeon it has become.