Re: Economics is like philosophy
Says the micro-economist...
3853 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Says the micro-economist...
Climate scientists only have to deal with one climate. So they can look at why it behaved differently over time, and try to theorise about it.
Economists are having to look at different countries. Which all behave differently. They have different culture and different economies. So Germans save more than British people do given the same income. We both have welfare states, so they don't have the same reasons as why the Chinese save so much more than Europeans do. Is it cultural? Well their property is cheaper, because their market and history is different. But it makes the economies perform differently.
The USA have different labour laws to Europe. They tend to come out of recession much more quickly, because companies can hire people and know they can sack them again with almost no notice. But then US states differ as to exactly how this works.
So what can you compare? The UK economy is totally different to what it was 30 years ago, with completely different employment laws. So not only is it very hard to compare the early 90s UK recession with the equivalent French one, but you can't even compare it with the early 80s UK one. Without accounting for all the changes in the economy in the intervening period.
I guess you do have a point. We'll maybe never get an over-arching theory of stuff. One theory to rule them all is pretty hard when the data is of such poor quality.
Also politics doesn't help. The politicians need answers in order to run the economy. You can't blame them for that. But you get political orthodoxies. And plenty of economists willing to defend the party line. They've stopped being scientists and started being cheerleaders.
Climate scientists should take a good long hard look at economics. And be very afraid. Then try to learn the lessons and avoid some of the pitfalls. They've got less excuse, as they don't have to try and model the sometimes irrational behaviour of markets and consumers.
I disagree. We have quite a good understanding of lots of things. It's just we are totally unable to be precise. Because we don't have good data. Or an ability to experiment.
That's also going to continue into the future. However good our theories are, we'll never know the exact value of the various multipliers and exact price elasticities of particular goods. Nor is there any reason to suppose we can ever know where any specific tax is on the Laffer curve.
We are unable to experiment, and the system is too complex to model accurately. Economics can only ever be a guide, we'll never be able to accurately work stuff out. That's one reason why free markets are often better than governments. Because if you're going to cock up anyway, better to do it with your own money. Or at least money you were given freely by investors. Rather than money that was taken in taxation. Much better for government to try and set fair and reasonable rules, and tweak them as required. Which is why a carbon tax is likely to work better than government attempts to try and cut CO2 emissions with subsidies. Although it's almost always worth subsidising research.
No economics is a set of tools to look at various problems. Some are better and more well understood than others. Unfortunately quite a lot of them, particularly in macroeconomics are too controversial to be of precise use, but often give at least a guide, or rule-of-thumb.
So for example, we know that if you put up the price of a good, demand will drop. Except in a few specific cases like Giffen goods (staple food in a famine). We also know this relationship is defined by the price elasticity of that good. Which tells us how strong the relationship is between price and demand. So food is quite price inelastic, you'll eat less if it costs more, but not too much less - as you're more likely to sacrifice other things from your budget first.
But then the devil's in the detail. Do you know your price elasticity? If prices rise, we also know that supply will rise to try and cash in on the lovely extra moolah now on offer. But we don't know by how much, as you may have barriers to entry to the market (regulations etc).
We also know that if you raise taxes too high, they start collecting less money. The good old Laffer curve. The problem is, no-one's quite sure what point on the Laffer curve they're ever at - or exactly what shape it is. So it's not very helpful to set specific tax rates. It can sometimes mean that you can lower a tax, and raise more income. But it's still nice to know the pitfalls when setting policy, and you may of course be deliberately setting a tax rate to discourage something, rather than to maximise revenue. In which case you may not care.
As Keynes said, economics is very good at telling you what you did wrong in the past, but not so good at forecasting the future.
On the other hand, it's the best we've got. And it's better to know more than less. And there are some obvious lessons to take. So governments should spend in recessions to help keep the economy on an even keel (and stop the unemployed starving). But there's another side to this equation, that in booms governments need to save. They need to spend a bit less than they take in tax, in order to stop the economy overheating, and so they're in a position to safely borrow lots in the bust. That's the hard bit of Keynesianism. The bit no-one ever remembers. Like the saying there are no atheists in foxholes, everyone's suddenly a Keynsian when the recession comes. Even when they were advocating massive over-spending in the boom *cough* Ed Balls *cough*.
Oh yes, another rule we don't understand, can't accurately predict, but know is roughtly true. There'll be a recession every ten years or so. We don't really know why capitalism has to be broken in this fundamental way, but it seems to be unfixable. Put it down to people being rubbish. Free market economies work on the level of the average. On average everyone gets richer over time, but that doesn't account for the people who don't - or the odd ten year blip of falling wages. So in Tim's example rare earth prices are back to roughly where they were before, but not without several companies going pop first, and the shareholders of others losing their investment. It's a messy old system.
A bit like climate change research, we only have really decent statistics starting in the 20th century. And even there, the quality is variable. And we don't have the ability to do controlled experiments. It's also bloody hard to try and forecast the future, because the accurate stats on our current economies usually take about 6 months to arrive. And even then we don't know all the inputs and outputs. But maybe as we build up a larger history of good quality data we can try and build better models, and we'll have more past scenarios to study, which is the closest we're ever going to get to experiments.
If you factory reset your iPhone would that not get rid of Apple's update installer? Or would restoring from backup then lumber you with it again? There seems to be no way to stop the buggers from downloading again, short of disabling WiFi (as you said).
I guess a reset followed by manual re-install of stuff might do it. But that would lose all your in-app data. Which may or may not be worth considering, depending on how much the loss of that Gig annoys you.
I agree. My iPhone 5 is on iOS 8 now, so that's it's second upgrade. I was mostly happy with iOS 7, and 8 adds a few useful options. I wouldn't be sad if I hadn't upgraded to it though, there's not much I'd miss.
I've noticed no appreciable loss in the battery life or speed. I can still easily get 2 normal days of use out of it (probably 80% of the time at locations with WiFi) - and well over a day if I'm out-and-about all day and hammer the phone, plus a bit of sat-nav / WiFi hotspot.
I've not got an iPhone 4, and I'd be wary of chucking iOS 8 on that. Depends on whether any apps I used demanded it. But phone hardware has been moving very fast of late, although that seems to be flattening out. So it's no surprise that older stuff will struggle with newer software requirements.
I think this is a downside for Apple about all the media hype they get. I've talked to a couple of people about it this week, who would happily admit they know bugger-all about computers. Both said that Apple updates were designed to slow down older iPhones so you'd buy the latest one.
I'm no fan of Apple, but that sounds like bollocks to me. I certainly thought that my iPad 1 slowed down with both the updates it got. I think they must have been building down to a price, because I remember that the iPhone that came out a couple of months after it, got a newer processor, and I think more RAM. Then iOS 4 didn't go onto the iPad 1 for at least 4 more months, and I felt slowed it down - and re-introduced a bunch of WiFi bugs they'd only just squashed in iOS 3. I had to put the iPad back on a fixed IP address on the local network, as it seemed to be unable to stay connected if it had to talk to the DHCP server.
iOS 5 was a mistake, and I regretted putting the poor iPad 1 on that. There was sometimes quite severe lag in the UI, if it was trying to process stuff in the background.
On the other hand, I've since waited for updates until the reports after the first patch comes out. And my work iPhone 5 went to iOS 8 with no problems, and seems to be just as fast, and have just as good battery life as before.
One comment I would make about iOS is that it's getting awfully complicated. It used to be that there only a few settings, scattered somewhat randomly around the settings menu. But I went through them from top to bottom after my latest update, and there are absolutely loads now. Almost as many as the last 'Droid I set up (Galaxy Note 2 for a friend). Also Apple had reset some of them to their defaults after the update, that I'd specifically set the other way before. Which is rather cheeky - although backing up to iCloud worked perfectly, other than that obvious deliberate decision to re-enable all sorts of stuff that I don't want.
They need to nuke their settings and start again from scratch, in some more logical way. Quite a few useful bits are hidden away in the accessibility stuff. Although I do give them credit for having lots of accessibility options, far more than Android. And I happen to know that this is an area Tim Cook takes personal interest in pushing - as I know people with disabilities he's talked to about how to improve their systems (along with enrolling them on a testing/evaluation program). So kudos to Apple for making considerable effort in that area.
I'm surprised by Andrew O's crashing story. Not that this reveiw phone crashed, but that he's never had a crash on anything else.
My iPhone 5 has crashed quite a few times. Enough that I now turn it off in long meetings, rather than put it on silent, so I know it's getting a regular reboot. And I've had a lot less crashing since then. It does have a few apps on, but not that many, as it's my work phone. All games are on my iPad 3.
Speaking of which I've had quite a few crashes on that too. But it gets a hammering with games and using iPlayer radio via my stereo, while I'm looking at websites, or using apps. In both cases the main problem seems to be the system not responding to the touchscreen (often the home button still works), and a reboot fixes it. I think it was only on the iPad 1 that I had a full crash, where even holding down the power button couldn't force a reboot - and I had to look online how to do a full reset which I think was home+power+volume up.
My experience of Android is probably now too out of date. My HTC Wildfire (Android 2.2.x used to crash a bit more than the iOS devices. The only solution to a couple was to remove the battery, which fortunately was possible. Including crashing a couple of times on an incoming call - and the screen just went white. But that was years ago, so I assume 'Droids have improved since, especially the ability to reset, as there's so many sealed batteries nowadays.
I don't remember my old Lumia 720 (WinPho 7.5) ever crashing. But I'd be surprised if it didn't at least once.
No-one knows the length of a bendy-bus. They all caught fire before the tape measure could reach the other end...
5 thumbs down, eh? Tsk, tsk! Apparently it's necessary to include the joke icon every time.
I think the problem is people just didn't follow your thread. They just didn't have that same lightbulb moment as you...
Or perhaps your sense of humour is off by just a hair?
He did. Everyone knew he was really quick, so no-one knows what position he played...
I was trying to talk my Mum through filling in an online form. So type in that box, then press Tab to take you to the next box. "Where's tab?"' she says.
Well of course, I learnt on a typewriter. I hit the tab key a lot of times over the years. But she didn't, and modern computer keyboards don't say the same things. So the tab key is a couple of right-facing arrows, and the shift key is an up-facing arrow. And no-one I'm helping ever seems to know what the windows key is.
Then again, I'm not exactly perfect. I still find myself telling someone to put the file in a directory, when they've been folders since Windows 95.
But there seems to be something about computers that sucks the intelligence out of people. If you're showing them what to do, they appear to switch their brain off and turn into drooling morons.
I can understand not being a fan of computers, or being interested in them outside the specific task you use them for. I don't read an online tabloid about screwdriver design, for example. I don't drool over the latest model of kitchen knife, I have a handful that do the job perfectly well enough. But I do own a knife sharpener.
I think there's one of the two companies' figures show a tiny drop in 8.1 market share for the final month (as against the month before), although the other doesn't and shows a continuation of the obvious rising trend. So they've decided to report it as a story, for some reason.
It seems to be the same kind of piss poor reporting that newspapers like to indulge themeselves in over opinion polls. So for example yesterday Yougov had the Conservatives ahead of Labour by one point, when all the last week's polls said there was about 2-4 point gap. It may of course be a huge boost from Cameron's speech, or may just be sampling error. May be better to wait a couple of days (and a couple of polls) to see. As when Lord Ashcroft's poll a couple of weeks ago had them drop by 7%age points in one week! And of course it reverted to the mean and jumped by 8 the next, but that didn't get reported as massive rise in support. I guess they missed a crappy headline opportunity there...
I'd forgotten how bad Windows 8 was until a couple of weeks ago. Had to set up a new laptop for a friend, and it came with Win 8. Just installing anti-virus and deleting the odd bit of vendor crap, before applying all the updates and going to 8.1 was a right pain in the arse. I'd forgotten how hard it was to do simple things like getting to the desktop, or shutting down.
With 8.1 you can right click where the start menu should be - and most stuff you want is there. And the windows key takes you from desktop to Metro, then back again. I'd totally forgotten just how unfinished it was.
Basically my work PC died, so I made a run to PC World and bought a new one, Win 8 was the only option. I think I got it about 2 weeks before 8.1 came out, so I didn't have long to put up with it. I'm used to 8.1, and so never even bothered to install Classic Shell. Though I have for a couple of friends.
It shouldn't even nag. The 8.1 update is done through the Windows Marketplace, that nobody uses.
As for the OP, the last 3 laptops people I know have bought (all in the last 2 months), came with unpatched Windows 8. So they required about 100 patches to be applied, before the Marketplace would even allow me to install Win 8.1. None of them mentioned the service pack once upgrading was complete.
Our school's smear-paper was "Izal".
I believe they have since change their name to ISIS. Oor is it ISIL? Their policy of inhuman brutality has remained the same...
A useful reminder. I have bacon in the fridge, but no bread - and no time to make any as I've got friends over for dinner tonight. So if I wish to feast on breakfast bacon butties tomorrow, I'll need to get some in.
As for soylent green, bleurgh! If I'm going to eat long pig, I may as well enjoy it in a long-bacon bap, or have it with apple sauce and roast tatties. If over-population is going to force us into cannibalism, then I for one do not intend to drop my standards, but to continue to enjoy my meals. "Eating" this is strictly fo rmy old age, when I'm no longer able to chomp through proper food, by which time I will of course have been shuffled off to the great Soylent Green factory myself - and so won't have to worry about it.
Is my memory failing me or was Soylent Green not shaped rather like a large bar of chocolate, only green coloured obviously?
Sounds like you might die of starvation before it arrives though...
No, no, no! It's the Tesla Dirigible.
Electric airships to meet up with his hovering rockets, so you can simply step into your car at home, and commute to the moon.
I'm glad this number of pints is going to improve spatial memory, becasue after drinking my 176.6 pints in the first hour down the pub, I'm going to want to remember where the toilets are really, really, really urgently!
The problem with handing out t-shorts is that the internal competition causes splits...
Nice post. Although I think you over-analysed mine a touch... I just picked a couple of companies at random that seem to be investing in new things. Interesting stuff about Rolls Royce. I actaully wrote 2 paragraphs on Google, then deleted them, because I could see myself writing another 5. But they do make long-term bets and spend a lot on R&D. Their R&D is probably only aimed at the next 10 years or so, but then they're in a fast-changing industry.
Android is a great example of Google's vision. A rather disturbingly creepy vision, but nevertheless. They spent billions on it. But it has been instructive and impressive to watch all their bets coming in over the last few years. The fact that an Android phone is a mobile data-collection station for Google has been exploited brilliantly. So they invested in mapping, even drove cars around to collect pictures and that amazingly useful Wi-Fi hotspot database. Then used their phones to maintain that - while they were also using it to improve GPS and their location tracking and local search. Integration, network effects and a willingness to try lots of stuff are doing wonders for them.
Technologically they're doing a very good job, I suspect that they may have mis-understood the power of social change though. If the voters wake up to the amount of privacy they're giving up, and decide they don't like it, Google could find themselves in serious trouble. And I get the impression they don't understand that, and think they can get round it with lobbying. But look at the German public debate on data protection and privacy for an example of how things can also go. And Germany just got their EU commissioner put in charge of all this for the next 4 years. Let's see how nimble and far-sighted Google's management really are...
Why so little interest in heat pumps? Why so little interest in commercial-scale heat storage in what used to be called "calorifiers" or modern equivalent? But domestic wind power? What a silly idea that was.
The under-use of heat pumps is really sad. We spend so much energy in heating water, and yet don't use solar-thermal and heat pumps. We still call them calorifiers, and in combination with under-floor heating you're laughing. Even on a cloudy day you can usually get water up to 40°C, and heat pumps are more efficient when not going to high temperatures.
Another thing you can do is get free ground source piping, whenever you build a tall building. Simply attach plastic pipe to the piles, a few will get broken when they're driven in, but most will survive - and then you just hook them up to a heat-pump. You can then achieve 3kW of heating for 1kW of energy input.
Although domestic nuclear (maybe a car-sized reactor?) would be best. I saw it on that documentary about the future I was watching the other day. What was it called again? Tomorrow's World? No, that was it, Thunderbirds.
But that windmill energy is free. It costs us no new carbon to generate it. Yes I know the turbines cost, and you'll have to burn some gas keeping plants on spinning reserve.
There's a certain percentage of capacity where wind is an advantage, as you get not to run some gas plants, and save some CO2. Obviously that gets more inefficient as you try and get more of your power mix from wind. And I've seen figures that suggest we've reached, or surpassed, that point.
At grid scale, the only solution I can see is nuclear. Which also generates power we often can't use, so it would be nice to have some sort of power storage method for that too. With some gas for back-up and emergency reserve. I guess some wind, as we've got it, and hydro is obviously good. I'm dubious about wave and tidal power, but it might have its place too.
I don't think we can do grid scale solar in this country. But it may have a place locally, especially if we use solar-thermal and PV. Along with heat pumps.
That's part of the point of the article. Of course people won't cut back. Not voluntarily. And there's a limit to what even the most repressive of governments can force people to do. It's the thing a lot of the greens don't seem to grasp. People will take long-term pain in order to get short-term gratification. Especially if they're not sure they believe in the long-term pain. If that weren't true, the UK economy wouldn't currently be sitting on nearly £1.5 trillion of government debt (and rising.
So in the end we can only solve climate change by making the green alternatives cheaper than the dirty ones. People will put up with the price of carbon being pushed up, but as Ed Miliband's popular success with his policy of capping energy prices shows, not too much of that either.
Fortunately I believe that nuclear can be easily pushed cheaper than coal, though probably not gas. But remember that's nuclear with the costs of cleanup being compared to gas and coal without the costs of climate change or mitigation added in.
We should be able to get thorium to work, which should be cheaper and safer. Hopefully fusion too. Solar is getting ever cheaper, and is probably not as great for the UK, but should be wonderful for many other places round the world.
Rural Africa has gone from crap communications to mobile without the expensive step of fixed-lines in between. With solar and local storage they could make a similar leap with power, which should do wonders for their quality of life.
Climate change should be perfectly possible to deal with, by moving our energy to stuff that doesn't emit CO2. Then we can continue with growth perfectly happily. There are other big environmental issues, but making everyone in the world richer should help solve population growth and a lot of the damage done to rainforests and natural habitats. As well as stopping millions from living in misery, starving and dying unneccesarily. So mostly a good thing. Even if it forces us into tother policies to deal with the downsides. It's still mostly upside.
the sun does not shine at night
It's also wrong. The Sun does shine at night. It's just hiding. If we could find a method to coax it out, and make it less shy, then we could have 24 hour sunshine. Has anyone tried sacrifices of virgins at Stonehenge?
[I'm using the smiley face, obviously. Becasue the Sun has got its hat on.]
Wind turbines do cut it, if you've got a method of storing power. But we don't, and I'm sure there are better methods of generating leccy anyway. Nuclear is the only viable answer I can see. With lots of solar, still making big gains in efficiency, also looking like a possible good thing.
Squaring those two is easy. GEC management were shit, did the wrong stuff. Bye bye company. Other companies do better. GE, Rolls Royce and Google are examples, even Microsoft (though management haven't done very well with the stuff they've had). The whole pharmaceuticals industry have continued to pour billions into R&D (both basic and applied) for year after year.
Market economies work on average. It's a messy business, but we have continued to get richer overall. Mistakes are guaranteed to happen, but there's a survival of the fittest element going on too. So more successful companies can kick out the old-guard if they fail to pass muster. That competition can have bad effects too, as the companies that don't think long-term might out-compete those that are spending on R&D. But that's one of the points of having things like intellectual property. We regulate the market to reward things we want, in the hopes we'll get more of them. Of course if we cock up, and reward things we don't want (patent trolls), we get more of them.
Which leads me to my next point. Government. Planned economies are the less messy alternative to market ones. Compare and contrast the shambles that was the German World War II economy to the far more rigidly planned British and Soviet ones. But that requires competent government that keeps making the right choices. Broadly the British government ran its war-economy brilliantly. But the post war attempt to carry that on failed miserably. And here you have the downside of central planning, as there's no alternative waiting in the wings, hungry to kick out the big boys and take over.
Take another example of government, UK energy policy. I lost track of the different initiatives and pay-back schemes they ran over the years. But in one of their renewable energy schemes they only consulted one company, who were the only ones certified to comply, who therefore hoovered up all the sales before anyone else could get registered. They also had this bizarre obsession with domestic solar power, which in this country is utterly unsuitable. We don't get that much sun, and we have no means of storage, so as most people are out during the day, what's the point? Whereas solar-thermal costs the same to install, but allows you to save about 40-60% of your heating fuel use - and storing heat in a tank of hot water is a well-proven system. And they seemed to ignore heat-pumps. Whereas incentives to have solar PV on office buildings, or even better combined solar-thermal and PV, would have been brilliant at cutting daytime power use.
Much better to let the capitalists fight like dogs in a sack to get your money, and just set the overall rules and watch them do it. So give incentives for not creating CO2. A carbon tax seems the easiest. Spread around liberal amounts of research money. Then sit back and see what works best.
my wife keeps her phone in her bra... :-/
I bet you feel a right tit when she's busy and you have to answer the phone for her...
Certainly. Clown trousers are available at all good retailers. One size
doesn't fits all. With roomy elasticated waists and trousers to hold all your laptop or custard needs.
But do women carry their phones in their handbags because they haven't got the pockets? My Mum complains because when she's at home, she obviously no longer requires her handbag, but with no pockets to put the phone in it either gets left in the bag, or abandoned in whichever room she happens to take it out in first. Obviously if she's visiting me it's no problem, as it can sit by her seat with phone available. Not that anyone gets signal in my flat...
Whereas a man's phone can stay in his pocket, and be available at all times. Ready for fondling or answering, as required.
Given the annoyances women are willing to put up with in the name of fashion, should we seek another solution? If pockets spoil the line of a well cut trouser. How's about autonomous drone handbags? Either flying or wheeled, which follow you round the house, with all your bits-and-pieces.
I just hope Ridley Scott doesn't turn it into another Prometheus.....
I watched Blade Runner a few weeks ago (must have been the Director's Cut), followed by a documentary on it. I wonder if all films have quite that level of infighting...?
Ridley Scott said he'd optioned Dune at the time, but decided on Blade Running instead. I wonder what he'd have made of that? As many problems as I thought Prometheus had, it's still Citizen Kane in comparison with David Lynch's Dune. Dune has crap script, crap acting and crap special effects, all rolled into one package.
Ouch. Comparing Ender's Game to Battlefield Earth seems rather harsh. Although the lead actor didn't seem to be able to make Ender likeable - which was either a failure of script or acting ability.
However, I didn't think they dawdled through the plot. I think that only having 90 mnutes was its problem. Maybe Ender isn't likeable (you don't get named Ender The Xenocide for nothing), but he is supposed to be a born leader. The book can sidestep that problem by spending the whole time inside his head, so you can understand his motives. Film can't.
As to your problem with the ending, the book isn't about the aliens. The book is about Ender and why he's not like his brother or sister. So I guess their choice was do it properly as two films (or a TV series), or just make another aliens vs. humans film and option a best-selling book so you can hopefully get some people guaranteed to come and see you. In which case they should have dumped most of the plot, and just kept the battle room and the space battles. After all, Total Recall and The Running Man are great fun films, but bear very little relation to the short stories they're nominally based on. Total Recall didn't even keep the name, although I suppose it would be hard to fit 'We Can Remember it for You Wholesale' on the poster...
I'd have thought some of Hamilton's stuff would film really nicely. I've gone off him, since his books started getting mind-bogglingly enormous, but then I've not been reading as much in the last few years either.
I lost the ability to suspend disbelief in the Night's Dawn trilogy, though ploughed through to the end anyway. I can see any attempt to make telly out of that risking becoming utterly ridiculous. Although who wouldn't want to see Al Capone in spaaaaaaace. If you could find a way round that, it would be easy to translate to the screen. I gave up early on in the next lot (Void trilogy?). Obviously decent modern CGI makes space opera a lot easier.
I was thinking that his first three books would work as well. The Greg Mandell stuff. But then maybe not. How to do mind-reading on screen?
I guess this is why I've always preferred books to telly. Although at least the TV series can do a lot better job than a film. A TV series of 'Ender's Game' might have been great. The film just didn't work at all. There wasn't enough time to grow to understand and like the character, so you didn't care what happened to him. The space opera bits worked fine.
I'm thinking of setting up a cosmetic surgery business giving wrinkles to young celebs. The idea being to distinguish them from the weird, old celebs who've basically had their faces ironed smooth with botox. Then the young ones can prove that their smooth good looks are 'real' and 'natural' by sporting just one, strategically placed and attractive laughter line.
I do wish Keith Richards could have been in the first picture, to give a nice contrast...
One of our clients are doing their Christmas do at Madame Tussauds. The blurb says something about celebs looking on as you dine on your sumptuous meal (yeah right!), and I was wondering how odd it would look to be surrounded by plastic-faced dummies.
Then I see a picture of Lagerfeld and Wintour, the autons of the fashion world, and realise that it'll be just like being at a real celeb bash.
I don't understant it. They're both pretty old (late 60s or 70s?), and sure they have no wrinkles on their faces. But guys, we can still see your necks. And anyway, even the youngest of smoothest faced children doesn't have a shiny plastic fizzog like that. Although I suppose plastic is the wrong word. Paralysed into immobility, would be better.
My theory is that this is what Saddam did with his WMDs. The UN didn't get all of his botulinum toxin in the 90s, and it's not been found since, so I suspect it's all gone into celebrity faces...
Cowards! Where's your sense of adventure?
"Hmm, well yes it's nice and shiny, fits the hand well, and I do like those glowing mystical runes appearing on it's surface, but I really can't see it being sharp enough to get the skin off an antelope.
Plus it'll never replace the iHenge. The latest models can caluculate the phases of the moon within minutes, and you need to sacrifice fewer than 5 virgins nowadays. Which is good, what with virgins getting harder and harder to get hold of, now that the youth of today have started this cave-wall networking.
...I dunno in my day we didn't have all this stuff you were happy with a flint and a stick and there was none of this modern rubbish moving bloody great stones around the place and ruining perfectly nice cave walls and where are all the trees I ask you and you don't get sabre toothed tigers like you used to these modern ones take minutes to eat your children rather than gulping them down in one guy and you can't get the druids any more...
That could be the ultimate way to secure the exclusive rights to your 'special' day and maximise profit from Hello!* magazine. Set up an entire fake wedding, with fake guests and a fake bride. Go off and do that, and let the tabloids get all the snaps they want. Plus you can then invite all the horrible celebrity hangers-on to that one.
Meanwhile you sneak off for the real wedding the next day, with only the guests you want, to someone completely different. Then sell the rights and exclusive to that for a fortune. Obviously you have to cross your fingers behind your back when making the vows for the first wedding.
As an alternative you could send look-a-likes to the first wedding of the couple and whatever celeb guests you actually want at the real one. Then you don't have the unfortunate risk of accidental bigamy. This distracts the tabloids and the hangers-on nicely. They're all too dim to notice the fakes. Just tell them there's an exclusive new brand of fake-tan and fake-breasts that the guests have to use as their invites - they'll never spot it...
*Eureka! I've just realised who Yahoo! should merge with. Hello! They could call themselves Halloo!...
Put down your spam fritters, and get with the program Daddio!
Now we've got telephones so small they can actually fit in a satchel. We've got modern fabrics that allow the production of flourescent socks. And we've got this amazing new storage format that allows you to record tons of music and text, or up to 2 hours of video. It's called laser disc...
But does it fix the microwave charging issue? I fully charged my iPhone in the devil's oven while installing iOS 8 (you're advised to plug in while updating). And got a black screen when I took it out. So I'm hoping that 8.0.2 will get me back up and running.
Weirdly, my microwave stopped working at the same time. But I'm told that's probably because Samsung always copy Apple...
I know a mobile dentist, and I can assure you that although he likes a pie or two, he's perfectly capable of moving himself around without assistance from an internal combustion engine. He's even man-portable, should you happen to roll that way, although you'd need a pretty heroic tailor to define him as pocket size.
He also bends in half at far less than 90lb pressure...
It's not a problem. They're journalists. So they're too lazy and/or drunk to get up to anything sinister.
The only one who seems capable of plotting an evil scheme has just booked himself onto a flight to the US with a large explosive device that's also a remotely operated drone. By the time Lester gets halfway through his explanation to the TSA of what's in his luggage, he'll be off to Gitmo so fast his feet'll smoke. I shouldn't imagine he'll be out before all that data is worthless anyway...
I believe the founder of Vkontakte just lost control of it to one of the Kremlin-insider oligarch types.
Although this is as likely to be about politics and power as money.
One major obstacle here, is that the TV manufacturers seem to be under the delusion that their smart TV stuff adds value - and that they're competent to design user interfaces. However, neither of these seems to be even remotely close to reality.
What they don't seem to want to accept is that many, in the UK probably most, people now use their TV as simply a display for one or more box. Whether that be Sky, Virgin, Youview, a console or something else. So all it needs to do is cede control to the other end of the HDMI cable, and leave us alone.
I've just started using my TV's Freeview tuner, as I've cancelled Sky. And I think I'm going to have to get a box. Partly as I miss PVR, but mostly because I can barely read the horrible program guide on the telly, and the remote is so badly laid out that it's too easy to dump myself into the menus, rather than the EPG.
I have no idea why they thought that only about 14pt type was acceptable on a 50" screen. I only bought one that big because of my poor eyesight in the first place... Similarly I don't favour remote controls that are so tiny and piss-poorly designed that I'm required to dig out my reading glasses to use them.
Can you attach emergency helium balloons to yourselves, and just float out of harms way?
He's going in under a false passport as a Lego Minifigure. Let's hope TSA don't spot him, or they'll need to manufacture some really small rubber gloves...
I hope they brew a beer called Half Biscuit...
The problem is that people have heard about these underground beer aquifers and misunderstood. This is why so many pubs connect the large plastic pipes they find underground directly to their lager pumps. Not realising that these pipes link to the outlet of their urinals. Fortunately no one has yet noticed...
But there is a reason why there's a whole section of the 1999 Water Regulations dedicate to the correct marking and colour coding of pipes.
The interesting question is which came first. Was it the belgian chocolate miners who first stubled across the beer wells? Or was it people drilling for beer who found the rich seams of chocolate to mine? Bruges is certainly a rich source of both.