Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Law Actually Facebook Experiment – Update

FB experiment game overMy sordid affair with Facebook is over.

Sadly, my experiment proved a bit of a damp squib, but after 5 months of hardly using my FB account, coupled with the latest privacy debacle, I thought now was as good a time as any to throw in the towel.

I can’t even say it was fun while it lasted.

On reflection, FB didn’t kill me, but I didn’t like it either. I didn’t like the way it had clearly rooted through previous acquaintance’s address books as there were friend suggestions by the dozen from people I used to be in touch (via an Hotmail account I’ve not used since 2004!!).

Facebook proved naggy, often irrelevant and was a UI disaster in my opinion, appearing far to cluttered and overly busy. It was only when I came to deactivate my account that I realised just how evil and tenacious the Facebook tendrils truly were.

At least three separate warnings popped up trying to guilt trip me into not quitting, saying repeatedly how I wouldn’t be able keep in touch with all of my contacts (what, all 6 of them?) if I de-activated my account. The final screen displaying the profile picture of 3 contacts (Andro, Travis and Oliver Smith) saying how each of them would ‘miss me’, had little effect of dissuading me, I’m afraid. But the manipulative effect wasn’t lost on me. BTW, it’s nothing personal, guys. Besides, I follow you all on Twitter anyway – where I am a least a touch more active.

So yeah, it’s all over. I can go back to being a regular Facebook hater from now on.

Thank God for that!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Wacky Keywords – May 2010 – Part 2

law actually keywords part 2 The second batch…

“how to be ethical lawyer” - Oh please, do me a favour! There’s no such thing.

“uk market llb” - in a word, saturated.

“thong bikini advice” – how about a wax job on  the ol’ chassis first?

“anyone heard from pupillage portal” - nope, if you’re hearing voices, it’s probably NOT the portal.

“law toilet seat” - You came to the right place: I took a module in toilet seat law as an undergrad!  ;-)

“gross personal habits men blowing nose on hands” - Had to be done before Mr
Kleenex had that brainwave of his.

“the best way to be a good studier without trying too hard” - mind bending drugs.

“how to cram for LLB exam” - oh deary.

“ladies using the gents urinals you tube” -  You pervert.  

“one day left to revise can i pass my exam law” - I think we both know the answer.  And is ‘passing; your only objective?  What happened to doing well.

“18 inch llm - wow” – All right – there’s no need to boast! ;-)

“primark was sewed for 7 yr old padded bikinis” - interesting means of retribution against the executive board.  Hope they used dissolvable stitches!  ;-)

“how to behave if a cow attacks you” - like a gentleman!  It works every time!  :-)

“why I am suitable for law” - I don't know.  Have you tried asking your mother?  :p

“yahoo pervs” - I know... thank God Google doesn’t suffer with the same problem.  Oh wait...

“applied to lots of law placements and cant get one. why?” The market’s saturated.  Or you’re possibly just crap.  Oh come on - don’t look at me like that!

“find seat belt blogs” - wow... what an anorak! 

“is there a law about blowing your nose” - I know the previous government got a bit trigger happy and were legislating here, there, everywhere.  But even they didn’t go quite that far.

“how to win a training contract” - I heard ROF is running a lucky dip next week (and have you tried looking on eBay?)

“office brunette driving moped” - are you turning to Google for help in stalking her?  ;-)

“how the law profession works as compared to television and movies” - much more boring and tedious; lawyers aren’t that good looking and have much less sex!  Next?

“is it okay to read only important cases in law student uk?”
Nope, you must read the unimportant ones, too.

"i'm singing with my laptop” - whatever keeps you amused, dear.

“northern ireland rta pedestrian case drunk side of car” - if only you hit him with the sober side of your car, eh?  :p

“any point in getting llm in corporate law” -If you’re Googling a question like that, I’d say you shouldn’t bother tbh.

“help me pass my LLB. exams" - you know things are dire when you're appealing and pleading to Google to help you pass your exams!!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Wacky Keywords – May 2010 – Part 1

Law Actually May search terms part 1It’s been a bumper month for wacky search terms so I’ve decided to split this into 2 parts.  I know, readers, I know: I spoil you so!

Anyway, let’s get straight to it:

"competent person" AND highway AND "New York" - You’ll be lucky!  Have you seen how those guys drive?

“llm learning torrent” - So let me get this straight: you want to download your postgrad degree in law from a bit torrent site?

“slipped on grape at work but my soliciator says I wont win claim. help” - Those damn ‘soliciators’, eh?  :p

“porn industry compensation claims” - wow... my mind is already racing as to what kind of injury might have been involved!  ;-)

“can a single mum do llb” - of course!  Be advised though that breastfeeding in seminars is generally frowned upon!

“toilet seats that are not meant to remove” - isn’t that usually the idea.  Actually, you’ve given me another invention idea there - portable toilet seats!

“do the astronaut wear seat belt to sit on the toilet?” - Oh, bless your heart for asking!  Yes, otherwise... well, I’ll let your mind fill in the blanks.

“personal injury on works outing uk” - I bet the boss of that firm wishes he’d never bothered now!

“Best way to use dictaphones for a law office” - hold near to mouth, press record and speak clearly.   Do you need a demonstration?  :p

“meaningful tattoos for women about loss” - doesn’t every tattoo necessarily signify a loss of the person’s dignity?  (particularly the tramp stamp!!)

“Despite laws that require you to wear seat belt , many people don't not wear them” - what’s this... state the obvious hour?  :p

“how do i make my business legal uk” - stop selling class A drugs.

“primark push up 8 year old” - what’s this?  Some kind of junior athletic challenge held in store?

“dictaphone spare parts” - most dictaphone users tend to be spare parts in my experience.  :p

“what's wrong with retail” - what’s right with it?  

“weird british birthday laws” - birthday bumps can only legally be given during a leap year.  s78(1)(c) of the Annual Acclamation, Commemoration and Celebrations Act 1924    ;-)

“stockroom nazi” - I think I worked with one in my summer job a few years ago.

“etiquette for law students” – Rule number 1: No farting in lectures. And ladies, a pre-emptive squirt of your bodyspray, and then coughing whilst rustling papers to cover the dastardly deed doesn’t completely mask it! Also, chaps, always hold the door for a lady!  Does not apply to ladettes, though.  In that situation, you’re safe to let it swing shut in her face! ;-)

“law can't revise topics more than once” – I can see why that might prove to be a problem!

“the dirt man take of the skirt in the street” - sounds like a coded message to me.  

“pillow throw law graduate” - all law grads love a pillow fight!

“employment law invading my personal space” - That module can get a bit much, can’t it?  Still, try not to become paranoid would be my advice.

“im doing an LLM Criminal Law” – Seriously?  Why would you punch that statement into Google?

“I burned up - literally” - Well, it has been hot recently.

“HOW TO REVISE FOR AN EMPLOYMENT LAW BUSINESS EXAM” - you can judge from the use of capitals that this visitor was bordering on a first degree panic attack.

“law student eligible for jury service?” A painful yes, I’m afraid.  See my monumental boob!  

“failure llb” – Oh come on: think positively!

“laws on doing up a moped” – One word: Don’t!!  You’ll look ridiculous, buzzing along with the noise of a backfiring 747 when you’re managing a whole 8 mph!  Seriously, every car driver in the vicinity is pi*sing their pants watching you tootle along.

Stick around for part 2 folks. There’s plenty more keyword gold I’ve kept back! :-)

Monday, 24 May 2010

Personal Injury… in the Wild

From Total Injury Blog (found via Digg):

Personal injuries don’t just happen on icy patches of sidewalk. Every year, thousands of people across the world are seriously injured and even killed by the wild creatures of the animal kingdom. Animal attacks may be more common than you think.

Check out these stats on personal injury in the wild and see which animal attacks are the most dangerous. Also, learn about domestic dog attacks, dangerous aquatic animals and what to do when you encounter a grizzly bear.

wild animal personal injury infographic(Click for larger image)

I’d never really thought of wild animals being part of the PI compensation culture problem before – and for good reason: they’re not.  I don’t think anyone – save for Michael* over at Total Injury – is suggesting the answer to man meeting a dangerous wild animal and coming off worst is to be found by suing said animal.  Good luck with that one, Michael!  ;-) 

Still, the US have probably witnessed a fair few actions brought against dangerous critters.  It’s a jurisdiction prone to frivolity after all!

There’s no doubt it’s an interesting infographic – if only for the cans of grizzly bear repellent.  I’m currently trying to patent a similar substance for use against ex girlfriends for what it’s worth.  We’re moving to the clinical trial stage soon, so if there are any willing volunteers out there, you know, feel free to get in touch.

*And yes, the similarity in names is an unfortunate coincidence and, for the record, it’s definitely not me.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

New Life in the ‘Sphere

new life in the blawgosphereGiven that it’s been a while since I’ve documented any newcomers to the blawgosphere, I thought it was high time I did something about that.  I’ve serendipitously discovered a bunch of new blogs over the past few of weeks, plus I received an email out of the blue which highlighted 3 more.  Hopefully, seasoned members of the inner sanctum of blawgers will find these new offerings well worth checking out.

Anyway, in no particular order:

BAR-barella

With a penchant for the colour pink and kisses at the end of each post, Barb seems to possess the requisite quirkiness to quickly become an accepted member of inner sanctum of UK blawgers.  She describes herself as,

“[a] mature student who was recently forced to give up a part-time job and had a vague dream of being a lawyer when 16, ignored it and did everthing [sic] else instead. Somehow landed on planet GDL but now on the new planet, BVC.” 

Bar-Barella’s posts are regular if infrequent, although that seems to be increasingly the norm in the ‘sphere these days.  Refreshingly down-to-earth, Barb adopts a no-nonsense approach and says it like it is.  I think she’ll fit in just fine!  Final point, no blawgroll  as yet, Barb.  Nudge, nudge; wink, wink!  ;-)

A British Law Student

By describing his blog as, “the mad rantings of a wannabe Barrister,” I guess ABLS is not exactly reinventing the wheel in his approach to blawging.  Straightaway, though, you sense that ABLS is something of an old-skool law student blog which were oh-so common in 2007 but alas, not anymore.  Sadly, his postings are not particularly frequent, either, but in this new modern era of blawging – where less is truly more – that’s to be expected.  It also hopefully means that rather than burning up on the launch pad like a dodgy space shuttle a la Obiter, Lacunae etc., he’ll be around for a while yet.

Garrulous Law

GL doesn’t seem to quite fit the standard UK law student blog mould. That’s by no means a bad thing; it’s just there’s a slight feeling of it being cobbled together. Despite having been about for the last 6 months - and boasting the domain name - Garrulouslaw.com, you get the sense that GL is still finding his sense of direction, too.  That said, his multi-facetted approach should mean there’s something for everybody - particularly if you’ve an acquired taste for parody.  I’m sure, like any good blawg, GL will mature like a fine wine and get better and better with age.

Bleak Flat

Describes himself as, “a final year law student, trying to creep into the profession” - presumably in the hopes of whisking a training contract or pupillage away from under his peers’ noses.  Bleak Flat Legal Blog (BFLB) sports a clean and polished interface, with posts of more or less the perfect length.  If his posting frequency stepped up a notch, he’d likely be vying for the ‘best newcomer’ award in Minxy’s blawgies.

Your Law Student

Legally your average law student? I think so...”
I’m liking some of the creative taglines that this new bevy of blawgers have come up with and Ben’s is no exception!  (Yes, that’s another Ben - I smell a conspiracy!!)  To be frank, though, YLS has suffered a bit of a faltering start in  the ‘sphere and his posts are anything but frequent.  Nonetheless, Ben has had the good sense to link to Law Actually, which more or less justifies his inclusion in this round-up.  From the few posts there are, it’s obvious Ben’s tastes in blogging subjects are varied, which is always a good thing.  Unsurprisingly, he’s another would-be barrister, soon to be joining that ever-lengthening queue, begging for a pupillage with his bowl out.

Little Tiny Pieces

Not exactly a blawg per se but what the heck!  Little Tiny Pieces, written by devout Conservative Gemma, is arguably Britain’s answer to Caitlin Oppermann - albeit with less cursing.  With a strong emphasis of photography, a quick visit to LTP can provide that creative fix that all blawgers need from time to time - particularly those of an artistic temperament.  Gemma cuts a distinctly arty style that makes for a refreshing entry in my RSS reader and I’m sure it will yours, too.  I initially discovered Tiny Little Pieces through Twitter and was slightly perturbed to discover, as with another blog I recommended last year, she’s a nail varnish connoisseur.  However, rest assured, there’s no chance Gemma will follow in Pink Pop Polka Pimple’s tracks and descend into neck-high cosmetic farce.  Overall, a great new entry to the ‘sphere and comes highly recommended.  All she’s missing now is a link to Law Actually!  ;-)

The Anonymous Prosecutor

Is the blawg of a CPS lawyer which cuts a slightly maverick and quirky style – something which should been seen as a distinct positive.  AP is close to its first birthday, having been around since July ‘09 and thankfully there are few worrying signs so far.  Down-to-earth, bordering on self-deprecating, this blawg is very much of case of being exactly what it says on the tin. AP provides a fascinating insight into the working life of a CPS lawyer and the news, more often than not, is bad rather than good.  I somehow sense AP is a bit of a cynic, which, as I’m sure will come as no surprise to you, faithful reader, suits me just fine.  ;D

Justice of the Peace

A blawg that could well end up rivalling Charon QC – particularly given the voluminous posts and taste for parody.  Readers will find a lot of hardcore news blurbs, commentary and analysis which should hit the spot for most, though your mileage may vary.  Posting frequency is through the roof which I guess makes up for some of our less prolific newcomers!  All in all, a great new entry. 

Bad Boy Barrister

There are strong undertones of Geeklawyer here – albeit without *quite* so much of the X-rated language.  BBB certainly sounds a bit of a card judging by his description: “Disillusioned, disenfranchised and dysfunctional Criminal Barrister. Did I mention undervalued, underpaid and undersexed..”
BBB cuts a distinctive figure which starts right from the old-skool minima black and red blawg theme, which is, if nothing else, highly individualistic.   With only a couple of posts to his name,  BBB might have a way to go yet, but his offering is unusual and highly promising one.  While the jury’s still out at present as to whether BBB is, as the author himself suggests, the definitive barrister blog, I do believe that BBB, could shape up nicely in the months ahead.  His SEO trick at the bottom is also a touch unnerving, though.  As I said out-loud on first seeing it, “well, that’s one way of going about it!”. 

So there you have it.  If there are any other newcomers in the sphere that I’ve missed, please let me know.  We need all the fresh blood we can get.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

QualitySolicitors Hits the Streets

From the Law Society Gazette 20/05/10:

Law firm marketing alliance QualitySolicitors has launched a national high street branch network in a bid to become the first ‘household name’ legal brand, the Gazette can exclusively reveal.

Today sees the opening of the first 15 QualitySolicitors branches across the UK, in a strategy described as a ‘game changer’ by one industry commentator.

Well-established practices such as Bristol firm Burroughs Day, Lockings in Hull and Howlett Clarke in Brighton are among 13 firms to have totally rebranded. They now trade under the QualitySolicitors name, branding and logo.

QualitySolicitors chief executive Craig Holt said: ‘The threat posed by “Tesco law” [when the Legal Services Act comes fully into force in October 2011] is so grave because of the lack of recognised, customer service-focused brand names in the legal market.

‘Visibility on the high street, along with a high-profile marketing campaign including on primetime television, will transform QualitySolicitors into the first household name legal brand.’

It’s always said that attack is often the best form of defence and I guess this is a clear shot across the bows of ‘Tesco law’ players, who are currently readying their battalions prior to battle.

I think few will deny that the legal profession should evolve and modernise its image and accessibility to better reflect the demands of clients in the 21st century. It’ll be interesting to see how well this is received but this could well be a taste of things to come.

And regarding the name, QualitySolicitors, it’s certainly a ‘what it says on the tin’ approach, but I suppose those are often the best.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

It’s official: men are filthy liars; women slightly less so

happy couple
From the Press Association 18/05/10:

According to the survey, the average male tells 1,092 lies every year - roughly three a day - and in so doing, he is less likely to suffer a guilty conscience than his female counterpart.

By contrast, the average woman will come out with 728 porkies per year - fibbing twice a day.

And while men said their lies were most likely to relate to their drinking habits, the most popular female falsehood is: "Nothing's wrong, I'm fine".

Yes.  Isn’t it just?  

According to the findings, people are most likely to spin a yarn to their mothers with 25% of men and 20% of women admitting to this.

By comparison, only 10% of respondents said they were likely to deceive their partners. But while 82% of females questioned said telling a lie ate away at their conscience, only 70% of men confessed to pangs of guilt. Some 75% of people polled agreed it was "ok" to fib to save someone's feelings.

I think it’s safe to assume that  the 82% of women who said a lie ate away at their conscience were either lying - or else women are just super-skilled at hiding it!  :p

"Lying may seem to be an unavoidable part of human nature but it's an important part of social interaction," said Katie Maggs, associate medical curator at the Science Museum, which commissioned the study. "The jury is still out as to whether human quirks like lying are the result of our genes, evolution or our upbringing."

3 lies a day for men isn’t too bad, I guess, but women were always going to come out on top, weren’t they?

And just for the record, I don’t tell any lies, but if I did, I would feel very guilty about it.

Honestly!

Don’t look at me like that!  ;-)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Extreme Pornography and Sex with a Squid

squid sex offence From This is Swansea

A Mumbles man has appeared in court charged with possessing an "extreme pornographic" image of someone having sex with a dead octopus or squid.

Andrew Charles Dymond, of Dunns Lane, is also alleged to have had images which showed a person performing sex acts with horses and dogs.

The 46-year-old, who faces a total of 25 porn charges, entered a unanimous no plea when he came before Swansea magistrates.

The charge involving the sea creature states the image was of someone "performing an act of intercourse with a dead animal, namely an octopus/squid, which was grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character".

Dymond is also alleged to have made 14 indecent photos of children, as well as possessing an additional 57 images.

Four of the allegations state he had images showing an act which would or was likely to result in "serious injury to a person's breasts".

A further charge makes the same allegation but in relation to someone's genitals.

Leigh Davies, defending Dymond, said: "This is a case that's probably better dealt with in the Crown Court".

Magistrates declined jurisdiction.

As perversions go, Dymond doesn’t seem to be prejudicial as to which he (allegedly) favours and it certainly promises to be an interesting case.  The relatively new provisions relating to extreme pornography are still somewhat controversial - particularly amongst civil libertarians - who feel that outside of child pornography, consenting adults should be broadly free to enter into and record their sexual antics for dissemination without restriction. 

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Email Etiquette 101: Greetings and Closings


email closing options

 

Over the past few months, the volume of email I have to manage has grown exponentially.  I actually have 3 work mailboxes – soon to be become 4 - plus there’s a bunch of mail-forwarding set up so I get pummelled by that too.  As well as shredding my nerves on a daily basis, this deluge of email has forced me to think more about how best to open and close emails, based primarily on some flagrant examples of ‘what not to do’ that I’ve witnessed.

 


Some of the options:

In my experience, intra-business email is often prefaced by a simple ‘Hi’ but inter-business email is definitely heading that way too.  

“Dear X” just seems a bit of an anachronistic opening.  “Hello X” often strikes me as a touch clumsy; “Hello” even more so.  Most business email now seem to start with “Hi X”.

“X”, can sound a tad curt and offhand – though it’s arguably the most common.
Closing emails brings about a similar bunch of problems.


“Best regards”, just doesn’t quite sit right, somehow, though I’m sure that’s just me as it seems to be heavily used.


“Best wishes”, sounds like a non-committal way of ending a birthday card to fairly distant relative/co-worker you couldn’t care less about.  To me, it just doesn’t seem right in an email.

“Yours sincerely/ Yours faithfully” – I refer you to my earlier comments in relation to starting emails with “Dear X”!  :p 

“Best” seemed to reach its peak of popularity about a year ago, given the potential for saved keystrokes, but quickly dropped out of favour when everybody suddenly realised it didn’t actually mean anything.  Which is obviously a problem in communication.

“Rgds” seems to pop up now and then and I guess makes sense if you're not in front of a regular querty keyboard; otherwise it seems more awkward not to type the vowels - at least to me.

I’ve always felt that no closing and just signing your name can come across as a bit curt at times, so I tend to avoid it.  Oh and adding a forward slash prior to you name doesn’t really change that!  ;-)

“Regards” is the standard, non-committal, business response, but it always seems to convey subtle undertones of lethargy on the part of the sender - which is probably doing them an injustice.  Oh well.

“Kind regards”, is another favourite and which I used to feel was a tad sickly.  That said, I’ve seen it work wonders in offsetting something in the email which might otherwise light the blue touch paper.  It’s amazing what you can get away with, if you end your email with ‘Kind regards’.  

Another thing I’ve noticed is that it seems to be increasingly common to use multiple closing phrases as a kind of ‘cover all the bases’ approach.  A guy I’ve exchanged emails with for work over the past few months opts for “many thanks, many regards” which always catches me off-guard - particularly in bright blue times new roman font!  

I recently encountered the following bit of OTT-ness, which I’ve come to think of as the ‘cheers sandwich’!  ;-)

“Thanks a lot.
  Cheers
  Kind regards”

And talking of “cheers”, it's shown an alarming increase in popularity of late.  It can come across a tad causal at times, but I suppose it’s OK for intra-business mail.   Seems to becoming a tad clich├ęd though.  :-\

For what it’s worth, I tend to use a mixture - I’m easily bored, after all - but for regular exchanges, I tend to opt for a simple “thanks”.  For inter-business email, I usually go for “Regards”, or “Kind regards”, depending on how enthused I feel about the recipient/subject and whether I’m on the scrounge!  ;-)

I’d be interested to discover what other learned members of the ‘sphere opt for.   There’s also a free bar of Choc-Actually up for grabs, no strings attached*, for the reader whose experienced the wackiest email closing!**  :-)

*If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.  Choc Actually doesn’t even exist! :p

**As judged by ‘The Michael’.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Skirt-ban-man breaches ASBO

From BBC News 06/05/10:

A man banned from wearing skirts or showing bare legs on school days has been found guilty of breaching an Asbo.

Peter Trigger, 60, from Farndon Close, Northampton, was given an anti-social behaviour order in December 2008.

He is forbidden from behaving in a manner which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Northampton Magistrates' Court found him guilty of harassing his neighbours but declined to activate a suspended prison sentence he also faced.

Trigger had been banned from wearing a skirt or showing bare legs on a school day between 0830 and 1000 and 1445 and 1600 GMT or BST, the court was told.

trigger schoolgirl impressionWhat about lunch periods though?  Some schoolchildren return home for lunch and what kid deserves to be subjected to that sight, lurking about on the pavement?  Anyone seeing Trigger bending over awkwardly, supposedly fiddling with his shoe-laces while dressed in his school-girl get-up, would surely lose their appetite or require several hundred hours of counselling.  Or both.

Magistrates found him guilty of breaching the Asbo by deliberately bending over in front of his neighbours early in the morning on 16 December last year, causing them harassment, alarm and distress.

I should think it did!

Trigger was given the Asbo, which runs until 2013, in December 2008 after parents complained he was waiting near a primary school in the town dressed in clothes similar to school uniform.

He also has a 12-week suspended prison sentence for exposure imposed last year.

Bending over, using the the ‘tying shoe laces’ or ‘picking up debris’ excuse like that was never going to wash in court, though.  The judge spared Trigger a jail term, justifying it on the basis that he’s a carer for his elderly mother.  He might be a devoted son, but I think Trigger would better benefit from therapy rather than being slapped with a ASBO.  And as for him being required to pay court costs, £100 fine and, brace yourselves, £15 to his victims is a touch futile, quite honestly.


“You have the human right to dress as you wish...” [but arguably not as a schoolgirl - at least not in public].

Final thought: I wonder if he shaves his legs?  :-/

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dirty Legal Tactics

From DirtyLawndry 23/03/09:

“For quite a few months now, someone’s lunch has gone missing at least a couple times a week. It gets annoying when you bring your lunch from home only to have to buy lunch when you’re trying to save money. Apparently, one of the attorneys here has had this happen to him one time too many. He brought in a decoy lunch and laced it with laxatives in an attempt to catch the lunch bag thief. Once, we heard groaning from the mens’ room, we knew that his plan worked. We are now rid of the lunch bag thief.“

dirty legal tacticsThis particularly caught my eye as there have been a couple of instances in the last few weeks of lunch-theft which has understandably generated a fair amount of bitching in the office. Bizarrely, it’s involved frozen pizza and some kind of frozen fish pie – not exactly the items you can grab, gobble and go. Maybe we should each take a dummy lunch in, laced with nasties – and pray there isn’t a mix-up!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Women’s Magazine Cover Recipe

Stumbled across this gem via Digg earlier:

“One part Cosmo, one part Vogue, one part Glamour, mix with two parts “Hate yourself and your body”, and VOILA.”

women's magazine cover recipe

Love it!!!  :D

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Travel + Jury Service

train track I’ve got a bunch of business travel coming up later this month/early next but I’ve also a spell of train-ing up, down and across the country for the next week or so.  I’m nipping up to London tomorrow morning on a work-related event and then I’m travelling down to Cornwall on Thursday evening for a few days to see my somewhat neglected parents. Cornwall being Cornwall, the weather’s not looking exactly brilliant but who knows: it might pick up!!  I will be blogging, albeit later in the week but I’m going to be keeping a low profile for the next couple of days.

And in other news, my girlfriend has a stint of jury service starting on Monday which she’s actually quite pleased about (the silly girl) - at least she’s getting out of work. Sometimes I feel a touch cheated that, as a law graduate, I’m exempt from sampling that particular adventure.  Oh well.  Now jury service is a veritable free-for-all, (and seemingly has been since 2004 – Christ, how the freaking hell did I miss that one?!?) I’m itching to have a go!! Me next!!!  Me next!!!  PLEASE!!!!!!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

A Fishy Problem

panga and chips From BBC News 22/04/10:

A fish and chip shop owner has been fined after his business passed a cheaper fish off as cod.

Trading standards officers analysed "cod" purchased at C'or Blimey in Bourton-on-the-Water, after a tip off from a member of the public in 2009.

They found the flesh was from panga - a cheaper, tropical fish.

Shop owner Neil Amsingh, 49, of Coventry was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 court costs by Cheltenham Magistrates. He admitted the offence.

Naughty, Naughty!

The head of Gloucestershire County Council's Trading Standards, Eddie Coventry, said: "Panga sells for half the price of cod at market, but in some chip shops, customers are being charged the same price as cod, leading to a tidy profit for the unscrupulous chip shop owner.

"There is no reason why panga cannot be sold, but it must be described accurately so that customers get what they ask for at the counter."

Pangas are small salt-water fish, commonly caught off the coast of Southern Africa.

Mr Ambsingh could have perhaps tried a rather fanciful line of argument by claiming that him deceiving consumers in selling them cod when it was in fact Panga, was helping to preserve the rapidly dwindling (read: soon to be extinct) cod stocks. In other words, he was acting for the greater good of the planet which arguably should outweigh the financial welfare of a few gluttonous citizens who continue to gorge themselves on cod, despite the broad public awareness that the species is really ‘on the rocks’*.

If customers knew it wasn't cod they were buying, it’s likely they wouldn’t be as keen and if Mr Amsingh had charged a substantially lower price for it (i.e. passing the cost-saving on to the customers) they would almost certainly have grown suspicious.  Also, while the taste might be comparable, many customers simply have no sense of adventure in sampling other species with their portion of chips and might fear of being seen as a ‘cheap-skate’*.

But, nah... I wouldn’t have rated his chances very highly of successfully arguing that either. Would have been interesting to try though!  Also, it’s possible Mr Amsingh simply admitted his guilt after feeing such a ‘Panga’* of guilt!! ;-)

* I’m just on fire today!! ;-)   *Sigh* ……… I'm here all week, folks!  :p