A piece in The Daily Mail regarding plans to turn the Austrian pub in which Adolf Hitler was born into a museum. The building currently acts as a focal point for neo Nazis and supporters of the museum concept believe that showcasing Hitler’s crimes would, over time reduce the appeal of the building to neo Nazis while enhancing the public’s understanding of the dictator’s legacy. Others want the building to be destroyed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2737650/Austrian-pub-Adolf-Hitler-born-set-museum-dedicated-Nazi-leader-s-crimes.html
“Can you get your dog to sit down please”, the minicab (private hire) taxi driver says. I am sitting in the back of the car my guide dog, Trigger seated quietly at my feet. I therefore assume that the driver wishes Trigger to lie down which, on my command he does.
“Did you tell the company you had a guard dog?” the cabbie asks.
“Yes I told them that I have a guide dog”, (me emphasising the word guide), “drivers have to take guide dogs under the law unless they have a medical exemption certificate stating that they are allergic to dogs”.
“I know. This is the only dog I take”. Why then I ponder inwardly are you asking me whether I told the company as you have taken me previously and, in any case the law obliges you to convey guide and other assistance dogs when accompanied by their owners? I don’t pursue the matter and the vehicle arrives at my destination.
“How much do the company charge for the dog?” the driver asks.
“£5” I answer. In fact the cost of the journey from my home to my destination is £5 irrespective of whether the person being conveyed is accompanied by a guide or other assistance dog and it is illegal to charge extra for carrying assistance animals. I am tired having arisen early so fail to explain this to the driver (he should already be aware of the legislation which came into effect in 2002 and can be found here, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/37/enacted). I give him £5 plus a tip and he goes on his merry way.
Had the company informed my driver that there was a visually impaired person with a guide dog requiring a cab would he, I wonder have picked me up? As it was he was (apparently) unaware of the presence of Trigger and having arrived decided to take Trigger and I to our destination. The law is a blunt, though a very necessary instrument and so far as the rights of assistance dog owners are concerned the legislation has greatly reduced the number of refusals to convey owners accompanied by their assistance animals. It is, however always in the back of my mind when calling a taxi, “will the driver and/or the company make an excuse that there are no drivers available when, in fact there are or will they (despite the law) refuse to convey Trigger and I”.
“A Victorian lady has just walked past” my mum remarked as we walked through Liverpool city centre.
“A Victorian lady has just walked past?” I repeated in disbelief.
“No, I said a tall young lady has just walked past. How could a Victorian lady have just walked past?” my mum asked.
“She might have been in fancy dress” I responded.
The above exchange reminded me of Chinese Whispers, a game in which the first player says something which is relaid to the next person in the group who then passes it on to another player. The last person in the group is asked what he heard and this is compared with what was originally said. So
“Don’t be late for dinner tonight” becomes “I won’t be late tonight” or something even more bizarre!
Prior to the exchange my mum, her partner and I had just visited Liverpool’s historic Central Library the first part of which was constructed in 1860. I can only conjecture that my mind, still being full of the Victorian buildings somehow transformed “tall young lady” into “Victorian lady!” Perhaps I need to have my hearing tested!
You can find out more about Liverpool’s Central Library by visiting the following link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_Central_Library
Jayne felt safe wrapped in Luke’s strong arms. He kissed her tenderly on the lips. His breath smelled of rotten eggs,
“You need new Scents Of The Forest Breath Freshener, clinically proven to banish bad breath in an instant”, Jayne said pulling back in disgust.
Luke looked pained, “Why do you always sound like an advertising hoarding?” he asked his voice sharp with irritation.
“My super dupa Vision Max contact lenses, 2 for the price of 1, send cool messages about a range of inovative and exciting products to my brain and I just can’t help sharing them with the man I love”. Jayne replied.
Luke sniffed the air approvingly, “I love that perfume” he said.
“Perfume for you, why not buy two. I like it too” Jayne said in a sing song voice.
“Jayne I am becoming increasingly concerned about where this relationship is going. My girlfriend sounds more and more like a bad advertising executive who produces slogans which, over time become ever more dire” Luke said a look of sadness clouding his ruggedly handsome features.
“Its never to late, lets go to Relate, the relationship experts for every occasion. They are doing a special introductory offer at the moment, 25 per cent off if we sign up by Monday” Jayne said pointing to an advert which had just popped up on her new top of the range smartphone.
“I’m sorry darling I am afraid that it is to late for Relate” Luke replied fighting back tears.
“But its never too late for Relate. Just kille the hate, only relate” Jayne responded reading the ad which her top of the range contact lenses (did I mention they where 2 for the price of one?) had just beamed onto her retina.
“When we moved in together you where a vivacious, intelligent woman, now you are a mouthpiece for the advertising industry. It’s over Jayne” Luke said his eyes brimming with water.
“Oh the pain. I will go insane. I need Lane, those newly advertised tablets to kill the pain” said Jayne.
Just suppose that strong data protection safeguards are built-in to the internet of things so your online viewing habits or what book you are reading do not get passed onto third parties without your own (very explicit permission). Suppose that some clever hackers hack Google or some other website and discover your browsing habits. Further suppose that the hackers have an agenda (for example a belief that erotica is morally unacceptable). They discover that you are a huge consumer of erotica and plaster this fact all over their website including your personal details (name, address etc) allowing their followers to harass and, possibly physically attack you (remember your personal details are on their site). I suspect that in the future (as in the present) people will be able to opt out of receiving ads, however the main concern (other than the misuse of information by authoritarian governments) will, as I said above come from hackers illegally harvesting your data. The idea of robot written novels doesn’t worry me as, in my opinion good writing will always have a market (he said hopefully)!
Originally posted on Ebook Bargains UK Blog:
The problem with the future is, its coming up behind you. You can never be quite sure how far away it is, and you can never be quite sure whether it will sweep you up with it, sweep by and leave you behind, or just run right over you.
Over at the Motley Fool recently they ran this snippet from an old copy of Newsweek. From February 1995.
In it one Newsweek journalist opined,
“Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries, and multimedia classrooms… [They say] we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure. The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper…
“We’re promised instant catalog shopping — just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more…
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One of the silliest reviews I have ever read.
Originally posted on Michelle Proulx -- The Website:
I know I said I was busy packing and moving to Halifax, but I just stumbled across this one star review of Hush Hush and I had to share it because it’s so stupid. Here it is:
This book was for my daughter’s summer reading. She is still not done with it but hates reading. I’m sure the book is a good book but just not something that I’m interested in. I really didn’t rate it farely since I haven’t read it.
Who the hell leaves a one star review for a book they admittedly haven’t read and have no intention of reading? She says at the end that she didn’t rate it fairly, which is at least an attempt at sanity, but why on earth would she leave a review at all? Grrrrrrr.
Just needed to share this insanity. That is all.
Unrelated media of the day:
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Vistas of empty promises stretching so far as the eye can see. Cold tyled aisles, musak offering nothing. People desperately searching, occasionally finding, but some things money can not buy.