Wednesday, 31 August 2016



The Daily Express is a British tabloid daily rag (I won't call it a newspaper) which specialises in publishing fake stories, mostly about Muslims and/or refugees with a generous helping of ludicrous weather forecasts. If you are really interested, you can play a game called "Express Bingo" where players can see how long it takes to collect all the Daily Express front page stories. It isn't too difficult, there are only about twelve of them.

Today's offering is a hoax story about how hard-line Islamists are targeting British women in Morocco who wear a bikini on the beach.

"Britons in BLACKMAIL threat from hardline Islamists if they wear BIKINIS on the beach"

This is not an actual picture from the
Daily Express story.
screams the headline, accompanied by several pictures of women in bikinis, just in case you don't know what one looks like.

The story goes on to describe how these "Islamists" are going to take pictures of British women sunbathing and post them on Facebook. Quite how this is supposed to be a threat isn't explained; most British women sunbathing on the beach will post their own pictures without any help from hard-line Islamists. Some, of course, will have their pictures published by the Daily Express although whether this is is in support of the Islamist campaign or just because they like pictures of near naked women lying on beaches you will have to decide for yourself. 

Nor is this
Doubts begin to creep in however when we discover that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office isn't aware of any such threat and hasn't issued any advice regarding it.

The next thing to do is find someone who can read Arabic and get them to interpret the text in the posts that appear in the Express story.  It seems to be nothing but a bunch of crackpots who are upset about Moroccan women being corrupted by devilish Western ways. They claim to have taken thousands of pictures of Moroccan women wearing bikinis and are threatening to publish them on Facebook

There is no reference to British tourists or indeed any other nationality whatsoever.

Many of these posts are anonymous but some seem to come from someone called Aicha Amal. No-one seems to know who Aicha Amal is and is assumed to be just a made-up name. There is an organisation called Amal which is a non-profit association that helps disadvantaged women by offering training and job placement. It would make a perverse kind of sense for a mysogynistic religious group to use its name to promote their beliefs.

There is surprisingly little information about the story on the web and what there is mostly refers back to the Daily Express. There is some mention of Facebook closing down these pages but it's difficult to get any real clarification. 

Or this
The whole thing has been cobbled together from an infantile blog about religious values by a bunch of saddos with a collection of gratuitous pictures of semi-naked women tagged on in order to get their readers interest. 

No doubt it will attract a lot of interest, if the reference to Muslims doesn't do it, all those lovely boobies are sure to do the trick.

The photographs shown here are in order to make clear exactly what a woman in a bikini looks like and not for any other purpose.


While we are on the subject of idiotic Daily Express stories. Have you ever wondered where all those "end of the world" weather reports they keep publishing come from? If so, you're not the only one and a bit of digging will produce a couple of stories by Guardian columnists George Monbiot and John Mason.

They too were interested in the source of these forecasts and what they discovered was interesting to say the least. I should point out here that it isn't only the Express that publishes this rubbish, you will also find nonsense forecasts in the Mail, Sun and, perhaps surprisingly, the Telegraph as well.

Last years Easter forecast was interesting in that there were two of them, yes two. The first, written by one of their resident journalists Nathan Rao and published on 16th March declared that:-

"Britain set for HOTTEST Easter EVER as 
temperatures to rocket to 80F in holiday heatwave"

Young ladies enjoying the
Easter heatwave
You always know its going to get hot when the tabloids start talking in Fahrenheit. As with the previous story, The Express decorated the piece with a generous helping of photographs of young ladies in bikinis so we wouldn't be surprised if we went to the beach.

He goes on to warn us that "The ENTIRE country will bake in the fiercest April temperatures for years outscorching Spain, Greece and even North Africa"

This would hardly matter in the scheme of things had it not been for another story published just ten days later. This one, also written by Nathan Rao warned us:-

"Easter weather forecast: TEN inches of snow, gales 
and plummeting temps."

Young lady coping with Easter blizzard
Unfortunately, we didn't get the temperature with this forecast, not even in Fahrenheit.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, both these stories were copied onto my Facebook page by people with the memory of a Goldfish.

So! Where do these forecasts come from? The answer is a company (now defunct) called Positive Weather Solutions" (Hint: never trust a company that uses the word "solutions" in its title, they will almost certainly be up to no good) who, it turned out, never actually employed any actual weather forecasters and just made stories up.

As most tabloid journalists will have at best only a minor qualification in some humanities subject and to whom science is a foreign country, wouldn't have a clue whether anyone using "sciency" terms was making any sense or not, just publish the stories and hope for the best.

Checking up on some of the alleged "weather experts" that appeared on the Positive Weather Solutions website, George Monbiot discovered one of them to be a Serena Skye (good name for a weather forecaster don't you think?) who, when not forecasting the weather, was also working as a Mail Order Bride, a Hot Russian Date and a Hot Ukranian Date. Busy lady.

Another of their weather forecasters who goes by the name of Kelly Smart also fills in those quiet moments moonlighting as an egg donor, a hot date, a sublet property broker in Sweden, a lawyer, an expert on snoring, eyebrow threading, safe sex, green cleaning products, spanking and air purification. I'm surprised she manages to find time to even look out the window, let alone tell what the weather is doing.

As a result of the two Guardian articles which you can read by clicking on the links, Positive Weather Solutions is no more. It has been replaced by a company called Exacta Weather (at least they don't offer any solutions) but use an identical business model, i.e. make stuff up.

When the person running Exacta Weather James Madden was asked about his qualifications and his seeming lack of accuracy, he quoted the case of the stopped clock being right at least twice a day. He must have taken his example from the two contradictory Express Easter weather stories. If you say there is going to be a heatwave and snow, one of them has to be right.

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