Thursday, 6 July 2017

Sugar Shortage

The BBC is reporting that Peder Tuborgh, the boss of the dairy producer Arla Foods, is forecasting a butter shortage by Christmas as a result of there not being enough milk producers in the UK.

Reading the story, it took me back to the mid 1970s and all the supposed shortages that cropped up regularly at that time. There was a paper shortage which resulted in shops refusing give out paper bags to shoppers. There were fuel shortages, leading to huge queues at garages as desperate motorists tried to buy petrol and of course, the sugar shortage.

The fact is that there never was a genuine shortage of these products due to lack of production, it was all the result of a self-fulfilling prophesy where the media predicted a shortage then the public set about panic buying, stripping shop and supermarket shelves and thereby creating the forecast shortage by their own actions. 

For example, the petrol shortage was the consequence of every petrol tank in every car in the country now being full of petrol and those with the capacity, storing it in cans elsewhere. Something which would never happen in the normal course of events.

In our household, this phenomena manifested it most apparently in the sugar mountain that my Wife managed to accumulate. With just two adults and a baby, a two pound bag of sugar would normally last us about two months. She however, fully wrapped up in the general hysteria would buy another bag of the stuff at every opportunity. 

We had a sideboard in the living room where both cupboards were absolutely packed with the stuff. Once the "crisis" ended, we didn't have to buy any sugar for about the next three years. I recall a cartoon in the paper which showed the Husband sitting on an armchair made totally out of bags of sugar with his wife triumphantly holding up another bag she had managed to buy.

I'm going to end this piece now as I have an urgent need to go shopping.

Psionic Quantumness

Back in March of last year I wrote a piece about technobabble. To quote from Wikipedia

"Authors and others who wish to convey a feeling of technical sophistication may write or talk in technobabble. They may use jargon without considering what it actually means to give an impression that they know things that their readers or listeners do not. However, if the jargon is decoded, it becomes apparent that the originator does not really understand what has been said or is deliberately being unclear."

Nowhere is the use of technobabble more readily used than in the so-called "alternative" health care industry and here is one of the finest examples I have ever seen. To be honest, at first I thought it must be a hoax and I'm still not really sure even now, but I've had a good look at the website and it seems to be genuine.

This label appears on the back of a bottle of Starfire™ water and if anyone reading this can explain what any of it means I will buy you a year's supply of the stuff.

For anyone having trouble reading the wording on the label, here it is transcribed.

Thirst The Fire
Legend has it that the mystical "Starfire" was the liquid manna 
of the divine, used by the ancients for ultra-focus, extreme
performance, and even enlightenment.
In that vein, we introduce Starfire Water™, a 
proprietary alkaline, performance, holographic "living" water
produced using breakthrough, 21st century, quantum water
technology. Starfire Water™  is treated with ultraviolet, ozonation, 
infra-red stimulation and electromagnetism for a 
negative (-) ion charged water, as in nature, allowing deep, cellular
intake through your aquaporins, the floodgates to hydration.
Vortex induced, using a solar-helix and
pyramid grid system, to give it a hexagonal structure,
and infused with monatomic elements, we are able
to achieve a water with cosmic healing energy. This water is 
amplified with a psionic wave oscillation tuned to the 
Universe's frequency, helping to synchronise you with the heartbeat of
our Earth. Starfire water™ is treated with Sacred Sound Resonance 
Transmission™ to vibrationally transform you on the deepest
molecular level. All together, we've created the world's finest premium
alkaline, performance, "living" hexagonal , super-structured water.

For what it's worth, my spell checker is going insane on account of half the words don't have any meaning, that is, they're not actually words in the proper sense. As for the rest, all I can say is "David Avocado Wolfe, eat your heart out" because it trumps any of the nonsense he has ever spouted, and believe me, that's saying something.

In my 2016 blog, I referred to something called a "Turbo-Encabulator". This was the title of a paper published as a prank by an engineering student in an engineering magazine in the 1940s, describing a fantastical device which performed seemingly complex functions using purely invented processes.

Over the years, the gag had grown in the re-telling, eventually evolving into the "Retro-Proto-Turbo-Encabulator.


  1. I can't say when but I can remember bog-roll panics at various times!

  2. Starfire Water - quality bollocks! What a description. It worries me that someone, somewhere may have believed it!


    1. Lots of people believe it Hugh. They sell it by the cartload.