CHANGE OF A BULLSEYE, GUV
We are going to get a new £50 note; made of plastic like the replacement £5 and £10 notes introduced over the last couple of years.
The Bank of England has decided that the back of this new note is going to feature the portrait of a British scientist. There are a number of suggestions being made and I won't bother to join in the debate here. Any of the names so far put forward deserve a note of their own and whoever is eventually chosen will be unfair to those left out. I don't see why we can't have a montage of several at once, which would give more of them a better chance of being selected.
|Not this one|
When the announcement of a new note was first made, there were a number of names put forward, including that of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. That idea was soon quashed: a mistake in my view.
At one point, there was a lot of talk about abolishing the £50 note altogether on account of it being the banknote of choice for the criminal fraternity and no-one else in particular. Peter Sands, the former head of Standard Chartered Bank once described it as "the currency of corrupt elites, of crime of all sorts and of tax evasion". As such, I would have thought having a picture of Margaret Thatcher on the back would seem an obvious choice.
|Genuine poppy merchandise|
It's that time of year again (the annual Poppy Appeal if you weren't sure) and this year (so far anyway) I haven't read any of the usual stories about how the local store/council/public body, etc., etc. has banned the poppy in case it offends Muslims/immigrants/extreme right-wing loonies who wish Hitler had won the war and so on. Must be the first year ever although the campaign still has a week to run so there's still time.
What we do have though is the usual problem of fake poppy merchandise. Manchester Trading Standards have just seized a whole load of the stuff and that probably only hints at the level of the problem.
A few years back, the market was flooded with fake poppy merchandise produced by the far right political organisation, the English Defence League, although they don't seem to have repeated the exercise since.
Please be on the lookout for this stuff and report it if found; it goes without saying, don't buy it. Ideally, go directly to the Poppy Shop or one of the official licensed producers.
|Take two three times a day|
In a huge victory for traditional and folk medicine over the massive corporate power of "big pharma" the Chinese government has decided to allow the use of Rhino horn and Tiger bones in medicines prescribed by doctors and hospitals.
Hopefully, this is going to be just the start and will encourage other governments to take a similar stand. For instance, perhaps we can now persuade the NHS to start funding homoeopathic remedies, psychic healing and the driving out of evil spirits using the power of Jesus which are known to be the principal cause of illness if you bother to do your research.
Speaking of "big pharma", I suppose this means that now that the pharmaceutical industry is going to be producing cannabis based drugs, all the conspiracy theory nuts will claiming it causes cancer and gives children the autisms.
Our local branch of Morrison's is selling eggs produced by a local small market trader and are prominently displayed at the shop entrance. I was selecting a few the other day when I noticed that one of the eggs had a white shell. I haven't seen one of these in a long time and, going by the reaction of some of the people around me, they had never seen one.
When I was a small child, I would go shopping with my Mum to the local grocer's store on the corner of Wickham Lane. The eggs were sold from behind the counter and were usually displayed in a large bowl. Housewives would ask for however many and the assistant would then count them out into a paper bag. And yes, you would be lucky if you got them all home in one piece.
The eggs were, almost without exception, white. In amongst all this whiteness you might see an egg with a brown shell and these were especially favoured as it was believed that if the eggshell was brown, it would mean the egg was somehow more healthy and nutritious.
Egg producers, quick to cotton on to the demand, began to provide what the housewife wanted by changing the breed of egg laying chicken from the White Leghorn which produces a white shell egg to the Plymouth Rock or Rhode Island Red which produces the brown. It is possible to change the colour of the shell by altering the feed balance as well but mainly, it's the breed of hen.
In the United States, the attitude is completely opposite and shoppers there favour (should I spell that "favor") the white shell. Strange, considering both the main brown shell layers are American breeds.
In actual fact, the colour of the shell makes absolutely no difference to the flavour or nutritional quality of the egg which is determined by many other factors.
If this is something that really matters to you, have a look here for more information on the subject.
|No 1 - read the|
I'm sure there is a good reason for this but I have no idea what it is.