Posts Tagged ‘Daily Mail’

Smoker’s License

November 16, 2012

I do not smoke and I dislike the smell of tobacco smoke so much that I can’t stand to be in the same room as someone who is smoking. In fact, an ideal world to me would be one in which the tobacco plant didn’t exist at all. With that in mind, you might think that I would be for a proposal to require smokers to purchase licenses from the government in order to buy cigarettes. In fact, I am totally against it. First, here is the story I found on Drudge and read on CBS News.

A public health proposal suggests that tobacco smokers should be required to apply and pay for a “smoker’s license” in order to continue buying cigarettes.

In this week’s PLOS Medicine medical journal, two leading tobacco control advocates debate the merits of the smoker’s license. Simon Chapman, a professor at the University of Sydney, proposes that users would have to apply and pay for a mandatory license in the form of a smartcard that would be shown when buying cigarettes.

Dr. Chapman wrote that it could discourage young people from picking up the habit.

In a controversial move, the smartcard would allow the government to limit how many cigarettes a smoker could buy. Professor Chapman suggests 50 per day averaged over two weeks to accommodate heavy smokers. The anti-smoking activist told the Daily Mail that the sale of tobacco is currently subject to trivial controls compared to other dangerous products that threaten both public and personal safety.

 

Arguing against the smoker’s license in the journal is Jeff Collin, a professor at the University of Edinburgh. Professor Collin wrote that it would shift focus away from the real vector of the epidemic—the tobacco industry—and focusing on individuals would censure victims, increase stigmatization of smokers, and marginalize the poor.

Professor Collin believes that limits to personal freedom will doom such legislation.

“The authoritarian connotations of the smoker’s license would inevitably meet with broad opposition,” Collin told the Daily Mail. “In the United Kingdom, for example, successive governments have failed to introduce identity cards.”

Citing future scientific benefit, Prof. Chapman wrote that the information collected from smartcard applications could be used to formulate better smoking prevention strategies.

“Opponents of the idea would be quick to suggest that Orwellian social engineers would soon be calling for licenses to drink alcohol and to eat junk food or engage in any ‘risky’ activity,” Dr. Chapman told the Daily Mail. “This argument rests on poor public understanding of the magnitude of the risks of smoking relative to other cumulative everyday risks to health.”

Leaving aside the obvious objections of  personal choice and responsibility, I have to wonder if it has occurred to these activists that a policy like this would end up creating a black market in cigarettes, bought by smokers who didn’t want to pay for the license or who wanted to smoke more than their ration. As a matter of fact, there already is a black market transporting cigarettes from low taxed states to high taxed states. If we cannot prevent people from using drugs like marijuana or heroin which are completely illegal, what makes them think that this lisencing scheme will work any better?

Mantyhose

March 8, 2012

Here is one fashion trend I think I’ll skip. According to the Daily Mail tights for men or “mantyhose” are the latest thing.

If you thought men in tights was a sartorial statement best left to medieval jesters, think again.

The underwear staple for women is making its way into wardrobes of the opposite sex – and the look is gaining popularity.

If any were in doubt as to the strength of the trend, it even has its own name: Mantyhose.

Cult or fad, the trend has gained some momentum of late, with Racked even conducting a poll as to the best name for the dubious new dressing habit.

While it was WWD who coined the term ‘mantyhose’, brosiery’ is a clear leader in the survey, ahead of ‘guylons’, ‘he-tards’, and ‘beau-hose’ – a term surely reserved for the most confident men out there.

Mr Cavallini said that his company’s ‘brosiery’ is tested on its male employees and that their research had led to a special, breathable fabric being designed to account for men’s higher perspiration levels.

Here is a picture. Brace yourself.
Maybe I am being too judgemental and old-fashioned, but I think there is a slippery slope here. If men start wearing tights again, before you know it we’ll be expected to wear outfits like this.
I am not going to wear high heels and those big wigs. Best to nip this sort of thing in the bud.

Man Builds Hobbit Hole

November 27, 2011

I saw this story on The Blaze. All I have to say is when can I have one.

This is not some set left over from The Lord of the Rings. This hobbit house is an honest-to-goodness man-sized home. Not only does it fit a family of four, but it cost just over $4,650 to build.

The Daily Mail reports that Simon Dale built the home without any prior home building or carpentry experience on a plot of land that was provided for free in exchange for watching over the owner’s other property. Nestled in a Welsh hillside, much of the home is made from scraps and scavenged material and wood:

“Being your own have-a-go architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land rather than, at worst, a mass-produced box designed for maximum profit and the convenience of the construction industry.

“Building from natural materials does away with producers’ profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.”

[...]

As well as being made from sustainable material the Hobbit house, as it is dubbed by locals, has lime plaster on its walls instead of cement, a compost toilet, a fridge cooled by air from beneath the foundations and solar panels for power.

Mr. Dale said: ‘This sort of  life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology.’

The builder seems to be a bit of an enviromentalist nut, and I think I would want an actual architect to build it, but I can see there would be definite advantages in having an underground house, as far as insulation goes, not to mention the coolness factor in having a house like Bag End.

Solar Storm Coming

September 27, 2011
Sunspot #923 is the biggest dark spot at the s...

The End ?

From the Daily Mail. This could be bad.

A sunspot, 62,000 miles across – so big it would dwarf the Earth – is releasing gigantic solar flares that could in theory wreak havoc with electrical communications ranging from handheld electronics such as iPhones to sections of the power grid.

Nasa has detected two X-class solar eruptions from 1302 – the most extreme possible – in the past week. One that occurred on September 24 produced an amazing light show over England last night – but it’s far from over, as the sunspot isn’t yet directly aligned with Earth.

NASA experts have said ‘anything electrical’ can be affected by such activity.

Known as ‘Active Region 1302’, it is producing bursts of radiation so intense that spectacular auroras, caused by the sun’s particles hitting the atmosphere, have been seen as far south as Oxfordshire.

Astronomer Dr Ian Griffin, CEO of Science Oxford, told MailOnline: ‘Active Region 1302 is the source of all of the auroras seen yesterday, and may well be the source of some more auroras over the next few nights.

The last really bad solar storm we experienced was way back in 1859.

On September 1–2, 1859, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred. Aurorae were seen around the world, most notably over the Caribbean; also noteworthy were those over the Rocky Mountains that were so bright that their glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning.[4] According to professor Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado’sLaboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, “people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora.[5]

Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases even shocking telegraph operators.Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire. Some telegraph systems appeared to continue to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies.

Just think of the havoc a storm like that could wreak today with all the electronics that we depend upon. This could be the end of civilization.

On the other hand, I’ve never seen the Northern Lights before. It would be really cool to see them as far south as Indiana.

2012 Bumper Stickers

June 19, 2011

The 2012 presidential campaign is right around the corner so it’s not too early to get your bumper stickers. Don Surber at the Daily Mail has a nice selection.

I think this is my favorite.

But then there’s this one.

And this.

You can get them at Cafepress.

Here’s one I liked that Don Surber didn’t show.

I wonder if I can get that on a t-shirt.


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