From the UK government planning to ban the words “husband and wife” from official forms to children being told not to have best friends to save them the pain of falling out there is a great collection of madness below.
Don’t miss the great video of the northern lights from NASA and then be sure to claim your weekly CTP badge for reading this newsletter.
Now the UK’s liberal coalition want to ban the words ‘husband and wife’ from official documents
The words ‘husband and wife’ are to be axed from official documents under the UK government’s same-sex wedding reforms.
Immigration documents, tax and benefits forms will all be revised so they no longer assume that a married couple are a man and a woman and will use the neutral terms “spouses” and “partners” instead.
The government also want private companies to make the same changes to their own paperwork of they don’t want to fall foul of the law.
The changes could even affect the wording of civil marriage ceremonies where couples vow to take each other as ‘my wedded husband’ or ‘my wedded wife.’
If marriage law is reformed in line with the rewrite of red tape then couples at a civil wedding ceremonies would pledge themselves to ‘my wedded partner’ instead.
Rewriting the official government paperwork alone will cost many millions.
It is great that this government, in such harsh economic times, continues to find such creative ways to squander our money.
Even traffic wardens are mobile CCTV stations these days
I read recently that there are so many CCTV cameras currently in use in the UK that it averages one camera for every 32 people.
In towns and cities it seems that everywhere you turn there is a camera filming your every move.
Now some local authorities have taken things even further by turning traffic wardens into mobile CCTV stations.
These traffic wardens have been issued with hi-tech ID badges which are worn on the outside of their jackets and which contain a tiny CCTV camera which can record up to 10 hours of HD video at a time.
The idea is that they can be used to record confrontations with angry motorists who are unhappy that they have received a parking ticket and if the motorist is later charged with an offense then the recording could be used in court.
The traffic warden is not required to tell the motorists they are being filmed but the badges do contain words such as “Recording in progress,” “CCTV in operation” or something similar.
At the end of their shift they plug the badges into a recharging station which automatically uploads the data to a central server.
Why primary school children are being told not to have best friends any more
It has long been established in the UK’s state education system that children need to protected from all sorts of “harm.”
For example they need protecting from the horrors or competitive sports because the concept of winners and losers does not fit in with the concept of everyone being equal.
Now the latest policy is a “no best friends” policy to protect children from the pain of falling out.
Instead more and more schools are adopting the policy of encouraging children to play in large groups instead of developing closer bonds with smaller groups of children.
Those who favor the scheme say it is part of a “holistic approach to eduction” whatever that means.
They are probably the same people who thought it a good idea to stop teaching children how to spell correctly and learn basic math.
Maybe I am old-fashioned here but I thought one of the main elements of education is to prepare children for the highs and lows of adult life.
And surely the joys of friendship and the sorrows of breaking up are all part of that experience.
Spectacular views of the Northern Lights filmed from the International Space Station
This is a super cool video of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) created from image sequences captured by International Space Station crew during January and February 2012.
All images courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. ().
“I know you have just died, but please tell us if your circumstances change.”
It is often said, sometimes unfairly, that those who choose to work for the public sector are not the brightest bunch around.
I am sure there are examples of the ‘not so bright’ to be found in both the private and the public sector but this example comes from the latter.
Step forward Bristol City Council for demonstrating stupidity on the grandest scale imaginable.
They wrote to a resident called Steve Hutchings to tell him that his tax benefit was being cancelled.
The reason that the good people at the city council’s finance department had cancelled this tax concession is because 52-year-old Steve had just died after losing an 18-month battle against cancer.
So perhaps writing to him to tell him that he could no longer claim this benefit was not the cleverest idea in the world.
The letter, which was opened by his grieving sister, told him:
“Your claim for benefit has ended with effect from the above date for the reason shown: claim ended – death.”
It arrived on the date of Steve’s funeral and it clearly caused his family much distress.
But the stupidity did not end there because the letter, to a dead man, continued:
“If you wish to reclaim housing or council tax benefit, please do so without delay…
“You can obtain a claim form and advice by ringing the helpline service.
“Please note – please return your completed application form immediately, even if you do not have all the required documentary evidence.
“You may lose benefit if you delay sending us your application form…[and] you must tell us if your circumstances change.”
I hardly know where to start with this one but as Steve’s sister Linda told her local newspaper”
“I couldn’t believe it when they sent this. I could understand if it was a mistake, but they clearly knew he was dead.
“I wouldn’t have minded if they had written to me but they knew he was dead and sent it anyway.”
Yes they clearly did know that this man was dead, it said so on their own letter.
Exactly how did they expect a dead man to ring their helpline service and what ‘change of circumstances’ did they have in mind when they sent out the letter?
A council spokesman said they had “rigorous checks in place to ensure this sort of thing does not happen” and put the mistake down to “human error.”
Somehow I think their rigorous checks are not quite rigorous enough.
Perhaps if someone had actually read the letter before sending it out, would have been a good start.
With a mind like a spread-sheet how long before Nic’s number is up?
If I never had access to a TV again there is very little I would miss…but I would certainly miss The Apprentice on the BBC.
Every season a new batch of back-stabbing egotistical hopefuls pretend to be experts in subjects they know nothing about in order to win various business-related tasks and challenges and be publicly humiliated by the perpetually sulky Alan Sugar.
And each week they all seem to out-do each other in saying stuff which they must think makes them look clever but actually serves the opposite purpose.
Top honors for the first episode of the new season goes to candidate Nicholas Holzherr who informed the world about the inner-workings of his mind, thus:
“My mind works like a computer. I rank everything…almost like an Excel spreadsheet.”
Yes Nicholas. Of course you do.
And talking about numbers…
“The Greatest Shortcoming of the Human Race is our Inability to Understand The Exponential Function.”
If you had the pleasure of attending TELive one Friday about three weeks ago you might have thought it a bit odd.
If you were there and you have read the headline of this item then you will surely know what is coming next…and you will almost certainly think me a bit odd for including the following video here.
For those who missed that particular edition of TELive the video which is shown below was played to the 43 people in the room.
Well actually it was cut off before the end which is why I have included it here, in all its glory.
It has already had in excess of 4 million hits on YouTube so I think it is well worth a watch with an open mind.
Yes the students in the classroom look bored out of their minds at the subject matter and you may also be bored too.
However give it a go.
You might just find you get something useful out of this.
Let me know what you think.
By the way, there are actually eight YouTube videos containing the full lecture from this guy…and I have watched them all.
At first I thought the quote in the headline to this section to be one of the most absurd things I had ever heard but now I think it just might be one of the most profound.
I received this comment on my ILoveCTP blog the other day:
“I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are incredible! Thanks!”
Well Mr Rolf, I can assure you that I write all my own blog posts and the article you so clearly enjoyed was not written by your cousin.
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Have a great weekend. God bless.