The Plastic Hippo

January 16, 2017

Asteroid

Filed under: Fiction,Politics,Science,World — theplastichippo @ 1:59 am
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Incoming

Incoming

After a journey of trillions of miles taking thousands of light years, on Saturday 15th January 2017 an object about the size of a sofa originating in the Kuiper belt far beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune approached Earth at great speed.

Coming into existence during the formation of the solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, the small lump of rock originally ejected during the Jovian disruption of the then protoplanet that would become Jupiter, fell into an elliptical orbit around the sun travelling out far beyond the orbit of Pluto. The object slowed down as it approached the outer edge of the solar system only to accelerate as it returned toward the sun. Each long orbit over unimaginable periods of time brought the rock closer and closer to Earth. Now travelling at a velocity approaching the speed of light, a collision would result in serious repercussions for life on the planet. (more…)

January 14, 2017

Risotto

Filed under: Cooking,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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rice If the weakness of the old is a stubborn and irrational reluctance to accept a shift in circumstance, then surly the strength of the young must be the wilful, recalcitrant ability to undergo a change of mind.

Friday morning dawned with the happy coincidence of a planned day off and the first significant snowfall of the winter. The plan had been to dispatch the less than eager sixth former to school and wave off to work the older virago career girl sibling, wait for rush hour to die down and then take a leisurely drive to a middle distant Shropshire market town for a nice day out. A glance at the weather and a quick look on social media confirmed that every motorist in possession of a valid licence but lacking any actual ability to drive was out on the roads sliding into things. The walk by the river, the pub lunch beside a roaring log fire and visits to a favourite butcher, baker, grocer and fancy delicatessen would have to wait until another less apocalyptic day.

Instead we climbed into coats, hats, scarves, gloves and wellies and went for a walk in the Arboretum. It was stunning. Dog walkers sniffed indignantly as if they had never seen a couple of geriatrics running around and throwing snowballs at each other before. Their dogs, however, like the barking mad Labrador I once walked in the marvellous Arbo, wanted to join the game. One miserable young bastard suggested that we were being “irresponsible” by lobbing snowballs up in the air for the dog to catch on the descent. The owner was annoyed because we made his dog “over-excited”. It seems that dogs and old people are not allowed to enjoy the snow. (more…)

January 12, 2017

Go compare

Filed under: Cooking,History,Literature,Music,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:12 am
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Hello...goodbye

Hello…goodbye

Unless you are considering a purchase of, say, car insurance, an aubergine, a refrigerator, a holiday or a selection of racy under garments, arbitrary comparison can sometimes be futile. Obviously a soft aubergine should be avoided as should a refrigerator that keeps things warm and a vacation to the Sahara should not be taken if one is heat averse. Similarly, in a northern European maritime temperate climate, nothing beats a pair of Damart Long Johns when the central heating is on the blink.

Comparing inanimate objects might be of some value but comparing subjective taste and preference can be a futile exercise especially when asked to name a favourite. It might be possible to make a binary choice between Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, the Beatles or the Stones, Oasis or Blur or (for younger viewers) Ed Sheeran or Jack Garratt but to prefer one to the other imposes an artificial hierarchy. Shakespeare is not necessarily “better” than Christopher Marlowe; Rod Hull and Emu are not necessarily funnier than Bernie Clifton and his comedy ostrich and Lobster Thermidor served with a chilled 2005 Coche-DuryCorton-Charlemagne Grande Cru does not necessarily taste nicer than egg and chips accompanied by a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. (more…)

January 10, 2017

M*A*S*H

Filed under: Fiction,Health,Media,Politics,Science — theplastichippo @ 2:05 am
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The 4077th

The 4077th

The family and sycophants of an 85 year old newlywed have expressed their disappointment after medical tests have confirmed that the vindictive media tycoon continues to enjoy the rudest of health. Complaining of “a pain in the arse”, octogenarian Rupert Murdoch was rushed to the private Leveson wing of the Richard Branson Memorial Hospital and Cash Converter Superstore where teams of specialist doctors checked Mr Murdoch`s credit rating.

After a shameful wait on a trolley for more than 10 seconds before the £20million scanner recognised his Platinum American Express card, Mr Murdoch underwent a full Positron Emission Tomography scan which involved injecting radioactive glucose into the patient`s blood stream. However, the patient`s blood proved to be so toxic that the glucose was instantly absorbed and converted into sulphuric acid which damaged a Chippendale chaise longue and a Persian carpet in the media magnets £10,000 a day private hospital suite. Mercifully discharged, the world`s cultural guardian complained that the Dom Perignon was too warm, the foie gras lacked the taste of cruelty and the Picasso on the wall did not have any bare breasts. (more…)

January 8, 2017

Tess of the Uber Viles

In her strides

In her strides

If ghosts actually exist and if they do exist are capable of exhaling, then the ghost of Frederick North, second Earl of Guilford and Tory Prime Minister between 1770 and 1782 will be expelling an enormous sigh of relief at the moment. After 235 years of being generally considered as the most useless, indolent, weak and shallow British Prime Minister devoid of any leadership quality, he now finds himself in third place in that particular race to the bottom.

Lord North might be remembered as the Prime Minister who lost the Americas and fought numerous European wars against the French, Spanish, Dutch and just about anybody else. He even manufactured his own Falkland crisis in 1770 in order to fuel tensions between former allies France and Spain and won the conflict simply because of the dominance of the Royal Navy. Sadly, the Royal Navy, built on the proceeds of plunder, slavery and brutal colonialism could not secure victory in the American War of Independence. The irony that the American Navy some 242 years later could not defend America`s independence will not be lost on Vladimir Putin. (more…)

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