Thursday, May 31, 2007

How to win at your Toastmasters International club.

Earlier I collected another "Best Evaluator" award at London Corinthians.

The "secret" to evaluating someone's speech is to remain focused on how the speaker could have altered the overall theme or strategy. There's no point rambling on about minutiae like certain aspects of eye contact, vocal variety, hand-clasping and so on.

Also, it's never good to give people a huge emotional lift by saying your were inspired by their speech when you weren't. Be honest in your appraisal.


A friend of mine, Esther de Angelis, has this as part of her e-mail signature:

“People aren’t lazy or unresourceful, they simply are uninspired in life – that is they don’t have a potent vision of themselves”.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blog of the week, so far

From Scotland

It's Wednesday and it's still raining.

when will it end. Or is the end?

Monday, May 28, 2007

West Brom at Wembley today

This afternoon West Brom. take on Derby in the Championship play-off with the winners getting the huge prize of a place in next year's Premiership. Lining up for Albion will be Sam Sodje. He's recently moved, on-loan, to the Hawthorns from Reading. Sam, was the first ex-Margate FC player to play in the highest level of the English game since Tommy Jenkins in 1970.

Good luck Sam.


WBA 0 Derby 1

Kangaroo Masturbation

What a wonderful blog post title!

From our fellow blogger, Random Stuff

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Internet Dating!

Looks like "Raincoaster" could be available for a date. Would certainly make a pleasant change from usual mixture of princesses and liars on J-Date

Her Majesty, The Queen

Is exasperated after 10 years of Blair, according to today's Sunday Telegraph.

Aren't we all?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

More media coverage

Managed to get into the latest issue of Focus. This is the quarterly magazine from Breast Cancer Campaign

The printing is a bit on the small side (so click the image to enlarge) and highlights my exploits in Tanzania in February. More on this here

Another Blogroll Change

Got bored with *LGF. So they've been consigned (temporarily) to my Room 101. Instead have replaced them with another US web/blog - Daily Shvitz

* LGF do a grand job of highlighting Arab terror, rarely reported by the pro-Arab BBC, like this

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Terror Attack in East Jerusalem

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, terrorist wing of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ “moderate” Fatah party, has perpetrated a sneak attack against Israeli border guards in East Jerusalem: 4 injured in J’lem shooting attack; 2 gunmen killed.

Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at border patrol police in east Jerusalem late Saturday, injuring four, police said. Israeli border police at the scene fired at the attackers, killing both of them. Emergency services said four Israelis were injured and evacuated to hospital, one of whom was in serious condition.

The shooting took place in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheik Said, near the security fence. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a joint patrol of Israeli border police and civilian guards along the barrier. Channel 10 reported that the patrol was ambushed by the Palestinian shooters.

An offshoot of the violent Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, which is affiliated with the Fatah Party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, claimed responsibility for the shooting attack, according to the Palestinian news Web site Maan.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Alan Caruba on Global Warming

Some weeks ago, I posted this about that nutcase Sheryl Crow

Now, Alan Caruba expands the global warming nonsense in his most recent article.

The suggestion by singer Sheryl Crow that the Earth could be saved from destruction if everyone used just one square of toilet paper brought howls of derision from all corners, but the environmentalist’s opposition to flush toilets for the very same reason during a United Nations conference evoked very little reaction.

In 2002, at the United Nations’ Earth Summit, held in Johannesburg, the delegates, when not dining on lobster and caviar, derided flush toilets. The list of other recommendations these gilded twits had to offer defied reality in a dozen other ways.

In the United States, environmentalists got Congress to decrease the capacity of toilet tanks, thus insuring that a lot more flushing would ensue. Just how much more intrusive into our personal lives can environmentalists and our government be than to decide how much toilet paper and water we should use?

Just how crazy are environmentalists? I’m not talking about people who love to garden or hike and thus think of themselves as "environmentalists", but rather the hardcore Greens who set and drive the environmental movement’s agenda.

Some leaders of the environmental movement are now openly saying that human beings are the real problem for planet Earth. They think having babies should stop or at least be limited. Paul Watson, the founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says that mankind is "acting like a virus", noting that "We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion." This is the kind of talk that ultimately leads to genocide.

The latest lunacy is the assertion that the Earth can be saved from destruction if we all switch from the trusty incandescent light bulb to the use of fluorescent lighting. The theory is that the former use too much electricity. The fact that the latter also include mercury, a highly toxic substance, in its manufacture is conveniently overlooked. Where you get your light from has absolutely nothing to do with climate change.

Apparently, though, no Green has thought to suggest that we might actually build more facilities for the generation of electricity and, if most of them were nuclear, there would be fewer alleged greenhouse gas problems. Why coal, the most abundant and cheapest energy resource, has become the bogyman is just one more example of the insanity of the environmentalists who want to reduce the amount of soot in the air to infinitesimal parts per billion. The eastern U.S. gets soot and other "stuff" blown in from as far away as Africa. Just how "clean" can clean ever be?

This leads us to the latest insanity, the assertion that carbon dioxide is a "pollutant." Even the U.S. Supreme Court has concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate a gas that it absolutely vital to all life on Earth. It is CO2 that insures the growth of all vegetation on Earth, much of which is feed for the herds of cattle and other livestock we consume daily, as well as all other forms of wildlife. Without CO2 not a single blade of grass grows anywhere.

Identifying CO2 as a pollutant or dangerous to the future of the Earth is so stupid that it is truly insane. At this point, some Green is saying, but it is "a greenhouse gas." Yes, but 95% of all greenhouse gas is mostly water vapor. Shall we declare the oceans a pollutant as well?

Meanwhile, the European Union announced recently that the Earth is endangered by the farting of cows and sheep saying, "The livestock sector presents the greatest threat to the planet."

Another form of insanity is "saving endangered species." Any review of the Endangered Species Act will swiftly reveal what a complete and total failure it has been. Millions have been wasted "saving" creatures that Mother Nature has decided belong in the loser’s list. Most all of the species that ever existed on Earth are extinct.

One example of how crazed this environmental effort is the announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the Spotted Owl of the northwest, famed for having been the reason a huge swath of the timber industry in that part of the nation was destroyed in order to save it, is now being pushed out of its habitat by barred owls, a more aggressive cousin. Listed 17 years ago as endangered, the FWS is actually contemplating spending millions to shoot the barred owls at a cost of $139 million over 30 years. You cannot make up stuff like this.

While there is much worthy lamenting about the fate of people in Sudan’s Darfur region where perhaps 200,000 have died at the hands of that nation’s government and another two million displaced, one still does not hear much about the millions of Africans and others who have died from malaria because the United States took the lead in banning the use of DDT that formerly protected them against the mosquitoes that spread the disease.

The ban on DDT was advocated by one of the icons of the environmental movement, Rachel Carson. Not long ago, decades into the dying, the World Health Organization decided that maybe DDT was a good idea.

One of the dumbest ideas riding high these days is the mandated use of ethanol in all gasoline blends. Ethanol is made mostly from corn and, as a result, the price of corn is soaring as much of the crop is being converted into moonshine presumably to help the environment. I guarantee you that the use of ethanol will be found to endanger the environment in ways we don’t even know about yet. For now, all it does is drive up the cost of every mile and every gallon.

Soon enough we will hear it is bad for the environment as well. Does anyone remember the additive, MTMB, found to foul underground water? In the meantime, the cost of every food product that uses corn will rise proportionally thanks to supply and demand. You will feel it in your grocery bill.

Another campaign underfoot, literally, these days is to ban the use of fertilizers and pesticides to insure a healthy lawn. Health lawns are Nature’s air conditioners, cleaning the air, and are safer, too, for children to play on. But, no, the environmentalists want to put an end to that, claiming that only "organic" fertilizers should be used, not synthetic ones that do a far better job. "Organic" anything is one of the biggest scams around. Pay more for a potato? Be my guest.

The list of invaluable, beneficial forms of technology that contribute to the fact that Americans are living longer, healthier lives than ever before in the history of mankind, is matched only by the list that environmentalists want to ban. There isn’t a single aspect of our lives that they haven’t managed to make more expensive and even more threatened.

The subversion of real science is best epitomized by the utterly false claim of global warming. Indeed, any time you hear an environmentalist claim that "science" is on their side, just remind yourself that virtually every such claim put forth in Al Gore’s absurd documentary has been refuted with real science, not the boldfaced lies it offers.

Remind yourself, too, that Al Gore wants to eliminate the internal combustion engine!

These were the same people back in the 1970s screaming off the front pages of Time and Newsweek magazine that we were all soon to die from an imminent Ice Age. Ten years later, they were screaming about global warming and they still are.

The greatest insanity of all is the environmentalist’s belief that mankind has any control over the Earth’s climate or weather systems. This totally ignores the predominant role of the Sun, the Moon’s affect on tides, the oceans, volcanoes, and other the other factors that demonstrate on any given day how much more powerful Nature is compared to anything mankind does.

That’s why so many, if not all, of the environmental claims about global warming are entirely based on computer models. Subject to the tinkering of whoever creates a particular model, it can end up telling you that chewing bubblegum affects the rotation of the Earth.

How dumb do you have to be at this point to believe anything they say? How crazy do they have to be to keep saying these things?

Another great post from Alan. Are you getting sick and tired of this issue?

Better off Out campaign

Norman Tebbitt has said this:

BREAKING NEWS: Norman Tebbit, The Rt Hon Lord Tebbit of Chingford, has become the latest supporter and the new Patron of the Better Off Out campaign. Lord Tebbit said, ""From being a supporter of British membership of the Common Market in 1970 I have come to believe that the United Kingdom would be Better Off Out of the developing European Republic of the 21st century. We British have a thousand year history of self-government. We have been free and democratic longer than any other nation. The European Union is too diverse, too bureaucratic, too corporatist and too centralist to be a functioning democracy. We are happy to trade with our European friends and the rest of the world - but we would prefer to govern ourselves."Lord Tebbit is the third patron, joining former Speaker of the House of Commons Lord Weatherill and bestselling author Frederick Forsyth CBE.Read the story, and place comments if you wish, here: here:

Do you agree with Norman?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blog of the Week

Improve your understanding of English at:

Separated by a Common Language

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What are you doing about Darfur?

This evening I attended an excellent talk arranged by the JCC. The meeting, which discussed the genocide in Darfur, was chaired by former MP, Stephen Twigg, who represented the Aegis Foundation. His guests were Ruth Messinger, President of the American Jewish World Service, Clive Lawton from the charity Tzedek and Dr. Mukesh Kapila, former head of the UN mission in Sudan.

The event was supported by the Pears Foundation who issued a booklet outlining the background to this first genocide of the 21st century. Their Executive Chair, Trevor Pears wrote this introduction:

Since 2003, the government of Sudan and their proxy militia, the Janjaweed, ( roughly translated means Devils on Horseback) have been waging a genocidal campaign against black African tribes in Darfur, western Sudan. Up to four hundred thousand men, women and children have died. A further two million people have fled their homes, with 200,000 living in refugee camps in Chad and the remaining languishing in camps for internally displaced persons in Darfur.
Trevor Pears' introduction went on to outline how Jewish communities could respond.

In the audience there were members of the Darfurian community in London. One of their members thanked the Jewish community for raising awareness and the state of Israel for managing to provide refuge for many of his people.

These facts were mentioned:

1. The British Government is considering repatriating asylum-seekers of Darfurian background back to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

2. The Sudanese air-force paints some of its aircraft in UN livery. Then uses the same aircraft to attack civilians.

3. Pressure should be placed on the Chinese government who purchase oil from Sudan. 70% of the income derived from this trade is spent on arms.

All who attended were urged to write to their MP's. Can I ask the same of UK bloggers? Here's a sample letter:


I am writing to you as a matter of urgency regarding the situation in Darfur. As you will be aware there has been a wave of violence over the past four years against those of black African
descent living in the area. Cautious estimates are that 200,000 have been murdered, although many humanitarian and campaign organisations suggest it is more likely that 400,000 people have been killed, with violence, gang rapes and forced displacement also taking place.

Whilst I support Tony Blair's recent staement that there is a need for a "no-fly zone" over Sudan, these words must be coupled with action. The no fly zone must be pushed at the United Nations, alongside the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force along the Chad-Darfur border. Statements are of no use to the vulnerable people of Darfur unless they are turned into a reality.

Additionally, I ask you to address the situation in the UK of detaining and deporting of asylum seekers back to to Khartoum. Not only does this put individuals in huge danger but sending asylum seekers back to Khartoum, the capital city from where the government-backed violent regime is organised, sends a message to the Sudanese government that the UK does not recognise the gravity of the situation in Darfur. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has recommended that it is too dangerous to deport Darfuri asylum seekers back to Sudan. I urge you to challenge this policy of the Home Office immediately.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Public Speaking (Fear of)

Over at my main site, I've received an interesting comment concerning the fear of public-speaking. It's all to do with of adrenalin. Take a look at Christina's remarks. It may alter your view on your fear of public-speaking.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian..............

......have you read this bestseller? Author Marina Lewycka was one of four writers at an event I attended with my father earlier this week. Her new book, Two Caravans is out shortly. Chairing the evening was biographer, journalist and former Reuters foreign correspondent, Anna Sebba. The theme of the evening was Roots and Wings as the organiser, JCC highlights......

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings’. Hodding Carter II, Pulitzer-prize winning writer.

Join writers Charlotte Mendelson, Sarfraz Manzoor, Marina Lewycka and Hannah Pool, as they discuss the journey from roots to wings via family, religion and ethnic identity.

Charlotte Mendelson’s new novel, When We Were Bad, is a darkly comic story about a female rabbi and her dysfunctional brood. Sarfraz Manzoor has written Greetings From Bury Park, an affectionate memoir of growing up Muslim in Britain. Marina Lewycka has followed a Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian with another witty best-seller, Two Caravans, featuring strawberry-picking immigrants. Hannah Pool, adopted from an orphanage and brought to England, returned to Eritrea as an adult to seek her real father and wrote the much praised My Fathers’ Daughter.

Monday, May 14, 2007

If you live in the West Midlands...........

........then you are more likely to be overweight according to an article in today's Daily Mail. Other "fatty" areas in the UK are Lincolnshire and the area surrounding Blackpool. Of course, us slender things in sophisticated London don't suffer from being overweight. We're far too in to those "superfoods" everyone's going on about.

Is really is a load of old nonsense isn't it. Firstly, BMI is no longer used as a guide to obesity as everybody is different and one's bones and muscle can vary in weight. Secondly, overall health should encompass lifestyles ( personally, I'd rather have a life) and stress levels, the latter, of course, is likely to be far higher within the M25.

West Ham staying up - but for how long?

Iain Dale is right to be happy with his teams recent monumental effort in avoiding relegation from the top flight of English football. But, many of us football purists are unhappy with West Ham escaping a 3-point deduction over the Tevez affair. My views on the matter are made clear over at his West Ham blog.

Now we have to wait and see whether other clubs join Sheffield United in their proposed legal battle with the footballing authorities.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Raining or what!

Did you get caught in those showers in London earlier today?

May, not April showers!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Graham Jones and those Internet Secrets

As Graham points out in his most recent post, there's rarely new things out there. Many internet marketing ideas are old ones repackaged.

Internet Marketers don't have secrets

So what do all these Internet Marketing Secrets really tell us? Well, other than a few technological methods, not a lot that business people didn't already know. All you have to do to succeed online is find your target audience, build a relationship with them, find out what they want and sell it to them at the highest price they are prepared to pay. That's it; it's worked offline for centuries and it now works online very well indeed.
How annoyed do you get seeing another web site offering you "Internet Marketing Secrets"? How upset do you get opening that email providing you with "Secrets of the Online Gurus"? And how frustrated are you when you read such "secrets" to find they are the same old stuff you already knew?
blog it

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Finetune your Blog

Hope you like my selection of music thanks to Finetune

Stay as long as you like!

Monday, May 07, 2007

I am not a number, I am a free man

Thanks to PJC for this. He has a link to the Prisoner site

Great childhood tv memories. Others that spring to mind - The Saint, Man in a Suitcase, The Baron, The Avengers.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blog of the Week

Lady Banana has bucketloads of photos on her site. Never boring even if she is a banana.


Jungle Jane nearly made it as Blog of the Week. Her blog is digital narcissism at its finest. Petite Anglaise, eat your heart out.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Had a haircut yesterday afternoon, but according to "In fact" at Prospect Magazine.........

In Italy, until recently, it was not possible to get a haircut on Monday.

I wonder if Welshcakes has a take on this?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Slow down you move too fast!

What an amazing post this is!
A "newbie" blogger by the name of Joanna Young from Edinburgh, has highlighted a very modern problem.
Don't know about you but I'm always buzzing around doing stuff. I know I must slow down, relax a bit more and so on. I've recently taken up yoga again and have toyed with the idea of some meditation.
What do you do to slow down?

Do you feel like you're rushing all the time? If so, you might not be imagining it. There's a story in the papers today on the pace of life in the world's cities. And it's 10% faster in 2007 than it was in the early 1990s.

The study is based on the speed that pedestrians walk at - which they say is a good measure of the pace of life in a city. Going so much faster is not good news. They reckon that people in fast moving cities are less likely to help other people and have higher rates of coronary heart disease. The fastest moving city is Singapore - where they take 10.55 seconds to walk 60ft. New York comes in at number 8 - slower than Dublin would you believe. Edinburgh was reassuringly slow at 13.29 seconds. You can find out the pace of life in your city here.

If you think you might be going too fast you can take the Quirkology test (by the guys that did the pace of life project).

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A father to be proud of - Neville Jacobs

My father called me this morning with the news that the local Conservative Party at Westgate-on-Sea had asked him to be a teller* at the local elections.

I'm certain Dad would have enjoyed his 2 hours of duty in the wind asking the masses of Westgate Ward what their poll number was. "1576" in a gruff voice is the usual answer. Followed by the usual silly question.

Q. Can I use my own pen to put the "X" on the ballot paper?
A. No, there's one available for you. The official inside (normally a council employee) will direct you.

No doubt the Conservatives will continue in office at Thanet District Council and under their stewardship, Margate and the surrounding district will spring up from a sad, desolate, run-down failed seaside resort into a vibrant, thriving place full of shops like Prada and DKNY. These, of course, will service the rich and famous who will zoom in from all points of the compass by speedboat or Aston Martin to stay in their luxurious 7-star hotels with sea-view.

Marbella, West Palm Beach, La Jolla, Dubai, Surfers Paradise, eat your hearts out, Margate's coming to get ya!

* An explanation of telling is here, courtesy of that well-known London Borough - Camden.
clipped from

Who are the people sitting outside the polling station wearing political party colours?

The people are known as Tellers. They work on behalf of the political parties recording who has voted. They may ask for your poll number, or your poll card (on which you poll number is printed). This allows the political parties to know who has voted, and to make sure that their known supporters go and vote.

You do not have to give your poll number or poll card to the Tellers, and they have no right to stop you on the way into the Polling Station, or ask you how you voted. If you are unhappy with the actions of the Tellers, please advise the presiding officer who is in charge of running the polling station.

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Another Charity Challenge

Many of you will have donated towards my recent trip to Tanzania. No, I'm not about to trouble you for my next mission ( I fancy cycling in China) but to advise one an' all about my friend Pauline Crawford.

Pauline heads up Corporate Heart and is attempting to climb a mountain in Morocco on behalf of the Prince's Trust. You can read about Pauline's trip and donate here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Quote of the Day

This one, by David Hockney is on Iain Dale's site

"Look at this smoking ban coming in soon. Ridiculous. This country is run by dull people" - Yorkshire-born artist David Hockney.

Dull people - understatement of the century ( and the last one)

I would say, dull, unimaginative, short-termist, minimalist, stupid, intransigent and wasteful.

The ubiquitous Corporate Presenter

Go to this site and type in words!