Don’t snog your pet – rocket surgery research

We’ve covered the dangers of antibiotic resistance on the the blog many times before.
We’ve covered the dangers of unhygienic pets on the blog many times before.
Now, some rocket surgeons at Glasgow Poly Caledonian University have put the two together with some groundbreaking research:

I hope you are all sitting down, because the advice in this article is pretty shocking stuff, and may make you immediately rethink how intimately you’ve been living your life with your household pet.
I’m talking about near-incredible recommendations like:

Avoid kissing pets on the mouth

Seriously, just avoid kissing pets full stop.

Don’t let them pets lick your mouth or nose

This is basically french-kissing pets. It’s also to be avoided full stop.
And the nose fetish thing? Eww. No.

Pet owners should wash hands after stroking animals, particularly before meals

WHO KNEW?!?!?
WHO?!?!? KNEW?!?!?

Make sure pets eat from their own bowls and don’t use household utensils

I’m going to be a bit sick now.
And this from a guy whose beagle can’t even use a knife and fork anyway.

At least they stopped short of suggesting that you also always use a condom.
(At least, I hope they did: I haven’t read the whole paper yet.)

It really seems like these things shouldn’t need to be said to humans. We’re literally the most intelligent species on earth, and that’s why we really shouldn’t need to be reminded or warned not to snog our canines who were literally chewing on some faeces they found on the pavement just five minutes ago.

It’s also why household pets shouldn’t be allowed into establishments serving or selling food. It’s not about me being mean to your French Bulldog, it’s just about basic common sense and decent hygiene. It’s about your poor choices putting other people’s health at risk.

Honestly, you people disgust me.

Normally, I’d put this sort of thing into the Darwin Awards category: removing oneself from the gene pool through one’s own stupidly reckless behaviour. But that doesn’t work here, because sadly, this might – might – not actually finish you off, but it will lead to the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which – as I mentioned above – might finish other people off.

Now, thanks to this “new” research from Dr Adele Dickson et al., we’re able to actually demonstrate that your disgusting behaviour is bad for the human race in general.

Thus, for the good health of humanity, please stop this sort of stuff immediately. Ugh.

Election predictions (rolls eyes)

Pisspoor local online rag Business Insider has wasted yet more pixels by asking two “top astrologers” to predict the results of the upcoming South African elections.

What follows is an absolute masterclass in non-commitalism, in the astrologers’ traditional mother tongue of generic forecasting, with a few planets occasionally thrown in for utterly meaningless reference.

No asparagus in sight.

Lines like:

You will in fact be able to see the Moon close to Mars above the Western horizon just after sunset on the day before the election!

tempt us with some actual reality, before spinning us a nonsense tale that something might happen because of it:

Certain key political figures may make provocative and shocking statements, since Mercury-Uranus translates easily as ‘abrupt and startling communication’.

Talking out Uranus more like. Honestly, as if we need people looking at planets to suggest this sort of thing. It happens literally every single day, election or not. Charlatans.

Words and terms like “maybe”, “perhaps”, “it seems that”, “it looks like”, “may”, “might”, “could” and “possibly” are rolled out frequently in order to carefully avoid any actual concrete predictions, so they can rest safe knowing that technically, they can’t be “wrong”. But even then, much of what they suggest is still clearly just stating the bleeding obvious.

…it looks like Malema will waste no time in being vocal, assertive and demanding once the results are out.

…it seems there is some sort of weakening of the ANC’s position

…Mmusi Maimane could be quite busy after the (initial) results come in.

Who could have guessed? Except quite literally everyone.

Look, here’s the link so you can see just how poor it is. But if you really want to predict what’s going to happen on May 8, just read the news like everyone else (including “top astrologers” Nancy Massing and Richard Fidler). There’s no need to try and validate your quackery by trying to assign ridiculous reasoning to the highly predictable outcome.

It’s all complete bollocks.
But then – as a Virgo – I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Tanzverbot

I live in a pretty crazy country. There are a lot of laws, but no-one really obeys them.

Germany also has a lot of laws, but they’re probably a lot more law-abiding than South Africans.

That will be tested (again) this weekend, though. Because it’s Tanzverbot time.

With restrictions varying across the country’s 16 states, the dancing ban, or ‘Tanzverbot’, effectively bars public dancing on the Christian holiday. In some states, including Hesse, the ban lasts for more than one day.

Now authorities in Frankfurt, the biggest city in Hesse, have vowed to crack down on anyone who ignores the ban that’s in place from Thursday to Saturday.

Bizarre. And stupid. The most irritating thing about Christian holidays here is that the bottle stores close – which is equally bizarre and stupid – but you can still dance!

“Even those who do not belong to a religion themselves should show respect for the feelings of others,” said the Uwe Becker, the CDU politician who is head of the church department in Frankfurt.

Indeed. Because there’s nothing that ruins a religious holiday more than some people you have never met, dancing in a nightclub in the city centre while you’re fast asleep 20km away in the suburbs. So disrespectful.

I’m very glad we don’t have such a silly law here.

Not that anyone would take any notice anyway.

Deadpan Robert Smith – preserved for posterity

I spotted this on twitter and shared it amongst friends yesterday, but I just heard it played again on 6 Music and couldn’t help but laugh.

It needs to be preserved on more than social media.
So here it is on 6000 miles…

Robert Smith of The Cure – fresh from touring SA – simply slaying the unfortunate squeaky interviewer as the band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I didn’t go to see their recent local concert – I’m not really enough of a fan – but by all accounts, they were really impressive.

And this is the sort of line you can only get away with when you’re big enough to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I guess.

Short stories…

How cool is this idea?

Short Story Vending Machines.

Yep. Soon to be installed at Canary Wharf tube station in London, commuters can choose from a selection of one, three or five minute stories across a range of genres.

Pros: More people reading stuff. It’s good for the soul, you know?
Cons: LITTER! (and if you look at the number of free newspapers left on floors and seat across the Underground network, you’ll know what I mean).

Also in that story, this line, featuring one of the best words ever invented:

The idea of selling books from a machine is not new; in 1937, Penguin founder Allen Lane installed a “Penguincubator” on Charing Cross Road, a slot-machine book-dispenser that biographer Jeremy Lewis wrote: “shocked his more conservative colleagues”.

Sadly, it only sold books. ‘Sadly’ because if there was anything that 1937 London could have really done with more of, it would surely have been penguins. Well, penguins and an absence of impending global conflict.

But it seems that book vending machines go back over a century even before Lane’s Charing Cross effort.

The first book-dispensing vending machine was built by Richard Carlile in England in 1822. Carlile was a bookseller who wanted to sell seditious works like Paine’s Age of Reason without being thrown in jail.

However, it would seem that this was no automated process. Carlile or some other individual was likely sitting in the back of the machine and handing the books out through a slot at the bottom as the money came through a slot at the top.

The machines at Canary Wharf won’t have people inside them. Technology has really moved on in the last 197 years. The short stories will be free and won’t actually be books – rather just sheets of paper.
They’re already in use across France, the US and Hong Kong, but not in South Africa, where the dual challenges of eleven official languages and rampant theft would mean that the stories would be difficult to share, and the machines only temporary at best.