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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

IanD

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Everything posted by IanD

  1. IanD

    Time to go

    You'd have to be a really hardcore spirits drinker to enjoy that, regardless of what the blurb says. With anything close to this strength (I've tried tasting Stroh 80 rum, and 96% alcohol when they used to sell it in the supermarkets in Yugoslavia...) if you react to a mouthful by breathing in sharply -- not unlikely! -- it evaporates, goes into your lungs, and you have a choking fit. Probably a good way to get very drunk very quickly if you survive, and at least it would probably kill any Covid-19 you had...
  2. If people genuinely like the taste of prepared-gravy-precooked-meat-plus-some-bits-ready-in-five-minutes restaurant curries then some of the suggestions above might suit. If you'd rather eat something which tastes *much* better, the best curry books I've found recently are by Meera Sodha -- "Made in India" for meaties, "Fresh India" and "East" for veggies are all great -- and having said that, as confirmed carnivores we've had some of the veggie recipes as main courses and they've been fantastic. You could also do a lot worse than Madhur Jaffrey, her original book has been on our shelves for nearly 20 years and has some lovely recipes in it -- though some are by now so heavily curry-stained they're difficult to read, might be time to get a new copy. The lamb yakhni recipe in it is quite simple and still probably my all-time favourite dish, wonderfully fragrant -- we had it again last week, if I was told I could have curry every Friday (like we do) but it would have to be the same dish for the rest of my life, that would be the one πŸ™‚
  3. Except the information which started this thread is not false or misleading; in an admittedly limited sample of two houses (here and next door) we both see this problem, and the reason for it in the original article is correct...
  4. As requested several times now, if you want to argue about the IRA and the UDF and the British Army please take the discussion elsewhere, not only is this going nowhere it has *nothing* to do with coronavirus and is just winding people up and making potentially knowledgeable contributors leave the forum. Go and argue between yourselves about who gets the last word somewhere else...
  5. I use good old cabled Ethernet for the stuff that doesn't move around, but this is less useful for laptops/tablets/smartphones...
  6. True, but 5GHz is much less good at getting through walls. At the back of my house (through several brick walls from the router) there's no usable 5GHz signal so I have to use 2.4GHz -- and the microwave is in the kitchen at the back of the house, and I do see WiFi data rates drop when it turns on... And before anyone says "Oh my God, that's dangerous, a microwave shouldn't leak power, unplug it!" remember that a microwave has about a kilowatt of 2.4GHz inside it, the leakage specs are specified for safety (5mW/cm2 at 5cm distance) not RF interference, and this is plenty to interfere with a weak WiFi signal while being perfectly safe...
  7. Yes I've read it, and this is indeed the current plan -- but it's "likely" not "certain" because if new information emerges the plan might change, exactly as it should do... πŸ˜‰
  8. Note "may" -- this is the opinion of one scientist who disagrees with the Imperial analysis. The nature of science is that until hard evidence confirms one of these views, we don't know which one is right. But let's hope the OU scientist is wrong, because if half the UK population is already infected then even on the most conservative estimates the UK will see hundreds of thousands of deaths and the NHS will be completely swamped -- and more people will die not just from Covid-19 but everything else that kills them off when the NHS can't cope. Two things worth noting; he's a professor of theoretical epidemiology, and I've come across plenty of academics who know a lot about theory but have little experience of how things work in the real world. And "the research suggested that less than one thousand of those with Covid-19 became ill enough to need treatment in hospital, with the vast majority developing mild symptoms or none at all." -- which is very nice for a theoretical model, but doesn't fit with test results from around the world. None of which changes the right strategy -- as complete social isolation as possible until the infection/death rates have stabilised. Stay at home, everyone πŸ˜‰
  9. Will that be the evidence from the virologists, scientists, immunologists and epidemiologists? Or don't you believe anything that an "-ist" says? All viruses behave the same, after being infected the body has antibodies which either eliminate or massively reduce the chance of reinfection, and vaccination has the same effect -- this is what is meant by "immunity", go and look it up. 100% protection from reinfection is not needed to prevent any further outbreaks, any more than 100% infection is needed to confer "herd immunity".
  10. IanD

    Time to go

    From "the other thread", but very relevant to the discussion going on here -- yes it's going to be next year *at the earliest* before the UK gets "back to normal" πŸ™‚
  11. The strategy of isolation/business shutdown to keep the NHS load within capacity (and therefore minimise death rates) is exactly what the Imperial College paper which prompted the change in Government strategy recommended. It also said that if too many people ignored/avoided isolation stronger controls would be needed to force people to comply. It's the job of the Government to get the measures right, especially in a bolshie country like England where people whine on about freedoms and state control or go "I'm all right Jack"... πŸ˜‰ Once the peak has passed the big question is -- now what? Until either 60%-80% of the population has been infected and recovered (herd immunity) or a vaccine becomes available, any relaxation in controls will cause the infection rate to rebound. On the other hand keeping the country in total lockdown for maybe a year until a vaccine appears will have a huge negative impact on people, society, jobs, industry, and the economy -- this is the big problem with the "lock everything down completely until further notice" approach, there's no exit strategy. So the likely plan is to relax controls (for a couple of weeks?), let infection rates start to rise (but stay within NHS capacity), and then reapply controls (for maybe 6 weeks) to push the infection rate back down. Each time this is done more people become immune, so the next time the infection rate rises more slowly when controls are released and falls faster when they're reapplied. Hopefully this will result in the country acquiring herd immunity even before a vaccine is available, but if not at least people are getting out of the house and doing productive work maybe a quarter of the time, which will not only stop them going stir crazy but help reduce the impact on the economy by the time this is all over -- and as many people are now realising "the economy" is what pays their wages, it's not something which just keeps the fat cats smiling. The main thing is that the government has to look at what is actually happening (not what they hoped might happen), listen to people who point out problems with what they're doing (PPE supplies, self-employed), and change strategy if their scientific advisors say it's necessary. Blaming them for having got things wrong in the past (indecision, slow reaction, lack of PPE...) might make people feel better by blaming somebody, but at least now they appear to be trying to do the right things even if not always as fast as people might want -- they admitted yesterday that something urgently needs doing to help the self-employed/gig economy workers, but that it's a difficult problem to solve and can't be fixed instantly (which is what I said earlier the same day). Whatever happens (herd immunity/vaccine) it's going to be next year before the UK gets back to anything approaching normal, and people just need to accept that -- no amount of complaining about the restrictions is going to magically make Covid-19 go away. What we can hope is that lessons are learned from this -- not just about pandemics but also that "big government" is not always bad, the UK really *does* need to spend a lot more on the NHS and social care (and we will have to pay for this), many low-paid workers are essential to the functioning of society not just disposable scum, and that "greed is good" and "I'm all right Jack" are perhaps not the best way to behave if we want a society that is secure and benefits everyone πŸ™‚
  12. Politics in general and Brexit in particular have always lead to blazing rows between people who would otherwise get on quite well πŸ˜‰ At least with Covid-19 most people have more sensible and less extreme views, and are more willing to change their minds when the facts change -- even the Government...
  13. Assuming that the problem is still distribution (not supply) your suggestion is a good one -- I wouldn't be surprised if something like that happens very soon, if it doesn't then it should do. Yes PPE manufacture and distribution (can't distribute what you don't have) should have been higher priority from the start, like so many other things and with so many other governments who underestimated the scale and speed of the problem -- that was a cock-up (with the benefit of hindsight as usual) but we can't go back in a time machine and fix this, but hopefully the government has seen the error if its ways and this won't happen again. If it does, Boris absolutely deserves to get it in the neck. Complacency ("we'll be OK") and ignorance ("it's just like the flu") on a worldwide scale has got us into the mess we're in right now. With the possible exception of Trump, most governments are now acutely aware of this now lots of people have died and their economies have been comprehensively trashed, and are doing everything they can to keep people safe, but their response is suffering from the after-effects of the complacency which is why there are still not enough PPE supplies in hospitals...
  14. I'd be amazed if getting PPE to the medics *isn't* a super-high priority right now -- a photo/film of a warehouse full of boxes is all fine, but without knowing what's in them/how long they've been there/whether they're still there today, getting all outraged about it is very Daily-Mail-ish πŸ˜‰ "The pleas from front line health workers asking where their PPE was should never have happened in what is supposed to be a developed nation." -- yes that's true, just like it was for all the other democratic (not autocratic) developed nations who have never seen anything like this before and didn't see it coming. Yes as usual things could have been done better/faster/earlier (especially given crystal balls...) but why not save the outrage for the investigation about what went wrong and how to avoid it happening again, and instead put your effort into making useful suggestions about what people (and the government) can do to make things better (or less bad) starting from now?
  15. Yes, but this has to be done for maybe 100x more people than doing it through company payrolls, And somehow you have to check that the records reflect their current status -- if they've become unemployed recently (just before the lockdown) do they get paid the 80% of their previous pay or the (much smaller) benefit figure? Either option is a minefield -- pay them the 80% and the unemployed will say "Why are they worth so much more than me?", pay them the benefit rate and they'll say "Why am I so much worse off than somebody whose work disappeared a week later when Boris closed it down?" I'm not saying this doesn't need fixing because it does, but as usual it's not as easy as it first appears...
  16. The government so far has put things in place to help businesses of all sizes, not just large ones (80% of pay up to 2.5k/month payment), because this is easy to do. I expect they'll sort out the glaring discrepancy with the self-employed/gig economy workers very soon because otherwise millions could starve, but this is a lot harder to do and will take longer because they have to deal with millions of individuals not tens of thousands of companies, and it's a lot harder to collect the numbers to pay out and then make a huge number of payments than just dealing with a company payroll. Especially if it's made non-trivial to defraud -- and before anyone says people won't do something as despicable as this, the recent evidence suggests otherwise. So it's a lot harder and takes much more time and effort to put something in place to cover this sector -- and of course if they'd just put something out quickly with no details behind it, lots of people would have jumped on the "where is the detailed advice for my particular case?" bandwagon, just like they already have for the other measures that have been put in place. If they don't do something reasonably quickly then by all means slag them off, but at least give them a few days to sort out what is a particularly knotty problem... [insert usual comment here about putting yourself in somebody else's shoes and looking at how difficult something is to do before criticizing them]
  17. Guys, chill out and stop throwing rocks at each other πŸ˜‰ A huge announcement was made only a couple of hours ago, you can't expect every single question to be answered immediately, no doubt more details would be forthcoming tomorrow and later. Maybe the government decided that it was better to stop the bellends socialising now and fill in the details later rather than wait until every last i had been dotted and t crossed to please the nitpickers, meanwhile resulting in the deaths of a lot more people? Or would you rather they waited, then instead of complaining about the lack of details you could complain about how many extra people will die because of their delay? Nothing like this has *ever* happened before in the UK so there's no precedent to fall back on, the government is having to invent policy on the fly, sometimes in reaction to what idiots didn't do following an announcement only a couple of days before. They're literally trying to save the country -- cut them a bit of slack for once, will you? [and yes I still hate Boris and the Tories, but they do at least seem to be trying their best to keep things under control and people alive and not starving]
  18. IanD

    Provisions

    If I stop at McDonalds it will only be because I desperately need the toilet...
  19. Unfortunately due to the bellends who've been ignoring all the requests to stay away from each other -- the McDonalds queue is a classic! -- it's likely that our freedom is very likely to be severely legally restricted for at least the rest of 2020 and probably beyond. This will be felt by people who were behaving responsibly (and will carry on doing so) who will find that they're being stopped from doing things that they could have continued doing safely (like moving around on the canals while taking the proper precautions) because of blanket laws written to stop the bellends. Well done guys, now you've f*cked it up for everybody else -- as well as indirectly helping kill somebody else's granny. Or maybe your own, but then it's bound to be somebody else's fault -- the government, the overworked NHS staff, manufacturers not making respirators fast enough, supermarkets not supplying enough soap and toilet rolls. Never yours...
  20. That's exactly what all Western governments did, assumed that the outbreak would stay mostly "foreign" because that's what happened in the past (ebola etc.). Without the benefit of hindsight, you could excuse them because their assumption -- however unsafe -- was indeed based on past experience. Unfortunately they were wrong this time, and now we're all suffering the consequences... 😞 But put yourself in their shoes -- if they had taken strong action to restrict civil liberties and spent a lot of money on precautions befor Covid-19 hit the UK, you can bet 100% they'd have been castigated in the press with headlines about "Government in panic mode" and "Government takes away our liberty" and "Government wastes a fortune on pointless [xxx]", because history shows this is what has happened in the past. Given the two sets of historical facts about pandemic spreading and blame culture, would any of us have made a different decision that was harder to defend than what they did? I'm not justifying their slow action *after* the virus got here, just what happened before that...
  21. IanD

    Provisions

    Glad to see they're all keeping 2m apart... πŸ˜‰
  22. Same problem -- say to the NHS "OK, here's a pile of money saved from cancelling Trident (or whatever), what do you want to spend it on?" and the answer will *always* be "stuff we need now" not "stuff to put in a cupboard just in case". Unless you give them an infinite amount of money so that all the needs of the population can be met, but in reality this can't ever happen, you can always spend more on treating patients *now*. I'm not saying we shouldn't cancel Trident and give the money to the NHS (because I agree we should), just that if we did this they still wouldn't use to to stockpile stuff we might or might not need, they'd use it to treat patients... [Headline: "Cancer patients die as NHS wastes Trident bonanza on cupboards full of useless junk"]
  23. Even the FPP3 masks don't *prevent* you getting infected, they typically keep out ~95% of viruses (vs. 90% for FPP2 and 75% for FPP1) so they reduce the chance of you getting it -- but if there's a lot of infection about it only takes one virus to get through. Otherwise you'd see workers in biohazard laboratories working on things like ebola and smallpox wearing them -- and you can bet they don't, they wear a positive pressure biohazard suit which is the only thing that will *prevent* infection. The main purpose of all masks is to try and stop your coughs and sneezes infecting other people, and any mask will do this (but they don't completely prevent it). Given the cost differences and availability it's far better if everyone wears a mask (however cheap and low rated) than only a few people wear expensive (and scarce) FPP3 masks -- in fact you could say these would be better saved for health workers who are more likely to get infected and impact the NHS if they do so...
  24. Like I said, the NHS doesn't have a bottomless money pit (or didn't until now); faced with a fixed budget and the choice of stockpiling [name your choice] just in case or spending on stuff the NHS needs right now, the right decision is to spend it on stuff needed for patients today -- a stockpile is basically money sitting there doing nothing. Giving the NHS more money (before Covid-19) doesn't change this, because with modern medicine and an ageing population there's *never* enough to pay for everything we would like the NHS to do today. It's always easy for people to say "we should spend more money on [xxx]" by ignoring the fact that in real life this means not spending money on [yyy]...
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