Whale slaughter continues

IMG_4896While I’m no eco-warrior, I continue to be dismayed about the Japanese whaling fleet. In the news this week was the story that the fleet had killed 333 minke whales. I just can’t understand how a supposedly developed nation can still claim this is a scientific programme. There’s nothing scientific about it. It’s just outright slaughter and really needs to stop.

With demand for whale meat in Japan apparently declining and the Japanese government investing considerable amounts of tax money to artificially sustain whaling operations – why is this being allowed to continue? Is the International Court ruling that this whaling programme was not scientific just being ignored? What repercussions will Japan face? Why are no international sanctions being imposed?

And this hunt took place in Antarctic waters too. What right does the Japanese whaling industry claim in order to do this? It’s such an illogical argument that this completely unscientific slaughter is being carried out by Japan, in contravention of international rulings and outcries from other nations all around the world.

I just don’t know what we can do to bring this to an end. Other than signing online petitions (which I recommend) it seems we’re all powerless to stop this wanton destruction of a peaceful species sharing this planet with us.

Cut benefits for Sky TV subscribers

With all the focus on the recent budget from George Osborne and the welfare cuts about to be imposed, it still surprises me that one of the UKs big benefits issues persists and remains undiscussed and untackled.

Simply put, why are people on benefits able to have Sky TV subscriptions? If they’re rich enough to pay for Sky TV – with minimum subscriptions starting at over £20 per month and top tier packages over £80 per month – then they should arguably have their benefits reduced by this amount.

It confuses the hell out of me why the taxpayer funded benefits are allowed to support Sky TV subscriptions. Pay TV is a luxury, not a basic human right or utility, and certainly not one that should be paid for by the UK taxpayers. This benefit cut is much more logical than the bedroom tax that’s come about recently and would, in my opinion, have much wider acceptance by the general public.

I know many people, gainfully in employment, with good jobs, decent salaries and families to support – and they’ve made a careful decision not to have Sky TV because it’s too expensive for them. They pay their taxes, out of hard earned income, to – among other things – support the needy. And Sky TV should not be funded by these taxes. It’s just wrong.

With Freeview, or even Freesat, offering such a good range of completely free programming I can’t think of any genuine reason why Sky TV should ever be considered a necessity, and certainly not one that people on benefits should be able to pay for.

So, it might be a controversial statement – and it is entirely my personal opinion – but I believe that anyone on benefits that has Sky TV, should have their benefits reduced by the amount they pay for their subscription. That’s surely a fairer way of redistributing taxes and supporting those genuinely in need, isn’t it?

Chester Races Fixtures 2012

Chester Races logoHere are the 2012 fixtures for Chester Races:

Wednesday 9 May 2012
Stan James Cup Day
Wednesday, 09 May, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Thursday 10 May 2012
Boodles Ladies Day
Thursday, 10 May, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Friday 11 May 2012
Boodles City Day
Friday, 11 May, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Saturday 26 May 2012
Roman Day
Saturday, 26 May, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Saturday 9 June 2012
Jubilee Day
Saturday, 09 June, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Friday (eve) 29 June 2012
Ladies Evening
Friday, 29 June, 2012, Gates Open: 4.30

Saturday 30 June 2012
Midsummer Meeting
Saturday, 30 June, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Friday (eve) 13 July 2012
Ladies & Gents Evening
Friday, 13 July, 2012, Gates Open: 4.30

Saturday 14 July 2012
Chesterbet City Plate Day
Saturday, 14 July, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Sunday 5 August 2012
M&S Money Family Fun Day
Sunday, 05 August, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Saturday 18 August 2012
Chesterbet Summer Festival
Saturday, 18 August, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Saturday 1 September 2012
Ladies Day
Saturday, 01 September, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Friday 14 September 2012
Autumn Festival
Friday, 14 September, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Saturday 15 September 2012
Autumn Festival
Saturday, 15 September, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

Saturday 29 September 2012
Chester Finale
Saturday, 29 September, 2012, Gates Open: 11.30

To book tickets, go to the main Chester Races web site HERE

Premium Press offers 50% off WordPress themes

Premium Press, the company behind the WordPress themes of DirectoryPress, ShopperPress and CouponPress are offering 50% off their themes as part of a Halloween special. Just click on the link below and then when you get to the purchase screen, use the code “halloween”. I’ve used DirectoryPress as the system upon which I’ve based Recruiter Network Directory (which you can see here: and on Oil and Gas Recruiter Directory (which you can see here:


In terms of out of the box functionality, the themes can’t be faulted. They’re easy to install and include an abundance of payment gateways so that you can straight away begin to monetize your site. There’s lots of powerful features too, but once configured you can almost sit back and let the sites manage themselves. The only intervention required is for WordPress updates or responding to contact form enquiries. 

The new Amazon Kindle Fire announced

I’ve just watched the new Amazon Kindle Fire advert and – I want one! It’s only available in the US right now – and it’s for the bargain price of $199.

I hope they don’t do what Barnes and Noble did with their Nook Color and leave it for the US only.

It looks very much like a Blackberry Playbook, but uses a new type of browser that splits the load between the local hardware and the Amazon Cloud Compute services, so it’s supposed to be very fast. Dual core too, it has a gorilla glass screen, integration with the Amazon apps store, a heavily customised Android system, full colour screen… but at a fraction of the cost of the ipad.

Watch the video HERE

I’m DEFINITELY going to be buy one when it comes to the UK, but unfortunately I don’t think it’ll be a straight currency transfer to the UK. $199 is about £149 right now… so it’ll more likely do what other US providers do and charge the same amount in sterling. The question is, when will it be available? From everything I’ve read, IF it’s coming to the UK, it’ll likely be available before Christmas – but it’s more likely to cost £199.

Apologies about the site problems

Apologies if you’ve been trying to access content on my web site for the last 24 hours… I’ve been having one or two problems with the migration to a new server. It should be mostly finished now, although the nameservers now need to fully resolve before the site will be back up 100% of the time. Equally, for some reason, the theme has broken too – so that’s task number 2 on the list!

VPhase release FREE iPhone app

VPhase released their first iPhone app today (16th March 2011).

It’s completely free to download and use, and includes their unique savings calculator as well as an embedded version of their infomercial that explains in layman’s terms why voltage optimisation is so important.

To get hold of the app, just search for ‘vphase’ in the app store, or follow this link:

Japanese Tsunami video

This video really helps demonstrate the power behind the tsunami that struck Japan.


Buying used products from Amazon and

Amazon and are two high profile sites that have addressed the ‘long tail of search’ and have built their operating model predominantly around selling high volume at low price, where small margins will collectively add up to large profits – and it’s something that seems to be working really well for them. For the regular customer, the two sites provide a first class online retail experience, often undercutting the high street and even other online retailers. However, the prices quoted on Amazon and aren’t necessarily the best prices.

As long as you’re willing to accept second hand products, then the Amazon Used and New feature and’s Playtrade offer the same familiar interfaces of these well regarded sites, but the products here are second hand. All listings include an explanation regarding the condition of the products and it’s not unusual to find used products for half the retail price, or even less!

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Kindle software update rolls out

Amazon Kindle 3GAmazon have announced that they’re rolling out a software update to Kindle owners, taking the software version to 3.1. It’s a seamless update that should come through automatically, just as soon as you activate your Kindle’s wi-fi. There’s no information about whether the update comes through via 3G.

There are 4 main features that will become enabled as part of the update and I’ve listed them below in order of importance (from my own perspective). Unfortunately, there’s no change to allow custom screensaver images (as was possible on previous Kindle versions), or to default the images to align with the current book or publication you’re reading. I’d much prefer to see something specific that I choose as opposed to the classics author images that currently pop up.

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