Odds and sods

Downing Street Petitions

I have, for a long time now, thought that the Downing Street “email petition service” exists for one reason, and one reason only. It is to enable the authorities to get information on who is for this and against that.

And, what information do they have on you? Your full name, your email address (this is checked by you having to complete your verification by clicking a link on an email they send you). And your postal address which is checked against the electoral register. In addition, they have the contents of the petition you have signed.

From their point of view, pretty good information which no doubt goes on their database. One of the many they have on you.

Airport Security

One of the “rules” is that you cannot take liquids through customs larger than 100 millilitres. You may be sure of one thing. This “rule” will never go away as it enables the so called “duty-free” shops to charge anything they want. Including bottled water at least twice as expensive as that in local shops.

And, if you find you have to pay for all those extra items in the extortionately priced shops air-side, and you need to withdraw extra cash, you will find the ATMs air-side nearly always carry a charge for withdrawals

What is the “Gold Standard?

This is something that was used in the past, when money was stable and inflation therefore, was also pretty stable. Our currency was based on the value of precious metals, and we never printed more money than we had gold reserves for.

In the early part of the 20th century our currency was taken off the Gold Standard (don’t be confused by Gordon Brown selling our Gold reserves – our currency was taken off the Gold Standard many decades before this event).

Now you can go back onto the Gold Standard yourself because GoldMoney now gives you a facility of not only owning Gold and storing it in their vaults, but allows you to trade Gold with other GoldMoney customers. The American government are alarmed at the number of Americans who are dealing with GoldMoney and they are attempting to bring in draconian legislation to forbid this.

Low alcohol wines

It seems that many wineries (vineyards) all over the world are experimenting with various methods of reducing “alcohol”, but not “pleasure” of enjoying wine. However, the stumbling block of obtaining these in Britain are our own authorities.

First of all, if you follow this link, you will see the three main methods of reducing alcohol. I show the three methods below, but there is much more to learn from this website.

Reverse osmosis removes water, alcohol and acetic acid from a wine after fermentation. The water and acetic acid are then added back into the wine, which is “re-alcoholised” with an appropriate amount of alcohol. Spinning cones use centrifugal force and a vacuum to separate volatile components, including alcohol, from a wine. The winemaker then decides how much alcohol to blend back in. Dilution is strictly illegal, but the fact remains that some producers add water to sugar-rich musts. The problem with this technique (other than its dubious legality) is that flavour gets diluted along with alcohol levels.

And if you have a Muslim friend who you want to take for a drink, it seems they may drink beer which has an alcohol content of no more than 0.5% which is pretty much all of them. An official website from Saudi Arabia says this about low alcohol beers:

For example, a person weighing a mere 54 kg (120 lbs) would have to consume at least twenty-three 330 ml bottles of non-alcoholic beer at 0.5% alcohol per volume – the high end of the spectrum for non-alcoholic beers – to even begin to feel intoxicated by the alcohol that it contains. (Incidentally, this is larger than the faraq mentioned in the hadîth.) Moreover, he would have to drink this quantity within a period of less than 15 minutes. He will not be able to become intoxicated if he takes a longer time to consume those 23 bottles, since in that case the liver will be eliminating the alcohol faster than he can consume it. Needless to say, anyone who undertakes to consume 23 bottles of non-alcoholic beer in 15 minutes so he can experience a transient moment of mild intoxication is doing something unlawful in Islam.

The article goes on to say it is therefore alright to drink these low alcohol beers. The exact words are: “Hence, there are no grounds to prohibit this drink. And Allah knows best.”

Saturday’s Daily Mail

Yes, I plead guilty to buying the Daily Mail! But I inly every buy the Saturday edition for the television pages. There are six pages of television listings for each day, and that is not including all the lead-up pages talking about what’s on next week. I usually skip through the newspaper as well as I like the fact that there is a lot of humour contained therein. I have Page 33 open at present in which the following two items brought a smile to my face. “Muslim Gets Jail…” reports: “When Questioned, Gharfoor said he planned to bomb Bluewater … in Exeter. After being told Bluewater was in Kent, he replied ‘The plan is not finalised’. And “The end of brainstorming…” reports: “But in genteel Tunbridge Wells, the Council decided it might lead to the traditionally “disgusted” residents of the town becoming “offended” as well”.

Non residents of these islands may not understand the second item so I will explain that “Letters to the Times and Telegraph” of Englishmen complaining about something, would often sign themselves as “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.

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