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Since nobodyreadsmeonsaturday, I thought I’d chance my arm and be a bit idle by doing a rehash of a couple of things I wrote some while ago. For your convenience, and since it’s maid’s day off tomorrow, I’ve divided this into two parts, so as long as you don’t hog it all in one, there’ll be enough left over for a snack tomorrow.

PART 1 – Horoscopes

I wrote this piece some years ago when The Stir http://wp.me/P2C8Zz-py was just beginning to exert its influence. It contained nearly all my current favourite topics, so was prescient in its own little way. Fake science, superstition, fake moral outrage of the Daily Mail/Daily Express school of bombast, poor and confusing presentation of information. It even had a polar bear. All it needed was some Mexicans to be complete.

Here it is anyway. I rather expect my critic answerinthestars to pop out of the woodwork at this.

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Here’s another example of Eurocratic meddling in Britain’s internal affairs. In order to bring us into line with other EU countries, the European Parliament Horoscopes Sub-Committee has decreed that OUR BRITISH astrology must be re-defined and ratified. [EU Regulations EU/RT/1999 Signs of the Zodiac(Horoscopes), HMSO 1009pp, £14.35]

i) The present 12 signs of the Zodiac (e.g. Cancer the Crab, Aries the Ram etc.,) hereinafter referred to as ‘Old Signs’ will be replaced by two new signs, hereinafter referred to as ‘ New Signs’ The new signs will be a) Agrippa the Aardvark, and b) Arctos the Polar Bear.

ii) Each new sign will have the same number of people allocated to it, thus preventing a Zodiacal Imbalance and attendant Wrath of the Gods.

In order to facilitate section ii) (see above), the population will be divided according to the following basic scheme. All people whose birthdays fall on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday will henceforth be Agrippans. All people whose birthdays fall on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursdays will henceforth be Arctosans

This ruling requires a six-day week, so Saturday has been abolished.

It also means that Monday will only really be Monday every 6 weeks. In the intervening 5 weeks, Monday will be on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday (but not Saturday) respectively. All other days will move accordingly e.g. 3 weeks after New Signs Day (when the new signs are adopted) Tuesday will fall on Friday, and Sunday will fall on Wednesday; Saturday of course, will not happen at all.

Despite these measures, numbers in the two Signs (new, not old) may still be unequal. The following exemptions to the basic rules will apply:

If the date of the previous-Sunday (unless it falls on what should be Saturday) is not an odd number less than 20, Wednesday people will be Arctosans not Agrippans. Similarly if under the same conditions Tuesday, unless it does fall on what would be Saturday (cont page 92)

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PART 2 – Star Trek Into Darkness

I’m indebted to the Cumberbatch-obsessed Susan ‘Whiplash’ MacNicol http://susanmacnicol.tumblr.com/ for prompting this, and to a lesser extent Ellie ‘Mouse’ Hendren http://cookiedmouseramble.wordpress.com/

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With the release in May of this latest slab of the Star Trek franchise, it’s perhaps time for me to confess. I’ve never been a Trekkie (or is it Trekker? I can never figure it out), I don’t speak Klingon, and I didn’t enjoy any of the television shows after The Original Series from 1966. I loved that. For my mum and me it was absolutely required viewing. I’d finish my homework, she’d finish marking her pupils’ books, and we’d settle down with a cup of tea and a load of biscuits.

More confessions. I haven’t seen any of the films apart from the latest one that JJ Abrams made such a great job of in 2009. He’s got his work cut out if STID is to make its mark against that. Especially as the acronym sonds like something you need to go to a special clinic to have treated. Got to be a handicap, surely?

No matter. We can still expect some things to happen as they have been happening for the past near 50 years. Indeed some cropped up in the 2009 film as a self-parody. I’m not being snidey here. I hold Star Trek in genuine affection and with high regard.

One thing that needs to be addressed by Starfleet Command is that their Starships are very pretty but uselessly small against the bad guys. The mining ship that came out of the black hole in 2009 was about the size of one of the moons of Jupiter, and covered in projections and pylons and god knows what. The Enterprise looked liked a rubber duck taking on the Nimitz. Really, build them bigger, guys.

What else can we expect? All the standards, that’s what.

Warp factor 6 Mr Sulu

What is warp factor 6? Intergalactic cruise control? How fast is it? Why not go everywhere as fast as they can?

Patch us in to their communicationss, Uhuru.

Amazing how she does this. An almost infinite number of frequencies to scan (not including the deep space frequencies, which remain a mystery to me to this day), and she hits pay dirt first time every time. I was trying to tune a transistor radio to Classic FM the other day, and all I got was a lot of whistling and whooshing. Maybe there’s some guy outside the Enterprise with the sole job of twiddling the rabbit ear aerial.

The engines won’t take it, Cap’n

Classic Scotty line; happened nearly every episode. Why not? What’s Enterprise got under the bonnet? Who was cutting corners at procurement in the engine department at Starfleet Command? I’d be having very strong words indeed back at base if I were Jim Kirk and the outboard motor had packed up. Again.

All available power to front deflector shields

No point in doing this, Jim, it is illogical. When did it ever make a scrap of difference? The asteroid storm/bits of other Starships/comet tail will still rip bloody great chunks of outer hull off. Use all available power to keep the lights burning on the bridge. Better use of resources.

Having escaped destruction, the Enterprise is now in orbit around a strange planet with two suns, about 15 moons, and a double ring system.

I detect no life force readings, Captain

Don’t listen Jim! Somehwere down there there’s a silicon-based lifeform that looks like a styrofoam rock shuffling around on rubber tentacles, and it’s going to get pissed off when you walk across the wet concrete that is, in fact, its children.

The atmosphere is breathable, Captain

Apart from the hallucinogenic spores.

Beam us down/Energise

If you’re a crew member on the landing party you’re going to start wishing for RPGs and thermite bombs, because you just know a phaser isn’t up to whatever job you’ll be facing.

Phasers to stun

Not me. I’d have mine set to full power, and at the first slight rustle in the bushes I’d be blasting away yelling, ‘Eat lead, mutha******s!

Last thing. Jim seems to have a tendency to fall for the wrong sort of woman. Spock gives him a lecture on the dangers and pitfalls of miscegenation. That’s pretty rich, isn’t it?

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****!STOP PRESS!****

Things to look forward to next week. If all goes to plan, you can expect:

The best practical joke in the world. Ever! This should appear on Monday. I guarantee it’s never been done, and is a whole lot funnier than clingfilming a naked bridegroom to a lamp post. It’ll take a while to set up, but Monday gives you three weeks until All Fool’s Day on April 1st

More interesting facts about water

Homeopathy. Oh am I looking forward to that. You may not be. I am.