Posted by Ben @ February 27th, 2012 6:15 pm. Filed under: I'm Keeping The Whole Class Back,I'm serious!,Just Crazy Enough To Work,Maybe... but not for THAT reason,Only joking!,The Great Taste of Charleston Chew — Tags: bioware, ea games, mass effect 3, steven mulheron —
This petition is somewhat unique as it was set up by… actually, no, I’ll tell you about that after you’ve read it.
by steven mulheronResponsible department: Ministry of Defence
We petition the Government to set up a Public Enquiry for the enquiry into the UFO phenomena and any possible extraterrestrial involvement. All relevant documentary, physical, and eye witness evidence, held by, or known to the government, should be disclosed and made available to the public enquiry.
Any private entity or foreign government involvement, in the above subject known by HM government should be made available for scrutiny and possible disclosure to the public.
Right. You’ve read that, right? On the surface I actually think it sounds like a fairly reasonable if slightly silly request, worded intelligently by someone who, we can presume, was probably kicked in the head by a horse just hard enough to give him the urge to write this petition but not hard enough to damage his grasp of the English language.
Which is a bit suspicious when you stop to think about it, because the people who actually think it’s worth mashing their requests into the keyboard for the Prime Minister to summarily ignore usually aren’t the sort of people who are capable of stringing together a sentence in a meaningful manner. Over the last few years Andrew and I have seen people fail spectacularly to construct their asinine requests coherently.
Were we wrong? Are the British public actually very, very intelligent? Is this a grand conspiracy to keep people like Steven Mulheron out of the public view and instead elevate dullards and nincompoops to the public eye?
Well, no. As it turns out this is all part of a marketing campaign by EA Games to promote BioWare’s new video game, Mass Effect 3 – a marketing campaign designed to get people talking about, I don’t know, aliens or some shit. My rather cynical urge not to pay them any bloody notice is tempered somewhat by the knowledge that this blog is currently read by, at most, four people, so we’re not doing EA or BioWare any favours by talking about it. Or ARE WE…? (No.)
Nothing affirms my lack of faith in humanity quite like the efforts of marketing people.
Posted by Ben @ January 5th, 2012 10:43 pm. Filed under: Website News —
Oh dear, we rather let this blog slip a little, didn’t we? Sorry about that.
In our defense, it’s not entirely our fault. The ePetition site doesn’t currently allow you to sort petitions by creation date, so it’s difficult to see when a new petition has been created. It sort-of fell off of our radars for a while. I’ve actually emailed them to ask if they can implement a “Sort by Creation Date” feature, but they’ve ignored me. I can’t say I blame them.
Anyway, for the new year I’m going to try and make at least one post here every weekday, starting from tomorrow (or today, if this post counts). Let’s see how well that goes.
Posted by Ben @ August 16th, 2011 10:18 pm. Filed under: Abolish This!,Anything I Want Is A Human Right,Anything I Want Should Be Legal,Are You Kidding? We Can't Afford That!,Clearly You've Thought This Through,Hanging's Too Good For 'Em!,It Says So In The Daily Mail,Join the Fight Against Nebulous Bad-Sounding Things!,Nobody Else Deserves Free Money!,Really REALLY Bad Ideas,Stop Spending My Money On Things I Don't Understand.,These Kids Today With Their Modern Haircuts And Hippetty-Hop Music,Unworkable Ideas,What Have Other People Ever Done For Me?,Work Around My Delusions Dammit!,Xenophobia — Tags: Alan Young, David Moss, mark predeth, Peter Stephen Andrews —
Time for a short collection of lunacy. Where shall we begin? Oh yes, with the person who wants to be able to bludgeon unwanted house guests to death with a roaring oar:
by Alan YoungThe law regarding self-defence should be altered to make explicit that a householder is entitled to use any and all measures against an unlawful intruder within their home without fear of prosecution or any requirement to demonstrate proportionality or ‘reasonableness’ of response.
I am inexplicably reminded of a bit from Terry Pratchett’s “Hogfather” (I’ll quote from the TV version, here):
Lord Downey: You nailed Sir George’s dog to the ceiling.
Teatime: I couldn’t have it barking while I was working, sir.
Lord Downey: Some people would have drugged it.
Teatime: Oh! But I definitely fulfilled the contract. I checked Sir George’s breathing with a mirror, as instructed.
Lord Downey: Apparently his head was several feet from his body at that point.
Teatime: That was all right, wasn’t it, sir?
Lord Downey: It lacked elegance.
Right, what else have we got?
by mark predethWe the undersigned call on the government to restrict immigration to the United kingdom to a fixed numer of 50000 people per year and no more
by Peter Stephen AndrewsI would like the death penalty brought back. I’m sick of soft sentencing. I’m sick of criminals scoffing in the face of the law, our country and communities!
Wrongful convictions though, eh? Rather difficult to pardon someone you’ve just injected with poison, isn’t it? That is to say nothing of this very valid point.
by David MossThe government needs to stop paying people child associated benefits once they have had two children. Not only do more tax credits have to be paid, more child benefits but also housing benefits, NHS costs for birth and through life, education costs etc etc. Stopping benefits after 2 children will make people think more carefully about having large families and their huge tangible and intangible burden on the state. They will no longer be incentivised to have a lot of children, get more benefits and never work. More worringly this culture is passed onto the children and they adopt the same approach until it becomes totally unsustainable.
“Sorry Susan, but as your father and I just lost our jobs and the government will only pay child support for two of our children I’m afraid you’ll simply have to starve to death.”
Posted by Ben @ August 6th, 2011 8:28 am. Filed under: I Am A Brain!,I Sure Hope There's No Way This Can Be Misinterpreted.,It's Just A Little Request...,Just Crazy Enough To Work,Not actual justice -- just what I wanted. Which is basically the same thing.,Solve My Imaginary Problems!,Thank You For Coming -- It's Been Very Useful,Unworkable Ideas — Tags: Nicholas Payton —
People who knowingly make false accusations / allegations should receive the same punishment that their victim would have received if guilty.by Nicholas PaytonPut quite simply, making false allegations is a form of harassment. Even if they are never tried for the alleged crimes, the victim’s life can be seriously impacted. It can seriously affect a person’s social life, family life, and career prospects. Sadly people tend to believe rumours, and sometimes even add to them. A trial, and even a conviction based upon false allegations is surely one of the most serious miscarriages of justice.
Of course, we get into the rather sticky legal territory of what to do when someone accuses someone else of making a false accusation only for us to discover that the accusation of false accusation was itself a false accusation.
Posted by Ben @ August 6th, 2011 8:20 am. Filed under: ...Or Else!,Anything I Want Should Be Legal,Clearly You've Thought This Through,Commas,Everyone Stop What You're Doing Because You're Mildly Inconveniencing Me,Lord Knows I Ask Not For Myself,My Other Car Is Another Car,Presumably The Prime Minister Is Not Too Busy,Really REALLY Bad Ideas,That'd Be Nice — Tags: Ben Spiller —
Apparently getting rid of that that twelve-second period of waiting at a crossing when there’s nobody there is absolutely vital:
by Ben SpillerThe Prime Minister should make an announcement saying that there are no cameras on any pelican crossings in the country. Then, tell everyone that if the light is on red, and there is nobody on the crossing, just GO! This would save Billions of pounds to the economy, increase our standard of life and reduce carbon footprint.
What, Ben, is your problem? Is your schedule so important that being held up by a red light for a fistful of seconds is enough to throw your entire day out of whack? Here’s some advice – if you find yourself at Pelican Crossing while there’s a red light and nobody waiting to cross the road, just take a deep breath, count to ten, then… ah, fuck that. Just write another angry note to the Prime Minister. Your inability to cope with minor delays is exactly the reason he got into politics, after all.
Posted by Ben @ August 6th, 2011 8:07 am. Filed under: I'm serious!,Just Crazy Enough To Work,My Other Car Is Another Car,Nanny Knows Best,Oh Yeah? Let's See You Write A Better Petition!,Only joking!,Unreasonable Demands,Unworkable Ideas — Tags: Ian Henderson —
by Ian Henderson2000 people are killed every year on our roads, and another 20,000 are seriously injured. This is a particularly common cause of death and serious disablement for younger people. This petition therefore calls for safety hats to be made compulsory for all car drivers and passengers. Cars are heavy-duty, high-speed machinery, and despite modern innovations such as seat belts and air bags, brain injuries are still a leading cause of death and injury. A study by the University of Adelaide has even shown that a simple bicycle-style helmet would cut brain injuries by 50% and save 1 in 5 crash victims. What are we waiting for?
On balance, this sounds a rather sensible idea. However the logical progression from this is that everybody wears a “safety hat” all the time forever because, I don’t know, someone somewhere might get home from work one night, slip on a bit of carpet and fall over and crack their head open on the radiator. After all, most accidents happen at home, or so an episode of Red Dwarf once told me.
Posted by Andrew @ August 4th, 2011 11:54 pm. Filed under: Democracy? Isn't That The One Where You Do Everything I Say?,Everything MPs Have Is Part Of The Expenses Scandal,Hanging's Too Good For 'Em!,Meta-petitioning,Racism,This was Yesterday's News Ages Ago — Tags: Alan Young, Edward Whitfield, Keith Jones, Robert Sleight, tony —
Christ, let’s see if I can remember the admin password for this site…
by Joseph Blurton
We, the people, are idiots. Please, for pity’s sake, ignore us more often.
Hello, anyway! It’s all go in epetitionville! The coalition have finally got round to installing the new epetition website, which I can only assume has taken this long thanks to their increasingly bewildering policy of never knowingly reusing a back-end. The e-petition website crashed almost immediately under the pressure of anywhere up to a hundred people flocking to sign as many as eighty petitions, so it’s safe to assume their server-farm has been hit pretty hard by the austerity measures or they took the latest dumb pigeon-versus-broadband stunt a mite too seriously.
To make things more exciting, any petition that gets over 100,000 signatures will be debated in Parliament, unless it isn’t. Also, we’re taking out the bell so you can buzz in as soon as you’ve dismissed the idea out of hand.
Anyway, there’s something of a bumper batch to get through here, so I’m going to leave the ‘rejected’ pile for now and stick my favourites after the fold…
The problem with this new website is that pretty well every idea on it is at least a bit dumb.
by Saif Chaudhry
31/03/2011 12:44 PM GMTI would like to use the power of stereoscopic 3D technology to educate students at all levels of academia. The idea will include 3D content production, 3D hardware rental/supply/installation and effectiveness research.
Stereoscopic 3D is the technical term used to describe the experience that is commonly referred to as 3-D film, television or gaming. The technology tricks the brain in to creating “cyclopean images” which are used for human optical depth perception. This gives the illusion that the viewer is looking in to the real world and not on to a flat screen. Many short studies have found this to increase attention, emotion and engagement levels. It is because of this that I think its use in education should be a priority.
I believe that a new model for creating and distributing educational content could be creating by seeking a mixture of public and private funding. A publicity based model could be adopted allowing companies and organisations who fit a strict ethical and social criteria to fund the production of the educational content in exchange for PR and logos placed in any assets produced. In this way it would be possible to distribute video content at cost (cost of the 3D Bluray) to UK schools, colleges, universities and other educational establishments that have the necessary 3D facilities. I understand business is about making money but I believe that educating should not be solely about profits but about the progress of our country and next generation. We would retain all copyright and be free to sell the content to schools outside of the UK. We would also provide supporting written material in an electronic format that would allow schools to print and use when necessary. If a school lacks the necessary hardware we can rent, supply and install the needed technology.
I have been unable to find a comprehensive set of figures that details the spend on textbooks but this spend could be drastically reduced by creating and distributing content in this way. I also propose to create an online portal where pupils of registered schools could view the 3D content at home for no additional charge (online) or purchase a set of 3D Blu ray’s.
Traditionally educational content has lacked the cinematic and directorial quality when compared to standard entertainment content. I would like to create the content using the same techniques and principles as mainstream content, meaning it is more engaging, entertaining and therefore more likely to deliver effective teaching.
I propose to take a topic from the GCSE syllabus of one subject and creating a 3D lesson. The teaching would be delivered to two classes of equal academic ability either using 3D or traditional methods. At the end we would ask pupils to complete a short test and questionnaire. Upon completion this lesson would act as a demo.
Initially the new company would focus on consumer content, however from personal experience, I believe there are uses for similar technology within the defence industry.
In case you wisely couldn’t be bothered to read all this, it boils down to:
I’m pretty sure my school already has a 3D lesson-delivery system. This sounds like something from an 80s vision of the near-future where class sizes are around 150, and everything is holograms sponsored by PepsiCo.
Incidentally, it’s worth pointing out that the one 3D image available on this company’s website is the single worst attempt at 3D photography I have ever seen. If they used two cameras, they weren’t correctly synchronised. More probably they used only one, and in any case, presumably knowing that they couldn’t take the photos simultaneously, they chose a scene that moves around. If they’d picked a tree or a building they’d have got away with it, but no, they had to go with fountains. How is this going to work with a teacher trying to give a lesson while their cameraman shuffles from side to side resetting his tripod?
Posted by Ben @ April 1st, 2011 8:26 pm. Filed under: Everyone Stop What You're Doing Because You're Mildly Inconveniencing Me,I Am A Brain!,Lord Knows I Ask Not For Myself,Really REALLY Bad Ideas,Solve My Imaginary Problems!,Unreasonable Demands,Unworkable Ideas — Tags: Andy Preston, Karrass Worldwide Ltd. —
by Andy Preston
01/04/2011 01:07 PM GMTFailure to negotiate and renegotiate properly will result in vast amounts of money being wasted. All Government staff in all departments should be properly trained to negotiate. Value for money rather that bureaucratic protection against failure MUST be the order of the day. Karrass Worldwide Ltd. can provide that training.
Surely it would cost more money to train “ALL Government staff in all departments” to negotiate stuff – keeping in mind this also includes Job Centre staff, cleaners and whathaveyou? What you’re effectively asking for here is “Please give Karrass Worldwide a big bag of money to train a bunch of people in a skill that almost all of them will never have to use.”
Andrew Stoney has a simple idea to make the government “not sure/prefer not to say” pounds:
by ANDREW STONEY
30/03/2011 05:41 PM GMTMaking revenue from Google advertising that target specific videos that relate to different websites & my own videos.
Here, genuinely, is his latest video:
I think we can all agree that this would be fantastically lucrative.
So the Government, showing the same approach to running the country as small children do to large projects, have ditched their latest crowd-sourcing initiative — was it ‘your freedom’ or ‘spending challenge’ or some such? — and launched a new one. And, as per their characteristic extravagant form of austerity, they stubbornly refuse to just pick a backend and run with it, so the “Cabinet Office Innovation Launch Pad” is powered by something called ‘spigit’.
Anyway, as with all the other ones since the ePetition site closed, this new one is focussed on only one goal, in this case as a way for companies to pitch business ideas they think will help the government save money. Sort of like a public-sector Dragons’ Den. But as we all know, the British public won’t sit by and let some nanny-state website apparatchik dictate to them what they can and can not submit, so they have simply phrased their petitions in the form of a business pitch and got on with the job of vomiting reactionary nonsense into their computers:
by Sally Metcalfe
31/03/2011 08:36 AM GMTWe all know that the UK has a reputation for being “easy to get benefits” and many Governments would like to change/reform it. I believe that people claiming Jobseekers Allowance should be required to undertake voluntary work in order to qualify to get the benefits. The type of voluntary work projects which could be arranged are limitless, with countless charities and PUBLIC SERVICES that need help. Not only would it give unemployed a sense of self-worth, but they could gain valuable skills and references to enable them to gain meaningful employment.
You wouldnt need a heirarchy of Managers to operate the scheme,just the Managers of charities/services to confirm attendance, commit to support the individual. The benefits to public services could be endless, beach cleaners, groundsmen, painters and decorators, assistance for the elderly, social support services, teaching assistants…..the list is endless and could save the public purse hugely.
Just an idea!
Yep, you’re onto a winner when you’ve contradicted yourself two words in. It’s voluntary, except that you have to do it and you get paid. You have invented jobs. Congratulations.
Posted by Ben @ March 19th, 2011 10:34 pm. Filed under: Wait a minute... this isn't a petition! —
Ooh ‘eck, it’s dusty around here. Hem hem. How do the categories work again? I’ve forgotten.
I have news to share with you. The ePetition site has once again tweaked its introductory page to read:
As stated in Parliament by the Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young, on 2 December 2010, online petitions to the Coalition Government will be moving to DirectGov in 2011.
DirectGov exists over here, but as yet I can’t find anything suggesting any sort of petitiony section on their site. Still, they have nine months in which to get it up and running, so I’m sure we’ll have some suitably batshit insane petitions to share with you at least before we all get fried by solar flares in 2012.