Why Dieting isn’t all about Weight

by Alan Davies on October 8, 2014

in Food

bpI decided recently to diet. I’ve always been a bit of a chunky-monkey but it was after a medical consultation that suggest my cholesterol and blood pressures numbers weren’t quite where they should be that I decided to take action.

5 Weeks later I’m chuffed to find that the following important metrics can now be reported:

  • Blood Pressure – was 149/80, now 130/80
  • Cholesterol -was 5.9, now 3.6
  • BMI – was Obese, now (just) Overweight
  • Suits that were in the attic that now fit – 3
  • Trousers off to the menders for altering – 5
  • Shirts brought back into use from the attic – 8
  • Weight – I’m not going to tell you!

The reason for not answering the last point is that it is not relevant to me now as these metrics give me the motivation and satisfaction that this diet is doing me the world of good. It’s not just about how much you weigh.

War Porn: we just don’t need it

by Alan Davies on October 1, 2014

in Military

Stills of the second strike on Isil an armed pick-up truck in Iraq with a Brimstone missile by a RAF Tornado GR4 aircraftThe tone was set by the Americans with videos of missiles in flight to destroy their targets and now the RAF are doing the same. Videos showing the military might of the Western world often against an armed but un-armoured pickup truck are released as part of the media war. Why they are released is not clear, but I suspect someone, somewhere, thought that such images would be a demonstration of how power can be projected on a world stage.

And of course they aren’t particularly unpleasant. Black and white, pretty grainy and always ending in a flash/bang that showed nothing much of any consequence.

But underneath all that, someone is being killed. And when the Islamic State turned this war porn on its head and got up close and personal in their recent videos many of us were very uncomfortable with what we saw. Allegations of savagery, medievalism, brutality were common, but the reality is that the images were IS’s equivalent of the missiles- in-flight films issued by western powers. [click to continue…]

Ken Owens’ future hangs in the balance

by Alan Davies on October 1, 2014

in Adverts, Sport

File:Ken Owens. Wales Grand Slam Celebration, Senedd 19 March 2012.jpg

Welsh rugby union stars the Scarlets celebrated recently after a heart-stopping win over Italian rivals Treviso.

The Pro12 in Llanelli on 20th September saw the Scarlets winning seven tries to nil, with Welsh internationals Gareth Davies and Liam Williams touching down twice.

It was the first win for hosting team Scarlets since new coach Wayne Pivac was drafted. Having coached Auckland to the National Provincial Championship in 2002 and 2003, Pivac has clearly shown his skills as a coach and could promise a bright future for the Scarlets.

Other stars to light up the game were hooker Emyr Phillips, who went over in the opening minute, while Gareth Owen and Johan Snyman scored tries in the second half. Davies’ try was assisted by second row Joe Snyman and flanker Aaron Shingler.

While it was a team effort for the Scarlets, one player’s absence was particularly noticeable – Ken Owens. The 27-year-old recently suffered a neck injury while training and was deemed unfit for Guinness PRO12 game.

Now, the Scarlets have told press that Owens has been assessed by their own medical team and has also had consultations with specialists. The Scarlets’ head of training Andrew Walker said: “We have undergone a thorough process of consultation with specialists over the last few days in regards to Ken’s injury, and will decide on the best course of action in the coming days.”

The news does not bode well for the Welsh team, whose odds in the autumn tests could drop dramatically if Owens continues to be absent. The star has started in Wales’ last three tests and is a key facet of national coach Warren Gatland’s plans. He first appeared on the scene with his international debut during the 2011 World Cup. Since then, he has gone on to win 26 caps.

Wales will have cause to worry now that Owens could be out for an undetermined amount of time. Their autumn Test schedule begins against Australia on 8th November, before the national team take on Fiji, New Zealand and the Springboks.

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said: “It’s a shame for Ken on both a personal level and the team as a whole that he will require surgery on the injury he received earlier this week to his neck.

“Ken had been playing well but the focus now is to get see him through the surgery and get him back here with us for rehabilitation.”

Buying Votes – another act of folly

21 September 2014 Politics

So, Ed Miliband wants to raise the minimum wage over the course of the next Parliament from £6.50 which is due to take effect in October to £8 an hour. This is a remarkably easy vote winning strategy for a Labour leader to throw out there, but he needs to understand the reality of what he’s […]

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Does this Fraud screening need improving

9 September 2014 Business

This morning I had reason to query some payments from my bank account and ended up having to call the fraud team. When they answered they took me through security, but not by using the account or online passwords or codes I normally use. Instead they asked me detailed questions like: my full name and […]

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Why Iraq and Ukraine are so different?

2 September 2014 Military

Someone asked me this morning: "how is it that we can be prepare to use airpower in Iraq but appear to be so reserved about a response to the situation in Ukraine?"That set me thinking: and the answer is, in my opinion, that we face very different situations. In Iraq we will not project our […]

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Farewell Lusty, you did us proud

28 August 2014 Military

I shed a tear a few minutes ago, only a small one, but an item on the lunchtime news really moved me. It was the report that said it was time to say farewell to a great servant of this country: HMS Illustrious. Lusty, as she was known as been home to hundreds of seamen […]

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