Month: August 2009

Two Years On

It’s been two years since I actively started losing weight. August 26th, 2007 was my first weight reading and since then through exercise mostly, and the cutting out of biscuits, I’ve been trying to get my weight down to a sensible level. Two years on, how am I doing?

Overall not too shabby. BMI has dropped from 38.3 to 28.2. Total weight loss is 32.6kg or 5st 2lb. Current weight is 91.5kg or 14st 6lb. I’m really pleased but the weight loss in year 2 is a lot less than year 1. I’ve lost around 7.5kg in year 2 against 25kg in year 1. Oops.

I’ve only myself to blame as I’ve been exercising less this year as work and other projects eat up some time but at least I’m not gaining. I wanted to lose another stone over this year which would take we well under 14st but I can’t see that happening at current pace and workload. Can’t complain though. Feel fitter and healthier and a lot better about myself. I also make sure the above graph is always updated and available online – nice way to keep a wee bit of pressure on me in case I start to stray. The year ahead – steady and downward progress would be nice with a step up in fitness. Longer bike rides (currently around 20 miles per hour long session) and longer/tougher hill walks. Won’t be easy but I’m enjoying the challenge.

Blogging Bollocks

Interesting week with the NHS. Firstly the Republicans in America start spinning stories that the Brits hate the NHS. British people are shown in an advert paid for by a right wing group slagging off the NHS. Later the people who took part claimed they were duped into taking part and they are very annoyed at how they were portrayed. Worse, relatively unknown Euro MP Daniel Hannan has been spreading nonsense on right wing American news programmes about how bad the NHS is. This video tell’s the story so far.

Of course some of Hannan’s quote’s in isolation sound far worse than his interview as a whole but the fact that he chooses to peddle his thoughts on Fox etc in America devalues him in many people’s eyes. His blog claims he has spoken about NHS misgivings for 10 months now in the UK and you should go and buy his book to read what he says. He handily gives you an Amazon link too. Nothing like a politician making a bit on the side.

Anyway, of more interest was the backlash that kicked off on Twitter. Thousands of people tweeted with the hashtag #welovethenhs and a real show of force from NHS loving twitter users forced the NHS into the headlines. Gordon and Sarah Brown tweeted, David Cameron panicked and distanced himself from Hannan and Labour made the most out of the situation. Obviously this couldn’t stand so in waded the right wing bloggers, particularly Guido Fawkes. He blogged that this wasn’t a viral storm and then quoted some figures comparing the hashtag usage against the numbers signing up to the e-petition calling for Brown to resign. His Tory loving commenters lapped this up, quoting it on other blogs and tweeting it to all who wanted to listen. What a load of bollocks.

The e-petition has been running for over 10 months. In April this year, over six months after launching, it had reached 30,000 signatures. In four days, the Twitter hashtag has been used by 16,000 users. So which is the most popular? The e-petition has had roughly 230 sign up’s per day. The hashtag – 4000 tweets per day.
*Update* – looks like Sky news is wrong and the e-petition started up in April 09, running for six months. Thanks to Kalvis Jansons who started the petition for clearing that up. I guess that makes around 500 sign up’s per day.

Hold on you may say, the Twitter hashtag system is abused by spammers and advertisers posting up rubbish but using the popular hashtags. True, so those numbers are inflated. The numbers on the e-petition though are greatly inflated too. Scrolling through the latest 500 sign-ups on the e-petition website shows lot’s of made up names and dubious celebrity sign up’s. Some may be true but I don’t really believe David Miliband MP has been one of those to sign up. If it really was him he would have signed up a long time ago, not just in the last 500.

I’m all for healthy debate but I really despair when people can’t see sites like Guido Fawkes as right wing attack sites. Off course, he peddles it as an honest and fair attempt to expose those in parliament but look through his posts and in particular the venom that can be found throughout the comments (he also has a nice habit of blocking anyone who is anti him or anti Conservative) and then make up your mind. And next time, before you start to tweet round comments and stat’s, have a little think first.

Hot Air

What a stunning picture for a Sunday morning – a real pick me up. It’s when I see images like this I realise I need to get out and about more and take pictures.

 

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