Santa on coke

Santa drinking coke sitting on a comfy chair. He says Wherever I go...

I’ve just watched a television advertisement featuring Santa Claus and Coca Cola and I have to say that I’m a little concerned.

It’s not that the advertisement itself is a bad advert, I mean, it is appropriately seasonal and does a great job for Coca Cola. The advert is warm and homely and evokes feelings of cosy family Christmases around open fires with chestnuts roasting and … stuff.

If you’ve not seen it already, it begins with Santa giving a bottle of Coke to a young woman. There is then a short montage of her life, the most significant moments of which — of course! — feature a bottle of Coke. It ends with the same woman, now a grandmother, giving a bottle of Coke to Santa, with her granddaughter standing next to her. Ahhh…!

Only, you see, that’s exactly where my problem lies. It’s not that I don’t want people to be kind to one another; I have something of a history of being involved in random acts of kindness. It’s not that.

It’s this: does she not realise that Coca Cola contains caffeine which is a diuretic: it makes you pee. Or as Wikipedia prefers to put it, a diuretic

elevates the rate of bodily urine excretion (diuresis).

(Nice work boffins!)

Does she not realise that Santa has an important job to do? He has to deliver Christmas presents to all the good boys and girls around the world. In one night. And he can’t do that if he’s been guzzling Coca Cola all evening. He’ll be stopping the sleigh every half an hour to have a wee!

Santa, where would you go if you needed to stop?

“Wherever I go…!”

I think there’s a message there for us all.

DirectX 10 previews

View of a lake with mountains and woodland in the background.

With DirectX 10 upon us with the release of the new Microsoft Windows Vista operating system I’ve enjoyed seeing a few previews of the quality of graphics that this will afford.

The Alan Wake screenshots are especially impressive, as are some of those from Microsoft Flight Simulator X.

It’s just a shame that DirectX is only available for Vista and won’t be made available for such ancient (XP was released way back in 2001) operating systems such as Windows XP or earlier versions.

She is still someone’s daughter…

Autumnal trees

For the last few weeks I’ve been quietly composing a blog post in my head asking what is becoming of this country, by which I mean the UK. That can wait for a more pressing question might be: what on earth is going on in Ipswich? And what is going on with regards the press coverage?

For those who may not be up to speed with the news, during the last fortnight five young women have been murdered — possibly by the same person(s) — and their bodies dumped in woodland areas around Ipswich in Suffolk, England. (You can read more about it on the BBC News website if you like.)

Last night as Jane and I sat in bed watching the ITV news we were saddened by the (lack of) quality of the reporting. We were disappointed that these murdered young women were labelled ‘prostitutes’ each and every time they were mentioned, as though that summed them up. Yes they were prostitutes but they were also young women, they were someone’s daughter, sister, friend or mother.

At one point a journalist at the scene where the two most recent bodies were discovered was reporting on that day’s happenings. She said how exciting it was to be there when the second body was discovered. She actually said “exciting”. Jane and I couldn’t believe it. We knew what she meant: to be there while the news was breaking. But she said “exciting”, which seems to me to be one of the most insensitive things that she could possibly have said. This was a murder scene where someone’s daughter had been found brutally murdered.

This morning I woke to an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme with the father of Paula Clennell, whose body Police believe they may have found on Tuesday. It was heart-breaking to hear his story. I had tears in my eyes as I listened to him tell the interviewer that he had not had any contact with his daughter for years, since the birth of her first child. You could hear the deep, deep regret in his voice; broken relationships and broken lives, and words that she will never hear him say to try to help bridge the void.

Mr Clennell also objected to the over-use of the word “prostitute”. “I do wish you’d stop using the word ‘prostitute’.”, he said, “I prefer the term ‘ladies of the night’ he went on. Personally I’m not sure that such a euphemism is any better; I prefer ‘young woman’, but I knew what he meant. “I do wish you’d stop calling her a prostitute … she was my daughter!”

I can’t imagine how I might be feeling right now if we were living in Suffolk. My prayers and thoughts are with the families and friends of the five young women who have been murdered, and for all women in the Suffolk area who may be afriad. My prayers too for the obviously troubled, troubled person or persons responsible; for the members of the Police and other emergency services; and of course for the members of the press and TV that they may report this news with dignity and respect; and for all women driven into prostitution and from which they are unable to escape. Time to pray, pray, pray…