23 April 2011


Have you ever had one of those dreams that seems so realistic you can't remember in the morning whether it was a dream or it really happened?

I had one just like it last night... Apparently.

I work in a supermarket as a filler in the dairy section. As a casual, I usually get a call in the morning asking me to work that evening. If it's not a big load, they don't need the whole team on, so sometimes I get the evening off. If I'm lucky, I sometimes even get two evenings off in a row.

Our store is closed over the Easter weekend, except for today, Saturday. So if I don't work today, that's four whole days off in a row. I don't think I've had that many days off in a row since last September.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and thought, "Damn! I've got to go to work tonight".

I distinctly remembered walking up the back stairs yesterday afternoon and Donna telling me that work had got the load figures for today and I was working. Not that I mind too much, since it's double time and a half today, and the customers would only be in the store for a third of the shift before we closed at 6pm.

Something was nagging at me though. I hadn't heard the phone ring, so how did Donna know I was working. Also, no-one would have been at work yesterday, so how would they have got the load figures. When I checked the phone, the last call from work was on Thursday morning.

But I could remember so clearly the conversation I'd had with Donna yesterday, so I was pretty sure I was working tonight. Then Donna said to me, about half an hour ago, "Work haven't called yet, maybe you've got the night off."

Yes!!! It was a dream. I don't have to work till Tuesday, and it's double time and a half then too. Although, it's not too late for them to ring yet. Fingers crossed.

21 April 2011

2 Billion

If you live in a Commonwealth country, and probably a few other countries as well, you've probably seen in the news that 2 billion people are expected to watch the upcoming royal wedding on TV.

Now, think about that statement for a moment, something your average journalist is not capable of doing. The population of this world we live on is around about 6.7 billion at the moment, might be even as high as 6.9 billion. A recent survey in the states, that's the US of A, recently found that only about 30% of Americans plan to watch the royal wedding. The rest either couldn't give a monkey's, or don't know who Will and Kate are (don't you mean Will and Grace?). What's 30% of 6.7 billion? Ooh yes, it's about 2 billion.

Now if you do a quick Google search on how many people on Earth have access to TV, I did it this afternoon, a very, very rough estimate is that about a sixth of the population are so cursed. One sixth of 6.7 is about 1.1. If you don't believe me, do your own research. The reason these sort of myths abound is because people won't do their own research.

Another statistic I came up with today, is that around 99% of Americans have access to TV. I'm pretty sure that no other country in the world has that kind of saturation. Most so-called developed countries are in the mid to high 80s. So saying that 30% of the world's population is going to watch the wedding is really stretching it. If we extrapolate the 1.1 billion figure, as someone has obviously done with the US survey results, we come up with a figure of 330 million people planning to watch the royal wedding. As I said, that's really stretching it, but that's still a sixth of what they're news media are reporting.

If you want to use another statistic, Donna says she wants to watch the wedding up until Kate arrives, but that's it. So that's 50% of the population in our household, does that extrapolate out to 3.35 billion people watching it until Kate arrives?

Don't get me wrong, I wish the happy couple well. If I watch any of the coverage, I'll be counting how many times some idiot journalist quotes that 2 billion figure.

I should mention here that I studied journalism at university, so in some way I'm qualified to call some journalists idiots. I resisted the urge to graduate. I should also mention that I twice picked up the TV remote instead of my calculator to do my sums, so if my calculations are out, it's because Alan Davies was on the tele and distracted me. He's always on the tele these days. That said, I'm not that far out.