Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

November 2005

GeneralWednesday, November 30th, 2005, (12:58 pm)

I’m going to have cosmetic surgery! Actually to be more accurate I have to have cosmetic dental surgery, and I can’t say I’m thrilled about it.

Basically I had a long standing problem with one of my front teeth that was the result of a bike accident years ago. The tooth was broken at the root but this was not obvious from looking at it. After a few years it was decided to remove it and replace it with a crown. That procedure alone made me feel like I was falling apart I can tell you! But the crown didn’t look any different to my old tooth so it was all good.

That was until last year when the crown started to fail. After a few trips to the dentist to have it re-secured it was decided that I needed to have a dental implant, which as you can see in the gruesome illustration (on the right) involves screwing bits of carbon fibre into my jaw!

I’ve been putting this off for ages but today I had the preliminary stuff done in preparation for the surgery which will probably be done at the start of the new year. We have national healthcare over here so the crown and all the work relating to that only cost me $150, but unfortunately, would you believe, the upper four front teeth are not covered under the national dental-care, and even if they were implants are not covered. So this work is going to be 100% funded by me, and it’s set to cost $3500!!!

I can’t say I am excited about anything to do with this really, not the surgery nor the prospect of handing over such a whopper amount of money. But this is one of those things that has to be done. The silver lining in all of this is that the rest of my teeth are in superb condition according to my dentist. I’ve never had a filling or anything. Just typical that the first time something goes wrong with my teeth it would happen to be the most expensive thing possible. Ah well.

Is the surgery going to hurt? According to my dentist, who has his practice next door, it will be completely painless. They have a LCD screen mounted on the surgery room ceiling so patients can watch DVD’s while having treatments that take a long time such as this! Watching a movie while having stuff drilled into my head isn’t something that I can honestly get that excited about though, despite my dentists enthusiasm.

GeneralSaturday, November 26th, 2005, (12:50 pm)

At long last there is now a cure for those sleepless nights we’ve all been having worrying about whether or not our hair is shiny enough! I just saw on a commercial on TV for Loreal Elvive shampoo that now uses “light reflecting technology” to give your hair “new shine”. So rest easy!

Clearly these kind of ads must work, but on who? Loreal claim that their scientists have discovered “an innovative new formula” that uses “pearl protein” that enables their ‘Nutri-Gloss’ to give “targeted nutrition to the hair fibre, balancing it from root to tip.” In fact they are so pleased with this they tell us that using this will be “a true sensory experience”. I mean, are we still talking about shampoo here? Isn’t that a question of just washing your hair in some nice smelling bubbles.

Of course other hair products offer similar ground breaking technology and experiences. I can’t remember the brands (so much for the ads then) but there was ‘Active ceramide’ which sounds like something that might be used on blocked sewage pipes if you as me.

Loreal also hailed the arrival of ‘Regenuim XY’ which was its patented new science bit that showed guys how using this overpriced shampoo would actually make their lost hair return – and more than that it would lead to admiring looks form impossibly white teethed girls who walk everywhere in slow motion! A hair product to get you laid – woohoo!

Clearly the commercials work, but is there any real science behind all these new hair breakthrough formulas? I mean Pearl protein? What the heck!?

GeneralThursday, November 24th, 2005, (2:31 pm)

Just thought I’d wish all my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving. We don’t do this holiday in the UK, in fact as far as I know it is exclusively an American thing, but that doesn’t exclude me from passing on my good wishes to you all.

I’m not really sure what it’s all about to be honest, and Thanksgiving is the only holiday I haven’t spent in America. It always seems like it would be a fun one though, I nearly went to New Hampshire for it one year, that would have been great, but I passed on it to spend Christmas there instead and I have to say that was the most magical Christmas ever.

The classic John Hughes film ‘Planes Trains and Automobiles‘ was set at this time of year I believe. That is just such a funny film. I think I’ll watch that again tonight. In fact I have a friend coming over for Pizza later but I’m feeling all festive now so I think I’ll upgrade dinner into something that resembles a more ‘Thanksgiving’ style feast. But if I’m going to do that I need to go to the shops right now and get the stuff.

Have a great day everyone!

MoviesTuesday, November 22nd, 2005, (1:11 am)

I finally got around to watching Morgan Spurlock’s movie ‘Supersize me’. I have to say it was a really educational and entertaining film.

Ordinarily I watch documentary films with a somewhat cynical eye, but this didn’t feel at all like it was pushing some hidden agenda. I won’t even watch a Michael Moore films because I think that guy misrepresents things to such a degree that pretty much anything he says can’t be trusted. Ironically he’s put himself in the same position as the man he seems to hate so much [Bush].

The UK DVD of Supersize me had some cool extras too (gotta love DVD extras). One that made me laugh out loud was ‘The smoking fry‘ where he puts a selection of McDonalds food in jars to see how it breaks down over time. The results are interesting and a little concerning too.

I know just about everyone has seen this movie a long time back, but if you haven’t then seriously, I recommend you do. It’s funny and like I say, it has an interesting message too.

Supersize me
The smoking fry (Updated)

PoliticalWednesday, November 16th, 2005, (6:50 pm)

Following a disturbing report on EuroNews that showed civilian Iraqi’s with their skin mysteriously burned off, the United States Army has changed their story on whether or not they used white phosphorus during last year’s offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Falluja.

Originally the US Army vehemently denied that it ever used the hideous and indiscriminate weapon which some have described as a chemical weapon. However a spokesman for the US army was quick to point out that the United States did not sign the UN accord that banned the use of chemical weapons like white phosphorus.

When asked why the US army had previously denied that it had used white phosphorus Col Venable said that the previous statement was based on “poor information”. He also defended its use stating that Washington had never signed any accord banning the use of such a weapon and furthermore the weapon was not used primarily to kill but rather as “obscurants, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases”.

According to the BBC new website white phosphorus is highly flammable and ignites on contact with oxygen. If the substance hits someone’s body, it will burn until deprived of oxygen.

Recent pictures in the press of Iraqi civilians, including very young children, with their flesh burned off have angered many an lead to hard questions being put to the US military who now claim they did not lie but simply made a mistake with “poor information.”

Italian RAI24 news aired a documentary last week that said the US Army used white phosphorous in a “massive and indiscriminate way” during the Falluja offensive, and furthermore did so in a way that could not and did not avoid civilian casualties. The documentary quoted ex-marine Jeff Englehart as saying he saw the bodies of burned children and women after the bombardments. “Burned bodies. Burned children and burned women. White phosphorous kills indiscriminately. It’s a cloud that, within … 150 metres of impact, will disperse and will burn every human being or animal.”

Italian TV report on US use of chemical weapons
US U-turn on Iraq ‘chemical’ weapon use
Aljazeera take on the news reports
White phosphorus: weapon on the edge

ArtTuesday, November 15th, 2005, (1:32 pm)

I’m sure that many of you have seen sidewalk drawings by street artists. They’re usually drawn in chalk and often draw a decent drowd of admirers.

These artists are especially common in Europe through the summer months. I’ve seen them in Paris, London and Brussels on many occasions. However one such artist decided to take an unusual approach to his art.

Julian Beever, from Belgium, has made a name for himself by drawing anamorphic illusions drawn in a special distortion in order to create an impression of 3 dimensions when seen from one particular viewpoint.

On the right are two examples of his work. His website includes a couple of pictures of what the drawings look like when you see them from the wrong angle.

Julian Beever

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