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About Orsino

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  1. Orsino

    Quarter of a rasher a day..... LOL

    Got any approaches? The list is endless but here's just one: The owner of a petrol car uses their vehicle for approximately 4% of the time. A self-driving, fleet-owned, on-demand electric vehicle would be used approximately 40% of the time. By switching to transport on demand it is calculated the average US household would save over $5k a year, equivalent to a 10% pay rise. In fact, buying a new car and driving it yourself would be 10x more expensive. Car pollution would be dramatically reduced. Large areas of urban space currently used for parking would be freed up for other uses. What existential challenge? You are right to ask about an more unpleasant life in a more unpleasant world, but that is exactly what we'll get if we fail to change our behaviour and yet double the global population. (And no you can't build a wall that will keep it out). It's a tough challenge but at least we will be assisted over the next 5 decades by technological innovation we can't currently imagine. What are you asking those causing the changes to do about it? We all have to make changes, just as our lifestyles have changed in the past. There's not one single thing to solve this challenge but those changes don't necessarily have to be unpleasant or negative. The UK has been an innovative global leader for centuries so I think we can and should take a lead. If you'd like a good-news example, the UK is perhaps THE global leader in creating marine reserves, thanks to our ownership of a few obscure but important rocks around the planet (Falklands, Pitcairn, Chagos etc). These reserves are monitored using the latest technology and they help preserve vital ecosystems as well as move global fishing onto a more sustainable footing. Does it negatively affect you? No. Does it help mitigate the impact of global population on the planet? Absolute. We should be proud, and inspired to do more. ....Now back to a daft article about bacon in the Daily Mail specifically designed to get their readers all wound up about nothing (which is why they like reading it).
  2. Orsino

    Quarter of a rasher a day..... LOL

    The world's population is currently about 6.5bn. It will peak in 2070 at 11-12bn depending primarily on how fast the fertility rate in Sub-Saharan Africa falls. Peak Baby (ie population growth from increased births) was in 1971. The population growth we now see globally is primarily being driven by increased life expectancy. It would take a completely unforseeable event - a war, plague or natural disaster the likes of which we've never seen in human history - to alter this relentless demographic projection. So we need to manage the impact of a doubling of the global population in the next 50 years. Some simple steps would include less meat in our diet, less waste such as plastic, more efficient energy production, greater urbanisation, the rapid improvement in living standards in Africa. These will all do a great deal to help meet this potentially existential challenge. You can do your bit by reducing your impact on the environment, or you can alternatively shorten your life expectancy dramatically. No half measures mind. I'd suggest a diet exclusively of bacon, alcohol and heroin. We all have the choice, but doing nothing and expecting the planet to somehow cope is not an option.
  3. I think one of the big furniture companies will go under. Bensons for Beds, Dreams, or maybe the likes of DFS. I can't imagine who goes to an out-of-town retail park to visit a lacklustre showroom to view a load of rubbish products and spend a large amount of money completely unnecessarily.
  4. On a similar theme, it's that time of year when I get annoyed at footballers who play wearing gloves.
  5. Orsino

    pre crimbo holiday destinations

    Back from my weekend in Lviv. It was snowing when we arrived, and the Christmas markets were just opening up too. Only a few tourists on the flight out - perhaps 20 or 30 people max. Beautiful old town of Medieval and Austro-Hungarian architecture, old trams, baroque churches, cobbled streets etc. Not many specific tourist sights as such - but a great place to soak up the atmosphere and enough to fill a weekend. Our hotel couldn't have been more central, located on the Old Town square. It was a decent Western standard and cost £60 a night. I was surprised by this but the food was really excellent. Lots of pork, chicken, mushrooms, sour cream - that kind of thing. A two or three-course meal with wine is unlikely to cost more than £7 to £10 a head in the Old Town. Bought Ukrainian champagne in the supermarket for £3 and it was perfectly good. Glass of gluwein for £1, or hot cherry liqueur (a local speciality) for £1.10. Had Ukrainian red wine at the opera house and it was a bit suspect, so I'd suggest sticking to the champagne in that instance. Most restaurants steer you towards the Chilean, French, Spanish stuff for £10 a bottle which is good advice. Went to the ballet for the first time at the grand opera house. Great seats for £17 each. Totally blown away by the experience. They're showing Swan Lake next weekend and the Nutcracker the weekend after that. Christmas markets sell hand-knitted socks/gloves/hats, christmas decorations, chocolates etc. There seems to be a cafe every few yards. It's claimed a local invented the Vienna cafe scene. Excellent coffee and cake for a couple of quid. Decent chocolate too, so I stocked up on a mountain of treats for Christmas for about £7. Only down side is the early flight from Stansted, but that's just how it is. Absolutely no problem regarding security in Lviv. No indication of the conflict much further east, except the odd banner about Ukrainian prisoners held by Russia, and the novelty tourist shops selling Putin toilet paper. To top it off, they're doing a promotion at duty free at the airport for Nemiroff vodka for £2.5 a litre. That's the same price as in town. The non-EU limit is 1 bottle but as Lviv and Kiev are pretty much the only non-EU arrivals to Stansted...
  6. Orsino

    Prime Minister Corbyn

    If a government wants money to be spent in the consumer economy then it should dramatically reduce the cost of housing, which in some cases takes up over 50% of young people's take-home pay. It could tax property and use those funds for a progressive tax cut for working people, especially those on low incomes (who are often the young people struggling to pay today's rents). Taking money off household A and giving it to household B with the vague notion that one might spend more than the other on consumer goods is just daft. Who would lose out? Well those who own lots of property of course. The rich, the speculators, the rentier institutions, the aristocracy and the royal family. Those non-productive parts of the economy that extact money from the working public. But look at Megan Markle's pretty smile. Squabble over some tax credits. Go out and spend.
  7. Orsino

    Prime Minister Corbyn

    God forbid, if Corbyn ever becomes PM there'll be plenty of losses for him to socialise.
  8. Orsino

    i hope he wins and gets damages also

    In the case of gambling firm I dealt with, they found a major draw for their C2, D, E punters was the free tea and coffee on offer as they stuck every last penny in fixed-odds machines. It really is that pathetic.
  9. Orsino

    i hope he wins and gets damages also

    I once worked on a branding project for a large UK gambling company. In all my years in advertising/brand consultancy, this is the only company that said their target audience was C2, D and E - that's semi-skilled workers (C2) the unskilled (D) and those on benefits (E). No surprise where most bookies are located. These companies specifically target the poor, the gullible and the desperate. I also know someone at another sports betting firm whose job is to visit consistent big winners to ensure they're not cheating. Some people are just very good at playing the odds. He then politely tells them to take their business elsewhere.
  10. Next time some idiot demands equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity, I will direct them to this statistic and ask them how they would ensure everyone lives to the same age, regardless of lifestyle choices.
  11. Orsino

    Ghost towers and empty spas

    'Providing there are no parking restrictions' Well exactly. You do not have the right to do whatever you want with a car, just because you own it. It's speed, it's emissions and where it's parked are all controlled for the wider benefit of society. There are clear penalties and restrictions to control people's use of their vehicles. Of course you can stick it on bricks in your garage because that would have very little impact on society. It seems clear to me that having large under-occupied real estate in central London has a clear impact on society. It should be subject to restrictions and penalties that strongly discourage this behaviour. Let's flip your analogy round the other way. Let's imagine the number of new cars in the UK was tightly restricted and some people started to buy them up and store these valuable assets, unused, in their garages, expecting their value to increase. Speculators would buy up dozens of vehicles before they even hit the road. Existing car owners would lobby to ensure no increase in the number of cars available. People would have to use ever more over-stretched public transport, extortionate taxis or just have to walk to get around. A sensible policy?
  12. Orsino

    Ghost towers and empty spas

    It's actually quite a good analogy. No one is particularly interested in an unused car, but they are very interested in the space it occupies. You cannot park and leave it anywhere you want unless you want to pay a fine or want it removed. Centre Point occupies some of the most valuable space on the planet. It's akin to parking an unused car in the central lane of the M25.
  13. Orsino

    pre crimbo holiday destinations

    Of course one of the downsides of Lviv is that a month after you book the tickets it looks like the Ukrainian government might declare martial law. Personally I think the risks are minimal, but it just goes to show. Actually, 'vulture tourism' is a bit of a hobby of mine - heading to a destination (having carefully weighed up the risks!) when everyone else is running the other way. It's a bit of an unfair name, because visiting a destination that has just suffered a natural or man-made calamity is often the best way to help it recover - but I admit my primary focus is snagging a bargain and enjoying a destination with fewer tourists.
  14. Orsino

    pre crimbo holiday destinations

    As a left-field suggestion, Lviv in Ukraine. It's a new Ryanair route. It was once part of Austro-Hungary, so has some Viennese influence. Baroque architecture, snow, Christmas markets, cafe culture - all for prices not seen in places like Prague since the 90s. The best seats in the Opera House to see Swan Lake are £17. Suite in a brand new hotel £80 a night. The flights only started on 30th October so the stag/hen idiots haven't turned up yet. Bit of a gamble but personally that's half the fun. Please note: Lviv is just over the border from Poland and is about a thousand miles from Ukraine's separatist conflicts.
  15. Orsino

    Chas Hodges RIP

    Bit of triv. Chas and Dave are backing musicians on this Labi Siffre track and their guitars were sampled by Eminem for his track 'My name is' at the 2:09 mark:

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