Andy's Blog

A Blog about me, Andy. The name says it all.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Masturbate-a-thon 2006

Yes, that's right. A charity has finally bitten the bullet (so to speak) and are hold a fundraising event for wankers...literally.

People are being sponsored to masturbate infront of each other and be filmed at the same time for a programme on Channel 4, which will be featured as part of their 'Masturbation Week' (other highlights of the week include compulsive masturbaters...featuring Tim Snowball?).

Called 'Masturbate-a-thon', the event will raise money for Marie Stroppes International a sexual health charity and the Terrance Higgins Trust. Participatns will arrive in a hall in London and then proceed to pleasure themselves infront of the others and the cameras for as long as they can. They get sponsored to take part. There are prizes for the most orgasms and the longest time spent doing the five finger shuffle (the current record is 8 hours), with 5 minutes rest every hour.

Can I just say, is there no lengths that fundraisers won't go to to raise money? This is just ridiculous. A spokeswoman from marrie stroppes said that this was all promoting sexual health and safe sex, 'after all, masturbation is the safest form of sex', but isn't this just going a little bit too far?

I think we have hit the bottom of the barrel.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

DFID White Paper and other things

I haven't blogged in ages because the internet has been removed from my home so now my blogging opportunities have been severly limited!

Anyway, here are a couple of things I meant to blog about but have only just got the chance to...

DFID White Paper

DFID have just published a new white paper, which sets out their direction for international development for the coming years.

Whilst there's a lot of good stuff in it, particularly the empowerment of state governments and improving global governance and environmental aspects, there's a lot that's a bit vague and disappointing too.

Firstly, it all gets a bit muddy when starts talking about fighting corruption and promoting security. Whilst this is a very difficult thing to do, and it's important to attempt to tackle it as well, the policies that it sets forward don't seem to do anything new.

Secondly, there is an over-reliance on ecoonomic growth to lift people out of poverty. Sure, economic growth is an important tool in fighting poverty, but it has to be measured and equal and be one tool in a range of measures in tackling poverty. The trickle down effect, if it works at all (not according to some economists), is simply too far away to deliver the results that poor people need now. Sure, some families may go from $1 a day to $2 a day, but does that really make a difference when you have to pay for your child's education and your health care? The injust cause by the global system of financing, which our governments made, has put poor people in the position they're in. It's up to us, rather than simply neo-liberal economics, to get them out of it.

I was also disappointed by the lack of focus on the contribution that NGOs make to development. Simply saying, NGOs are good at empowerment on a community level (which is true), misses a large amount of the work that charities do in fighting poverty - both in-country and in the UK. Would we be talking about ending poverty if the community of international charities hadn't come together to make the 2005 Make Poverty History campaign? Probably not. I have a feeling that the government is trying to sideline NGOs. Through increasingly supporting developing countries governments directly, aid is being delivered in a new way. Charities are increasingly having to prove that the money they spent is being spent effectively. There is less and less money available from the government for NGOs. Charities often deliver vital services, even where the government is strong. Without continued support for NGOs, who's going to deliver these services until governments are ready?

Also, I thought the paper on the consultation that DFID carried out was very condesending. Addressing the reader in the second person made me feel like a school child being looked down upon by a stuffy teacher. "You thought this...". Also, highlighting the fact that there was a difference in opinion on some matters ("Some of you thought this, whilst others thought..."), just made it seem like there was a right answer and a wrong answer. A gold sticker to the people who thought that economic growth can lead to poverty reduction, and detention for the rest of you.

Made me think of Matt Gilbert

I think Matt Gilbert would have had a lot in common with the Queen Mother.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

everyclick is a free internet search engine that donates half it's profits to charity. BasicNeeds is registered and we get money everytime someone performs a search with us set as their selected charity.

Go here to set BasicNeeds as your selected charity and then start raising money by doing not very much really. Easy!

No internet! How did we live before it!

Our internet has gone from our house over the summer. I can still access it at work (hence this blog), but not being able to access it at home is such a massive shock! Who could have thought it would make such a difference to our lives. We almost had the TV removed too. Now that would have been too much!

So, just got back from Riga after a long weekend with Alicia. She had a bit of nightmare getting the Gatwick as her flight from Teesside was cancelled so she ended up having to get a coach down and arriving at 6am at the hotel by the airport we had booked. Not the the best beginning but we did get a business class upgrade on the way back (free champagne is a good thing) so it kind of made up for it. Riga is an excellent city and I would advise you all to visit it (but any longer than 4 days and it may get a bit boring). Also, listen to the Lonely Planet guide and visit the Garlic Themed restaurant! You will stink afterwards (probably from both ends) but it is worth it. The Garlic Tapas selection (including whole pickled garlic cloves, a whole roast garlic bulb, and the most garlicy mushrooms ever) is fantastic. For the adventerous there's also garlic vodka (with a whole clove in it) and garlic ice cream. Yum!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Thora 2

More Cornwall Photos

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Pimp My snack

Found this really funny site here. The lengths some people will go to for culinary perfection is unbelieveable!

Gordon Ramsey has even picked it up here. Giles Coren's effort will be on Channel 4 on 2nd August apparently.

Andy Murray

I was disappointed with England's performance on Saturday but I was soon cheered up when I watched Andy Murray (that's the great thing about being English: you can support England until they lose then you have Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to fall back on under the banner of Great Britain. It doesn't seem to work the other way around, though).

However, whilst watching the match I got very frustrated. Not at the playing, but at the fact that after every point (and I mean every point), Andy Murray would do a stupid hand gesture and then wipe his face with a towel. I mean, come on! You can't be that sweaty. You've just had an ace fly by you and then you need to wipe your face?! How stupid is that?! Every point!!

Did anyone else find that annoying or just me?