Ian Blyth – It's Just a Thought

My thoughts and opinions

War Criminals

Posted by Ian Blyth on 23 July 2008

It seems that former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will be sent to the Hague to be tried as a war criminal. But when you look at the news coverage it seems that everyone has made up their mind that he is guilty so that would mean the trial would be a farce. On one hand from what I have seen it looks like pretty damning evidence. But on the other hand even thinking that offends my morals as I am now saying he is guilty. Yet our society is suppose to treat people as innocent until proven guilty. Hard to do with all the media coverage.

As for war criminals I am still amazed that no-one has demanded that Tony Blair and George Bush be tried as war criminals. After all when the weapons inspectors were in Iraq all the other countries said to give them more time and those countries plus the UN did not sanction an attack of a sovereign nation. But on the flimsiest of evidence and using the “strike first to defend ourselves” argument which has since proven to be groundless Bush and Blair ordered their armies into Iraq with the subsequent loss of live of Iraqis, Americans and British citizens.

Attacking a sovereign nation with no just cause and in so doing creating a large loss of life – what better describes the action of a war criminal. It is about time that the other nations and the UN took a stand and demand that Blair and Bush be tried as war criminals. If fact UK and US citizens should demand it as well. Our troops have been killed for no good reason.


Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

What Sports Car Are You?

Posted by Ian Blyth on 13 June 2008

I took this little test. Great because I have always liked the 911. I am sure most of the other comments for different cars are equally vague but positive. A bit like horoscopes.


I’m a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you’re up-to-date with the latest technology. You’re ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige – you’re one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Posted in Fun | 1 Comment »


Posted by Ian Blyth on 29 May 2008

What drives people to do what they do? A vision? Goals? Or just plain old fashioned incentives?

Take estate agents, Please! (Old joke).

They make their money from the commission they get selling your house. So you would think the more it sells for the better for them. But they also have targets to reach each month. If they charge 2% and the house sells for £300K then they make £6,000. If they sell it for £310K then they only make another £200 which is not a great deal considering the company will take a chunk so the individual agent may not seen anything like that.

So why would they hold out for another month to make less than £200 if there is an offer on the table now and they have their months target to make. For you it is better to wait a month for a buyer who will pay the higher price as you get an extra £9,800. For the estate agent though it is better to take the quick sure sale and get the money in the bank and move onto more houses next month. So it is likely that they will try and persuade you to take the offer and say that that is all the market will bear, not many buyers etc.

If it is a slow month then estate agents will do what other shops do and cut prices to attract sales. The thing about a supermarket is that they have bought those goods already and so will cut their profit. The estate agents do not own the house – you do. So it costs them nothing to reduce the price and even though they make less money per sale if they get sales then that is all money for them and it is better for them to get sales rather than not get sales. So their selling effort is focused on getting you to reduce the price rather than sell the merits of the house to the buyer.

Posted in People, Supply and Demand | Leave a Comment »

Another Reason the Death Penalty is Wrong

Posted by Ian Blyth on 27 May 2008

Australian man pardoned 86 years after execution


People make mistakes but the worst type is the killing of an innocent person based on flawed evidence. It has been shown time and time again that people are convicted of crimes they did not commit. At least if you are sent to jail you just lose some years of your life. If you are executed it is not much use to be pardoned later. The pardon is for the people still alive like the family.

I do not believe in the “eye for an eye and life for a life” philosophy. For a start it makes us all party to murder. If we live in a country with the death penalty and it is used when we are guilty of murder as well. If we were truly civilised we would not lower ourselves to murdering people to punish them. After all we do not throw our excrement out in the street like they did in the olden days so why should we still believe these old punishments.

The second reason is that it does not seem to deter people. In times past people were hung for stealing a loaf of bread. It did not stop them as they needed to eat. The best deterrent is getting caught – not what punishment. It has been shown that police successes are limited (except for catching people who speed in their car). If there is a low chance of getting caught then it does not matter about the punishment as the criminal will never have to face it. And if someone is amoral rather than immoral then the whole right and wrong concepts bypass them.

Posted in People, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Stretch YOUR Brain

Posted by Ian Blyth on 26 May 2008

This is not a test – just a phenomenon. All readings are explained.
Read out loud the text inside the triangle below.
More than likely you said, “A bird in the bush,”and

if this IS what YOU said, then you failed to see
that the word THE is repeated twice!
Sorry, look again.

Next, let’s play with some words.
What do you see?

In black you can read the word GOOD, in white the word EVIL (inside each black letter is a white letter). It’s all very physiological too, because it visualize the concept that good can’t exist without evil (or the absence of good is evil). 

Now, what do you see?
You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical, the blue landscape reads the word illusion. Look again! Can you see why this painting is called an optical illusion? 

What do you see here?
This one is quite tricky!
The word TEACH reflects as LEARN .

Last one.
What do you see?
You probably read the word ME in brown, but…….
when you look through ME you will see YOU!
Do you need to look again?

Test Your Brain
This is really cool. The second one is amazing so please read all the way though.


Count every ” F ” in the following text:




WRONG, THERE ARE 6 — no joke .
Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F’s before you scroll down.
The reasoning behind is further down.

The brain cannot process “OF”.
Incredible or what?   Go back and look again!!
Anyone who counts all 6 “F’s” on the first go is a genius.
Three is normal, four is quite rare.
Send this to your friends.
It will drive them crazy.!
An d keep them occupied
For several minutes..!
More Brain Stuff . . From Cambridge University 

O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rgh it pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on !!

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Religious Tolerance?

Posted by Ian Blyth on 23 May 2008

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! Don’t do it!”

“Why shouldn’t I?” he said.

“Well, there’s so much to live for!”

“Like what?”

“Well… are you religious?”

He said yes. I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?”

“Christian.” “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant? ”

“Protestant.” “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”

“Baptist” “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”

“Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?”

“Reformed Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”

He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”

I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off.

– Emo Philips

There is a lesson in that joke for all religious people.

Posted in Fun, People, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Treat others right

Posted by Ian Blyth on 28 April 2008

I was having a discussion with a friend at the weekend and the topic of how to treat people came up. My comment was

“Treat people the same way as you would like to be treated yourself”.

This is not new or earth shattering but over the weekend the more I thought about it the more I realised that this was a key way to live and if everyone did it what a great place this would be. If this is the last post I do and these are my last words then I can not think of a better thing to leave.

If dictators and bullies knew that what they did would be done to them would they do what they do? I don’t think so. If thieves knew that all their stuff would be stolen would they steal? Only if they had nothing to lose but as soon as they stole stuff they would have something to lose. If people don’t like to be treated rudely or sworn at then the first thing is not to do it to anyone else.

So how do you like to be treated? And are you treating everyone else that way?

Posted in People | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Ian Blyth on 17 April 2008

In my cupboard I have stacks of old headphones. My ears must be really sensitive as I am fussy about the type of headphones I use. The ones that are comfortable for me are the ones with headbands. I have tried the ear buds and the ones with “loops” over your ears and have found them uncomfortable.

I few years ago my colleagues mentioned Sennheiser and later at the airport I saw them in a shop. I bought the PXC 250 model. They have been brilliant. Light and comfortable to wear, noise compensation (great for planes) and they fold away to fit in a nice pouch. My brother in law has Bose and while they are definitely better I did not think that they were worth three times the price better.

I was away skiing at Easter and in the airport I was looking at headphones and saw that the bud style came with comfort guarantees and different sized moldings etc for fitting. The looked much better than the old style ones covered in foam. The PXC 250’s are great but when skiing look a bit out of place and hard to use when wearing headbands, hats or hoods. The buds are certainly less cumbersome to wear. Among the range was some Sennheiser models. As I was impressed by them I went for the CX 300 model. I was not disappointed. I could wear them all day which was a revelation. There were light, unobtrusive and very good sound quality.While I still love my PXC 250’s the CX  300s are now my preferred headphones for skiing and travelling small journeys like trains, I would still use the PXCs for plane journeys. It is wonderful how technology has moved on. And even better is the fact that they are black so it does not look like I have a stupid iPod.

Posted in Design, Music, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Album Artist

Posted by Ian Blyth on 14 April 2008

I have had a Creative Zen for a while. It was a 60 GB model which was huge in those days and it is only now that capacities have caught up. It is great to travel with all my music rather than having to decide which music to take with me as I used to do with CDs or before that cassettes. And a small capacity like 5 GB or 8 GB would mean that I would have to decide what goes on. However, on short journeys I have decided that I do not need to carry it and my phone could do the job – especially as I bought a 2 GB micro SD card for less than £10. As I always have my mobile why carry 2 devices on a short journey? It is disappointing that it can not do WMA but I can copy MP3 files (the lowest common denominator) straight across. It will transfer the WMA files to a smaller mobile format. It does take time (with my processor maxed out) but I am amazed at how much music I can get on 2 GB.

But the biggest disappointment with the phone (which I should not be too disappointed with as it is a business and not a media phone) and my Creative is that there is no view by album artist. There are views for artist, songs ( a very long list) or albums (which is not that great if you have a lot of albums all called Greatest Hits!). I have a number of compilation albums which has the album artist as Various or Various Artists. But each track then lists the artist so that the list of artist to search through gets very large very quickly.

I looked at my friends recently purchased iPod Nano but that did not have a view for album artists either which surprised me give how everyone raves about the iPod (except me). Although it does a little picture of the album beside the name so it helps with the list of albums all with the same name. It seems that the people that design these products only ever buy CDs from a single artist and have never bought a compilation CD – never mind bought a whole bunch of them.

Album artist is a valid tag for a music file and seems to be used by everyone. But MP3 players (not ones that I have seen anyway) do not seem to use it. What I would like is an MP3 player that lists Album Artists as well as Artists. And if the list of albums is going to be text only (no nice picture of the album which is OK on a small device) then I would like the artist’s name to be in brackets after the album name to get over the problem of have a list all called “Greatest Hits”. Surely I am not the only person to have come across this?

Posted in Design, Music | Leave a Comment »

Credit Crunch

Posted by Ian Blyth on 10 April 2008

“Annual income 20 pounds, annual expenditure 19 pounds 19 and six – result happiness, annual income 20 pounds, annual expenditure 20 pounds and sixpence – result misery.”

Wilkins Micawber, David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)


Perhaps if more people (and financial institutes) followed this simple but sage advice we would not be facing a credit crunch.

Posted in People | 1 Comment »