The Grey Town Gazette
News from the Urban Sprawl
May - June 2013
The (fashionably late) GTG Spring Issue is here!
Publication delayed by Dark Matter
|Read instructions before turning off|Welcome to the latest issue of the GTG
You might have noticed that this issue been a little delayed. Sorry about that but it wasn't our fault. It was (or will be) caused by scientists at CERN, with a little help from Apple
Our silence for the last few months will be caused by CERN reactivating the LHC in November 2014
Yes, it's all down to that pesky phenomenon 'reverse causality'
It all started when our science editor, Round A. Bout, was quietly writing a piece for Quantum Qorner on his discovery of Dark Matter during a lunch hour trip to the Porterhouse. While writing Round hit his laptop's return key at the precise moment the LHC in Geneva was turned off for upgrade work
Unfortunately, unbeknown to the CERN scientists, turning off the LHC completed a worm hole which gets opened when the LHC is reactivated next year and this, combined with the proximity of an Oyster stout (well known in science circles for its quantum lensing effect), triggered Round's Macbook laptop to start downloading an 'essential' 6 gigabyte OS upgrade that hasn't even been written yet, and isn't officially available until November 2014, which just happens to be when the LHC will be reactivated!
In itself that might not have been a problem. Indeed receiving an advance copy of a new Mac OS before Apple's High Priests have even decided what's going in it could be considered a rare privilege. Unfortunately Round's laptop has only 4 gigabytes of memory and as anybody who has attempted to run a Mac with insufficient RAM will know, it takes an eternity to do anything
But the download has finally been completed, the software installed and the GTG published!
Problems like this are what we get when scientists are given too much taxpayer's money to spend on cracking the universe and, conversely, when Apple engineers are left with too much unpaid corporation tax to spend on developing pointless software upgrades
But the good news is that this distortion of the space-time continuum also resulted in the laptop downloading all of the news events for the next 18 months plus some GTG articles we didn't even know we were going to write!
So our Summer issue has already been written for us by our future selves! Result! (or should that be 'presult'?)
Which means, assuming the summer happens on time, you will be receiving the next GTG in you inbox on time too! Wow!
So what's new?
New look website
We've updated the GTG website with a background featuring compelling vistas of Grey Town!
And the content scales automatically on smartphones! Mobile version features special, tiny versions of all the images and icons, which means they look even higher resolution!
|Now there's no escaping the GTG!|
The GTG Dashboard
We've also added a Dashboard. Everyone else is doing it, so why not us? And just as everybody has their own interpretation of what a dashboard should do, so do we!
The GTG Dashboard is a visually stimulating mosaic of images that provide instant access to a wide and compelling range of content on our website! Wow!
The GTG - making the world a better place!
See more of us at:
BREAKING NEWS! BREA
KING NEWS! BREAKING
NEWS! BREAKING NEWS
Euro Crisis Over!
Phew, what a relief!
The great news means the President is now able to concentrate all of his considerable talents on banishing World poverty by June 2014 and reversing Global Warming by the end of 2015
For subject hover over image
Click to view!
Quote for the
'My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income'
- Errol Flynn
(It's always Silly Season in Grey Town)
Snapped by the editor on a trip to Cologne, this amazingly funny photo of a bizarre piece of German marketing. We haven't a clue what it's about. Perhaps one of our German readers can advise?
In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for a witty caption to accompany this photo please email it to the editor. The prize for the best suggestion is a bottle of Westmalle Tripel! (don't worry, if you don't drink beer the editor will be pleased to drink it for you)
Do you have a picture of something really
funny or amazing that you'd like to share with like minded GTG readers?
Like a surfboarding hamster perhaps? Or a root vegetable that looks like a male organ? Or a sumo wrestling team driving to work in a Smart Car?
Why not email it to the editor
and if we're desperate for content we might even publish it!
Expression of the Moment
Some people can drink only red or only white wine. Others are blessed with the ability to drink both. They are ambivinstrous!
Credit: Miss Funnyfanny
Every month we are collecting useful new words for the GTG Dictionary, which we are planning to have ready for publication in summer 2047. Please send your suggestions to the editor
a Thought for Today
Can a Soul be intoxicated?
Or do drugs simply prove we're just biological machines?
This issue's Theobabble is from regular contributor Deep Thought
"One of the greatest questions to challenge philosophers, theologians and beer drinkers in general, is what is 'me'? Where does my self-awareness come from? Are we metaphysical souls squatting inside our physical self, or are we just some sort of convoluted bio-electrical-feed-back-loop living a finite life in the blobby bag of water we call a body?
One thing is for certain, this puzzle is the only reason that philosophers and theologians exist at all. Once it's answered they won't be needed anymore (if indeed they ever were) which would free them all be retrained to do something useful like flip burgers or make beer (some of them already do the latter, and very well - Ed)
Anyway, I think I have the answer: we're simply machines!
The proof? Hallucinogens!
Why? Because drugs affect not only our perception of the world, but also our perception of the perception. They don't just make us wobble about or make the sky look pink, they make us think it actually is pink. They change our personalities and how we think
If we were souls merely living within our bodies, as the body became intoxicated we would view the intoxication as a breakdown of our senses and our ability to co-ordinate our body, but it wouldn't change our thoughts
An analogy is that of a driver attempting to drive a car on a cold wet day..as the windscreen mists up the driver's view is impaired, but his ability to understand what is happening is not affected and he can take remedial action (slow down, turn on the screen demist etc)
But we don't see our bodies as separate vehicles
That's because we are at one with them. A part of them. A byproduct of their existence. Nothing more than a convoluted (and sometimes intoxicated) biological feedback-loop!
That's all! "
Grey Town Saying
'A pie in the hand is worth two in the sky'
Welcome to 'Zen Zone'*. A special quiet corner consisting only of a scientifically selected soothing background colour (we call it 'Indian Moon') designed to de-stress our readers. Why not take a well earned break from work and spend a few minutes staring at the space below? You know you're worth it!
|A post-Leveson statement from the Editor
GTG Ethics Policy:
of Ethical Reporting
Ethically Sourced News - a First in the News Industry
We know some of our readers might occasionally read other news sources and as a consequence might be concerned about the implications of the recent Leveson enquiry into press ethics
Rest assured! The GTG is at the vanguard of 21st Century journalism. The GTG is dedicated to researching, developing and reporting news that other publications have missed. News that's news because you've never read it before!
That's why we've established the Five Pillars of Ethical Reporting, setting a new paradigm in journalistic integrity
The GTG's Five Pillars of Ethical Reporting:
1. Ethical Sources
The GTG undertakes to obtain at least 90% of its news content from Ethical Sources
We undertake to pay the fairest prices to the local sources of news, not to profiteering middlemen
We promise to bring you only the freshest most wholesome stories, unadulterated by contamination from other media. To ensure this our contributors are strictly forbidden to watch, listen or read other news sources at home or abroad
To minimise any adverse impact on the environment, the GTG is committed to using the latest energy saving technologies including low carbon fonts and background colours, and to minimize waste by publishing articles that are of optimum length and free of unnecessary punctuation
In strict accordance with our Sustainability Policy we promise to plant two new stories for every article we publish
Through these bold initiatives the GTG hopes to ensure future generations will be able to continue to enjoy news content that's compelling, wholesome and above all sustainable!
The GTG: THE New Paradigm in Ethical Reporting!
Coffee chains to introduce
'Fair Tax' range
Similar idea to fair trade:
customers are given option of paying more for the same product
That tastes better!
West End, April 1st:
Stung by criticism that they are not paying their 'fair' share of tax, coffee chains have formed a new association: The Fair Tax Group
Fair Tax is inspired by the fair trade concept which before it became a universal branding concept used to give consumers the option of buying more expensive versions of products from inefficient producers in exchange for a warm glowing feeling that they have helped make the world a better place
Fair Tax products will have an added surcharge of 20%. The coffee companies will pass surcharge, minus administrative costs (which they promise will not to exceed 85%), directly on to the Tax Man. This is to combat recent criticism from politicians, media and taxpayers that by legally minimizing their tax liabilities they are acting in an immoral and unpatriotic manner
According to the Fair Tax Group's press release: "why would you pay £2 for a cup of coffee when you could pay £2.40 for something just as bad and at the same time get the satisfying feeling you are contributing that little bit extra towards a pay rise for your MP? You know it makes sense!"
Fair Tax product packaging will be clearly identified with a friendly 'Timmy the Tax Man' logo and the jaunty catchphrase "It's more fairer innit"
Smart phone Apps predicted to
replace managers in the
£50k managers threatened by 50p App-Guided Drones
Prototype drones already spotted shuffling through London railway stations!
London Victoria, 7am Monday 25th March:
It's early morning at one of London's busiest train stations and crowds of commuters bustle to-and-throw on their way from train to office. Most are in a rush, following a familiar well practiced routines. But not all are so focused. Some seem less certain. Less clear in their objectives, walking and wavering slowly in an uncertain, hesitant manner...
Click here to read full report
Radical solution proposed for problem of aging population:
Old Duffer Creches
Employees can take their parents to
work with them, where they'll be
cared for in a special creche
Does Daddy want to come to the office with me?
West End, Aug 23rd:
A leading Think Tank, Croydon Cognitive Workshop, has proposed a radical solution to the problem of caring for Britain's aging population
Life expectancies are increasing (even in Grey Town) but the problem of how to look after and pay for retirees is only now starting to be addressed
As the elderly population increases costs for care are forecast to grow out of control
Some companies already provide creches to provide care for toddlers while their parents are at work. Why not have creches for older citizens?
Employees can take their aging relatives to work with them knowing they will be cared for in a stimulating and safe environment
The old duffers will be kept happy and entertained with TV sets, plentiful cups of tea, discussions about immigration, group sing-a longs and, for some of the more 'senior' individuals, colouring books and crayons
The arrangement could also be very convenient for the children, as some of the more able bodied elder relatives might even be able to do their children's jobs for them, freeing the youngsters to attend to essential chores on Facebook and Amazon
And, because increasing numbers of young and middle aged adults have opted to live with their parents, by taking their parents into work with them they won't need to worry that while they're out their parents might accidentally burn down their home, or fritter away their inheritance paying unscrupulous builders to make bogus roof repairs and the like
The 'Big Society' is here!
In this issue's Enviro-mental
English Heritage to manage
Coal fired power stations?
Didcot, 7am Monday 25th March:
another of Britain's coal fired power stations is switched off, a victim of EU rules on CO2 emissions, hope is raised that a bold new plan might yet save these magnificent edifices for the nation..Click here to read the full report
Teleporter solves DRM
'Star Trek' technology will enable legal reselling of MP3s and other digital media
It's not a copy, it's the original!
A Quantum Qorner Special Report:
Silicon Ditch, Grey Town South, May 2nd:
A high tech Grey Town start-up Purley Phototronics Corp has announced a technological solution to the controversial issue of reselling digital music
The cutting-edge product was inspired by comments in a recent ruling by a New York court that the 'first sale doctrine' (a long established rule that allows the reselling of goods 'second hand' to a new owner) does not apply to downloaded digital music and video. Owners of digital downloads cannot legally sell on their collections. The judge stated in his ruling "It is simply impossible that the same 'material object' can be transferred over the internet"
Though he didn't realise it the judge had pointed to a possible solution: teleportation
Teleportation is the process by which an object's atomic and sub-atomic parts are transferred to another location. It isn't a copying process. The actual particles are dematerialised and rematerialised in another place
Scientists have already demonstrated that they can teleport photons. Scaling up the technology to cope with the electrons that make up a digital recording is conceptually, at least, a simple step
Fly in the ointment
Artists and publishers concerned about losing royalties needn't worry just yet: the initial prototype system weighs ten tons, cost fifteen million pounds, and initial experiments have not been without teething problems.
An early attempt to teleport an easy listening compilation album turned to disaster when a house fly got caught in the scanner. The resulting hybrid monster then drove everybody to distraction as it buzzed around the workshop repeatedly crooning out the same half dozen lounge lizard classics in its tiny staccato voice (fortunately the fly, which was nicknamed 'Magic FM' by staff, escaped to the garden where it was eaten by a spider)
Judge: "what is Star Trek?"
Apart from the technical problems, which engineers are confident they can solve, there is still the more difficult challenge obtaining the approval of the legal establishment
The legal system will always be a generation or two behind the rest of society in adapting to new technology. While many judges still wear fashions from the 18th century and think Latin is a relevant language, it's unfair to expect them to know about obscure new technologies like MP3, DRM (Digital Rights Management), Teleporters or even electricity
Nevertheless the company are confident they can resolve these issues and have a product on the market by 2015
Quote for the Moment
'Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work'
- Thomas Edison
Survey proves reading the GTG makes readers more intelligent
he reads the GTG
Grey Town, Fri 31st May:
An exclusive survey conducted by Whyteleafe based public research organization UrViewInnit Research on behalf of the Grey Town Gazette has revealed the intelligence boosting effect of reading the GTG
Participants were first asked to read a science journal and afterwards rate their own intelligence
Then they were asked to repeat the process, but this time reading the GTG
75% of respondents said after reading the science journal that they didn't feel intelligent
However a staggering 95% of respondents said after reading the GTG that they felt more intelligent
Overwhelming proof that reading the GTG boosts intelligence!
(A further 5% of respondents said they didn't understand the questions and one person required first aid after he tried to eat the form)
Euro Crisis Latest
Cypriot arrested for
selling Euro banknotes
A 'Crime against the European Ideal' under new EU heresy rules
'Stamping out criticism is essential for survival of the project'
(also available in red)
The Hague, 25th March:
A Greek Cypriot is facing the prospect of 30 years in jail and the confiscation of all his assets after being charged with 'Crimes against the European Ideal'
The man was charged under newly introduced EU heresy laws after being caught trying to sell Cypriot Euro notes as wallpaper on eBay. He had asked for starting bids of $1 (£0.70) per metre. Ironically no bids had been forthcoming at the time of his arrest
The man's prosecution is being pressed for by the Frankfurt based Eurozone Ministry of Fiscal Morality which insists "stamping out criticism (of the Euro) is essential for the survival of the project"
Just trying to "feed his children"
The man claimed in his defence that he was having difficulty feeding and clothing his family now that he, like so many shell-shocked southern Europeans, is having to pay income tax for the first time, and to make matters worse he has been forced to sell his yacht to pay 20 years property tax owed on his undeclared swimming pool
Grey Town, Monday May 13th: It's true! The the world will end. Sometime in the next four billion years. But it still leaves ample time to start stockpiling tinned pilchards and assault riffles
Like Economist, but heavier
'Robophone' threat to jobs
Smartphone Apps predicted to replace managers in the workplace
£50k managers threatened by 50p App-Guided Drones
Prototype drones already spotted shuffling through London railway stations!
London Victoria, 7am Monday 25th March:
It's early morning at one of London's busiest train stations and crowds of commuters bustle to-and-throw on their way from train to office. Mostly in a rush, following a familiar well practiced routine. But not all are so focused. Some seem less sure. Less clear in their objectives, walking and wavering slowly in an uncertain, hesitant manner
It started with a few, but it is a trend that is rapidly becoming the norm
These are not traditional commuters. They are the advance working prototypes for a new generation of professional app-guided management dronesUnskilled Labour
Human beings are cheap to manufacture using unskilled labour and they make very reliable and easy-to-maintain slaves. But the problem to date has been their education and training: that costs money
Smart phones provide an ideal substitute brain, removing the necessity for an education. An ideal synergy between nature, science and economics
Increasingly employers are finding it more cost effective to employ unskilled workers and give them smart phones that act as their line managers, making all decisions for them. What's more, the smartphones need only be leased on 12 or 24 month contracts, meaning the workforce can be upgraded on a regular basis
And with the modest additional expense of providing employees with company sponsored parties, residential training courses and sales conventions the employers can nurture the reproduction of new generations of workers
The technology is good for the workers too. It provides a cheap and gratifying substitute for socialising in the real world, and many drones are content not just to spend all their working time beholden to their phone, but their break and leisure time too
It's a no-brainer
Coal fired power stations to be managed by English Heritage?
Creative solution proposed to problem of meeting energy demands and CO2 rules
Historic monuments may be exempt from onerous emissions regulations
Just like Windsor Castle but useful
Didcot, 7am Monday 25th March:
another of Britain's coal fired power stations is switched off, a victim of EU rules on CO2 emissions, hope is raised that a bold new plan might yet save these magnificent edifices for the nation and in so doing secure Britain's electricity generating capacity for the enjoyment of future generations
The plan would involve transferring the remaining coal powered stations to the auspices of English Heritage, under who's management they could continue to provide useful power generating capacity as well as being exciting visitor attractions, working museums, where members of the public can see fully operational relics of Britain's industrial past
The scheme will require the introduction of special rules exempting historic sites and installations from onerous EU environmental and safety regulations
Apart from preserving these magnificent examples of 1950's & 60's architectural hubris, the plan would also be a boost for that other endangered species, the British Miner
According to English Heritage, the stations will not just be another variety of theme park, but will provide a real service, generating electricity when calm conditions render Britain's 100,000 wind turbines completely useless
"Grandad, is it true all homes used to have lighting and heating?"
At a press conference the Prime Minister was enthusiastic in his endorsement of the plan: "I'm passionate about Britain's history and proud to play my part in preserving these magnificent monuments of British greatness. We're sure future generations will want to see what Britain was like in the days when the country used to have an effective energy generation capacity"
The GTG Lifestyle Magazine
Beer Chips and Rock'n'Roll
Downtime is the Grey Town Gazette's lifestyle supplement covering the sorts of things we like to enjoy when we're not earning a living (ie. as often as possible)
Downtime features video, music, food, drink, and alternative views on, well, everything!
Duvel Tripel Hop: the taste of Spring!
Fresh as a spring morning. Rarer than a sunny day
Bring me sunshine!
Creator: Duvel Moortgat
Style: Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Undergoes re-fermentation in the bottle
Strength: 9.5% ABV
AI Value:* 10
Killer App: Brightens any day
Medicinal Qualities: Fountain of youth
Tasting notes: Sunrise on a crisp May morning
even if it's raining!
Grey Scale Rating:** Platinum
Wt Relativity Index*** 9.99 (2012 Citra) 9.97 (2013 Sorachi)
Duvel had its origin in the First World War. Interestingly it was inspired by English ales that Albert Moortgat - son of the brewery's founder Jan-Leonard Moortgat - experienced during the hostilities. Albert was so impressed by these ales that he decided to create a beer based on the 'English model' using the finest ingredients. Post-war he visited Scotland to obtain a specific yeast, and the yeast used today continues to be cultured from that same strain.
What's in a name
Originally the beer was to be called 'Victory Ale' (yawn) but an early taster of the brew is said to have exclaimed "nen echten duvel" (this is a real devil) and fortunately that's the name that stuck!
What's so special?
Duvel is traditionally brewed with two hop varieties, Saaz-Saaz & Styrian Golding. Duvel Tripel Hop is brewed with three hop varieties and each year the third hop is changed to provide its own unique taste and aroma. The 2012 brew used Citra hops and was about one quantum away from being perfect. For 2013 Duvel's brewers selected the exotic hop Sorachi Ace from Japan. Sadly the latter is not quite as invigorating, but nothing ventured nothing gained, and we look forward to trying next year's surprise! The result is an exceptionally crisp refreshing beer. Fresh as a spring morning! And (in the UK) as rare as a sunny day!
More info: Duvel Moortgat
Our original feature on regular Duvel
** The official GTG product review rating scale:
Coal (pants) Charcoal (bearable) Gravel (average) Ash (good) Platinum (ace)
*** Westmalle Tripel Relativity Index: higher resolution drink-specific rating comparing beverages to the benchmark
Westmalle Tripel,which itself rates the theoretical maximum of 10, with Platinum rated brews being in the range 9-10 For more information on the GTG reviewing system see Downtime Review Guide: Reviewing Principals and Ratings Systems
Video of the Month
Malphino - sunshine island of joy and spice
Two videos featuring Malphino perform "Sombrero de Panama" and their signature "Mi Malphino" at the launch of their debut EP "El Lava de Gabacho"
|Malphino "Sombrero de Panama"|
(Click on the image to view the videos and review)
Video Miscellany is a collection of entertaining videos from the GTG and people we like..it's as simple as that! Subjects include music, humour, and just plain random!
Fed-up with Rubbish News?
Been on a Desert Island?
Got a Bad Memory?
Or Simply Been out on the Razzle?
If you need to check what has really been happening in the world, or would just like to check out the threads on some of Grey Town's top news stories, this is where to look... our fabulous website!
Product Reviews - price guide for vendors
Are you a manufacturer or supplier of Premium Products, such as wine, food, super cars, motor yachts, or executive jets? Do you want to bring your products to the attention of discerning potential customers of high net self-worth? Well, why not book a product review in the GTG? We've taken a new approach to product reviews. We take the uncertainty out of the process, giving suppliers the confidence they need before submitting products, and providing our readers with the comfort of knowing our review ratings accurately reflect the financial stability of the vendor We have a range of options to suit your marketing needs. Just select the Review Rating compatible with your budget, book a publication date, drop us the cash (in an unmarked paper bag please) then arrange to deliver your product (or send a limo to take us to your venue) and we'll do the rest. Its as simple as that! Review Rating Price Scale: Coal (pants) £50Charcoal (bearable) £250Gravel (average) £1,000Ash (good) £5,000Platinum (ace) £10,000Please email the Editor for further details.
Terms:Strictly Cash in Advance
Prices are not negotiable, unless we are drunk or happen to like you (or both)
Things we like
Our list of 'Likes' is growing all the time and we've run out of space here!
Please refer to the GTG Website below for the latest links and recommendations:
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Its not as bad as you think!
Copyright 2013 The Ministry of Light.
All Rights Reserved etc.
The Grey Town Gazette is published by The Ministry of Light, Croydon's leading Think Tank
The Grey Town Gazette is published in good faith. The accuracy of the stories is questionable by design and is certainly not guaranteed. If you think any are true we respectfully suggest you consider therapy. Any reference to persons living or dead is unintentional and purely coincidental
Why wait for things to happen?...read about them first in the GTG!