Ernie Hudson and me

I found some old photos today while backing up a website, and came across this one of me and Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters.It was taken a few years ago, 2006 I think, and is from one of my trips to Milton Keynes and Collectormania. I think this is the year I also bought the Highlander Claymore sword. I’ll try and dig out a photo of that too.

Ernie was great though, such a friendly guy. Mind you, he looks happy!

Ernie Hudson

BBC Watchdog starts Witch Hunt against Adrian Pengelly

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how the BBC had ruined Watchdog and had turned it from a hard hitting consumer affairs show into nothing more than a prime time version of Loose Women. I’ve just watched last week’s show on catch-up, and it’s no better I’m afraid… in fact it’s worse.

adrianglastoLast week, Matt Allwright went after a man named Adrian Pengelly who claims to be a natural healer. Adrian Pengelly says he can heal people and animals using his hands. This isn’t an unusual form of alternative medicine and has been around for many thousands for years. I believe someone named Jesus used to do it too.

Now, before I go on I should state I have no opinion of Adrian Pengelly one way or the other. I don’t know whether he can heal, or whether he’s a con man. I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do care about is the way the BBC decided that he was a charlatan and set about chasing him down in something resembling a witch hunt from the Middle Ages.

Firstly, no-one had complained about Adrian Pengelly. This I think is an important fact. He also charges £30 per session according to Watchdog, which they suggested allowed him to live his ‘lavish’ lifestyle. £30 per session seems very reasonable to me. You wouldn’t get a plumber for that, nor a solicitor nor even an SEO consultant!

When you consider that Adrian Pengelly heals with his hands, this is damn cheap.

They then set about trying to catch him out by sending him a horse that had been x-rayed to show it had soft tissue damage in its hoof, and wondered if Adrian Pengelly would spot this. Pengelly examined the horse and said that its knee suffered from tension.

This then prompted the ‘expert’ watching over the computer to proclaim that Pengelly was wrong. Why? Are the x-rays conclusive? Are doctors never wrong? Is this ‘healing hands’ quack obviously wrong because our medical science says so?

No, it’s the opinion of the vet over Pengelly’s. Whether you believe one or the other, you can’t declare one is 100% correct while the other is 100% wrong.

What they did next sickened me. They had a woman who used to suffer from cancer visit Pengelly for treatment, claiming to actually have cancer. Why would anyone in their right mind claim to have cancer, especially when they’ve had it before?

Adrian Pengelly told her that his treatments worked better for people who weren’t on chemotherapy, but insisted he would never advise anyone to stop it unless they were terminal and the chemo was just to prolong life.

This prompted Watchdog and Matt Allwright to miss-quote him and state that he’d advised people to stop chemotherapy, which he didn’t.

It goes further though. Adrian Pengelly is also into ghosts and communicating with the dead, so Watchdog set him up with a ‘ghost house’ filled with special effects to see if he tried to con the resident into believing there were ghosts present. Once, and only once, during this footage did they point out that Adrian Pengelly does NOT charge for this!

How is this Rogue Trader material? He doesn’t even charge!!!

Finally, Allwright was confronted with hoards of people who claimed to have been helped by Adrian Pengelly, and one woman who said she had been cured of cancer. Allwright dismissed their claims as ‘sick people looking for hope’ and summed up that Pengelly was dangerous offering hope to those who most needed it.

This was despite their McMillan Cancer expert stating that hope, such as that offered by Pengelly, helps survival rates and recent research by the University of British Columbia showing that cancer patients showing signs of depression were 25% more likely to die from their illness.

Hope is important in all forms of recovery.

So, the BBC has gone back to the Dark Ages and has started a witch hunt for a man offering alternative medicine because today’s doctors say it won’t work. Is the BBC going after all forms of alternative medicine now? Will they go after hypnotists and psychics next? Perhaps the BBC will go after psychiatrists too; that’s got to be nonsense as well!

Watchdog has become the thing it once fought. Sort it out BBC, it’s disgusting.

BBC Pays Google for Search Rankings

No, I’m not about to write an expose on the BBC and how they have aligned themselves with the criminal underworld at Google to ‘pay’ for top listings, but if you read the Mail on Sunday this past weekend, you might think that had happened. The Mail on Sunday responsibily reported how the evil BBC was in cahoots with Google to pay money it had taken from the license payers to gain top listings in its SERPs.

What utter crap.

As ever, the headline grabbing Mail on Sunday (part of the Daily Mail) had worked the story to fit its headline and wasn’t about to let the facts stand in the way of a good story. Far from the horror of the BBC illicitly paying off Google for top rankings, what had actually happened was that the BBC had run some PPC on Google Adwords.

The bastards!

The BBC using sponsored links? Whatever next? Advertising their programs on Radio One? Where will it end? Running their own weekly magazine with TV listings?

In fairness, I don’t think the reporter for the Mail on Sunday had intentionally misled the astute readers of the publication into thinking that the Beeb was paying for Google listings… no, I think he was just an idiot and had no idea what Adwords is and how it works. He’d heard that the BBC had paid Google for Adwords and without stopping to check any facts ran with the story, making himself out to be the moron he is.

However, you would have thought that others who reported the story would have checked the facts first! Bigmouthmedia has a news item on their website reporting from the same angle as the Mail on Sunday, and they’ve already attracted the attention of one blogger who’s seen through their mistake.

Perhaps the bigmouth guys are generating link bait through accusing the BBC of paying for Google rankings, as it’s certainly worked, even if it’s not exactly true!

Watchdog has been ruined by the BBC

Those who know me will know that I love a good complaint. I’m renowned for it. Because of this, I’m a fan of BBC Watchdog. I often watch the show and get irate at the companies they’re exposing for their unethical practices and poor customer service.

Indeed, I like to perform my own exposes of companies, such as those that have often annoyed me like the CSA, BT and Direct Line, or companies that have the misfortune of having annoyed me just the once and lived to regret it forever, such as Home Delivery Network and Chester Council.

I’m a fan of Watchdog’s work, so much so that I even aided them with their quest to investigate Providence Properties (a company that didn’t annoy me, but I picked up the torch nonetheless).

However, this new series of Watchdog, which started last night, will have companies like Providence Properties popping the champagne corks. What was once a hard hitting consumer affairs show has been diluted into nothing more than a BBC version of Loose Women.

Did we need to see Anne Robinson and Gabby Roslin harping on about pushchairs? Did we have to watch a 10 minute video showing how many bags you can hang on the back of them before they topple over, despite even the voiceover admitting that the manufacturers tell you not to do it? And what purpose did strapping the buggies onto a bucking bronco and seeing how long it took to launch the doll from them actually serve?

None, none whatsoever.

They then complained about Virgin Media. Excellent, as a customer of Virgin Media I’ve had my share of complaints with them. However, complaining that Virgin Media make it difficult to sort out someone’s account after they’d died isn’t really anything to complain about. People would soon complain if it were made easy, then anyone could phone up and claim to be a relative, stating the account holder had died and they wanted all of the documents and account credit transferred to them.

Virgin Media acted responsibly.

I can’t believe I’m saying all of this, but it gets worse.

The report on sunbeds was completely redundant. It’s not illegal for under 18s to use them, so none of the health clubs were breaking the law. What’s the problem?

Just why has the show been merged with Rogue Traders? I’m not a fan of Rogue Traders because I believe the guy hosting it, Matt Allwright, is out of his depth, as he showed again. He’s in the perfect position to really get people’s back up yet seems to act like a petulant clown. If you want to see how to annoy people, read this website, it’s all there.

Matt Allwright followed some salesman from Craftmatic beds, claiming his technique of making three phone calls to the office was hard sell, and his claiming that the bed will make you look twenty years younger was unscrupulous. OK, if you believe that using a bed makes you look twenty years younger you deserve to be conned, and making several calls to the office to get ‘discounts’ for the client is a sales technique. It might not be pleasant, but salesman generally aren’t.

He hadn’t done anything wrong. Then when the Matt Allwright tried to crash the sales conference and was barred from entry he started acting like a child, ordering the man behind not to trap him in the door or it would be assault.

You’re not supposed to be getting worked up mate, they are!

He’s rubbish and the show has been ruined. Bring back Nicky Campbell and the decent format. If you want someone to do Rogue Traders properly, I’ll do it!

Vicious vet stabs dog then charges owner to fix mistake

Buster-300x225Some stories seem too awful to be true, and the story of a vet in Heswall, on the Wirral, definitely falls into that category. A Jack Russell had been brought into the Churchview Veterinary Centre in Heswall to have his stitches removed after receiving treatment for cutting himself when he ran into a wall. Rather than remove the stitches, the ‘trainee’ vet made a further cut in the dog’s side when her hand slipped, slicing the dog open with a knife.

The dog yelped in pain and had to be held down while the new wound, which was parallel to the original wound, was treated by the real vet.

Astonishingly the vets then charged the owner for treating the new wound which they had inflicted!

This is the sort of story that would outrage dog lovers everywhere, and one that should make dog lovers wary of taking their dog to the vets.

Read the full story here, but be warned, it’s not a pleasant one.