Beware of Comments that start “Hello Web Admin”

I recently received a comment that started with “Hello Web Admin”, which was followed by a list of things that I am apparently doing wrong in my posts.

It was all very polite, of course, it went into great detail, and was in fact quite long, but certainly gave the impression that

    a) the person knows what he is talking about, and
    b) I could possibly learn something from them if I got in contact.
    c) I really needed to do something to improve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

There was a reference to a video that will ‘tell you all about it’, and a link to where I could get more information directly.

The people that send this type of comment are entrepreneurs trying to make money on-line. I know, I followed up on the invitation.

My initial response after watching the video was – “This Sucks!”

So I wrote to the person concerned, and told him so.

He replied that this was only one of the free videos that he puts out; the ones you have to pay for are much better!

Well, this does not fit with my scheme of things at all. I was always told that if a job is worth doing, its worth doing well! And if the video was intended as advertising material for further sales, it failed miserably!

Why should I bother with SEO at all?

Well, the intention is to get a higher ranking on a Google search – ideally on the first page., and get more traffic to your blog.

The problem is that with a free WordPress blog, I do not have my own domain name – and after recent changes to the Google search algorithms my site is nowhere near where I need it. To make any difference at all, I would have to pay for a domain name.

This is one of the first things that WordPress will tell you. If you wish to sign up for their WordAds program, a custom domain is an absolute necessity. Without it, they will not entertain you at all.

After having signed up for a newsletter from the guy in question, I have now decided its all a waste of my time. I therefore hit the “Unsubscribe” button, and hope that the episode is finished.

That one may be, but there is strong evidence that other people are trying the same thing. They seem to have a defined script, possibly something they learned from some unscrupulous entrepreneur. They now receive short shrift.

Disclaimer! If you see advertisements on this blog, they are nothing to do with me!

By the way, “Hello Web Admin” is a standard mode of address if you want to contact the person running a website.

So, if you get a comment starting with “Hello Web Admin”, make sure there is nothing there that you need, then you know what to do with it.

New GM Trials in UK? – No – Its GaMe Over!

There are new calls for GM trials in the UK, but they are completely misguided. This is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, and the stable is already burning to the ground.

Not only does this discount the fact that the GM euphoria in the USA is over, see – and
but it also ignores the medical evidence that Glyphosate, and even more so Roundup, present an ever-present health risk to humans when found in the food chain – even at minimal levels.

The latest information I have on this comes from The Institute of Science in Society, and can be found at
A fully referenced and illustrated version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download (You will need to pay for this!)

I reproduce only the paragraph headers here – they should be more than enough to make you sit up and take notice:-

    1. “The infertility timebomb: are men facing extinction?”
    2. Infertility trend associated with testicular germ cell cancer, congenital malformations & low testosterone
    3. Age-independent testosterone decline reflects rise in glyphosate use with GM crops
    4. Roundup more damaging than glyphosate
    5. Acute Roundup exposure at very low concentrations kills cells in the immature testis
    6. Detailed mechanisms of action identified
    7. Oxidative stress and endocrine disrupting effects specific to Roundup

If you want more detail on this, you could look at my previous post “Are Our Farmers Poisoning Us?”. You will find the link in the Post Finder in the top menu bar above.

If you really want to improve matters, start campaigning to stop Pre-Harvest Desiccation using Roundup.

And last, but by no means least, look at the report entitled “Seeds of Doubt – North American farmers’ experiences of GM crops” produced by the Soil Association. You can download the PDF file yourself at:-

I reproduce a part of the conclusion here for convenience:-

“The findings show that GM crops would obstruct the UK government from meeting its public commitments and policy
objectives: to ensure that the expansion of organic farming is not undermined by the introduction of GM crops and that farming should be competitive and meet consumer requirements.

Now let’s have enough of this nonsense. Its GaMe Over!

The New Site is Installed!

If you look at the top menu, you will find a new site – Warning.

Its actually not a new site at all. Its one I generated for teaching purposes about 6 years ago, but I thought I had lost it altogether.

As luck would have it, I found some old ‘Zip’ files, and had a look inside. Closer inspection revealed that it was unfortunately not complete. In some ways this is a real blessing, as it was Huge. I had invested a lot of time in it.

Now, with only four countries being shown instead of most of the world, the site is a lot leaner, and easier to navigate.

Looking through the contents, I realised that although a little out-of-date, it was mostly still perfectly valid, as nobody has done anything at all in the interim to counter the problems.

In fact, looking at it seems that now was the right time after all!

So, see what you think.

I remember some shocks when looking around different parts of the world, as the system reveals where the worst affected areas will be very quickly. Brazil was certainly one of them, and Australia another.

Cooperation is Welcome!

If there is a real demand for further information in areas no longer covered, let me know, and I’ll see what can be done. But don’t expect miracles overnight – this job consumes masses of time!

Alternatively, if anyone is prepared to produce a file for their own area, they could send it to me for inclusion. It should be in GIF format to enable switching between two states, and picture size needs to be about 450 x 370.

Just include your email address in a comment to get the ball rolling!

Making it fit with Browser Zoom!

I never use Browser Zoom, but now I had a reason. At first this blog seemed to fit very well in the new theme, but since then I noticed a couple of limitations that got in the way.

The first is the drop-down menu at the top. The fact that it remains fixed certainly has advantages, but it also has the disadvantage that if a dropdown is too long, you will not be able to access the bottom part of it.

This was the case with one of my sites – Challenge of Democracy.

Eleven of the pages were available, but the 12th was masked by the “Follow” button, and it would be easy to click on the wrong thing.. Of the remaining 2 pages there was no sign at all, and no way of getting one – or was there?

Enter the Browser Zoom Facility!

Hold down the “Alt” key, and scroll the mouse forward and back. Forward will increase size (Zoom in), and backward will decrease (Zoom out).

Alternatively, hold down the “Alt” key and press ‘+’ or ‘-“.

Please note that this doesn’t work with all browsers! Chrome, Firefox and Opera are fine, but older browsers may not have a zoom function. To cope with this, I have added page-to-page navigation, so now you only need to click on the links at the bottom of each page to navigate forward or backwards.

While installing the navigation links, I noticed a severe problem. The table on the ‘Accuracy’ page was completely wrong. I tried making corrections, but the system was not responding to changes to the ‘table’ set-up. This was strange, as the table on the Comparison chart was functioning normally.

I found later that the table had been corrupted, and replaced it with a picture that shows the same content as the original table.
This –
is now back to this –
Apart from a glitch in the page addressing, and one of my own typo’s, it all went in smoothly, but I had learned something new:-

You really should do a periodic check to make sure that you are still displaying what you intended.

This data was 7 years old, and I have no way of knowing how long it had been wrong.

Gone Viral – and with good reason!

Gone Viral – 9,845,919 views, and counting

Surprised! Elated! Amazed! Yes, I was all of those things after I had watched this:-

Surprised? Very much so!

Russell Brand had been on my personal “People to avoid at all costs” list for some years, in fact he ranked number two on it.

Why? He had severely embarrassed a young lady on a television show, which – to my way of thinking – was just not done. (This is not a secret, by the way, its all there on Wikipedia!)

I had labeled him an “uncouth lout”, and moved on.

Elated? Of course!

Russell is preaching one of the things that I maintain is absolutely essential to clean-up the political system – break it by refusing to vote! See –

And his voice is much louder than mine!

Amazed? Yes, by the sheer eloquence of this guy! I counted not a single ‘um’ or ‘er’ from his lips during the whole interview, and it really was one emotional outpouring from start to finish.

Why did I watch this video?

Well, I saw indications that the “Mad Dog of the Media”, (my terminology, but I think it is justified – see: ), is morphing into a very interesting human being after all.

Google for “Is Russell Brand right? Are we disenchanted by politics?”, and “Russell Brand to write book on how to fix society, bring down government”

After watching the video, (about 4 times so far, I really enjoy it!), I am convinced that Russell’s message needs to be spread as widely as possible.

Furthermore, I find this very interesting, and I want to be kept informed of further developments, so I hit the “Follow” button on Twitter.

So, watch the video, then tell all of your friends about it.

You know it makes sense!

Earth’s Temperature Gradients will Change.

This has been kept simple intentionally.

The first reason is that I don’t know enough about the math to do it any other way. Even if I did, I would never fit it all into a single blog post.

The second reason is that you will understand it easily.

Consider a metal bar connected to an infinite heat sink at 0C at one end, and the other to an infinite heat source at 100C.
gradient 1
At any point on the bar between the ends, the temperature will be function of distance, and at dead centre the temperature will be 50C.

Now consider the same metal bar, with infinite heat sinks at 0C at both ends, and an external source of heat in the middle at 50C. It could be shown like this –
gradient 3
The same principle applies – at the mid-point of each side, the temperature will be 25C.

Now, let’s see what happens if the right-hand end were disconnected from 0C, and left to float. We could represent it thus:-
gradient 4
Now, the left-hand end temperature is fixed at 0C, as before, but the right-hand end is floating and is not so easy to define. It will, however, lie somewhere between 0C and 50C+. The mid-point will take on a new higher value, as a result of the right-hand end floating. If the mid-point changes to a higher temperature, all temperatures to the left will increase in line.

Ok, you say, sounds reasonable. So what?

Well, the same principles that I have just discussed apply to this:-
and currently the human race is busy destroying the 0C temperature sink at the North Pole. When this happens, and I think it is only a matter of time, I estimate that most of the Northern hemisphere will become uninhabitable, and the available area for habitation in the Southern hemisphere will be reduced.

I would prefer the Northwest Passage to remain covered with ice all year round!

The Value of Working Off-line.

Working off-line may be something you would not normally consider, but it can be very helpful.

For those people connecting to the Internet on a monthly plan, it won’t make so much difference.

For others, such as myself, who use a Wifi Hotspot, and those who use an Internet cafe, payment is based on hours connected, and it can make a significant difference.

Some years ago now, I was using a computer network for teaching purposes, but there was no Internet connection available. Everything had to be collected from the nearest Internet cafe, and brought back on at first diskette, (horrible things), and later USB memory stick (much nicer!) This is where the habit developed.

Working off-line enabled me to minimise costs, and taught me the importance of good preparation.

Even though I now use Wifi, I still work off-line frequently, and this is not just for small things such as email. Using Wamp on my own computer, I am able to run a copy of my WordPress blog at home.

This is especially useful now, as I spend more time with each new post trying to optimise for Search Engines. I can run extra plug-ins to help me with this on my own system, as there are no restrictions. I then load the optimised copy up to the Internet.

It is also helpful when you are including pictures – its easy enough to position them first on your own system. Adjusting spacing for better readability is now a cinch.

And as a final check, you can connect to the Internet, and have both on-line and off-line pages in adjacent tabs in your browser. It then becomes very easy to spot errors, and make the final tweaks.

Don’t underestimate the value of working off-line!

Time Wasters – A Royal Pain in the Butt!

I must confess to a pet hate:- I do not like people to waste my time!Time wasters - Vid1

On some websites, however, and this seems to apply in particular to those with a sales pitch of any description, the protracted come-on is exactly that – a waste of my time.
Time wasters - Vid1hate
These sites make extensive use of videos, which are generally hosted on You-Tube.

Time wasters are a problem! Why?

1. If there is any useful content in the video, you need to download it, so that you can refer to it again and again as necessary. Unlike a page of text, where you can find the information you need very quickly, if you need something from a video you have to remember where it is.

2. If you download it, you may find:- Time wasters - Vid1none

    – maybe it is broken, and you can’t view it properly
    – download speeds may be slow – depends on where you are, time of day, network load, (phase of the moon?), etc.
    – the useful part of the content may be as low as 5%

3. After you have downloaded the video, you may find that it has no value for you at all, in which case, you will probably throw it away. What a waste!

Don’t get me wrong – videos can be useful! But they should not be relied on as the main source of information. Time wasters - Vid1love

Always provide a text page which gives the reader all the information they need, and give the viewer a choice. A video can usefully provide a demonstration of the results of using the information, but should not be its primary source.

I am not the only one that hates time wasters.

And I am not the only one that does not enjoy the high-speed access to the Internet that some people have.

The Importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is a matter I have virtually ignored up till now. I would occasionally get a comment making the suggestion that I should do this, or I should do that to improve my ranking on Google, but I wasn’t concerned about it at all. Why? Whenever I made a new post, I would look for it on Google, and it was always there – third, fourth or fifth on the first page.

Admitted, I knew what to look for, ie. what to key into the search enquiry, and if the title alone was not sufficient, the addition of ‘symphony’ or ‘wordpress’ was enough to do the job.
I was, of course, completely forgetting that nobody else knew what to look for, and it would only be found by other people if it was in a prominent position for other reasons than knowing the right question to ask.

Then one day recently I got a friendly comment containing a long list of “Why don’t You’s?”. In fact, I found the list rather impressive – the guy seemed to know what he was talking about! Nevertheless, I was still not convinced. After my very next post, I went staight to Google, and did a search for it, as usual.

Can you guess the result? Right – it wasn’t there!

Well, maybe it was there somewhere, but it was certainly not on the first page. And who, in their right mind wants to wade through a bucketful of results from Google unless they have no other choice? Not !, for one!

I reread the comment, paying much more attention to detail than before;-

    How much of this did I know about already?
    How much was completely new for me?
    How much of this would be possible in a free WordPress blog?

The answers were not encouraging.

So, I started looking for information, (using Google – of course), and then hit upon the most useful idea I had had for a while – I contacted the person who had sent me the comment.

Why do I need Search Engine Optimisation now, after so long without it?

That is down to changes in the methods Google uses to rank its pages. There have been at least two major updates recently, and more can be expected as they refine their system.

The results have been catastrophic for many people who rely in the Internet for their income, unless they were savvy enough to get their SEO right in the first place. Even if you don’t rely on the Internet for income, the fact that you post at all means that you don’t want to “hide your light under a bushel” – no, you want people to read them, as do I.

Search Engine Optimisation? Go on – bite the bullet – you know you must!

I don’t do Scams!

On October 16th, 2013, I posted “A Plea For Help!”. This was something I would not normally do, but I thought that the circumstances justified me making an exception in this case. The post referred the reader to a page on the “gogetfunding” website, where there was an opportunity to donate money via Paypal to help this man. The page is no longer available, as there was a time limit for donation.

The results, I am very sad to say, were certainly a help, but not enough to get the job done. Some feedback I received from friends was that many people thought the appeal was a scam, which I found really painful. I repeat,

I Don’t Do Scams!

In fact, rather the opposite is true. People come to me when they are at all concerned about an offer they have received, and ask for my opinion as to whether it is genuine or not. Many times I have to warn them off, as the whole thing looked too suspicious. Its difficult to imagine some of the things I have seen, but one sticks in my mind because it was really so ludicrous – a particular person had ostensibly so much money that they were looking on the Internet for people who would help them spend it!

As far as the original appeal is concerned, it is unfortunately an on-going saga. Pidio, the man that was injured, still has the steel framework in his left leg, although the accident happened in August 2013 – more than 6 months ago now. Although his right leg is healing fairly well, he still needs an operation to fix the left one, and a skin graft for the left foot.

The Paypal account that was used is the same one as I am using for any contributions from the “Buy me a Beer” post. Yes, I can’t sit by and do nothing while this man is still suffering. If you want to help out too, of course your contribution would be greatly appreciated.

What I really want to be able to do, is to write a new post with the news that Pidio has been restored to health, and provide pictures to show it. But we are a long way from that point yet.

With your help, we can get there quicker!

By the way, if anybody wants pictures of Pidio in his present condition, write a comment and include a valid email address so I can send them to you.