Facebook 1

It is reported that Facebook gave the personal data of millions of its members to a data analysis company which then used it for political election promotion purposes.

If you’re on Facebook, you can speak,
To your friends several times a week,
And if a birthday comes in view,
You can act on that info too.

Facebook collects intel on you,
On who you are and what you do;
On what you think and what you buy,
And anything that you might try.

This all seems pretty harmless but,
This first bit is just the first cut,
And as the hours turn into days,
You probably would be amazed,
To learn how much stuff they collect –
It’s far more than you would expect.

And with this data, Facebook’s plan,
Is making money where it can,
By selling data in its lists,
Something it really can’t resist.

For what it’s used, they may not know,
They simply pass it on and so,
It could be used out on the stump,
To help elect one Donald Trump.

You might think Facebook is a fraud,
For all this data they have stored,
Is why they come to work each day,
To sell it on to those who’ll pay.

While all the time they let you think,
Their purpose is so you can link,
Up with those who might be your friends,
And not for their nefarious ends.

So do be careful what you say,
When you’re on Facebook every day;
It’s better some things are not read,
So when you do write use your head.



Merkel Putin

It is reported that Angela Merkel has been one of few leaders to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his victory in the recent Russian elections.

“Now Vladimir, I’m pleased you won,
Because, when all is said and done,
You really are a generous friend,
So carry on the gas to send.

We wish success in tasks ahead,
So worry not what might be said;
Some others can say things so crass,
When all that matters is the gas.

Your victory was so big, I cried,
Three in four people on your side;
That’s better than I managed here,
So maybe I could bend your ear,
And you might tell me how it’s done,
And what might work here with the Hun.

Elections like that take me back,
To when such things were kept on track,
By means I should no longer use,
To make sure that I never lose.

Way back then in the DDR,
Home of the lovely Trabant car,
With some coercion, bit of spin,
The Government could always win.

It seems those old ways you still use,
To help your people as they choose;
They work on all except a few,
Then everybody votes for you!

So let’s create those times again,
When we could win elections then,
And it will seem just like we are,
Back in the old USSR.”



It is reported that a new ninety minute documentary film which praises the virtues of President Xi Jinping has been released in China; it is proving extremely popular because there are a lot of people in China and everyone has been told they must see it.

“Now listen all you Chinese folk,
You’re well aware you must not poke,
Fun at our president – that’s Xi –
And you must not remind him he,
Looks like a certain cartoon bear,
Which really does make him go spare.

To help you we have made a film,
Depicting Xi who’s at the helm,
Of China, our great nation state;
And we are certain you can’t wait,
To see it when it is released,
But worry not, you won’t be fleeced.

The tickets will, for most, be free,
So everyone this film will see,
And Mr Xi, who is so wise,
Will in your estimation rise.

Chinese achievements are not few,
And all are pretty much down to,
Our president and him alone,
Which will all in the film be shown.

He’s improved science, arts as well,
Diplomacy as one can tell;
But if such talking does not work.
He’ll let the army get to work.

But one thing of which he’s done less,
And which might cause you some distress,
Is that his writing, most the time,
Is done in prose and not in rhyme.

You might think all this matters not,
But since Xi occupies top slot,
He could really do so much worse,
Than tell you everything in verse.

So when you see the film take heart,
The President can play the part;
You’ll really like him – so you should –
And he is in the job for good!”



It is reported that King’s College London (KCL) has banned one of its lecturers (Dr Perkins) from giving a talk entitled The Scientific Importance of Free Speech.

A university should be,
A place where one can hear and see,
Discussion on most any kind,
Of subject to improve the mind.

So very few things should be banned,
And surely not at the command,
Of those who simply don’t agree.
With what the speaker’s views might be.

But this is now what comes to pass,
With student groups acting like Tass*,
And saying certain talks should not,
Be given any speaking slot.

Perhaps some topics should be banned,
But most folk know what these are and,
If you looked down the list for each,
You surely wouldn’t find ‘Free Speech’.

So it seems quite wrong and bizarre,
That KCL in London are,
Refusing a talk that might teach,
The Science Basis of Free Speech.

They are refusing it, they say,
Because it is too hard today,
To avoid riots, maybe fights,
Which some objectors might incite.

But maybe they are simply mugs,
Acceding to these verbal thugs,
And, really, they should not give in,
So the intolerant can’t win.

*The Russian news agency


Phone Chinese woman

It is reported that a Chinese woman had to undergo three hours of emergency surgery after spending twenty hours glued to her mobile phone while on a packed train.

Some people use their phones a lot,
As if they were some kind of bot,
But while it’s on their ear most will,
Not stay for many minutes still.

They walk to where they’re going or,
Fill up their basket in the store;
Or if they think they need to shout,
Then they might wave their arms about.

But now in China, on a train,
Someone caused damage to her brain,
By sitting, staring at her screen,
For twenty hours – a bit extreme.

The phone was damaging her head,
And she was very nearly dead;
She staggered round, now feeling weak,
And then she found she couldn’t speak.

What was the problem? We don’t know.
She’d talked a lot for hours and so,
Had she simply run out of words?
Or is that really just absurd?

Or could she be affected by,
Phone radiation in the sky?
Again, that seems a little queer,
Though lobe and brain are fairly near.

But, in the end, the doctors said,
The reason she was almost dead,
Was that she hadn’t moved at all,
Because her space was far too small.

This caused some clotting in the brain,
Which isn’t too good in the main,
Because, as you’ll appreciate,
You’d rather not be styled ‘the late’.

But could the phone have been to blame?
She could have frozen all the same,
But phoning might move just your lips,
Or possibly your fingertips.

So when you’re on the phone take care,
Especially if seated where,
You haven’t got a lot of room –
Unless you want to meet your doom!



It is reported that Poland is to build a 770 mile long fence along its eastern border with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to keep wild boars out as they spread African swine fever.

The Poles don’t like the Russian boar,
Of which they’re seeing more and more,
Because they have a bad disease,
Passed on to local pigs with ease.

It’s fever, African of swine,
Which I must twist to make it rhyme,
And farmers are all up in arms,
Because it does a lot of harm.

So there are plans to build a fence;
The study has been quite intense,
And with a height of six foot four,
It should keep out the Russian boar.

But boars are clever, they can dig,
At least as well as any pig;
So it must be part underground,
Or so the detailed study found.

So that’s the plan, they start it soon,
At least before the end of June,
And, though a fence, it’s not as tall,
As Donald Trump’s more famous wall.

It will be built of post and wire,
As I said: six foot four, no higher;
They’re certain to achieve their goals,
’Cos they’ve got lots of six foot poles!



It is reported that the Government is to review the coinage and may decide to scrap the copper (copper plated steel, actually) coins.

The Government plans a review,
Of penny coins – that’s one and two,
Because they are of little use,
Both singular and also deuce.

They stamp out lots and lots of them,
So that when you’ve bought an item,
From some shop’s ninety-nine pence range,
They have the coins to give you change.

So you then give the man a pound,
Which, sadly, is no longer round,
And when it’s tinkled in the till,
The honest shopman likely will,
Produce a penny for your purse,
Eliciting, perhaps, a curse.

Your purse is almost full of these,
You get them in ones, twos and threes,
And they are really such a pain –
You’d rather not see one again.

So you look for the plastic tin,
Inviting you to put them in,
Where they’ll mount up to more than three,
For some good cause or charity.

But if no such tin can be found,
Collecting pennies from your pound,
A lot of people, so it’s said,
Just throw them in the bin instead.

The Royal Mint’s annoyed at this,
Though some coins might the dustbin miss;
“We make these coins here every day,
And you just throw them all away!

When we check up and do our sums,
Because of you less thrifty bums,
Of all these coins which should suffice,
A half are just used less than twice.

So we expect these coins will go,
It will be a sad day and so,
That birthday card you thought was cheap?
Might find the price now rather steep!