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Monkey Steve

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Monkey Steve last won the day on April 28

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  1. I know we've debated this before, and I've always come down on the side of protecting the smaller sellers by allowing the manufacturer to fix a minimum price. The CMA seems to have completely given up on that, and is happy for the larger retailers to do what they like to undercut the smaller ones - from their open letter to the industry: If your business model does not enable you to compete on price with the big online ‘discounters’ you need to find other ways in which to make your products more attractive to shoppers and protect your margins.
  2. I feel your pain The last time I had to look into this was when a band had agreed on a name which Google told us was in use by about half a dozen other bands worldwide. We'd never heard of any of them, none had released any records, none played the same type of music, and none of them were local to us, so we were pretty confident that we'd never get sued. IIRC the test is whether anybody can complain that you having the same name is taking advantage of their reputation and having an impact on their income. We then thought of a better name which got the Google all clear, so the problem went away. In your scenario, I think the issue isn't necessarily whether you have ambitions to be the next big thing, but whether the northern band are going to take off. But for the moment I can't see an issue with it and wouldn't lose any sleep. In my opinion, a bigger issue to consider is whether this makes it difficult for people to track down your band - I've sometimes struggled to get info on bands (like gig dates) when Google/Facebook/YouTube/etc have got several to choose from, and it's much easier to promote the band if your lot are always top of the search results.
  3. I think the trouble is that any of you might have the virus without showing any symptoms for the first week, or might have a very mild case (certainly there is anecdotal evidence of individuals testing positive for Covid-19 or having the antibodies which indicate that they have had it, without having noticed any ill effects) I've noticed within my mates, who are trying to organise some get togethers in London now that the pubs are reopening, that there seems to be an assumption that somehow you won't catch it off your friends, like it is being spread deliberately by people who know they are ill but are recklessly ignoring distancing. One of the group very bluntly pointed out that he wasn't leaving the house any time soon (he has a vulnerable child with health issues and the family have been told to stay in until further notice) and perhaps the organiser, who has quite bad asthma and Type 2 Diabetes, should be a bit less cavalier about his and everybody else's health Obviously it's different for everybody
  4. No - what it shows is a big spike in deaths in March and April, when the virus hit the UK, and was doing it's worst amongst the at risk populations. But since then the number of death per week has been reducing and isn't much higher than the average number over the last few years: In isolation, that March April spike isn't a game changer when it comes to mortality rates and life expectancies, as these things happen periodically. It should also be noted that the total number of deaths is in itself meaningless - total deaths per year have been increasing since 2011, in line with population growth https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending12june2020/previous/v1 There is also a lot of odd stuff in the data - for instance a significant increase in non-C-19 deaths in that same March/April period, which suggests that a lot of deaths from C-19 were being attributed to other causes (as seems to have been the case in care homes, where deaths of elderly residents in poor health were not unexpected so nobody was looking for coronavirus). But it does also show that over the last few weeks there has been a reduction in non-Covid deaths below the average, which links back to the point that to an extent some people are dying of C-19 who would otherwise be dying of something else (obviously from a general, statistical point of view, not individuals) Of course this doesn't offer any conclusions - for instance we don't know whether we're going to get a second spike as the lockdown is relaxed, we don't know the long term implications on life expectancy for survivors with significant damage to their lungs, etc. As I say, this will play out for a while yet
  5. yes, agreed - there's a long way to go on this, and a lot of moving parts. One of the very interesting comments from a pensions funding point of view (which was, after all, the point of the webinar) was that any change on mortality tables for the general population is likely to be watered down when applied to pensions, because people with large private or company pensions are typically the people in the wealthier areas with better health and longer life expectancies, who we know are less affected by Covid-19 My strong suspicion is that all of the other factors such as poverty and BAME (which as I say, seems to be significantly linked to the number of diabetics in the South Asian communities) will turn out to be proxies for the poor standard of general health in those areas. Maybe the pandemic will get some momentum for improving general health in those communities
  6. I'll apologise in advance if this sounds a little heartless - I say nothing about the human tragedy of current events, and what follows shouldn't be taken as me saying that I don't care, it's purely about the numbers and the risks...It also takes us further off topic, so again, apologies I was on a mortality webinar a couple of weeks ago (for work - I'm a pensions manager and life expediencies and mortality rates have a huge impact on pension funding) and the somewhat surprising message is that nothing much has changed. While 40,000+ people have died of Covid-19 so far, that's against an expected rate of death of about 500,000 over the same period. While they wouldn't have been expected to die of this new disease, most of the deaths are those who were at risk of dying from something else to begin with. Obviously there are exceptions and otherwise healthy people have died, but they are exceptions. There is a slight increase against the expected number of deaths, but not a statistically significant one, and the potential reduction in life expectancy has to be set against the steady increase in life expectancy over the last few decades - as things stand we might be knocked back to life expectancy from around ten years ago, but there has only been a marginal increase over the last decade. The data is emerging to show a correlation between Covid deaths and economically deprived areas, which are acknowledged to already have a link to poorer health and shorter life expediencies than wealthier areas. As a Type 1 Diabetic I should probably be worried that diabetics make up an alarmingly large number of the Covid deaths (although that seems to relate to poorly controlled diabetes rather than diabetics per se) and the spike in Covid deaths in the BAME community looks heavily linked to the high incidence of diabetes in the South Asian population The quote I remember was "it's not the black death - the overwhelming majority of people who get Covid-19 will not die from it". Obviously that doesn't take away from the risk to vulnerable people Of course there are a number of factors at play here -for instance, deaths from car crashes is almost certainly down over the same period. This will play out for a long time to come
  7. having done a Covid-19 test in the last fortnight (negative - I have a chest infection) the test was only offered if I was within the first few days of experiencing symptoms. It is linked to Track and Trace, so the idea is to contact other who you have been in contact with before they start to show symptoms. If you've had it for a week then it's to late and they're not fussed about testing you. This is a slight movement from a couple of months back when a friend of mine definitely had it, but despite being very unwell indeed, was not ill enough to be taken in to hospital, and at that time they were only testing hospital admissions. She she almost certainly doesn't appear in the statistics despite having had the disease.
  8. Yeah, I've had reliable reports of some pubs offering a "takeaway" service since lockdown began, largely those with outside seating or on village greens A mate on the Isle of Man sent me an e-mail yesterday gloating about their pubs having been open for a while now - they banned all non-residents and brought in the 14 day quarantine period quite early on, and currently have no Covid-19 cases on the island. He tells me that it's pretty much back to normal. He's a drummer and plays his first gig since lockdown this weekend. The git
  9. actually, no - my sub packed up a few weeks ago and I need to get it replaced. If there's more bass going through that then I suspect the house's foundations may need reinforcing
  10. Last week I got the new 4k version of the Blues Brothers, which has 5.1 surround sound Pleased to report that whoever mixed the sound has (perhaps lazily) put the bass through just the middle speaker in the set up, while the other instruments are spread around the rest of the speakers in the room. What this means is that because the middle speaker is typically the loudest (because that's where most of the dialogue goes, and I tend to tweak it a bit louder to help with mumbling actors) the bass is literally front and centre on everything. Gloriously loud! Biggest revelation for me was that the bass doesn't play all the notes in the Peter Gunn riff, and in fact is playing some quite interesting variations Thoroughly recommended
  11. I've got an Ortega KTSM - 5 five string acoustic - a Ken Taylor signature (he's big in Germany apparently - I had no idea who he was, but the signature version was a bit fancier than the plain alternative) https://www.thomann.de/gb/ortega_ktsm5_ken_taylor.htm?sid=ad51d9f687f2403a333b43661c0bf11b I don't play it anything like as much as my electrics (typically I practice unplugged at home) mainly because for an electric I tend to hit the strings very hard, and the acoustic gets neighbour-disturbingly loud if I do that, and all the clanking doesn't sound great on an acoustic. But if I apply the right technique it's great, no problem with volume at all acoustically (if anything I tend to be quite light on it, because, as above, it gets to neighbour annoying volume quite easily), and while I haven't played it on stage, it does have a peizo, which retains the acoustic sound when plugged in - more so than the video on the Thomann page would have you believe
  12. Saw Godsmack at Download last year and they had this "drum duel" where the lead singer, who has also been playing guitar for the whole set, got behind a second drum kit and had a "drum off" against the bloke who has actually been playing drums for the whole set. Honestly, made him look like a needy, self indulgent [email protected] - seemed to be very much a "look at me!!! I can play drums too!!!" ego polishing moment Does Ian Gillan playing his bongos count?
  13. Creaming Jesus had two drummers in the early days, one of whom was a very attractive female. They didn't factor in that she might leave when they sacked the lead guitarist that she was going out with at the time - I'm sure that lost them a chunk of their following. Still, as per my earlier post, they did have a spare, and they never felt the need to replace her
  14. clearly the only reason to have two drummers in the band is so that you still have a drummer when you have to sack one
  15. I've had a delivery of strings from Strings Direct during lockdown - dispatched very quickly, slight delay with the Post Office, but was with me within a week of placing the order. If they have your stings listed I'd thoroughly recommend them - always great customer service Also had a delivery (not strings) from Andertons, which was for a couple of items that I knew were not in stock when I ordered them, but came pretty quickly (and after Andertons had given me a "this all depends on our suppliers not being affected by lockdown" warnings - fair enough) The only significant delay I've had (and am still having) is for an order with Gear4Music - again, an item that I knew wasn't in stock when I ordered it, and there seems to be a delay in getting it from the (quite small) manufacturer.
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