Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A Veritable Cornucopia - Something For Everyone

Top news: Overweight, single, neurotic women consider mass suicide as US supports Ivory Coast cocoa ban.

Overheard in the caravan:

Hay: “You remember that book ‘Voluntary Madness’ that Michelle bought you for Christmas?”

Chairman: [Vacant look]

Hay: “It was on your Amazon wish list and I’m reading it?”

Chairman: [Helplessly, yet intense, vacant look]

Hay: “I’m seriously worried about your mental health!”

If the truth be known, I’d put it on my Amazon wish list merely as a place-marker as something to buy for Hay, who has an interest in psychology and madness (which is probably why she shacked up with me in the first place). How was I to know her sister would inspect my wish list and actually buy it for me under the misapprehension I actually wanted it? Once bought and handed over at Xmas it left my brain cell quicker than knowledge of where I’d last put my car keys.

We were watching the BBC’s popular ‘One Show’ on Monday evening and I was utterly astounded to see the special guest was none other than the presenter of another BBC TV show. On Tuesday evening they did exactly the same thing. It’s a bit much when you’re paying a licence fee to have to watch TV presenters interviewing other TV presenters - and struggling to make it look vaguely interesting. I’m looking forward to tonight's show – perhaps they’ll interview a cameraman as the special guest, or the bloke who brings the sandwiches.

I was inspecting No.1 son’s homework last night. He’d been set four geometry questions (areas of trapezia [trapeziums?] and parallelograms) with an optional fifth. What teacher in their right mind makes a homework question optional? It doesn’t take a Stephen Hawking to know what the result will be if said kid is left to their own devices. Needless to say I forced him to complete it. I suspect the teacher was conducting a social science experiment to determine whether any parents actually had the slightest interest in their kids’ homework.

Overheard at dinner:

No.1 son: "Is this chicken, beef or lamb?"

Hay - steaming at the ears: "Pork!"

You know, looking at what’s happening in the Anglican Communion and what has happened in repressive regimes (like former communist countries, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) once liberal thought is admitted, it’s obvious that giving people more freedom invariably results in splintering and possibly total collapse as factions develop. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, except for the fact that it has the potential to introduce a lot of fighting, sometimes lethal, as those handed the liberal freedom then wish to replace the former repression with their own.

You can now understand why the Roman Catholic Church is so reluctant to move into the 20th, let alone the 21st century - it would herald its death knell in the manner of the Anglicans. Give people an inch and they take a parsec, destroying everything in the process (just like children).

I really fear for the future of North Africa following the wave of anti-government protests. The place will descend into anarchy as differing political agendas vie to fill the vacuum.

I was watching a Horizon programme the other night called Science Under Attack and was appalled to hear James Delingpole, a science writer for the Telegraph and Times newspapers and climate change sceptic, admit to Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, that he wasn’t paid to read original research or peer-reviewed papers as he didn’t have the time or the inclination. He said that he merely interpreted other people’s interpretations – which, according to Sir Paul, are invariably those of populist bloggers with a narrow politicised agenda who cherry-pick data to suit their purposes. No wonder Joe Public has such a distrust of science when science journalists have no knowledge of that on which they report.

Delingpole’s Telegraph blog begins: “James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything.” Such certainly is redolent of the extremist; even the Chairman has occasional doubts – although I know that’s hard for you, dear reader, to believe.

The National Union of Students has predicted that a degree will cost £9,000. That’s utterly scandalous. Don’t our universities realise there’s competition out there? I know for a fact that you can get them for well under a grand on the internet - and less than that in Manila.

A friend sent me this yesterday. A despicable example of sexism!

Men simply don’t carry yellow handkerchiefs – it has obviously been superimposed. Must be something to do with the near-side rule.

Now a treat for Death Metal fans; the world’s shortest Death Metal track, 'You Suffer' by Napalm Death. I urge all readers to listen:


  1. Thanks for sharing this Napalm Death track with us; I thought the first movement was really strong but the second lacked commitment and the finale presented a disconcerting deceptive cadence.

    "optional homework" - an oxymoron surely?

    Understanding science (or anything) well enough to contribute to it requires effort. Therein lies a fundamental barrier to entry for a lot of wannabes who would really like to be in on the action but firmly remain in "brain-fart" territory.

  2. Steve: Yes, it did tail off somewhat. One suspects ennui came into the equation.

  3. Can I pass on the Napalm? Let's hope that Alex Jones isn't bothered about the Ivory Coast cocoa ban... without her the BBC would fall to pieces.

  4. SB: It's only 2 seconds long, for heaven's sake! Short attention span?

  5. Apologies!! I didn't notice the 2 seconds!!
    I do have a short attention span, could you get it whittled down to one second?

    P.S I have a dreadful broadband speed... hence why I sometimes duck out of Youtubes these days... *runs off with tail between legs*

  6. You were right! Something for everyone.

  7. Lee: I shall pass your comment to the customer service dept.

  8. A cornucopia! More a fruit, flower and vegetable market's worth. And what's all this about you occasionally being wrong. I would trust you with an off-side flag any day.