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|Thursday, August 15th, 2013|
I had a really interesting exchange with Lauren Close today on Marcus's Facebook page. Marcus had posted the link to this
wonderful thing on Americablog about the New York Times' report on November 6, 1935 that "German Chancellor Adolf Hitler promised International Olympic Committee (IOC) chairman Count Henry Baillet-Latour that he would take down anti-Jewish signs during the two week period of the Berlin Olympics of 1936." The NYT at the time added that IOC chair Baillet-Latour was “well satisfied” with Hitler’s assurances to temporarily pause his campaign of hate against Germany’s Jewish minority.( Read more...Collapse )
|Thursday, June 6th, 2013|
|"People of Colour"
The term "people of colour" annoys me a bit, and I've just thought of a good analogy to explain why.
You see, I'm a person of colour too: in my case, pinkish with definite overtones of red, particularly after I've had my first glass of wine following a week or so of abstinence.
The analogy is this: there are those of a posh English persuasion who seem to genuinely believe that they speak English "without an accent". As if their mode of speech were the default, and all others are deviant. And yet everybody else would describe them as having, ipso facto, a posh English accent. Simple.
You see what I'm saying?
Do you reckon I'm overthinking this, or would you agree? Or is this in fact a well-known gripe and I'm just massively behind the curve? Or maybe you think it's useful to have a catch-all term for people who are not "white" in order to talk about various kinds of racist oppression? If so, what should it be?
|Friday, November 30th, 2012|
Quite pleased to see that Palestine has upgraded, although it seems to me to be just to a similar status as the Cambridge University tiddlywinks club, which was invented by three weedy Cambridge undergrads in the 1950s so that they could represent the uni against Oxford, in so doing earning themselves "quarter blues", which they themselves invented as a pisstake of the system. In the whole Oxbridge thing, people representing the uni against Oxford in big macho sports such as rugby earn "full blues" (e.g. they get to own a completely light blue scarf in honour of it), those who represent the uni against Oxford in slightly less macho sports like archery get "half-blues" (i.e. their scarves are half blue half white). So the tiddlywinkers took the total piss out of this by inventing their own "sport" and their own "quarter blue" tradition. This is one reason why I loved them as a young woman.
And yes, to me today, it seems as if Palestine has just won a quarter blue in UN terms. Good luck, folks!
|Sunday, December 4th, 2011|
Had Stef's pal Tony over today for a long lunch. I do like Tony - he's good fun. Anyway, I've just said goodnight to both of them (Stef and Tony, that is), and now face a good night's sleep. It's Stef's turn to take Charlie into his room in his Moses basket, leaving me a free hand.
This, of course, is an excellent advert for separate bedrooms; if breastfeeding doesn't work out, there's no reason at all why you can't share the entire babycare load between Mum and Dad.
Which brings me on to my subject: couples having separate bedrooms in general. People seem to be a bit down on it to the extent that they assume it means your relationship is in trouble, but I don't think that's necessarily so. Certainly from my perspective, I always wanted my own space, and it always seemed to me that the main thing stopping that would be financial. But if you're lucky enough to be able to afford the space, why not? True, Stef is a big snorer, but that's only number 2 on my list of reasons for wanting a separate room - although, interestingly, it's the best one to tell people, because it's a conversation stopper. People always accept that as a reason, whereas 'I want my own space' doesn't seem to quite cut the mustard.
What do y'all think? Current Mood: cheerful
|Tuesday, August 9th, 2011|
|Wednesday, June 29th, 2011|
|Until yesterday, I thought PGP was an encryption protocol
I'm astonished I've never heard of pelvic girdle pain before. It just seems to be something that people are expected to put up with as an occasional hazard of pregnancy. I was expecting the odd ache and niggly pain, but yesterday I could barely move and felt as if little goblins were sticking a knitting needle into my left arse cheek whenever I moved slightly wrong. And apparently up to 20% of pregnant women get this, half of them seriously! Shit!
Fortunately it's a bit better today and I managed to go to work - although jolty public transport was no picnic. I do hope this is a sign I'm going to be lucky and it's going to be intermittent. Current Mood: awake
|Saturday, June 18th, 2011|
Yay! Lots of bouncy dancing tonight! I should sleep well, I think... Current Mood: bouncy
|Monday, May 30th, 2011|
|my bank holiday
I went to the gym today for the first time since I discovered I was pregnant; I'd read that any exercise other than swimming (which I've been doing a bit) and walking (that too, of course) increased risk of miscarriage up to 18 weeks. I don't know how sound that information was, but it was a good excuse to avoid the gym for a while. However, I was officially 19 weeks yesterday, so I don't have that excuse any more. :o)
I expect I'll just be doing it occasionally, though. I still feel shattered most of the time. Current Mood: cheerful
|Saturday, February 5th, 2011|
...and staying up late to trawl YouTube to look for musical classics, and I realise I am now old enough and confident enough to opine that this clip of John Lennon and Chuck Berry doing Johnny B Goode
live is actually - to me at least - nowhere near as impressive in terms of sheer musicality and entertainment as the Minchin/Cullum moment
on the Jonathan Ross show I linked to some weeks back.
No comparison, to me. We should never be guilty of doing down our current music stars; they have it going on, even in this day and age.
Happy Birthday to me. Current Mood: bouncy
|Monday, November 29th, 2010|
|Qui va a la chasse...
Friends, I'm pondering something tonight that I hope you can help me with. There's a well-known French proverb that goes like this:Qui va à la chasse perd sa place.
He who goes hunting loses his place.
Now, I've been racking my brains to think of a direct English equivalent. The closest I can get are 'look before you leap' and, indeed, the Alexander Pope quote 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread'. But these both are merely about the wisdom of being cautious in ones endeavours; I can't think of any that includes the specific connotation that going after something involves the risk that you could lose what you already have.
Do we have such a phrase? Current Mood: pensive
|Saturday, November 6th, 2010|
In the year 3000, will the British-island language be more similar to that of 2000 than that of 2000 was to that of 1000? I rather think so. There will be plenty of neologisms over the next millennium, but unlike the 2000/1000 split, there will be primary sources that you can look at then from AD 2000 that speak aloud. I think this will make it seem more immediate and identifiable, and the language more memorable and therefore ongoingly understandable.
What do you think? Current Mood: chipper
|Thursday, October 28th, 2010|
|pleasant, quiet evening
Just chilling at home, having a nice quiet evening: a bit of online faffing, a glass of wine. All very pleasant. S is out in town meeting up with his ex Perla, and just called me as she went to the bar to get him a pint.
And I had a little moment of "Ooh! I love being poly!" as I put down the phone. You see, I know so many people who stress about - in some cases could not remotely countenance - their boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses meeting up socially with an ex. But for me it holds no fear. Not because, as most people would assume, I trust S - although I do, of course. But quite simply because, frankly, if he fancied jumping into bed with Perla tonight for old times' sake, I'd be absolutely fine with it. :o)
It's nice to have no fear like that.ETA:
He's staying over in Perla's hotel room, at her suggestion, because she's worried he's too pissed to cycle home. Hee hee hee. He called me on his mobile and she insisted on speaking to me to reassure me she wasn't trying it on with him. I stopped short of saying "Oooh! No! That's OK! You can shag him if you like! That would be quite a nice little thing for old times' sake, no?" Instead, I let her know I thought it was a fab idea to stop him cycling home after 7 pints. Which it is.
So glad I'm not the jealous type. It makes life so much easier. :o) Current Mood: cheerful
|Sunday, October 17th, 2010|
|Saturday, October 16th, 2010|
|Admiral Thomas Cochrane remembered
Thomas Cochrane was the 10th Earl of Dundonald, who joined the British Navy as a teenager at the end of the 18th Century.
He was a strategic genius (some of his naval campaigns are breathtaking in their bloodless cunning - unusually for the time, he gave a shit about risking as few of his sailors' lives as possible - in fact he suffered by it, as it was thought that if only, say, three men had died then it couldn't have been that impressive an engagement, could it?), but unfortunately he wasn't very good at interpersonal politics, and was always unpopular with the officious idiots in the Admiralty.
And he got shafted unfairly in a stockmarket scandal, history seems to record. At which point he got chucked out the navy and had to find a new job. So he was hired by the Chilean government to help them win independence from the Spanish, which he achieved with very little loss of life, as was his wont.
And I was delighted to see that the current Chilean president, President Pinera - riding high on the miners' rescue thing right now - mentioned Admiral Cochrane as his first example of a Brit who was a friend of the Chilean people when he was interviewed by the BBC today. Nice to know they still remember.
Shame they didn't pay him on time (check the history). But hey - it's nice his name is remembered by the president even now
. Current Mood: cheerful
|Tuesday, October 12th, 2010|
|Quantum physics exam this morning
Pretty confident I've passed, but certainly no better than a pass grade 3, given how much of the paper I had to skip. Brief explanation: the OU does pass grades 1-4 for its modules, with 1 being a distinction (usually 85%-plus, subject to grade adjustment of course), 2 being a merit (70%-84%), 3 a pass (55%-69%) and 4 a basic pass (40%-54%). If you get between 15% and 40%, that allows you an automatic resit, and anything less is a fail. So, I suppose, degree-wide those pass grades would be equivalent to a 1st, 2:i, 2:ii and 3rd respectively.
In all the maths courses I've done so far I've got either a pass 1 or a pass 2, but if I manage to scrape through to a pass 3 here (which I'm hopeful I have - I reckon I'll come in at about 60%), I'll be more proud of that than of any of the other results I've achieved. A lower second will be good enough for me for this. :o)
It's a bloody hard subject, but also very worthwhile. I've read pop science books about quantum physics before, but doing a course where you get down to the brass tacks of how the mathematics of it actually works - which in itself allows a firmer grasp of the whole thing conceptually - is incredibly rewarding. And it's given me renewed astonished respect for all the people who came up with it in the first place. It's tricky enough following this stuff; it must have taken considerable genius to have come up with it in the first place. But without those geniuses, much of the 21st-Century technology we enjoy today would never have been developed.
And now I'm free! And have had a bottle of wine to celebrate. :o) Current Mood: happy
|Sunday, October 3rd, 2010|
|gibber gibber gibber...
...gibber gibber spectroscopicnotationatomicorbitalsverti
ntschrodingerequation gibber gibber gibber.
Goddamn but I'll be glad when my exam is over. My brain feels like I'm trying to stuff a series of intellectual melons inside it through my ears. Current Mood: full
|Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010|
|listening to late night radio
It's always nice to get a shoutout from late night radio. Thank goodness for ravenevermore
. I was delighted to hear some Franz, and also to be able to tell them that Franz always start their gigs with a frontdrop of Gavrilo Princip, famously the Black Hand assassin of Archduke Ferdinand.
You should all listen in. iRock109 is great fun. :o) Current Mood: chipper
|Thursday, September 16th, 2010|
|On the child abuse scandal in the Catholic church
It's well known that the current Pope sent out a letter to all Catholic bishops worldwide in 2001 demanding papal silence on reported cases of child abuse as part of the aim that all cases could be handled by the Vatican, and only by the Vatican - sorting out the problem 'in-house', as it were.
A common attack from everybody angered by this outside the church (and by quite a few decent Catholics inside, obviously) is to ask: why not open the files to the police, at the very least where they have asked for them? So that the criminals can be subject to the usual course of justice? Fair point.
The purpose of my post here is to argue that the problem for the Pope is that this would undermine Catholic doctrine. Hear me out.( Read more...Collapse ) Current Mood: pensive
|Il Papa in Glasgow
I notice they didn't have to cut down any trees in Bellahouston Park to accommodate the masses this time round.
Just sayin'. Current Mood: chipper
|Sunday, September 12th, 2010|
There was a screen with music videos playing silently behind the dancefloor tonight, and I was startled to see an obscure one of my liking playing - envoy
, this was the one that was playing as you said cheerio to me on the sofa, in case you were wondering what the hell I was on about.Eric Burdon: Tabacco [sic] Road
Sometimes a game is played in muso conversations where the girls are asked: "Would you have been a Beatles or a Stones girl?" (The understanding is that the bad girls supposedly preferred the Stones, the actual music being neither here nor there.) Not me: I'd have been an Animals girl, just for Eric Burdon. The best voice by far, along with a 'joli laid' edgy sexiness. Grrr.
You know, there is a rumour that Eric was the "eggman" of the Beatles' I am The Walrus
, thanks to his supposed penchant for breaking eggs over naked girls' bodies. I guess we'll never know. Current Mood: cheerful