Thursday, November 23, 2006

Papal update

You may remember my August posts entitled Why I prefer the Indy and A Little More. Here's something more from The Guardian on the same issue - Catholicism and HIV - which I found interesting, although I think that the statement:

"The rethink [of whether to allow contraceptives for Aids prevention, rather than as a method of birth control], commissioned by Pope Benedict following his election last year, could save millions of lives around the world"

possibly underestimates the other barriers (no pun intended) to the widespread use of condoms.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chomp chomp

If anybody fancies reading something fragmentary, confusing, recondite, but strangely intriguing, here it is.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tapping the Polish voter

According to The Guardian's Backbencher email, a soiree is being held on November 21 to discuss The Polish Voter and what Labour can do to attract him or her. EU citizens have the right to vote in local, regional and European elections.

The venue? The Plumbers' Arms in Westminster.

A warming tale

A little bit of info about the town of Warminster, where I grew up.

Following this link is probably as close to the place as you should actually go...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wealth without conscience anyone?

"Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle."
— Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

So I guess playing the national lottery is out...

Dark and stormy nights

"She wasn't really my type, a hard-looking but untalented reporter from the local cat box liner, but the first second that the third-rate representative of the fourth estate cracked open a new fifth of old Scotch, my sixth sense said seventh heaven was as close as an eighth note from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, so, nervous as a tenth grader drowning in eleventh-hour cramming for a physics exam, I swept her into my longing arms, and, humming 'The Twelfth of Never,' I got lucky on Friday the thirteenth."
— Wm. W. "Buddy" Ocheltree, Port Townsend, Washington

This novel opening won the Bulwer-Lytton for the worst conceivable start to a story. I recently finished reading Anna Karenina (or Anna Karenin as it is translated as in my edition), which opens with the line:

"All happy families are alike but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion."

The second part of this statement is certainly borne out in the book, but I doubt that Tolstoy ever gave much thought to happy families. The quote that serves as a epigrammatic prelude to the novel perhaps gives a better indication of the novel's content:

Vengeance is mine,
And I will repay.

Toller is a genius...

... for on Saturday he cogitatively devised the word 'textonym', meaning the word that a predictive texting mechanism provides instead of the word that you are actually trying to type, such as raregods for sardines and book for cool (apparently book is now common slang for something cool among the younger generation).

Hurty Thirty

Good news for those among us who fear hitting 30. According to JRR Tolkein, you're not an adult until you're 33...

"Tweens [are what] the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three."