29 November 2012

Ingenious


Daniel Henninger notices American politics has become racialized. To remedy this he thinks the GOP should instruct ethnics not to be racially motivated.


Henninger is:
deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His weekly column, "Wonder Land," appears in The Wall Street Journal each Thursday. Mr. Henninger was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 1987 and 1996, and shared in the Journal's Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper's coverage of the attacks on September 11. In 2004, he won the Eric Breindel Journalism Award for his weekly column. He has won the Gerald Loeb Award for commentary, the Scripps Howard Foundation's Walker Stone Award for editorial writing and the American Society of Newspaper Editors' Distinguished Writing Award for editorial writing. A native of Cleveland, Mr. Henninger is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
I'm reminded of what Keynes observed about Bertrand Russell: “Bertie in particular sustained simultaneously a pair of opinions ludicrously incompatible. He held that in fact human affairs were carried on after a most irrational fashion, but that the remedy was quite simple and easy, since we all we had to do was to carry them on rationally.”

07 November 2012

Forward

The Earl of Longford
My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, said that he thought he was. He did not exactly think that, but when a journalist said to him, "Sir William, are you the cleverest man in England?", he paused and then he said, "Well, inductively perhaps yes, but deductively Maynard has it". So he did not exactly think that he was God because he had limitations. Maynard Keynes was ahead of him. That was Beveridge. I was with him for three years and I have dragged him in only because he has been mentioned. He did wonderful work with the foundation of the welfare state. The morning after it was completed I went into a newsagent to try to buy a paper. The lady said, "It's no good trying to buy a paper here. That Sir William Beveridge is going to abolish want, so all the papers were sold out". Later that day or the next day I asked him to come to lunch. I was meeting with Evelyn Waugh, an old friend and famous writer. They did not get on at all well. Evelyn Waugh said to him at the end, "How do you get your main pleasure in life, Sir William?" He paused and said, "I get mine trying to leave the world a better place than I found it". Evelyn Waugh said, "I get mine spreading alarm and despondency"this was in the height of the war"and I get more satisfaction than you do". So he did not meet with universal acclamation, but nearly everyone admired Beveridge at that time. He was a wonderful man.

03 November 2012

Sandy Aftermath

Communist gun control laws have forced New York city residents to improvise weapons to defend against looters:
“I would take a looter with a boa. If I felt threatened I would definitely use it,” said Keone Singlehurst, 42. “Its like the Wild West. A borderline lawless situation.”

Using a snake as a weapon is something I've remarked upon before.

Meanwhile in Mexico, a mile long cylindrical UFO was filmed flying into the Popocatepeti volcano.

If you have a mile long cylindrical UFO and want to zoom it around without being bothered Mexico is a good place to do it, no one pays attention to what goes on down there.

16 September 2012

Tubular

Those who called my proposal to put oldies in lava tubes cruel will have to reconsider now that there is a hotel which puts trendy travelers in concrete tubes. I’m reconsidering as well - I now think lava tubes might be too luxurious an accommodation.

27 August 2012

Manus Dei

A "mysterious hand" appeared at appeared at a church service in Calabar, Nigeria, and why not?1 The people of Calabar certainly could use a hand. The mysterious hand, radiating light, "pierced through the ceiling" of the the Glorious Assemblies Ministries, astounding all who witnessed it.2

Pastor Timmy Larry "described the hand as the hand of Jesus Christ", which matches the account of parishioner Princess Agnes Archibong, who said "the hand does not look like ordinary [i.e. black] hand".3

Oddly, one of Calabar's many attractions is a statue of a giant hand.


1Nigeria is roughly 30 times the size of Belgium.

2The Glorious Assemblies Ministries is "popularly known" as the Christ Endtime Military Academy.

3Possibly a descendant of King Archibong III.

10 August 2012

Roughly the Size of Belgium

Conglomeration of golf-ball-sized volcanic rocks floating off the coast of New Zealand.

Largest iceberg on record.

Area of Indonesian rainforest destroyed every year.

Area of Brazilian rainforest destroyed every year.

7,759,663" pizza.

Map of Belgium drawn on a scale of 1:1.





09 August 2012

Rozan Kobar

A new type of Mussulman who lives underground was discovered. As far as we know they only occur in an area just outside the Russian city of Kazan, but I ordered my groundskeeper to dig a few exploratory holes in the yard, just in case.

29 July 2012

Olympics Coverage


China beat Serbia in women’s volleyball, but what matters is Serbia covered. Also all that crap about giving it your all, and the spirit of the games.

A self consciousness about farting in front large audiences prevented me from going into weightlifting. Admittedly there were some other reasons, most involving my arms, but I attribute it to that one.

Fencing draws you in because sword fighting sounds entertaining, and it probably is, but two people poking each other with a bendy wire is not.

There is women’s rhythmic gymnastics but no men’s rhythmic gymnastics, so it‘s fair to say sex discrimination prevented me from going into rhythmic gymnastics. I suppose if there were men’s rhythmic gymnastics my self consciousness about farting in front of large audiences might come into play as well, but until then I will blame discrimination.

There too many kinds of swimming but not enough kinds of running.

I suspect table tennis participants are looked down upon because their sport is a scaled down version of another sport.

Idea for new Olympic sport: miniature horse dressage.

My favorite sport involving clothed women is team handball, even though I don’t know what the rules are, what the strategy is, or why I bet all that money on Montenegro.

Some surprising results in the canoe slalom so far, none more surprising than the existence of canoe slalom.

Zero interest in canoe slaloming prevented me from going into canoe slalom.

The 1900 Olympics had delivery van racing. Bring that back.

07 June 2012

Local Delicacies


Giant spiders invade Upper Assam, killing two:
It all happened in the evening on May 8. Most of the inhabitants of Chaulkhowa Nagaon village had been to a Bihu function. When the programme drew to a close, swarms of spiders suddenly descended from nowhere and started biting the people. The festive mood soon turned into one of panic with people bumping into each other and tripping over empty benches in their frantic bid to egress. 
I nearly ignored this story, on the assumption giant spiders routinely invade India’s Upper Assam, usually when the venomous snakes are taking the day off, but that’s not the case:
Assam doesn't have venomous spiders, it never had any throughout history, or there would have been some document, text or art that depicted this spider.
An entomologist, speaking “ on condition of anonymity”, points out:
The place was notorious for human sacrifice until the mid-19th century when the British stopped this barbaric practice. The place also suffered immensely during the 1897 and 1950 earthquakes. Then came insurgency. There were brutal gun battles in Dibru-Saikhowa National Park a few years ago between the Army and insurgents. Recently, four suspected Maoists were gunned down here. 
 As for what the spiders were, he doesn't know.

UPDATE: After investigating, a “ team of experts” says it did not find “any evidence of swarms of…spider invading human settlement” (the testimony of hundreds of eyewitnesses are not evidence, apparently). The team attributes one of the two deaths to the bite of “some animal”, and says the other occurred after the victim “put his hand into a hole in the paddy field when he was looking for mole cricket, a local delicacy”. The cover up continues.

Don't Worry, It's Only History Again


Less Elephantine, More Blimpesque


Experts on dinosaur bulk at the University of Manchester say dinosaurs are “much lighter than previously thought”, while emphasizing the fact dinosaurs are “still huge”. Obviously, that could change at any moment.

Some other things previously thought:

Protons are much smaller than previously thought.

Oldies are far more durable than previously thought.

Giant pandas are more numerous than previously thought.

Much of the past is more recent than previously thought.

29 March 2012

Predictable

The Northern Echo reports:   
A Labour politician has stunned his town council colleagues by claiming his “real mother” is a 9ft green alien with eight fingers. 
Councillor Simon Parkes, who was elected to represent Stakesby ward on Whitby Town Council last month, said although he has had hundreds of close encounters with extra-terrestrials, it will not interfere with his mission to help residents at the seaside resort.
Speaking on YouTube, Coun Parkes said he first saw an alien at the age of eight months, when “a traditional kite-shaped face”, with huge eyes, tiny nostrils and a thin mouth appeared over his cot. 
He said: “Two green stick things came in. I was aware of some movement over my head. I thought, ‘they’re not mummy’s hands, mummy’s hands are pink’.”
He added: “I was looking straight into its face. It enters my mind through my eyes and it sends a message down my optic nerve into my brain. 
“It says ‘I am your real mother, I am your more important mother’.” 
 …Parkes said his extraterrestrial beliefs “did not come up on the doorstep” while he was campaigning recently. 
He said: “For many people who don’t experience it, it’s very hard to accept. We are taught to only see and believe what we can touch, but it’s acceptable to believe in religion. 
“It’s a personal matter and it doesn’t affect my work. I’m more interested in fixing someone’s leaking roof or potholes. People don’t want me to talk about aliens. 
“I get more common sense out of the aliens than out of Scarborough Town Hall. The aliens are far more aware of stuff. People in the Town Hall seem not to be aware of the needs of Whitby.”


24 March 2012

That White Phantom Drives In All Imaginations


Near the River Ouse at Barlby, the sinister allure of the white van proved irresistible to a maniac (or does driving white vans turn normal men into maniacs?), who used one to run over a boy in a tent.

The BBC reports on "Sri Lanka's sinister white van abductions" (I wrote the BBC and asked them to stop stealing my material).

A white van crashed into the Town of Lee’s Nice-N-Easy “several times” before heading “south toward Rome” like Ceaser did in 49 BC, said a police schooled in ancient history, whom I made up. The motive for the attack is not known, which surprises none of us because incomprehensible motives is the white van modus operandi.

Warminster Township police are baffled by an incident where two men attempted to lure a teen into a gold van.  “Are you sure it was not a white van?” police asked her. The teen insists the van was gold. I will monitor this potential development.

In Minneapolis a perverted Mexican exposed himself to a young girl waiting at a bus stop. The crime occured at 11th Avenue North and Van White Memorial Boulevard.

29 February 2012

Return to Whitby



If she doesn’t get £30 million Whitby will “fall into the sea”, or so an “expert” touted by Whitby’s alarmist local newspaper would have you believe.

It sounds like a huge scam, though it may be Whitby's Atlantis-like demise is the inexorable fulfillment of some ancient curse. Either way, spending the £30 million will be a huge waste.

08 January 2012

Archaeological News

Podbury.

A stone head depicting my high school history teacher Mr. Podbury was unearthed in a Cupar garden. “Top experts” have no idea who carved the head, but agree it’s “very, very old”. I called Podbury to see if he could shed any light on the matter. When he answered I told him I was with the utility company, there was a gas leak, and he needed to open all his doors and windows then flush his toilet ten times. Some people never change I guess.