2007 — 14 Mar: Tom Baker as an Indian doctor?

Yes indeed. We watched Shaw's The Millionairess last night in the BBC 1972 "Play of the Month" version. In it, our Dr Who plays Dr. Ahmed el Kabir some two years before donning the long scarf. (Peter Sellers had the same rôle in the 1960 film version, opposite Sophia Loren.)

My word, you get a lot of words with George Bernard Shaw! It also featured Peter Barkworth as the solicitor, Julius Sagamore. I'm still languidly dithering (much as Barkworth always seemed to in his performances) about picking up the first edition hardback copy of his book "On Acting" which is currently languishing in the Christian Aid charity shop in Eastleigh. I remember borrowing the same edition from a library many years ago.

An organised whirl of information

A lovely phrase that, while not too accurately depicting my website, does occur in an equally lovely, thoughtful essay called A New Theory of the Universe by Robert Lanza. "Quantum weirdness" could hardly be better named. But the "Goldilocks principle" is a bit more my cuddly cup of tea. (Which is now in need of microwave nuking.)

Remember that recent question "What's next?" (and leaving aside Lanza's thoughts on the objective reality of time!) I see an answer from Lisa Randall (the most cited theoretical physicist in the world in the last five years as of last autumn):

Debates today have descended into those between the lazy and the slightly less lazy. We are faced with urgent issues, yet the speed with which lawmakers approach them is glacial — actually slower than that: glaciers are melting faster than we are attacking the issues.

Lisa Randall

Back to Reality with a Blog and an email from HM UK Gov

Having just listened to 30 minutes from BBC Radio 4 with extracts from the blogs of soldiers in Iraq (gripping and chilling radio) I pop upstairs and what do I find? Oh joy, an email from Margaret Beckett and Des Browne thanking me for signing the Downing Street website e-petition against the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system, but basically telling me to f**k off and prepare to die. By their crazy logic maintaining and enhancing this insane weaponry "is completely consistent with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty". Besides "our weapons stockpile is the smallest of any recognised nuclear weapons state, less than 1% of the world total" so I suppose that's OK then.

Later, while slurping my cream of mushroom (we pensioners know how to live, believe me) I listened in some dismay to another gem from the same Beeb station. Turns out, 70 years ago what you might call the "usual suspects" among our right-wing aristos were busy helping run planes and weapons to Franco to help his rebellion against the democratically elected Republican government. Of course, many (if not most) of the documents have stayed under wraps. It's stuff like this that really hammers home the value of the "sunshine" test. If it looks rotten in the full light of day, it's probably rotten!

Day 131