2008 — 25 July: Friday

Just finished watching1 Jerome Bixby's Man from Earth and highly recommend it. Not a special effect in sight, but plentiful insight. As for tonight's picture of Christa? Again in 1974, this time just with cousin Leigh.

Christa and cousin Leigh, 1974

G'night at 00:10 or thereabouts.

Screen draws a blank... dept.

I've made one final attempt this morning to feed the plasma screen with a simple, direct (no scaler) connection via the HDFury and from an hdmi input that I know is carrying a straightforward 576i digital video signal. Result: diddley-squat. In fact, not even a modal dialogue box moaning about "Out of range". So the digital dongle will be making a short trip north to its new home, where I hope it will be better appreciated. (It will be talking to a G70 projection system with a wide range of adjustment capability, so should settle in nicely.) At least the kettle still works!

It's 09:45 and somewhat overcast, which has dropped the temperature nearer towards my comfort zone. What shall I get in for Junior's appetite, I wonder?

Talking to the plumber

In our case, neither Christa nor I ever had any problem with Brian, who's a smart cookie. But here's a snippet from an interesting piece about social inequality and "the IQ gap" over the pond...

Believers and unbelievers alike are agreed that if there are indeed inequalities in our society, they result from uneven distribution of opportunity, caused by:
* Left Believer: Sinful human nature blinding us to the social justice ethic implicit in the Law, the Gospel, or the Koran, depending on your precise confession.
* Right Believer: Social pathologies — illegitimacy, easy divorce, feminism, a corrupt popular culture — arising from ignorance of, or wanton defiance of, the divine plan.
* Left Unbeliever: Oppression by the various types of human malignity that inevitably arise in capitalist society: sexism, racism, patriarchy, etc.
* Right Unbeliever: Insufficiently rigorous education policy, insufficiently family-friendly tax and health-insurance policies, excessive regulation stifling enterprise, etc.

John Derbyshire, in National Review

The phrase "Ivy retardation" made me smile, too. Derbyshire concludes that the cognitive elites will "probably make a pretty good job of [ruling us]. They are, after all, the brightest and the best — however much we dislike them." Time for breakfast, before I lose my appetite!

We may be in a "credit crunch" (whatever that means) but it seems that will not threaten the spending of £3,000,000,000 on renewing our Trident missile warheads. Politicians lie, it seems. I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked. I think I need to go and lie down.

Not great news... dept.

Just (10:35) had a call from dear Mama — her elder sister, whose state of health has been parlous for the last couple of years, has been admitted to hospital. While I'm sure this is the best place for her, the news doesn't incline me to cheer. With advancing age, I seem to have forgotten the benefits of advancing age.


Whew, it's been horribly sticky today. I was about to nip out to the shops a couple of hours ago (at about 16:30) when dear Mama rang again, to tell me again, about her sister. She'd completely forgotten her earlier call and asked who had told me. There is, of course, literally nothing of practical value that I can do. If I drive up there, Mama will refuse to get into the car to visit the hospital. Heck, I don't even know if my aunt would recognise me — I never got a straight answer when I asked if she'd been told about Christa's death (she was very fond of Christa, as it happens). Old age, when combined with extreme frailty and loss of faculties, sucks big time. My aunt has a very poor quality of life, a husband who pre-deceased her years ago, and no children. <Sigh>



1  OK, so it took me four months to find the round tuit I needed. It was well worth the wait.