2009 — 10 August: Monday

I have to say, Christa, that driving back along an almost empty motorway at just after midnight with a lovely David Bowie track at fairly high volume on the radio is by no means the worst thing in the world to be doing. Here's tonight's picture of the two of us. Big Bro took it when he drove us down to visit Portsmouth Harbour literally the day after I started my retirement from IBM. It was cold, but sunny. I've subsequently managed to lose those black leather gloves, dammit. But it was a nice day out:

Christa and David in Gosport, November 2006

Last night's film (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) was superb, and I've just ordered my own copy from Amazon. I can't imagine how it slipped under my radar.


SPRANS, anyone?

Gotta love these acronyms. This one occurs in the 22-page Henry Waxman report (nearly five years ago now — how can one keep up?) that found federally-funded (sex) abstinence-only programs offered false, misleading information. Source and delicious snippet:

One curriculum1 draws an analogy between the HIV virus and a penny and compares it to a sperm cell ("Speedy the Sperm"), which on the same scale would be almost 19 feet long. The curriculum asks, "If the condom has a failure rate of 14% in preventing 'Speedy' from getting through to create a new life, what happens if this guy (penny) gets through? You have a death: your own."

Henry Waxman's House of Representatives report (PDF file)

This is so far beyond mere "dumbing down". SPRANS, by the way, is short for "Special Projects of Regional and National Significance Community-Based Abstinence Education". Obvious! Footnote 65 (on page 19) is particularly interesting.

It's 09:26, the sun is shining, there's some Chick Corea music on BBC Radio 3, the first cuppa has worked its magic, and breakfast beckons.

Since I've just lost the network connection to my web server, I can't yet point you to the "gizmonaut's" views on our own Home Office and his response to their consultation on DNA retention. Never mind; it will keep.

Here's an Apple-related link for young Brack down in New Zealandland.


The CDs (thanks, Mr Postie) comprise the so-called "Brentford trilogy". I already had the third of these, but a bargain's a bargain. The two DVDs arrived a few days earlier:




There's been a minor shopping expedition for reasons explained on the ever-so-slightly reworked A/V system diagram. (I needed another 5 metre hdmi lead, and these are more cheaply available in B&Q than elsewhere, locally. I also confirmed that they still sell plastic secondary glazing sheets of the kind accidentally dropped by Big Bro while he was working his magic on my downstairs window frame. Quite a productive trip.)

After a salad etc. I now need to nip out again for some more boring items in the "food" line. It's 16:23 and a few spots of drizzle are around. No matter.

A sound I never expected to hear played live ever again. The Penguin Café Orchestra has been reformed by the son of the late Simon Jeffes. Great news. Nice to hear it on BBC Radio 3, too. Getting hungry (again).

Food for the (mating) mind

Geoffrey Miller's previous book was pretty interesting (not that I've any current intention of doing any more mating!) so I may yet "consume" his new one. Source and snippet:

Take the value-density conundrum, for example. The value-density of a product is its retail price divided by its weight. Miller calculates the value-density of a variety of products and comes up with some interesting questions. Why, for example, does an implanted human egg cost 72 quadrillion times more per gram than tap water, even though the egg is constituted mostly of water? The answer is that the egg is the ultimate currency of Darwinian success, for which there is little supply and much demand.

Dylan Evans, reviewing "Spent" in The Guardian

I would at this point boil an egg, but I have a hot date with a dollop of tasty crockpot. As soon as the PCO has finished its set.



1  "Why kNOw", should you care for a giggle. There's a review (actually, more of a clinical dissection) of it here.