2010 — 3 April: Saturday

Crikey; it's 01:46 and getting later by the minute. And was pouring with rain until just a short while ago, so no walk later. Still, I have a session of crockpot stuffing to keep me out of mischief, and a new batch of borrowed CDs to listen to after last night's evening entertainment with Tom and Sofie. Cool.

Today's mystery object — revisited

You may recall an earlier experiment. When I checked to see if, indeed, I also had any photographic evidence of that Japanese cherry blossom from back in 2007 (I don't) I found this further picture of me and Christa. First, in thumbnail form...

Small mystery

And if you need a closeup.

Actually, it's more like one of those weird anamorphic paintings used in medieval times to disguise subjects from casual scrutiny. They were "unscrambled", typically by placing a cylindrical mirror at a focal point. Fred Leeman's 1975 book "Hidden Images" (which I bought 33 years ago) contains many examples. But was so well-hidden on my bookshelves that I took nearly five minutes to pin it down to a shelf in the dining room...




Bright sunshine, that is, and no current sign of further rain. It's 08:21 and there's a steaming cuppa with my name on it downstairs, plus that currently empty crockpot to be stuffed. That's what Brian Matthew's choice of music is for, of course. Aah, did I mention the rapidly-gathering clouds? [Pause] Just breaking off from the spud-bashing to report further evidence of faulty taste: "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys was beaten out to a Grammy by "Winchester Cathedral" by the New Vaudeville Band (who?). (One might expect the Grammy web site to list previous winners, might one not? One would apparently be disappointed.)

Whitehall farces...

... are not, it seems, the sole province of Brian Rix. Our shiny guvmint has just lost its 8th member of their Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (one wonders vaguely just how many they need, and whether they're all smoking from the same rolling paper). Amazing. Not that the Home Office spokesrobot shows any sign of worry or flexibility — this is a war they can never win, and apparently can never admit is unwinnable. Further evidence of the basic irrationality of our species, I guess. (Source.)

Nor did IBM ever pay me anything even remotely approaching the £10,000 per week spoken of here! I still avoid drugs like the plague, and have always encouraged my son to do the same. I liked, and completely agree with, this comment:

This debate can never be taken seriously until alcohol and tobacco are treated as drugs. They're addictive and kill lots of people continuously yet any deaths from illegal drugs are like a national emergency.
Thousands die from lung cancer — That's a shame.
Someone dies from a dodgy pill — society's going down the toilet, dealers have no morals, round up a mob, sack a minister, change legislation. Quick, quick, quick.

"powerman" in The Guardian

Nothing I've so far heard in "Any Questions" suggests the "drugs war" will be won any time soon. But nobody mentioned alcohol or tobacco either. Should we have a new law based on some 25 deaths from a population of 60,000,000? I wonder how many booze/fag-related deaths occurred in the same period. Could there be an election coming up? Mind you, it's worrying (as Ian Hislop remarked in this week's "HIGNFY") to find yourself agreeing with some remarkable commonsense displayed by a member of UKIP. (The same one, actually.) It's 13:55, raining again, and I'm in need of food and a change of radio station.

Taxicab confessions

I love this story:

I 'ad that Bertrand Russell in the back of my cab one day, so I asked 'im: "What's it all about then, Lord Russell?" And do you know what? 'E couldn't tell me!

A comment in Intelligent Life

Is it just me, or is the idea of polling philosophers to ask them which dead philosopher they most identify with just a tad asinine? (It's probably just me, but that doesn't make me wrong. Ask Thoreau!)

Thanks, Mr Postie

I'm not saying I'm a completeist, but I bought the 860-page book just for the 58-page short story "Winterfair Gifts". I already have, and have several times read, both "Komarr" and "A Civil Campaign" — the latter has moments as comedic as anything in "Pride and Prejudice"; a remarkable piece of writing. The TV series has so far proved most enjoyable, too. Besides, I'm in love with Tina Fey...

Book and DVD

It's cold, it's been raining (again), it...

... makes one wonder how that chap Browning could write "Oh, to be in England now that April's there"... Brrr. Still, I've caught up with Ms Fey on J Woss and a surreal episode of "QI" ostensibly on geometry. I even watched about 10 minutes of the new Dr Who, and noted that ITV1 seems to have an HD slot (#119) on Freesat rather than still using its "red button" approach. Nonetheless, the intrepid duo have formulated plans for a walk tomorrow.