2012 — 26 July: Thursday

A sluggish start1 but I don't seem to be missing anything. The world is still full of people full of hatred for one another, people being massively rewarded for massively disappointing behaviour, and (if Digiguide's latest attempt to get me signed up to them again is any indication) plenty of crap on TV contributing to BSkyB's £1.19 billion of pre-tax profits.

Who cares?

The latest local 'directory' carries an advert from these folk, who are just down the road from me here. I'm not sure that I fully agree with their philosophy...

The advice protects wealth for future generations from third party attack.
Attack from government bodies such as the Inland Revenue (Inheritance Tax),
the Local Authority (Residential Nursing Home Fees),...

... though that could explain why I'm not rich, of course. And never will be.

A Mole of Moles

This gorgeous "What if...?" from xkcd had me in stitches:


Fred Hoyle: "Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards."

Thanks, Mr Postie

He's just dropped off a viable pair of alternatives to what would have been this evening's default immersion deeper into Season #2 of "The Practice":


It's 27.1C here in the living room, and an even toastier 28C up in my books warehouse. So I'm retreating behind closed curtains and shall think nothing but cool thoughts as I prepare my salad lunch.

Big Bro's "home safe" email tells me it's 12C in his NZ neck of the woods. Sounds good.

Fairly soon after...

... joining IBM, and somewhat taken aback by the alien culture and language I found myself immersed in, for Christmas 1982 I treated myself to Kenneth Hudson's excellent book on jargon...


... but it wasn't until just a few minutes ago2 that I finally made the connection.

From the dry humour evident both in the book, and in the short talk, I am 99% sure that it's the same Kenneth Hudson presenting an exchange of Civil Service memoranda in October 1883 regarding (the wish for an explanation of the cost of) "The Mutilation of Hercules" — a statue of the poor chap, nude, on display in Professor Sir Archibald Geekie's Museum of Practical Geology in Jermyn Street had attracted unfavourable comment from visitors offended by his splendidly-proportioned, erm, manhood, and an Italian stonemason had been engaged to dismember Hercules with a saw and provide him with a figleaf instead. Ouch.

Shades of Abelard and Héloïse.



1  Late nights and hot weather always have that effect on me.
2  While listening again to a delightful BBC Radio 3 'filler' talk piece I'd recorded (I suspect) in the late 1970s and subsequently transferred over to a minidisc.