2013 — 12 March: Tuesday

A brighter start1 without snow — apart from the odd few flakes — but with plenty of cold. And "Invasion of the Hystrichospheres" to worry about. Nothing that Fred Hoyle didn't bang on about 34 years ago:


A publisher's note (used as my bookmark in this case) reminds me that it was a review copy sent out in September 1979. I liberated it (as a public service, you understand) from the overstocked shelves of my squash-playing partner Hugh back in Old Windsor. Though quite why the then Group Editor of three hi-fi magazines I wrote for2 was being sent such material is another line of philosophical enquiry altogether.

Wonder if he wants it back? :-)


A language I quickly had to teach myself so I could spend an extremely busy weekend producing a "Teach Yourself" training package for enough money to buy Christa the first of our three Honda Civics. Visible here!

But it just won't die, seems to be the gist of this rather odd article.

Professor Barash...

... remains in excellent contrarian form, I'm glad to see. Source and snippet:

This uniquely human potential to resist our own genes might help explain why people expend so much effort trying to induce others, especially the young and impressionable, to practice what is widely seen as the cardinal virtue: obedience. To recast Freud's argument about incest restraints, if we were naturally obedient, we probably wouldn't need so much urging. And yet, on balance, it seems that far more harm has been done throughout human history by obedience — to Hitler's Final Solution, Stalin's elimination of opponents real and imagined, Mao's Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot's genocide — than by disobedience.

David P Barash in Chronicle

It's a theme somewhat parallel with Stephenie Meyer's "The Host", oddly enough. [Pause] Munching my late lemonses / very early afternoon Kiwi3 fruit, I ponder bright sunshine, blue sky, fluffy white clouds, and a front porch temperature not quite reaching as high as +1C. With (lots of) snow and travel chaos elsewhere, it seems. Brrr!

Leaping into...

... dynamic late-afternoon action, I've just renewed dear Mama's snailmail redirection for the last time. I think I really should now inform the last few remnants of her "business letters" senders of her new address (or, to be precise, of mine, as I'm the only one who's around to deal with this hangover from her former life in the Midlands). One doesn't wish to rush into these things, does one? Such good fun.

Mildly exasperated...

... memo to self: Do remember, next time before you reboot after topping up with 108MB or so of Microsoft security patches, either to tinker with the BIOS boot order settings, or to switch off both external SATA II drives before the poor things offer themselves up — fruitlessly — as would-be boot drives ahead of the 'real' one.

It strikes me as a bit odd to find Harper's catching up on a TV show I bought back in July 2011. [Pause] How annoying. I didn't quite correctly work out how "The Host" was going to end. No matter; g'night.



1  With Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" to accompany it.
2  When not being commissioned by him to do the odd bits of freelance programming of the delightful ICL 1500 Series minicomputer I'd been instrumental in persuading him to obtain.
3  I caught a sensible soundbite about losing weight yesterday. It boiled down to just three words: "Eat real food" — as opposed to what the 'food industry' slops out in our direction. Sugar is now (once again) killer of the month.