2013 — 10 July: Wednesday

I've probably teased Big Bro1 about as much as I should for any one 24-hour period — he quite rightly suspected he might be vilified2 here were his oh-so-casual demands on what very little remains of my miserly 1,000 or so months on this plane of existence to continue. So, pausing only for breakfast and yet another cuppa after last night's, erm, yawn, this morning's late beddy-byes — and ignoring totally the fact that it looks like yet another nice, sunny day out there — I shall be inspecting and photographing3 at least some of his precious cargo for him Real Soon Now.

Unless I can first (re)find my tripod...

Master of Domestic Time and Stuff Placement Management, that's me. Christa would be proud :-)

Testicular derangement

Slate comes up with some odd stuff, but this piece was both entertaining and informative which would tend to exclude it from many online venues:

I was just about to discard the display hypothesis when two things happened. First, a colleague returned from her honeymoon in Tanzania excitedly showing anyone who'd look photos of a scrotum. The scrotum belonged, don't worry, to one of Portmann's Old World monkeys, a vervet monkey, and it was screamingly, beguilingly bright blue.
OK, it's just one monkey, I thought, but then I met Richard Dawkins. I had three minutes with the esteemed evolutionary biologist at a book signing, so I asked him for his opinions on the scrotum. After expressing severe doubt about the cooling hypothesis, he said he wondered whether it might have something to do with evolutionary biology's handicap principle.

Liam Drew in Slate

Or something to do with that Intelligent Designer's woeful sense of humour?

I find there are days...

... when, after reading as little as a single page of "Private Eye", I want to throw up, or smack a Minister in the face with a stinking piece of fish, or (failing that) chuck a brick through a Cabinet Office window with something as smelly as a typical coalition policy attached to it. Then there are days when I find a mere square inch or so of text can have exactly the same effect...

Guvmint stupidity

I'm sure Brenda's guvmint, her Civil Service, her Armed Forces, and our proud and totally incorruptible (if a tad over-secretive) Arms and Snooping industries are all simply stuffed to the gills with sensible chaps who all went to the proper schools, universities, and what have you. They clearly all understand and speak the same language. So the problem must lie within me, I fear. And the problem with me is I'm too old and set in my ways to re-arrange my prejudices to better suit life in the UK in this happy new millennium.

I'm not convinced Big Bro's Hobbit-oriented video clip is quite to my taste either. But I commend his enthusiasm for some of the natural beauty displayed on the other side of the planet (even though Brack told me it was cold and raining there today). It must surely be well past time for my next repast. It's 13:57 and I'm starving.

"Shock and dismay"

I've noticed for many years that people always seem very capable of spending my (that is, public) money in ways more generous than I might be happy with. The BBC is merely one current example. (Link.)

Speaking of money, having peeked inside the parcel on the living room floor I'm not sure Big Bro has necessarily got himself a bargain with his successful bid at auction for these postage stamps. I can't help recalling the opening sentences of Simon Garfield's wry book "The Error World" about stamp collectors. I quoted it some while ago: "Little do wives know how much men spend on their hobbies. But my wife is about to find out."

Must be nice to be a man of means. (Though I also can't help noticing he's cut back on his business class air travel in retirement.)



1  Whose parcel of stamps is, as yet, still unopened on my living room floor.
2  Not a word I would have suspected him of knowing.
3  After waiting for the delirium tremens to subside to below the level of his NZ earthquakes.