2013 — 17 November: Sunday

I'm feeling a tiny bit satirical this morning. Today's smart idea is to lower the age of consent. Professor John Ashton apparently thinks this would enable a "line to be drawn in the sand". While I'm not sure this is the proper concern of the State, it's undeniably of great interest to many of the State's citizens. I'm just not one of them.

Has anyone given...

... any thought to raising the age, rather than (re)lowering1 it? Making it 45 (for example) surely would2 go a long way towards solving this planet's greatest current problem. And nobody can deny how effective the legal process over the years always has been everywhere at changing the way people behave to make them do what other people think (or, at least, profess to think) they should (or, more often, should not) do.

Therapeutic jurisprudence

I like the way this woman's mind works:


I note that the Chambers in which the lady expressing the above opinion works has already been suitably shocked by, and completely disassociated itself from, her "Spiked" article.

Enough satire. My kettle awaits.

I've written...

... a number of computer manuals and related training material in an earlier life. So I couldn't really resist this article, could I? Pausing only long enough to put on my Pascal Rogé CD of Satie's six Gnossienne first — since I only learned this morning that Satie had been inspired by the Minoan culture of Crete, and I find the music reliably soothing — here's both the source and an amusing snippet:

I'm a heavyweight Adobe user — that is, I use Adobe software and I weigh quite a lot — and its Help system is just about the worst in existence. Calling up Help instigates a baffling process by which a program you've never seen before tells you that software manuals you didn't know were on your computer are out of date for products you didn't know you had, then laboriously tries to update them all for the next 72 hours while you sit around trying to remember what it was you were doing before all hell broke loose on-screen.
If you are reckless enough to search for help on the Adobe website, you end up trawling through a dustbin of seemingly random results referring to old versions of the program and, worse, the wrong program.

Alistair Dabbs in El Reg

Why pick on poor old Adobe? I mean, has he even tried to find anything useful on, say, HP's website?

The past is...

... something we carry around with us, to a greater or lesser extent, all our lives, it seems. For example, I was just browsing the latest of the bi-annual catalogues I receive from Taschen and was brought up really rather short by the faintly ghastly — and more than faintly surreal — 'infographic' by Fritz Kahn in which he'd transformed a cutaway human head into a representation of the inner gubbins showing what goes on when we see a car and say "car" or, to be more precise, "auto":

Inner sight!

The thing is, 54 years ago I'd seen a very similar diagram in the one-volume encyclopedia I mentioned here. And I can also date it thanks to another memory trigger that I'd noted in one of my weekly letters to dear Mama:

Had to wait to cross at the main road for an ancient, light blue Austin A40 with Dutch visitor badge (though right hand drive) which instantly took me back to 'Uncle' Derek Earl's red one in Vale Road, of course. It must have been at least 37 years old, if not 40, so your mini has a little way to go yet, I think. Cannot remember exactly how many of us used to get a lift in it, but it was a fair crew. Presumably to/from Wycliff/Whitecliff Avenue, maybe after the roof had fallen in on the Bollin primary school and that first-year class had been sent back to the spare classroom there (must have been 1958/59, as I remember telling my teacher [the one who picked out difficult books for me direct from the library arrival parcels on the grounds that they wouldn't be wasted, thankfully] proudly that we were to summer in the Orkneys, and I certainly remember starting in J2 at Cheadle Hulme in September 1960 after sitting either a practice test or part of their assessment on my own in that same room) that had always been full of Junior orchestra kit while I was actually in the infant years — I can still remember playing those bloody one-note triangles when all I really wanted to do was to be let loose on the drums... Of course, all I know about drummers these days is that you can always tell when their kit isn't level because they drool more out of one side of the mouth than the other!

Date: 26 April 1998

You can, however, never go back. (Last time I did, the infant school had become a yuppie housing estate.)

Juana Molina revisited

It's now even longer since I bought my first three Juana Molina CDs and she's once again being played on the Beeb. So that accounts for the three new items — this time, as Amazon MP3 downloads.

Juana Molina



1  It was only recently (1885) raised from 13. Has human sexual behaviour 'evolved' so rapidly? I think not.
2  Though only if vigorously enforced, globally of course, by all the various sympathetic and totally incorruptible apparatus so readily available to each State these days.