I’d take Brown’s chaos over Blair’s insane certainty any day.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Posted by Polonius on 4 September, 2011
Posted by Polonius on 16 June, 2010
Posted by Polonius on 7 June, 2010
From the evidence, it’s apparent that our universe emerged from a big
bang some billions of years ago. If you choose to believe that that
big bang was initiated by a sentient creator, you’re perfectly free to
If you believe the creator has intervened in any way since the Big
Bang, you should acknowledge that the only evidence to support that
hypothesis is hearsay from interested sources.
If you believe the creator looked remotely human, you’re ignoring the
fact that human appearance is the product of evolution.
If you believe the Universe was created to give Man a place to live,
that’s hubris on a cosmic scale.
If you believe an omniscient creator made the Universe to see what we
would do, that’s Orwellian doublethink.
If you believe the creator, in his omniscience, could see the
consequences of his actions, yet you describe him as ‘loving’, you are
either insane or stupid.
Posted by Polonius on 26 April, 2010
Posted by Polonius on 20 April, 2010
Posted by Polonius on 26 February, 2010
Much of this was drafted last May but, by an oversight, not published before now.
As I’ve remarked elsewhere, the notion that all photographers are paedophiles has been around for a long time, but it’s only since September 2001 that all photographers are paedophiles, terrorists or both. Bruce Schneier has written about the “war on photography“. Though much of his writing is from a US perspective, that article originally appeared in the Grauniad. There’s a useful summary of the UK legal position at sirimo.co.uk. I’m not sure if that may not need to be updated (at least for Scotland) following the disgraceful behaviour of Sheriff Kenneth Hogg.
Posted by Polonius on 3 February, 2009
[Resisting the temptation to end the title “…homo”. What a pity many readers would have misconstrued it.]
There’s a bit of a kerfuffle about animal charities in Scotland today. The Scottish SPCA accuses the RSPCA of allowing Scots donors to believe that the RSPCA spends money in Scotland, when in fact it doesn’t. I’m sure the same confusion exists between the NSPCC and Children 1st (The bloody stupid name doesn’t help.)
But I think there’s a much more shameful comparison to be made here. In 2007, the RSPCA made £114.1 million to the Scottish SPCA’s £11.984 million. In the year to March 2008, the NSPCC made £119.435 million to Children 1st’s £9.270 million. The real disgrace is that the figures for the children’s charities are much the same as the animal charities’. Aren’t suffering children worth more than suffering of other species?
Gary Larson once did a Far Side cartoon titled “Bobbing for Poodles”. In one of his books, he talked of the number of complaints it had attracted, and expressed his relief that he hadn’t gone with his original title of “Bobbing for Babies”. I have no doubt whatsoever as to which title would have attracted more complaints in the UK, and it saddens me.
Posted by Polonius on 8 June, 2008
Russell T. Davies is due a lot of credit for regenerating Doctor Who for the 21st century, but his artistic contribution hasn’t been the greatest. Hats off to Eccleston and Tennant as the Doctors, and a huge surprise in Billie Piper, whom I fully expected to be the worst assistant since Bonnie Langford. But among the writers, Steven Moffat reigns supreme. His CV outside Doctor Who is impressive, with Press Gang and Jekyll as notable landmarks. Within Doctor Who, his The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances was nothing short of stunning.
Given my high expectations, I was slightly disappointed in last week’s episode, Silence in the Library, although I was pleased that it introduced a concept I’ve long felt was strangely absent from time-travel fiction in general, namely that two people can encounter events in a different sequence. But last week’s episode was the first of a two-parter, and this week’s Part 2, Forest of the Dead, was better than I dared hope. It even managed to get a fair performance out of the real worst assistant since Bonnie Langford.
Posted by Polonius on 23 May, 2008
I’m sitting in front of Pink Floyd Night on BBC4. I don’t watch much television, and I don’t listen to much Pink Floyd, but it’s fascinating stuff and it takes me back to a time when adolescent hormone imbalance made this stuff seem so earth-shatteringly significant.
There are four old guys, frightfully English Public School, terribly decent on TV and probably a huge PITA in person. I’m struck by the fact that Rick Wright reminds me so much of Nigel Havers, more by manner and accent than physiognomy. The image is so striking, I have to see resemblances in the others. Roger Waters looks like Richard Gere, but then I start to struggle. Nick Mason looks vaguely like Douglas Adams and I’m really struggling with David Gilmour – perhaps a touch of Christy Moore?
They’re talking (well, Wright is) about music in terms that are very frustrating to me. I’m a scientist by nature and training. He talks about chords in a way that is completely alien to me. I struggle to tune my 3-year-old daughter’s Spongebob Squarepants Ukulele; I certainly can’t see why Wright thinks one chord sounds so effective – I like some jazz, but obviously I lack the intellectual grounding to understand much of it.
I can’t analyse it, but I must go and play Dark Side of the Moon.
Posted by Polonius on 3 December, 2007
I imagine there’s lots of stories like this. I don’t know why this one has attracted attention. Obviously, it’s a law drafted by morons, and the consequent tragedies will go almost entirely unreported.
I had occasion to chastise Stephen Fry yesterday.