A little wordplay I heard somewhere that made me laugh. Instead of saying psychiatrist, someone pronounced it Sky-high-atrist. Hmmm, I seem to know some people like that!

Another tech geek / delusions of faith

I was supposed to upload a humungous blog I wrote at home on me laptop, but this service is not obliging. So, what was I on about??

Well, first I discovered yet another member has joined our web community, it seems that they are jumping in at a crazy rate of almost one person per month!! I worry whether there’s enough space in the ether-cyber area to fit all of them! So a warm welcome to Shasha, or “Dolphin in the blue” as she’s known on the web.

I was watching a Channel Four programme on the delusions of religion. No new ground covered, it was the usual Oxford professor-ish bloke taking us through Jerusalem, the American Bible-belt, and a few interviews with radical crackpots who’ll say anything to escape looking mediocre on television. Not being religious myself, I used to find this rather entertaining not so long ago. Now I see a smugness in the approach of scientists that it seems they can ill afford. Science is supposed to be the quest for truth, and acceptance of doubt, all noble and self-satisfying. But scientists themselves often believe in something purely as a matter of faith, and thus become blind to the very logic they claim to prostate themselves before. Doctoring results is not supposed to take place, yet we have a dog called Snuppy who apparently wasn’t cloned.
So it appears that it’s not only the religious who are prone to leaps of faith in their reckonings. It might be more useful to stop attacking religions, and try to understand the broader concept of faith that human beings of all persuasions appear to display.

Parcels accepted

I know my birthday’s in Octomber (as a Greek friend of mine would pronounce it), but here’s a list of books from the biography section of Waterstone’s that I might like to own (the books, not the section). I was mooching about there looking for ways to burn the 2000 pence worth of book vouchers I have, but I have to make sure I make the most of the opportunity, and spend the minimum amount of real hard cash on top of the vouchers.
So here they are (so far; more additions are definitely planned)

  • “Are you talking to me?” John Walsh
  • “Addict” Stephen Smith
  • “10,000 miles without a cloud” Sun Shuyun
  • “Down and out in Paris and London” George Orwell
  • “A life inside” Erwin James
  • I’m currently enjoying Sue Townsend’s ‘Adrian Mole and the weapons of mass destruction’. After having read ‘The secret diaries aged 13 3/4’. I’m also trying to keep in touch with my Russki by reading Dostoevsky’s ‘Notes from the underground’, but man!! can he drag on!! I mean, what’s his problem?? Thank heavens there are explanatory notes. 4 days, and I’m still on page 7! And I wanted to get ‘War and Peace’ done over this week!! Wake up, Sunshine.

    This is one sentence

    Скажите мне вот что: отчего так бывало, что, как нарочно, в те самые, да, в те же самые минуты, в которые я наиболее способен был сознавать все тонкости «всего прекрасного и высокого», как говорили у нас когда-то, мне случалось уже не сознавать, а делать такие неприглядные деянья, такие, которые…ну да, одним словом, которые хоть и все, пожалуй, делают, но которые, как нарочно, приходились у меня именно тогда, когда я наиболее сознавал, что их совсем бы не надо делать?

    Twenty commas? I rest my case, Your Honour.

    Oh my God I can’t believe it!!

    I forgot to tell you that the Munich Posse has already booked their tickets for the next adventure. Andros!!! (“Wha?” you ask. It’s a Greek island near Athens) we’ll go there after our Easter, in time for the Greek Easter. Ioannis has a house on the island, so we’ll be sitting soaking in the sun while he waits on us hand and foot 🙂 We’ll eat roasted lambkins and let off insane amounts of fireworks in a totally irresponsible manner. For pics of this place magnifico, you can vist Rachey’s, as she was there a while ago. (You have to choose “happy holidays” from her gallery, then “Andros”) We’re gonna have FUN!!!

    Ecological sciences

    Oh, and my sister’s now on the website of her research guru. Checkitout. Click on current assistants. My sas is the one with an Msc in Applied Genetics (Number 9 for the lazy sods who can’t read).
    Must say, I visited the home page of the professor, and he looks well dodgy.

    You’re a winner

    Jessy’s got an article about suckers and naive elderlies (there’s a difference?) who are scammed by the “You have won a prize” brigade. It’s funny that just the other day I received an offer from Which? magazine (who conducted the survey in the BBC report in Jessy’s article) saying I had already passed two important stages in the process of selection and I had to put some stickers on some letters to claim one of three cars, or £300,000, or something. I just threw them away.

    ‘It could be sweet’ – Portishead
    “You don’t get something for nothing”

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    I know I should be writing about the New Year, and how Happy it was, and the usual carp. But instead, I’ll pose you a question that kept me awake until I fell asleep. Do kids nowadays choose careers based on what they see on telly? I mean, have the role models for young kids changed? Do they still want to be pilots and firemen (or, as in my case, reliable IT technicians), or do they now want to be “I’m a celebrity, get me on a crap show” or “International Men of Mystery. Yeah baby, groovy”? I guess the only person qualified to answer would be a career advisor for schulers (do they have those in the UK?).

    Which seamlessly links into the next topic in this sermon. Does anybody want to be a spy? And is there a market anymore for trench-coated, ninja-deadly intelligentsia in this post-Cold war era? I’ve borrowed a DVD of BBC telly series based on John le Carre’s novel of the same name (if you haven’t guessed the name yet, look at the title of this rant) and I was instantly back in those days in Moscow when I’d bend every now and then to “tie my shoelaces” or “gaze at the wares in the shop windows”. You may not have realised this, but this is Top-spy technique for finding out if anybody is following you. Of course those K.B.G folk wanted me for my inexhaustible knowledge of weapons systems and world-reknown ballistic expertise (I used to be a mean shot with a rubberband in school). The series lasts 315 minutes, and I couldn’t tear myself away from it, even when I thought I heard the soft tread of a rubber-soled shoe in my hallway at 4 a.m. (the hour of the assassin, in case you didn’t know. If you think you’re gonna get snuffed, you can sleep peacefully at any hour except 4 a.m. Course, it didn’t work for J.F.K), which would usually precipitate my springing into action with a stout staff in preparation for the operative from Mossad.

    Talking of DVDs, I saw a film advertised on telly as being available on DVD and “MUD” or something. What!! Has the technological advance skipped by me again? Just when I had learned to stop toasting and buttering the DVDs as well!! (They’re not really indestructable. Trust me, I should know)

    Willkommen zu Nazmania

    Ok, the festivities are over, I’m back to my old tricks again. A big thanks to all those who made it a special season, and an official notification to those who did not; you are now on The List.
    This being the New Year according to some Gregorian chaps I’ve never met, it is necessary to make some resolutions. Hence, I resolve not to shoot any foxes, nor will I ever buy a 140-foot yacht. I hope I will find the strength in my inner beliefs and convictions to stick to these resolutions.

    Remember those red plastic binocular thingies we used to have as kids, in which you inserted a round cardboard dial that had tiny film slides on it, and we used to see wonderful places around the world? What was it called, and more importantly, what has happened to it? (I don’t want silly answers like “The internet happened to it”, or “They never introduced slides with smutty pictures so it obviously died out”.)

    On a happier note, after an hour-long televisual tour of churches brought on by the festive season and the birthday of Christmas, I am reminded of old Homer (the philosopher, not the Iliad bloke) who said -“I may not know much about Jebus, but I think we built him a pretty nice cage”