Watching the American presidential election unfold, one has the feeling of drifting uncomfortably into an episode of Game of Thrones.
The barking mad Sur Dunald now looks as if he has been completely out-manoeuvred by House Clinton, and so we expect a particularly gruesome bloodbath scene coming up, with him and all his ladies of House Trump about to be savagely murdered. Then again, we have been made wary by the scriptwriters’ habit of springing unlikely surprises. Will Lady Heelary be interrupted abusing one of House Clinton’s sex slaves, carted off by the High Sparrow’s henchmen, thrown into jail and made to atone for her past sins?
Like Game of Thrones, is not that one likes any of Continue reading
Well, what the heck??!
It seems there is something called the Lingerie League, where women play American football in their underwear. Including faux straps for non-existent stockings.
Decent lingerie is fine. But there is a time and a place!
I do not really Continue reading
Just watched a very interesting programme on SBS on how important bacteria are to controlling our weight. The less the diversity of the bacteria in our guts, the fatter we get, they say. I think they are right.
It is notable that most of the problem is the governments around the world. Viz:
- They pay for doctors to prescribe antibiotics. It is hard to resist the conclusion that antibiotics reduce biodiversity in our bodies, and hence make us fatter. A handy fix, but at the cost of our health.
- Here in Oz they ban raw cheese. Totally potty. Really smelly cheese is exactly what we need for biodiversity in our guts.
- Dog bans are everywhere. But dogs are a really good source of healthy bacteria. Really dumb.
There is an interesting thought. Why are French women relatively thin, notwithstanding Continue reading
Some clients solicitors sent me a “secure” USB. It crashed my work desktop. Admittedly, that machine was already a bit dickey with a suspect motherboard, so maybe it was not entirely the USB’s fault (it worked OK on an old laptop). Anyway, now that machine is in the shop being fixed.
Massive storms continue here. A 9 hour power cut yesterday, so no internet connection at all then. Worse is foreshadowed tonight, and the house is shaking a bit in the wind. My dam has overflowed.
Meanwhile Continue reading
A fair hunk of my time recently has been spent on aeroplanes, instead of at home with my dog. Right now, I am in Santiago, for the third time this year. The first was for the DRBF Conference, and this trip it is just passing through (both ways) from the SCL Conference in Sao Paulo.
Myponga Beach to Sao Paulo is a fair old haul. In terms of miles, it is closer than London, but here’s the thing. I drive to Adelaide airport (an hour). I wait for a plane. I fly to Sydney. More waiting. Then across the Tasman to Auckland. Ditto. Then across the Pacific to Santiago. Ditto. Then over the Andes to Sao Paulo. A bit of immigration control, which was not too bad at all. Then a taxi between the airport and the venue (allow 1 ½ hours, said the hotel). 2 ½ days at the conference, barely seeing the city outside the conference hotel, and then the whole thing in reverse. So in time terms, the journey is about the same as to London (just one plane stop on the way to there)
This is sandwiched between Continue reading
My children (or at least one of them, presumably speaking on behalf of them all?) have promised to buy me a new Bristol, as and when they have earned enough money.
The latest Bristol is the Bristol Bullet, which is a 2 seater open top sports car. It does look stylish, but I will be very happy to wait until the next 4 seater is available, which is apparently going to be very high-tech, and might be a while yet in the gestation.
So there is really no need for my children to be in any great rush to Continue reading
My elder daughter Annabel’s piece about getting up close and personal with great white sharks in South African waters has appeared up on the MailOnline Travel page. That was just a few days ago, but a quick search reveal that the Mail has since published another 10 pieces by her. So she has been busy with both her keyboard and her GoPro.
Meanwhile, my younger daughter Lucy’s recent short film A Piece of Cake has been already Continue reading
I had some business in London, and decided I might as well fly home via New York and then Houston.
My own past experience of New York is that it is a hard place to like. For my money, it is too noisy, too ugly, the people (or at least some of them) are too graceless and I do not cope well with the smell of urine and vomit in the streets being never far away. But this time, surprisingly, I enjoyed myself.
Partly, of course, this was because it was such a pleasure to spend some time with my son Charlie, and to see how happy he is with his beloved. And partly it was because the Penn Club, where I stayed, was very civilised, with a decent library.
But there are things I do not understand about New York. For example, why do the immigration officials need to be so gratuitously unpleasant. Unlike Heathrow, where one is met with a smile and a, “Good morning. May I see you passport, sir?” the reception at JFK is as though one is a felon being processed for a period of incarceration. Not all New Yorkers are like this, of course. The servers in restaurants are typically helpful and charming. Then again, the servers in NY restaurants rely on tips. Perhaps they should stop paying the US immigration officials, and make them rely on tips?
It was 4th July, so we planned to go to Charlie’s girlfriend’s roof terrace to watch the fireworks. But it was raining. So we didn’t. Being 4th July – Independence Day – the New York Times back page reproduced the whole of the Declaration of Independence of 1776. Including Continue reading
Lewis Hamilton Unrepentant
Just a few days after the Brexit decision by the voters of the UK, German driver Nico Rosberg attempted to run English driver Lewis Hamilton off the track in the Austrian Grand Prix. It was on the last lap, when the faster Hamilton was overtaking the slower Rosberg. Rosberg’s brakes were already damaged and the result of the collision was that Hamilton won the race and Rosberg limped home 4th with his car even more damaged. As I write this, the stewards are considering whether to further penalise the German for his poor behaviour.
The Austrian crowd booed Hamilton as he took his prize. Unsurprisingly, Hamilton was Continue reading
Press conference by Danuta Hübner
Now, here is a fun story. Danuta Hübner is the Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee, and she has just announced at a press conference that, following Brexit, the English language will disappear from EU documents. She noted (speaking in English, by the way) that “The Irish have notified Gaelic and the Maltese have notified Maltese, so you have only the UK notifying English”.
There are 11 Irish MEPs, and it is a fair bet that, for some of them at least, their Gaelic might be a bit rusty. My research suggests that only a minority of Irish population as a whole can speak Gaelic at all – even Polish is more widely spoken in Ireland. One can well understand why they Continue reading