Monthly Archives: January 2012

Political Errors

I thought that, over Christmas, I might try reading Mein Kampf, Das Kapital and The Little Red Book.

Getting the first two on my Kindle was easy – the third is harder.  Anyway, I started with Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

It is truly awful.  Not so much for its mindless and repetitive hatred of the Jews (after all, you get much the same thing in the Koran) but for its sheer bad quality.  He was quite simply wrong about almost everything that is verifiable – racial issues, history, education, the environment, you name it.  He is like the worst sort of pub bore Continue reading

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Jamie’s First Sonnet

Here, unedited in any way, is my 10 year old son Jamie’s sonnet, which he wrote this morning (Perdita, I should explain, is our 9 week-old English Setter): Continue reading

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The Coral Dollar

But soon as e’er the beauteous idiot spoke,

Forth from her coral lips such folly broke,

Like balm the trickling nonsense heal’d my wound

Lesbia, William Congreve

There is no doubt that the effect of CO2 on the Great Barrier Reef poses a major threat to ecologists studying the health of the reef. CO2 (which used to be called carbon dioxide, but now often referred to as “carbon”, which is a bit odd, since carbon itself manifests itself as soot, or graphite or diamonds, none of which bear much relationship to an odourless, colourless and ubiquitous gas.  Anyway, there we are) dissolves in water to form carbonic acid, and so the effect of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is that the sea becomes marginally less alkaline (they like to call this “ocean acidification” which is not quite right, but sounds more dramatic). Continue reading

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