What is Wrong with the World II

How can the critics of discrimination decide what to attack without discriminating between what is discriminatory and what is not discriminatory? Continue reading


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What is Wrong with the World I

The benefits of generalisation are, on the whole, greatly underestimated. Continue reading

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Juncker’s letter to Putin

What a disgrace:

Junker disgrace

Let every Remoaner hang his or her head in shame.

Is he seriously suggesting that the Russian habit of state assassinations on EU soil should be any part of the new “cooperative pan-European security order”? In any event, to suggest “positive relations” after the attack on – and probably, sadly, murder of – the Shripals is odious.

The sooner the UK cuts loose from these people, the better.

And did no-one ever tell him that it is very bad form to begin every single paragraph of a letter with “I”?

Ghastly man.

Well, two Continue reading

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Animal Kingdom

Most visitors are welcome here at The Phenelry.

Percival is a cutie – I have always liked hares. They seem to do no damage, and Pervical is a friendly chap. They are surprisingly large animals – on the move he looks not much smaller than a small deer.


The ducks, William and Kate, are equally harmless. I do have in mind to get them a duckhouse for the dam, but that is still Continue reading

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Guy Rope

writes this on his Twitter page on 28th February:

We need to upgrade our engagement w/ Russian civil society. This means facilitating visas for Russian citizens…It’s unacceptable that people who violate Russian & international law can bring their family & money into the safety of the EU & its .


Just a few days later, someone, presumably a Russian citizen, enters the UK, presumably with a visa, and poisons someone who had violated Russian law, and who had brought himself and his daughter into the safety of the EU, with a nerve agent.  And also poisoned his daughter. And a police officer.

Does Guy have any other bright ideas, Continue reading

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Frau Bosch

WP_20180308_001A dishwasher is a good thing. It washes dishes much more efficiently and effectively that we could do by hand.

So why do we feel a mild resentment about the task of emptying it?

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Messing with the PETM

PETMLiving a hour out of town, I quite often listen to podcasts in my car, and particularly like the BBC Radio 4 programme In Our Time, in which Melvyn Bragg interviews experts on a variety of topics from culture, to history, to philosophy, to science etc. A recent programme was on the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which is when the planet got about 5° hotter than normal about 50 million years ago. There is a useful summary at Seven things that happened when the planet got really, really hot and the podcast itself can still be downloaded.

There are lots of interesting things to say about the PETM, and Melvyn’s guests said quite a lot of them, but the programme was somewhat marred by the climate change claptrap that seems to permeate everything these days.  The real scientific reality is that the cause of the PETM is unknown[1], but this gets translated into Flopsy as “The cause of the PETM must have been carbon dioxide, but the cause of the carbon dioxide is unknown”.[2]

One of the interesting things about the PETM is that it was a good thing. Rapid global warming (much more pronounced than anything on the cards today) produced an explosion of evolution, including the evolution of our own ancestors. And so, without that period of rapid global warming, it is far Continue reading

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What is it with Puritans and Witchhunts?

salemI never been a great fan of religion, let alone missionaries. Among Christians, the Catholics are particularly unwelcome; by large, the Protestant puritans have generally caused less trouble. But bizarrely, puritans do go in for witchhunts. Famously, of course, it was Salem, but it certainly hasn’t stopped there.

Take Oxfam for example, which has recently been in the press. The offence? It turns out that some of their people have been using prostitutes in Haiti, and other disaster struck places.

Now, I am not an expert in prostitutes, by any means, but I imagine that if you have chosen that particular profession, a major natural disaster – the sort of thing that will get Oxfam turning up – is likely to be very bad for business. I’m not saying it’s a good business, or something that we should encourage. I am simply saying that if a particular young woman – or even a somewhat older woman – chooses to earn her income by offering sex for money, then she will be among the many people adversely affected by a national disaster. So, a natural disaster happens. Business dries up for this young woman. That’s bad. After a little while, the aid agencies turn up, with their cardboard boxes full of food and their white SUVs full of earnest do-gooders.

And here’s the thing. If you happen to be a prostitute, and if one of these do-gooders in a white SUV is willing and able to be a good customer, that is not bad news. On the contrary, it is Continue reading

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Not happy, Nigel!

Nigel MorrisYankalilla have released their Resident Satisfaction Survey. 75 pages of what is largely self-conglatulatory pap. But turn to page 53 and you get to some meat: only 7% of residents are satisfied with Council handling of animal management issues generally (that includes barking dogs etc). And – wait for it – 0% of residents are satisfied with “Foreshore access/disagreement”. That right, folks – 0%. Nil. Niete. Not a single resident thinks the Council has got this one right. It really is a disgrace that there is no acknowledgement at all in these 75 pages of the extraordinarily strong opposition amoung residents (and for that matter visitors) of the Council’s war on freely-running dogs on the beach.

So, will the unpopular Council CEO Nigel Morris listen to the 2,000 people who have signed petitions – both on-line and traditional local – asking for us to be allowed to resume letting our dogs run freely on our beaches? We will see.

If not, then hopefully the new elected council (due to take office following elections later this year) will vote the new dog restriction laws off the table, and if Continue reading

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Filed under Myponga Beach, Uncategorized, Yankalilla

Flopsie Black

UCL and the Natural History Museum has done some work on the DNA of “Cheddar Man”, a UK resident of around 10,000 years ago who has been remarkably well-preserved in a cave, rotting only slowly. They have concluded that he was probably quite dark-skinned with blue eyes. They might or might not be right about that. They got the talented Dutch identical twin modellers – the Kennis brothers – to a 3-D representation of what he might have looked like according to that view before he started rotting. Here is the result, as it appears on the Kennis and Kennis Reconstructions website:

Kennis blackNow the flopsies, of course, just love this story. Here is the picture as it appears in the Guardian Continue reading

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