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Letter in today's Guardian Weekend, which I am unable to find in order to link to it, in which someone whom we presume a scientist or an engineer claims that arts graduates find employment in 'politics, journalism and managing, often badly, organisations where science graduates do the actual work', and that
after the shitstorm created by arts graduates, it will be left to scientists and engineers to solve the economic, social and environmental problems they have left. It's what we are trained to do.'
Historian larfs liek drayne.
Quite apart from the recent reports about various scientific centres and departments in which bullying and harassment by Top Scientist People are rife - which doesn't suggest that they are that great at managing and running things - and the inglorious history of scientists so committed to a theory that they would commit fraud -
- so, really, not pure, disinterested 'experts' -
- I have lately been reading the latest in Jo Walton's 'Thessaly' trilogy, and considering HG Well's notions of 'samurai' and 'Open Conspirators'
- and the Platonic notion of disinterested Guardians guided by philosophy, and Wells' rather similar dedicated elite, run aground on the notion that everyone, including your Guardians or Samurai, will all be in entire accordance once they have seen the revealed wisdom.
I just don't think that any set of people, even if they are in general accord over some basic principles, will all inevitably agree at any given moment about What Is To Be Done.
And let's just not go into the wild generalisations about 'arts graduates', 'scientists', and 'engineers', which flattens out very diverse groups with different disciplinary training and biases, even before you get into questions of individual personality differences.
The George Harrison Estate trashed the RNC over using 'Here Comes the Sun' -- but says it might have approved if the song that the RNC had illegally appropriated was 'Beware of Darkness.' Brian May of Queen is also taking steps to prevent the RNC from appropriating 'We are the Champions'. And My Little Pony wants no part of the Trumps, either. The Stones aren't pleased, either, about Trump taking 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'; perhaps they'd prefer it if Trump took 'Sympathy for the Devil' or 'Helter Skelter'?
Could Trump pass a sanity test?
A world of languages.
After Hector has committed me into Dorcas’s hands in my own dear house, and gone to be about delivering the lunatick Marquess to Bedlam, I sit shaking while she fetches me brandy, that she considers quite permissible to take for reasons of health.
Should you like to go lie down for a little, Your Ladyship? Sure 'twas a very horrid experience.
No, says I, tho’ I find my teeth offer to chatter even tho’ 'tis so oppressive warm: sure I should most immediate be about writing to Lady B- to tell her what arrives. Tho’ my hand is shaking so much I doubt I could hold the pen, or write legible did I contrive to do so.
Dorcas looks at me and says she will go fetch Docket.
Comes Docket and says that, indeed, Your Ladyship, you should be helpt out of that gown, and have your stays loosen’d, and put on your peignoir and you will feel a deal better. And I will brush your hair and Sophy can wipe your face and hands with a cooling lavender water.
I burst into tears and sob that I am not mistress in my own household. I let her lead me upstairs to my dressing-room and indeed I do feel a deal better when my stays are loosened and my hair let down and cooling waters apply’d.
Docket says that of course she was not with me at the time when I was being bother’d by that nasty fellow, but indeed she has heard a deal about it, from Tibby in particular that took him in great resentment for preaching upon vanity and vain adornment.
O, says I, he was a most exceeding tiresome fellow even when he was sane, or mayhap better able to conceal his lunacy, and the late Marquess ever took him in very great dislike: but indeed, I say, and my teeth offer to chatter again, when he came creeping into that room 'twas like some Gothick monster.
Why, says Docket, 'twas most unpleasant that it should happen, but I daresay the time will come when you can work it into one of your tales.
I give a little tearfull laugh.
Comes in Euphemia with a cup of the fine soothing drink to my darling Eliza’s receipt, saying that she doubts not 'twill do me a deal of good. She adds that sure Hector has been wanting to do the like to that fellow this long time; they would sit about the kitchen in Surrey and he would talk of it, and Seraphine would talk of what she might contrive to get him to eat or drink that would do him some ill-service, but could not come at a way so that Your Ladyship might not partake as well. The nasty sneaking creature.
O, they are all so good towards me, and I perceive that they worry about me, even tho’ I am now so circumstanc’d that being overset and hysterickal is not like to affect my livelihood and that of the household. Indeed, I daresay that even were I to be carry’d to Bedlam, or one of the houses in Hoxton, that the household might be maintain’d until I recover’d. Indeed I daresay they would even come visit and bring baskets of comforts bak’d by Euphemia.
But o, I do desire the company of my darlings most desperate.
I daresay this matter may be kept quite husht up, for I am like to suppose that the madhouse-keepers would not want that it should get about that one of their lunaticks escapt and contriv’d to get as far as Town, and indeed this is all to the best, and am I kept out of the tale 'twill I hope be suppos’d that the mad Marquess merely raves does he mention that harlot Mrs C- that gave herself out wife of a sea-captain.
But sure I am fearfull that there may come about some discovery of what went forward in Surrey during my exile there.
However, I am cloth’d and in my right mind when comes Mr Q- in the afternoon to pat my hand and tell me 'tis a most shocking thing, that the present Marquess fled the madhouse and made his way, sure one cannot imagine how, for he is quite entirely raving, to B- House. Your man, Lady B-, had the prudent thought to take him to Bedlam, where they will have restraints to put upon him -
O, says I, 'tother Lady B- had desir’d me to find out how the works on the house went –
- 'Twas most fortunate, for I know not if any of those that were in the house would have known 'twas him, for who would believe babblings of such a figure that he was a Marquess? But I have writ to his keepers to say where they may find him, and chide them somewhat for such carelessness.
Indeed, says I, quite shocking, tho’ I have heard that lunaticks may be very cunning and perchance he contriv’d to deceive them that he was quite entire docile?
It must be some such, says Mr Q-. But to more agreeable matter, I may take this opportunity – by the way, this is excellent fine tea, who is your supplier? – to tell you that the preferment of the Reverend Mr L- to the cure of the parish proceeds as expeditious as any matter may when Chancery is mixt up in the business.
I tell him where I acquire my tea, but that indeed I will send him some, and say this is most agreeable news. But there is another matter that I need’d your advice in, I go on, and tell him about my lead-mine, and the desire of dear Josiah and Mr D- to go invest in the improvements, viz: a fine new steam-pump that will be quite a model of its kind, and some matters to do with the smelting mill.
Mr Q- says that I am exceeding well-adviz’d in the business and he has no doubts of the probity of Mr F-, that is everywhere spoken so well of, but indeed it shows a fine business-like spirit to have the thing done in all due order with the proper papers drawn up.
I confide that he is most prepossesst with me as a widow that will not be beguil’d into rash enterprizes.
Sure this soothes my spirits a little, and I mind me that I have still not writ to Mr H- about some suitable surgeon for the dispensary, and tho’ he may not be in Town at present I may still send him a message so that he may be about thinking on the matter. So I sit down at my pretty desk, and I take a little peep into the secret drawer with the miniature of my dearest sweet treasure, and am about the business.
And then I feel sufficiently recover’d to be about some several other tedious matters of correspondence.
The next forenoon I would be about these matters, but that I receive a very fine full letter from Lady J-, that also sends the dear Admiral’s regards, about her excursion into the Mediterranean, and the classickal sites she has seen, and the great pleasure 'tis to be on shipboard, and how very amiable and helpfull was the young man that takes care of my Naples property. What very fine classickal learning, and also excellent fine notions about improving agriculture. Sure she wishes she could have met the late Marquess that was given out such a savant in the matter of classicks.
The dear creatures.
I am back at the business of the quite endless correspondence of the philanthropick set, when Hector shows in Captain P-.
This strikes quite immediate fear into my heart that there is some dreadfull matter come to Josh or perchance Belinda, but Captain P- comes take my hands and say dear Belinda was most insistent I should ride post and tell you: that monster is loose, she had a letter from the keepers that he went about very sly to escape, and we were in considerable concern that he would come to Town –
O, says I, indeed he did, and came sneaking into B- House yestermorn when I was there seeing how the works went –
Did he harm you at all? asks Captain P- very urgent.
No, says I, I was in some fears, but Hector came into the room and employ’d his puglistick art. Ty’d the fellow up and convey’d him to Bedlam for the nonce, where we dar’d say they would be able to find a straitjacket for him until his keepers could take charge of him again.
Captain P- sits down with an air of great relief and I ring for Hector to bring some good strong coffee. I add that Mr Q- has writ a strong letter to the keepers concerning this carelessness.
I pour out coffee and ask about how Belinda and Josh do, about the health of Cherry-ripe, &C. All is entire well, he says, and what an excellent little fellow is Josh, they shall be sorry to lose him when he goes return to his family. I convey the good feelings of the F-s towards them for their care of Josh.
Do you wish to come stay again, he goes on, we should be entire delight’d.
I sigh and say alas, I should be entire delight’d to come stay, but I have a deal of engagements to go visit about that 'twould be most incivil to cut, however much I might desire to. (Tho’ indeed I am most tempt’d: but I will be entire dutyfull and go about in Society, for 'tis most entire usefull to our set.)
In summer, the lake
is blue and fluid,
traversible only by boat.
In winter, the lake
is white and solid
enough to hike on.
So you walk on water,
and you cut a little hole
in the pale floor of the world.
You build a hut there,
with a brazier of coals
to help keep you warm.
For hours you may sit
on the little wooden stool,
dangling a hook into cold water.
But when the fish come,
they are stupid with cold,
and the biggest ones bite hard.
You can catch enough in a day
to clean and cook for a week,
for the Christmas feast.
* * *
Fishing is a fun hobby with many benefits.
Ice fishing involves cutting a hole in a frozen body of water to catch fish in winter. Here are some basic instructions.
I don't know when, or to where, or with whom. I can't really think about it until after WorldCon, anyway, but I want to put the thought out there, for myself as much as anything.
So the idea of one guy passing off the work to someone else isn't new, or honest. There's nothing in the Constitution against the VP taking on some more Presidential work as necessary; that's always been done. But handing off the whole job? Keep an eye on where the money goes and who's doing the paving -- and make sure there aren't any bodies in the asphalt.
My father was taken into hospital again last night - I got b-i-l's text when I was standing on Tower Hill Tube Station and then connectivity went.
(It was his 94th birthday.)
So he's still there today under observation, and we don't have any info as to what might be happening, how long he's likely to be there, etc.
So, I said that I would go down to visit today, and b-i-l said he would pick me up at the relevant station at [time] as he would be taking my sister when she got off work.
So I got to the station, and went and waited outside (fortunately although it had started to rain in London it was still fine elsewhere), and then I got a text from my sister to say that there had been an incident on the motorway and traffic was being held up.
Perhaps I should have said stuff it and taken a taxi but we really didn't know how long the hold-up was going to be -
- which was rather longer than anticipated -
- but anyway they eventually turned up and we went to the hospital and found my father and he seemed in fairly reasonable spirits for someone in hospital and on antibiotics.
Still no news of what might happen next.
Anyway, this was all running later into the evening than I had anticipated, and by the time I was dropped off at the station to catch a train back, I was too hungry to wait until I got to St Pancras and bought what turned out to be a rather disgusting sandwich at the station snackbar.
But home now, anyway, and awaiting further developments.
Laura Nyro saw him coming 30 years ago ('his mind is up his sleeve'): Flim-Flam Man. And if you drown in that gorgeous voice as I do, here's the lyrics:
Hands off the man, the flim flam man.
His mind is up his sleeve and his talk is make believe.
Oh lord, the man's a fraud, he's flim flam man. He's so cagey, he's a flim flam man.
Hands off the man, flim flam man.
He's the one in the Trojan horse making out like he's Santa Claus.
Oh lord, the man's a fraud, he's a flim flam man. He's a fox, he's a flim flam man.
Everybody wants him, the people and the police and all the pretty ladies disarm.
Oh yeah, the beautiful gent, you know he has hardly a cent.
He pays his monthly rent with daily charm.
Hands off the man, the flim flam man.
His mind is up his sleeve and his talk is make believe.
Oh lord, the man's a fraud, he's flim flam man. HeâE™s so cagey, he's an artist.
He's a fox, he's a flim flam man.
Don't believe him, he's a flim flam. Ole road runner, he's a flim flam.
- by Laura Nyro.
I am getting remarried soon, so he will be the only single sibling. He got himself three cats recently, which I was against because it prohibits him moving freely. How can I involve my brother in my life to make sure he's doing all right? I've been working on trying to get him to move to my state, but to no avail. -- Building His Life Up, Boulder, Colorado
DEAR BUILDING HIS LIFE UP: Divorce is hard on the whole family and usually friends, too, so it's natural that you would like to figure out how to comfort your brother as you and the rest of the family seem to have moved on. As you attempt to help him, do know that you cannot spark happiness in his life -- nor is it your responsibility.
That said, you can make an effort. Invite him to join you for a sibling date. Invite him to come to visit you. Or suggest a sibling date without your spouse -- just you two or you and your other siblings -- where you go someplace fun and spend time together. Insist that he show up, and make sure that your life doesn't get too busy for you to go. Stay connected. That's what you can do.
He had hooked a Raspberry Pi up to the television and was staring moodily at several open terminal windows.
"Sorry honey," he said. "Want to help me debug my Python code? It'll take your mind off it."
"....Okay," I said.
An hour and a half and some successfully sorted code later, we retired jubilantly to bed.
Where we spent an additional half-hour catching Pokémon and comparing Pokédexes.*
We totally win at romance. But the question is, which of these things is MOST romantic?
It is most romantic to XXX in bed, where XXX ==
debug Python code
* Both of us have Pokéstops at our workplaces. Mine is the bust of Huxley (Thomas Henry, not Aldous) in the lobby of my building, and his is a plaque out on the quad. London and Birmingham campuses seem to produce favourable conditions for orthogonal sets of Pokémon, so we had much Pokédex envy to express.
Please buy a new dictionary. Yours appears to have been damaged somehow. The definition for plagiarism has apparently been ripped out. Either that or you all secretly admire the Democrats. After all, how do you explain The Donald's riff on Hillary's "I'm with her!"? "You're with me!", he said.... um.... don't you have anything original to come up with?
And you know the abbreviation ant. that goes with some words related to the word being defined but isn't the word you looked up? It means that they are the opposite of the word in question. So, for example, brash and obnoxious and boastful are all the opposite of "humble"... and if Donald Trump "humbly" accepted the nomination last night... well, y'all, I'm just not sure you understand what that word means... particularly as I very much doubt that man has ever been humble a day in his adult life.
Oh... I'm sorry... my politics are showing...
(No, I don't think that Hillary is perfect; she is not the ideal candidate, to be sure... but she will not turn the United States into a laughingstock on the world stage... and I shudder to think of Trump trying to talk to Theresa May or Li Keqiang or Xi Jingping or Malcolm Turnbull or Francois Orlande or Pranab Mukherjee or Jacob Zuma or Benjamin Netanyahu or Enrique Peña Nieto or, heaven forfend, Angela Merkel. We thought George W. giving Angela Merkel a backrub was bad? This would be immeasurably worse, imnsho)
(Yes, an intentionally wide range of political viewpoints and countries there... he'd be a disaster with all of them because it's always only about him, in the long run...)