I eat oatmeal every day. It’s super-healthy! Samuel Johnson defined oats as ‘a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.’ Lord Elibank retorted, ‘Yes, and where else will you see such horses and such men?’
Novelist Douglas Adams mentions many creatures, such as the stonefish (pictured), in this humorous (yet serious) video. He travelled the world researching endangered animals, like the flightless ground parrot of New Zealand, Adams’ favourite, sometimes known called the kakapo (pictured)–isn’t it sweet? Adams also wrote many essays, some with great titles–How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet, Frank The Vandal, The Little Computer that Could, and Dongly Things. You can read them and others here.
Like Douglas Adams, CS Lewis was an atheist, but unlike Adams Lewis gradually re-embraced Christianity, converting in his early thirties. ‘He was brought into Christianity like a prodigal, “kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape.” He described his last struggle in Surprised by Joy: “You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” ‘
• 2012-11-28–while sue is at first light with vb and ap, i’m reading about rené girard (pictured), whose theories of imitation are becoming very influential. later we watched shock and awe: the story of electricity: revelations and revolutions on tvo, which presented only one side of the electrical revolution, the technology-loving side. full of the light, the hope of this revolution has a dark side, foretold two hundred years ago by writers such as william blake and mary shelley. hope for some, despair for others. must it always be this way? (thanks to cb)
Black Friday ‘originated in Philadelphia [before 1961], where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving…. Black Friday shopping is known for attracting aggressive crowds, with annual reports of assaults, shootings, and throngs of people trampling on other shoppers’. Sounds like a good day to stay home, buy nothing (it’s also Buy Nothing Day), and read the paper in a big comfy chair. Buy Nothing Day is an example of anti-consumerism.
• 2013-11-29 hawksley workman and the wolves (with jackie moore guesting on second guitar and vocals) performed at the mcc. sue and i met km, ll, cm, gm, mm, and rm there. we also saw cb and j and jm. (ku was also in the building but committed to another stage.) after the show, we met hw backstage.
Greenpeace notes that ‘intimidating environmentalists and bending the rules to keep oil flowing, forests logged and oceans fished seems to be the new normal…. David Suzuki talks about what happens when governments begin to favour the interests of corporations over a healthy environment.’
Elizabeth May’s recent post has the humorous title, ‘The Panda in the Room’ but the rest of the post isn’t so funny….
Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy Of The Gospel), says: ‘How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?’
Dave Shumka writes that ‘there’s a fine line between the sweetest taboo and the clumsiest innuendo. Innuendoes are supposed to be clever turns of phrase that only sound naughty if you’re really on the ball. But some innuendoes are so flimsy, you’d have to be incredibly naive not to see the sexual message underneath.’
I never heard of Cyber Monday, which I found out ‘is a marketing term for the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States,… created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”.’ However, instead of buying, try giving. Defective by Design (a project of the Free Software Foundation) offers its ‘2013 Giving Guide. Also, the Governor-General has kick-started My Giving Moment, which recognizes and encourages what Canadians do so well.
Heard a kids’ song I sang in the Sixties. You might know it as ‘I’m A Nut‘. I know it as ‘I’m A Little Piece Of Tin’. Heard it with a new verse for today. First, the way I used to sing it:
I’m a little piece of tin
Nobody knows where I have been
Got four wheels and a running board
I’m a Ford, oh I’m a Ford
Now, a bit of the new:
I’m an electric car
Don’t use gas, I go far…