24 November 2009

Problems with the Heating

I just love today's Wizard of Id cartoon ...


This daily cartoon strip always so often has a zen quality to it!

23 November 2009

Sandwich Meme


Sandwich Meme, originally uploaded by kcm76.

This week's Flickr meme was to choose 12 things you would put in a sandwich, which is really too easy. Here are some selections ...

1. Garlic Mayonnaise
2. Salad
3. Hot Sausages
4. Dill Pickled Cucumber
5. Avocado
6. Brie
7. Salami
8. Prawns
9. Tomato
10. Blue Cheese
11. Mustard Pickle
12. Bacon

As always the photographs are not mine so please click on individual links below to see each artist/photostream. This mosaic is for a group called My Meme, where each week there is a different theme and normally 12 questions to send you out on a hunt to discover photos to fit your meme. It gives you a chance to see and admire other great photographers' work out there on Flickr.

1. fresh garlic and thyme mayonnaise, 2. IMG_6549, 3. Sausages and Hot Dogs, 4. Pickles!, 5. Salad: Sliced Avocado, 6. Brie, 7. Salami and Slices - 1:12 Dollhouse Miniature Food, 8. Live Shrimp, 9. Green Tomatoes (20080730-175202-PJG), 10. Stilton Blue Cheese, 11. Piccalilli, 12. Bacon Lettuce & Tomato on Toasted Wheat Bread

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

22 November 2009

Grass Burns

My eye has just been caught by a headline on the BBC News feed:

Lawnmowers 'injure thousands'

Clearly this is totally unacceptable. It's our inalienable right to be saved from such risks. Lawnmowers must be banned. Immediately.

21 November 2009

Taboo!

I’ve been thinking recently about our taboos. What I find curious is where we individually draw the boundary lines between what’s acceptable, what’s unacceptable and what falls in the grey area between. This is partly because some of my views are diametrically opposed to the norms of our society, but also because as a society, and as a collection of individuals, we seem to be sleep-walking into far too many important decisions.

We can probably all agree on a common set of things we think should be outlawed: child abuse, female circumcision, rape, gratuitous animal cruelty. And a set of things which are (generally) OK: sweets, alcohol, blood transfusions, prison for offenders. Although I know there are people who will abhor even these.

Most people would not discuss – and are not comfortable with – pornography, nudity, sex, bodily functions, incest or death. And then of course there are things which are for many on the borderline: animal cruelty for food (aka. abattoirs), abortion, stem cell research.

But this is not where I, personally, would draw the line. For me there is no problem with pornography, sex, nudity, bodily functions and I think even death (it is after all an inevitable consequence of life, at least as we know it). Incest I would say is borderline at worst and under some circumstances OK – why should a brother and sister not have a loving sexual relationship if they wish, as long as they remain aware of the possible dangers.

For me – and I stress this is just my personal opinion – there are far more important things to worry about and which I find at best questionable and at worst objectionable; some I would probably class as obscene – not a word I use lightly or often. The above list of common taboos is a good start to this list with most of them, at least some of the time, being in the obscene category.

However my questionable or unacceptable list contains other things most people find OK: IVF, male circumcision, genetic modification, airport expansion, a federal Europe, positive discrimination, religion, capital punishment, cosmetic surgery (for the sake of personal vanity rather than as a real medical necessity). And my jury is still out on stem cell research.

What I find interesting about this is not that I have different opinions (I’m an eccentric; I expect to have my own, different opinions) but that so few people appear to do likewise.

Society’s taboos, taken as a whole, are essentially the aggregate set of beliefs the majority of individuals find abhorrent – at least as enacted by the great and the good we elect to speak on our behalf and make law (politicians, religious leaders, etc.). It is only by people with differing opinions questioning and challenging this status quo which eventually results in the shift of the agreed set of taboos. Such is how we make progress.

All of this has so far left aside the more personal things. Do you have to be totally private, behind a locked door, in the bathroom or bedroom? Why is sex with the light on such a no-no? Are you OK with sleeping in the nude? As many will realise by now I am pretty open. We’re comfortable with social nudity – indeed any nudity. We both sleep au naturel and prefer it that way. Doors are never shut (except possibly to exclude the cats, and even that is rare). We actively dislike net curtains. We share the bathroom. In fact I think the only thing I have any possible hang-ups about is someone watching me wipe my arse – and even that isn’t a discomforting as it used to be. I was also wary of seeing my late father’s ileostomy – I felt this was intruding too far onto something private to him, although it didn’t seem to worry him; and let’s be fair it is not the most tasteful of things. Why I felt like this I don’t know; it surprised me. Indeed having been brought up to be slightly bohemian, think for myself and have my own opinions, I find it rather odd that I have any taboos at all.

As one of your “working thinkers” (to quote Douglas Adams) what I find distressing is that the majority of people don’t think about such things. There was a research finding a few years ago, which I now cannot place, that found 5% of people are unable to think; 5% of people can think and do so; the remaining 90% of people can think but just don’t. Even sadder is that many of this 90% are content to be told what they think by others, and that means mostly the tabloid press, politicians (who usually seem to have a vested interest) and religious bigots – plus a few cranky academics and do-gooders who manage to get “air time”. But then, despite the fuss some of this “silent majority” make, they probably don’t actually much care as long as someone keeps them in the credit card debt they’ve become attuned to.

Come on guys, wake up at the back! If you want things to get better you need to engage your brains and think through the consequences of your (our) actions. Think about the long term consequences of IVF, air travel, stem cell research. Use what brain cells you have; engage in dialogue with other people. Nobody asks that you are high-powered philosophical thinkers, just that you think as best you can about what is right and make up your own mind. If you then decide you’re happy with the consequences of these things, that’s fine. If you’re not, then you need to be heard. Doing nothing leaves those who do think to fight it out with those with vested interests – and the outcome may well not be the right one – or the one you actually want, whatever that is.

20 November 2009

Summer Dreaming Meme 2


Summer Dreaming Meme 2, originally uploaded by kcm76.

This week's Flickr meme was to choose 12 things you would find at the beach (or round the pool). Just in case anyone thought that I thought beaches were almost entirely composed of dog crap and broken glass here is another selection to hopefully prove the contrary.

As always the photographs are not mine so please click on individual links below to see each artist/photostream. This mosaic is for a group called My Meme, where each week there is a different theme and normally 12 questions to send you out on a hunt to discover photos to fit your meme. It gives you a chance to see and admire other great photographers' work out there on Flickr.

1. Beachgirls, 2. Top Twenty - Beach Girls #13, 3. Eyes wide shut..., 4. Smiling sister one, 5. Girl on Pattaya beach, 6. Jane Lecza (21), 7. Missing!!, 8. The blue towel..., 9. beautiful Volleyball, 10. Sandbox, 11. No Dear!, 12. beach topless 05

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Summer Dreaming Meme


Summer Dreaming Meme, originally uploaded by kcm76.

This week's Flickr meme was to choose 12 things you would find at the beach (or round the pool). Here are my selections ...

1. Seaweed
2. Plastic Bottles
3. Seagulls
4. Nubiles
5. Rocks
6. Used Condom
7. Ice Cream
8. Groins
9. Dog Shit
10. Shells
11. Broken Glass
12. Fossils

As always the photographs are not mine so please click on individual links below to see each artist/photostream. This mosaic is for a group called My Meme, where each week there is a different theme and normally 12 questions to send you out on a hunt to discover photos to fit your meme. It gives you a chance to see and admire other great photographers' work out there on Flickr.

1. The Green Weed of Pembroke, 2. Beach Garbage 1, 3. Heal the World, 4. Tina Atina, 5. Today's sunset, 6. Consumed, 7. Flickr meltdown (I need a fucking ice cream!), 8. ..: Sand Water Wood :.., 9. kackender hund wartet auf ballwerfendes frauchen, 10. some of the other ones, 11. heart of glass, 12. Urban Relics

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

14 November 2009

Megalopoda vitreum


Megalopoda vitreum, originally uploaded by kcm76.

Enormous and weird glass sculpture hanging like the sword of Damocles over the Information Desk in the entrace hall of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. No I don't know either!

It was a swine to photograph. It's quite interesting viewed on a black background too.

10 November 2009

Yummy Meme

Yummy Meme, originally uploaded by kcm76.

This week's Flickr meme was to choose 12 ice cream sundae ingredients ...
1. Coconut Ice Cream
2. Maraschino Cherry
3. Mint Leaves
4. Pineapple
5. Coffee Ice Cream
6. Peaches
7. Cherry Liqueur
8. Dark Chocolate Chips
9. Toasted Almonds
10. Apricots
11. Raspberry Sauce
12. Almond Biscotti

1. Coconut Ice Cream, 2. Homemade Maraschino Cherries, 3. mint leaves, 4. Pineapple Floats, 5. Blue Bunny Coffee Ice Cream Scoop, 6. The Peaches Are Ready for You to Pick!, 7. Ginjinha, 8. Dark Choc Chips, 9. toasted almonds, 10. Apricots, 11. Raspberry sauce, 12. biscotti

This has inspired Café Zen to offer their own variant as part of their Abominable Menu. It is currently being run as a special but will appear on the full menu if it proves sufficiently (un)popular ...

Yeuchy Meme, originally uploaded by kcm76.

1. Chocolate Yoghurt
2. Liquorice
3. Honeycomb
4. Marmite
5. Salt & Vinegar Crisps
6. Pernod
7. Sheep’s’ Eyes
8. Gorgonzola
9. Lemming
10. Anchovy
11. Tomato Ketchup
12. Brussels Sprouts

1. Live Culture, 2. Licorice, 3. honeycomb, 4. Marmite cat, 5. Homemade crisps, 6. eye of the sheep, 8. cheese, 9. Norwegian lemming, 10. Filleted anchovies, 11. Tomato Ketchup anyone?, 12. Braised Brussels Sprouts

As always the photographs are not mine so please click on individual links below to see each artist/photostream. This mosaic is for a group called My Meme, where each week there is a different theme and normally 12 questions to send you out on a hunt to discover photos to fit your meme. It gives you a chance to see and admire other great photographers' work out there on Flickr. Graphics created with fd's Flickr Toys.

06 November 2009

Oh bartender Meme


Oh bartender Meme, originally uploaded by kcm76.

This week's Flickr meme was "ten green bottles, a glass and a bar-tender". I guess I'd better do it 'cos the theme was my idea!

I decided to choose a rough theme for each picture: water, fly, multi-coloured, small, beer, soft drink, scent, wine, gin, absinthe, (eye)glass, bartender.

As always the photographs are not mine so please click on individual links below to see each artist/photostream. This mosaic is for a group called My Meme, where each week there is a different theme and normally 12 questions to send you out on a hunt to discover photos to fit your meme. It gives you a chance to see and admire other great photographers' work out there on Flickr.

1. Perrier bottle, 2. Green bottle, 3. Japan 2009 - Some Bottled Green Tea, 4. Green Bottles, 5. Neon green beer bottles, 6. High Rock Ginger Ale Bottle, 7. 1_perfume, 8. That Empty Feeling Inside, 9. drink to pete, 10. Absinthe bottles, 11. Monocle Dana, 12. bar cat

Created with fd's Flickr Toys