26 November 2010

Quotes of the Week

Sorry, not too many posts recently as I've been too preoccupied with other things. But here's this week's selection of quotes ...
In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.
[Andre Maurois]

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
[Thomas Jefferson]

This is what you shall do: Be loyal to what you love, Be true to the Earth, and Fight your enemies with passion and laughter.
[Edward Abbey]

If you were addressing humankind, and all its groups were listening, what advice would you give?
The best advice I think was given by Douglas Adams: DON’T PANIC.
[Arthur C Clarke]

And finally a somewhat longer than usual offering:
Reasons briefly set down by th'author, to perswade every one to learne to sing.
First, it is a knowledge safely taught and quickly learned, where there is a good Master, and an apt Scholler.
2 The exercise of singing is delightfull to Nature, & good to preserve the health of Man.
3 It doth strengthen all parts of the brest, & doth open the pipes.
4 It is a singular good remedie for a stutting and stamering in the speech.
5 It is the best means to procure a perfect pronounciation, & to make a good Orator.
6 It is the onely way to know where Nature hath bestowed the benefit of a good voyce : which guift is so rare, as there is not one among a thousand, that hath it.
7 There is not any Musicke of Instruments whatsoever, comparable to that which is made of the voyces of Men, where the voyces are good, and the same well sorted and ordered.
8 The better the voyce is, the meeter it is to honour and serve God there-with : and the voyce of man is chiefely to bee imployed to that ende.
"Omnis Spiritus Laudes Dominum"
Since Singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learn to sing.
[William Byrd c1543-1623; Psalms, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie (1588) ]

23 November 2010

Quote; Growing Up

Marriage is not about happiness ... it’s about growing up. All of life is – but grown ups have the most pleasure and fun!

[Corey Allan]

18 November 2010

Quotes of the Week

This week's rather scrawny crop ...
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign – that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
[Jonathan Swift]

The more we learn about irrational beliefs, the clearer it becomes that they are perfectly normal
[Editorial, New Scientist, 13/11/2010]

You can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in.
[Arlo Guthrie]

You are not what you were born, but what you have it in yourself to be.
[From the film Kingdom of Heaven (2005)]

Contrasting Attitudes towards Sex

I've just come across this interesting contrast between (mainland) European** and American attitudes toward sex – especially teenage sex. It says a lot about the relative incidence of teenage pregnancy and STIs between the US and Europe. Check out these adverts for a visual demonstration of the differences and decide for yourself which approach is the better and more healthy (for mind and body) – you might find an arousal of your interest.

** Sadly the UK is more in line with America than mainland Europe.

Hat-tip: MySexProfessor.com

12 November 2010

Freedom to Disrespect

Several friends have today posted this on Facebook:
Yesterday a group of Muslims broke the 2 minutes silence in central London, with banners "British Soldiers Burn In Hell" & the burning of a poppy. If you don't like us English people paying respect for our brave fighters, then you know where the airport is. Disgusting, disrespectful b***ards. Copy and paste this if you're English, and proud. RIP all those who lost their lives.

Much as I dislike the current sycophantic "poppy-fest" (see here) I too find such reactions (by anyone) disrespectful and even obscene. However the objectors have every right to their opinions and to voice them – however distasteful it is to us. Just as we have every right to call them (probably untruthfully) "b***ards" etc. – however much they dislike it. It is called "freedom of speech" and is what we pay our "brave fighters" to defend and uphold. Freedom of speech works both ways! And to see it thus makes me no less proud to be British.

Let's keep in mind the words of two old-time great Americans, perhaps two of the world's greatest ever statesmen ...
Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.
[Benjamin Franklin]

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
[Abraham Lincoln]

... and finally ...
The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.
[Benjamin Franklin]

11 November 2010

Quotes of the Week

Thin pickings again this week, partly I suspect as I've not been reading as much due to this ****ing cold I can't get rid of. Anyway here are the best four ...
Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
[Thomas Huxley]

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.
[Somerset Maugham]

War divides pretty neatly into the twin activities of "fighting" and "running away".
[Ben Miller; The Times, Eureka; 11/2010]

Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?
[Al Boliska]

10 Song Shuffle

OK, Cat tagged me on Facebook, so here goes (after I've had a bite of lunch) ...

What You Do
Once you've been tagged...(1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer.(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.(3) Write down the first 10 songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please.(4) Choose 10 people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you.

If I tagged you, it's because I'm betting that your musical selection is entertaining, or at least amusing. To do this on Facebook, go to "NOTES" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, enter your 10 Shuffle Songs, Tag as many people as you like (under the post) then click Publish. Otherwise post this on your weblog, as here!

The Songs
1. Pink Floyd; Wish You were Here
2. Incredible String Band; No Sleep Blues
3. Scott Joplin; Paragon Rag
4. Queen; Killer Queen
5. Vejvanovsk√Ĺ (Pavel Josef, c1633-1693); Beatus Vir (Psalm 112)
6. Trionfi! A Florentine Festival; Canto di Lanzi sonatoridi rubecchina
7. Ludford (Nicholas, c1485-c1557); Gloria from Missa Benedicta et Venerabilis
8. Santo Domingo de Silos; Benedicta es tu Virgo Maria
9. Queen; Bicycle Race
10. Beatles; Here Comes the Sun

I tagged 10 people on Facebook, but from here I also tag Sue L.; Jilly at jillysheep; and Noreen at Norn's Notebook.

Wanky Science

Those of you who share my convictions about the importance of openness in sexuality and body image my like to read this short article on the Science of Masturbation from Newsweek.

The basic tenet of the article is that there is a lot of scientific evidence that masturbation is good for the species and for passing on your genes – and that isn't a counter-intuitive as it sounds. Unfortunately, and despite being written by a woman, the article deals almost exclusively with male masturbations; you girlies get only a paragraph at the end.

Even if you don't share my convictions you maybe ought to read it – it may change your views. And if you have boy children it may help you (and them) come to appreciate and understand something which is an important part of male sexuality and not something to be hidden in the broom cupboard.

09 November 2010

Not a Remembrance Day Poppy

Hibiscus, originally uploaded by kcm76.

Something to cheer everyone up a bit on this dull, grey, wet and windy November week.

Having spent the summer outside on the patio enjoying sun and rain our Hibiscus has recently been brought into the kitchen for the winter and is sending out new shoots and leaves and is still flowering!

04 November 2010

Quotes of the Week

I'm beginning to think that quotations found are like London buses: they come in threes; last week there was a dearth of good quotes; this week we have a glut. Here are the best of this week's crop.
Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
[Mary Tyler Moore]

Chance favours the prepared mind.
[Louis Pasteur]

I wish someone had explained those two to me when I was young. Equally the following, told me by my barber hairdresser also explains a lot.
My brain is going. It's not my age; it's my thinning hair. Where the hair falls out the vacant pores let in water, so when my head gets wet the water mixes with the electricity in the brain. Not good!
[Clive Dodd]

Mind you it would be good if more people understood the next ...
What people should expect is 100% energy and 100% effort. What no government can guarantee is 100% success.
[Dr John (Lord) Reid; former Labour Cabinet Minister]

But then we could do with a lot of politicians understanding these next three ...
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
[Shakespeare; Henry VI Part 2, IV:ii]

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.
[Benjamin Disraeli]

Man, unlike animals, has never learned that the sole purpose in life is to enjoy it.
[Samuel Butler]

02 November 2010

London's Night Sky in November

Amusing post today by diamond geezer on London's night sky in November. His graphic, linked below, and commentary are amusing but also a sad reflection on just how little we Londoners do see of the starry spheres.

There's more on light pollution and the need for dark skies on the International Dark-Sky Association website.