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Posts Tagged ‘personal’

Owa Taphoo Lamai

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14:1

As many a wit has told me over the years, my birthday being on the first day of April means that I must be a fool. Ho ho. As you might imagine, Gentle Reader, constant repetition by people who never stopped to think that I just might have heard it a few hundred times before has made the "joke" something of a sore point.

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Well it's an even-numbered year, which means only one thing. The Post Office's Christmas stamps are on a secular theme, and a thousand and one blithering idiots with too much time on their hands and persecution complexes bigger than a very big mountain of very big things, will be whining and moaning that the Post Office, for some vague reason probably connected to Militant Secularism™, are trying to ban Christianity. Because that's what post offices do. Obviously.

This post began life as an attempt to put that straight by listing the basic theme of every set of Christmas stamps since 1966, when the tradition began. And that would have been as boring as hell. But along the way, it kind of grew into a collection of digressions loosely held together by a list of stamps. We have Joyce Grenfell in there, and a short discussion of the slang pertaining to British coinage, and many other brief but, I hope, interesting and amusing snippets of trivia, reminiscence and opinion.

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This isn't a blog-post, per se. I merely want to gather together several answers that I've had to give over and over again in discussions elsewhere during the last few months, so I can just provide a link instead of retyping the damn things, as I say, over and over again.

So, okay, here goes…

No, the court decision was not an attempt to subvert democracy, or to block brexit. The court merely pointed out that article fifty cannot be invoked unless it be by a decision of Parliament. Not the Prime Minister, not the governing party. Parliament. You know, the body you allegedly voted to return power to, thus wresting it from the grasping hands of the Evil EU™. If anyone is currently holding up the process, it is May's government, who are refusing to obey the law of the land in this matter, by not allowing Parliament to act. (This is not new behaviour for May, she having, as Home Secretary, been found to be in contempt of court for refusing to release a time-served prisoner after being expressly instructed by the court to do so.) Talking of which…

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On Glamour Magazine & Bono

"Bono Just Became Glamour's First Man of the Year," exclaims the headline at Glamour Magazine. Note that it does not say, contra to the claims of reporters and commentators seemingly everywhere, that he's been named Woman of the Year, and most definitely not the Woman of the Year.

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How Many Days In A Month?

Mother very thoughtfully made a jam sandwich under no protest.

That, Gentle Reader, is a now-outdated mnemonic for the order of the planets going outwards from the sun. (The T is for Terra, an alternative name for the Earth.) The suggestions for non-Plutonian versions given on The Fount Of All Knowledge™ seem lacking to me in that, unlike the above, they omit the asteroid belt; but I must admit I do quite like "Mary's 'virgin' explanation made Joseph suspect upstairs neighbour."

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Is There A Mathematician In The House?

So, what it is; I'm hoping for help from a mathematician, should one happen to read this. But first, a complaint, the discussion of which may well end up taking longer than the actual topic…

The commonly given definition of a mathematical exponent (rather than an exponent of mathematics, which would be an enthusiastic maths teacher; I'm here all week, folks!) is that it represents how many times a given number should be multiplied by itself. Even as a child—a rather pedantic child, I should admit, but I know for a fact that I wasn't the only one—when I was given this explanation by a maths teacher, I found it both misleading and ambiguous.

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Since I'm now an over-fifty, I'm officially old enough to make posts about how youngsters these days don't know how lucky they are, compared to the days of my yoof, when we had to make our own entertainment out of clods of earth, pocket-fluff and string (the hairy Post Office kind). And since I was wittering on, a while back, about it being a good thing that vinyl makes cherry-picking of favourite tracks more difficult, let's consider what we did when we did want to have a bunch of favourites play one after the other.

These days, of course, creating a playlist is easy. Drag 'n' drop as many files as you want into your preferred music playing program, re-order to taste, and Bob's yer aunty's significant other; one playlist, created in seconds or minutes. And if you like the list enough, you can save it as a playlist file (.m3u or whatever), and have your very own compilation album, available for your listening pleasure at a couple of mouse-clicks. And there's no limit on the duration of the thing, either. (Billy music player* informs me that a playlist consisting of all of the contents of my main music folder, for instance, is three weeks, five days, twelve hours, forty-seven minutes and twenty-nine seconds long.)

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