27 February 2008
- Independent, 27 February 2008"I have said that drug-takers are out, which upset the people of Amsterdam where the entire population seems to be on drugs," he explained. "I have also said that I don't want a communist, because they would give it all away and because I don't think Stalin was any good, or Castro."I don't want homosexuals, because they don't breed. I don't want Guardian readers, because this is a Guardian-free household. Independent readers are marginal.
"I had an email from Papua New Guinea and sent them a reply. I'd rather like to go there, although there aren't any Slades in Papua New Guinea, but I do worry about getting eaten or speared. So I sent them an email saying, 'Do your women have bones in their noses and if they have them how then can I give them a bit of tonguey?'
"I also asked about bows and arrows. I said we hadn't used them since Agincourt. I never got a reply. I suppose it's lucky no one got hold of the email; it could have got me in an awful lot of trouble."
'There is a greater chance that I would dye my hair green and get tattoos all over my body and do a rock tour with Amy Winehouse'
25 February 2008
24 February 2008
14 February 2008
The American writer Chuck Klosterman said recently that, having for years experimented with a litany of abstract responses when asked this question, he has started to say, with some honesty as well as accuracy, "Music that sounds like the opening 14 seconds of Humble Pie's 'I Don't Need No Doctor', as performed live on their 1971 album Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore".
Now, never having heard this record, I couldn't comment, but apparently it has the desired effect, the reply having the added bonus of significantly changing the conversation, or ending it entirely'
- Dylan Jones, The Independent Magazine, 26 January 2008
- 'Dumb and Dumber: Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?', New York Times, 14 February 2008'A popular video on YouTube shows Kellie Pickler, the adorable platinum blonde from "American Idol," appearing on the Fox game show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" during celebrity week. Selected from a third-grade geography curriculum, the $25,000 question asked: "Budapest is the capital of what European country?" Ms. Pickler threw up both hands and looked at the large blackboard perplexed. "I thought Europe was a country," she said. Playing it safe, she chose to copy the answer offered by one of the genuine fifth graders: Hungary. "Hungry?" she said, eyes widening in disbelief. "That's a country? I've heard of Turkey. But Hungry? I've never heard of it."[...]Ms. Jacoby said, something different is happening: anti-intellectualism (the attitude that "too much learning can be a dangerous thing") and anti-rationalism ("the idea that there is no such things as evidence or fact, just opinion") have fused in a particularly insidious way. Not only are citizens ignorant about essential scientific, civic and cultural knowledge, she said, but they also don't think it matters. She pointed to a 2006 National Geographic poll that found nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds don't think it is necessary or important to know where countries in the news are located. So more than three years into the Iraq war, only 23 percent of those with some college could locate Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel on a map.
The author of seven other books, she was a fellow at the library when she first got the idea for this book back in 2001, on 9/11. Walking home to her Upper East Side apartment, she said, overwhelmed and confused, she stopped at a bar. As she sipped her bloody mary, she quietly listened to two men, neatly dressed in suits. For a second she thought they were going to compare that day's horrifying attack to the Japanese bombing in 1941 that blew America into World War II:
"This is just like Pearl Harbor," one of the men said.
The other asked, "What is Pearl Harbor?"
"That was when the Vietnamese dropped bombs in a harbor, and it started the Vietnam War," the first man replied.
At that moment, Ms. Jacoby said, "I decided to write this book."
13 February 2008
12 February 2008
"We did something nice for them because they wanted a harbour view, which I kinda thought was funny because they're blind ... but we put them in a nice room," he said.
'The newly-formed trio performed the Cheeky Girls' hit Touch My Bum and the Right Said Fred number I'm Too Sexy before an audience of MPs at the Intercontinental Hotel in central London. But Mr Pound - who dressed up as Queen guitarist Brian May at last year's event - said he was "so overcome with terminal embarrassment" he could barely look at the crowd. "I think they viewed it with a mixture of disgust and pity," joked the MP'
08 February 2008
07 February 2008
06 February 2008
Zen parable or just someone being cruel?
[Source: Oliver Burkeman, 'This Column Will Change Your Life', Guardian Weekend magazine, 2 February 2008. Burkeman's article uses the phrase 'fridge-magnet wisdom' to describe some contemporary 'pop Zen' philosophy - which is a phrase worth remembering for your next wine and cheese evening...]
01 February 2008
For myself, I do differentiate between 'near' and 'square' -- although I can usually guess what shabbily-dressed young people are trying to say. I've even become acclimatized to television advertisements for a company called "Ear New Zealand" (apparently they also have a fleet of planes)'
- David Haywood, Southerly