A long overdue ‘green’ solution

Those of you who’ve lived or traveled in the Third World will know all too well the many problems faced by rural (and some urban) dwellers. – Sewage works are often not available at all, resulting in a ‘night soil’ bucket operation that makes the area smell to high heaven; – When sewage treatment works are available, they’re often no more than concentrators of sewage from an area, which is then discharged into the nearest river or stream. Those above the discharge point are OK, but the water downstream is polluted for many miles; – Electricity and/or gas supplies are

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Most emphatically NOT what I want for Christmas!

I’m aghast at the lengths to which some people will go in pursuit of their ‘art’ – to use the term loosely, of course. Thailand’s ‘Scorpion Queen’ might disagree with me, of course . . . Thailand’s self-proclaimed “Scorpion Queen” has set a new world record by holding a live seven-inch scorpion in her mouth for just over two minutes. In a feat worthy of the reality television programme ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’, Kanchana Kaetkaew, 39, allowed her husband, Boonthawee Siangwong, to place the writhing poisonous arachnid on her tongue, where it stayed for two minutes

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In light-hearted Christmas vein . . .

I’m still enjoying the Twelve Days of Christmas, although not many Americans seem to celebrate the feast for the full period. I found two posts on other blogs that had me cackling into my tea today, and I wanted to share them with you. The first is from John Scalzi – “How You Know It’s Not Santa”. A few guidelines: His beard smells like your Uncle Dave’s glaucoma medicine. His elves have prison tattoos. He asks if you’d like to try some of his Prancer jerky. He describes the Baby Jesus as “the competition.” He burps in your face and

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Thanks, Atomic Nerds!

A neighbor returned from a short Christmas vacation today, and this afternoon came over bearing a large cardboard box. It seems it was addressed to me, but the Big Brown Truck of Happiness dropped it at his house instead, probably a day or two before Christmas. Fortunately, they left it on a table in his carport, so it was undamaged by the heavy rains we’ve experienced in recent days. It was from Labrat and Stingray, the Atomic Nerds. They very thoughtfully sent a large bag of cookies and another of cocoa mixture. Having read Matt‘s comments about the cocoa being

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Doofus Of The Day #132 – a doofus of burning love!

There are so many songs this brings to mind . . . but I don’t think this is what the poets have in mind when they speak of being ‘on fire for’ someone! A Swedish man’s attempt to impress his girlfriend on Friday night backfired, putting him in the hospital with serious burn injuries and facing allegations of endangering the public. The woman told police in Västervik in south eastern Sweden that her boyfriend poured gasoline over his arm and set the fuel on fire. “It obviously didn’t go well. He burned his arm and other parts of his body

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An atheist looks at Christian missions in Africa

I was intensely interested to read Matthew Parris‘ views on the value of Christian missions in Africa today. Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it’s Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work. It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I’ve been trying to banish

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Britain’s new aircraft-carriers

Last weekend I published Weekend Wings #30, which examined the US Navy’s carrier-borne aviation, present and future. In the process, I looked at what other countries were operating and building in the aircraft-carrier line, including the Royal Navy’s proposed Queen Elizabeth-class carriers. In an article today, the Daily Mail takes a closer look at these carriers, including photographs of a model of the ship. Click the pictures for a larger view. It’s a 1:200 scale model of what will be the two biggest warships Britain has ever launched – the 65,000-ton HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince Of Wales. Each

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I’ve been tagged – but there’s no way!

Clarence Grad 72 ‘tagged’ me yesterday to participate in her blog meme. Now the interesting part – tagging other bloggers that haven’t already posted pictures! Here’s the rules and the blogs: 1. Take a picture of yourself.. riiiiiight.. NOW!2. DO NOT change your clothes. DO NOT fix your hair.. Just take a picture.3. Post that picture with NO editing.4. Post these instructions with your picture.5. Tag 10 people to do this! Here goes, with no particular rhyme or reason: 1. The Boomer Chronicles2. Mary Kunz Goldman3. Notes From An Inquisitive Mind4. Bayou Renaissance Man5. XUP6. Ramblings By Reba7. Nihil Obstat8.

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Trust the Marines to make Christmas memorable!

I’m obliged to my buddy, SSgt. M., USMC, for e-mailing me the link to this video. He’s in the sandbox right now, and knows some of those who made it. It seems that members of the 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines wanted to commemorate Christmas in Iraq: so they re-wrote the words to the carol, “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”, and performed it on video. Here it is, in all its . . . er . . . well, perhaps ‘glory’ isn’t the word to use! For those who had trouble distinguishing the words, here are the

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Trivia and odd names of 2008

Two articles in the Daily Mail had me chuckling this evening. The first looks at trivia questions put to a British company, Any Question Answered, during the past year. For your entertainment, here are a few examples. Who got more fan mail than The Beatles? – Hitler received more during the Thirties and Forties than The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Madonna combined. How many chickens do we eat in our lifetime? – In the UK we eat, on average, 1,200 chickens each during our lifetime. That’s 1,800 kilos of chicken meat, the same as eating a four-year-old elephant. Can

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