So it’s Brexit – but what next?

I note that Britain has voted – very narrowly – to leave the European Union and reclaim its independence as a sovereign state.  I think this is a good thing, but it raises many issues that are going to come to the fore in the months and years to come. This represents at least a temporary (and hopefully a longer-lasting) disruption of the overwhelming move by the powers that be – the top economic, political and cultural leaders of the First World – towards greater union, centralizing power under their (supposedly enlightened and benign) leadership.  They routinely pay lip service

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I think Bach would have liked it

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is probably the best-known musical work for organ in the world.  It’s routinely used as the ‘acid test’ for newly-constructed and rebuilt pipe organs;  if they can’t play it well, they need re-tuning or more extensive rebuilding.  No self-respecting classical organist would omit it from his or her repertoire.  Here’s a good version from YouTube (one of many). Courtesy of Grouchy Old Cripple, I came across this rock/metal version that’s a remarkable transcription of the piece.  I’m generally suspicious of such transcriptions of the classics, but this one is good enough that I

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Birds of discerning taste

I had to laugh at this report. Rare birds of prey have been caught stealing the underwear of skinny dippers at a popular wild swimming spot in a Highland glen. The red kites have taken pants and socks to line their nest, including designer brands such as Armani, which have helped keep four chicks warm this summer. Dave Clement, a gamekeeper on the Gannochy estate in the Angus glens, made the discovery after contacting the RSPB to have the kite chicks ringed and recorded. It is the second year in a row that he has found a variety of underwear

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So much for the unemployment figures

I’ve complained many times in these pages about how unemployment statistics are deliberately falsified by the bureaucrats who generate them.  Now comes this. … a close reading of the data suggests that economic growth is negligible, and the real unemployment rate is about 23%. That is the Shadow Government Statistics alternative unemployment rate for May 2016. Quite a contrast with the headline “official” unemployment rate of 4.7%. But upon inspection, you can see that the alarming 23% ShadowStats unemployment rate is merely unemployment calculated as it was until the Kennedy administration, when out-of-work Americans who had suspended an active search

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Misprints that cost big money

The Telegraph has an amusing gallery of misprints that ended up costing the perpetrators big money in fines, court judgments and other losses.  Here are a few examples. Last year, the High Court found Companies House liable for the downfall of Taylor & Sons Ltd, the Government website mistakenly recorded that the Cardiff engineering firm had been wound up. It was actually another company, Taylor & Son Ltd, that had gone bust. The error – just one pesky little “s” – caused the Welsh company to lose a lot of business, including a £400,000-a-month deal with Tata Steel, as partners

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“His Tremendousness”???

Looks like politics as usual in Italy – on a small scale, at least. Seborga is a hilltop village overlooking the Italian Riviera that for half a century has proclaimed itself a self-governing principality, independent of the rest of Italy. Locals insist that when it was sold in 1729 to the Savoy dynasty, the deal was not registered properly, so that when Italy was unified in 1861, Seborga was left in a legal twilight zone, belonging to no state. For the last six years the village of 320 inhabitants has been ‘ruled’ by Marcello Menegatto, 37, a businessman who styles himself

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Looks like San Diego has a compassion deficit

When you try to save taxpayers’ money by tearing down the facilities supposed to care for those unable to care for themselves (particularly the mentally deficient or incompetent) and force them out on to the streets, that’s bad enough . . . but when you deny them the streets as well, what does that make you? In late April, after jagged rocks were installed along a freeway underpass to drive out homeless encampments, a city spokesman told reporters the project was at the request of residents of Sherman Heights, a working-class neighborhood just east of the 5 Freeway, who felt

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Doofus Of The Day #913

Today’s award goes to the journalist(s) and/or editor(s) responsible for this utterly ludicrous headline: Women aren’t the only people who menstruate It is, of course, complete and utter bull.  Naturally (and I mean that both literally and figuratively) women are, indeed, the only people who menstruate!  It can’t possibly be any other way.  Those responsible for this absurd headline are stretching reality in such a pretzel-like fashion that it’s grotesque to the point of ridiculousness. From the article: When Thinx launched their line of absorbent underwear for periods, they used a slogan that seemed to make sense: “For women with

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A new perspective on the urban jungle

Photographer Andy Yeung offers us a whole new way to look at cities with his pictures of Hong Kong.  Here’s just one example.  Click the image for a larger view. There are more pictures at the link. Yeung’s photographs offer an interesting perspective on how hundreds of millions of people live today.  I can’t help but look at them and wonder how much extra stress and strain it causes to have to live under such surreal, artificial conditions – something for which Mother Nature surely never designed us.  That may have a lot to do with the urban crime problem

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Living his dream – but is it worth it?

I was sent the link to this video clip via an e-mail list to which I belong.  Watch it, then we’ll talk. I’m sure he’s enjoying himself.  I’m glad he’s able to live his dream so young . . . but what will his future be?  Is there a future in bumming around the ocean on boats, in this day and age?  Is there still room for the footloose and fancy-free life, or is the modern world antithetical to it? In my younger days, I’d have been all for something like this.  Nowadays?  I’m not so sure.  What about you,

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