Thursday, 13 February 2014

After the storm and a lot of hot air.

Well, the trees at the bottom the garden are still standing, neither cut down nor blown down in the night by the storm, despite reported 100 mile per hour winds! The evidence of those winds is all around: bits of tree on pavements all over the place this morning. Lots of snapped branches but so far I have not seen any trees blown down. I’m a little tired of rain and wind now. It’s time for a change. 

My daughter has been a little concerned about her 13 year old cousin who recently posted a video on Facebook of himself doing his “Neknomination”. However, to everyone’s relief the cocktail he was “necking” was milk and Pepsi: a pretty disgusting mix I should think. At least it was harmless! Sorry to harp on about this silly game but I keep reading about it. I can remember days when young men (and occasionally women but mostly men) were challenged to “down a pint in one” but it was usually a pint of bitter, not some mix of strong alcohol that was going to put you instantly into alcoholic poisoning! 

According to Jackie Ashley, writing in the Guardian, “It is probably something to do with the development of the brain and the simple pleasure of the adrenaline rush. People of this age unlike those of us who are older, seem blissfully insouciant about physical danger. If you doubted it for a second, watch the Winter Olympics snowboarding.” 

When did snowboarding become an Olympic sport? Isn’t it just skate-boarding on snow? 

However, it seems that Jackie Ashley is right about people trying dangerous things for the adrenalin rush. Here’s a link to a video of a group of people trying, unsuccessfully to do a tightrope walk between two hot air balloons over the Alps. I find myself asking, once again, why? Do I have an underdeveloped sense of adventure? It really never occurs to me to try such things. Even seeing other people do them gives me vertigo. 

My daughter and I have also been talking about names. This is because her brother’s wife has just had a baby and we were just a little doubtful about the name chosen. This is one of the consequences of working in education: whatever seemingly delightful name someone chooses for their offspring, you can guarantee that you have met several rather unsavory characters of the same name. We have reconciled ourselves to the choice; it’ll be fine! And then I read about name problems in Mexico. 

It seems that a new law has been introduced in the northern Mexican state of Sonora banning parents from registering names for their children defined by the authorities as "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning". When you find out that they’ve been calling children things like Burger King, USNavy, or even Hitler, you can see where they are coming from. The Sonora banned name list includes Anivdelarev, an abbreviation of the Spanish for "anniversary of the revolution" that is often printed on calendars and is sometimes mistaken by parents as the name of a saint associated with that date. Harry Potter and Hermione are also banned, as are Batman, Robocop and James Bond! 

Maybe some of those names would encourage them to try daring and silly sports and pastimes. You never know!

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