Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Seats on plains, buses and potties!

Here are a couple of odd stories about seats on planes and buses. First of all this article on who "owns" the space a seat on an airplane can recline into. Some people get very territorial about it. Personally I am inclined to ask people on buses not to recline their seats as the space left for me and my legs and my book is usually very inadequate. I only do short haul flights so it's not usually a problem on planes.

 More seriously, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor and a former lawyer, Renee Rabinowitz, has recently successfully sued Israels national airline, El Al, for gender discrimination. Flight stewards can no longer request female passengers to move seats to accommodate ultra-orthodox men who do not want to sit next to them. It seems to me that if ultra-orthodox Jewish men don't want sit next to women on planes then they should not get on planes. If you want to live according to rules from a previous age, you should not expect to use the trappings of modern living!

We should congratulate Renee Rabinowitz for her successful action. "Chapeau", as the French would say. We take our hat off to her. Oddly enough, the other day I was reading a Spanish novel in which a character congratulated another on something by saying "chapo", clearly a Spanish version of the French word. Not an uncommon event, after all "croissant" has been gradually changing into "curasán".

I hear that there are plans afoot to dig up Salvador Dalí. 58 year old Pilar Abel claims that she is the daughter of the artist, the outcome of an affair her mother had with Salvador Dalí back in the 1950s. A court has decreed that the artist can be exhumed so that DNA tests can be carried put. Such are the wonders of modern technology.

Among the other odd things I have read recently is an article about potty training. Opinions abound about bringing children and how to look after your tiny baby. This one reckons that you should start potty training from birth, learning from day one to recognise the signs that your tiny one is about to pee or poo and holding the minuscule bottom over a little potty. Enthusiasts say that babies learn quickly and thus you can be environmentally friendly by not using disposable nappies or even having to use detergents on terry nappies. “Also, it’s fun,” adds Amber Hatch, author of a book on the subject. “It’s really confidence-boosting to hold a squirming baby over a potty and see them do a wee or poo. You get this instant feedback. And cleaning them is much easier: just one quick wipe and you’re done. It’s not a big operation on a changing table using hundreds of wipes. It’s quite a pleasant way of dealing with your baby’s wee and poo.”

It strikes me that Ms Hatch is perhaps a little too obsessed with these bodily functions! Surely other aspects of child development are more fulfilling. Our daughter delights in all sorts of things that her tiny daughter achieves but somehow she has missed the boat on potty training as the child is now almost ten months old!

So it goes!  

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