Friday, 15 November 2019

Fickle weather. Odd beliefs. Animal welfare.

My alarm rings. I hear the rain beating down outside and press the snooze button. Some time later it rings again. I still hear the rain beating down outside but switch the alarm off. I doze. Then I decide that, despite my avowed, if not fondness for, at least acceptance of and tolerance for and even resignation to running in the rain, this morning it is not going to happen. Besides I am dropping off to sleep again. So I reset the alarm for later, but not for too much later. After all, I want to be up and about before the morning has disappeared altogether. And I settle back down for a bit more sleep.

Of course the very act of setting the alarm has woken me up sufficiently so that I no longer drift back to sleep as easily as I would if there were no alarm set. This is an aspect of Sod’s Law!

And, of course, the sound of the rain disappears. By the time I get up the sky is remarkably blue and the rain has gone. Another aspect if Sod’s Law.

This is the northwest of England though, and we are very close to the foothills of the Pennines so the fine weather is naturally short-lived. By midday the cloud is back with a vengeance and the rain is not far behind. I have, however, missed my chance for a fine-weather run this morning. So it goes!

At least we don’t have floods.

Neither do we have problems of water shortage or a problem with our drinking water. I found this article about the indigenous people of Southern Mexico drinking enormous amounts of Coca Cola. Because of a policy of charging slightly lower prices for their product in that region Coca Cola is actually slightly cheaper to buy than bottled water, an important consideration where even those fortunate enough to have running water in their homes cannot rely on its quality for drinking.
Before we hold our hands up in horror, we should remember that there was a time when working people in England would drink small beer, even children, because the water quality was not good!

The odd thing about the Southern Mexico situation is that Coca Cola has been absorbed into religious ceremonies and is believed to have healing properties. Well, I used to know people who regarded Coca Cola as an integral part of a hangover cure! But such is the faith in Coca Cola among the Southern Mexicans that the increased number of people now suffering from type 2 diabetes do not accept that they should give up drinking the stuff!

People believe all sorts of odd things. Here’s a link to an article about someone who believes that animals should be given the right to vote. One argument is that animals already understand democracy; when 60% of a herd of deer stands up they all accept that it is time to get moving. Okay! But it’s not quite the same as voting. Now, I know that animals are intelligent. There’s a news story going round about a dog owner, possibly a speech therapist or linguist, who has taught her dog to communicate via a series of buttons which he presses to communicate his wishes. He can communicate quite complex things such as his desire to go for a walk after eating. Splendid! But can he have philosophical discussions?

And on the radio news the other evening I heard a feature about obesity domestic pets. There was lots of advice on how to get your dog to exercise more and even how to persuade your cat, a pet much less likely to demand to go for a walk, to be more active. This is all interesting stuff but does it really merit a slot on a national news broadcast.

Is this a slow news thing?

Or is it a diversionary tactic to take our attention away from more important matters?

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