Saturday, 18 January 2020

Bits of nonsense abound - from the sublime to the ridiculous!

Here is a selection of items which convince me that the world is going crazy - or perhaps just crazier than ever.

  • Peaceful protest groups, including Greenpeace, are being included on police lists of terrorist organisations. Surely there has to be a bit of common sense working on this. 
  • Meanwhile Gwyneth Paltrow gets away with marketing very dodgy-smelling candles. Maybe she is an economic-terrorist! However, people are buying her candles!! 
  •  Then there is developer-terrorism. A developer working in some capacity on the walls surrounding the city of Chester caused a section of the ancient Roman walls to collapse. His work “compromised the integrity of the ancient monument”, said the report. Oops! The walls are rather old, the most ancient bit dating back to 120 ad. 
  • I also discovered this: “The walls are also famous for an archaic bylaw that states that any Welshman loitering within the city walls after sunset may be killed by decapitation or shot with a longbow.” I bet not many people know that. In fact, perhaps I should warn a friend of mine who lives in Wales, speaks some Welsh, and regularly travels through Chester on his way to and from the Italian conversation class. How many other cities have ancient bylaws of a similar nature? 
  • On the subject of developer-terrorism we should consider the case of Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens. What was once a rather pretty sunken garden where finely dressed ladies and gentlemen could promenade has gone through various ugly developmental incarnations and is currently a hotbed of drugs and violence after dark. Here is a link to an article about it
  • I read that Oxo is about to start selling a vegan version of its stock cubes. Okay, I thought, Oxo could make vegetable stock cubes. Lots of other stock cube companies do so already. Then I read on and found this: “Premier Foods, which is also behind brands such as Mr Kipling and Bisto gravy, said the beef-flavoured stock cubes would start appearing on supermarket shelves soon”. That’s right: BEEF-FLAVOURED. Is this because vegans really love the taste of beef? Or is it to pander to the veganuary people? 
  • And finally, here is a story from the USA: “A Kansas man has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney in a trial by combat that will settle their ongoing legal dispute. David Ostrom, 40, of Paola, Kansas, said in a 3 January court filing that his former wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, of Harlan, Iowa, and her attorney, Matthew Hudson, had “destroyed (him) legally”. The judge had the power to let the parties “resolve our disputes on the field of battle, legally,” David Ostrom said, adding in his filing that trial by combat “has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States”. He also asked the judge for 12 weeks’ time so he could secure Japanese samurai swords.” His wife does not to fight; her attorney could be her champion. 
Maybe Mr Ostrom has been studying the same old ideas for settling things as are present in the Chester bylaws.

The mind boggles.

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