Sunday, 1 March 2020

Bits of oddness - nationalities and such!

The 1st March is Saint David’s Day. So Happy Saint David’s Day to all the Welsh. It is also Balearics Day apparently. Who knew? I suppose every dog has his day.

We travelled to Pontevedra today have lunch with our friend Colin. Ticket machines were down at Vigo’s Guixar station so they gave us a slip of paper saying that we had permission to pay for our journey on the train. Once last year we were on the last minute for the train and by-passed the ticket office, planning to purchase out tickets on the train. We received a fair ticking off from the guard on the train. Such behaviour is frowned upon! It could have been worse. If you try that on the Manchester trams, they have the right to charge you a large amount of money for what they call the “standard ticket”.

We had a very nice Moroccan lunch, by the way.

This morning I caught sight of a report about people putting dry ice into a swimming pool at a party, wanting to create a bit of an atmosphere. I don’t even know where this took place but it seems that the chemical reaction caused some deaths. I was reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut’s science fiction story “Cat’s Cradle” where something called “ice nine” led to the freezing of the oceans and, indeed, of all the earth. And so civilisation ends through carelessness!

I was also reminded of a concert we attended, also long years ago, where the smoke machine someone had set in motion on the stage caused the singer Suzanne Vega to have an asthma attack, delaying the start of the concert. The best laid plans sometimes go wrong.

In the modern world with the fear of experts running wild, I read this about Mary Beard:-

“She is Britain’s best known classicist, a Cambridge don with formidable intellect and a knack for getting people interested in all things ancient. That combination of passionate erudition and accessibility would, you might think, make Mary Beard a shoo-in for the board of the country’s most prestigious historical institution. You would be wrong. The 65-year-old scholar has been rejected by Downing Street as a trustee of the British Museum, the Observer understands.

Whitehall sources said the decision last year to turn her down had been made because of her pro-European views, which she has frequently expressed via social media. Now, in response to the first rejection of a proposed British Museum trustee by No 10 for many years, the museum is understood to be planning to take matters into its own hands and appoint Beard without the lengthy and sometimes byzantine process of the Whitehall system.”

The weirdness of the modern world is astounding. Take the naming of weather!

As Storm Jorge approaches, I have been told that some people, British of course, have posted stuff on twitter complaining that the Spaniards named the storm. It should have been given a female name beginning with E, according to the system which some people believe we work by. And they ask did we leave the EU for this?

I have another question for them: what about storms named by Ireland? The last I heard Ireland was still in the EU!

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