Tag Archives: USA

Guns

Texas tan line

No point to this. Just made me laugh.

In the news this week a southern California man was put under 72-hour psychiatric observation when it was found he owned 100 guns and had (by rough estimate) 1-million rounds of ammunition stored in his home. The house also has a secret escape tunnel. The television reporter said: “Wow! He has about a million machine gun bullets” and the headline referred to it as a “massive weapons cache”.

By California standards, someone owning even 100,000 rounds would be called “mentally unstable.”

If he lived elsewhere, such as Arizona he’d be called “an avid gun collector”.

In Arkansas Continue reading

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New ideas. Like ’em or loathe ’em?

Here are four new ways of doing things – how hide electricity pylons, how to pay for medicare, how to get building materials up to roof level and – most importantly – how to store beer.

1. Hiding those ugly pylons. Dominic Wilcox at the Variations on Normal  blog has come up with an answer to two difficult questions at once – what to do with landfill? And how to beautify electricity pylons?

His cheaper alternative is to simply rename pylons, Mini Eiffel Towers and the public will adore them, maybe even pay to go up them Continue reading

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Things you don’t expect to see in Harlem

So I was wandering through Harlem (New York) when I saw this sign. I did a double take. Checked my surroundings. Re-checked. Yup, still in Harlem.

No – the letters on the sign haven’t been mischievously rearranged Continue reading

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I need this: How to control your local weather.

We’ve all been there. You leave home – where it’s dry, bright, pleasant, a bit warm even.

You travel thousands of miles to end up somewhere damp, drear, dank and drizzly. In my case New York.

Oi! Sort it out Bloomberg. You need to get your hands on this Qatari weather technology Continue reading

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Good news in gloomy times

Sad bad times sometimes bring forth heroes. They’re the mitigating silver lining. They’re what we focus on to avoid staring too hard at the greater despair.

Kim Hunter & David Niven, A Matter of Life and Death 1946

But they can be hard to spot, these heroes. You don’t notice them beforehand. What do they look like? Not like my idea of a hero – handsome, twirly moustache, flying jacket, gentle eyes combined with slightly cruel mouth – sorry, I’m thinking of David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death.

So for these gloomy times, here are two lots of real heroes. They don’t look a bit like David Niven.

1. Patricia Maisch – She reminds me of Hong Kong Phooey. Continue reading

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To see ourselves as others do…

You will join the Tea Party. Ah go on. Ah go on go on go on go on....

To see ourselves as others do is a concept that can be overrated. You’ll get nowhere if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, worrying about what other people think. Why give head space to the knee jerk doubters who oppose anything new almost as a matter of principle. Or as the Irish saying goes – “F**k the begrudgers”. (It’s not one you find on decorative tea towels. Nor does it include the Fr Teddishfeck“. But I find it comes in handier more often than the road rising to meet you and being in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.)

Then again…

Seen from Europe the Tea Party phenomenon seems to be fizzing with crazies, bigots, racists, ex witches, anti masturbators, science deniers, the deluded and opportunists.  But Continue reading

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Blood and Gifts or Why America is in Afghanistan

“Great men are almost always bad men.” That’s the tagline to the wonderful play, Blood and Gifts, about US involvement in Afghanistan from 1981-1991. I’ve just seen it.

That depressing opening sentence is also the missing third line from the famous and much cited quotation from Lord Acton (aka John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton):

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Continue reading

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