Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.
E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)
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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.
( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
The Old Comrades:
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Friday, February 28, 2003
Oh, all right then. What is the hypercubic root of 4096? Whose last words were "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..."? Who scored 6996 runs in 52 Test Matches? Will any of her colleagues at the Guardian ever speak to Julie Burchill again after a no-punches-pulled column like this one? Finally, for a bonus point, did the sub-editor who wrote the headline actually read the column or was he just going by what he thought it would say?
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Blogging hiatus coming up. I will be away from the middle of the month and have a lot to do in the next two weeks. No time for blogging, I'm afraid. Dry your tears. I will be back at the beginning of March.
Her vigilance never sleeps. Moira Breen has spotted Dr Frank who has the facts you need about unconscious irony from the LA Times, Julie Burchill on the road to Damascus and mistranslated subtitles to the Lord of the Rings.
BTW, no one is going to believe me on this, but I tell you it is uncanny how often I spontaneously go to link to someone, no checking of referrer logs or nuffink, and find the someone has linked to me. Then I have a dilemma. It looks so uncool to make the planned link since a cynical world is sure to think that I make it only so that the reader will see the bit that says, Natalie Solent is more wholesome than expensive unsliced bread with mysterious gritty bits in it and fuller of beneficial alpha-linolenic acid than oily fish. Yet if I don't link, my readers miss out on whatever wit or wisdom had caught my eye and I provide a peverse incentive for no one to ever say nice things about me.
That's a roundabout way of saying that you can skip the bit about me and go straight to the interesting discussion about the professor who refused to recommend a creationist student on Moira's blog. And she's looking forward to processing Oregon's poorest for wolf-chow, too.
Malta, according to my sister who went there on a school trip decades ago and so knows all about it, has nice people but basically "looks like a great big Digestive biscuit."
Be that as it may, among the many threads contributed by the island to the tapestry of world history are the Knights, the Great Siege of 1565, the second Great Siege of 1941 and Peter Briffa's stiletto.
So I'm already pro Malta. And if they help save Europe by their example for a third time I shall be still more so.
(Scroll up from that last link for some careful analysis of what's going on in Zimbabwe, too.)
David Aaronovitch in fine form, having snuck in on Tony Benn's interview with Saddam Hussein somehow.
Monday, February 03, 2003
Watched Austin Powers again last night. The scene where all Doctor Evil's ideas for catastrophes with which to threaten the world turn out to have already happened was pretty funny. And, let's face it, the toilet scene is a hoot, ashamed though I am to say it. But the absolute funniest line of all was when the UN spokesman said "It is not the policy of the UN to negotiate with terrorists."
A delightful irony. Hunting with hounds may be the only way to deal with mink, says a report by Alun Michael, rural affairs minister. It seems that unlike other pest control methods such as traps, mink hounds only go for mink, and leave otters and other animals unscathed. But why are mink wreaking havoc with the ecosystem of British rivers at all, given that they are not native to this country? Because animal rights activists released them from mink farms, that's why. Great CV line for an animal rights activist: I saved the hunts from being banned! Heeheehee.
"India, out of cheetahs, seeks to clone" says the New York Times. It's not a personal ad put in the paper by a rich animal-loving girl called India.
Turkeyblog has a response up to my earlier post:
"And the argument that I was making was not that we wait so we could enjoy their help, but that we are waiting - even as evidence against Iraq builds - so that we can either shame them into living up to their committments or leave an absolutely clear public record of their moral unseriousness."
First time round I didn't follow this link to an article on Developmentally Appropriate Practice while reading Joanne Jacobs. Something prompted me to go back to it, though. It's delicious. Just look at this smoothly cynical take on why this rather unsuccessful theory is still popular:
"The broader explanation is that NAEYC made a mistake common to groups that aim to help other people’s children using other people’s money: It assessed cost, risk, and benefit from its own standpoint rather than that of the taxpayers and intended beneficiaries. The result was unintended harm.
Saturday, February 01, 2003
I feel numbed by this news. There's a line from a Leslie Fish song written when Challenger went down: "You lived the dream I had dreamed..."
Rand Simberg has worked on shuttles. See what he has to say.
Dale Amon also knows a lot about the shuttle and is following the story closely.
As for the crew, may they rest in peace. And may we not rest, neither in peace nor in war. Mankind should be in space. Why?
For early warning of catastrophes that may strike our planet, and a chance to avert them,
for profit and for practical knowledge,
for raw materials and zero-g manufacturing,
for health research and recovery from injury,
for the beautiful photos,
for a passion honoured by every age but ours: glory, be it personal, national or international,
for new places to live, eventually,
as proof of what human beings can do without that superstition about god - and to know the marvels of His creation,
and for sheer joy.
Space shuttle Columbia is feared lost.