Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The mammary maze

We regularly take Granddaughter to a number of soft play centres, but one in particular seems to be a popular venue for breast-feeding mothers. Public breast-feeding is hardly an uncommon sight these days, but when a chap is just sitting there minding his own business and sipping a coffee amid hordes of shrieking kids he has to know where the suckling zones are. This is particularly true when there are a number of them scattered around the venue.

I’m not sure what the etiquette is with public breast-feeding, but that may well be an age issue. Does one act cool and smile at the life-affirming freedom it seems to represent? Possibly not; leers and smiles can be similar. I suppose male staring is bound to be frowned on or worse, but what constitutes staring? Hard to say with any accuracy, but in this case I prefer to be on the safe side. I assume a stare is where the gaze lingers for more than a few milliseconds.

Yes it’s tight, but we live in a socially tight world and one has to be tooled up for it so to speak. The trouble is even a slightly lingering gaze has two fundamental problems. Firstly a chap may come across as somewhat dim if he appears to take an age working out what exactly is going on. Secondly – well that one is really, really obvious.

So what to do? For obvious reasons it is no good sitting there at the table staring into space with an unfocussed gaze. If a sudden bout of suckling were to occur within what another person could deem to be one’s line of sight -

No it is better to remain focussed and aware without actually looking anywhere in particular. As for keeping an eye on Granddaughter as she flits around, that’s okay as long as I take good care to remember that my line of sight must be as nimble as she is and skip lightly over certain areas.

Life was certainly easier when kids just went outside to jump in puddles and climb trees.

Monday, 24 April 2017

"Oui" for the status quo?

Results of the first round by department
     Emmanuel Macron      Marine Le Pen      François Fillon
     Jean-Luc Mélenchon

So the first round of the 2017 French presidential election has resulted in a run-off between Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! and Marine Le Pen of the National Front to be held on May 7th.

I am merely a casual observer of French politics, but establishment stooge Emmanuel Macron seems to have it in the bag. As someone who didn't foresee Brexit or Trump, third time lucky is my technical approach to this one.

Not an inspiring choice of candidates but an interesting geographical divide. No doubt the EU establishment will be all over Macron while a Le Pen victory is portrayed as akin to Hitler entering Paris.

Should be interesting though, because political divides appear to be deepening. That's the interesting aspect in my book, the political divide. Are people beginning to realise that the establishment is not their friend?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Appeal to authority


From powerline


The “March for Science” is underway today, featuring the usual mountebanks like Michael Mann and Bill Nye. Liberals sure are fond of marching. It is doubtful that this march represents a true cross-section of actual scientists, but you never know. In any case, the whole thing parodies itself, making our job easy.

How anyone could take the trouble to make that placard without grasping its import I've no idea. The inability to doubt must be in there somewhere.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Earth Day Laughs

Principia-Scientific has eighteen examples of predictions made around 1970 when Earth Day started. It is sobering but not surprising to see how absurd people can be when thrust into the public arena. All the predictions are worth reading, but here are my three favourites -

13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years).

16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

We seem to have reached the point where we may as well dismiss as drivel any story about the environment published by mainstream media where there is an element of drama. It is not an unreasonable default position.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Blue sky

A recent photo. 

Can't imagine myself doing that. It's probably wonderful, but how one deals with a lurid imagination and all that empty air beneath the feet I've no idea.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Changing the story

This is interesting if you haven't already seen it.

WUWT has a post about the New York Times regularly editing stories after publication, sometimes substantially. A website called logs the different versions published by a few major mainstream news sources including the BBC, although no edits are currently logged against the BBC.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

May be crafty

So now we know, we are to have a general election on June 8th. All very interesting and almost exciting in a race to the bottom kind of way, but this voter isn’t keen having to vote Tory merely in the hope of keeping Brexit on course and the loons at bay. This is the party which harboured hard-core toads David Cameron and Tim Yeo, so it is more than disappointing to have one’s hand forced, but forced it is.

The trouble is, a chap has to vote against the absurd Corbyn and that hole on the political spectrum Tim Whatsit – you know, the one who tries to keep the Lib Dems afloat. UKIP no longer counts and the Greens are ludicrous so where does that leave us? Perhaps it's the invisible hand, the political one Adam Smith didn't write about. 

Unfortunately democracy has become a matter of voting against the dross rather than voting for something positive such as tackling corruption, pin-striped greed, bureaucratic oppression and general government incompetence. Pushing Brexit along is a positive of course, but we’ve voted for that. Apparently.

May of course is taking advantage of the situation. An opportunity has presented itself and she is making the best move she has available. It’s a good sign and may even indicate political astuteness. Or it may be the obvious move and that’s all there is to it. We'll see.