All the news you don’t need to know

Patriotism has run away with us in ever-so-great Britain: Paul Scully, a minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, went on TV to promote offshore windfarms and bragged that a government program would create British jobs, using British manufacturing “and of course British wind.”

The plan at the moment is to surround windfarms with barbed wire and make sure foreign winds are kept out, but the plans could change if the political winds shift. The possibility of putting electric fans on the leeward side hasn’t been ruled out. 

Irrelevant photo: A Cornish stone wall. The plant is wall pennywort.

 

More political stuff

After Meghan Markle and Harry Whatsisname accused Britain’s tabloid press of being racist, Ian Murray, the executive director of Britain’s Society of Editors, responded by asking himself, “Are you a racist?” answering, “Don’t be silly,” and then issuing a statement saying that racism was never a factor in how the press treated Markle. M & H’s “attack,” he said, was “not acceptable.”

All hell broke loose, a great deal of huffing a puffing followed, and Murray has now resigned.

A particularly British way of thinking about racism is for a person (the person in question, in my experience, being white) to consult their intent and declare themselves free of it. Their impact on other people or the world in general doesn’t come into it and neither does anything that other people might contribute to the discussion. If they declare their intent to be pure, they are pure. 

 

The sciencey stuff they don’t want us to know

And now we come to the shocking revelation that on the equinox, which most of us were trusting enough to think is the moment when day and night are equal in length, day and not are not equal in length.

Yes, folks, deep forces are at work here and they do not have our best interests at heart. 

I’ll quote an explanation of what the equinox really is: “On a winter day, the Sun is low in the sky, whereas on a summer’s day the Sun lies considerably higher. But on a specific day in the spring or autumn, the Sun will be visible directly above the equator, somewhere in the middle of the two arcs traced by the Sun in the summer and winter.”

You mean all those people on the equator only get to see the sun twice a year? 

Um, probably not. It means–

Well, it means something else, okay? 

The unevenness of day and night has to do in part with sunrise being measured from the moment when the rim of the sun appears on the horizon and sundown being measured from the time that same rim disappears. That leaves a bit of time sloshing around when the rest of the sun is following the rim.

Did you follow that? Maybe it would be better if we skip over the sciencey stuff. All we need to know is that deep forces are at work and that we’ve been lied to. Don’t trust the forces of nature. Stay alert. Keep a clock by you at all times. Trust no one. And if you want an actual explanation, follow the link

 

The animal stuff

This is the year of cats and lawyers. 

Barrister Naz Hussain’s cat Colombo broke into a Zoom hearing in January. He had his eye on the headphone cable but then strolled across the keyboard until he was in range of the camera.

“The judge jokingly asked if he was my instructing solicitor,” Hussein said, “to which I said: ‘No, it’s my replacement junior.’ “

That is British legalspeak. Don’t worry about what it means. Just bask in how arcane and British it sounds and pretend you’re watching one of those law shows where half the actors have lambs curled up on their heads.

“Everyone laughed,” Hussain said, “and, sensing stardom, Columbo just kept coming back.”

I don’t know if the defendant was included in everyone, but he may have been because he was found innocent.  

Colombo now has his own Twitter account. And Hussain–having been repeatedly mistaken for a defendant and asked by other lawyers if he’s really a QC–has taken advantage of the moment when people are listening to him to say some serious things about diversity in the legal profession.

A QC? That’s a particularly high-powered breed of lawyer. They’re so important they’d wear two lambs on their heads if there was room.

*

Somewhat less impressively, a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia got out of her patrol car to serve papers on someone, leaving the door open, and a goat jumped in. She–that’s the deputy, not the goat–recorded the whole thing on her head cam, which also recorded her saying, as she knocked on the door, “I hope that goat don’t get in my car.”

Be careful what you say around a goat. They’re very bright and highly suggestible. 

Leaving the car door open is standard practice, at least for her. If she has to get away from a bad-tempered dog, she wants the escape to be seamless. 

While it was in the car, the goat munched on her papers and spilled her drink. And when the deputy got to be enough of an annoyance, it head-butted her to the ground. 

She’ll never hear the end of it.

To the best of my knowledge, the goat hasn’t set up a Twitter account.

Yet.

 

The high-tech stuff

Gucci’s selling sneakers for $17.99, but since the brand’s shoes can sell for as much as $500, there’s a catch: They’re virtual sneakers. You can buy them for your imaginary self to wear in online games, which if I was even remotely with it I’d call virtual reality but I can’t be bothered to pretend. You can’t put them on real feet because they don’t actually exist. So if you buy a pair you just spent $17.99 on something imaginary.

The Guardian describes one of them as “a chunky slime green, bubble-gum pink and sky blue shoe that wouldn’t look out of place in a robot’s orthotics clinic.” I’m going to assume that the other one matches.  

Who could resist?

50 thoughts on “All the news you don’t need to know

  1. I usually read these posts while I’m eating my breakfast. This morning the spoon carrying the cereal to my mouth stopped mid-motion at the thought of British wind. I have nothing clever to say about it, because my brain has stopped as well.

    Fortunately, I’ve never understood what the equinox is/was, so I don’t feel that the truth has been kept from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been confused by the summer and winter solstice, when the news people say, “Today is the longest/shortest day of the year.” I’ve watched my atomically controlled watch and I’ve never seen the extra time (or shortened time), still seems 24 hours to me.

    I’ll see your goat, and raise you a bear (yes, this is a police cruiser he’s in). The officer got out to help a woman whose car had broken down when the bear went in, guessing to answer the police radio.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I have heard a lot of people express concern over how Americans feel about the situation with H and M. Most are really not interested. Most cannot relate to the idea of I have to pay for security while I inherited tens of millions of dollars. Some of the other claims are concerning that involve race. They really should have said who or don’t even bring it up. It casts everyone in his family in a bad light. I’m not in their shoes. Not sure anyone would want to be in that bubble.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I expect the best thing anyone inside that family could do is get the hell out. My partner’s take on it when M got engaged was, “She could do better.” I can’t imagine anyone wanting to marry into that mess. Beyond that–well, honestly, I don’t have an opinion. Which is probably for the best.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cornwall’s rocky country, so stone walls are everywhere here. And where the rock’s slate, there are lots of these thin bits that stack side by side perfectly. Sometimes you’ll see a herringbone pattern called either curzyway or Jack and Jills.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I started to write my comment three times and each time was closed out and flipped back to my email box. When I tried again, my browser (and several open tabs) closed down. So I rushed back on and typed quickly and – still got edited.
    Sixth time’s the charm ?
    Mr Dip-Roy and Gomert are US Congresspersons, which I had put in and it got taken out by the editing poltergeists.

    It took me a minute to realize the stone wall was vertical. And probably stays in place a lot easier than the typical New England type.

    Given that the deputy in Georgia did not just shoot the goat, I must either credit her restraint – and the fact that her bodycam was on – or imagine that it was a white goat. The bear not getting shot is self-explanatory even though it appears to be “a bear of color.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry about the poltergeists. When all else fails, type elsewhere, then copy and paste and run like hell before they notice you there.

      I think the rule on animals is to never shoot them when they’re in your car. It’s hard to clean. And never shoot a bear with a small-gauge weapon. It’ll make the bear angry.

      Like

    • It’s a pleasure. If I didn’t have anyone to share this insanity with, it wouldn’t be half as much fun. But do ask that wind where it’s from next time you get a chance, will you? Methinks we’re being invaded.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Ellen,
    we could laugh out loud if it wouldn’t be such a shame that Britain isn’t great any more ;-) After Brexit, it even became a kind of irrelevant in the world. Oh dear, how can the British live with such a shame?
    All the best and thanks for sharing your great texts
    The Fab Four of Cley
    :-) :-) :-) :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your posts never disappoint. I have to admit I totally laughed about the wind……seems it is right up there with the virtual shoe you can’t wear. Then, again, if the goat was chewing up the deputy’s papers maybe that shoe was a victim as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, now that you bring it up, the nice thing about virtual shoes is that the cat can’t throw up in them. Unless it’s the virtual cat from the Zoom call that the lawyer got trapped by. You know that tale? A virtual cat can surely throw up in virtual shoes if it wants to.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t understand what cats see in videoconferencing. Snoops runs the other way if I put on a YouTube video, and someone starts speaking. However, I had a virtual doctor’s appointment the other day, and she insisted on sitting between me and the screen. Maybe she just doesn’t like my taste in videos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think cats have a unerring way of detecting where human attention is focused so they can interfere with it. I once had a Skype conversation where I seemed to be talking to the hind end of someone’s cat. It’s not usually the end I like to talk to.

      That does nothing to explain the YouTube videos, though. Sorry. I think I’m off the topic and I’ll throw myself out of the discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As an Astronomer, I have a better definition of the equinox:
    An equinox is the instant of time when the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the geometric center of the Sun’s disk. This occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 23 September.

    You see, it really has little to do with time and day length, or even the actual date. It’s simply a bit of celestial geometry that somebody at some point decided to give a fancy name to.

    I bet your life is SO much better now….. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Let’s Get Inspired by pendantry of the blog called Wibble – Part 2 of 2 – ThoughtsnLifeBlog

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