Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Global Warming Shock!

An article on today's Daily Telegraph website tells us that scientists doing proper science have, at last, found the true causes of global warming.

It's - er, well - it's the sun. Now that's an inconvenient truth!

Some of us have long thought that anthropogenic global warming, while containing an admirable number of syllables for only three words, is a myth.

The problem is - living in the UK, we're not sure the sun exists, either.
PS Photo courtesy of Stephen Baird - follow the link for some awesome pics.

Friday, August 26, 2011

O! What a marvelous society!

This morning I was proof reading my latest little booklet (to be anounced here soon) and so, naturally, I began re-reading the classic 'Eats, shoots and leaves' by Lynne Truss. Very good, it is, for a middle-aged old pedant like me. 

I hadn't registered, first time around, that there is a society (O! marvelous society!) called 'The apostrophe protection society' - but there is!  Quick, where do I join?  

And then, while reading it, I received this in my email:

Before being called to pastor *** Church, I inevitably faced a raft of questions from its eldership.  Beforehand, however, I also asked the elders some questions of my own. Since mentioning this in a prior post, I’ve been emailed several times to forward a copy of those questions to pastor’s in the same situation. Here then is a slightly ammended [...]

Now, I'm not quick to judge.  Heaven forfend.  It may just be a typo.    And even if it isn't, I wouldn't say that anyone who thought that "pastor's" is the plural of "pastor" ought not to be in the ministry, entrusted with the sacred charge of edifying others.  I wouldn't.  Quite.  (Oh, all right - I probably would.)  But come on now - READ THE BOOK.

And when you do, here are some gems you will find in the very first pages:

  • My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou, not refraining thy foot from their way

contrasted with

  • My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not, refraining thy foot from their way
Then, there's Ronnie Barker's (from 'Porridge') offering when reading a fellow prisoner's letter from home:
  • Now I must go and get on my lover
as opposed to
  • Now I must go and get on, my lover
Then, there's:
  • A woman, without her man, is nothing
  • A woman: without her, man is nothing
Finally, the longest (and best?):

Dear Jack,
I want a man who knows what love is all about.  You are generous, kind, thoughtful.  People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior.  You have ruined me for other men.  I yearn for you.  I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart.  I can be forever happy - will you let me be yours?
which is not quite the same as

Dear Jack,
I want a man who knows what love is.  All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you.  Admit to being useless and inferior.  You have ruined me.  For other men I yearn! For you,  I have no feelings whatsoever.  When we're apart  I can be forever happy.  Will you let me be? 

All the words are the same; but punctuation matters - doesn't it?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


It’s been a long time, but I’ll try to get back to blogging this week; there are several things I want to say.
To get going, we’ll give the Monday humour a miss, and instead include this for a Sunday.  I’ve recently returned from the Aber conference – not to be confused with an Abba conference – and was greatly blessed by the ministry of Geoff Thomas.  Here’s an interview with him, done a few years ago.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The history of the piano

'It's quite uninteresting - the first piano was built long after they didn't have any at all...'