Paris again

It’s been a busy old weekend full of previously avoided household chores and beer making. Alex has been playing on Google Earth with his Google Earth book and his explorations have centred mainly around Paris, due to his continuing fascination with the Eiffel Tower. Since I have very little time, impetus or energy to write reams on any particular subject, herewith a quota photo from the day he and I spent in Paris earlier this year.

There are, as ever, more here.

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A quick walk…

…on one of my favourite parts of my beautiful Island:

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The narration is mildly annoying, and the facts and pronunciation are occasionally a little shaky, but the scenery is all there for you to see.

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Just another letter to the newspaper

As “the powers that be” (the er… democratically elected government) in New Zealand pass the first part of a law to allow “gay marriage”, people continue writing letters to newspapers. This one is from Jasmin, age 14 (and homeschooled) in Scargill on New Zealand’s South Island and enlightens us as to the potentially horrific consequences of homosexuality spreading.

Yep – you read it right there. The ducks are coming and they’re going to take over the world. Human liver pâté and Human a l’Orange will be the dishes of the day in their cosy nested pairs.

If the Romans did indeed practise homosexuality, then 2,000 years on, we should actually all be pretty good at it by now. And by using Jasmin’s logic (this was not necessarily my best decision), that means that the ducks are probably already more equal than us. Even if they are currently disguising it very well by not taking over the world just yet, this remains a concern.

I agree with Jasmin’s sentiment that she doesn’t want her children to compete with ducks, (although I am disappointed that this indicates her intention to procreate).
I don’t want my children to compete with ducks either. Frankly, the image of them hanging around ponds and rivers, fighting with the local wildfowl over scraps of bread sends shivers down my spine. And once the ducks realise that they have the evolutionary advantage over us because they’re not gay, they surely won’t hold back with their heterosexual pecky beaks and their lack of opposable thumbs.
Carnage will ensue on the riverbank.

But then, none of this really bears any weight for me, because I do believe in evolution and I trust that eventually Jasmin’s kind will disappear from the human race pretty quickly once they realise that the only way that they can guarantee the eradication of homosexuality in the human race is actually not to breed.

Just like the ducks didn’t.

UPDATE: The dark truth about ducks, via @JacquesR

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Now Hippos Move Swimming Pool Invasion Tactic Indoors

After the whole Limpopo hippo in the swimming pool saga, which ended tragically for all concerned except the local butcher, Nigeria has taken things one step further and brought the human/hippo interface into their homes.

Dangerous animals, including crocodiles, snakes and hippos, have found their way into homes and communities in central Nigeria after devastating flooding, residents say.
The creatures were carried along flood-swollen rivers, say the authorities.


Benue state resident Wuese Jirake told the BBC:

“This morning I visited my house. It is still inundated with the flood waters above my waist. There is now a hippopotamus in the house,” he said. “I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home.”

That seems unlikely, Mr Jirake. Lest we forget, Solly the Limpopo hippo merely died when he got tired. But only after he had comprehensively filled his vicinity with smelly hippo poo. If you want your fat grey friend out once he’s a bit dozy (or dead) then you’re going to need some heavy lifting equipment. Couldn’t you have simply settled for a snake like your neighbours? So much easier to handle.

“If there is any other way of dealing with the problem, the authorities need to pursue that because it is beyond my abilities.”

Conclusive proof, right there, that your average Nigerian doesn’t own a forklift. Assuming that Mr Jirake is an average Nigerian. However, the fact that his home is waist deep in water and currently contains a hippo does rather tend to suggest otherwise.

The co-ordinator of the agency in north-central Nigeria, Abdussalam Muhammad, told the BBC that it was not safe for people to go back to their houses because of the presence of the dangerous animals.

“Presently there are crocodiles and snakes as well as other dangerous animals brought in by the floodwaters that are living in those houses, so, if the people return, it will be harmful to them and they will put their lives at risk,” he said.

It’s this sort of response by the authorities that makes me think I could do their job. Part-time. In fact, part-time, blindfolded and with one hand tied behind my back. Because WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED that returning to a flooded house which is full of crocodiles and snakes could possibly be “harmful” to people?

Seriously, what qualifications does one need for this sort of job? A Diploma in Stating The Bleeding Obvious?

So what exactly does Abdussalam Muhammed suggest might be the best course of action for Mr Jirake et al?

He said people should wait for instructions after the floodwaters have subsided.

It would surely be presumptuous of me to suggest that those instructions might involve something along the lines of: “Now you can return home, as long as there aren’t any dangerous animals in your home, because that might be harmful to you.”

I’m not sure which is worse, having to deal with the hippopotamine excrement in your flooded bedroom or having to deal with the bovine excrement spouted by your local authorities.

Our thoughts are with you, Mr Jirake.

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Cocktail Hour

“Dave Molotov invented the frisbee.”

Well, thank goodness for his brother Frank then…

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It’s always the most dangerous things that are the prettiest, isn’t it?

Ebola virus is a good case in point, and I wouldn’t throw a bottle of that at a wall either.

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