Search

Paul's Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.

Uncategorized

Posted by on in Uncategorized

I doubt if I’m the first person to point out that the Guinness Book of Records has lost its way. Some of the records it records are just stupid. Who cares about the greatest number of people holding hands while they recite in unison Mary Had a Little Lamb? When the book was started, as a brewer’s promotion, it was to settle pub arguments. How many people get all riled up in the pub over the greatest number of people holding hands while the recite a childhood poem? Quite possibly zero. Now, tallest man, greatest number of children, longest finger nails, most prolific convicted mass killer, most London buses jumped on a motorcycle, etc, do still crop up over pub tables. I think the Guinness people started noting stupid futile pointless activities to generate publicity for themselves. And life must be getting tougher for them at a time when most folk sitting in a pub can find almost any information the want on their smart phone. 

Continue reading
Hits: 36
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

More years ago than I care to admit I spent most the time between finishing school homework and going to bed played football. There wasn't much else to do and the number of other kids who wanted to play determined the size of sides. Basically, everyone who showed up got a game and which team someone played for was determined by in what order they showed up. I was more of an enthusiastic player than a skilled one. So, when it came to organised games or tournaments I was seldom picked to play. But no matter; if I could, I would enter my own team. I remember a team I put together reached the semi-finals of a town-wide tournament staged in a local park. We wore strips borrowed from my primary school. Later at High School I wasn't picked for an end of term competition but once again got a team together. When one of the players from other Sixth Year team fell off a cliff, one my my team defected to it. Now here's the point. Although the teams I recruited were usually the second-rate players, we often did better than the teams composed of better footballers. We were well aware of our limitations and tended to pass more, etc. We were never a Team of Greats but we instinctively became a Great Team. There's a moral in there somewhere. 

Continue reading
Hits: 36
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

You know, for someone who was once the idol of human rights activists, Aung San Suu Kyi is turning out to be quite the cheerleader for the Burmese military. Two Burmese journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe OO, have just been jailed for trying to do their jobs and the odious Aung has labelled them "traitors" who well deserve seven years in the pokey. Never mind that the two journalists were caught in a sting after they accepted documents relating to the murder of Muslim minority Rohingya from someone posing as a journalistic source. Aung has pretty much been a cheerleader for what the United Nations now regards as a genocide in Myanmar, the name the military strongmen have given Burma. She applauds the military's crackdown on "terrorists". It would appear that Aung's interest in human rights never went much beyond her right to rule Burma. The military shoved her snout away from the trough because she was girlie. But Aung would have been given access if she'd been the son of Second World War Japanese collaborator General Aung San instead of a daughter. Long before the Burmese military started the wholesale murder and eviction of over 700,000 Rohingya the Burmese leader had made it clear they could expect no help from her. Speaking of help. Has anyone ever asked who called the cops on deluded American Aung San fan John Yettaw after he swam a lake in 2009 to visit his heroine when she was under house arrest? Canada stupidly gave this monster honourary citizenship. I hope the Canadian government has to guts to revoke it and demand Aung San is hauled before an international court for her part in Myanmar's ethnic cleansing. 

Continue reading
Hits: 39
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

The BBC believes that Korea was partitioned in 1953 after a ceasefire was declared. I could blog every week correcting the garbage that the, publicly funded by a United Kingdom-wide levy on television owners but overwhelmingly English-dominated, broadcaster puts out. But Korea is a big story and such ignorance of the basic facts is disturbing, to say the least. So, BBC here is what really happened. Japanese-ruled Korea was divided along the 38th Parallel into two occupation zones, American and Soviet, at the end of the Second World War in 1945l. Neither of the local puppet regimes installed was much to write home about and in 1950 Communist North Korean invaded corrupt American client South Korea. There was a ding-dong war which raged up and down the peninsula which eventually petered out and ended with a ceasefire, basically along the 38th Parallel, in 1953. The BBC's Jackie Leonard on the World Service's Newsroom made the post-war partition gaff in an item about South Koreans being allowed all-too brief meetings with North Korean relatives. Now, I don't know if Ms Leonard writes her own scripts. But I do know she should read them through before going on air. So should the programme's producer. I don't have the BBC's expensive news-gathering resources but almost any history book would have told the BBC when Korea was partitioned. The whole organisation must be held to account for this kind of incompetence. On the subject of the World Service, good for Edinburgh City Council revoking the freedom of the city foolishly bestowed on the service's former favourite world leader Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi. Anyone who looked closely at the career of murdered Burmese military strongman and Axis collaborator Aung San's daughter would have realised years ago that  she was a wrong 'un.  But the World Service used to love her and was very very slow to call her out over her odious attitude to the Rohingya Muslims and their horrendous treatment at the hands of her country's army . 

Continue reading
Hits: 45
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

I’m reading another American book at the moment. Now, if I read an American book I shouldn’t grumble if it is filled with words spelled the American way. But sometimes I still do. But the real irritant is that I have to keep reminding myself that that is not how I have to spell words in question when I’m writing for a mainly British audience. Of course, one day everyone will spell things the American way. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, unless a careful eye is kept on word processing software (most of it of United States origin), it will change spellings to the American version without asking. Yes,  I know about setting the dictionary to UK English and making that the default but that doesn’t always work. And secondly, the past two or three generations of teachers in the United Kingdom have verged on the illiterate. It’s not their fault. It all dates back to the 1960s when educationalists believed that being constrained by grammar and spelling was killing kids’ creative juices. So, good spelling and grammar were not taught early enough in a child’s schooling. A rot set in that just got worse and worse. How can today’s teachers teach something they were not properly taught themselves? They don’t have much of a chance when the people who taught them hadn’t been taught because teachers who taught them had not been given a good grounding because the people they learned from were victims of trendy 1960s educational theorists.

Continue reading
Hits: 53
0
Go to top