Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I first encountered the Baha'i religion when I was 18 and the father of an Indian pupil of mine in the Seychelles tried to interest me in it. I met it again 7 years later, when I was in Iran. It's an offshoot of the Shi'a branch of Islam and not popular with Muslims, who regard the core Baha'i belief that Baha'u'llah was a later prophet than Mohammed as outrageous heresy. As a result, Baha'is were for some time treated as apostates and executed for their beliefs. Indeed, this may still be happening in Iran. At 18, Baha'ism struck me as a religion which attempted to cover all be bases by taking the best bits of existing religions and synthesising a universal faith out of them. Rather like Esperanto with languages. Baha'ism promotes equality between men and women, which makes it all the stranger that the latter aren't allowed to become members of the rule-making Universal House of Justice. Nonetheless, there are female Baha'is who will rationalise this away and say it's perfectly OK. Just as Muslim women do with the veil and various other apparent examples of female subservience. But that's the strength of religions - they compel you into cognitive dissonance.

As computers have got progressively smaller and smartphones bigger, we appear to have reached the point where the hardware of choice is one of the latter. Except for we touch-typists who'll never use anything without a decent-sized keyboard. Which makes a netbook the absolute minimum. But the risk is that history - or technology - will leave us behind and we'll have to learn to finger-type on touch-sensitive screens. God forbid. Apple are now saying they've got 'game-changers' in the pipeline and one can only shudder at what these might be. Meanwhile, the good news is that you can now get an i-pad for as little as 50 dollars, in the States at least. Hard to believe that one of Apple's innovations will beat this.

Talking technology - 54% of Spaniards were found to have broken up with someone they'd been dating for less than three months by using WhatsApp. 12% had opted for a phone conversation to end the relationship and a cowardly 3% confessed to simply ending communication. Only 23% broke up in person. Who said romance was dead?

I went to get my blood pressure done today. The nurse and I found we lived in the same barrio of Poio but when she learned I lived up the hill, whereas she lived at the bottom, she remarked with a smile that I was up among the khetset. Which I finally figured out was the jet-set. "But there are some nice people up there", she added. Which was consoling.

Finally . . . As we entered Santiago last Saturday afternoon, one of us was in need of a pee, or a drink. Or both. So we stopped in the San Lázaro barrio of the city, and sat down outside a bar next to a conference centre. After going inside to order, I told my 4 lady companions there was a large table of lovely young women there, all of whom had smiled at me. I said there were only two possibilities - that they'd mistaken me for George Clooney or there was a convention of prostitutes taking place nearby. Sadly, they all went for the whore option. Earlier, I'd told the ladies I'd been involved in a documentary about the shipwrecking of a British ship along the Galician coast in the 19th century, in which I'd played the part of the captain. "Who? Captain Birdseye?", they chorused. Which left me a tad deflated.

3 comments:

Ferrolano said...

Well Colin, from the link, Captain Birdseye does look to be a jolly sort of fellow with a scattering of female companions, who are possibly of the world’s oldest profession, but who really cares, just enjoy!

Perry said...

Colin,

Your literary meanderings have, once again, prompted me to tarry in the doubtful realm that is Wikipedia. I already knew about Clarence Birdseye as the father of frozen food, but to find he had a hand in the research that isolated ticks as the cause of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever was unexpected.

In 1966, I was employed by Eli Lilly as a medical rep., calling on GPs in the morning and tell them about our wonder medicines & trying to blag pharmacists in the afternoon, to stock my company's products, in order to fill all "open" prescriptions that did not specify a manufacturer by name. So was every other medical rep!!

Good salary, excellent training, expenses, commission and a decent company car. I suspect that's not on offer now!!

http://www.lilly.com/careers/professional-opportunities/sales/Pages/sales.aspx

However, I digress. R.M.S.F. is a rickettsial infection & treated with tetracyclines, which are the only effective remedy. OTOH, the contraindications are many, yet GPs prescribed tetracyclines almost indiscriminately, for infections that would be better treated with newer antibiotics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetracycline#Cautions.2C_contraindications.2C_side_effects

My task was to persuade GPs to be more open minded. Otitis Media is a common ear infection in toddlers, for which a pediatric suspension of erythromycin is now the remedy of choice. In 1966, this was not widely know, so we used a teaching aid that stressed tetracyclines for any cases of R.M.S.F. the GP might see (none in UK), but for Otitis Media & certain other infections, the GP should prescribe our Erythromycin Estolate oral liquid called ILOSONE.

It has stood the test of time as it's now a generic product.

http://www.ilosone.net/

Cordially,

Perry

Colin said...

Perry. Working in the HQ of a pharma co (in the UK and overseas) took me on the road sometimes. Tough job. I fancy they all use out-of-house rep forces now.

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