Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fighting corruption; Economic growth; Psychopaths; Cocos-de-Mer; & English with/out sex.

Corruption: El País yesterday had a leader on this, headlined: We need vigorous structures to contain the tendency towards political corruption and abuse. But this is off beam. What really is lacking is the political will to tackle this huge, endemic problem in Spain. No evidence of this has yet been discerned, other than a failed attempt to get the 2 main political parties to jointly swear on their mothers' graves they are against it and willing to tackle it. As if.

The Local reports that the IMF has upped Spain's growth forecast for 2015 from 1.6 to 1.7% and says this is the highest in the EU. But, as the forecast for the UK is way above this, I suspect they mean the eurozone. But, whatever, it's still good news. And unemployment may fall a tad.

Psychopaths are said to number 1% of the population. Which means there are c. 600,00 in the UK and 450,000 here in Spain. Which makes you think. Fortunately, not all of them are violent. Here's a fascinating article by one who isn't.

Here in Spain nurses and teachers, among others, are civil servants who gain promotion - and, thus, choice of job location - via a points system. Here's an insight into what this means for those fresh to their chosen career.

When I was living in Tehran, the warehouse back home containing my souvenirs from my VSO year in The Seychelles burned down. This left me nothing but a few shells and a walking stick I've yet to use. A chance article today reminded me of one souvenir I really would have like to have saved - a coco-de-mer. Especially as 
they now seem to fetch extraordinary prices. Perhaps one will turn up one day in the Sunday flea market here, left behind by some mariner who visited the islands.

Finally . . . Cambridge University Press say that almost 50% of folk in Valencia and Castilla y León would go without sex for a year in exchange for being fluent in English. Though this is less true of the Galicians, who'd rather be invisible. What can one say? Why not both English and sex? It's just a question of finding the right teacher. And the right lessons . . . .

Finally, finally . . . Can Darcey Bussell really be as wonderful as as she seems?


Perry said...


The Atlantic article about James Fallon was stimulating. As I read it, I felt sure I had known about him some time ago, but had not remembered the circumstances. Here's a useful link.

He explains clearly how some (1%?) child soldiers are never able to rejoin regular society.

Perry said...

More insight from James Fallon.

Anthea said...

They say that the best place to learn a language is in bed. in other words, get a lover who speaks the language you want to be fluent in. this obviates the need to give up sex to become fluent in English. Tell those Catalans and Valencians!

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