Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Monday thoughts.

Easter in Spain: Is a big thing. Here's The Local with an Essential Guide to it and Eight Surprising Facts about Holy Week. Might be useful for next year.

Meanwhile . . .

The Easter Weather: God played a little celestial joke yesterday and, late in the afternoon, drew back the sun and gave us only gales and rain. Needless to say, the big evening procession was cancelled and my heart went out to the poor buggers who've spent months learning how to slowly walk and sway in unison below the heavy platforms which carry the garish statues. And this scenario wasn't confined to Galicia; the whole of Spain was hit by the same depressing mix of elements. As to why? I guess it's because the Atlantic has been bequeathed 'free will'. How we laughed.

The Spanish Language: More than 150 academics, novelists, poets, scientists and other experts of language descended on San Juan in Puerto Rico, recently to debate the future of Spanish — and whether words such as "selfie" will be admitted into the prestigious Diccionario de la Real Academia (Dictionary of the Royal Academy). How terribly 19th century.

Nature and Science: I rather liked this paragraph I read yesterday, about the late 18th century: The troubling image of a shy, reluctant, persecuted female Nature who is crudely questioned and even physically assaulted by an exclusively male Science now begins to appear. It slowly replaces the older Romantic image of a mysterious and seductive Nature, at least a goddess, who is infinitely more powerful than her merely human petitioners and questioners. The rhetoric of assault, molestation and penetration and even 'rape' of Nature by 'Science' develops, though partly unconsciously, throughout the 19th century and was keenly identified by 20th century feminist criticism. Pick your century, pick your view of Nature.

Facebook: How is it that, when I only permit friends to post on my timeline, someone called Shaun King put stuff there yesterday? Plus at least 3 organisations, one of which was called Psicología Inversa. I guess I'll never know.

Finally . . . Michael Faraday was a famous British scientist. Sadly, he couldn't pronounce the letter R properly - called rhotacism - and so went through his entire life introducing himself as Mr Fawaday. Not that this held him back in any way. What a guy!

BREXIT SUPPLEMENT

An Outer presents the positive view: Our vision is of a reinvigorated country liberated from a political and judicial union that renders us sclerotic. It is one of a strong, dynamic and adaptable 21st century economy reaping the benefits of its newfound agility and flexibility in a modern globalised world. We thus speak of an open, liberal, democratic nation state leading in the world as a champion of free trade, liberty and democracy. Instead of dependency on a domineering middleman, we can be a pioneer of the emerging global marketplace; speaking with an independent voice in the vast network of global bodies that are facilitating trade, raising standards and formulating global solutions for global problems. In that process our world class expertise, leadership and experience will be in high demand.  What's not to like about that?

The Smiling Nieta, a huge improvement on the Mona Lisa . . . 


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