Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Defeat of a Child-Proof Bottle.

Suffering from quite a bad cold, my afflictions were increased by the struggle to open a bottle of cough medicine, so once I'd opened it I investigated the top, noticing a layer of compressible material inside. Once I'd removed that with a knife, the top behaved in the normal child friendly way.

The victory has done at least as much for my cold as the medicine.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Overspecialisation ?

Riffling through some old jottings on one of my many clip boards, I found a reference to a Professor of the Philosophy of Sport in the University of Gloucestershire.

A Web search has revealed many references, yet if there is any point in Philosophy, it is a search for generality and a scrutiny of ideas. Is 'sport' sufficiently well defined for its supposed philosophy to constitute a subject? Is the institution in Gloucestershire sufficiently broadly based to constitute a university?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Few Minutes at a Time

I've usually been a little disorientated by losing an hour when we move the clocks forward to enter Summer Time, so I did it differently this year.

I moved my alarm clock forward an hour  on the night before the change, but also moved the alarm time forward by the same amount. Then, every day or two I moved the alarm time back a quarter of an hour or so until it was back at the original time. My inner clock was quite unperturbed, so that seems to be the way to do it.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Obsession with hot food

The deputy Prime Minister has proposed that all children in their first two years at school should be provided with a hot meal every day.

If children are to eat the meals without suffering trauma, those meals had better be enjoyable, and preferably also nourishing and filling, but why must they be hot?

Some people seem obsessed by the temperature of food and drink. "you can't eat/drink that, it's cold" they'll say trying to prevent me from drinking a beverage I've deliberately allowed to cool to a drinkable temperature.

Quite the cruellest thing anyone ever did to me was to provide me with a hot drink I didn't want.

I had a bad cold, and was consoling myself with drinks of Ribena with added slices of lemon, and had accordingly taken to work some slices of lemon and some Ribena. I made the drink with hot water, but it was at its best when it had stood for a while and absorbed lots of lemon. I left half a mug of this delicious concoction on my desk when I went to teach, thinking from time to time of the treat waiting me when I returned to my desk.

Alas, when I got back, a colleague had decided that I needed 'a hot drink', had thrown away my Ribena and the slices of lemon and replaced them with a cup of coffee.  I drink coffee only at breakfast time, and when a I have a cold, coffee gives me a headache, and I couldn't replace the discarded drink because I had no spare lemon - having intended to re-use the same slices through the day.

The sad event happened more than 25 years ago, but I still remember it vividly and recall it whenever anyone praises hot food or drink.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A delightful Circumlocultion

Sometimes I'm just irritated by by people using complicated pseudo technical language to say simple things, but the following example delighted me.

 Referring to signals that might have come from the black box of a missing air liner, an Australian Naval officer said:

"If they gain another acoustic event" What a wonderful way of saying "If they hear it again"