Nov. 3rd, 2008

rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
From the Scotsman: Cleverer children are more likely to vote for the Green Party or the Liberal Democrats in a general election as adults, research has suggested.

Actually, it doesn't sound like a particularly good piece of research.

"The researchers found people who reported voting in 2001 for the Green Party and Liberal Democrats had the highest average childhood intelligence scores.

Those who were cleverer were also more likely to take part in rallies and demonstrations, to sign petitions, and to be more interested in politics generally."


It's in the Times Online, too: Brainy children ‘likely to vote Green’. Though actually it is both LibDem AND Green.
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
From the Scotsman: Cleverer children are more likely to vote for the Green Party or the Liberal Democrats in a general election as adults, research has suggested.

Actually, it doesn't sound like a particularly good piece of research.

"The researchers found people who reported voting in 2001 for the Green Party and Liberal Democrats had the highest average childhood intelligence scores.

Those who were cleverer were also more likely to take part in rallies and demonstrations, to sign petitions, and to be more interested in politics generally."


It's in the Times Online, too: Brainy children ‘likely to vote Green’. Though actually it is both LibDem AND Green.
rhythmaning: (on the beat)
This is a a bugbear of mine, and I know a lot of people who read this journal are interested in the topic as well.

In response to a this video posted on Arbroath, which shows two policemen asking a photographer to see his licence for his camera (yes - his camera licence), Staticgirl left a comment about a short guide to photographers' rights by Linda McPherson.

You can find it here.
rhythmaning: (on the beat)
This is a a bugbear of mine, and I know a lot of people who read this journal are interested in the topic as well.

In response to a this video posted on Arbroath, which shows two policemen asking a photographer to see his licence for his camera (yes - his camera licence), Staticgirl left a comment about a short guide to photographers' rights by Linda McPherson.

You can find it here.
rhythmaning: (cat)
The Independent today had an article in which various black Americans express their hopes for the US election.

I particularly like the comments by Jay-Z:
"Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so that Obama could run. Obama's running so that we all can fly."

I hope the article isn't premature - I'd have preferred that they had waited until the results of the election were known!
rhythmaning: (cat)
The Independent today had an article in which various black Americans express their hopes for the US election.

I particularly like the comments by Jay-Z:
"Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so that Obama could run. Obama's running so that we all can fly."

I hope the article isn't premature - I'd have preferred that they had waited until the results of the election were known!

All Souls

Nov. 3rd, 2008 05:34 pm
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I had dinner at All Souls. I hadn’t had dinner at “high table” for many, many years; and All Souls only has high table.

It was all slightly weird: lots of servants being rather obsequious, which doesn’t naturally fall within my comfort zone. The whole thing – the very grand setting, the portraits (famous scientists and politicians were the ones I recognised), the servants – made me think of a meal in Gormenghast, or perhaps something out of His Dark Materials.

I sat between my friend and an ancient historian. (She was quite young herself.) Indeed, most of the people there seemed to be ancient historians. She wasn’t particularly chatty, but since my friend was talking to the person on her right – who taught her when she was an undergraduate (she wasn’t sure if he remembered!) – I pushed ahead with a conversation.

Her speciality was twelfth century France (though I guess it wasn’t called France at that point), and much more specifically, the legal basis for various wars that were fought. Knowing nothing about twelfth century France, let alone the legal basis for wars, this was a which seam of conversation and was rather interesting.

She hailed from the mid-west, so we talked about the States, too.

The food was good-ish – chicken breast stuffed with brie (although they seemed to have forgotten the brie in mine, which suited me perfectly) - the wine, better (a 1999 Jaboulet – I can’t remember the specific provenance).

I was a little confused because my friend had said we wouldn’t stay for dessert, so I was thinking we would leave before pudding, but we didn’t. This was good, the pudding being baked pears soaked in some kind of alcohol.

We went to another, much more homely, room for coffee, where we talked with another ancient historian, this one on loan from a university in Paris. Her topic was fascinating – basically, the information systems in place following the collapse of the Roman Empire, and more specifically, how did Christianity manage to (more or less) maintain its integrity rather than collapse into a myriad of cults. (It goes without saying that I know nothing of ancient information systems or early Christianity – I know bugger all about Christianity period aside from thinking medieval cathedrals are beautiful, awe inspiring things.) This was fascinating; her view was it all came down to gossip – the ancient version of Facebook…

I was looking for the port, thinking this might be quite special, when my friend made moves to leave. It turns out dessert is port and a bit more food – but tends towards the pompous if there aren’t a lot of guests, which is why she wanted to skip it.

So we went off to play with her family and, particularly, their kittens, instead.

All Souls

Nov. 3rd, 2008 05:34 pm
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I had dinner at All Souls. I hadn’t had dinner at “high table” for many, many years; and All Souls only has high table.

It was all slightly weird: lots of servants being rather obsequious, which doesn’t naturally fall within my comfort zone. The whole thing – the very grand setting, the portraits (famous scientists and politicians were the ones I recognised), the servants – made me think of a meal in Gormenghast, or perhaps something out of His Dark Materials.

I sat between my friend and an ancient historian. (She was quite young herself.) Indeed, most of the people there seemed to be ancient historians. She wasn’t particularly chatty, but since my friend was talking to the person on her right – who taught her when she was an undergraduate (she wasn’t sure if he remembered!) – I pushed ahead with a conversation.

Her speciality was twelfth century France (though I guess it wasn’t called France at that point), and much more specifically, the legal basis for various wars that were fought. Knowing nothing about twelfth century France, let alone the legal basis for wars, this was a which seam of conversation and was rather interesting.

She hailed from the mid-west, so we talked about the States, too.

The food was good-ish – chicken breast stuffed with brie (although they seemed to have forgotten the brie in mine, which suited me perfectly) - the wine, better (a 1999 Jaboulet – I can’t remember the specific provenance).

I was a little confused because my friend had said we wouldn’t stay for dessert, so I was thinking we would leave before pudding, but we didn’t. This was good, the pudding being baked pears soaked in some kind of alcohol.

We went to another, much more homely, room for coffee, where we talked with another ancient historian, this one on loan from a university in Paris. Her topic was fascinating – basically, the information systems in place following the collapse of the Roman Empire, and more specifically, how did Christianity manage to (more or less) maintain its integrity rather than collapse into a myriad of cults. (It goes without saying that I know nothing of ancient information systems or early Christianity – I know bugger all about Christianity period aside from thinking medieval cathedrals are beautiful, awe inspiring things.) This was fascinating; her view was it all came down to gossip – the ancient version of Facebook…

I was looking for the port, thinking this might be quite special, when my friend made moves to leave. It turns out dessert is port and a bit more food – but tends towards the pompous if there aren’t a lot of guests, which is why she wanted to skip it.

So we went off to play with her family and, particularly, their kittens, instead.
rhythmaning: (sunset)
I had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] white_hart in the café in Blackwells – I thought this was a bit risky, but she assured me her books-habit is fully met by the various Oxfam bookshops around town!

It was a glorious afternoon – tee-shirt weather (it seems so long ago!) - so I decided to go down to Christ Church - known as “the House” [of God]. Within the college is the cathedral for the diocese of Oxford.

(Tip for alumni of Oxford: your “alumni card”, which you can get from your college if they haven’t sent you one – or several! – could get you in free: well, mine got me in free. I would assume that this is the same for every college, but I haven’t tried it yet.)

The route around the college is prescribed – basically, “tourists this way”. I can’t think when I last – if I ever – went around the college (as opposed to popping in to see friends in their rooms). It was beautiful.

I took lots of pictures…

DSC_0262

Read more... )

rhythmaning: (sunset)
I had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] white_hart in the café in Blackwells – I thought this was a bit risky, but she assured me her books-habit is fully met by the various Oxfam bookshops around town!

It was a glorious afternoon – tee-shirt weather (it seems so long ago!) - so I decided to go down to Christ Church - known as “the House” [of God]. Within the college is the cathedral for the diocese of Oxford.

(Tip for alumni of Oxford: your “alumni card”, which you can get from your college if they haven’t sent you one – or several! – could get you in free: well, mine got me in free. I would assume that this is the same for every college, but I haven’t tried it yet.)

The route around the college is prescribed – basically, “tourists this way”. I can’t think when I last – if I ever – went around the college (as opposed to popping in to see friends in their rooms). It was beautiful.

I took lots of pictures…

DSC_0262

Read more... )

rhythmaning: (cat)
I forgot to tell a story about my visit to Christ Church cathedral.

Whilst I was there, there was a rehearsal going on: a clergyman and two small boys. I think it was for a Christmas service, but I don’t know why.

The first boy was reading from the Bible into a microphone; from the beginning. “In the beginning was the word… and the word was good.”

He was being coached by the clergyman – my guess is that they were from the cathedral school, and he was going to be leading the service. He picked up the boy, who must have been nine or ten years old, on every little point: every phrase – “And! More emphatic! And the word was good…!”

He took apart every syllable until it barely made sense.

The other boy had an easier job. He had to read from a modern children’s story: he told about a little boy who dropped a crisp packet in the street, and was picked up by his teacher.

“What would happen if everybody dropped the crisp packets in the street?” she asked.

The boy didn’t know.

“They’d pile up and up and up! What would happen then?”

The boy didn’t know.

“We’d be overwhelmed by crisp packets!”

The boy hung his head; the teacher thought it was in shame.

But actually he was calculating how many crisp packets would be needed to bury the whole of [Swindon/Didcot/Slough/wherever] to a depth of three feet…


Well, something like that, anyway.

These stories were read out as I wandered around, taking photographs. I wanted to tell the first kid that I thought he was doing fine, that he didn’t need to pay heed to the clergyman. But I didn’t.

Edit: as [livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003 points out, I got my biblical quotation completely wrong. It was several lines from, I think, Genesis, not John. But that wasn't the point: the point was that the man coaching the reader was quibbling over the specific stress of the word "And!"...
rhythmaning: (cat)
I forgot to tell a story about my visit to Christ Church cathedral.

Whilst I was there, there was a rehearsal going on: a clergyman and two small boys. I think it was for a Christmas service, but I don’t know why.

The first boy was reading from the Bible into a microphone; from the beginning. “In the beginning was the word… and the word was good.”

He was being coached by the clergyman – my guess is that they were from the cathedral school, and he was going to be leading the service. He picked up the boy, who must have been nine or ten years old, on every little point: every phrase – “And! More emphatic! And the word was good…!”

He took apart every syllable until it barely made sense.

The other boy had an easier job. He had to read from a modern children’s story: he told about a little boy who dropped a crisp packet in the street, and was picked up by his teacher.

“What would happen if everybody dropped the crisp packets in the street?” she asked.

The boy didn’t know.

“They’d pile up and up and up! What would happen then?”

The boy didn’t know.

“We’d be overwhelmed by crisp packets!”

The boy hung his head; the teacher thought it was in shame.

But actually he was calculating how many crisp packets would be needed to bury the whole of [Swindon/Didcot/Slough/wherever] to a depth of three feet…


Well, something like that, anyway.

These stories were read out as I wandered around, taking photographs. I wanted to tell the first kid that I thought he was doing fine, that he didn’t need to pay heed to the clergyman. But I didn’t.

Edit: as [livejournal.com profile] chickenfeet2003 points out, I got my biblical quotation completely wrong. It was several lines from, I think, Genesis, not John. But that wasn't the point: the point was that the man coaching the reader was quibbling over the specific stress of the word "And!"...

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