Posted in May 2016

Ruling Forever

When the Soviet Union collapsed, it was widely hoped that democracy would take root in the vast region between southern Russia and Iran and Afghanistan, but into the vacuum the opposite has often happened. This is from last Wednesday’s i paper: Democracy was rarely given serious consideration by  the rulers of these weak and shaky … Continue reading


Antibiotic-fed Cows Emit More Methane

This is from the i paper a few days ago, and should surprise nobody who has ever taken antibiotics: Feeding antibiotics to farm animals is having an unintended consequence – fuelling global warming by almost doubling the amount of methane cattle produce. antibiotics are being so widely used in agriculture that cow dung is now … Continue reading

Heritage Nonsense

An article in today’s I paper cites the Union of Concerned Scientists & Unesco warning that natural & cultural heritage sites are at risk of damage from global warming induced rising temperature, sea levels & melting glaciers. I think by the time the water is rising up the Statue of Liberty we’ll all have other … Continue reading

Pop Gateway to Opera

My parents constantly complained that pop ripped off ‘real’ music, but it works both ways. Many classically trained musicians do pop as well. I’d never heard of Verdi when I discovered this beautiful song by 10,000 Maniacs’ Natalie Merchant. I heard it on the radio last night. It’s still one of the loveliest songs I … Continue reading

Yarrow herb is stronger than DEET at repelling mosquitos and ticks, and it’s completely non-toxic!

Yarrow herb is stronger than DEET at repelling mosquitos and ticks, and it’s completely non-toxic!

Originally posted on How to Provide:
[Repost: ] We’re approaching summer bug season in many parts of the northern hemisphere, which in addition to sun and fun means lots of smelly insect repellant wafting through the air. The standard chemical ingredient in many conventional bug sprays is DEET, a neurotoxic chemical that, although it…

Newby Hall’s Teddy Bears

Many of us have or had much loved teddy bears, but few become serious collectors of them like UK tv presenter Giles Brandreth, who is one of the most famous arctophile, or collector of them. This is from the i  paper: The 68-year-old says. “You have to have a sense of humour and a big … Continue reading

Human Pups

Channel Four recently screened a very strange documentary, The Secret Life of Human Pups, about the little known practice of people – mostly men – going to great lengths to dress as pups and to do some serious role playing. Most of the programme focused on theatre designer Tom/Spot who is currently Mr Pup UK who … Continue reading

Alan Young, actor, RIP 1919-2016

When I was growing up, there was not a lot of children-specific programming, but there were a number of iconic, quirky American tv shows which combined elements of fantasy in real life situations, such as My Mother the Car, My Favourite Martian and Bewitched, The Monkees but my favourite was Mr Ed, which starred Alan … Continue reading

Simple Personality Test

I don’t usually waste my time on such tests, but this one is interesting, and it’s only got 2 questions. this is from Sunday’s Observer magazine: Does living in a crowded area get you down a) a lot b) a bit c) not at all 2. Would you prefer to socialise with friends every day … Continue reading