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2005-04-22 15:20


1. Det brynigt var, och slidig mv

p vgarn muntert gyrade.
Slank var hvarenda borogv,
och villa grunen hyrade.

We once had to memorize Jaberwocky for school, you know. We'd like to say that we were never the same again, but we already weren't. (We have a lousy memory for verse, also.)

[via Pedrito in Finlandia, tack!]

2. Bad Pope, no biscuit!

Pope Benedict XVI has responded firmly to the first challenge of his papacy by condemning a Spanish government bill allowing marriage between homosexuals.

That may may worked with Aznar, but Socialiste Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is well placed to call Papal bluff, and then some:

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero took office a year ago making it clear he intended to remove what he called the church's undeniable advantages and make Spain a secular state.

3. One country divided my two (2) vair vair different langwidges!

It is Ukrainia!

The future status of the Russian language in Ukraine is the cause of public and political debate. The BBC's Helen Fawkes speaks to Russian-speakers who fear discrimination and Ukrainians who are proud of their mother tongue.

These two (2) langwidges are so very different! Completely different, and by no means pretty much the same! They even have different words for some somethings!


2005-04-22 13:04


1. What's (slow) cookin'?

A sossage and onion casserole, that's what's (slow) cookin'!

We like cookning better now that we don't have to be there to do it, for sure.

2. Grauniad sends Forrener to cricket match; hilarity ensues

For very placid values of hilarity:

As a newcomer to England, I know more about cricket the insect than cricket the sport - and all I know about the former is that they're slightly embarrassed about being members of the locust family.

Yesterday, however, I watched my first game - at Lord's, of all places, and I was hooked.

3. Datening

In 1994, Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler's band Suede were the biggest new act in Britain.

In 1994, then, when I was a mere slip of a twenty-something, I already didn't bother to keep up with the indie scene. Of course, there was an element of attitude in it in those days; these days I'm reduced to ignoring things I've never even heard of.


2005-04-22 09:41

Alternative medicine

Sigh. We have to study it (sociologically) and while the book was bending over backwards not to acknowledge that it is a often if not always a form of snake-oil whose current acceptance is the handiwork of DIRTY, SMELLY HIPPIES, we realised that the emphasis on holistic and individual factors and life-coaching meant that it was in fact a commoditisation of the role of tribal/village elder.

Attention DIRTY SMELLY HIPPIES: you are by no means even remotely fighting the power; you merely strengthen the bourgeois ideology of transactionalisme ("Liberalisme").

As part of the defence of the holistique view, it was pointed out that Somali and Bangladeshi immigrants in dreadful housing conditions were in poor health, which promptly improved when they were rehoused somewhere that didn't amount to a perpetual state of seige from raciste neighbours.

Which is fair enough, but hardly a striking victory for cephalo-colonic rebirthing therapy, it seems to us.

(Since this is not the FDRUSA, psychotherapy wasn't even mentioned. It's a kind of reimagining of the pastoral functions of priesthood along purely mercenary lines, as befits its once-great homeland.)


2005-04-21 16:28


We (plural) spent a great deal of time on geometry this afternoon. Not necessarily to much purpose, in the cosmic scheme of things, but geometry, isn't it?

I can however reassure you, Varied Reader, that if a buncha new texts by Archimedes or Euclid turn up, mathematics can confidently be expected not to be revolutionized. Footnotes to Euclid, we very definitely ain't.


2005-04-21 13:30


1. For Shame, Pope!

We look forward to the continued decline of the Catholique church on our patch, for sure, so we join the Interweb in remarking on Benedict XVI's remarks, in his cardinal days, "On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons":

Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.

Oh yes it is, silly Pope!

2. My Will to Democracy, slightly geographical

So it turns out that I'm in Bristle East for electoral purposes. ("2001 Result: Won by LAB, majority 33.2%")

So I'm pretty much limited to trying to get the Lib-Dems ahead of the utterly contempible Tories in the much-closer race for second place.

3. My Will to Democracy, slightly literate

Under the terms of our glorious Cash for Codices initiative, we would rather pay cold, hard cash for printed and bound manifestos than put ourselves and our recalcitrant printer through the ordeal of the various parties' graphic design abominations.

So we asked nicely in Borders, but they're allegedly "in transit". As publishing hices, they make great politicians, isn't it?


2005-04-21 10:45


So, seven (7) hours travelling, N talks on abstruse sums, one (1) pleasant touristbummel through the many dormitories ("colleges") of Oxbridge (East) under the guidance of an old lag and MA (Cantab) holder, and I have decided I much prefer the West campus.

Seven (7) hours, Varied Reader, seven (7) hours.


2005-04-19 15:13

Apologies in Advance

Tomorrow I am going to the Newton Institute of Alchemy, Numismatisme and Judicial Voyeurisme ("Mathematics") which is attached to Fenland Special School AKA Oxbridge (East).

For the privilege of starting such a day trip before 0900, British Rail (what was) offered to relieve us of 130 GBP per person. So we're hiring a car. Obviously.

But we're setting off shortly after 0700, and won't be back till late, and the odds of Interweb are far from good, so we won't, in particular, be at the 'bladet.

Also, even if the students will insist on being back, and apparently they do, is that really enough of an excuse for Sainsbury's to run out of prunes? How are we supposed to make a nice rabbit and prune casserole without any prunes, I ask (or enquire) of you?



2005-04-19 12:03

Yummy, All Too Yummy!

It isn't easy being a whale!

Norge inledde p mndagen rets valfngst - med den strsta fngstkvoten p ver tio r.

On Monday the Norwegian whale-huntning season started - with the biggest quota for over ten (10) years.


2005-04-19 10:00


1. #10 with a bullet!

For Google search on hate wordsworth, which we certainly do.

2. Literary status estimators sought

I keep coming across mentions of Robert Musil's The Man without Qualities, which generally suggest it is a vair great masterpiece. But is it famous? (In Anglophonia; Dutches presumably know about it.) And how can I tell?

(And why did I think it was originally in Dutch?)

3. Against Foundations, slightly Classical

Over at the Timber I have been appointed phillistine-in-chief for my indifference to the discovery of some more Old Greek Stuff.

(y81 froths, "What human being could be indifferent to the possibility of more Sappho?"

Leaving aside the possible implications for contemporary lesboticisme ("Geez, goils, we'se been doin it ALL WRONG!"), Sappho's notorious untranslatability inspires us to see y81's implicit nobody and raise him/her a billion each of Chineses and Indians, and us.)

For all purposes I have the King James Bible scraps with the Vulgate for "importance"; the Hebrew/Koin version simply isn't in the running, and the Dead Sea Scrolls would be just as significant for my vrldsskdning ("Weltanschauung") if they didn't exist.

We hold, then, that: If we ain't read the books, we ain't no-how footnotes to them, and anyone says we is is a DIRTY LIAR.


2005-04-18 16:52

Why I am so exemplary

I have to print out some spare copies of my previous assignment for my tutor groop, as examples of how it should be done.

Sadly, I cannot also show my Varied Reader, so you'll just have to take my word for it.


2005-04-18 13:57


1. Gastronomic gastropod zeitgeist, slightly Balkan

Just a few years ago, there was not a single snail farm in Bosnia.

Now, it is estimated there are around 300.

2. Intrawegian tactfest

Sydsvenskan is based in Malm, Sweden, which is a stone's skim from Shoppningharbour, Danmark. So they're especially well-placed for a little tact:

Sverige r den politiskt korrekta storebrodern som alltid vet bst, Norge den rika lite distanserade systern, Finland den fattiga kusinen p vg att komma upp sig och Island en avlgsen slkting.
Danmark r familjens frcka lillebror, uppstudsig, provocerande och frisprkig.

Sweden is the politically correct big brother who always knows best, Norway is a rich, slightly standoffish sister, Finland is the poor cousin on the way up and Island is a distant relative.
Danmark is the family's insolent little brother, recalcitrant, provocative and outspoken.

3. Those wacky Tories!



2005-04-18 10:17

Of motormadness and methodologies

Kronprinsess Vickan of Sweden in motormadness:

Victorias frd p Sri Lankas gator blev en mardrm.
I vansinnesfart krde kronprinsessans chauffr mot rtt och hll p att krocka med en mtande lastbil.

Victoria's journey on Sri Lankas streets turned into a nightmare.
The kronprinsess's chauffeur drove through a red light at crazyspeed and almost crashed with an oncoming van.

But in fact, this such driver was quite possibly within local norms of crazymadness:

Trafikolyckor r vanliga i Sri Lanka. P vgen mellan stderna Galle och Colombo, dr Victoria frdades, dr omkring en person i veckan, lngt fler skadas allvarligt.

Trafficaccidents are common in Sri Lanka. On the road between Galle and Columbo, where Vickan was travelling, around one person dies a week, along with several seriously injured.

Not crashing prolly doesn't make the Sri Lankan papers all that much, then?


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