Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.


( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

The Old Comrades:

November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 August 2007 October 2007 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 March 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 October 2009 January 2010 March 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 April 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013

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Friday, February 28, 2003

Oh, all right then. What is the hypercubic root of 4096? Whose last words were "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..."? Who scored 6996 runs in 52 Test Matches? Will any of her colleagues at the Guardian ever speak to Julie Burchill again after a no-punches-pulled column like this one? Finally, for a bonus point, did the sub-editor who wrote the headline actually read the column or was he just going by what he thought it would say?

Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Blogging hiatus coming up. I will be away from the middle of the month and have a lot to do in the next two weeks. No time for blogging, I'm afraid. Dry your tears. I will be back at the beginning of March.

Her vigilance never sleeps. Moira Breen has spotted Dr Frank who has the facts you need about unconscious irony from the LA Times, Julie Burchill on the road to Damascus and mistranslated subtitles to the Lord of the Rings.

BTW, no one is going to believe me on this, but I tell you it is uncanny how often I spontaneously go to link to someone, no checking of referrer logs or nuffink, and find the someone has linked to me. Then I have a dilemma. It looks so uncool to make the planned link since a cynical world is sure to think that I make it only so that the reader will see the bit that says, Natalie Solent is more wholesome than expensive unsliced bread with mysterious gritty bits in it and fuller of beneficial alpha-linolenic acid than oily fish. Yet if I don't link, my readers miss out on whatever wit or wisdom had caught my eye and I provide a peverse incentive for no one to ever say nice things about me.

That's a roundabout way of saying that you can skip the bit about me and go straight to the interesting discussion about the professor who refused to recommend a creationist student on Moira's blog. And she's looking forward to processing Oregon's poorest for wolf-chow, too.

Malta, according to my sister who went there on a school trip decades ago and so knows all about it, has nice people but basically "looks like a great big Digestive biscuit."

Be that as it may, among the many threads contributed by the island to the tapestry of world history are the Knights, the Great Siege of 1565, the second Great Siege of 1941 and Peter Briffa's stiletto.

So I'm already pro Malta. And if they help save Europe by their example for a third time I shall be still more so.

(Scroll up from that last link for some careful analysis of what's going on in Zimbabwe, too.)

David Aaronovitch in fine form, having snuck in on Tony Benn's interview with Saddam Hussein somehow.

Monday, February 03, 2003
Watched Austin Powers again last night. The scene where all Doctor Evil's ideas for catastrophes with which to threaten the world turn out to have already happened was pretty funny. And, let's face it, the toilet scene is a hoot, ashamed though I am to say it. But the absolute funniest line of all was when the UN spokesman said "It is not the policy of the UN to negotiate with terrorists."

A delightful irony. Hunting with hounds may be the only way to deal with mink, says a report by Alun Michael, rural affairs minister. It seems that unlike other pest control methods such as traps, mink hounds only go for mink, and leave otters and other animals unscathed. But why are mink wreaking havoc with the ecosystem of British rivers at all, given that they are not native to this country? Because animal rights activists released them from mink farms, that's why. Great CV line for an animal rights activist: I saved the hunts from being banned! Heeheehee.

"India, out of cheetahs, seeks to clone" says the New York Times. It's not a personal ad put in the paper by a rich animal-loving girl called India.

Turkeyblog has a response up to my earlier post:
"And the argument that I was making was not that we wait so we could enjoy their help, but that we are waiting - even as evidence against Iraq builds - so that we can either shame them into living up to their committments or leave an absolutely clear public record of their moral unseriousness."

First time round I didn't follow this link to an article on Developmentally Appropriate Practice while reading Joanne Jacobs. Something prompted me to go back to it, though. It's delicious. Just look at this smoothly cynical take on why this rather unsuccessful theory is still popular:
"The broader explanation is that NAEYC made a mistake common to groups that aim to help other people’s children using other people’s money: It assessed cost, risk, and benefit from its own standpoint rather than that of the taxpayers and intended beneficiaries. The result was unintended harm.

"NAEYC is comprised primarily of preschool childcare providers, and the DAP doctrine is attractive to them for a number of reasons: It is sufficiently distinctive to require training and certification, and thus serves to restrict entrance to the profession. It requires a cadre of NAEYC recognized experts—also NAEYC members—to screen, train, and certify individuals in DAP. It maximizes individualized attention to children and thus creates demand for trained practitioners. It rejects the notion of normative expectations for child development outcomes and thus minimizes accountability for results.

"DAP also has the virtue of being highly marketable to parents and policymakers. It promises to improve a child’s readiness for school in a fun and natural way, and without the purported danger of overly ambitious expectations for effort or accomplishment."

Saturday, February 01, 2003
I feel numbed by this news. There's a line from a Leslie Fish song written when Challenger went down: "You lived the dream I had dreamed..."

Rand Simberg has worked on shuttles. See what he has to say.

Dale Amon also knows a lot about the shuttle and is following the story closely.

As for the crew, may they rest in peace. And may we not rest, neither in peace nor in war. Mankind should be in space. Why?

For early warning of catastrophes that may strike our planet, and a chance to avert them,

for profit and for practical knowledge,

for raw materials and zero-g manufacturing,

for curiosity,

for health research and recovery from injury,

for the beautiful photos,

for a passion honoured by every age but ours: glory, be it personal, national or international,

for new places to live, eventually,

as proof of what human beings can do without that superstition about god - and to know the marvels of His creation,

and for sheer joy.

Space shuttle Columbia is feared lost.