Saturday, November 3

Ask a child to select a pope

I loved the process of selecting the Coptic Pope.

Two bishops and three monks are short-listed to become the 118th head of the region's largest Christian minority.

The council will pick three, writing their names on separate pieces of paper that will be placed in a box on the altar of St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo.

A blindfolded child will be asked to draw out one of the names on 4 November, thereby picking the new Pope.

Reminds me a bit about how the next Dalai Lama is chosen, a child is involved there as well. I quote

The Dalai Lama is not chosen he is found. The current Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama and ultimately the reincarnation or a manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion . He was born two years after his last incarnation ended. Senior Tibetan monks recieve information during meditation which helps them track down the new Dalai Lama. They have a secret set of criteria which they use to determine whether the child they have tracked down is the Dalai Lama. Although, Familiarity with the possessions of the previous Dalai Lama is considered the main sign of the reincarnation. The search for the reincarnation typically requires a few years.
The current Dalai Lama is was born Tenzin Gyasto

Friday, November 2

The hair trade's dirty secret

I'm not really sure why the author of this article calls it a dirty little secret. Selling hair is no different to me selling my services. But think about the hypocrisy son. If I had long hair, then I can sell it very easily but if I try to sell my blood or say my sperm or my kidneys, the sky will fall in. Such is the amazing stupidity and intellectual incoherence of humans. 

Still interesting reading. I do like long hair :) even if there is the possibility that it could be fake. There's nothing like brushing a girls long hair to really know her. I wish there was something else I could say about long hair and women but I better not :)



The hair trade's dirty secret | Life and style | The Guardian

A woman donates her hair for auction at the Tirumala temple in India

A woman donates her hair for auction at the Tirumala temple in India. Photograph: Jns/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Graham Wake is hardly looking at me but one glance is enough. “I could pay about £75 to £100 if you had a pixie cut,” he says briskly. “If you went for a short bob I’d give you £40.” It’s not often you get paid for a haircut, but Wake’s business, Bloomsbury Wigs, now relies solely on hair sourced from the heads of women in the UK. Each week 30-40 envelopes stuffed with ponytails arrive at his office. Every day, one or two women visit to have their hair valued, cut off, and restyled. Some are bored with long hair, others need the money, and a few are raising money for charity.

Wake says he prefers paying a fair price to women in the UK to buying hair from agents, and that 90% of the coils piled into the transparent plastic boxes that surround him are used to create wigs for people who have lost their hair. The rest are for hair extensions, which is what my locks could become. “If your hair was any curlier, we couldn’t take it,” he says. “It would just matt after a while, but as it is I could use it.”

Thursday, November 1

Stubborn as a Kurd

No wonder these people are so stubborn.


Here is an extract from the Economist. heh. fascinating. Did you know Saladin was Kurdish as well? I didn't. For those who might be interested, he defeated the crusaders and founded his own dynasty. Fascinating story and amusing as well. He was forgotten in Arab lands till the West resurrected him for its own ends, and then the Arabs took to him with gusto. As it so happens, the Eagle of Saladin has been adopted by Egypt, Yemen, Palestine and for some very strange reason UAE and Yemen (there is no connection, lol). But they are stubborn. But one day I have to go to Damascus…its on my list, far too many interesting connections there with history.

Wednesday, October 31

The road not taken

I’m usually not for poems but old man Frost is usually good for a bit of thinking and thunking.

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Sangeeta and I were talking about this poem last weekend while we were ambling around Stanmore Common woods..lovely

Yep, the one less travelled is always better, more fun…even though it might be lonely, its better..

Tuesday, October 30

Why aren't kidneys for sale?

This article is brilliant. I quote:

Maybe one day people will regard it as repugnant that other people hold their moral views on kidney sales so strongly that they are willing to cause innocent people to die for them.

When I can sell my brains, my arms, my energy, my voice, my acting, my back, and and and, why cant I sell my kidneys? And no, just because some will be forced does not mean that I cannot sell my kidneys, just like just because some people are sold into slavery cannot mean that I cannot work like a labourer.


Monday, October 29

Why affirmative action should fail

Its because of stupid, illogical and moronic arguments like this.

MR. GARRE: If you look at the admissions data that we cite on page 34 of our brief, it shows the breakdown of applicants under the holistic plan and the percentage plan. And I don’t think it’s been seriously disputed in this case to this point that, although the percentage plan certainly helps with minority admissions, by and large, the — the minorities who are admitted tend to come from segregated, racially-identifiable schools.
JUSTICE ALITO: Well, I thought that the whole purpose of affirmative action was to help students who come from underprivileged backgrounds, but you make a very different argument that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. The top 10 percent plan admits lots of African Americans — lots of Hispanics and a fair number of African Americans. But you say, well, it’s — it’s faulty, because it doesn’t admit enough African Americans and Hispanics who come from privileged backgrounds. And you specifically have the example of the child of successful professionals in Dallas.
Now, that’s your argument? If you have -you have an applicant whose parents are — let’s say they’re — one of them is a partner in your law firm in Texas, another one is a part — is another corporate lawyer. They have income that puts them in the top 1 percent of earners in the country, and they have -parents both have graduate degrees. They deserve a leg-up against, let’s say, an Asian or a white applicant whose parents are absolutely average in terms of education and income?
MR. GARRE: No, Your Honor. And let me -let me answer the question.First of all, the example comes almost word for word from the Harvard plan that this Court approved in Grutter and that Justice Powell held out in Bakke.
JUSTICE ALITO: Well, how can the answer to that question be no, because being an African American or being a Hispanic is a plus factor.
MR. GARRE: Because, Your Honor, our point is, is that we want minorities from different backgrounds. We go out of our way to recruit minorities from disadvantaged backgrounds.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: So what you’re saying is that what counts is race above all.
MR. GARRE: No, Your Honor, what counts is different experiences
JUSTICE KENNEDY: Well, that’s the necessary — that’s the necessary response to Justice Alito’s question.
MR. GARRE: Well, Your Honor, what we want is different experiences that are going to — that are going to come on campus -JUSTICE
KENNEDY: You want underprivileged of a certain race and privileged of a certain race. So that’s race.

Here is the background to this story.

In the fall of 2008, the University of Texas enrolled 10,335 minority students, not including Asian-Americans. As far as Abigail Fisher was concerned, that was one too many.

Fisher had made good grades in high school - a 3.59 average on a 4.0 scale - posted a score of 1180 on the SAT test and finished as number 82 in a graduating class of 674 at Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land. She figured that was good enough. Then came those dreadful words: "We regret to inform you ..."

Fisher was heartbroken. Her dad went to Texas, and her sister. She bled burnt orange. "I had dreamt of going to UT since the second grade," she said.

This week Fisher may get a little payback. On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit she brought against the school that challenges an admissions policy that openly allows for the use of racial preferences. If she's successful - and legal pundits are saying there is a good chance - colleges and universities could henceforth be banned from even considering the racial or ethnic backgrounds of applicants.

"I was taught from the time I was a little girl that any kind of discrimination was wrong," Fisher said in a videotaped interview posted on YouTube by her lawyers, who have asked her to do no press interviews. "For an institution of higher learning to act this way makes no sense to me. What kind of example does this set for others?"

So why am I excited? here’s an example from India.

In Tamil Nadu, for instance, 69 percent of university admissions are now set aside for what the state has determined to be “backward castes.” Many of those favored with these set-asides have controlled Tamil Nadu’s government and much of its resources for generations, but they claim special status by pointing to a caste survey done in 1931....
Five prominent university officials in Tamil Nadu said in interviews that those given set-asides at their institutions were generally the children of doctors, lawyers and high-level bureaucrats. The result is that rich students routinely get preference over more accomplished poor ones who do not happen to belong to the favored castes. None of the officials would allow their names to be used for fear of angering the government ministers who benefit politically and personally from the program.

Sunday, October 28

The Mayhew wins the Wetnose Animal Aid prize

very good news

The Mayhew has been awarded the Lester Middlehurst Award by Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards for 2013. We were nominated by Wendy Turner Webster.

There will be an Award Ceremony in March next year in London.

I just love the name of the award, wetnose Smile so sweet and cute…

Isn't that Blasphemy? Brits do more cheese than Frogs?

Read this and gulp!

Sales of stilton, real ale and chicken tikka masala are up in France. Are the French learning to love British food?

You're eating at a pavement cafe in France. "You are Engleesh?" the waiter asks.

His pitying expression says it all. Whatever you order will be a delight after the boiled nursery food you've been brought up on.

You can't trust a country with such bad food, Jacques Chirac said of the UK.

To many French people the English are les rosbifs - a people unhealthily obsessed by roasting cows. That, and fish and chips and a few messy puddings and you have the extent of the UK's culinary repertoire, went the argument.

But something is changing across the Channel. People are buying British.

Did you know that they now like Scottish Beef better than French Beef? And that UK produces more different varieties of cheese compared to France? and best of all?

A blind tasting organised by the Financial Times last year gave English cheese a 5-1 win over their French equivalents.

I am dancing a hornpipe here, lol