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The Sky is Falling…

January 29, 2008

satellite_build1.jpgWell, a satellite anyway. A US spy satellite at that. Landing possibly near you in February or March – forecasting their return is as precarious as forecasting their launches. Read more

Time to Drink the Toilet Water

January 27, 2008

hooch290x2001.jpgTom Hanks has a very explicit house rule for his new boofhead dog of a pet (Hooch) when he instructs him most sternly that there is to be no drinking from the toilet. The good folks of Orange County (CA) are turning a deaf ear to mother’s advice and are going to be doing just that. Read more

To the Victor go the…large mounds

January 26, 2008

waterloolion290x200.jpgBattlefields have a strange attraction. Gettysburg had an impact on me which was all the more powerful for being so thoroughly unexpected. The humanity of it all was perversely rammed home by understanding the sheer scale of the slaughter. In the case of Gettysburg the preservation of the slaughter-yard otherwise called a battlefield adds to the weight of the experience. Read more

Thanks Heath…

January 23, 2008

heath-ledger.jpgHeck of a way to do it but thanks for driving our greedy self absorption, reflected in the stock market headlines, off the front pages of the papers and reminding us all of what is really important in this all too brief run we have.

Sweetwater Flower Girl

January 22, 2008

afghaneyes.jpgThat is what her name means in Pashto, the language of the Pashtuns. It is a more poetic and uplifting post title than the more dramatic one I was concocting. Here she is, her face staring down from a poster twenty feet high in the Forbidden Palace, Beijing. Read more

Pharaoh’s Pharmaceuticals

January 20, 2008

hopspictures.jpgThere is something that resonates deep within us when we read about Oetzi, or are mesmerised by a mummified corpse of the Andes or Nile. We connect somehow with bodies preserved in peat, having a sense that, though long dead, they can somehow still speak to us. We will them to open their eyes, especially those that appear to be only sleeping and whisper their secrets to us. We find ourselves looking at eternity in reverse, as if somehow their secrets can help us understand our own times and our own futures.  Read more

The Camera Trap

January 19, 2008

chinalunchgroup290x200.jpgIf you have ever had a video camera fixed to your eye at an airshow, or at the car race track you will understand what I mean by the camera trap – so fixated are you on capturing the moment (to be stored forgotten in your camera) that you miss the real experience. When filming or photographing people that loss is even more profound. That is what happened here. Read more

Vale Nigel Hankin

January 15, 2008

nigel-hankin-290x200.jpgReaders can be very kind, even if it is sad news they bring. Ray Pearce has just brought to my attention the death of Nigel Hankin, a COMPLETELY eccentric, gentle, likable old chap who won our hearts when we met him in India. Thanks Ray, I had missed it. Read more

Making a Molehill Out of Mt Everest

January 11, 2008

Edmund HillaryOne of the more gratifying experiences I had when serving as an officer in the military was to hear, in the wee hours of the morning, after midnight when no one was stirring – except perhaps those Russian submarines – one of the junior staff, emptying bins and sweeping floors, declare he was forsaking his uniform and was off to university. He went on to become a doctor with more degrees than the rest of us put together. Despite the military telling him he was only good enough to clean up after the rest of us. Read more

Cricket: India versus England, Australia, NZ, Sri Lanka…No one wins.

January 9, 2008

indiacricket.jpgIt was a World Series Clash held in Mumbai. It was hot. In the mid thirties and steaming, with the heavy salt air hammering the city with a humid blanket that never lifted. The tamarind trees around the ground had their foliage blasted off and shade was notional at best. Sri Lanka was batting, there had been an appeal and the umpires were closely looking at the wicket to determine if there had been an error. The crowd was screaming for blood. Out! The crowd roared and hooted and the next batsman skipped out onto the pitch with the crowd chanting his demise even before he started. Read more

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