The Shortest Day

Today is the shortest day but only in the sense of having the smallest amount of potential daylight, Days still remain periods of twenty four hours when you count them from one period of time when the sun is at its highest point in the sky until the next period of time when it is in its highest in the sky, but here in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere outside the Arctic circle days (in the sense of those periods of time which are opposites to nights) are at their shortest this time of the year and from tomorrow will get longer and longer for six months until they get shorter once again.

People have always felt that these calendar events have some significance or mystery have significance merely for what they are or perhaps sometimes for what they appear to signify. Having a shortest day shows humanity that it is not in command of its circumstances; it must yield to another more powerful event, and although today we can disguise some of the consequences of that event as we turn on the light in our homes and turn up the central heating, the disguise is paltry. At the end of this day we can say “here comes the sun”.

Follow the Money

Scandals about the conditions in which people who work in third world countries are frequent. The latest scandal claims Apple exhausts the workers who make its products in China and uses (indirectly) child labour to work in dangerous mines in Indonesia. When the BBC made a programme about these thing Apple circulated its UK staff with words which included  Continue reading

Happy Christmas from Mauna Loa

The latest measurements for atmospheric carbon dioxide from Mauna Loa show in November 2014 a measurement of 397.13 parts per million compared with 395.11 ppm in November 2013. Continue reading

Kim Jong-un and a figure of fun

The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un is thought of by most people in these islands, if they think of him at all, as a reasonably fat figure of fun with a rather silly haircut. As befits a gentleman who is an unelected dictator in charge of a reasonably powerful nation with nuclear weapons and scant regard to the rights of the people over whom he reigns, Kim Jong-un is a natural target for satire- the use of ridicule, irony or sarcasm to expose his vice and folly. Continue reading

Locked in By Fear

Fear is a political tool. It is used by politicians as a means of trying to control us. We are told to hang on desperately to the hand of nurse for fear of finding something worse because there are plenty of lions out there, waiting for an opportunity to eat us up. Chris made the point when commenting on a recent post. He wrote Continue reading


The deliberate murder of school children to further a political ambition leaves a deep and lasting imprint on the minds of those who learn about it. This is real terror, beyond anything recently experienced in the developed world, and has happened in that melting cauldron, Pakistan. It is hard to understand the mentality of the murderers. I can understand the mentality of those who have gone on killing sprees in schools previously, not for political ends, but because their minds were warped from the normal mind that we encounter. What happened in Peshawar was different.  Continue reading

Dulce Bellum Inexpertis

War is sweet to those who do not know it and it was said when Greeks ruled Southern Europe. Our bodies are not designed for fighting, but for loving and embracing and not for fighting. Continue reading


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