Thursday, 31 July 2014


Let's face it: it is an odd story. Especially in a Christian context. God is good and what he does and decides is always right, right? On the other hand: he created man, didn't like what he created, destroyed it all and then created it again. That. Doesn't make sense.

And I'm not even going in to the whole genocide and incest part of the story.

In any case, Darren Aronofsky - whose films I tend to enjoy a great deal - recently made a film of this bizarre story, following upon which Nick Cohen wrote a hilarious review.

I point to one paragraph in particular:
The Ten Commandments do not condemn slavery or child abuse. Instead of recommending a moral life, four of the commandments are merely the instructions of a jealous, not to say vain God, on the importance of revering Him and Him alone, honouring his day and respecting his name. How could a Hollywood liberal tell the Noah story without casting God as the villain? He is a dictator who demands total obedience. 

This both misses and explains the point.

The ten commandments were a contract. A political agreement, a land rental deal, a right for this group of citizens to settle in this master's land. This is precisely what makes the ten commandments so remarkable. These types of deals were struck all the time between tribes and local powers (kings, etc.). The right to reside on the land came with a commitment to, perhaps, fight in their wars, or contribute their food. The ten commandments are the first record we have of this same type of deal - common and normal in its historical context - being struck with a deity.

Now read the paragraph again.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Why the US can not win the World Cup

From the Freakonomics radio podcast about "Why America Doesn't Love Soccer Yet".

WILSON: I remember when I first came and I first started coaching here, I had a kid on a team who I was coaching and he was six, and he was fantastic. And he scored something like five goals in a game, and the parents started screaming at me take him out, take him out. And I thought why would I take him out? He just scored five goals, we’re crushing the other team, these other kids, and they were in a panic. And I never saw this happen in Little League. You know, I never saw anybody say you know that kid he just struck out two players in a row…take him out! It didn’t happen. It didn’t happen in basketball…

Sunday, 27 July 2014


I am in one, and I know why I chose to be in one, but I don't really understand the legalities of it.

I know that if we choose to end our marriage there is all this legal rigmarole to go through, but how can that be? I did sign a marriage certificate but was not presented with any associated contract laying out the terms and conditions.

And I think I should have been.

If I could re-design marriage, it would be a legal contract, period. It would have to be drawn up by the parties, or appointed legal advisors, read and signed, with terms for future dissolution and other such contingencies. (For the record: a pre-nup is better than romantic, it is logical and demonstrates that you have thought through the marriage, rather than being swept up in a moment's infatuation).

So that's my view. It seems to me that if people were aware of all the terms and conditions, they would give marriage more thought. Because it is a legal contract and it's not the romantic part. Being with somebody you trust wholly, being a team, making choices together: all of that is romantic. Even making the decision to bind your fortunes and futures together is romantic. Sealing the deal is just a step in the proceedings.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Speaking of food, see G's preparation for cooking. Clearly I am having an influence here. The question is: is this a positive influence or negative?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Bella vs Intelligente

This comic, below, reminds me of G once asking me if I think I am more beautiful or more intelligent.

It's not for me to judge, I said, not least because beauty is subjective, and exists only in the eyes of the beholder. In any case I would hope that I am more intelligent, as intelligence makes your beautiful, whereas the reverse is not true.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


Football is where it should be.

Germany won the World Cup. Germany was the best team throughout the tournament. And Germany has been the best team for in world cups for quite some time. 

I wish I were saying all this about Italy, but I am happy nonetheless. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

On the radio

Interview with Ed Sheeran:

Radio host: "How do you with the ladies?"
Ed Sheeran: "What do you mean?"
Radio host: "Well you're on the road a lot..."

What I thought he was going to say: "You might be a musician but you're still ginger"

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Decision Making (BSBTE)

What I think whenever I watch a singing talent show.

Dilbert comic strip for 07_02_2014 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.

from Bringing Sexy Back to Economics


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Football? Or Massacre

Conceding 7 goals in a game? A semi-final? And you are the host nation?

Too strange for fiction. So it will only happen in real life. 

Brazil-Germnay, 1-7. Germany scored 5 gols in the first 28 minutes. And they were beauties. Beauties. The score was a massacre, Brazil didn't know what hit it, but Germany has played their gorgeous game for so long. 4th semi-final in a row, unheard of. 

Hopp Deutschland. 

Feeling independent

As in: happy 4th of July. A little late.

Mine included birthday celebrations, World Cup games, home made linguine, dinner with cousins and white water river rafting. 


Sunday, 6 July 2014

First Shopaholic (BSBTE)

I learned from the podcast Good Job Brain about Mary Todd’s Lincoln incessant shopping. She was almost like an older-day’s Kardashian, with the press following her from shop to shop.

In fact, she was so addicted to going shopping that she used some of taxpayer money out to buy things with at shops. She also thought that a good use of the federal funds would to be to redecorate the White House using it. She brought the idea of redecorating forward to congress, who approved and gave a $20,000 limit.

Which she exceeded.

Apparently much of her spending was kept form her husband, and stories say she sold off White House manure – purchased as fertilizer – to help her repay some of her outstanding debts.

from Bringing Sexy Back to Economics


Friday, 4 July 2014

Boys are smart, girls are thin?

"How would American girls’ lives be different if parents were half as concerned with their bodies and twice as intrigued by their minds?"

A NY Times piece, which I found on Experimental and Behavioral Economics, so I post his mention here. 

Parents are two and a half times more likely to ask “Is my son gifted?” than “Is my daughter gifted?” ...What concerns do parents disproportionately have for their daughters? Primarily, anything related to appearance. Consider questions about a child’s weight. Parents Google “Is my daughter overweight?” roughly twice as frequently as they Google “Is my son overweight?” Just as with giftedness, this gender bias is not grounded in reality. About 30 percent of girls are overweight, while 33 percent of boys are. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Improv in the Park

Thank you Whole World Improv Theatre for the monthly free Improv nights at Atlantic Station.

Astroturf picnic, comedy and laughs. All of which had been immediately preceded by yoga in the park (I was a spectator).