alithea: (Starbuck bang (made by amiyuy))
Caught the end of Newsnight last night and the piece they were doing on whether the success of women at the Olympics (this Olympics has been all about the women in my opinion) and the wall to wall coverage of women athletes on the TV, will actually translate into greater exposure for them *after* the Olympics and improve equality of access, participation and sponsorship. I'm somewhat afraid to hope it will because I suspect I'm going to be disappointed, but if the shortlist for Sport's Personality of the Year isn't at least 50% women this year, there needs to be a *lot* of angry letters written to the BBC (although I'll confess I won't mind if Bradley Wiggins wins it, just as long as the women get the recognition they are due too).

Turns out that when it's women playing rather than overpaid idiots with attitude problems, I'll even watch *football* of all things, although I think handball still wins the 'most entertaining sport I've never seen before' award.
alithea: (We are all made of stars)
I've been glued to the TV all week but it took 'til today for the tears to start. Anna Watkins went to high school with my little sister and I remember her as cheery 15 year old, enthusing about my Mum's green mini. It was a real privilege to watch her win a gold medal. There are some jolly proud folks in a sleepy little Staffordshire village today.

Question

Oct. 7th, 2011 04:23 pm
alithea: (Being human (base by ahlai))
I'm really sorry the poor man is dead but am I the only person around here who has never owned an Apple product?? Or indeed, a cheaper copy of something first devised by Apple?

Weekend

Sep. 12th, 2011 01:37 pm
alithea: (Default)
*Saturday started off very badly, when I woke up to Tony Blair being interviewed on the Today programme and wanted to stab his eyes out after about 2 minutes. I then spent the rest of the weekend avoiding all news and coverage of the 9/11 memorials like the plague, which did wonders for my sanity.

*I went swimming on Saturday afternoon and ended up in the sprint lane, which was a bit full on. I love my new goggles soo much though - they don't leak or steam up!

*The Boy and I had dinner with a friend we don't see enough of on Saturday night and it was lovely. Also, her pet rats are incredibly cute.

*Dr Who made me cry. That's the first time I've been emotionally engaged this series and therefore a win (ETA: okay, I forgot about The Doctor's Wife). My only gripe is that the writing *still* seems to be ignoring the fact that Amy and Rory are supposed to be parents.
alithea: (Being human (base by ahlai))
I think I'm more depressed by the people calling the rioters animals and advocating sending the army in to shoot them than I am by the wanton destruction and violence (not that I'm not appalled at people losing their homes and livelihoods you understand, but as this article points out, most of the culprits are thoroughly dispossessed and condemming people with no hope as worthless and less than human isn't the way to improve our society).

I really hope things calm down and the clean-up crews with their brooms don't find all their good work undone by the morning.

ETA: Also, everyone should read this post by someone who works with these young people (via Andrew Hickey on twitter)
That's made me think actually, I was contemplating applying for a voluntary PT job editing stuff for a food-related environmental campaign group but all this makes me think I should really volunteer with my local community instead...
alithea: (Default)
So there was a wedding on Friday; rather nice, liked the dress which was nicely understated and more about the shape than the decoration which is just my taste (although I wasn't the biggest fan of the neckline), and the trees, and enjoyed critiquing the hats and frocks on twitter. Rather a lot of fuss for my tastes but there were no street parties around here so I just turned the TV off when I got bored after the balcony scene!

On Saturday, I met up with June, had a cuppa and a good natter and bought 2 new pairs of shoes in Clarks so I now have MJs that aren't red!

And yesterday, the Boy and I headed off to Aberfeldy and walked the Birks of Aberfeldy, which was beautiful, especially given the glorious weather, and visited the Scottish Crannog centre on Loch Tay, where we got to walk around a reconstruction of an Iron Age crannog and have Iron Age crafts and farming demonstrations with a rather entertaining guide.


The Falls of Moness in the Birks of Aberfeldy


The Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay

All in all a fantastic weekend, we really do have some most beautiful countryside round here (okay, so Aberfeldy is an 1 1/2 hours drive away but still, easily daytripable) and for a heat-averse person like me, the weather was just perfect, gloriously sunny but not hot.

Compassion

Aug. 20th, 2009 01:53 pm
alithea: (V ideas (made by garinungkadol))
So the Lockerbie bomber is being released on compassionate grounds so he can die at home with his family. This will no doubt cause considerable consternation to some, such as Hilary Clinton, while others doubt he was ever guilty in the first place.

I don't know whether he was responsible for all those deaths or not, what I do know is that compassion for victims and their families is easy. Surely, the test of a truly compassionate person or country is the ability to show compassion even under the hardest circumstances, and it doesn't get much harder than a convicted mass murderer. So I'm sorry if the victim's families feel betrayed by this judgment, but for my part I'm proud to live in a country where we can show compassion to a dying man, regardless of what he has done.
alithea: (Red Inara (made by singingrl))
BBrrrr! It's amazing how a few days in a milder area makes you feel the cold back in the Frozen North, although it's probably as much because I'm tired as anything, straight to bed after BSG tonight! And a nice cuppa and chocolate in the meantime :)

I didn't have time to blog about it before I left on Friday but I was most gratified upon reading last week's New Scientist, to discover that there are people out there who actually agree with me regarding the percieved conflict between Science and Religion. For those of you who have missed the arguments around here about it, while I agree that some individual religious traditions, or at least some of their followers, are anti-science, I do not see an inherent conflict between being a person of science and a person of faith, and I get very frustrated when the rabid atheists (as i like to call them, as opposed to the perfectly reasonable 'believe what you like so long as it doesn't hurt anyone, and you don't shove it down my throat or expect me to live by your rules' atheists) rant about how no rational person could possibly believe in something that current science cannot prove ('cos no-one has a faith based on personal evidence, right?), and use arguments almost entirely based on the Abrahamic faiths' notion of God and Creation ('cos all religious people believe God is a man who sits on a cloud and created the world in 7 days and people in his image, right?). Anyway, John Gray, Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics, wrote the following while reviewing a book about Islam and Science:

If advocates of creationism or intelligent design lack intellectual rigour, then the militant Darwinists who attack religion while knowing virtually nothing of the immense varieties of religious belief and experience are no better.

The true conflict may not be between science and religion, but between science and monotheist faiths in which humans have a privileged place in the world.


Hear, hear!!


Finally, I was bemused to witness the amount of furore in the media over Britney shaving her head last week. As the TV news story I happened to catch progressed, she did come across as a bit of a mess, but to start with they seemed to be asserting that just the act of removing her hair must obviously mean she was having some sort of break down! Why, I wondered, is it so shocking for a woman to shave her head, or lose her hair for that matter, while bald men are just a fact of life? Turns out, I wasn't the only person wondering, and Women's Hour had a piece about it this morning, which was rather interesting listening. Despite finding it somewhat bemusing that lack of hair is such a strong statement for women in our society, I have to confess, I entirely empathise with Jenni and Prof Lisa Jardine, who found hair loss the most upsetting aspect of breast cancer. My mother was just the same, and putting myself in their place, I would be far more devastated to lose my hair, albeit temporarily, than my breasts (although in my case, that is heightened by the fact I have a very small chest and therefore have never seen my breasts as a fundemental expression of my feminine identity). I guess the importance of my hair to my identity, coupled with my control freak tendencies, make it abundantly clear why i have such an aversion to hairdressers!

As a side note, it was also interesting to hear, that while the cultural studies lecturer could appreciate nuns shaving their heads as an act of renunciation, she couldn't see Muslim women covering their heads as anything other than them being oppressed by men, which is maybe a somewhat bizarre dichotomy given that the nuns belong to religions ruled by men too...
alithea: (Starbuck (made by aderyn))
I grew up in Leek, a sleepy market town in North Staffordshire, where, I kid you not, a little girl losing her teddy bear once made the front page of the local weekly newspaper. Not today. Today, it's the first headline on the national news, because a house has exploded in Cheddleton, the village just outside the town, killing a man and three children, and a man has been arrested in Leek. The latest on the story is here on the BBC news website

Speaking to Mum on the phone this morning, who was oblivious because she hadn't had the radio or TV on, I discovered that there was a fatal stabbing in the market place just before they went away on holiday, and of course, on Friday 13th January, their neighbour's son was found dead in mysterious circumstances. Oh how the times change...
alithea: (Burning books (made by celandineb))
When I'm agreeing with something coming out of the mouth of the Tory leader???

On the plus side, the police will not be allowed to effectively give people 6 month jail sentences on the basis of no evidence - civil rights 1; Blair 0! He just doesn't get it at all - he was all indignant on the news, saying we don't understand how under threat we are. He's completely missing the fact that if our civil rights are thoroughly eroded, he'll have destroyed our society for the flippin' terrorists! A high security prison might be pretty damn safe place (well, if there was no-one else in it maybe ;)) but it doesn't mean we want to live in one!!!

Also, there is still hope - Kansas might be allowing ID and creationism to be taught be schools but Channel 4 News managed to track down a Presbytarian minister who is a trained biologist, and is so horrified by the biblical fundamentalists trying to make out the earth is 6000 years old that he's teaching evolution in Sunday school!

Doesn't say much when the news cheers me up :( Today was beautifully sunny (but cold) and i was going to spend the afternoon in the park but i ended up in town with Amy. Which was good company-wise but left me grumpy and restless rather than peaceful. And I lost one of my amethyst earrings :( And I missed T'ai Chi for the second week running 'cos I would have had to leave without having any dinner first because I went back to Amy's for a cuppa and didn't get home until 6.20pm. Grrrr, must make time to practice. Have been unmotivated since the classes moved, Wednesday isn't as good as our old Friday classes used to be :(

Tomorrow, Gizmo is going to the vets for her shots ready for the cattery over Christmas so she's going to love me! I did buy her some new toys today though as I've discovered she likes to play football. So now she has a ball with a bell in it, which kept her amused for about 20 mins after she'd had her tea :) Just hope she doesn't decide to play with it in the middle of the night though as it makes a lot of noise!

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