Random Thoughts

Dear Awareness People:

Shut the F......... (1) I'm begging you.

I already have more than enough to be aware of. Even more than I'm aware of. 

You try walking around Manhattan unaware. You won't be walking for long. Nope, there will be the usual horde of coked-up delivery guy lunatics whizzing around on bikes (sidewalks only, please) just praying for the opportunity to be the first to run you over. 

Today is the first day of the Chinese Year of the Rooster, 2017.
 
I am addressing this in particular to North American friends, since yesterday evening on TV we saw Michael Portillo on one of his great railway journeys, travelling through the state of Kansas.  In one of his enounters, a young Native American man, in full costume, performed a “prairie chicken” dance from the Blackfeet of Montana.
 
The Guardian, or as it is more affectionately known to its readers, The Grauniad, seems to think that it takes a native Russian speaker to write 'f' as 'ph'.

Almost certainly, a native Russian speaker wrote the original material, correctly transliterating the Russian “f” as “ph”.

Er, no!
I am happy to report, with this rather unconventional blog posting, that I am getting married on January 12. My companion is Kalliopi Petrou, a lyrical singer. There will be no huge party involved in the event, as Kalliopi and I have lived together for some time already and the ceremony will be minimalistic. None the less, we do give importance to this common decision, so much so that I thought it would be a good thing to broadcast in public - here.
The STENDEC Puzzle

Ever since BSAA Avro Lancastrian Star Dust vanished on a flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago, the ending of its final transmission - STENDEC - has continued to puzzle experts and amateurs alike.

Star Dust, registration G-AGWH, an Avro 691 Lancastrian 3, departed Buenos Aires for Santiago at 13.46 on 2 August 1947.  It was not seen again until wreckage was discovered in 1998 by two mountaineers climbing Mount Tupungato.  The wreckage was found about 50 miles (80 km) east of Santiago.

If I wanted to create a fake news story – I would lead with a sensational headline. Something that would incense and shock the readers and be extra “clickbaity”. Perhaps a hook about a teenager getting raped to death. That should get some serious traffic.

The Pitch and the Pendulum

(Pace1 Edgar Allan Poe)
Some people take comfort in the back-and-forth sway of the political pendulum. It is part of the greatness of our ‘two-party system’, they contend; it reflects the American aversion to extremism on ‘either side’. For the mainstream media, charting each degree of the pendulum’s swing is the essence of the 24-hour news cycle.
New Internationalist Magazine, November 2010
Did Donald Trump Really Win Bigly?

Did President-elect Donald Trump Win Bigly, or did he suffer an attack of the mumpsimus?

We all know that the Donald loves to use superlatives, but 'bigly'?  Really?  Well, no not at all really.

We are all subject to preconceptions about our environment.  A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, right?  But we often miss-hear words and are puzzled by what we think we heard.  As Earwig O1 would say, "sailor vee"2.

Allegation - a new -ism

Having marked my return to blogging with one new word - egestatism - I thought I may as well invent another.

We already have handwaving and whataboutery which appear to be de rigeur in any scientific or political discussion.  And now, may I present - roll of drums - allegationism.