Fandango’s One Word Challenge (8 July 2020)

Left to right, the first graphic shows what Palestine looked like, before Israel was formed. The second graphic shows the formation of Israel after WW2 and a UN resolution, and the third and fourth graphics show how Israel has expanded since that time.

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), acquire.

Fandango’s Provocative Question (8 July 2020)

Wednesday. Fandango’s Provocative Question once again. I’ve think this morning was one of my longest telephone sessions yet – I think 4 of the calls each took about ¾h, and my ear was sore by the end. It is almost 3PM and getting showered is still on my “to do” list, so the upshot is, I’m gonna try to keep this brief. Today, Fandango asks us:

Do you believe, with respect to the judicial system (or systems) in place where you live, that justice is, indeed, blind? Why do you feel that way?

Okay, brief. Probably the most obvious place to start is race. In the our most recent census of 2011, the population of England and Wales is around:

86%

7.5%

3.3%

3.2%

White (approximately)

Asian (incl Chinese)

Black

Other

This information comes from the UK Government itself.

Now, in England and Wales, we are about 60+ million. This number comes from Worldometers. Now, we’re maybe not the largest country, but not a bad sample number, don’t you agree?

So, if justice were blind, don’t you think we’d expect to see broadly those numbers reflected in the prison population? Okay, not exactly, because there are so many variants here, but broadly. Instead, what we see is:

England/Wales Prison Population (c.80,000)

75%

25%

White (approximately)

BME (Blach, Asian, Minority Ethnic)

these numbers from Wikipedia.

So, at this point, I shouldn’t have to say anything further. It’s not really something we need to debate, because the numbers speak for themselves. If you’re BME, you’re more likely to be banged up.

But it’s not just race. In the last few years here. We have seen big restrictions here on Legal Aid. (Legal Aid is the help you get here from the state to defend yourself, or to take somebody to court. It was pretty tough anyway but has been toughened further.) So the bottom line is: don’t tangle with the law unless you can afford to do so. The result is that a rich person can use the law far more to their advantage than a poor person. So, the discrimination is very much based of poverty, too.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (8 July 2020)

Spoiler Alert: gory post coming up!

Butter Wouldn’t Melt

the sight which greeted me when I looked out in the porch this morning:

Not a brilliant image, I’m afraid. I’m mega-zooming, because this thing was tiny, and the camera had difficulty focussing against the featureless floor tiles. On the left, some entrails, on the right, a head. Just a head. I’m sorry if you’re eating at the moment.

I then wandered through to the bedroom:

Looks like I’m not going to be making the bed anytime soon!

for Fandango’s Pne Word Challenge (FOWC), culpable.

Share Your World (6 July 2020)

Monday. Just knocked off. Getting back into work mode is going quite successfully, but have not bothered looking at any job boards yet.

Anyway, what should be there to greet me as I knocked off but Melanie’s latest batch of Share Your World questions. A quick scan through has revealed that I’m probably going to be quite dull this week, but I’ll have a bash nevertheless.


In your opinion, what’s the closest thing to real magic?

When I thought of magic, my first thought was of the wizards I have seen with a soccer ball, whose skill is beyond belief. David Beckham, for example, was able to repeatedly kick a ball into a trashcan from thirty yards away.

Opening that our a bit, I suppose it is anybody who has mastered their craft so well that they defy belief.

That might include what we think of as a magician.

Did you ever watch a game of snooker, for example. Potting every ball, after each red ball, taking the black ball, then clearing up one colour ball at a time. That’s 147 points in total. Imposswible, right? Yet several people have done it.

My own favourite sport was cycling. Have a look at the trick in this video, from a professional cyclist called Peter Sagan:

Don’t you wish you could park like that?

Where is the worst smelling place you’ve been?

One of the things my wife and I agree on is that my sense of small is rubbish, so “worst smelling” is a relative term!

When my wife comes home from work at the local doctor’s surgery, she smells “clinical”. Of disinfectant. It’s pretty horrible.

I remember one of the cats (not the current cats) had an infected wound once, that was pretty awful.

At university, my department (Physics) was right next to the Chemistry Department. I swear they did it on purpose!

Lastly, I hate the rotten egg/sulphur smell that I burp if I have an upset tummy. Apparently, caused by some specific bacteria. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often.

What are some things that you’ve heard in your own life, which sounded like compliments but were actually insults?

There are always one or two keywords, polite ways of saying “that’s shit”.

“Interesting” is one such word. But you’ve got to second-guess it though. “Interesting” might just mean…interesting 🤣🤣🤣 So, if you say my post is interesting, I’ll know what you mean!

What incredibly common thing have you never done?

Gosh, what have I never done? I’m trying to rack my brain.

I’ve never done any sports like scuba diving or skydiving. Never had any desire to. Lots of people do one or other of those nowadays.

I’m not a big traveller, I haven’t been out of Europe for many years, although I did once spend a year in the USA.

I suppose I’ve never been arrested! But hardly “incredibly common”.

I flew in a helicopter once. The idea of flying in a helicopter was a much bigger deal than flying in one! I only mention it, because a few people seem to want to do that.

Please feel free to share some gratitude that you experienced during the past week!  🙂

Hmmmm, gratitude. Understand that these are marginal calls, I’m still not going out so both gratitude and ingratitude are close-run thing.

I had arranged to meet a friend for an al-fresco coffee. I was nervous about going, but he handily settled the issue by pulling out.

My belief is that the virus is more effective at spreading indoors than out, but I’m glad I didn’t have to put that to the test. I think my region (which is still a pretty big area (about 1/8 of the UK as a whole) registered about 10 deaths during the last week.

I was also glad we got a delivery from the supermarket Saturday night. They brought me a curry (last night’s supper) and a fresh supply of chocolate biscuits. I’m allowed one per day – I had today’s at about 8AM!

These days it is all about food.

Have a good week, everyone.