Iceland: The dark underbelly of sexual equality

Iceland has long enjoyed a reputation as a paragon of sexual equality. For the past 11 years, it has led the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, and its women benefit from high levels of education and equality in the workplace. But this masks some “insidious problems in Icelandic society”, say Sigrún Sif Jóelsdóttir and …

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US universities are charging full fees for ‘virtual’ class this fall.

Schools with huge endowments are pretending remote learning is the same experience as learning together with your fellow students. Excuse me?  Harvard is one of the colleges who will offer the bulk of their courses online. But they refuse to reduce the cost of tuition. Colleges and universities are in a bind. Coronavirus continues to rage …

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Making a dog’s dinner of Brexit?

“The UK’s new start – let’s get going.” That’s the lame slogan unveiled this week to exhort businesses to prepare for Brexit proper in January.   For UK consumers, that “sunny” new start means sky-high phone roaming charges, comprehensive travel insurance to cross the Channel, and the need to visit a vet four months in …

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Apparently a true story

This  is apparently the actual dialogue, from the WordPerfect customer support Helpline,  transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department. Needless to say the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the WordPerfect organization for ‘Termination without Cause’. Operator:         ‘Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?’ Caller:              ‘Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect …

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Basics of Epicureanism

From time to time I post a brief description of Epicureanism, not for the benefit of the cognoscenti, but for new readers for whom Epicurus is just the name of a philosopher: Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based on the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 B.C. It teaches that the greatest good is …

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Making the legal profession great again

$1699.00 The top rate attorneys at Weil, Gotshal and Manges are charging to handle the bankruptcy of retailer J. Crew (American Lawyer, 22 May 2020) A year ago J. Crew had 14,500 employees, 10,000 of them part-time.  {Inequality.org) Meanwhile, America, known worldwide for being the go-to country for lawyers who want to make fortunes, is …

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The British quarantine

“Even by its own increasingly chaotic standards, the mess into which the Government has got itself over its new quarantine rules takes some beating,” said The Times. The new regulations – which came into force this week – require travellers to Britain to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. This is “the wrong policy at …

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Optimism (if you can manage some)

People with optimistic outlooks tend to live longer than their more negative peers, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found. The study drew on data from two long-running studies of Americans aged over 60: one of 1,500 male war veterans, and one of 70,000 female nurses. At the start of both, the participants …

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Excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita, Part 1

……..Virtuous people find it difficult to believe that such evil exists on earth. It’s proponents, moreover, often proclaim (if they have a degree of intelligence) teachings that are designed purposefully to win others to their side: teachings like “the greatest good for the greatest number” and “each according to his need, from each according to …

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Light relief (you may have seen these gems before)

Why people need to learn grammar, spelling and syntax.   Actual announcements found in Church bulletins to the congregation or announced at services: ————————– The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals. ————————–     Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. ————————–  The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus …

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Filling the day with ……..what?

“We are born once and cannot be born twice, but we must be no more for all time. Not being master of tomorrow, you nonetheless delay your happiness.  Life is consumed in procrastination, and each of us dies without providing leisure for himself.”     (From “The Essential Epicurus”, by Eugene O’Connor, Great Books in Philosophy …

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Mis-use of taxpayer money

I was intrigued by an article in the Washington Post, which reported that most US Catholic parishes had applied for taxpayer money, namely the small business stimulation package handouts to help them through the virus epidemic.  13,000 Catholic parishes have received our money out of a total of about 17,000.   In the first round 6,000 …

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Glasses are forbidden

Tokyo Thousands of Japanese women have taken to social media to share their experiences of being discouraged from wearing spectacles at work since the practice was exposed in two recent reports. It turns out that a range of firms tell their female employees not to wear glasses, including a domestic airline that cites “safety” issues, …

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Welcome to a world of neontocracy. A review of “Raising Children”

We live in a neontocracy, a world that revolves around the needs of children far beyond the basics of food and material comfort. It seems vital to maintain children’s happiness, status, self-esteem and protection, and to provide constant stimulation. Anthropologist David Lancy of Utah State University (who coined the term neontocracy), writes that modern parenting …

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BabyBoomers then and now

To The Guardian. March 2018, from a baby boomer:  “As a 70-year-old baby boomer I read and learnt from Phillip Inman’s article. As usual, though, there is no comparison made between the life circumstances experienced during the youthful years of baby boomers and those of today’s young people. “Most of us grew up without central …

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Meditation

There seems to be good evidence that regular sessions of mindful attention have a calming effect on the amygdala, the brain’s emotion processor, and reduce impulsive reactions to stressful or negative thoughts and experiences. Mindfulness, they say, can help mute our emotional response to physical pain, and lessen anxiety and mind-wandering (not the kind that …

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