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New translation, the Magna Carta

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in his spare time, bush is a standup comedian - the auroran sunset

For a few decades, the White House Correspondents’ Association has held an annual dinner. The sitting President is invited to that dinner and expected to give a short speech. Their speech is supposed to be amusing and without serious content, or at least without direct political comment on the events of the day.

Last year, Bush let his wife Laura take over. This year, he hired an impersonator to ‘translate’. Bush talked like Bush, although with some twists in the content, while the clone explained what George really wants to say. There was also mockery of Bush’s rhetorical and pronunciation problems.

A video of the full 15 minute routine is available for free download at CSPAN. Here are my favourite parts:

Bush: “And I've continued to spread our agenda globally and around the world, as well as internationally. ”

marker at

Clone: “Yes my fellow Americans, in the words of Sigmund Freud, ‘I have a dream.’”

Bush: And one of those dreams is to eliminate barriers and I saw a wonderful opportunity to do that when I was in China. Out on tour in the Chinese countryside with the Chinese premier, When-He-Elbow, I looked him straight in the eye and I said, ‘Mr.President, TEAR. DOWN. THIS. WALL.’”

related material
George and Laura in 2005

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a society where tony bliar’s ‘aptitude’ would be valued - the auroran sunset

“Their rigid adherence to the truth was apparently not enjoined on them by a god, as is usually the case, but appeared to have a genetic base. The average Zoon could no more tell a lie than breathe underwater and, in fact, the very concept was enough to upset them considerably; telling a Lie meant no less than totally altering the universe.

“This was something of a drawback to a trading race and so, over the millennia, the elders of the Zoon studied this strange power that everyone else had in such abundance and decided that they should possess it too.

“Young men who showed faint signs of having such a talent were encouraged, on special ceremonial occasions, to bend the Truth ever further on a competitive basis. The first recorded Zoon proto-lie was: 'Actually, my grandfather is quite tall,' but eventually they got the hang of it and the office of tribal Liar was instituted.

“It must be understood that while the majority of Zoon cannot lie they have great respect for any Zoon who can say that the world is other than it is, and the Liar holds a position of considerable eminence. He represents his tribe in all his dealings with the outside world, which the average Zoon long ago gave up trying to understand. Zoon tribes are very proud of their Liars.

“Other races get very annoyed about all this. They feel that the Zoon ought to have adopted more suitable titles, like 'diplomat' or 'public relations officer'. They feel they are poking fun at the whole thing.” p.123 [1987 edition, 0552131059]

Terry Pratchett has written a large number of comedies set in an absurd magical medieval land called “Diskworld”, of which Equal Rites is the third. He has a rare gift with the absurd twisting of word-usage to paint unexpected pictures, in a typical example from the quoted book he calls someone “as self-centred as a tornado”. On occasion, he uses this twisting to make sharp satirical comment on aspects of current society, often with a libertarian slant. Most of his humour, however, revolves around ignorant people and the strange way they (don’t) think. He can get somewhat samey and he is far from consistent, but I tend to snigger my way through his books pretty quickly so they can’t be all bad.

Equal rites by Terry Pratchett


Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

2004 reprint, Corgi Adult, 0552152609 £6.99 [] {advert}

Equal rite by Terry Pratchett
2005 reprint, Harper Paperbacks, 0060855908, $10.74 [] {advert}
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miro à la google, for his birth date

miro doodle by Google
doodle by Google - Miro

Suggested by Topher.

It is said that an artist is a colllector wh cannot afford the auction price.

Here is another homage to Miro, this time by abelard:

Homage to Miro by abelard.

I have a tendency to tidy up and extract the essentials from the work of artists who attract my attention.

Miró has his roots in Dada-ism, with its interest in automatic writing. This painting is produced by those methods, with specific reference to his Constellations series (approximately 1940).

Having no interest in symbolism, I ignored those aspects of Miró’s painting.

Some images from Miró’s constellation series.

Joan Miró [1993 - 1983] was born in Barcelona. Between 1939 and 1941 he did the Constellation series, expressing his horror of the second World War. There is a Miró museum in Barcelona.

related material
Barcelona and St George

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rune and script alphabets

“Runes are the characters of ancient alphabets: Teutonic (24 letters), Anglo-Saxon (32 letters), and Scandinavian (16 letters). Runic characters are similar to Latin letters, except that they tend to have few curves and consist mostly of straight lines, suitable for carving with knives. Runic letters were used for over one thousand years. For most people, the runic alphabet died out sometime between the 13th and 16th centuries.” [Quoted from]

Non-alphabetic writing, with eleven original downloadable TrueType fonts of ‘magical’ alphabets from various areas and times. There are apparently at least fourteen alphabets to come. The site has very pretty pictures of the fonts. The creator appears to take this sort of thing seriously, which leads to some surreal labels:

“Hagalaz (the ice-egg) drawn in its solid form is a hexagonal matrix of triangles. This is the mother rune that contains the patterns of all the other runes.”

Daggers runes. Image credit: Fuzzypeg
Daggers script. Image credit: Fuzzypeg


Pictish swirl script. Image credit: Fuzzypeg.
Pictish swirl script. Image credit: Fuzzypeg.


For those aware of the Cirth runes developed by J.R.R Tolkien, Omniglot has a short resumé.

Sample of Cirth runes developed by J.R.R. Tolkien. Image credit: Omniglot
Sample of Cirth runes developed by J.R.R. Tolkien. Image credit: Omniglot

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i’m not buying one - i’m not that adventurous/dumb!

Genh-4 one-man helicopter. Image credit: Jon Plummer and Ace Craft USA

Genh-4 one-man helicopter. Image credit: Ace Craft USA

Genh-4 one-man helicopter. Image credit: Ace Craft USA

“[...] the Gen H-4 personal helicopter. Sporting four engines and eight cylinders, redundancy is the theme of the Gen H-4. It can fly with one engine out, and can land safely with two engines out. If luck runs out, the design includes an "I quit" handle: A BRS ballistic parachute is included. It's powered by four 125cc two-cylinder two-stroke engines that require a 30:1 oil/gas mix, and have a small carburetor [sic] on each cylinder, with a total of 40 hp.”

Genh-4 one-man helicopter. Image credits: Jon Plummer and Ace Craft USA

Frequently asked questions | Specifications | More photos

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on the efficacy of prayer

“In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

“The work, which followed about 1,800 patients at six medical centers, was financed by the Templeton Foundation, which supports research into science and religion. It will appear in the American Heart Journal.

“Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and other scientists tested the effect of having three Christian groups pray for particular patients, starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. The volunteers prayed for "a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications" for specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of the last name.”

related material:
Statistical inquiries into the efficacy of prayer - Francis Galton

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