China

The Chinese president is visiting the United Kingdom (well England anyway). The government is hailing it as an excellent opportunity to bolster trade links with China, and with figures of £2.2 billion being bandied about, it certainly seems to be important. Money is the big issue. Hidden behind ‘trade links’, ‘increased profitability through working ventures’ and various other spin phrases, money is the driving force behind the wooing of Jiang Zemin. So far Tony Blair and his assortment of cronies have managed to appease the general public, and haven’t really screwed up too badly – until now. I watched scenes on the television of policemen tearing down banners, physically restraining, and arresting those people who chose to demonstrate against Zemin’s …

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Education

Look around Britain at the moment, teenage mothers, childish television (I’m with Melvyn Bragg on that one), millions claiming all sorts of ludicrous benefits, and a distinct lack of education. As far as I can see, there are two sides to this problem. Side 1 (Heads) The government is proposing, once again, a new way to improve our education system. They have offices full of people, sitting behind their desks, drafting the latest scheme. The scheme will drastically improve the standards of our education system, and enable Britain to grow and proper, placing us back into the position we should occupy. “Now, we have consulted the experts, the staticians, and the spin doctors (after all this has to appeal to …

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Silence

“Hello, darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again.” 20 July 1969 : Apollo 11 : Tranquility Base – “A small step for man…“ A defining moment in many lives (not least messrs, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins), man had made it to the moon. Each astronaut on the mission new the risks, as did those of the backup crew (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Bill Anders – the former two to experience their own problems aboard Apollo 13). There were of course contingency plans in place, all situations were covered, including the possibility of the leaving two men to die on the moon. In silence. In a 30 year old document, it has been revealed that NASA …

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Courage

Human courage in extreme situations continually astounds. I recently heard about a Vietnam documentary which looked at the story of several American soldiers who were captured by the VietCong. They were locked in separate cells, and no communication was allowed. At one point in the documentary one of the soldiers, sitting calmly in a chair, vividly describes how one day he gave up, and tried to kill himself. With nothing in the room to use, no clothes on his body, he stood and smashed his forehead against the wall until he passed out. He didn’t die. Many people say suicide is the cowards way out, but in this circumstance it was, without doubt, an act of incredible bravery. An act …

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Silly

Silly adj : lacking seriousness; given to frivolity; “a dizzy blonde”; “light-headed teenagers”; “silly giggles” [syn: airheaded, dizzy, empty-headed, featherbrained, giddy, light-headed] Love can be defined as silliness. I don’t mean silliness as in daftness (although the border between the two is very blurred), I mean silliness as in the daft (see!) little things we do to amuse the other. Silly voices, silly faces, silly words, just plain silly. Personally I think silliness is massively under-rated. People frown on silly behaviour, and it is generally thought to have a certain time or place. This is true to an extent, but not, in my opinion, the places most people think. I know my attempts at silliness is a ‘defense mechanism’ – …

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Bang II

Another shooting in the U.S. The outrage, the shock, the pain. Swiftly followed by the insight, the analysis, the reason. Apathy? Is that what it is? Or an inherent numbness to the horrors? The same arguments against will be countered with the same arguments for, and in a week or so it will all be forgotten. What will it take? OK, radical idea – why don’t the anti-gun lobbies get together and go around the U.S. and shoot one member of each family in the country. Is that what it would take? I fully admit to suffering from the same “it’ll never happen to me” syndrome, but life here in the U.K. hasn’t yet reached the ‘advanced’ stage that the …

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Bang

The world is shrinking, so my next comments aren’t as misplaced as they seem, is that an excuse? Yet another shooting in America. Yet more calls for tighter controls, or complete bans. More arguments about free speech, and the right to bear arms (bare arms?). “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people“ How stupidly small-minded, frighteningly short-sighted can people be? Is it just me? OK I know it’s not, but don’t these people realise what they are saying? Of course, strictly speaking they are correct, I could have a gun and never use it to kill people – but the counter-argument is so obvious. “It is our right as American citizens“ I will admit to a not complete understanding of …

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Attraction

“You’ll like her, she has amazing eyes” Attraction is not a static, well, not entirely, and it comes in various states: attraction to beauty attraction to personality attraction to lust attraction to like attraction to opposite and many more. Most people single out a few characteristics, for me it’s eyes. There is something bewitching about some people’s eyes, a certain quality that I find difficult to qualify or explain. Of course, there is more to it than that, attraction comes as a package and that package is never definite. Physical attraction, or idolisation, is based wholly on physical attributes. I have never met Helena Christiansen, but she is the most stunning woman I have ever seen. Similarly, Lisa Nicole Carson …

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Sunglasses

Research has proven that wearing sunglasses boosts your ego. No…really, a British study by Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychologist at the University of London, reports that measurable psychological benefits can be gained from wearing sunglasses. But is it really so? I think Dr.Wilson is looking to deep into the matter and suffering from ‘can’t-see-the-wood-for-all-these-damn-trees’ syndrome. Its simple really…when do people wear sunglasses, when its sunny! and how do you feel when you are sitting in the sun – GREAT!! So you are feeling good, and I bet you feel, measurably, better. Is it just me, or is it really that obvious? The study goes on to reveal that “People wear sunglasses because they feel they look good in them. You …

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