Friday, September 22, 2006

Thick as mince

A very Scottish story.

Quote: "although the mince had been thrown, it was not hot mince". Now you have to read the story.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Soled out

Christian Louboutin from net-a-porter. Because I like to juxtapose... or maybe I'm just shallow.

[If you're looking for a hagiography of Violet Naylor Leyland, you're in the wrong place. If you want to read some scorn, go here. If you don't know what hagiography means, go here.]

Dollars in the heavens

On the plane on the way back to Hong Kong the pilot remarked that it was a beautiful night for flying. I lifted the plastic shutter to look out of the window and saw the most amazing vista. The sky was perfectly still. There was pale blue light above and dark blue below, and a seam of pink on the horizon, and narrow threads of white cloud here and there, and above it all hung the moon, glowing perfectly white and perfectly full. For a moment I felt disorientated, as though we could have been flying upside down (as John F. Kennedy Jr reportedly did). The sky gradually began to turn deep blue and for a while I watched the moon glow almost unbearably brightly until finally it was covered by cloud.

I'd just been watching "An Inconvenient Truth", which is genuinely scary. I couldn't see a sky like that without wondering if there's something strange and unusual going on as a result of the hammering we give the planet. Amongst moments of levity in the film, and there are a few of them, though mostly in an ironic vein, there's a clip of George Bush Sr's surreal, yet sincere, declaration that "if these environmentalists get their way, we'll be up to our necks in owls".

Meanwhile, on a completely different planet, the University of Utah has been told by the Utah Supreme Court that it can't ban guns from the campus.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Singapore slung

I seem to have nae luck when it comes to taxi drivers in Singapore. I could have sworn today's had Tourette's; either that or he was so pleased to see me he kept on inadvertently trying to turn his head 180 degrees to look backwards.

With a consequent free disregard for the lane demarcations, we coasted along the main road to the airport, which is dead straight (any dead straight road when I was a kid was "a Roman road") and lined in the centre with flower boxes containing attractive pink flowers.
The sight fair gladdens the heart on first arrival in Singapore, but takes on a more sinister connotation when you hear the rumour that the plants can be removed at a moment's notice, presumably withdrawing Dr Evil-style into a massive underground bunker, in order for fighter planes to take off in the event of war.

Singapore's biggest problem is its lack of natural resources: like Hong Kong, it's theoretically at the mercy of its largest neighbour any time they choose to turn off the tap. Considering they used to be the same country (Malaya), Singapore's bitter rivalry with Malaysia is surprising, but, on reflection, it's understandable given the Singapore government's effective inculcation of super-strength loyalty in its citizens.

I'd fear I was being cruel about the taxi drivers, who are perfectly innocent in all this, of course, if it weren't for the obvious point that I've had two near-death experiences on my last two trips to the airport.