Thursday, July 21, 2011

Six of the Best 175

Who wants elected police commissioners? Not Paul Crossley and not more than 100 Lib Dem council leaders and group leaders either. And not me either, come to that.

"The queues had started over seven hours before the committee began ... And while it was a festive mood, it was also tense: the official line as to how many people would get into the room kept changing, and some people were certainly facing a wasted day. Questions popped about. Was space being cleared for the Dowler family? Had the tiny Wilson Room been chosen so as not to look like a show trial? Was Jemima Khan trying to hop in? At one point, we were told that the doorkeepers were considering letting us sit on each other’s laps if we so fancied. Westminster reporters were heckling sketchwriters about their slim chance of making it in. So when we later found out that the front of the queue had been a gang with a bag full of shaving foam, 'comedy' wasn’t the first word that sprang to mind. Nor was 'activism'. 'Shabby oaf' and 'stupid tit' were some of the descriptions I did hear." Alan Connor saw the Murdochs give evidence to the select committee and gets Jonathan May-Bowles about right.

Writing in the Scientific American, John Horgan the curse of iatrogenesis - the harmful effects of medical treatment.

Jason MacLennan on Yes! argues that the key to reviving cities is to make them more child friendly: "Children in every neighborhood—urban and suburban—have been robbed of opportunities as we’ve drained the life out of our cities and created vast sprawl of bland and unhealthy suburbia. Most profoundly, kids across all strata have lost a sense of freedom. City children have sustained a figurative loss as their neighborhoods’ vitality and relevance has faded, leaving many without hope for the future. Suburban kids spend an unhealthy amount of time in the car getting from one spot to another in their over-bland environment, leaving many bored, unengaged, and overweight."

"No one left Blockbusters filthy rich, but everyone left feeling richer for the experience of taking part.  The Weakest Link and Deal Or No Deal are by contrast all about the prize, the undignified struggle to walk away with as much money as possible.  The experience is purposefully excruciating and the majority of those taking part walk away with nothing." The New Drivel sees this change in television quiz games as symptomatic of the moral decay of British society.

Kettering Babylon. Go Litel Blog go ... considers Northamptonshire vs India in 1932 and the dark side of the county's cricket in that decade: "Having their best players variously incapacitated, in prison or dead cannot have improved Northamptonshire’s performances," he reasons.


Anonymous said...

Cheers for linking to my blog fellow Lib Dem (and fellow Jonathan)!

dreamingspire said...

Determined action by residents in my area has cut back the Council's suicidal attempt to sell off open spaces for more houses, but sadly the regeneration of swathes of worn out Council estates has produced simply a prettier version of the desert.

Niles said...

Re iatrogenesis - there's a wonderful quote in Mary Roach's "Corpse" book to the effect that it wasn't until about 1920 that the average person seeing the average physician could reasonably expect to come off better for the encounter.