Monday, February 15, 2010

There has been a shooting incident at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where a friend, David Harwell is a faculty member. Fortunately the incident, in which three people died, did not take place in the theatre department but evidently happened in biology. I say fortunately (no shooting is fortunate) only because it did not involve David.
One of the students was heard to say she thought Huntsville was a “safe” campus but it seems no campus in the states is safe there have been so many incidents like this.
I read in the paper (don’t believe everything you read in newspapers) that coffee is bad for you. Well we all know that but the difference with this article is that previously I read in the paper that decaf wasn’t as good as ordinary which acts as a bronchi-dilator. So I gave up drinking decaf which I had been doing for years and have been swigging back the leaded stuff (at a restaurant in America I was asked if I wanted my coffee leaded or unleaded), but now I read the reverse is the case and I should still be on the unleaded.
These boffins really can’t seem to make up their minds. Once it was considered butter was terrible and everyone should be spreading margarine, then that was reversed and we could all happily go back to butter. Our friend Lionel Wilson in New York wouldn’t eat eggs, butter, milk except skimmed powdered milk (sparingly) sugar, red meat, or take salt and never seemed to be all that healthy on it.
Suri Cruise is in the news again, choosing a lip-gloss for a night out at the theatre. She’s still, according to the article, three years old, is she never going to get any older? And talking of tots, a four year old doing a Michael Jackson impression received a standing ovation on that dreadful talent show. How the world has changed! Most kids I seem to remember were often too shy to perform in a drawing room for mother’s friends, sometimes doing their number from behind the safety of a couch. Now a four year old can face an audience of hundreds and strut his stuff. As the headline says, “What next, talent shows for thumb-sucking tots?”
I am reading Frieda Richards’ book “Tails are wagging on Crete” and yes, of course, it is full of animal horror stories and heart warming ones as well. We are all only too aware of the Greek attitude to animals but a friend who has done work with the RSPCA in the UK tells us cruelty is just as widespread there even if not quite so obvious. We have been getting so many sympathetic e-mails regarding Sweeney. You don’t necessarily have to love animals or even just accept them but at least they should be treated with respect. We are, after all, animals ourselves and we all know what fear and pain are. It is despicable to inflict it on the trusting and the helpless, but where is almighty God when his “all creatures great and small” as the hymn has it are being maltreated and abused?

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