Saturday Supplement

Another round-up of internet articles that have caught my eye.

Pope Benedict's Resignation... 
If you have been away on a mission to Mars this week you may have missed the extensive coverage and may need the BBC produced  list of 10 helpful facts about the whole thing... if not, you're probably bored with the whole thing and I'll not mention it again... But if you fancy going on a mission to Mars, you may get the chance soon, although you and your partner may appreciate this helpful article, also produced by the Beeb on how to avoid killing each other after 500 days in a confined space...

Lies, Damned Lies, the DWP and the Daily Mail... 
I know, I know, I know, I said I would keep this positive over Lent... but there are some things that test my resolve to the uttermost... Especially the scapegoating of the poor, ill, infirm and immigrants for our economic ills... Yesterday the BBC (again) picked up on a report by the Methodist Church in Britain, the United Reformed Church, the Church of Scotland and the Baptist Union, called "The Lies we Tell Ourselves", (it was also picked up on by Richard Hall over on Connexions), looking at how the government is deliberately misusing evidence and statistics to misrepresent the plight of the poor. Meanwhile, a piece on Ekklesia's website specifically focussed on the unholy alliance of the DWP and some of the more reactionary elements of the British media. 
Whilst looking at this latter piece my eye was drawn to an earlier posting on the ambiguous position of David Cameron and his government to Foodbanks, the existence of which are at one and the same time the epitome of his"Big Society", and a critique of their economic policies. I suppose this particularly caught my eye because the plans for our local foodbank in Dundonald are gathering pace, with premises secured and a commitment from local churches to be involved in place... Funny how things start happening when I go on sabbatical!
Anyway, enough doom, misery and depression... On another site it was interesting to read that, despite the tardiness of governments to really tackle global poverty, that statistics (though see above for statistical health warning) show that on many fronts things are getting significantly better on a global scale... 
Here endeth the serious bit...

Harlem Shake and Screaming Goats... 
One danger of time off is that you can get sucked into the strange, weird and bizarre world of the internet... Which at the moment seems to be dominated by a few very strange memes... First it was Gangnam Style dances... but for the past month that has been ousted by the Harlem Shake... For those who don't have teenage offspring to introduce them to the phenomenon, here is an analysis of it by, yet again, the BBC (see what your license fee is paying for... that and BBC Children's programmes doing versions of their own). Yesterday on Facebook I posted the Harlem shake video to end all Harlem shake videos, which was originally filmed mid-month, but the whole thing has taken a number of bizarre turns recently, with one video on a plane prompting an investigation by the Federal Aviation Authority and others in Tunisia and Egypt being vehicles for political protest... Certainly more creative than our fleg-related riots!
But even the Harlem Shake seems vaguely normal compared with the screaming Goat phenomenon... Don't know what I'm talking about - Check out this comprehensive compendium of "the best" Screaming Goat videos and either laugh yourself sick or shake your head at the inexorable slide of the human race into complete mindlessness...

And Finally...
I also came across this piece on Yahoo news about Lindsay Hamon, who has carried a 12 foot cedarwood cross across the globe over the past 26 years. It was quite refreshing that the article didn't paint him as a raving-mad fanatic, but the real reason is that when I read it my eye was drawn to one picture of him in the mid-1980s... When compared to the followign picture of me at the same time (November 1984 to be precise) it is clear that THIS MAN STOLE MY CLOTHES!





He must have been desperate!!

Cheers 

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