30 September 2007

Excellent Self Defence Tool

In a clever combination, this stun gun looks like a mobile phone:


Stun guns are a nifty idea in themselves, but making it look like a mobile phone is a master stroke. Not only is it disguised, but mobile phones by themselves have been known to deter would-be attackers (e.g. during the Sydney Gang Rapes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_gang_rapes, the perpetrators apparently decided not to attack girls who were talking on mobile phones).

14 September 2007

Nuclear power is no panacea for climate change

"...a dangerous myth that nuclear power is a cheap, environmentally friendly solution to our future electricity needs has been circulating again."


Churchill on Education

Certainly the prolonged education indispensable to the progress of Society is not natural to mankind. It cuts against the grain. A boy would like to follow his father in pursuit of food or prey. He would like to be doing serviceable things so far as his utmost strength allowed. He would like to be earning wages however small to help to keep up the home. He would like to have some leisure of his own to use or misuse as he pleased. He would ask little more than the right to work or starve. And then perhaps in the evenings a real love of learning would come to those who are worthy – and why try to stuff in those who are not? – and knowledge and thought would open the ‘magic casements’ of the mind.

Roving Commission: My Early Life (1930)

"In retrospect these years form not only the least agreeable, but the only barren and unhappy period of my life. I was happy as a child with my toys in my nursery. I have been happier every year since I became a man. But this interlude of school makes a sombre grey patch upon the chart of my journey. It was an unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, of toil uncheered by fruitation; a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony. . . This train of thought must not lead me to exaggerate the character of my school days. . . Harrow was a very good school. . . .Most of the boys were very happy. . . I can only record the fact that, no doubt through my own shortcomings, I was an exception. . . I was on the whole considerably discouraged. . . .All my contemporaries and even younger boys seemed in every way better adapted to the conditions of our little world. They were far better both at the games and at the lessons. It is not pleasant to feel oneself so completely outclassed and left behind at the very beginning of the race."

Roving Commission: My Early Life (1930)

Churchill on War

Let us learn our lessons. […] Never believe any war will be smooth and easy or that anyone who embarks on that strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events… incompetent or arrogant commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant fortune, ugly surprise, awful miscalculations.... Always remember, however sure you are that you could easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance.

09 September 2007

Quote of the Day

"Pleasure is a by-product of doing something that is worth doing. Therefore, do not seek pleasure as such. Pleasure comes of seeking something else, and comes by the way."

- A. Lawrence Lowell

(with thanks to the SCG Early Bird Brief: scgopscenter.com )