60/365 Quiet Contemplation

60/365 Quiet Contemplation

Our lives seem to be constantly hectic, a parade of busyness. Work, children, hobbies; they hurtle past in time at an accelerating pace. The older I get the faster these things seem to happen.

So, it is important to take a break every so often, to rest the brain and think of nothing – or at least very little.

This photo is one of a few areas I use for quiet contemplation. It is where I can find a moment of zen, to pause the hurly-burly of work and to think of simpler things. It is an oasis for business.

I sometimes think of poetry while I am here. Here is an old ‘traditional’ folk poem that often comes to mind while I am here:

Here I sat
broken-hearted,
spent a penny
but only farted.

It is these little moments that illuminate the important things in life. Find your place and relax your mind.

I Believe

The ever-entertaining Digital Cuttlefish has another wonderful poem that sets out what he, as an atheist, believes.

I believe in love and kindness
I believe in helping hands
I believe in strong opinions
I believe in taking stands
I believe cooperation
Overcomes the steepest odds
I believe we have a fighting chance

I don’t believe in gods.

He posted this as a counterpoint to some American journalist complaining that atheists don’t believe in anything. I’d have just written “well, what a load of bollocks”.

Click below to read the rest.

via “Atheists Believe In Nothing, Including You.” » The Digital Cuttlefish.

Ah, So That’s Where The Fat Went! » The Digital Cuttlefish

The fatberg is one of the most interesting (and disgusting) news items of recent months. The Digital Cuttlefish has written a great little poem about it.

A rack of ribs; a leg of lamb;

A turkey roast; a marbled ham;

We used to cut the fat off, just to eat it!

The drippings from the roasting pan

We use for gravy, quite by plan—

For flavor, you can’t beat it.

via Ah, So That’s Where The Fat Went! » The Digital Cuttlefish.

Click through to read the rest. I love his poetry.

Links for April 16th

UK ‘has the worst copyright laws’

UK copyright laws “needlessly criminalise” music fans and need to be updated, a consumer watchdog says.

UK laws that make it a copyright violation to copy a CD that you own onto a computer or iPod should be changed, says Consumer Focus.

The call came after global umbrella group Consumers International put the UK in last place in a survey of 16 countries’ copyright laws.

Secret filming nurse struck off

A nurse who secretly filmed for the BBC to reveal the neglect of elderly patients at a hospital has been struck off for misconduct.

Margaret Haywood, 58, filmed at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton for a BBC Panorama programme in July 2005.

She was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council which said she failed to “follow her obligations as a nurse”.

EC starts legal action over Phorm

The European Commission has started legal action against Britain over the online advertising technology Phorm.

It follows complaints to the EC over how the behavioural advertising service was tested on BT’s broadband network without the consent of users.

Last year Britain had said it was happy Phorm conformed to European data laws.

But the commission has said Phorm “intercepted” user data without clear consent and the UK need to look again at its online privacy laws.

Fool disclosure

What we have seen in these past few days is another rattle in the slow, but eventually complete, death of privacy. In the developed world, whenever there are at least two people in a room, it’s a statistical near-certainty that one of them will have a camera, and the means to instantly upload photos to the web. Increasingly, it’s becoming likely that they’ll also be able to upload sound and video too.

Saudis ‘to regulate’ child brides

Saudi Arabia says it plans to start regulating the marriage of young girls, amid controversy over a union between a 60-year-old man and a girl of eight.

A court in Unaiza upheld the marriage on condition the groom does not have sex with her until she reaches puberty.

The power of the child within

Under pressure or on our own, we often hear songs or poems we’ve learnt by heart as a child. Remembering helps us cope in extreme and dangerous situations, but why?

“It was all in my head – my father would play the piano and I would have a mental party in the hole in the ground.”

That hole was where Peter Shaw was held captive for five months in 2002, after being kidnapped while working in Georgia for the European Commission. The businessman from South Wales was chained around the neck and kept in the dark almost constantly.

It’s hard to imagine how people survive in such extreme conditions, but those who’ve been through such stressful situations say reciting a childhood song or poem helps.

I’ll tell you what really offends me

I was deeply offended by something on the BBC recently. It wasn’t Clare Balding laying into a jockey’s teeth, but this time with a cricket bat, or Frankie Boyle’s 10 best jokes about the Queen’s genitals, or even a repeat of Diana’s funeral with an added laugh track. No, it was a new low.

It was Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, eliciting a round of applause on Any Questions for suggesting that Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand should pay the BBC’s “Sachsgate” Ofcom fine. The rest of the panel bravely agreed with her.

David Mitchell talking a lot of sense. Sometimes government – any government, not just ours – makes me despair

Venezuela’s giant rodent cuisine

While in many countries the Easter dish may be lamb, in Venezuela a traditional delicacy around this time of the year is the capybara, the world’s biggest rodent.

The capybara is a distant cousin to the common guinea pig but bigger and river-based like a beaver.

Many Venezuelans regard the semi-aquatic creature as more fish than meat – a useful description during Lent when it is eaten as a replacement for red meat in this largely Roman Catholic country.