Bob's Christmas Bulletin...(Final report for 2011)
The Pipe changes tone as hand is lifted or lowered
See y'all in 2012
*The Boson... *Christopher Hitchens Leaves Us... *The UK and France Shape-Up... *Real Christmas Spirit
For simple old me, a “bosun” was spelled like that - with a “u” - and simply meant one of the senior “lower deck” officers (non-commissioned) in the Royal Navy who had a whistle, or pipe, named after him. This bosun was usually a man of some mass - a characteristic of bosuns and bosons, but he needed little explanation to the world at large.
Now the boson on everyone’s lips is spelled with an “o” - two, in fact, and is the most elusive creation since the Pimpernel turned scarlet.
Some faces this month at CERN (in English - the European Center for Nuclear Research) may have been a little red, if not quite scarlet, as the Higgs Boson failed to actually appear, yet some “spikes” in the recording apparatus may have suggested they were around.
The Boson has been christened the “God Particle” by writers and those who should know better, although explaining the Higgs (for short) is proving as difficult as delineating the Almighty.
We need to find this shy chap and soon, otherwise physics as we understand it today may have to be torn apart and rewritten.
And that for me is all I have to say on the subject, as read as I might, I still don’t have a clue what a Higgs - or any other boson - actually is, I just hope the scientists at the particle accelerator (Large Hadron Collider) get one or two for Christmas and shut up about the silly things! Lordy, wasn’t science more fun when we just had molecules and atoms?
Christopher Hitchens Leaves Us. Is there a burly ghost jittering around in limbo somewhere wondering what comes next for a life-time atheist?
For sure the Pearly Gates are well and truly locked, and even Hades might be reluctant to admit a non-believer who denied God but appointed George Bush as his earthly guru. No use appealing to Allah if he’s looking on, either; Hitchens backed Bush’s policies in Iraq…I suppose an Englishman living in Texas during the Bush years had little choice if he didn’t want to be “convinced” by a coterie of blokes with suntanned necks smelling of cow shit.
His work “God is Not Great,” (2007) attracted a maelstrom of controversy; he remained a non-believer, even as he lay dying of cancer, asking friends and well wishers, “Not to bother a deaf Heaven with Bootless Cries” (on his behalf). It is often said, smugly, “There are no atheist in the trenches.” I am always gratified to find this is untrue and many lifetime pagans (including my beloved mum) do not turn to any deity even as their last moments are here.
Hitchens was a man of the flesh alright. He traveled the world sampling its delights and reporting on the less fortunate. As a young reporter in London, he raged against Vietnam yet, later, embraced the Iraq conflict. Once exposed to the US life he embraced it, becoming a US Citizen in 2007. One can’t help thinking he must have had good security in his house in Texas as he espoused his atheistic belief….gay antichrists aren’t going to win any popularity contests in the Lone Star State!
Although he was undoubtedly a great writer and raconteur, I wasn’t particularly impressed with Hitchens. He had every advantage, from Oxford, to being embraced by the London Newspaper Fraternity; his travels enabled him to write about the world’s disenfranchised, but he did so from a position of superiority. His admiration of the doltish Bush; his apparent bi-sexuality and sexual appetites were a huge yawn. His death at 62 must have pleased many opponents within and even without the church.
The “Froggies,” and the “Rosbifs” shape-up! The French and the British have never really liked one another. The French resent the fact that Europe - and the world - have adopted English as the language of commerce instead of their own, dear, glottal tongue. The British find the French cold, superior and unfriendly on the whole and ungrateful for all the allies did for them in the great wars.
So it was some delight the French were able to hurl accusations at the British for using their veto and not going along with the French/German plans to write a new treaty and rescue the Euro - which Britain wisely stayed out of.
The British, with joy, reacted predictable and the rhetoric has heated up in a few days to even include phrases mentioning “war.”
That would be interesting. Both countries have tiny armed forces and equipment these days and it’s hard to see anyone nuking Paris or London…maybe some well organized frog racing could solve the issues? Something needs to be done because France’s Sarkozy goes for reelection in a couple of months and the spat threatens to split Britain’s’ coalition government with its Tory Euro-skeptic PM - David Cameron, and its Liberal pro-Europe VP, Nick Clegg.
If anyone is misguided enough to think my opinion counts for anything, the EEC and the Euro were both a huge mistake and I have said that from the get-go (or soon afterwards). These nations have been comfortably at war and trade for 1000 years; writing a few lines on a treaty hasn’t made much difference to the mind set of the combatants…after all, trade itself is a conflict. Economists are united in claiming that the fate of the Euro would seem to be writ, despite all the conniving to save the banks: I can’t think top-heavy Europe itself will be long behind its currency before it shatters - the cracks are there already and widening.
So get ready, United States, we might need some help; this may leave Mr. Obama unimpressed, as he seems to dislike Britain, perhaps because his father was ill treated by our army during the Mau-Mau insurrections in the ‘50’s?
The Real Spirit of Christmas. I was watching “Flog It,” well known in Britain. A show where folks bring objects to be valued and then “flogged,” (sold) on auction.
An obviously working class woman had brought some small antique doctor’s paraphernalia in a rather nice case. She said she needed the money to go towards a saxophone for her daughter. The small kit was valued at 40 to 60 pounds, but in the event sold for nearly 400 pounds! Paul Martin, the presenter, asked her how she would spend the money. Her worn face shining, she said she would now be able to buy a better instrument for her daughter. Not a thing for herself. Somehow, this lovely, unselfish mother struck me right in the heart and I unashamedly cried tears of joy for her and the millions like her who have so little, but really appreciate it when their number comes up for once.
Then I though about the dark, lying and greedy faces of politicians and bankers, etc. Yes, they appropriate millions, but it is never enough. There can be no hell, because, if there were, we would smell the rancid pig meat as these swine burned eternally for their sins against their fellow man. Not one of them can ever express the sheer joy of the mother on TV, able for once to treat her daughter, her delight lighting up the whole show.
With that, have a good break and drink too much!!
Diogenes (Robert Challen de Mercer).