For Goat’s Sake

August 31, 2011

(Reuters) – Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

“The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat,” Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.

“We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat,” he said.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. Residents came to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.

Just for now I have no comment.

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Upon Couches and Sofas

August 26, 2011

We went out on Sunday to the mall to buy some socks. I don’t know what happens to them, but for some reason about every five years I have to buy more of the damn things as their predecessors go AWOL one by one. I bought seven pairs in a pack, very nifty ones made in China with colour coded heel and toe inserts which means each sock can be reunited with its correct mate when they come out of the washing machine. But this post isn’t about socks. On our way out of the mall we dropped in to the House and Home to look at microwaves, and emerged about twenty minutes later the proud owners of a new leather lounge suite. This was a spur-of-the-moment purchase, but still necessary–the old cane suite has become increasingly rickety and lumpy for some time and is now the property of the dog.

Sofas


Now this has caused words to be exchanged between myself and the owner of my heart, Scallywag. There have been no recriminations as to cost, or the tastefulness or otherwise of the colour or design, the problem is that I call the two elements of the suite that seat more than one person sofas, and she calls them couches.
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Literary Ladies

August 24, 2011

A colleague sent this to me by email. I love it…

Never Argue with a Woman

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, ‘Good morning, Ma’am. What are you doing?’

‘Reading a book,’ she replies, (thinking , ‘Isn’t that obvious?’)
‘You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,’ he informs her.
‘I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading’

‘Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.’
‘For reading a book,’ she replies ,
‘You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,’ he informs her again,

‘I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading’
‘Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.’
‘If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault ,’ says the woman.

‘But I haven’t even touched you,’ says the game warden.

‘That’s true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.’
‘Have a nice day ma’am,’ and he left.

MORAL : Never argue with a woman who reads. It’s likely she can also think.


Piracy and Copyright

August 23, 2011

Most people will be familiar with that annoying, unskippable anti-piracy film that makes inane and impertinent statements (you wouldn’t steal a car, &c) to make its point that piracy of films is stealing. Well, I wouldn’t steal a car, or a handbag, or even a movie, but this has nothing to do with piracy because contrary to the opinion of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which is the organisation that I believe made the film, piracy is not stealing.

The US Supreme Court, ruling in the case of Dowling v. United States in 1985 said that

…interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.

The purpose of copyright law is to ensure that the originators of creative works profit from their labour and thus encourage the creation of such works. Piracy undermines that goal, and is therefore punishable in law. The problem faced by copyright holders in the digital age is that it is almost impossible to prevent people from making easy, cheap copies of their work, which makes copyright law extremely difficult to enforce.
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If It Walks Like a Duck…

August 11, 2011

Remember Dr Jonathan V Wright of stomach acid fame? This should jog your memory:

When Theresa’s husband started leaving his socks in the fridge…

She was merely worried. But when he came back from a fishing trip minus the fish, his boat and his dog, they both decide to see Dr Wright. Vincent thought he was “losing it”, but it turned out he was actually missing the stomach acid he needed to break down his food. And without it, his brain cells weren’t being “fed” the nutrients they depend on. He’s sharp as a razor now!

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Mr Hitchens Rests His Case

August 4, 2011

Peter Hitchens recently set forth in his blog his arguments against the legalisation of drugs in general and cannabis in particular. These are so hare-brained, so monumentally stupid, so hideously wrong and so asininely arrogant that I’m unable to resist countering them. Here are a few quotes from his rant.

Peter Hitchens

…my fear that the general legalisation of mind-altering drugs produces passive and easily manipulated citizens.

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