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This is what I want to see
in our coming new MP.
He won't be oft or much offended
By parts of speech which may be gendered
So in this rhyme you may read "She"
Wherever I have written "He".
He can do sums, and furthermore
He understands what sums are for.
So for instance if I borrow,
Fall in debt and end in sorrow,
That's not like debt of the whole nation
Borrowed for new wealth creation.
Wind farms built with borrowed wealth
Will boost the country's fiscal health.
His education extends far
Beyond the third notorious R.
His grasp of science proves it's true
We have to limit CO_2
Much of which comes from your car
Carrying you everywhere.
He himself will opt for bikes
Partly 'cause that's what he likes
Part for health of heart and brain
Relieving local GPs' strain.
He's read Piketty's mammoth tome.
His charity begins at home.
He doesn't meddle far abroad
Like some super overlord.
He will be kind, and tend to laughter
And reinstate the Magna Carta.
In schools, he'll let the children play
and chatter in their chosen way
and let teachers' teaching stem
from what most appeals to them.
Last, he'll change the present way
of choosing rulers, old and grim,
So that I can have my say
And cast my vote for such as him.
THE QUEEN'S DOG'S DINNER
The Queen asked the Lord and the Lord asked the General
How can we be confident the Poor are prop'ly fed?
The General thought long and hard,
and came up with a scheme.
The essence was I'll ask the Spooks
and this is what they said:
****te************* soon be dead.
Heavens! cried the General.
I hope he dies in bed.
If any news of this gets out our faces will be red.
Nobody could ever say that I'm a cruel man.
The thought of hurting anyone leaves me sad and wan.
I dearly wish to do my best to save the land I love
while only killing just the very fewest that I can.
He passed the words, which reached the Queen
who frowned as rarely seen.
We trust that this grim outlook is
no more than a bad dream.
The Hacks and Spooks said There, there, Sir.
We didn't really mean it.
Just give them all the oil and gas
for which your soldiers bled.
The General made them a bow:
Good chaps. You've saved my head.
He told the Lord, who wrote the Queen
a simple note which read
Freedom and democracy and oil and gas and bread
but keep the EtOxOcracy --
its loss fills me with dread.
Whatever else may come to pass, the Nation must be led
by Graduates in PeePeeEe
or else we'll lose the thread.
The People's views will match our News
if thick and smoothly spread.
The Queen expressed her gracious joy
in phrases all well bred:
The Hacks and Spooks have saved us all,
ensuring we are fed
with freedom and democracy and oil and gas and bread.
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Description of Beauty and Pleasure and Moderately Energetic Walking in the Lower Southern Alps
available as a free download:
for web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome,
version in ePub format
for readers such as Calibre.
This is a work in progress. It is a study of beauty and pleasure: examples, the sensations themselves, and some of their social consequences. It includes about 70 photographs, 18 line sketches, about 170 anecdotes, and more than 500 references.
My excuse for the first eleven chapters is that (I hope) they establish a common experience of beauty, so we can all agree on some aspects of it. Also, I hope you like them. They are not just about beauty. They describe how to walk and sleep and eat and navigate, and where and why one might go, and what one might see and hear, and aspects of health and how to take care of oneself. Chapter 10 contains notes on risk. Its conclusion is that Alpine walking is not unusually risky. Chapter 11 is a bit different. If I have a favourite chapter, this is probably it. It relates how people sometimes behave both in the mountains and further afield, and while talking rather than walking.
The next four chapters describe a very different kind of beauty, the beauty of understanding nature. For instance, they explain why the wind blows and how bacteria swim. I hope you like these chapters too. By the time you have read them, if you don't already, perhaps you will agree that fact is stranger than fiction. In any case, I hope you will agree that the notions of beauty and pleasure span more than simple intuition may suggest.
Chapter 16 explores the topics:
what are beauty and pleasure?
how can the senses of beauty and pleasure be studied?
how might they have come into existence?
The concepts involved are not particularly subtle or novel. Researchers into the development of mental processes will not be surprised by them.
Chapter 17 is an investigation of
how these senses differ between different individuals;
the trap of not appreciating another's senses of beauty and pleasure, and
how anyone who falls into it may endanger the happiness of others;
different modes of thought due to different senses of pleasure, and
how modes of thought affect how decisions are taken and mistakes occur.
There is a spectrum of preferred modes of thought. At its ends are nerds, who like to be rational, and empathizers who like to form consensus in a clique of like minded associates. Nerds often reach wise conclusions, but empathizers are more skilled at having their ideas accepted. There is a third class of decision makers, the narcissists, who like to be admired and followed. A narcissist thinks himself superior, and so may believe that he is rational and convivial, but otherwise is not likely to be greatly interested in either rationality or consensus. These three groups differ in their senses of pleasure.
One reader said that this chapter is like a firework display, full of illuminations and episodic bangs. He also said he enjoyed it, but he did not say whether he agrees with all of it. I find this encouraging.
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Except for photograph 31,
the map of the Walser
which is in the public domain,
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All the material on this web site is available for free download
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This is an image showing the prime factors of each number from 2 to 97.
It is constructed by a BASIC program.
Each prime is shown in a different colour.
Repeated prime factors are shown with concentric circles in the same colour.
It may be useful for teaching.
Copyright © Alan Hutchinson 2013
This work, both the image and the program which constructs it, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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last revised May 2017