Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Early in the New Year I posted a riveting entry about the trials of getting fitted wardrobes. I'm sure my hordes of readers remember it clearly. Some may have pyrographed it word for word to treasure forever.
I cancelled the Sharps order and had my local bloke wot does make me one to the exact same design that the Sharps designer left with me. Sharps were charging £957 (including the £100 off website voucher) - Dave has charged me £145. I wonder if buying my own handles is what made the difference?
Someone today posted a reply to an entry made 4 years ago (!!) to my old blog, and he asks re this entry C&P'd below:
I know this is not answering the question asked but I was just looking at the PHI number and how you’re meant to be able to make PHI by measuring distance from head to flood and dividing by belly button to floor. I have tried this and other one’s but the most common number I get is 1.6666666666666666666666666666667 could anyone tell me. How come? Am I just miss measuring every time? Look forward to your replies.
A mystery to ponder : "Another mystery to ponder - the number PHI - the Divine Proportion - 1.618 - the most beautiful and complete number in the universe. Not heard of it? Well, you're a walking testament to PHI.
Nautilus shells - the ratio of each spiral's diameter to the next is - 1.618
The rotational diameter of each spiral of sunflower seeds - 1.618
Pinecone petal diameters - 1.618
Insect body segmentations - 1.618
The organisational structure of Beethoven's 5th - 1.618
The placement of F holes on all Stradivarius' violins - 1.618
Da Vinci's Petruvian Man - 1.618
The Parthenon, the Egyptian Pyramids, Bartok, Debussy - all conform to PHI
Measure your height from top of head to floor - now measure from your navel to the floor - 1.618
Hip to floor divided by knee to floor - 1.618
Shoulder to fingertips divided by elbow to fingertips - 1.618
Finger joints, toes, spinal divisions - 1.618
Can the ubiquity of the Divine Proportion be a mere happenstance or does it demonstrate a universal cohesive? What do YOU think it indicates?"
Buy £20 worth of Orange PayAsYouGo credit and get a free phone!
Go to an Orange shop, and while stocks last, buy £20 of Pay-As-You-Go credit and you'll get a free Motorola F3 or Alcatel OTE 230 pink.
Who's this good for?
This is primarily a 'granny in the glove box' phone; i.e. one that's just kept and used for emergencies. It's also useful for those with an existing Orange PAYG who plan to top up £20 anyway.
To keep the sim active you need to top it up by at least £10 every six months.
Simply buy your credit in an Orange store to get one of the free phones which you could either keep, give-away as a gift, sell or Recycle For Cash.
The shop window may say £30 top up required
These are old posters - we've had confirmation from the Orange press office that £20 is all that's required plus MSE Andrea popped into a store to confirm this.
What are these phones like?
Both phones are very basic models.
- Motorola F3. The Motorola F3 (note:this link's for picture purposes only, as the offer isn't available online) is a simple phone but is dual band (you can use it overseas) has a speaker phone, monophonic ringtones and comes in black.
- Alcatel OTE 230. The Alcatel OTE 230 pink (again, the link is just to show you what the phone looks like) is a flip phone with polyphonic ring tones, Java™ games and applications and up to 10hrs talk time.
This is bog standard pay as you go deal; it's only the free handset that makes it cheap. So if you're planning to use it for lots of calls, don't getit. Instead read the Cheap Mobile Deal System.
Call & text charges
On Orange's 'Speak Easy Bonus Top-Up' PAYG plan, calls to any network or landline are charged at 15p per minute and texts 10p each, plus you'll get some free bonus texts around 30 days later for topping up by £20.
Can they be unlocked?
Many phones can be easily unlocked (see the Free Mobile Unlocking article), so you can just plonk any sim card in it and it works. Sadly these two phones can't be unlocked for free.
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Monday, 25 February 2008
Yesterday was my birthday. The only good thing about birthdays these days is that I'm sure to see or hear from the kids that day, and I did. One of my girls is planning something secret and Grace let drop that it's for her daddy too. This makes me think it could be a balloon flight for both he and I together. I wouldn't say that we don't get on, my son in law and I, because we do - but from time to time...... well, if you have in laws then you know how it goes, and this son in law is not far off my own age so that doesn't always help matters. It was risky last year when to celebrate my birthday we all went shooting. He had a spooky sorta look in his eye every time he reloaded his gun. Up in a balloon, well, his height/weight ratio means he has the advantage if it came to a struggle to tip each other over the side. Mind, I'm going to take out insurance on him just in case it's one of those days and I get lucky <g>
Friday, 22 February 2008
Dr Williams also spoke about the row over his remarks concerning sharia law.
He said that some of the ways in which Islamic sharia law was practised were "appalling" and the way the system was applied to women in countries such as Saudi Arabia was "grim".
"What I was trying to say the other day is that sharia law is a very, very wide-ranging scheme of legal understanding within historic Islam.
"In some of the ways it has been codified and practised across the world, it has been appalling and applied to women in places like Saudi Arabia, it is grim."
But judging sharia law on that basis would be like judging Christianity on a couple of chapters of the Old Testament, he added.
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Mark asks: Is it true that in Britain, you now have to have a license to smoke?? What in blazes is going on??
Some helpful government adviser type has suggested that people should have to be licensed to smoke, at a cost of £200/$400 per licence per year. So far as I'm aware this hasn't been taken up by government. Yet.
Doubtless it will come tho, with its associated Smoking Licence Czar and quango packed full of vastly overpaid and line-toeing ministerial wives and squeezes - this government is only concerned with money. Money going out of the pockets of ordinary working people and into their own pockets.
Stuart said: Click here: Tuesday 12th February
Read this by Yasmin Alibhai Brown Stuart:
What Rowan Williams wishes upon us is an abomination and I write here as a modern Muslim woman. He lectures the nation on the benefits of sharia law – made by bearded men, for men – and wants the alternative legal system to be accommodated within our democracy in the spirit of inclusion and cohesion.
Pray tell me sir, how do separate and impenetrable courts and schools and extreme female segregation promote commonalities and deep bonds between citizens of these small isles?
What he did on Thursday was to convince other Britons, white, black and brown, that Muslims want not equality but exceptionalism and their own domains. Enlightened British Muslims quail. Friends like this churchman do us more harm than our many enemies. He passes round what he believes to be the benign libation of tolerance. It is laced with arsenic.
He would not want his own girls and women, I am sure, to "choose" to be governed by these laws he breezily endorses. And he is naive to the point of folly if he imagines it is possible to pick and choose the bits that are relatively nice to the girls or ones that seem to dictate honourable financial transactions.
Look around the Islamic world where sharia rules and, in every single country, these ordinances reduce our human value to less than half that is accorded a male; homosexuals are imprisoned or killed, children have no free voice or autonomy, authoritarianism rules and infantilises populations.
What's more, different Muslim nations claim to have their own allegedly god-given sharia. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive (What in Allah's name could the Koran have warned about cars?). In Bangladesh and Pakistan, they have no such bar to driving, although increasingly Saudi Wahabi Islam is taking over and we see Saudi sharia taking hold.
It is growing in influence here, too. Ten years ago, the only fully shrouded Muslim women around were from the Arab fiefdoms, the many wives of sheikhs often drawn by cartoonists to convey the absurdity and inhumanity of such cloaks. Now all of Europe has these girls and women rendering themselves invisible in public spaces. It is their elected sharia, so they claim without credibility. There is no agreed body of sharia, it is all drafted by males and the most cruel is now claiming absolute authority.
In Pakistan, on the statutes are strictures on adultery introduced by the military dictator Zia ul-Haq. Women activists in that country have given their lives protesting against the injustice of those laws where women suspected of adultery, or rape victims, are punished in hideous ways and the man goes free.
The Iranian theocracy changes its regulations from year to year, capriciously playing with the lives of females. The morality police hound women and girls, beat them up, imprison them for showing an ankle, walking too provocatively or singing in the streets. They fight back but are ground down eventually.
Two Iranian friends chose to die rather than live under the demeaning religious orders. Go to Afghanistan if you fancy a 12-year-old bride – a practice approved by the mullahs. That's sharia for you. Many women, gay men and dissidents came to Britain to escape Islamic tyrants and their laws. Dr Williams supports those laws and, by default, makes the refugees victims again.
Four years ago, a Saudi woman in her fifties came to my home. She was divorced from a Saudi prince who had sent her away and kept her children. What she said about sharia cannot be repeated. She had money, this princess, but no parental rights and she howled like a child in excruciating pain in my living room.
Yet, family disputes, says Dr Williams, would be easier, within sharia. For whom exactly? The polygamous men who live in this country, yes, certainly. Not for their wives who will be told that God intends them to lower their eyes and accept unjust verdicts.
Many will be sent back to bastard husbands or flinty-eyed mullahs will take their children away. In Bradford and Halifax, they may be forbidden to drive or work where men are employed. Adultery will be punished. I don't think we will have public stonings but violence of some sort will be meted out (it already is) with lawmakers' backing.
Sensing the drift in their direction, British sharia "experts" today shamelessly direct female medical students not to wash their forearms, essential to prevent the spread of infections, because that exposes their flesh.
Does the Archbishop even know that sharia comes in many guises and that several schools of jurisprudence have their own versions? The list is long – Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi, Hanbali, Jafari, Salafi and on and on. Ayatollah Khomeini preferred his DIY set of crimes and punishments when he came to power.
No women are allowed to be imams or serious jurists, so cannot help make their own fair and free set of female-friendly sharia. All the systems insist on ultimate truths, hard certainties. Sharia cannot provide solutions to the complex challenges of modern life and many violate fundamental human rights as established by the United Nations.
Taj Hargey, a historian and Islamic theologian, runs the Muslim Education Centre in Oxford. He, with me, is a trustee of British Muslims For Secular Democracy which is attempting to educate Muslims out of authorised obscurantism and non-Muslims into a better understanding of the progressive and evolutionary nature of the practice of Islam.
He is incandescent that Dr Williams backs a perilous Islamic conservatism, already too powerful in Britain: "Sharia is nothing but a human concoction of medieval religious opinion, largely archaic and outmoded and irrelevant to life today. Most sharia contradicts the letter and spirit of the Koran, distorts the transcendental text."
During his sermons Dr Hargey explains to congregations that, for example there is no blasphemy in the Koran, that the Prophet himself allowed a man to mock the divine revelations. Apostasy, says the holy text, will be dealt with by Allah in the afterlife. Sharia policemen insist apostates should be tortured and killed.
Dr Williams says Muslims want the choice to opt for sharia. What he believes to be choice is, in truth, inner compulsion, the result of brainwashing which begins in the madrassas when girls and boys are young enough to mould.
I have often admired the Archbishop's lofty thoughts, his intellectualism, the passion for human rights, his guts when the Government needs to be chastised. But this time his kind indulgences betray his own invaluable principles and deliver Muslim women, girls and dissidents into the hands of religious persecutors – an unforgivable intervention, which I hope he now sincerely regrets.
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Do attitudes like genes sometimes skip a generation do you think?
My daughter Sophia makes friends at the drop of a hat, always has done. Put her in a strange location for a couple of hours and someone new will be in her friendship group and on her mobile phone and birthdays list. Me, I have to know someone for at least a couple of years before I count them as a friend, and even then it's a provisional thing.
Grace recently stated that one of the problems with Constance, and one that she isn't prepared to put up with, is that "Constance associates with the wrong sort of people".
Saturday, 9 February 2008
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
If you use 1st class postage stamps then rush out to Superdrug who are selling them at 5% discount from tomorrow until March 2nd and buy them in bulk to save yourself more than 10% on the April increase in stamp prices. Stamps with '1st Class' on them rather than the price can be used no matter how many times the price goes up before you've got through them. It's a good deal so get out and buy a few books.