English Apples, David Hume, Russian coal, Florence Nightingale and a good joke

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

We've eaten (or given away) all the Discovery apples in the garden and are now eating (and giving away) the Bramleys.  The supermarkets meanwhile are still full of tasteless, sugary fruit from abroad or storage (or both).  Why is this?  Getting rid of over-ordered stock, I guess, and probably storing the new English apples while they do.  There are over 7,500 English apple cultivars known (including cider apples but not counting crab apples), and some nurseries sell nearly 100 of these but so few find their way to us.  It's such a shame.  I shall be visiting small specialist shops.

Some welcome news for Russia's coal industry as plans for a new coal mine in Northumberland were again rejected by the government.  Banks Mining wants to develop a site near Druridge Bay to extract almost three million tonnes of coal, but it's UK policy to import coal and support mining jobs abroad rather than here.

I've been trying to fathom the bitter feud between John Adams and Alexander Hamilton.  I read that both accepted the view of human nature propounded by Hume: “Political writers have established it as a maxim, that, in contriving any system of government, and fixing the several checks and controuls of the constitution, every man ought to be supposed a knave, and to have no other end, in all his actions, than private interest. By this interest we must govern him, and, by means of it, make him, notwithstanding his insatiable avarice and ambition, co-operate to public good. Without this, say they, we shall in vain boast of the advantages of any constitution, and shall find, in the end, that we have no security for our liberties or possessions, except the good-will of our rulers; that is, we shall have no security at all.”  Hume clearly understood his fellow man.

I've long suspected that the secularly-saintly Florence Nightingale might have been better than she ought to have been, and I'm pleased to have some evidence to back this up. This is thanks to Titania McGrath who confirms that Flo was completely silent on non-binary rights.  Had the woman no shame?

My youngest granddaughter is a fan of jokes and she tells them well.  Here's the latest:

Knock Knock  –  Who's there?

Europe  –  Europe Who?

No!  I'm not a poo.  You're a poo!

Brilliant.  I think it ought to be used as an ice-breaker at the next round of Brexit talks.  Surely even the humourless M. Barnier would crack a smile.



Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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