mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
Why UKIP is a party of extremists

It's not often one agrees with a Tory, or worse still, freely and publicly admit to it. But on this occasion I've made an exception because Matthew Parris has largely articulated what I think of the Great British public's latest political squeeze:

"The spirit of Ukippery is paranoid. It distorts and simplifies the world, perceiving a range of different ills and difficulties as all proceeding from two sources: foreigners abroad, and in Britain a ‘metropolitan liberal elite’ (typically thought to be in league with foreigners). None of the problems it identifies (with immigration, with EU bureaucracy, with the cost of the EU, with the ambitions of some Europeanists, with political correctness, with health-and-safety, with human rights legislation etc) are anything less than real; but to the un-extremist mind they need to be tackled ad hoc, one by one, rather than seen as the hydra-headed expression of a single monster.

Very well, you ask, if immigration/foreigners/Brussels are not the overwhelming cause of the problems of modern Britain, what is? I would reply that there is no overwhelming cause, but many: some insoluble. I’d number among these a general decadence arising from nearly 70 years of peace, security and rising incomes. The uncompetitiveness that renders us easy prey for the manufactories of, not Europe, but China and the developing world; the levels of welfare provision that rob indigenous Britons of hunger to work (not the poor immigrants who then take the work)… but this analysis lays many of our problems at the door of many of the voters attracted to Ukip, and is of less interest to the party.

It is the single-cause, single-prism, single-root-explanation way of interpreting the world and its sorrows (a way of thinking and seeing that has its attraction to all human beings) that leads to (or is the fount of) extremism: it is one of the reasons religion, with its forces-of-evil focus, has so often led people that way."

You can read the rest of the article here. To me, UKIP is the acceptable face of xenophobia. And because it's the first such party to shake up mainstream politics, in a way that the far-right could only dream of, it's attracted many of their supporters. Those of us who do not identify with such politics should be worried, because UKIP is led by an ambitious, able and articulate leader, Nigel Farage. To outward appearances, he seems a perfectly reasonable English gentleman. Only some of that is true. He's certainly English and he's probably a gentleman, but he's definitely not reasonable. He may not be preaching to the lowest common denominator, but it's awfully close to it. It's still demagoguery and it appeals to our worst instincts.
mcgillianaire: (Did You Know?)
1580s, "traveling case or bag for clothes and other necessaries," from Middle French portemanteau "traveling bag," originally "court official who carried a prince's mantle" (1540s), from porte, imperative of porter "to carry" (see porter (n.1)) + manteau "cloak" (see mantle (n.)).

Portmanteau word "word blending the sound of two different words" (1882), coined by "Lewis Carroll" (Charles L. Dodgson, 1832-1898) for the sort of words he invented for "Jabberwocky," on notion of "two meanings packed up into one word." As a noun in this sense from 1872.

SOURCE: Online Etmology Dictionary

Turquoise

Nov. 30th, 2011 09:00 pm
mcgillianaire: (Hooka Pipe)
Precious stone, 1560s, replacement from Middle French of Middle English turkeis, turtogis (late 14c.), from Old French turqueise, feminine adjective "Turkish," in pierre turqueise "Turkish stone," so called because it was first brought to Europe from Turkestan or some other Turkish dominion (Sinai peninsula, according to one theory). Cognate with Spanish turquesa, Middle Latin (lapis) turchesius, Middle Dutch turcoys, German türkis, Swedish turkos. As a color name, attested from 1853.

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
mcgillianaire: (BBC Logo)
"The ISI has been working for supporting proxies for an extended period of time. It's a strategy in the country and I think that strategic approach has to shift in the future." -Admiral Mike Mullen, America's outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman (Link)

India's been saying exactly that for decades but it fell on deaf ears. Now that America is facing the brunt of Pakistani foreign policy hypocrisy and double-standards in Afghanistan, the global media networks are lapping it up. Well, we told you so!
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)


If you're into cricket then I'm sure you've already discovered YouTube user "robelinda2" who's uploaded over 1000 videos. In case you haven't, it's a stellar collection. I've wasted many an hour on it the past few months.
mcgillianaire: (Football player)
From a tourist's perspective, Turkey would've been the ideal choice but our neighbours across La Manche will do just fine. [BBC LINK]

EDIT:
Hmm. There's gonna be an expansion from 16 to 24 teams in 2016. Fifty-one matches spread over a month. If England still can't qualify...
mcgillianaire: (Default)
Test Match Special hits the airwaves. Oh how much I've missed you. :D [SCORECARD]

Dumbbell

May. 24th, 2010 01:15 pm
mcgillianaire: (Samuel Johnson)
Online Etymology Dictionary:
"weighted bar used for exercise,"1711, originally an apparatus like that used to ring a church bell, but without the bell; used for exercise but sometimes also to practice ringing changes. Figurative sense of "blockhead" first recorded 1920, Amer.Eng. [SOURCE]

Wikipedia:
The forerunner of the dumbbell was used in India for more than a millennium, shaped like a club – so named Indian club. The design of the "Nal", as the equipment was referred to, can be seen as a halfway point between a barbell and a dumbbell. It was generally used in pairs, in workouts by wrestlers, bodybuilders, sports players, and others wishing to increase strength and muscle size. "Dumbbells" as a word originated in Tudor England – athletes used hand-held church bells to develop the upper body and arms. These bells ranged in weight from a few ounces to many pounds. The bells were flourished in various ways. This would have made a great deal of noise, so the athletes would take out the clappers so they could practice quietly; hence the name "dumb", as in "no sound", and "bell" – dumbbell. When strongmen started to make their own equipment, they kept the name, even though the shape changed. [SOURCE]

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