If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

… then at least say it differently.

The Chaps do admit to a continuing love affair with language —

“a continuing love affair with language;the sound of their own voices” — fixed that for you, you’re welcome

Have it your own way. Couple that with a love of the pithy insult — yes, this definitely reflects our feelings.

and you’ll understand how our interest was piqued by a recent tweet from The Canary. Apart from being rude enough to call the UK Foreign Secretary ‘a bag of gas

No argument from this quarter

and illustrating it thusly

it prompted one David Simon (he of “The Wire“) to retweet with a most delightful addition — a preamble describing Boris as a “Low-bottom taintsniff.” Witness a literary lion in action! We love it.

The Other Chap may perhaps recall a gift of a wall chart of Shakespearian insults?

itself giving rise to a rather nice mug.

Perhaps we should offer it as some sort of prize for something?

We did. I won.

Tales of Topographic Notions (II)

In which some feathers may get ruffled, politely

It’s a wonderful world, then…

Space GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY




.. and one appreciated by many more than just the Chaps. Well, when we say “appreciated”…

But, although fascinating, it becomes a little tricky putting it on paper. Visually, that is. Not that there have not been attempts, with Mercator’s Projection probably the best known.

But Mercator is problematic — not perhaps to 16th century European colonials, happy to see England in its rightful and dominant size and place, but …

It’s been widely used for centuries, including today in various forms by Google Maps and many other online services. This map preserves directional bearing, presenting rhumbs (imaginary lines that cut all meridians at the same angle) as straight lines, thus making it a useful tool for navigation.

Despite its benefits, the Mercator projection drastically distorts the size and shape of objects approaching the poles. This may be the reason people have no idea how big some places really are

Business Insider

Tissot’s indicatrix, a geometric equation used to show distortion on maps, explains the problems with Mercator — Business Insider

But all the other attempts look horribly distorted too, and at least we’re used to Mercator. Even if it does make Greenland look the size of Africa, for example. (You could fit 14 Greenlands in the real Africa.)

But now enter Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa and his AuthaGraph map. Quite fascinating. It seems if you take the sphere of the earth and project it onto an inflated tetra… Or to look at it another way, if you flatten the earth’s 96… Well, here’s the diagram.

Simple, yes? Until you see the product, which you may find — odd. But very accurate, insists Narukawa, who is a man on a mission.

According to Narukawa, his map means a lot more than just a faithful cartographical representation of our planet. Because Earth is now facing down issues like climate change and contentious territorial sea claims, Narukawa believes that the planet needs to look at itself in a new light — a view that perceives the interests of our planet first and its countries second.

Business Insider

The Chaps could not say fairer than that.

No we couldn’t – and lest you think the chaps are out there on yet another meaningless tangent – know that the Boston Public School system are already on the ‘abandon Mercator trajectory‘ … now we just need to pop over there and let them know about Narukawa san … this is new.

The Madness Of King Donald

This chap noted that something crazy is goin on …

I guess that’s why they pay you the big bucks Sherlock

Well, yes, there is that – but then it is a bit different, specifically …

President Trump’s sad and crazy Afghanistan adventurism

Even this Chap, no historian he, knows that throughout history, rulers under threat at home have declared war abroad.

Great Movie – Wag The Dog. Doesn’t it seem so quaint and ‘pre history’ that a movie, although baked in satire, was all about the US going to war to cover up a sex scandal (I seem to recall that there was this chap Clinton that inspired it … but that’s another thing altogether.) Reminder, it is only twenty years ago that the movie was released.

But here is the thing. The ‘dossier’ which we started talking about a year ago … was published by Buzzfeed in January … and provided a source of such relentless humor as ‘even his showers are golden’ – was the subject just yesterday of a 10 hour session between the CEO of the company that did the work and Senate Judicuary investigators. The showers bit bearly got a mention – because it contains far, far worse stuff.

We’re going to war you say …. ?

… cough – may I continue?

Sorry. Yes. Do.
… wanders away … stage left … muttering to self.

But this one flies in the face not just of sanity …

… but history. We Brits should know, and we can only look on in horror. Continue reading “The Madness Of King Donald”

All Our Yesterdays

… trust me they aren’t as good – or innocent – as we think.

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

Tom Robbins – Still Life with Woodpecker

“Happy,” maybe — but what about “scary” …

… this Chap wondered?

Because in a casual cruise through the wilds of Imgur,

Cough – you dont often read ‘casual cruise’ and ‘imgur’ in the same sentence!

… this Chap came across this discussion — on that most innocent and friendly of childhood story characters, Thomas The Tank Engine.

This young innocent seems very close…

Continue reading “All Our Yesterdays”

Obsessed, Part II: Trains

The Story So Far:

In Part I, Graham picked up a scent of obsessions in rock music and got on the trail… It started with words, but he stumbled over something bigger.

He really should pay more attention to where he’s going.

I didn’t know where I was going, at the time.

Well, there you are then.

If you’re quite finished…

Heh! It’s your train of thought!

See what I did there?

A question for our readers: Which came first — “travelling by train” as a theme in popular music, or actually travelling by train? Continue reading “Obsessed, Part II: Trains”

You Didn’t See It Here First …

… probably, since it went up a day ago and has already garnered over 3.5 million views ….

Still. Public Service. It’s What We Do.

… well sometimes.

It’s an excellent way to spend twenty minutes. And twenty minutes is a lot shorter – and in some ways even funnier – than Mel’s 1 hour and 32 minutes version. ….

Choose the Right Leaders or the Wrong Ones will Choose You

The subject(s) of torture and human rights sprang into our focus of attention this week. It would be easy for us Chaps to be smug about Gitmo and all that kind of thing. How unlike the home life of our own dear political prisoners, we might say, and how shocking what those abominable Yanks did.

‘Speaks loudly to the times’: a detail from The Torture Report. Photograph: Nation Books

The graphic history of torture under the Bush presidency is a salutary reminder that the figure who popped up again in the last couple of days was not always so keen on human rights, and only seems less of a war criminal by comparison  with the present incumbent.

Perhaps we Chaps should be grateful that we come from a different sort of place. Until, that is, we remember who wrote the textbooks. Continue reading “Choose the Right Leaders or the Wrong Ones will Choose You”