Sunday 8 June 2014

Buraq's wings for sale!

Vis-à-vis this morning's Broadcasting House on Radio 4, guest-presented by Nick Robinson (he of the famous toenails), I'm inclined to agree with ChrisH at Biased-BBC that the decision to put Michael Gove "In the Psychiatrist's Chair" [the responsibility for which I'd lay on the programme's production team] is suggestive of the way the contemptuous left-liberal bien pensant world, including the BBC, regards Mr Gove. After all, when, say, Harriet Harman was going through her 'denial' phase over the 'NCCL-paedophile scandal', BH didn't haul her in [in absentia] for psychological examination, did they? 

I'm not sure that Sigmund Freud would have approved anyhow, what with Michael Gove - the patient - not actually being present at his own counselling session. Tut, tut. 

As with The World This Weekend, the programme led with the Westminster Bubble spat between Mr Gove and Theresa May over Muslim extremism in Birmingham schools. Seemingly doing his bit for the Westminster Bubble was the Spectator's Fraser Nelson: 
Well, on the face of it this is about Islamic extremism in schools but really this is about something far more serious for the Prime Minister. Two of the most powerful figures in this cabinet are at war with each other.
Taken at face value, that exactly encapsulates the skewed sense of priorities/diversionary tactics which most of the UK media, the BBC especially, stands accused of.

I'm still hopeful though that Fraser was actually either (a) being ironic or (b) making a sharp point about the skewed priorities of David Cameron [et al] in the face of the goings-on in Birmingham. 

Onto matters of a more trivial kind. Nick Robinson used the platform of BH to make a heartfelt public appeal for an Emlyn Hughes football medal that's been missing from his collection for over forty years. He should have checked out E-bay, I'd say, rather than pestering the Radio 4 audience about it. Still, checking Twitter, it looks as if he's going to get his medal after all. Some people say they have one. [Being Twitter, Nick, don't believe them until it's in your hands.]

In that spirit, I'd like to appeal for a missing item from my 1980s collection of religious relics. My collection is missing the Holy Grail. If anyone has the Holy Grail, I would be interested in adding it to my collection and will gladly swap my set of Buraq's wings for it. You can make my childhood dream come true. 

Staying trivial, Broadcasting House tested out a scientific study which found that people who make notes with typing on computers remember less than those who've written the same thing out with a pen or pencil. Two students were requested to listen to a D-Day news bulletin [read by Sherlock Holmes] and then, papers confiscated, asked - half an hour later - some questions on that bulletin. 

Take a listen for yourself and see how you get on. I wrote nothing down and got most of the answers right. 

The girl who lost - representing the 'typing on computers' corner - was, however, asked a far more fiendish question [the name of a French Vichy official] than her pen-and-paper-using colleague - which is what I'd call a flawed or biased study on BH's part. [Typical BBC, always biased!]

Try this quiz for something similar:
(a) What is 3 x 13?
(b) What is 182 - 77?
(c) Are there for every a ≥ 2 infinitely many primes p such that ap − 1 ≡ 1 (mod p2)?

The newspaper review (with philanthropic entrepreneur Dame Steve Shirley, comedian Ian Stone and Julie Etchingham of ITV's News at Ten) was fun though. Modern art was mocked. Dame Steve vented her distaste for football splendidly. 

More seriously, Dame Steve Shirley mentioned the Rape Summit that Sunday was discussing. Julie mentioned the stats on rape, as used as a weapon of war in the from the Democratic Republic of Congo: 1,152 women raped every day; 48 women every hour; a total of 12% of the female population of the DRC raped - breathtaking figures.

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