Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Modest Proposal

A Modest ProposalA Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jonathan Swift from early years excelled in political and social satire. No wonder, that after moving to Ireland in 1714, he couldn't keep silent about pitiable life there.
A Modest Proposal is an extremely absurd and revolting book. I have never expected that such a book could have been written at the beginning of XVIII century.
On one hand it is a smart example of skillful rhetoric.
On the other hand, I consider its absurd considerations as a expression of defeat of socially sensitive person. Swift found fate of Irish people so hopeless, that his only answer was to write something completely mad.
Digression: one of important arguments of the author is to release parents from a burden of caring of children while living in extreme poverty.
Actually there is an example in Irish history of someone following this track.
In 1846, at the peak of Irish Famine, Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki was made an agent of British Relief Association and he proposed that instead of distribution of food and clothing for children by distribution centres it would be more productive to provide free school education for children and distribute good at school. The scheme was very effective and brought an additional positive effect - parents relieved from hopeless full time care for their children gained new energy and initiative for finding some employment, in most cases successful - this is exactly what Jonathan Swift promised, but achieved by Strzelecki in so humane way.
For his work in Ireland Paul Edmund Strzelecki was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.

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Sunday, June 3, 2018

First Sunday of June

Means for me Multiple Sclerosis Walk.

This year I did it for the eighth time.
Better stop writing here, let's the pictures talk...

The weather

The crowd


and then just enjoy...

At the finish line with my friend from skiing fields, who supports me in this walk for many years.

The donations side also looks good, almost reached my target - look HERE.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Communion intravenously?

Last weekend we spent in Ballarat on a great music festival - Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields.
On Sunday we attended the Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral.

The Gospel was about how Samuel heard the call of the God.
In the homily, the priest talked about current means of communication.
For example a direct phone call to Heavens, and there a recorded message:
- for a prayer press ONE,
- for a request press TWO,
- for an acknowledgement press THREE,
- for any other inquiry press FOUR.
Please note: this office is closed on Sunday. In the case of emergency contact your local priest, rabbi, imam.

After the mass I visited a toilet and there I noticed another sign of modern times...

A container to dispose used syringes. These are quite common in public toilets in Melbourne. Usually at trains stations, in the parks, on the beaches. But near the church? Thus the title question.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Go and look in lecherous manner

On the New Year's day google displayed special logo...

The second letter O replaced by a rising sun. First 2 letter look like a command - GO! Get out from your hole!

I tried the same with the whole word - GO OGLE!
Ogle? Is there such a word?
I tried google translator - ogle = stare at in a lecherous way.

Here you are! Now I know why google is so popular.

Question for me: to google or not to google?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Balance of the year

At the year end we tend to look into statusctics to make summaries.

I am registered with Goodreads page so it makes a summary for me:

My target for last year was 20 books, Goodreads reported 35, but in last days of the year I managed to read 2 more.

On the other hand my average rating was 2.5 out of 5, that means - mean, mediocre - does it make sense to read?
On one hand I am often tempted to read again my favourite books, on the other - I know that I will reach for new ones. Hopefully this year will be better than the last one.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Why the most devastating hurricanes got female names?

Just look at this years list: Irma and Maria. Most people still remember Katrina from year 2005.
I would add also Tracy - most devastating tropical cyclone in Australian history (1974).

No wonder I heard a comment - what a perfidy, to name such a disaster Maria?
Perfidy indeed. How could it happen?

 I found that hurricane names are allocated by World Meteorological Organisation 5 years in advance, alternately - male and female names. Full list HERE.

So at the time of allocating the names people haven't got a slightest idea what sort of hurricane it will be. Maybe none if number of hurricanes in certain year will not reach 21.

This is the Nature, some will say - God, who decides how strongly the wind will blow.

Polish version HERE.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The sense of duty

It was at the beginning of May...

Early morning, I just left home walking to the tram stop and passed by our neighbours house. Quite fresh neighbours, a Chinese couple with two small kids. The house also freshly built.

There was a strange scene. Kids, girl and boy in good schools uniforms were knocking at the door of the car. They also tried to pull out a garden hose stuck in the narrow gap in the car window.
My first thought was - they were watering some plant in the car and accidentally locked the door.
"Can I help you?" - I asked, but the kids did not take any notice.
Then their mother ran out of the house, still in her nightgown, she tried to force the car door, to pull out the garden hose. No effect. She ran back into the house.
A minute later she ran out again, with the car key, she opened the car door and switched off the engine. Only then I noticed a person inside the car and realized that the other end of the garden hose has been placed in the exhaust pipe. Finally I understood.
"I will call the ambulance" - I offered..
"I called it already" - answered the woman not turning her head towards me.
At the same time a neighbour came out from the house on the opposite side of the street. I explained to her what happened.
The woman, mother of the children, was talking to them in their language, an older woman, grandmother ran out from the house carrying the school bags.
"Can I help somehow?"  - asked the neighbour.
"No, I will take him to the hospital" - answered the brave small woman and was pushing the man in the car onto passenger seat.
I decided, that I was not needed there and walked away.

Few days ago I met the neighbour, the lady who was with me at the accident site.
"Sorry, that I left you alone, but I felt of no use, only adding embarrassment. How it ended?".
"Well, I offered help with the children" - answered the neighbour - "they were quite upset and crying. I hugged them, but then their mother called them to the car, to get to school. In the evening she knocked to my door with thanks, even brought me a small gift".
"And do you know how the man recovered?"
"He was treated in the hospital and recovered quite quickly. Actually the same day in the evening he flew to Malaysia as the next day he was to start a new job there".

Polish version HERE.