Bear-baiting

by David on September 19, 2004

George Monbiot and Max Hastings agree that the fox-hunting ban is primarily a result of class politics rather than animal welfare. Half-persuaded by these two public school chaps, Cloudsoup is starting a campaign to bring back bear-baiting.

Idea 2: the anti-mentor

by David on September 19, 2004

Levinson’s theory of adult development emphasised the important role a mentor plays. What about the anti-mentor? Perhaps negative role models are as important or more important than the positive ones.

Although I scored only 24 on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (putting me towards the autistic side of average but comfortably within the compass of normal), I’ve nevertheless always shown a slightly antisocial bent by being more impressed by people I dislike than people I like.

Idea number 1: the evolution of kissing

by David on September 10, 2004

David Jones, Professor of Engineering at Newcastle, used to write the Daedalus column in the New Scientist which every week described a bizarre invention or concept that you suspected must be flawed somehow.

My favourite, I think, was the turkey-cooking method that involved stuffing the bird with explosives. The heat of the explosion instantly cooked the turkey and the kinetic energy of the explosion was carried away harmlessly by the feathers, which shot out in all directions.