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Showing posts from August, 2018

Do women know when they're being sexist?

When I was first married and returned to work, over lunch a female colleague asked me why I wasn't wearing my wedding ring.

"You make your wife wear one. Why shouldn't you? What makes men think that can do these things?"

Even though newly married, I knew enough to wait until the diatribe stopped. Eventually, it did and was punctuated by the demand, "Well?"

"My wife doesn't like wedding rings for men. She didn't give me one."

In the delightful silence, I asked, "Who's being sexist now?"

I was reminded of this while watching an episode of "The Catch" - a series that should be much better than it is.

An Interpol agent asks the heroine (so memorable I've forgotten both the name of the character and the actress), "Are you okay?"

To which the less than grateful reply was, "Would you ask me that if I were a man?"

The guy looks sheepish, and the camera cuts away.

This flaccid pseudo-feminist sort of dialogue …

Getting old

Getting old is buying again books that you gave away or lost years ago. Some I am buying for the third and fourth time.
At least there's still a strong second-hand book market, both on line and in bricks and mortar. Oxfam in Maidstone has a two storey second-hand bookshop filled with an amazingly broad selection.
The down side is when I get home too often I find my name written on the inside cover.

While eBooks have their advantages - great for reading on public transport - there are many disadvantages, too.

1. No second-hand market
2. It's not a good idea to leave your Kindle/Nook/e-reader on the beach when you go for a swim or a walk.
3. People can't tell what you're reading and share ideas.

Returning from France on the Eurostar, I was sitting opposite an attractive young lady who, after we'd ordered dinner, asked if I as enjoying the book I was reading. It was Javier Marias' A Heart So White, which my son had given me for my birthday.
After commenting that Marias…

Back in Time

I met a friend recently for a coffee at the Charing Cross Hotel. It's a convenient place to meet and there is the option of extending coffee into lunch.

While the current management is pushing coffee drinkers into the bar and out of the previous space which is now reserved for the more lucrative meals, it's still acceptable. I do miss the old name of the Eleanor Bar.

While enjoying a cappuccino, I glanced around the other tables. A business meeting was going on at each one. Laptops were out, papers spread over the small tables, and conversations via mobile phones were in progress.

At a central London hotel, the clientele is likely to be business people, but was this going on at country hotels as well?

While a sign of the new, digital economy with freelancers, consultants, WiFi and data everywhere, I did wonder if this was ultimately good for business.

Since I did an undergraduate course in 18th Century literature (one of the best I ever took), I loved the idea of that period's …

America's loss

International paper sizes (ISO 216) are used throughout the world apart from North America, three countries in South America and Australia. There are other outliers, but these sizes are pretty much the global standard, and not without good reason.

The A-series sizes are based on a measurement where each sheet has a root 2 aspect ration. Simply put, this means that each smaller standard size is exactly half the size of the larger one.

These are named from the largest sheet (A0) to the smallest (A8), with common copier paper and business letterhead being A4 size. Poster-size papers (A3) are also commonly found in offices and schools, and 4-page A4 booklets can be easily made by folding a sheet of A3 in half. Because the sizes are proportional, using the image reduction feature on a photocopier, an A3 spread (two A4 pages) can be reduced to fit a single A4 sheet, comprising four A5 pages. Many paperback book in Europe are A5 size.

This means that most printed pages have a familiar look and …