Friday, February 08, 2008

God Only Knows

I’ve spent some time in the company of Christians recently, and, although they’re pretty annoying they’re probably less likely to try to murder you than the other annoying people in Redhill who aren’t Christians.

By and large they seem to be nice people, as long as you ignore the fact that they’re all a bit nuts.

Now, I’m an agnostic. That’s not me being wishy-washy, it’s just an admission that there’s a lot of stuff I don’t understand. If I contemplate the mysteries of the Universe I just don’t understand how stuff works.

The Christians I’ve met seem to understand how stuff works, at least to their own satisfaction. Up to a point.

Then I ask why God fucks us around so much. “Ah, say the Christians. You wouldn’t understand.”

So that’s why I’ve decided to just not understand on my own and cut out the not understanding bit that involves God.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Blowing Goats

It’s just been announced that the Royal Navy has stopped using goats in decompression experiments, which will come as a surprise to those who didn’t know they’d been doing it in the first place. Which was pretty much everybody, I should think.

In a press release which encourages the response “WHAT??!!”, or, indeed, “NO!!”, it’s claimed that goats were chosen because “their skulls are a similar shape to those of humans”. Now those are goats I don’t want to see. In fact, I don’t even want to think about them. My dreams are weird enough already.

It wasn’t all bad news for the animals. “They were never placed under water and they were not alone. Other goats were in there too," a defence official said yesterday, in a badly misjudged attempt at sounding reassuring.

Apparently the hapless creatures suffered brain damage, amongst other unpleasant effects. Presumably the difficulty in assessing whether a British sailor had suffered brain damage or not was the major barrier to using humans in the experiments.

Friday, February 01, 2008

For some reason they’ve stopped selling chipmunks in the pet shop across the road from where I live. I have a strange fixation with chipmunks – they’re quite cute, but they have an odd reptilian slitheriness which I find repellent but oddly hypnotic.

They're like squirrels. But worse. I used to go and stare at them until I began to feel worried and then go home, which was interesting. I miss them.

But there’s a lot more weird stuff out there to capture my imagination. “It is the first new species of giant elephant shrew to be discovered in more than 126 years" says Galen Rathbun of the California Academy of Sciences, referring to his latest discovery, and I, for one, will not be taking the time to argue with him.

It’s in Tanzania, which means I’m unlike to get a look at a real one, but at least the BBC have photographs.