Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rebecca West and William Joyce

Rebecca West is a name I've occasionally conjured with. I've been reading her for the first time recently, and before that I knew her by reputation as a sometime lover of H G Wells and a prolific writer/journalist, a fairly formidable figure in English letters in the first half of the twentieth century. When, a few years ago, I was reading up on Serbia and the Balkans, I came across her hefty tome, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, in a second-hand bookshop, but finally decided against buying it. Now, having almost finished her fascinating book-length essay on William Joyce [aka Lord Haw-Haw] in a collection entitled The Meaning of Treason, I can't wait to write about her and to read more. 
As Wikipedia tells us, West had a very long as well as productive life, dying in 1983 at the age of ninety, and always participating energetically in the issues of the day. Her writing on Joyce shows her to be a shrewd psychologist and a political pragmatist, wryly realistic and nobody's fool. It's a fascinating account of the polical tensions before and after WW2, with communists switching to fascism then switching back to communism, with anti-democratic political ideals holding far greater sway in the west than they do today, and with so many people caught up in the vagaries of family ideology, competing nationalisms and generally divided sympathies. 
William Joyce, for example, was born in the USA to Irish Unionist parents - which, since they were also Catholic, immediately rendered them anomalous. He returned to Ireland with his family as a young boy, where he received a good Jesuit education, proving himself industrious and disciplined. He moved to England as a teenager, and made various attempts to join the military. From an early age he seems to have been drawn to conflict and controversy. He was a rabid anti-semite and when he became prominent in the British fascist movement he emphasised that element in his oratory, polarising opinion on the BUF [British Union of Fascists] and possibly creating tensions with its leader, Mosley. 
Bigotry is an intriguing phenomenon. We know that it's all around us - anti-semitism, racism, homophobia - and we associate it with ignorance, and we find people who espouse  such thinking boring as well as dangerous, but its very familiarity masks its essential mystery - why do people engage in wholesale hatreds based on such flimsy pretexts? How did this way of thinking become so popular as to convulse the whole of Europe for a decade? Why did it attract so many reasonably well-educated types as well as the usual misfits and crazies?

West is ultimately no more able to provide answers to these questions than I could. In any case, anti-semitism was much more fashionable then than it is now, at least in Western Europe. Well, no, not just there, think of the USA, think of the highly respectable Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, and the backdrop that made their views respectable. Think too of the emphasis on race and eugenics in those pre-war days.   

Joyce’s hatred of communists was also something of a fashion, but it should also be noted that then as now, the people most consumed with the activities and the danger to society of the extreme left were those of the extreme right, and vice versa. It’s a kind of co-dependence in which each side must necessarily over-value the negative impact of the other. When Joyce was a young man he was slashed by an assailant at a conservative party meeting he was convening. It left him badly scarred. He always claimed the culprit to be a communist Jew. Of course if that were true it might be cause for resentment, but it’s much more likely to have been a convenient fabrication.

West makes much of the issue of class in Joyce’s ambitious make-up. He wasn’t a gentleman – West uses the term with only partial irony – in spite of his educated airs, and Mosley would never have considered him his equal. This seemed to make him more determined than ever to make his mark, and we get a strong sense of someone who feels himself worthy of better things than others are willing to concede to him. He wanted to become a British officer but was somehow blocked in that ambition. As a fascist organizer he was probably more successful than Mosley but was given little credit by him. When he finally left for Germany just as war was about to break out, the Nazis treated him with suspicion and disdain, to such a degree that he almost turned tail for England and incarceration for the duration. When, with great reluctance, he was given his head over more ‘gentlemanly’ broadcasters [the name Lord Haw Haw was transferred to him from earlier, more plummy announcers], he proved to be their most reliable propagandist.

Of course it was a very circumscribed success. Fascism, by its very nature, was always bound for failure, and its spectacular failure and spectacular destructiveness in the thirties and forties has discredited anything like it for a long time to come. Joyce’s broadcasts in any case probably did more good than harm to the British cause. He became a figure of fun but also a rallying point. People tuned into him both for amusement and to try to get a handle on how the enemy saw them, and how they were coping with the war.

West's reportage of the case, her description of the trial process and Joyce's response to it, is wholly absorbing. Her general remarks about treason are more open to question, though. However, my response comes from a time when Western Europe has known decades of peace and stability, and has even formed a union of sorts, with a common currency. Globalism has also played its part in rendering the concept of treason quaint, to some. It's worth having a closer look at West's reasoning in the light of the twenty-first century, and i'll do that next time. 

Labels: , ,

Thoughts on a passing administration

As the USA stumbles and crashes to the end of their first administration of the twenty-first century, I feel the need to provide a semi-educated dilettantish outsider’s perspective.

I’m neither an economist nor an American, so I’m not going to dwell so much on that nation’s current economic woes, its causes and effects. I’m more interested in the foreign policy of this administration, which has surely been disastrous for the USA’s global image.

Obviously the events of September 11 have dominated their foreign policy. I witnessed the unfolding events of that day with amazement and horror and sympathy, like almost everyone else, but it wasn’t long after realizing that the world wasn’t coming to an end that my thinking was dominated by one simple question – what will the reaction be?

As one wiseacre once put it, we ought to be judged not by how we treat our friends but by how we treat our enemies – or words to that effect. So many of us must have felt that the way the USA responded to this attack would be of enormous significance for the whole future of the west, and few of us would’ve felt too sanguine about it, given the new administration, and the returnees from the previous Bush administration.

Nevertheless, the invasion of Afghanistan didn’t raise too many eyebrows. Most of us felt a real disgust at the brutal, primitive ways of the Taliban, and sympathized with the push towards freedom of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees. We watched the despicable destruction of the Buddhist statues, the beating of women in their absurd tent clothing in the streets, and we heard, many of us for the first time, all about Osama Bin Laden and al-Queda, and their training grounds in the south of the country. It seemed reasonable to make a strike against this sort of thing, perhaps.

Always perhaps. My concern, always, is with the suffering of civilians and innocents when the crude instruments of war are brought to bear. Those clean clinical strikes we all remember from the first gulf war, the demonstrations of strikepower, something like demonstrations of a new more effective washing machine or garbage disposal. Where were the human beings down there? Were there none?  Does anybody really believe advertising?

The argument that the September 11 attacks were first and foremost criminal, and therefore a police matter, an argument that seemed perfectly coherent to me, that argument was soon drowned out as the invasion of Afghanistan progressed and rumours surfaced that Iraq would be next. My own initial response was to discount the rumours and to reflect, from my safe and faraway computer desk, that Afghanistan was already ravaged by war and turmoil, the American invasion could hardly make it worse and might eventually bring about a happier outcome for the less benighted. An ignorant liberal fantasy.

News trickled out about Camp X-ray, and then Camp Delta, and the war of words against Saddam Hussein began, and my sense of anger and disgust grew. I was no fan of Saddam, but I could see no obvious connection between his regime and al-Quaeda and the September 11 attacks. Everything, on the contrary, pointed to a disconnection, an antagonism, since, al-Quaeda, like the Taliban, seemed to have grown out of a primitivist movement [primitivism being a term I use in preference to fundamentalism] which would be as hostile to Saddam’s quasi-secular dictatorship as it was to Christian infidel nations.

I tried to look at the other side. All of the Bush administration’s arguments for ‘’taking out’’ Saddam were clearly bogus, but Saddam was just as clearly a criminal and a murderer, and the Iraqis would be better off without him. Presumably most Iraqis would agree. However, perhaps an even greater majority of Iraqis were antagonistic to the US and profoundly suspicious of its interest in the region. These people would be prepared to take up arms against any invading force. Better the devil you know. Given the ‘’if you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists’’ rhetoric of Bush, these people, who if they had been Americans defending their land, would be honoured as patriots, would be in danger of being branded as terrorists, and given the moves by the Bush administration to dispense with the Geneva conventions in order to more ‘’efficiently’’ prosecute their unilaterally declared ‘’war on terror’’, they would be treated abominably for their patriotism. All of which would rebound on the USA itself.

A little investigation showed me that, though Saddam had behaved abominably in the aftermath of the first gulf war, to shore up his battered status, his regime in the years leading up to the renewing of hostilities by the US had been relatively peaceful. Saddam, it seemed to me, was brutal but not stupid. A prolonged rein of terror would not have done his cause any good, and nor would he have helped his cause by antagonizing the US unnecessarily. These fairly obvious reflections made me very suspicious about US claims regarding WMD. First, the Bush administration seemed bent on regime change in Iraq, no matter what, and WMD appeared to be a mere pretext. Second, there were massive contradictions between US claims and those of the UN weapons inspectors, and it was only reasonable, from a bystander’s perspective, to trust the UN, who had no particular barrow to push, over the US. 

In any case, we watched helplessly as the US moved towards war, disgusted and deeply ashamed that little Australia, under little Johnnie Howard, was backing the planned invasion to the hilt. Howard’s adherence to Bush didn’t surprise me though – what did surprise me was the support of Tony Blair. My understanding is that Blair was keen to remove Saddam but backed a more multilateral, UN-based approach. It seems that the Bush administration secured a promise from Blair that, if the US went through the motions of getting support from the UN security council, Blair would back the invasion. They did go through those motions, in the most bullying and belligerent manner possible, and Blair, as a man of his word, felt compelled to make the best of an unsatisfactory situation. Which raises the question of whether keeping a promise is more important than saving lives. Blair shouldn’t have made such a promise in the first place, though, considering the nature of the Bush administration, which should’ve been clear enough to him.  His own head of intelligence, Sir Richard Dearlove, reported to him in July 2002, well before the UN maneuverings, the real situation:

Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.


Given this evidence of pig-headedness in the Bush administration’s intentions, and a cavalier callousness in regard to the fate of the Iraqi people, Blair’s support strikes me as unconscionable. Maybe he felt British troops could be a tempering influence in the invading force – as indeed they seem to have been, by and large – but the fact remains that the Americans were largely calling the shots, and their approach was a matter of the gravest concern.

The invasion of Iraq, and the mess it has created of that country for years, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, the shameless exploitation of the country’s resources, and the obvious strengthening of al-Queda and anti-American sentiment that has resulted, will be seen as one of the enduring legacies of the Bush administration. It took a long time for the administration to realize that the most important battle in Iraq was the battle for hearts and minds, but it does seem that, particularly under the leadership of David  Petraeus, things have improved greatly in recent times.

The most disturbing development, it seems to me, that has occurred under the George W Bush presidency, is the expansion of Presidential power to unprecedented proportions. This is a situation that should be reversed by the next administration as a matter of urgency. Of course, it’s unlikely that a President will act to curtail his own power, but it would be a measure of that President’s stature that he should so act. The abuse that has occurred under the soi-disant war on terror is flagrant and chilling, and a crime against humanity. Joseph Marguilies’ book Guantanamo and the abuse of presidential power provides much evidence on this matter, but it’s not far to find much other evidence on the brutality that this administration has unleashed and encouraged in its treatment of alleged enemy combatants – a huge number of them completely innocent and since released without charge – since the events of September 11 2001.

Another probably vain hope for the future is for the USA to recognize its international obligations and to accept international jurisdiction with regard to crimes against humanity.

This may all read like an anti-American screed, but I’m a sometime student of history and I know that, through the ages, every nation or state that has come to a position of dominance in its neighbourhood or the world has used that position for the purposes of exploitation. The ancient Aztecs built a magnificent nation on the exploitation and enslavement of its neighbours. The Athenians dominated the Delian League and ruthlessly exploited it to its own advantage. The Roman Empire was more or less archetypical in this regard, and the British Empire was all about expansion of its own power at the expense of others, no matter how civilized a spin you put on it. So it’s ridiculous to allow the US, or any other power that attains the position the US has done, to imagine itself the world’s police officer, as well as judge, jury and executioner. We must have stronger international courts, subscribed to by all.

I once used a schoolyard story to illustrate the US war on Iraq, and I will repeat and elaborate on it here as I think it still holds good. The USA can be compared to the strongest, toughest kid in the playground. Of course, in the past he has demonstrated this toughness in various ways, intimidating many kids who deserved it, some who didn’t, and accepting sycophancy as his due. Others in the school-yard have tried to steer an independent course, but have recognized that they need to keep on good terms with big Sam. One day, Sam gets tripped up and falls flat on his face. He feels humiliated, and he can’t get on his feet fast enough to catch the culprit, though he know well enough who he is. He spends a bit of time hunting around for him, then he beats up another boy he knows to be a good mate of his. However, this doesn’t satisfy Sam, because the mate was easy pickings and Sam still feels humiliated. He feels he has lost face, so he decides to get stuck into another boy with whom he’s been on bad terms for years. He makes up excuses for his bullying, saying that the boy has been hatching plots against him and that he’s secretly in league with the lad who’s tripped him up. He knows that the two boys have always hated each other, but so what? The kid deserves it anyway…

The sad thing about this story is that it really is spot on – there is nothing more to the invasion of Iraq than this – the restoration of big Sam’s pride and reputation. Of course there is one important sense in which this is an odious comparison, and that is that the September 11 attacks claimed thousands of innocent lives, and the attack on Iraq has claimed hundreds of thousands more. The USA has wrought some revenge on some of the September 11 attackers. To say they have been brought to justice would be going too far, since this administration has, in this sphere, dispensed with justice in the universally understood meaning of the term after declaring their ‘war on terror’. That the perpetrators of the Iraq invasion and occupation will never be brought to justice goes without saying. Yet still we can hope. 


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gymnorhina tibicen

At this time of year, Homo australis often experiences, of a morning, one of the simple pleasures of a complicated life, when he awakes to the call of the magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen. Here in beautiful Bowden, around my mud-brick cluster, there’s a pleasant pack of them. Magpies tend to form groups of about ten in my part of the world, though the numbers can be quite a bit larger in less built-up areas. I’ve been meaning to write about them for a while, as they’ve always given me a bit of a thrill, but after going for a local ramble the other day, and watching a magpie hop and warble nearby as a sat reading in the park, I’ve decided today’s the day.


I was reading about how the universe is likely to end [not with a bang but a whimper], so it was pleasant to focus on something else for a while. I noticed this magpie on a picnic table a few metres away, being hassled by two hovering and semi-swooping magpie larks. It’s chick-raising season, maybe that’s the problem. The magpie larks were making these single, simple squealing sounds, while the magpie, when it was ready, came out with its distinctive quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle, to quote from the popular poem by New Zealander Denis Glover.


The magpie’s call is one of the most elaborate of all bird calls. I once heard that this was because the bird is double-throated. I don’t know what that means or if it’s true. I also heard that each individual’s call is slightly different, and I don’t know about that either. As I often do, I’m writing this piece as a process of self-education.


It’s interesting, and perhaps not coincidental, that magpies and magpie larks are often found in the same areas. It’s hardly surprising that people confuse them. Names, too, are confusing, what with the magpie, the magpie lark, the murray magpie, the piping shrike, the butcher bird and the currawong. So let’s sort things out.


The magpie lark, Grallina cyanoleuca, is neither a magpie nor a lark. That makes sense, especially when you consider that the magpie isn’t really a magpie either. That’s to say, the Australian magpie was named after the European magpie, a completely different bird from the Corvidae family, allied to crows and ravens.


In South Australia the magpie-lark is also called the murray magpie. In Victoria and Western Australia it’s known as the mudlark, and the peewee in New South Wales and Queensland. The more I look into it, the more complicated it gets. These birds are fiercely territorial and not afraid to have a go at larger encroaching birds like my magpie.


The piping shrike, emblematic bird of South Australia, turns out to be just another Australian magpie, a subspecies also known as the white-backed magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen leuconata, common to southern and western Australia. Four subspecies have been identified, the others being the black-backed magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen tibicen, the Tasmanian magpie, G tibicen hypoleuca, and the western magpie, G tibicen dorsalis, found in a specific region in the south-west of Western Australia.


Neither the butcher bird nor the currawong are found in these parts, but they cause confusion elsewhere. Butcherbirds come in many colours, and it’s the pied butcherbird, Cracticus nigrogularis, which in fact inhabits most of Australia apart from our region and Tasmania, that I'm really talking about. The picture tells the best story.


The solid and crow-like pied currawong, Strepera graculina, is very much an eastern seaboard bird. And they’re plentiful over there as we all know. I’ve heard them referred to as magpies too [probably by South Australians or other invasive species].


So that’s the run-down of Aussie magpie-like birds. Now what about the magpie itself and its call? Is it double-throated and what does this mean? My net ramblings took me to the deadly double-throated cassowary [no explanation as to why it might be more deadly than a single-throated type], and double-throated fykes [a type of trap], but nothing much at all about what being double-throated entails [maybe the term is too obviously self-explanatory?]. Maybe I’ll return to the subject later – what I’m really looking for is something of the science of birdsong. Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the communications. 


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dear enemy

completely irrelevant pic, perhaps

This is the first of a series of ongoing pieces – for such issues never end – with an obviously related theme. Hopefully I won’t dwell on them too much, and will intersperse them with far more interesting material.


I obviously look upon the ruins of my connection with you, and its impact on many other parts of my life, in a very conflicted way. Bewilderment, bemusement, anger, and above all pain, these are the predominant descriptors. Should I add guilt? That wouldn’t be honest, for I don’t feel any great guilt over anything that I’ve said, done or written to you. Obviously I need to be re-educated, because I honestly don’t get it.


Let me start with a quick, blunt appraisal of you, to my mind. You have energized me and drained me of energy, in turns. I’ve rarely met a more sensual and sexual person, and that is highly energizing. To describe a person as sexy, is to say something both complex and highly subjective. Dull people, for example, aren’t sexy no matter how symmetrical their features or how svelte their figures. To describe someone as sexy is to say how you in particular respond to and are invigorated by their smile, their movements, their voice, their turn of phrase, their hunger and so on. It’s almost always a response to something quite unconscious in the other, and I won’t take it any further than that.


The trouble is, whether I dwell on the positives or the negatives, I’m bound to get your back up! So I’ll just try to proceed in all honesty.


Counterbalancing this energizing – indeed endlessly energizing – quality is something about you that leaves me flat. It’s a kind of strident, and I think fake-confident opinionatedness about everything. Now, of course, I feel myself the victim of that opinionated closure, and I suppose that was inevitable.


Opinions are conclusions. They come at the end. They close discussion. If someone says ‘I hate that writer’ or ‘that building’s a piece of shit’, or ‘that guy’s an arsehole’, there doesn’t seem much more to say. The implication seems to be that the person has thought all there is to think about the subject, has come to a considered and definite conclusion, and is now merely delivering it for the edification of others. To respond with, ‘well, I’m not sure I agree with you’, just seems a deliberate act of provocation. It’s draining to even think about coming out with such a response – you can already sense the defensiveness, the brick wall that you’re about to hit. Perhaps a better response is to ask why? – and maybe get a dialogue started that way.


This is an important point. In all the years I’ve known you, I can’t recall having too many stimulating conversations with you, and this is, I think, because you’re one of the most judgmental persons I’ve met. It’s true that this judgmentalism is like a red rag to a bull for me, and that I’m tempted to goad you when confronted with it, but in the past I’ve restrained myself far more often than giving into this impulse.  


This would be almost acceptable if you were a deeply informed person, steeped in the culture of whatever you happen to be dismissing, but clearly you’re not, and you’ve admitted this yourself often enough. Some years ago you were talking with pride about having read only about ‘three books in the last ten years’, and you’ve rarely evinced any interest in science, or history, or anything particularly cultural apart from rock music, comedy shows and home decorating. One would think this would engender some humility in your view of things, but it seems to me you prefer to try to humble the world to your simplifying views than to seem to appear weak by expressing uncertainty and wonder and amazement at the inordinate complexity around you.


Having said this, I’m absolutely delighted that you’ve started work this year as a political/cultural journalist with Radio Adelaide. I’ve always had a high regard for your intelligence, and I hope this job will continue to motivate you to move out of your comfort zone, leave your numerology and horoscopes behind, and explore cultural areas left barely touched in the past. I’m very envious. One day, if you ever rescind your decision to hate me, I might amuse you with my own feeble efforts, more than twenty years ago, to join the staff of Radio Adelaide – 5UV as it was then – as a volunteer.


I’ll wind up this first piece on the subject – there is so much more to say – by summarising the above a little. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed being a witness to your life – which has changed greatly in that time. From time to time, I’ve allowed myself a little commentary, and this has obviously incensed you to an extraordinary degree. Why this is so is essentially a psychological question. I’ve never wanted to spend lots of time with you, I’ve never angled for that. Your rigidity of thought, and your boredom with any ideas that can’t be grasped in less than five minutes, makes you more interesting to observe from a certain distance, and with a certain wry humour. You don’t really deserve to be taken too seriously. Which raises the question of why your treatment of me has hurt me so much. And it really really has. I might explore that next time.  




ravaged beauty


The moon, I suspect, is a touchstone to every feeling person. As to me, its sicklied o’er pallor has made it an ideal companion on many an evening ramble given over to the inconcinnities of unrequited ardour. But though I often gazed, I never really observed. I didn’t notice, for example, that its path across the sky was erratic, shifting from quadrant to quadrant. I didn’t know what a quadrant was.


I remember certain facts and figures from childhood – those numbers that get stuck in your head and that no new data can quite replace [there’s a strange sense, for example, that China will always have 700 million inhabitants for me]. The moon is 283,000 miles away, compared to the sun’s 93 million. I’ve just written that without looking up references. A quick squiz informs me that the figure is closer to 238, 000 miles [an average distance between perigee, the closest, and apogee, the furthest]. Interestingly, this distance isn’t constant. The moon is edging away from us at a rate of just under 4cms per year.


I’m a late bloomer in most things. I didn’t get to closer quarters with the moon until my early twenties, when a friend encouraged me to look through his telescope. He told me that, if you looked closely, you could see some of the moons of Jupiter. Maybe it was my eyesight, or my laziness, but I could see nothing of that, and only had eyes for our scarred and potent satellite. This was a dozen years or so after the first moon walk, and certainly that was memorable, but there’s something about visual contemplation and intimacy. A woman’s face, for example. Really looking at it. It can also confer a dangerous fantasy of possession. Possession, at least, of some secret knowledge.


Where did the moon come from? I recall reading of that too in childhood. There were competing theories. When the earth was young and molten, a protrusion somehow formed, and the earth’s spin finally thrust it out of the main body to form its own orbit around us. Or there was a massive collision in the earth’s early life, which somehow caused a large chunk of matter to splinter off, while other matter was absorbed. This second theory, much elaborated of course, still persists, and is the most accepted theory in the discourse.


There’s a lot of debate though currently, and much exciting activity around the moon’s origin, as revealed in a recent issue of Cosmos [issue 22]. Some maths-physicists, for example, have posited the existence of two other moonlets, which may have formed as part of the putative collision some 4.4 billion years ago. In the early days, when the moon was much closer to us, these Trojan satellites, as they’re called, would have remained more or less stable in their orbits, a situation that may have persisted for a billion years, until our gravitational pull became too weak, and they were lost to space.


Other researchers have come up with a radical alternative to the top-dog theory. They suggest that in the period before the earth coalesced into its current more or less stable state, a gigantic bubble of very hot gas forced its way up through the mantle, massively impacting upon it and upon the earth’s crust, and forming our moon in the process. Their theory, they claim, solves a number of  issues left unresolved by the more accepted alternative. I won’t try to go into too much detail – read Cosmos for that – but it seems that the existence of georeactors [sites within the earth of natural fission reactions] in the layer of the earth’s upper mantle are being postulated as evidence for the researchers’ claims.  The moon’s density is much less than that of the earth, with the core taking up only 4% of its mass. The earth’s core constitutes 30% of its mass. How they’ve ascertained this is a mystery to me, but it’s generally considered that the reason for the difference is iron. The earth has lots of it at its centre, the moon doesn’t. Yet the similarity of oxygen isotope ratios in earthrock and moonrock prove that the two bodies were formed equidistant from the sun, and tend to suggest that they were once parts of the same body. Such differences and similarities have led, naturally, to some confusion and uncertainty.


In any case the new theory has some super-smart backers, though the impact theory is still very much top dog. It will be a field to keep an eye on in the future.


An interesting side-issue. The fission hypothesis, a brief version of which I gave at the start of this piece, with a molten, or rather volatile, portion of the earth being ripped off by centrifugal force, was originally proposed by George Darwin, son of Charles, in 1880. It is now discounted.



Friday, October 10, 2008

la petite mort

Here's a site to delight if ever there was one. A pity I can't actually watch these videos at present, my internet is on go-slow.


pavlov's cat