Noted in passing – 3rd October 2015

The first snow of this winter fell in Kiruna yesterday. Early, but it is no record since snow has come as early as 21st September.

 Jessica Nildén

photo Jessica Nildén via SvT

NASA: Pluto’s largest moon Charon is revealed in this image from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), taken late on July 13, 2015 from a distance of 289,000 miles  (466,000 kilometers).

Charon by New Horizons - NASA

Obama to Putin: ” You’re bombing the wrong targets. Why don’t you do as we do?”   US air strikes hit Medecins Sans Frontieres clinic in Afghanistan.

Jeremy Corbyn: I love Britain but I will not defend her with nuclear weapons.

Sycophancy is alive and well in Indian politics. A BJP politician who was passed over by the party as Chief Minister candidate of Delhi tries to curry favour with his leader by comparing Modi with Gandhi.

NASA made a huge PR exercise about finding that briny water flowed on Mars – though their solution to the great mystery that they claimed to have solved has been postulated for years. But actually the NASA media campaign was almost certainly timed to hype the new Ridley Scott movie “The Martian” which was released the same week. (Reviews look interesting and I shall see the movie tomorrow).

Donald Trump’s campaign has been predicted to implode by the media and politicians for a long time now. The more left-wing, liberal media (HuffPo, WaPo) are bursting with indignation at his success. But his campaign is still going strong. Jeb Bush’s campaign is vanishing into his own navel. But Trump can no longer be ignored. Even the New York Magazine analyses The Importance of Donald Trump  and even the New York Times Magazine – albeit reluctantly – carries a profile of Trump by Mark Leibovich.

I always thought that the “birther” theory that Obama was born in Kenya was something invented by the Republicans and the Tea-Party mob, but apparently it was first created by Hillary Clinton’s more fanatic supporters in 2008 when she was battling Obama for the Democratic nomination.

FactCheck: This claim was first advanced by diehard Hillary Clinton supporters as her campaign for the party’s nomination faded, and has enjoyed a revival among John McCain’s partisans as he fell substantially behind Obama in public opinion polls.

A Swedish study shows that taller people have a higher risk of cancer. “The average height of Swedish women is 167.7 centimetres while men are on average 181.5 centimetres tall”. Fortunately Sweden has cancer survival rates of 64.7 percent compared to an average of 59.6 percent in Europe.

The Oregon mass killing  only shows – again – that such an event is a routine, once-a-week, matter with 45 such events so far this year. Everybody goes simplistic. The liberals have a go at the lack of gun control and the availability of guns. The right points out that all such killings have been in declared “Gun free zones” and that it wouldn’t have happened if the victims had been armed. Obama makes a speech and blames everybody else. (I thought he was President). Jeb Bush – ever insightful – points out that “stuff happens”.

But it is all too simplistic. Was it nature or was it nurture or was it both which created the killer? And what is it about nurture in the US which creates so many of them?

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis continued their magnificent form in 2015 by clinching their seventh doubles title of the year.

A street I knew/know very well, but from before my time (but only just).

Chowringhee Clacutta, 1947



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