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Monthly Archives: October 2017

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. All over China temples have been turned into schools with surprising alacrity. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 26 1906 . The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk. Though rare, there have been exactly 201 documented cases of spontaneous combustion. J Sainbury plc is cutting 2000 Human Resources employees. The collective noun for brown [...]

Chinese food (after Jung Chang)

Ancient Chinese proverb The most capable woman cannot make a meal without food. Chinese Communist Party saying A capable woman can make a meal without food. .

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Only about three in every hundred amateur novel-writers find their way into print, except at their own expense. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907 . The erection of a verandah is a useful way to extend one’s living quarters. Seven American states observe Abraham Lincoln’s birthday as a public holiday. There is only one [...]

We were soldiers, once

How I went from Oxford choral scholar to British Army squaddie (in just under a dozen years). – For The Oldie

Turning Japanese stomachs

Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima Penguin, 170pp, £8.99 . Born two years after the Great Earthquake of 1923, in ‘not too good a section of Tokyo’, Kochan is a sickly child, brought up by stultifying parents and a morbid grandmother. His first reliable memory is of the ‘night-soil’ man, and he immediately becomes [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Volunteers had no recognised existence in England until May, 1859. — The Nelson Evening Mail, September 8 1908 . Everyone in Joe Orton’s social circle was called Kenneth. The word ‘truth’ has no exact equivalent in Welsh. The 8-hour workday doesn’t make sense. Sloths take five seconds to have sex, but a month to digest a [...]

Two birds, one stone

Dear Amorist, I recently made a joke about my pregnant wife – and found myself receiving several pointers. ‘Have lots of sex before the baby’s born,’ said one. ‘Watch loads of movies,’ said another. Couldn’t we just watch porn, and kill two birds with one stone? Yours, &c. ASH Smyth, by email

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Few of those who know and admire the camellia, that waxlike and pure flower, are aware that the parent plant, the origin of the million plants scattered throughout Europe, is still alive and is in Italy. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907 . The Taliban now control more territory in Afghanistan than they did [...]