1.Where is Ray?
Today Helmut spoke about Isaac Newton and held a strong audience. (No, they weren’t weightlifters. What I mean is: he had a steady audience the whole day. No, I don’t mean they were sure-footed. You know what I mean. You’re just trying to cause trouble.)
Steve spoke about Charles Darwin Day (officially on the 12th Feb), and delved into whether Chazza was religious or not. (Charley thought of himself as Christian, but was he?)
Mr B spoke about how people earn their self worth, and about how we should give our dark emotions permission to be with us. As well as other sickly sounding material. For some time now he has not recommended that we burn the Mona Lisa. Is he having second thoughts? Or can’t he afford the matches?
2. The question of psychics was raised. Here is a video which gives a few insights into how astrologers, psychics, tarot card readers and the like operate.
3. Today was Valentine’s day. Steve Maxwell explained the history of it, but otherwise it was barely mentioned. We will mention it now: here is another postcard from the Postsecret website.
4. It was also the fiftieth anniversary of Decimal Day – when Australia changed from pounds, shillings and pence, to dollars. In the weeks prior to the change television viewers were presented with the following advertisement.
It’s interesting to note that those who made the advertisement got it wrong. In a few instances they drew two lines through the ‘s’ of the dollar sign. The Australian dollar has only one line through the ‘s’. (The U.S. dollar has two lines through it.) It’s a mistake still seen today.
5. The subject of ‘connection’ was also discussed, and a few of Mr B’s grasshoppers were not impressed with today’s social media. (Yet again,the following pictures are thanks to the Postsecret site.)
Click to enlarge.
7. Steve Maxwell’s latest ‘Passing Parade’ article is below:
Rhodes Memorial, South Africa.
This granite memorial stands on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, at a spot where the mining magnate and former prime minister, Cecil Rhodes, used to admire the view. There are 49 steps, one for each year of Rhodes’ life, flanked by pairs of bronze lions. The top provides sweeping vistas to the Cape Flats and the mountain ranges beyond.
On the 19th November 1992, the Cape Times reported the appearance of soapbox oratory at Rhodes Memorial. Headline: Bronze lion ‘soap-box’
‘Cape Town’s own Speakers’ Corner, modelled on the original in London’s Hyde Park, got off to a small but noisy start at Rhodes Memorial yesterday morning. The setting was no less picturesque than that of the original, but yesterday’s “soap-box” (one of the bronze lions) made a grander platform.
‘Dr Clive McDowell, a consultant ecologist at the Institute for Plant Conservation, braved hecklers to tell a rowdy crowd of about 10 people that more should be done for the Western Cape Fynbos.’
McDowell described the Fynbos as “one of the world’s six floral kingdoms” and “a genetic botanic goldmine” with more than 8,000 species. Dr McDowell said the Fynbos was threatened by invasive vegetation. He cited Port Jackson willow, stone pine, Himalayan cedar and California redwood (“one of the main threats”) as being among the invaders that needed to be controlled.
The relevance of the setting did not escape Dr McDowell. “Rhodes was the father of all invasive plant species introductions to the Cape.” He added, “Cecil Rhodes developed the pseudo-European landscape here,”
The Cape Times went on to explain that ‘Crazy Society’ chairman, Dr Arthur Parsons, whose group organised the event, said yesterday they planned to make Speakers’ Corner a regular event on the first Sunday of every month. However, my research discovers that only a few meetings were held.
That Speakers’ Corner was doomed, probably because of the long distance from the city.