Monday, 5 February 2007


This is a slightly different post from usual. It is more mundane.

I'm not sure whether to deal with Intellectualism or Law. Both will follow, but I need time. I would not trouble you with uncooked ideas.

So I thought I'd tell you about today. About 'school'.

'One of the joys of a classical education is being able to put people in their place'. The words of a wise Chemistry teacher. Not many people know that formaldehyde is also known as methanal. It's used for preserving specimens. (And found in tobacco smoke). Yet a knowledge of latin helps here. Formica mean 'ant', in latin. Formic acid is the acid in a red ant's bite. Which happens to be methanoic acid. Methanal is the aldehyde (ignore the chemical term) derivative of methanoic acid. So formaldehyde is methanal. But 'How the hell do you know that?' is the scientist's response. Perhaps they need a broader education.

Today's example was 'vaccination'. It's from the latin 'vacca', meaning cow. The original vaccination was performed using weakened cow-pox viruses to immunise people against smallpox. Hence the name.

'One of the joys of a classical education is being able to put people in their place'. Rather good amusement. Not that I've ever been taught Latin or studies it rigorously.

So what else happened?

I sat in the common room at one point discussing why I've jumped on the e-scribbling bandwagon.

It's a craze. It will pass. Most crazes, though, leave a wake of waste in their path. Clothes fashionable for a season. Then worthless. Games, and collections, the same.

So what if this passes? What will it leave? It will leave thought. Debate. The process is worthwhile, excluding the enjoyment. When these sites become dormant, we will have discussed the topics. Others might have read, and thought.

Thus the more that do this, the better, I say. Each 'blog' will be an individual creation. Let them be unique.

[I've just read the latest rant of His Emminence, Greg. I must refer him to what I have just written. But I also admit straightaway that his blog is better than mine can be. He has the right balance. Mine is, as he says, too deep. But then I am, too.] (i)

Enough of me for tonight. At least until I've done some work. If anyone can give me any good reasons which of the Reform Acts of 1832, 1867, 1884 and '85, and 1918 are most important, I'd be amused.

I do like History though. By looking backwards, we can see where we're going.



1 comment:

Francis said...

I don't see what's wrong with jumping on the blogwagon - I have! And indeed there's nothing wrong with it being serious if that's what you want to publish. Personally, I like to keep mine interspersed with lightweight material, but that's my choice.