Nevertheless, lots and lots of links and "thoughts" have been piling up. So here we disgorge.
Is there an age after which Sergeant Pepper's starts to become more appealing than Abbey Road? If so, it has happened, I think. Not that I like Abbey Road any less now than before, but Sgt. Pepper seems to have aged better. Oh well.
The Economist carried a lovely article on "re-drawing" the map of Europe (to accommodate Syldavia, Borduria etc.) Priceless comments like so
In Britain’s place should come Poland, which has suffered quite enough in its location between Russia and Germany and deserves a chance to enjoy the bracing winds of the North Atlantic and the security of sea water between it and any potential invaders.And
The Ukrainian shift would allow Russia to move west and south too, thus vacating Siberia for the Chinese, who will take it sooner or later anyway.And finally
The rest of Italy, from Rome downwards, would separate and join with Sicily to form a new country, officially called the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (but nicknamed Bordello).
Gobbledygook. The original source (PDF) of said g. It would've been funny, if it were not for the fact that there are millions (hundreds of millions!) of "educated" Hindus who will swallow this sort of stuff hook, line and sinker.
There is a very interesting but fairly heavy duty argument going on in the "blogosphere", essentially about whether you can derive "ought" from "is". This is a good starting point, but you will have to unravel the thread yourself. In a nutshell, it began like so:
"Militant" atheist, neuroscientist Sam Harris (at a TED talk): Science can answer moral questions.
Physicist Sean Carroll: No it can't. It will tell you what is, but not what ought to be. But that's OK.
And that will be all for now.
(One fairly interesting and important thought has occurred and escaped. Maybe it will come back.)