IN CASE you missed any of our ten most read blogs of last week, here they are for you again – and well worth the read.
My pick of the week is Weaver Sheridan’s article on the dominance of ‘woke’ thought within NASA ranks. The space agency is changing the names of the Siamese Twins Galaxy to ‘NGC 4567’ and ‘NGC 4568’ (snappy!) to avoid being ‘insensitive’ or ‘harmful’. Harmful to whom, exactly? When did we become so soft?
Weaver’s entertaining commentary is spot-on: ‘It’s all so depressing to hear this sort of stuff from NASA . . . I suppose we always knew the politically correct brigade were on a different planet. Now, Heaven help us, they’re in a different galaxy.’
You can read the full article (featuring, also, a collection of celestial bodies in need of more modern names, such as the moon, which ‘encourages lewd ‘flashing’ behaviour’!) here.
Kathy’s pick outside the top ten this week is Dr Rosemary Falcon’s article on Africa’s need for a clean coal policy to provide the energy – the electricity – its economic development depends on.
Dr Falcon makes the most compelling of cases against the continent relying on inadequate renewables, against the ugly truth of the record levels of dirty coal production. She explains too how the lack of electricity (more than 600million Africans live without it) is fuelling the rise of militant terrorism; how dependence on firewood comes at a terrible cost to nature, and why the answer is ‘clean burn’ of the coal which Africa has in abundance. You can read her expertly based argument in full here.
Margaret has two related picks this week: Henry Getley’s ‘School poetry, Donne but not forgotten’ and Kevin Donnelly’s more serious ‘This poetic injustice to pupils must stop’, two laments for the loss of poetry as a compulsory subject in schools. Getley observes that the verse learned at school (and maybe not much enjoyed at the time) stays with you for life, and Donnelly that ‘poetry, by enlivening the imagination, encourages readers to move outside themselves and to empathise and better understand other people and what we hold in common’. It surely cannot be long before the names Shakespeare, Milton and Chaucer are completely forgotten.