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Copenhagen giraffe gaffe and how the Daily Topheegrill’s mods are in a world of their own.


Greetings from a nice warm spot by the window with a blizzard going on outside, here in Moscow.

I had a comment squelched by the Daily Telegrumph Moderator today, but that’s fine. I saved it, and can reproduce it here, where there is freedom of speech.

It was all about the fate of the Danish giraffe, Marius, who got ethnically cleansed for not being good enough for the ScandinAryan giraffe gene pool and fed to lions in Copenhagen Zoo as shown below (photo taken from Tumblywhump as compensation for wasting my time – that’s after all what it amounts to when a moderator squelches one of my finely-crafted commentaaages).

MARIUS-DEAD_2816345k-460x288

This was sad because a billionaire in America had offered to take Marius to a retirement home for giraffes in Beverley Hills and given a load of money even for him to Copenhagen zoo, but the director of the zoo was adamant that Marius was for the chop. So unceremoniously they killed him and carved him up and fed him to lions in front of the parents an children visiting the zoo.

That’s the background.

My comment was as follows:

  • Where are the so-called “Islamic fundamentalists” when you need them? When the Danes draw some funny pictures of a bloke in a turban, they come out and make a terrific fuss, but now, when they really is something rotten in the state of Denmark, as in rotting giraffes being fed to lions, they keep as quiet as a mouse and have nothing to say? Haven’t they read the verse where it says “انت سوف لا اذبح خاصتك الثيران الأسير، بقرات، وغيرها من البهائم الطاهرة وتتغذى منه إلى الأسود، لم يكن أي من خاصتك حمار وحشي والزرافات والإبل والحمير وإلاند. ولا رئيس ولا ذيل ولا قدم ولا الأسلحة ولا أرجل ولا أجنحة ولا الجسم منهم انت سوف يسبب إلى أن تستهلك من قبل قط كبير “, “Thou shalt not slay thy captive oxen, kyne, and other clean beasts and feed thereof to lions, neither of thy zebras, camelopards, okapis, quaggas and elends. Neither the head nor the tail nor the feet nor the arms nor legs nor wings nor body of them shalt thou cause to be consumed by a large cat” (Sura 345.6)

Evidently there is little freedom of speech in the UK these days as I noted that this gem of mine was quickly removed even though the readers of the Tellygrump had managed to vote it up quite strongly in a short time and retweet it around the internet a bit. None of their readers disagreed or wanted to take issue with it, or vote it down, only to support it or vote it up. So how come their moderators are so out of synch with the tastes and opinions of their readership?

Junkalists are the first ones to weep and wail and gnash their smelly teeth when anyone curtails their freedom of the press (which they rarely take proper advantage of anyway) but they will happily curtail that of their own stakeholders the readership with never a care. Thankfully I have my own blog and can have my say anyhow without the by-your-leave of some wannabe Fleet Street hack who got confined to the backroom moderating the online version of the Tuffygroll.

Question about the Voynich Manuscript


A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript,...

Image via Wikipedia

One reader of this blog brought up the subject of the Voynich Manuscript and asked whether the Goldlist method could be a good tool to someone wishing to decipher this.

I produced the first draft of the below answer in the comments section next to the query, but I thought it was a very good idea to talk about this as a main article on its own account, so I’m reproducing the answer here, and expanding it a bit with a few more thoughts.

It will be a nice precursor to another article I have in the pipeline, namely my story “Otherwise Engaged” which also talks about a special book made by one person and handed down in a family, this one containing a self-fulfilling prophesy. Although it was among my favorite short stories in the ones I ever entered into the Daily Telegraph‘s monthly short story competitions some years back, it was one of the ones that actually didn’t get anywhere, other than some nice comments by other Telegraph bloggers at that time.

Anyway, now to my thoughts on the Voynich Manuscript.

The easiest thing is to assume that it is a hoax, as so many of the unexplained things are hoaxes, but in order not to assume any bad intentions on the part of the author, let us say that it is a work of art.

The paper and the ink seem to be consistent with 15th century Italian, which also had a writing style of the sort used here at that time, a revival of an earlier Carolingian handwriting style.

The manuscript should not be looked at in isolation from the accompanying illustrations. They contain detailed drawings of plants which are not actually consistent with plants to be found in any of the linguistic locations posited, in fact, these plants don’t exist, unless they all existed once and all coincidentally disappeared, or maybe they exist on another planet and the author was a shipwrecked alien, or, most likely they are the product of someone whose psychology is a ‘creator’ style psychology. Read the rest of this entry

Response to Father Christopher Howse’s article in the Telegraph on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela


I am pleased to see someone underlining the risk of spiritual pride that a pure works-religion thing like a pilgrimage can bring. If my understanding is not wrong, pilgrimages started in Spain after the moors got cleared out and the common people needed to be appeased as that was one thing they had appreciated under Islam – a bit like the way in East Europe newly westernised states keep the communist holidays but rename them, as the communists did previously in some cases to the religious ones. The charm of pilgrimage in the mediaeval times was that it was the one time the feudal system was cast aside, and both serf and master would tread a road together. Relieved from their onerous chores and welcomed with refreshments along the way, the medieval pilgrimage was the nearest thing they had to the company outing, and the fashion spread out across the Catholic world from Spain. Read the rest of this entry

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