Wednesday, December 10, 2003

To me, the Green Cross Code was always “Stop. Look. Listen”. Here it seems to be “Stop. Linger. Launch”. Twice yesterday and once already today a pedestrian has stepped out right in front of me without looking as I cycle around town. What do they teach at school in Italy?

Speaking of which, I have a private lesson with a 16 year old girl who’s favourite subjects at school are PE, Spanish and Philosophy; “We’re studying Plato at the moment” she said. What? Great as it would be to study Philosophy at school, is it really the best use of a student’s time? They teach them Italian grammar as well; why? People managed to learn their native languages perfectly long before schools came along (and they still do now): why do some people think that anybody needs to study the grammar of their native language?

Here’s another picture of Lake Bled. I apologise if you can’t fit it all on your screen at once.

I finished my book about the evolution of sex, The Red Queen, over the weekend. Did you know that “..physical attractiveness of a woman [is] a far better predictor of the occupational status of the man she marries than her own socio-economic status, intelligence or education”. Astounding. I’ve also just read Authur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and, in some respects, it was a good tonic to the awkward conclusions that follow from the quote above. It may be true that we’re all much more shallow than we like to admit or even realise but for so many people – like Willy Loman (the central character in Death of a Salesman) – their dreams are naively misplaced in the never-ending rat-race. So, yeah, rich men do marry beautiful women but so what: they only do that ‘cause they’re chasing fantasies, the folly of which is amply demonstrated in Miller’s masterpiece.

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