Archive for February, 2009

Meta: “Lead” does not mean what you think it does, CPSC

At times it’s truly amazing what news is not covered by news. There’s something fundamentally scary and wrong going on in your country, dear friends in the USA, and you might not even know about it. But it concerns your kids, so maybe you should be concerned.

Warning! Eating books could seriously damage your health

US libraries and charity shops face a battle to hang on to their children’s classics over fears they might be too dangerous:

“(…) Of course, this pencils-up-the-nose, forehead-slapping “I’m mad, me” stupidity has many negative consequences: traders’ livelihoods are threatened; poor people lose access to a source of cheap literature for their kids; libraries may be forced to undertake expensive restocking, while out-of-print books will be lost forever (although an exception has been made for rarities, so long as they are sold for adult use only). The American Library Association actually warned Congress that the law was a bit shoddy but were ignored. (…)”



I write books. I read books. Quite naturally, this scares me on more level than one. Books are sacred. They carry our history. They connect us with our ancestors. They link one generation with the other. I’m all for laws protecting the kids – but maybe not importing dirt-cheap crap from China, produced by underpaid workers or pris
oners or kids in the first place might be a better start than ruining libraries? Just a thought.

It’s not only the books, though. Think of used toys. Of clothes. Kids grow out of them so quickly, but now you might not be able to buy that 2nd hand pair of jeans for junior, because the thrift store will have to fear you might come after them and sue them for imagined damage caused by that one button or zipper. Think of small businesses, producing toys. And don’t say “nobody would do that” – we all know that there will always be a group of idiots who would. Already, thrift stores are throwing out perfectly good clothes, toys and books. And this right in the middle of a financial crisis. What moron thought this was a good idea, I ask?

Also, I have to wonder Snopes’ motivations behind their stance concerning this matter. They dismiss the “rumour” as false, which is simply not true. Now, many people rely on Snopes as source of all wisdom – they twist the truth here, now I wonder if they have done it before.

Folks, write to your congressmen and -women. Protest. Be heard. Write to magazines and newspapers. You have a voice, make sure you keep it.

22 February, 2009 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

HMS Victory found

I don’t think there’s been a day with more visitors to this blog than yesterday – and all thanks to HMS Victory! Not Nelson’s Victory, of course – the one on dry-dock in Portsmouth, with the MoD trying to weasel its way out of paying for the maintenance – but HMS Victory which sank back in 1744.

THE ‘MIGHTY’ HMS VICTORY

As you might can imagine, I’m terribly excited, and can’t wait to hear more about that absolutely terrific find. I really have no words; as somebody with greatest interest for the Georgian navy, I feel like Howard Carter upon finding King Tut’s tomb.

For now, I’d like to direct you all to the Discovery Channel’s “Treasure Quest; Victory Special”, will be shown at 2100 GMT on 8 February.

CLICK HERE TO SEE 16 PICTURES

The Victory! Huzzah!

3 February, 2009 at 8:05 pm 2 comments


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