I Speak to Serve

Earlier today I learnt that Betty Boothroyd, Baroness Boothroyd, died yesterday. While I didn't always agree with every nuance of her politics, neither did I despise them; and I share her belief that politics is about public service and is something that everyone should involve themselves in. Today's other political news reminds me of a … Continue reading I Speak to Serve

Double or Nothing (UPDATED)

Apparently, the UK Armed Forces are not merely lacking for money but are probably overfunded. Which makes Ben Wallace MP's claim it is being hollowed out seem rather self-serving, like a manager trying to make his department look important by "winning" the biggest budget competition. How do I know the Armed Forces are overfunded? Because … Continue reading Double or Nothing (UPDATED)

This Dresséd Plot

I am greatly fond of parklets and other schemes that focus on streets as connections for humans rather than vehicles. So Michael Rakowitz’s (p)LOT: Proposition 1 installations spoke to me as soon as I heard about them. However, it also triggered a cascade of other, sometimes conflicting, perspectives. The current reality of most domestic vehicles … Continue reading This Dresséd Plot

Women in the Martial Arts, ed. Carol A Wiley

Focusing not on a single statement of what women’s martial arts is but on multiple perspectives on how martial arts isn’t the domain of male fighters that popular imagery portrays, this book will speak not merely to women with an interest in the martial arts but to anyone interested in diversity as a whole. Wiley … Continue reading Women in the Martial Arts, ed. Carol A Wiley

Not Excused

Opinions differ on what influences people to a particular course (and whether free will even exists in a real sense). I incline strongly toward theories of it being a series of events and experiences—some unnoticed or apparently unconnected—that combine to create critical momentum. However, sometimes I look back and think that if I wanted to … Continue reading Not Excused

Happy Burpday.

The United Kingdom's National Health Service was launched seventy-four years ago tomorrow. Nearly three-quarters of a century of free-at-point-of-service healthcare. Which is something worth celebrating. I have many reasons to be grateful to the NHS. But rather than talk about their excellent endeavours to fix things that had gone wrong, I decided to celebrate them … Continue reading Happy Burpday.

Early Days of a Better Nation

With Boris Johnson PM facing a vote of no confidence, the United Kingdom might move back toward decency and progress; which inspires flickers of joy. However, the decision lies in the hands of Conservative MPs rather than the nation; which inspires flickers of powerlessness. Fortunately—while the greatest power to make a better world lies in … Continue reading Early Days of a Better Nation

Sharp Spear, Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Women’s Lives by Stephanie T. Hoppe

Focused primarily on the specifics of martial arts practice but also showing how those experiences pervade other areas, Hoppe provides female perspectives on what is stereotypically a very male world. Hoppe interviews a broad range of female martial artists, seeking similarities and differences in how martial arts have shaped their lives and how their experiences … Continue reading Sharp Spear, Crystal Mirror: Martial Arts in Women’s Lives by Stephanie T. Hoppe