Philobiblon: Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas

The figures say that the average Briton (not sure if this also includes babies) is this year spending £366 on Christmas presents. That's an enormous sum, particularly since there must be an awful lot of people spending only a fraction of that, like me.

And lots of those items will be clothes, many of which won't stay in wardrobe until next Christmas. The link above discusses the widespread environmental and economic effects - including the fact, which I hadn't thought about, that the export of second-hand clothes prevents the development of indigenous clothing industries in Third World countries.

But on a more cheerful note, if you're engaged in nefarious pursuits, watch out for the carol singers. Showing a rare intelligence, police in Dorset dressed up to get close to a suspected drug den. The door opened and a woman "she would give us a pound to go away". Sounds like they were authentic then.

One the science side, satellite photos seem to show what happened to Beagle 2 on Mars - an unlucky landing in a hole. And there's a new, high theoretical theory, about the origin of life. Life may have emerged from the quantum realm directly, without the need for chemical complexity. No, I don't claim to understand this.


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