1.A beautiful day, but neither Helmut nor Warren turned up to speak. Warren has a good excuse, having died two years ago, but Helmut should have turned up. After all, the world needs to be told that Sir Isaac Newton was an ignoramus. Someone needs to carry the torch. Where were you today, Helmut?
And Warren: you may have had a good excuse today, but don’t push it.
2. Here are just some of the topics discussed today:
(i) The Beatles were a blight on society because they openly took drugs while being role models for adoring, impressionable fans.
(ii) We discussed property con artist Henry Kaye and his methods.
(iii) What’s the difference between a cult and religion?
(iv) Was Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) a cad because he made his colleagues sandwiches?
(No, there should not be a possessive apostrophe after the word colleagues. Robert’s colleagues didn’t possess the sandwiches before he made them – how could they? Yet, they paid for them in advance, so they owned them before they were made. (They owned them, but didn’t possess them.) Admittedly, that doesn’t mean they didn’t deserve the apostrophe, because we can still envisage Robert’s colleagues possessing their sandwiches even though those sandwiches hadn’t yet been made and could not yet be in their possession. (Or in anyone’s possession, for that matter.) However, Robert’s colleagues still don’t get an apostrophe, even though Robert himself has just got one, because the author of the sentence was not referring to the sandwiches so much, but to the fact that Robert made them.
But what would Robert’s colleagues have done with the apostrophe anyway? Auctioned it off? Shared it daily from desk to desk? Left it in the round file? Mmmm. Who knows? Perhaps it’s just as well they didn’t get one.)
(v) Are members of the Australian rock band, Cold Chisel, scaredy cats?
(vi) The Meaning of Life and Reality: subjective, objective or adjective?
(vii) $50b on submarines. Did U.S. citizens advise Australia to not buy the subs from the U.S. because they had U.S. interests in mind? (That was the theory put forward. Huh?)
(viii) What causes bisexuality? Somehow, a zebra foal and a coca-cola advertisement were part of the answer.
(ix) The three reasons for Third World poverty grew to five, and a few shonky reasons were thrown in.
(xi) Do ghosts wear ghostly underpants under their ghostly clothes? If so, do those ghostly underpants have ghostly skid-marks?
(xii) More ghosts, including the ghost of a huntsman spider.
(xii) Feelings and ghosts. The subject nonplussed most of us, but we do know something for sure: Eliana has feelings.
(xiii) Our primitive fear of the dark, subtitled: ‘walking in the desert at night with a torch.’
(xiv) Noah’s Ark and The Rainbow Serpent. The comments made by the speaker about these subjects were not 100% flattering.
(xv) We discovered why men wear trousers. History legend Steve Maxwell told us that the Roman cavalry wore them to stop their legs chafing when riding horses. Thanks, Steve!
(xvi) John August explained why women’s shirts have their buttons on the opposite side to that of men’s shirts. It was to make it easier for female servants to button their mistress’s shirts. (The men would button their own shirts.) Thanks, John!
With regard to Eliana’s feelings:
3. We were meant to talk about the Parramatta eels, and about the attention-seekers mourning at Port Arthur last week, but we didn’t get to those topics. Perhaps next week.
4. Times have changed. It used to be that speakers spoke harshly of homosexuality, and made ‘gay’ jokes. This time it was a passer-by that made the jibe, and he got an earful from the speaker because of it.
5. Mr B has asked (nay, begged) this scribe to make an announcement. To shut him up I shall comply. The announcement:
Mr B has split his blog/book into two separate books, and each blog will feature a weekly video. Ho hum.
The two books are:
‘The Umpteen Keys to Resilience‘
‘The Umpteen Ways to Satisfy Our Deep Need to Belong.’ (This scribe idly wonders if the title is long enough.)
Mr B has also taken up the suggestion to create for himself a Facebook page. Yawn.
No doubt he is pleased he took Eliana’s advice to create a Facebook page, because although that Facebook page has only been up for a week, in that short time it has managed to notch up one whole subscriber. A prodigious effort, Mr B.
6. Sometimes a discussion bogs down in the meaning of words. That’s why some speakers shy away from debating definitions, and focus on the topic itself. That’s not to say words aren’t important. They are. Here is a short video about the power of words.
7. We miss you Warren.