Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.
- Marcus Dysch
Jul 29, 2009
Watching the closing stages of last Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, my mother pointed out an appendage on top of driver Rubens Barrichello’s helmet.
The 37-year-old Brazilian was, seemingly, wearing a Star of David. Right in shot of the car’s on-board camera.
I’ve been watching Formula One on and off for quite a few years. Long enough to have seen Barrichello racing around circuits all over the world. I couldn’t remember ever having seen the symbol on his helmet before. Nor had I any recollection of him having any Jewish heritage.
- Candice Krieger
Jul 29, 2009
To you and me, they may look like ordinary peppers but don't be fooled. They are credited with claiming more vitamins than any other variety. Called the ACE pepper, they were discovered in Israel (of course) and are now being developed by Marks & Spencer in Waltham Cross, Essex, where they are grown without pesticides.
Apparently eating just one of the peppers contains all the vitamin C needed for a day, and half the recommended amount of vitamins A and E. Dr Simon Coupe, a fresh-produce technologist for M&S, predicts the vegetable will supersede other peppers in the future. He said: "We spend a lot of time and effort roaming the world trying to find new and inventive products." What next from the holy land, home of high-tech? A solar-powered self-peeling satsuma pehaps.
- Stephen Pollard
Jul 28, 2009
One of my classmates, to join Daniel Finkelstein's game:
Is political editor of a network TV station.
Is a world-renowned conductor.
Put yourself in the shoes of an official spokesman for a government which has issues with the US. How would you react to remarks by Hillary Clinton with which you disagree?
An unnamed North Korean official quoted by the state-run KCNA news
agency calls Clinton "by no means intelligent" and a "funny lady."
Here's a nice little story from the Swedish cabinet (how many times do you get to write that in a lifetime?), from Prospect:
[O]ne minister recently updated his Facebook profile during a dull cabinet
meeting, only to receive a reply within minutes. “Shouldn’t you be paying more
attention to the discussion,” said the message, which turned out to have been
sent from the other side of the table, by Sweden’s foreign minister, Carl
Robin Shepherd does a great - and funny - demolition job on a preposterously stupid piece of Guardian anti-Israel agitprop. You can read it here.
- Jenni Frazer
Jul 27, 2009
Listening to this morning's Today programme I just avoided throwing something at the radio, which was a good thing, since I was driving at the time.
Sarah Montague was interviewing the International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, who appears to have forgotten how to speak English.
Was it time, Montague asked, to negotiate with the Taliban? Only, Alexander confidently replied, "if they renunciate violence." "Renunciate"? What's the matter with the word "renounce"? A little later he was warbling about "stabilisation" rather than the word normal people use, "stability."
Even if Douglas Alexander was actually saying something important, which I beg leave to doubt, any message he had was lost in a forest of word-mangling. It is a disease of politicians, and it is spreading faster than swine flu.
My latest review for the New York Times Sunday Book Review was in yesterday and you can read it here.
It's a review of Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, by Bruce Bawer.
- Simon Rocker
Jul 24, 2009
One of the main arguments of the Chief Rabbi’s new book , Future Tense, is that we need not be a “people that dwells alone” and that Jews have friends in the fight against antisemitism and other issues.
Here’s an example – from Lord Alton, writing this week in the Catholic newspaper, The Universe.
“For those of us who call ourselves European, the Holocaust means that antisemitism holds a unique and special horror, a horror that had its origins in 2,000 years of hatred directed at Jewish people. Blood libel and caricature has mutated into new forms of hatred, sometimes masquerading on the internet under the guise of free speech, sometimes originating as part of new virulent ideologies from heads of state.”
- Stephen Pollard
Jul 24, 2009
My colleague Marcus Dysch has a fascinating post on the security wall.
No, not that one: the Indian wall.
Never heard of it? Nor me. And Marcus explains what's going on: