Tuesday, 26 August 2008

GM crops

Trying to catch up with the news from the past few weeks:

Charles in GM 'disaster' warning (BBC News, Wednesday, 13 August 2008)

Prince 'must prove anti-GM claim' (BBC News, Sunday, 17 August 2008)

The world is facing an increasing number of famines, and GM crops may provide some relief, potentially saving millions of lives. But concerns over the safety have been raised, and if the worries are justified, again millions of lives could be at stake.

As I'm not a biologist, I will have to rely on the judgement of experts. If reputable scientists say that GM food crops pose a considerable risk, then perhaps we should ban GM crops. If Prince Homoeoquack says that GM food crops pose a considerable risk, then perhaps we should abolish the monarchy.

Monday, 25 August 2008

next generations

I've been to Vienna. Just what the doctor ordered. Among many other things, I enjoyed hearing three young women playing in the street as string trio. I suspect they were music students earning a little money on the side. They played e.g. Piazzolla with a skill and enthusiasm one may expect from members of the London Symphony Orchestra. If they have an exceptionally good day. Maybe.

Trying to maintain my sanity within an Anglo-Saxon monoculture, I'm now at the Edinburgh International Festival. Last night I attended the most amazing concert by the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The performance of Dvořák's 7th symphony after the interval was phenomenal, but truly unforgettable was the first half, with the Dutch National Youth Choir, consisting of girls many as young as 16. Apart from their ability to sing (by heart) in Czech and Hungarian without floundering once, they had also fully mastered the intricate musical language of songs by Dvořák and Bartók, which were inspired by folk music so far from the triviality of most of Western-European traditional music.

All in all, I witnessed a small miracle yesterday. Culture in the Netherlands has supposedly gone to the dogs as badly as in Britain, and yet a choir of two dozen Dutch girls is able to pull off such a stunt!

A last thought for today: If we are to survive cultural relativism and Islamofascism, we should look to the continent, rather than sucking up to the United Theocracy. (And don't expect President Obama will bring Enlightenment.)