David Bouchier

Right now the sun is shining, the sky is a dazzling deep blue, and the temperature has just reached ninety-one degrees. I’m sorry if it’s not the same where you are, but that’s the reassuring thing about weather. If you don’t like your climate you can change it, simply by moving a few hundred or a few thousand miles.

Right now there is a flurry of media interest in biometrics. This sounds very scientific and mysterious but in fact it simply means the measurement (metrics) of living things (bio). So your height and weight are biometrics, for example. Recognition depends on a whole complex pattern of biometrics, whether it’s your mother, your cat, or your potted plant. All animals have this astonishing skill.

In recent weeks it has been hard to avoid the bombardment of bizarre images from the big European fashion shows in London, Milan, and Florence. Bizarre is not even a strong enough word. The designers are wheeling out their latest creations and they want us all to know about them: but why? The newspapers are happy to fill their pages with ludicrous fashion images during the summer season, although, goodness knows, there’s plenty of real news to report.

Our local library, like many others, sponsors courses on Defensive Driving. These are aimed mainly at senior citizens, and it’s true that on today’s roads we need all the defense we can get.  In its simplest and most direct form, Defensive Driving means simply buying a very large SUV, or better still a full-size truck or a military surplus armored vehicle with weapons still attached, and daring anyone to argue. 

 

Summer carries a heavy load of expectations. The local hardware store explodes on to the sidewalk with garden furniture and elaborate outdoor grills. Newspapers and magazines crank out special supplements showing how we're expected to dress and behave for the next three months. According to George Gershwin, in summer time the living should be easy, but this looks like hard work. We must live outdoors, we must dress very strangely, we must pursue energetic "activities," and we must be full of joy.

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