For Canadian and US readers: Giving and Getting

UPDATE: The program described below has been extended to Dec. 31stThanks to Kathy in the comments for the information. 

For $399 you can give a laptop to a child in a developing country AND get one for a child in your life. The laptops look great for children anywhere, and the price is good for one laptop, let alone two. They have all sorts of extras, including a built in camera.


 Here’s the website.  It says, unfortunately, that the program is only for  the US and Canada.

Microsoft, and so Bill Gates, is the power behind this.

Correction above:  Thanks to Mr. Jender for pointing out the mistake about Bill Gates (see comments).

“a guilty pleasure”

Some UK bloggers were writing about this last year, but it’s just coming to US attention.  Foreseeing a stressful  weekend, I ordered it from  last week.  Truth be told,  I’m feeling much better after a double dip last night. 

It’s not fattening and there is no haze or hangover the next  day.  All there is is a sneaking suspicion one should have been more critical. 

The source?  It’s “The Amazing Mrs Pritchard,” which is now showing on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater.   It’s a silly fantasy in many ways; a very bright and determined manager of a supermarket expresses a few strong political feelings and ends up Prime Minister of England, with many women occupying important positions in the government.

The acting is first rate, and the men are – so far, anyway – scoundrels, except for the occasional sex object.  O dear.  Very, very much the shoe on the other foot.

Strong criticism is possible.   But it strikes me as rather like saying that animals are clearly incapable of effectively replacing humans in the running of a farm.  True, but it misses the point of Animal Farm.

The title of this post was borrowed from a  comment in an NY Times review. The reviewer also says:

”-“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a-bicycle” kind of feminism that feels as distant and goofy to us now as the “Mad Men” era of sexism it fought to depose.

This view of the series is echoed in a number of feminist comments on it on the web. I’m reflecting on whether the era of 1970’s sexism in philosophy hasn’t renewed itself decade by decade. Are women in other professions now experiencing a professional world so different from that in so many philosophy departments?

Overtones of Homophobia????

This article from MSNBC reports that Iran has spared a man scheduled to be hanged for homosexual acts, after the international outcry against the planned execution. Good news that he’s been spared, but horrendous that he should have to be.  And completely bizarre reporting:

With overtones of homophobia, suspicions of political retaliation and a conviction based on activities that allegedly occurred eight years earlier, when Mouloodzadeh was just 13, his case captured the attention of a number of international groups that are trying to pressure Iran into improving human rights for women, gays and children. 

Planning to execute someone for homosexual acts has overtones of homophobia? Overtones??