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CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (NEW CONCEPTS)
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N R Scott


In: Middlesbrough
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If the you scroll back through the blog the Nefertiti bust is a recurring theme. In this post from 2016 the writer notes that it's possibly fake.

https://buddhable.tumblr.com/post/146521617173

So the 2019 post is essentially an update saying "See, I was right with my suspicions." It's out of context for us, but for regular readers of the blog it fits a wider context.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Thank goodness Virgin have installed a new doobry-thing that guarantees me uninterrupted access to the internet at speeds several times faster than before and many, many times the speed the great Virgin unwashed of Britain enjoy in their cheerless coppered hovels. I was less happy with Virgin insisting I accept an eighteen month free subscription to Sky Movies as a reward for allowing them to do it because this is really eating into my time.

Which is at a premium at the moment because my internet keeps getting cut off and the whole thing crawls along at speeds last seen when Mr Sugar was in charge of my computer's links with the outside world. Blimey, it's as if Labour had won the last election and had nationalised the whole thing. Sorry, 'provided high speed internet access to every hard-working family in Britain via a publicly-funded organisation'.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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My credit card has expired and they've sent me a new one that expires three years hence. Meanwhile people have been badgering me to give details of the new card in exchange for continuing their services, which I am anxious to do. From their point of view I would have thought this is the simplest, most frequent and most profitable exercise they undertake so they will make sure it runs smoothly. For both our sakes.

Problem Number One Only two outfits have badgered me which is a worry. Are all the others -- I have no idea who they are but there are quite a few of them -- going to just stop providing their services when the present card expires at the end of the month?

Problem Number Two The two that have bothered include in their email

Michael, your credit card is about to expire
Click below to update your billing information and ensure uninterrupted access to Acrobat Pro DC
Click Here to renew your card
Update Card

This is a friendly reminder that your credit card expires at the end of the month
Before it expires, please update your card information with A Medium Corporation
Update now

Clicking on the respective boxes takes me not, as one was confidently expecting, to a page that would allow me to change a 1 into a 4 and exchange my three number security code on the back of the old card for another three-number security code on the back of the new card. Not a bit of it. Both times, clicking the box takes me to a page that indicates it scarcely knows who I am and it certainly doesn't know why the hell I'm bothering them.

Problem Number Three After an hour navigating around and not being allowed to do what I want to do and what they want to do, I am in a quandary. I have been madly filling in details and pressing buttons and, at one point, Adobe flashed up the words 'Your card has been saved' but the words disappeared after a few seconds, before I was able to find out which card, old or new. If either. I can't get the words back for love or money. Though I may end up taking out two subscriptions if I try too hard. As for medium.com I had to cancel my subscription and take out a new one which presumably has done the trick. Though I might have lost all my old material [I'm in the middle of discussing whether having one's hair shorn is or is not a suitable punishment for sleeping with the enemy when they are occupying your country.]

Ah well, I won't have to go through that for another three years. Apart from all the other services as they fall due. I suppose that's a good thing since if I don't notice, it probably means I didn't need it in the first place.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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This morning's Google burn-bag has given me an idea for the title of the new book (imminent)

The History of Britain Revealed : the Shocking Truth about the English Language , rev . ed . ... Evolution 50 – 1 , 63 – 92 • Hoad , Terry , ' Preliminaries : Before English ' , The Oxford History of English
https://usakochan.net/download/anglo-saxon-england-reissue-with-a-new-cover-oxford-history-of-england/

Why not call it the Oxford Book of Museums or somesuch? They haven't got a monopoly on the name and if the OUP or anyone else sues the arse of me, that's all to the good. But I won't. Haven't got the nerve. Always been my problem: massive brain, big yellow stripe down back.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Talking of OUP reminds me of a curiosity (as befits this Cabinet of Curiosities topic).

There seems to be a grey area (or twylight zone) over what constititutes a "University". Redgate (a maker of very good software) has no trouble promoting its own "University".

https://www.red-gate.com/hub/university/

Get started and master the fundamentals of Redgate products with easy to follow video courses.

A while ago, I asked them "Are you providing degree courses?" (or something like that). The answer was "no". It looks like Redgate has cleverly applied the literal or original meaning of "university".

The word university is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means "community of teachers and scholars". The modern university system has roots in the European medieval university, which was created in Italy and evolved from cathedral schools for the clergy during the High Middle Ages.

Which is appropriate for Redgate, as software developers (script writers) could be the current Scriptorium inhabitants.

Anyway, who gets to be "proper" university?

https://www.gov.uk/check-a-university-is-officially-recognised

Institutions that offer degree-level courses in the UK are called either ‘recognised’ or ‘listed’ bodies. Recognised bodies are higher learning institutions that can award degrees.

But they don't explain what "recognised" means or who does it.

The Privy Council is also responsible, under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, for approving the use of the word 'university' (including 'university college') in the title of a higher education institution, and may also approve an institution as competent to grant degrees.

https://www.privy-council.org.uk/output/Page27.asp

Ah, I think I've got my head round the distinction. You'd need Privy Council approval to put the word "university" in the name of the business/organisation, or trade with that name, or make money from the output of such.

Start a new section of this website called "AEL University" with training videos (not degrees), and you can slip through the cracks.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Exquisite Guardiana (no 223)

Growing up in a working class area of Sheffield, any possibility of literary possibility came more out of the great working class and black traditions of oral storytelling (the soap-box orators of Harlem or the Griots of ancient West Africa) than the classroom. Johnny Pitts, The Week in Books
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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It's only bleeding snowing. Here in 'four degrees warmer than the countryside' London. I cannot remember when there was last snow on the ground. Not as long ago as the last London fog but before global warming. The Reykjavík of the south, some are saying. I'm staying indoors, me.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Bastard snow's all gone. Didn't last ten minutes. It's the kiddies I feel sorry for.
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