Political avoidance strategies

OK so the election campaign is in full swing and I will be watching it closely, especially as the Tories (my “tribe”) have so few good Science Policies and the Lib Dems Science Pledges are more appealing.

But I am not going to discuss those as they have been covered rather well in all manner of places. Instead this is going to be a bit of a ramble about avoiding politics… whilst in and of itself, attempting to avoid it!

So how does one avoid the suited-smiles that prowl the streets during election time when one wishes to spend some time away from them? I have a couple of strategies ranging from thinking about my website/blog to playing computer games and watching on-demand TV. In the main however and admittedly the most prevalent avoidance strategy I entertain is to read things… from surfing aimlessly around the web to some of my favourite books.

For example, I spent about two hours today leafing through Rosemarie Jarski’s “Great British Wit” and after this a further hour was spent surfing a website called givesmehope.com which is a beautiful example of web 2.0 at its very best.

Givesmehope.com is a website full of what I guess would be called “human interest stories” by the old media and if ever you feel yourself losing all your faith in humanity this is the place to cure your ills. Of course there are some religious trolls (“messages from heaven give me hope” etc.) and some stories that just don’t ring true, but there are some truly humbling and tear-jerking ones too.

Another useful retreat from the ravages of the canvassers is the pub… and the “Geologists’ curse” of alcoholism… but this is costly and more often than not in my case just means I end up debating the merits of fox-hunting, GM foods or climate change with my friends and thus fail to avoid the politics. Damn.

Rambling evidently isn’t my strong point so I will cover two more topics then leave it. Firstly a question to any etymologists out there regarding the possessive apostrophe. I know the deal with its and it’s… but struggle with the concept of its’ as a plural use of its… I have spoken with a friend about it a couple of years ago because they picked me up on it and accused me of being “archaic” – and given the lack of anything that I can find they may be right, but can anyone give me some clarity on it?

Secondly… I’ve spoken to some of my readers/friends about the possibility of getting some guest bloggers on to this blog, and as such if there are any budding scientists/science writers who are willing to give it a go for a subject in their field I want to hear from you!

Cheers All

Ben D Brooks


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