Friday, November 12, 2004

Sint-Maarten

Well, it's been a while. First I should mention that yesterday was obviously Sint-Maarten. On this happy day people give thanks to Saint Martin, the patron saint of windmills, for giving them the power to grind flour using nothing but invisible breeze power. People, especially children, dress up as windmills and spin around in the streets throwing flour everywhere and eating chocolate mice with clogs on. In the evening, people drink water from the canals mixed with freshly ground flour. Then they go and form a circle around their local windmill, which is decorated by tying candles to its blades. Praise is sung to Saint Martin, who, it is said, got the idea for a windmill when he saw a sycamore seed spiral into a pile of wheat. He became a martyr soon after the construction of the first windmill prototype. Unfortunately, none of the above, excluding the first sentence, is true. It would be nice if it was though, but I didn't say "Simon says". Nor did I provide a link to a BBC news story. Therefore, it can't be true. I've no idea who Saint Martin was. The day is 'celebrated' by children going around the house holding lanterns (no, not the houses) and singing songs in return for sweets. It's a little like a cross between carol singing and trick'n'treating, with more reward than the former and less threatening behaviour than the latter. I think my ideas were better. Dutch news that I can't find a link to verify but I'm assured is true: Today in north west Groningen, one of those security vans that carry money from shops and banks spilt its load of 400 kg of two euro coins all over the road. I suppose someone will have to pick it all up. I wish I had a picture. Less entertaining Dutch news, but worth including because it's Dutch and I have a link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4006313.stm Sticking with international news because I'm so well travelled and cultured. This is about Amelie: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4005623.stm And I have to include some science. Who says that random mutations never create useful adaptions and only destroy information? Creationists, that's who. And they're right. What use is a two-headed tortoise? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4006351.stm Media news: Another BBC 3 comedy is coming to BBC2. This time, The Mighty Boosh. Not as good as The Smoking Room, but it has its moments. Specifically, the heavily-advertised "I don't like cricket" dance in the first episode. Having rarely heard that song in England, I heard it three times within a week here. Yet another reason that this is a great country. And, because all my posts seem to end with death, I should mention the death of Yasser Arafat. There, I've done it. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/middle_east/2004/arafat/default.stm

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