Yesterday was apparently the 25th anniversary of a Soviet officer breaking the rules by not starting a nuclear war. I hadn’t heard this before; the even closer shave on a nuclear submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis was frightening enough.

Both those incidents have only come to light in the last decade; I wonder how many others there have been.


palmer1984 just posted a meme that touches on flag-burning. I’ve always been bewildered by the (mainly American?) objection to burning flags. But if you accept that flag-burning is Bad and Wrong…

How do True Patriots care for their ageing flags? Are they stored indefinitely? Given heroic burial (cremation presumably isn’t an option)? Is there a patch of desert somewhere, where old flags fly until they disintegrate completely?

The military are big on flags and big on rules; they must have some baroque procedure for getting rid of the old ones.

Also: I’ve only come across the obsession with flag-burning in an American context. Are there equally small-minded patriots in the UK and elsewhere?


Where can I find (online or on paper) a dictionary of all the strange little symbols that cover electrical equipment and the like?


Today’s been a write-off in terms of getting anything useful done; now I’m retreating to book reviews



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