Friday, July 2, 2010


I've come to like the low-key atheist slogan that was featured on London buses:

It got many complaints, but nothing like those provoked by the defiant Christian counter-slogan, which sounds like an injunction:

Sadly, the gutless transport authorities in New Zealand have prohibited a similar atheist campaign. So, NZ atheists will have to resort to conventional billboards.

Once upon a time, a Sydney newspaper mastered the poetic art of slogans:

That issue of 8 August 1833 mentioned a vessel, Caroline, carrying 120 female convicts, which had reached Sydney two days earlier, on Tuesday, 6 August 1833.

That's the ship on which my great-great-grandfather Charles Walker [1807-1860] was working as a steward. It's amazing to realize that, not only did such a ship bring people, but it also brought the latest news from Ireland:

Talking about Ireland, I'm still not convinced that my ancestor was really an Irish Catholic. As I've explained elsewhere, at length, I'm still wondering whether he might not have been rather a Scottish Protestant. In this context, I'm awaiting a family tree from a woman in Scotland who's a descendant of Johnnie Walker [1805-1857], the whisky man. But we'll probably never know the whole truth concerning our mysterious Braidwood patriarch.

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