By Tuesday the Scottish referendum was forgotten, and Salmond had resigned. The news turned to more pressing matters, as the West began massive air strikes against Islamic State.

Nevertheless, the Scottish issue raises two questions.

The first and most pressing concerns the Catalans, who this very morning voted for a referendum. The Iberian Peninsula is a set of nations distilled into only two: Portugal, where everyone is proud of being Portuguese (except a couple of lunatics on the island of Madeira), and Spain, where unity was achieved in the same way as in the UK—by force.

The second issue rests on two others: the UK general election next year, and, should Cameron win, the EU referendum in 2017. Not only does Cameron want the Scots to vote, because they are pro-EU, but if the UK opts to leave the European Union, the whole Scottish issue will fire up again, because the Scots won’t want to leave the union.

Time will tell on these two matters. Madrid knows if Spain begins to crack, Castile will end up smaller than Portugal. The United Kingdom and Spain have a lot in common: they both fought armed separatists for decades, and they’re made up of nations that are ambivalent, to say the least, about unity.

While all this was going on, a nutter scaled a nine-foot fence, got into the White House grounds, and sprinted for the door—he made it past several layers of secret service security, including a hound that was not released in time.

The story is comedic, and the hero should really be called Speedy Gonzalez, given his successful dash—he apparently wanted to have a quick word with Obama about climate change.

The following two points give me pause. Working backward, Omar Gonzalez was stopped by security last month in front of the White House because he had a hatchet in his belt. Apparently this was considered normal, and the man was left to go about his business. They buried the hatchet, as it were.

However, on July 19th, Speedy had been arrested on I-81 in Virginia, after a 20-mile chase. He reached a top speed of 83 miles an hour—in Portugal, that would be considered embarrassingly slow for a car chase, and it probably would have involved Fiats.

What would be unusual in Europe were the weapons Gonzalez had in his Ford SUV: two sniper rifles, an assault rifle, a bolt-action rifle, one sawed-off and one intact shot gun, five handguns, more than seven loaded magazines of ammunition.

He also had a map worthy of Dr. Langdon’s prodigious intellect (brownie points for recalling Dan Brown’s favorite hero, plus his assorted brainy hotties). The chart had marks around the Masonic Temple and White House, handwriting on the map read “Easter mon” and “Manassas Battlefield yellow trail”.

Fueled by his twin carburetors of an empty stomach and no sex, Langdon would have readily identified the man as a potential evildoer. By contrast, State Police troopers noted that ‘Gonzalez indicated he was a veteran and had been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, but they did not regard him as dangerous or mentally unstable.’

After all, what are eleven firearms in a car in the land of the free? In some mental disarray, I sought solace in the Ugandan Observer, a rock of wisdom a man can cling to in stormy seas.

T’was only a short hop from there to a sex poll on Ugandan tribes. I hope to convince you I was merely trying to find out more about the Baganda people, to understand the latest disputes in Kampala politics—which as far as I can fathom consist of Museveni & Co. against the rest.

Finally, here was news I could sink my teeth into.

The survey grouped individual characteristics into tribes, identifying the most romantic, fertile, violent, and faithful. And of course sexy.

Results for the most fertile tribe: the graphic doesn't tell you who won, but... 'the Bakiga are everywhere. There is no district in Uganda without a sizable number of Bakiga migrants. They must be producing so many children that they can no longer fit in their own place.'

Results for the most fertile tribe: the graphic doesn’t tell you who won, but… ‘the Bakiga are everywhere. There is no district in Uganda without a sizable number of Bakiga migrants. They must be producing so many children that they can no longer fit in their own place.’

It’s not obvious why you’d want a poll to determine fertility, given that birth records presumably indicate tribal affinity. The same would be true for domestic violence and police records.

What is obvious is that the country contains (at least) fifteen tribes, and, as in all Sub-Saharan Africa, tribal rivalry holds challenges for governance.

The interpretation of the results, however, is very interesting.

70% of the men interviewed and 60% of women said men were justified to beat their partners under certain circumstances.

That statistic would wow the West, particularly the notion that more than half the ladies consider a good beating to be acceptable. No mention is made of the guys getting knocked around a bit for their prevarications, or of the ‘circumstances.’ However the Acholi tribe, voted the most faithful, were also the most violent, so I guess the issue is clear.

And then there’s this.

The natural role of males in dating in the animal world is to protect and provide, thus in modern times when the world bases its security in money and wealth, the one who has most gets the biggest accolades and attracts more.

I’m not sure the dating concept is that broad in the animal world, although I’d agree many birds ‘date’, as do species of fish. It’s more a question of parental investment, for instance through nest-building—rather than dinner and a movie.

And this.

A recent study by evolutionary biologists Dr. Thomas Pollet and Prof. Daniel Nettles of Newcastle University claimed that women find lovemaking more fulfilling if the partner is wealthy.

Maybe because they get French champagne after?

Hmmm… a lady of the oldest profession would be unfulfilled when she finds out the client is broke —that’s why payment is made in advance—but otherwise this theory is flaky to say the least.

I went in search of Dr. Nettles, to try and unravel this thorny issue. And where better than the Daily Mail to find the answers to the world’s unsolved mysteries?

For readers unfamiliar with the ‘Mail’, it’s a British tabloid—The defunct satirical magazine Punch once said it was ‘read by the wives of the people who rule the country.’ Punch regularly poked fun at Harrods tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed, so Al-Fayed bought it. From then on, Private Eye, hardly innocent in the matter, referred to its satirical sister as Al-Fayed’s Organ.

A couple of years back I was on a flight to London, sat next to an elderly American couple. The lady, stuck in the middle seat, leaned over me and asked the air hostess for a newspaper for her husband. The stewardess duly brought her the Daily Mail. After the guy turned a few pages, she hit the call button.

“Please take this back, my husband doesn’t want it. He says it’s a scandal rag.”

The British stewardess was astonished. “Oh, we have much worse than that!”

She’s right, they do.

The Daily Mail pulls no punches:

Why rich men are better in bed:  Women have more orgasms with wealthy partners, study finds

Turns out the analysis is based on a Chinese government survey. The Mail decorates the article with photos of rock stars like Ronnie Wood, ‘dating’ a girl one-third his age. They’re walking in London with the obligatory small dog.

The Chinese Health and Family Life Survey includes information on the sex lives, income, education and other personal details on 5,000 people across China, based on interviews and questionnaires.  Among these were 1,534 women with husbands and boyfriends.Dr Pollet found that 121 of these women reported always having orgasms during sex, 408 said they ‘often’ had orgasms, 762 ‘sometimes’ had orgasms while 243 had them rarely or never.

It’s not clear from that whether the 1,534 women have both husbands and boyfriends, but the idea of accurate statistics on a subject as delicate to the Chinese psyche as the female orgasm is laughable. Additionally, China is a nation of societal extremes, so how on earth the conclusions can be extrapolated to Europe or America defies the imagination.
The study itself is apparently careful to highlight the caveats of its broad theme, no doubt anticipating the frothy media interest that followed.
One Ugandan lady explains the success of her tribe in simple terms. Although she fails to comment on the orgasmic theme as such, there’s an undertow associating corruption with sexual bliss.

Most Banyankole who are visible to other tribes have money because they are most likely to have a tribes-mate, relative, village mate or friend placed well enough to help them get employed faster, get a tender easily and earn big or get in money’s way.

So there! A Chinese survey on the female orgasm found its way to the Banyankole tribe in Uganda, via an English scandal rag—now that’s globalization.

Atmos Fear and The India Road. Quick links for smartphones.

Atmos Fear and The India Road. Quick links for smartphones.


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