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Peter Rhodes: A stubbly ambassador

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

A STUBBLY ambassador, God's view on guns and why we need geeks

Stubbly Simon

A READER reports switching on his telly in the small hours and catching an interview with a senior South Korean army officer by the name of General In-Bum Chun. I wonder what the lads call him.

ON the subject of drug-affected tastes, a reader swears his taste buds changed quite suddenly when his prescription was renewed. Although the drug allegedly stayed the same, the tablets came from a different manufacturer and the resulting pills seemed quite different. I've heard of this sort of thing happening before. Any similar tales?

HARRUMPHING corner. Simon Reeve is a brilliant writer and a fine TV presenter and his latest documentary series on Russia (BBC1) is unmissable. And yet it could be better. Reeve looks boyish but he's actually 45 and, working for the BBC (and therefore for us licence payers), he is a sort of ambassador for Britain. So why the eternal three-day stubble and rat's-nest hair? Even in the wilds of Siberia, a shave and comb is possible. If the native folk of Russia are prepared to put on their finest clothes to meet the great man from Britain, might he not return the compliment with a quick wash and brush up?

YOU may have missed the debate on gun control between two US religious leaders on the Sunday programme (Radio 4). In brief, one pointed out that there was nothing in the Bible forbidding guns. The other responded with the line from the Lord's Prayer about God's will being done "on earth as it is in Heaven." He believed the folks in Heaven were not walking around carrying semi-automatic weapons, so why should folk on Earth? Theology, don't you love it?

A DAILY Telegraph reader sings the praises of old-fashioned needlework and encloses a picture of the sampler his great-great grandmother completed in 1835, preserving for all time not only her embroidery skills but her name: Fanny Spray. I bet they never hang that on the wall.

GOD stand up for obsessives. In a single summer four years ago Leif Bersweden, then just 18, tracked down and catalogued each of the 52 species of wild orchid growing in Britain. He has just published his book The Orchid Hunter: A young botanist's search for happiness. It may seem a bizarre quest for a teenager but without such strange single-mindedness we would have no stamp collectors, no train spotters, no birdwatchers and no detectorists. And it's not only hobbies. Most of the great inventions of history came from people who became obsessed by the falling of an apple, the jet of steam from a kettle or something strange happening to light in deep space. Remove the geeky gene from humanity and we'd never have left the caves.

A SURVEY of 5,000 schoolchildren commissioned by head teachers and Digital Awareness UK reports a backlash against social media. Nearly two-thirds of the kids claimed they wouldn't care if social media had never been invented. I wonder how many of those kids, having slagged off Twitter and Facebook, went straight to tell their friends, on Twitter and Facebook.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world

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