Credit Torley – CC-BY-SA


We’re at the halftime intermission in the writing of The Road for a Coward. Time to assess progress and make plans for the second half. It’s what people do, right? Like the talking heads during the intermission at a game.

I’m enjoying writing this book, as usual. I always wonder before starting whether it will be harder this time. Is there still water in the well? Will the words be there? But, whenever I sit down in the morning and pick up a pen, the words come. It seems like all I need to do is come up with a good opening sentence, and the rest will come. Then it’s the fun of seeing where the characters want to take me. I tell them where we have to go, and then follow them around as they take us there. Sometimes they get excited and try to run away with the story. Then I have to be firm with them. That’s what I enjoy about writing. Thinking every day about the growing story. Seeing it develop as I write it, seeing what happens next. Learning more about my characters as I get to know them better. Showing them where we’re going, and following along as they take us there. And sometimes reining them in as they head off in directions of their own. I’m liking these characters as I get to know them. I won’t mind spending more time with them.

So there’s the halftime report on my novel, The Road for a Coward. So far, so good. Now it’s another three or four months of writing, then there’s the proofing, preparing it for publication and recording it. Back to work. Pen up, head down and get those words on paper.

rjb

Credit UuMUfQ – CC-BY-SA


Cloud of the Day – Nimbostratus

I mentioned nimbostratus in the Cloud of the Day post on altostratus, but I think it deserves a post of its own. It is a stratiform cloud that typically forms on a warm front. As advancing warm air rises over the retreating colder, denser air, we see the classical progression of cloud types. As the warm front approaches, we see the highest clouds first. Wisps of cirrus, maybe a layer of cirrostratus, complete with a halo, and cirrocumulus. Then, the closer the warm front gets, the lower the clouds we see. The middle etage clouds, altocumulus, and altostratus, perhaps even altocumulus castellanus, are next. Finally come the stratocumulus, stratus and the various forms of cumulus.

Public Domain


It is the stratus clouds that are of interest in the case of nimbostratus, because nimbostratus is so thick that it stretches from near the ground up into the middle etage. It is stratus and altostratus combined into one thick layer. It is so thick that its bottom is very dark, even black. It is so laden with water that precipitation is inevitable. The “nimbus” in the name has many meanings, but in the case of the cloud, it indicates that it’s a rain cloud.

Credit Indrajit Das – CC-BY-SA


Nimbostratus is the cloud that gives sustained rain over a wide area. It is the bringer of those dark, gloomy, wet days. Often there are fractus clouds scudding about underneath it. It’s the kind of weather that’s good for the lawn, and good for watching from inside, warm and dry.

Credit Fir0002 – CC-BY-SA


rjb

CC-BY-SA – madelgarius

Human Rights — Article Nineteen

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

This is the “free speech” article. It is quite clear as written. We’re free to pursue information and ideas, to hold whatever opinions we want, and to express and promulgate our opinions and any supporting information. This is where people often get confused. Many people seem to think that freedom of expression means that they should be able to say whatever they want without fear of contradiction or criticism. They’ve got the first part right. They are free to say whatever they want. Their mistake is thinking they have that right no matter where they say it. That’s wrong. The people who own the platform have the right to allow or deny them. That’s their freedom. We have the right to create our own platform and control what is said there. That’s our freedom. The other thing that confuses people is their assumption that the freedom to say something means freedom from being responsible for it. If we use our freedom of expression to foster hatred or violence, we are also free to accept the consequences, be they censure or prosecution. As with all rights, this one comes with responsibilities.

rjb

Public Domain

Human Rights — Article Eighteen

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

While this one finishes up as if it’s all about religion and belief, it starts out by mentioning thought and conscience. No one should be able to tell you what to think. No one else can act as your conscience. The choice of religion, to follow one or not and to decide which one it will be if you do, is entirely yours. If you decide to change your religion or to leave them all behind, no one has the right to stop you. To practice or express your beliefs in the way you choose is your right. It doesn’t say so here, but I think it’s pretty obvious that our right to do this doesn’t include the right to negate or curtail anyone else’s rights. The thing about human rights is that they stop there, because rights are universal.

rjb

Public Domain


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

I don’t think this one needs much explanation. We’re all familiar with the concept of property. No one should be property and everyone should have the right to own property, whether it’s the child’s toy or the adult’s house. Their ownership should be protected by law from unjustified seizure.

These days we might say, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of their property.”

rjb