A recently published book by Jeff Jarvis, a New York university Professor of Journalism, “The Gutenberg Parenthesis” came under justified ridicule for some of its sweeping statements. I’m certainly not recommending it.

However, it did flush up one curiosity, namely that circa 1500 very few books numbered their pages. Hitherto this had not occurred to anyone.

With fiction and the use of bookmarks, now freely available in bookshops and libraries, page numbering is not critical. But it certainly is with non-fiction.

One could write a set of encyclopedias on such “building a better mousetrap” plainly obvious once done, simple changes in all aspects of life.

Mind you, they don’t always proceed smoothly and can have unintended consequences.

Take the creation of various religions, which in the case of Christianity has been and remains, a seemingly never-ending evolvement. The invention of the confessional for example, led to dire unintended consequences.

Originally the priest sat facing the confesser, knees to knees. For over a century the church ignored the bitter protests from confessers of the priest thrusting his hand up between their legs, rich pickings as underwear was still 800 years from being invented.

Eventually, under pressure the church acted and came up with the face-value sensible, dividing wall concept, to prevent this. But as we know, this bore devastating consequences as the priests simply transferred their sexual assaults to outside the confessional with much more fulfilling opportunities.

Sometimes obvious innovations meet resistance. A classic example was the invention of screw-tops instead of corks for wine bottles, plainly an excellent idea.

But the wine-world is, next to the art-scene, more saturated in bullshit and contrived snobbery than any other activity and to the credit of women, totally a male phenomenon.

I delight in reading the unmatched nonsense produced by wine reviewers.

Still, it provides some consolation for the vineyards owners, most of whom deservedly lose money as a result of their absurd desire to “have their own labels”.


Such a shame to see the end of “No Punches”. Bob, you were the one shining light that made me believe the world hasn’t totally lost the plot. Surely another book is on the cards. Thanks, you are, and always will be a legend. PS Rod Vaughan‘s bloody nose should be on the $NZ100 bank note.

oh what a joy to find a bottle with a cork in it, out comes my trusty cork screw bought from glengarry’s , neigh 30 years ago, still in working order, despite a few repairs, if unfolds reassembles it self into leverage device, out comes the cork with that familiar “pop”…. ahhh. the terroir. the cutty grass and lychees, that subtle hint of blackberry from the northern slopes…no, i tell a lie, that’s lavender from the western slope… nice leg’s, Sipp,swirl, suck in air…hmmmn… yes, sharp after tase of capsicum perhaps a hint of black peppercorn. which mellows with out lingering be good with roast port ,crackling boiled spuds and seasonal garden greens. …OH YES!!! by far a lovely wine now where’s if from…. OZZIE !!!
i do so enjoy my pomposities, they make great book marks in the normality of life.

We may never know why, but the rot started very early in the peace.

At the urging of Popes and councils, monastic austerity was gradually forced upon the clergy as a whole. Pope Benedict VIII in 1018 formally forbade priestly marriages; the prohibition was solemnly extended by the First Lateran Council of 1123.

God only knows how this business has lasted so long…

Dirty filthy priests. How that organisation survives is beyond me.

I just arrived at Salisbury Cathedral boasting the highest Spire in the UK, and home to one of the oldest working clocks in the world, dating back to 1386.

I challenge anyone not to be able to tell a quality wine from a glass of plonk when tasted side by side, but its usually a fools errand trying to put this into words.
But when occasionally this is done successfully the results are well worth it…Like most things.

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