Among the main themes of this book are the positions that "Evil is an inherent element in the universe" ; that the Devil is real in the sense that an evil impulse is part of man’s composition, and it will persist as long as man continues to be man; that man without the Devil would be a brute without responsibility, without temptation, without the possibility of greatness; that evil is a positive entity, a "deliberate outrage on the Good," and not (...) merely the absence of good ; that the counterpart of bad is good, while the counterpart of evil is saintliness; that some good resides even in evil; that man can transmute tragedy into spiritual and moral transcendence; that suffering is a part of man’s dignity; and that acceptance of death can allow man to triumph in self-esteem. The author also contends that, despite the validity of determinism and predestination, freedom of choice exists, but she does not explain how. Photographs are included of 16 pertinent works of art, such as Bosch’s "The Temptation of Saint Anthony," Blake’s "Satan Exulting Over Sin," and Picasso’s "The Charnel House." Chapters on "The Devil in Myth and Legend" and "The Devil and Sex" probe especially evocative and imaginative aspects of the domain being studied.—W. G. (shrink)
Little is known about the biting nuisance of mosquitoes in the UK, despite the high numbers found in some locations. A telephone questionnaire survey was used to determine the perceived nuisance of biting insects on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, a place notorious for mosquitoes. Two hundred randomly selected individuals were interviewed and asked if they suffered from mosquito bites. If they answered yes, they were asked to describe where and when they were bitten, and what measures they took against (...) mosquitoes. Forty-six per cent of respondents completed the questionnaire. Of those, 50% reported being bitten by mosquitoes, mostly outside during the summer. Seventy per cent said that most biting occurred during the evening and night. Of those respondents who protected themselves against biting (27), most used repellents (70%), with the remainder changing their behaviour to avoid mosquitoes, including closing or screening windows (33%), wearing thicker clothes (7%) and spraying insecticide (4%). One person slept under a bednet in summer (4%). This study provides evidence that on the Isle of Sheppey mosquitoes are considered a major nuisance by a sizeable proportion of the population. Since there is growing interest in the threat posed by new and emerging diseases in the UK, health authorities will need to make substantial efforts to inform and reassure the public about the threats posed by mosquitoes in areas where they are common. (shrink)
Herodotus has told us some queer tales but it is always unsafe to discredit them merely because they seem strange to us. Who would have thought that his story of the bald-headed Argippaioi who sat under trees judging the Scythians was literally true until the recent discovery in Russia of a felt wall hanging providing a contemporary illustration of these queer tribunals ?