The Bomber Mafia

I didn’t really try to learn from it – more took it as a story. I was interested to see that Beirne Lay was mentioned in the section on the Schweinfurt/Regensburg raid. I have his book I’ve had it on my to-read list for a while now. My only knowledge of Schweinfurt before this was as a city where I walked a long way to the youth hostel only to find it closed.

The conclusion wasn’t super satisfying. In the end, in WWII, practicality carried the day, and since the Norden bombsight didn’t live up to its promise, and relied on cloud-free skies, that meant flattening or burning whole cities. The idea that modern technology has made high-altitude precision bombing possible is discussed briefly, along with the question of even though you can do it, should you? But I feel like the discussion should have been expanded or removed completely.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I re-read the first Harry Potter book recently, and it’s pretty different reading it as an adult. Many people get upset that the school is so reckless letting children run around fighting some of the most powerful wizards in the world, but I can let that go because without it the story wouldn’t happen, and the target audience – people Harry’s age – identify with Harry and can dream of accomplishing the types of things that he does.

However, between reading Harry Potter as a teenager and young adult, and reading Harry Potter now, I have become more aware of things like climate change and animal welfare, and there are some real animal welfare, and by extension sustainability, problems in the wizarding world.

  • A lot of animal parts are used in potions. I believe animal parts from rare animals are highly prized.
  • Many meals are extremely meat-heavy.
  • Most students have pets. The majority of these pets are wild animals.
  • Owls run the mail system, and don’t seem to be doing it of their own free will.
  • Live bats are used for decoration.
  • Christmas crackers have mice in them.
  • A giant three-headed dog is kept in an indoor corridor for months without ever going outside!


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