issue 252 - February 1994
...that have always intrigued you about the world will appear in this,
your section, and be answered by other readers. Please address
your answers and questions to ‘Curiosities’.
I’ve read that men have periodical physical cycles, though without the visible symptoms of female cycles. Can anyone tell me more, recommend any books or articles on the subject, or suggest how I might be able to calculate my cycle?
An Australian doctor called Margaret Henderson has researched this, but I cannot recall in which journals her papers were published. Anybody – male or female – can determine their cycle by taking their temperature at the same time every day for several months. When this is plotted on a graph a slight rise should appear every month. Cycles become synchronized through the emanation of pheronomes, thus a man will follow the cycle of the woman he lives with. But Henderson found that the cycle of cohabiting males was less pronounced.
I’ve heard that it is possible to get a covenant cheque book, which can be used for gifts to charities and allows the recipient organization to get a full tax reclaim. Is this so?
Yes. In the UK the cheque books can be obtained from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organizations, 18-19 Claremont Crescent, Edinburgh EH7 4QD (tel: 031 556 3882).
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The phrase ‘the enemy within’ was used by Margaret Thatcher to describe the miners during the British miners’ strike of the mid-1980s. Was this phrase originated by her? If not, who was the first to use it?
Maggie’s quote perhaps derives from a phrase used by poet George Meredith (1829-1909). He wrote:
‘In tragic life, God wot,
No villain need be! Passions spin the plot:
We are betrayed by what is false within.’
I feel sure that Brigadier Frank Kitson wrote about ‘the enemy within’ in his book Low Intensity Operations, published about 20 years ago. In it he referred to British troops using the Northern Ireland situation as a training ground to combat the enemy within the mainland – that is, striking workers.
Does anybody know in exactly which context the poet WB Yeats described the Anglo-American world and its culture as the ‘filthy modern tide’?
Why are Australians called ‘diggers’?
Is there an index on charity organizations which rates them according to political bias, bureaucracy, mismanagement, wastage, quality of information and the like?
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Do cultures where characters are used instead of letters have an alphabet?
And how do they use dictionaries?
If you have any questions or answers please send them to Curiosities,
New Internationalist, 55 Rectory Road, Oxford OX4 1BW, UK,
or to your local NI office (click here for addresses).