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Ether Street & The NI Crossword

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The saga so far... Three NI readers are in communication with a spirit entity called Nil who claims to have co-written the Upanishads and stormed the Winter Palace.

Illustration: BRICK

You said Bill Clinton had a basic design fault. You make it sound like there's a great Henry Ford up in the sky, twiddling with the knobs on the production line.

There is a Henry Ford up in the sky but I'm afraid he doesn't have as much clout up here as he did before his last incarnation. He's currently serving a three-millennia sentence for wilful disobedience to the Second Universal Law of Cosmic Balance. You see, when the germ of the idea for the car was first planted on Earth, it was intended to run on water. For most of the nineteenth century people were working on steam cars, like Robert Trevithick in England. But Ford somehow managed to make the world worship his foul-smelling, dirt-puking machine and it's going to take a good few decades more before the original design makes a comeback.

But Ford didn't invent the car on his own - there was Daimler in Germany, Levassor in France...

Walking encyclopedia, aren't you?

Illustration: BRICK

... it's the power of science, that's all. It sweeps everything aside. It's unstoppable. That's why a human will have been cloned by the end of the next decade.

Nothing is unstoppable. The Tyrannosaurus Rex was considered pretty unstoppable in its day, and look what happened to that. And I assure you the potential for spiritual growth towards the Light when you were incarnated as a T-Rex was pretty minimal - things are a sight more interesting now.

You're squirming off the point about the march of science.

Which is that humans have to take responsibility for their actions. Ford is carrying the can for putting his own ideas and wealth before everything else - and, worse, for persuading himself that he was doing it for the good of the common person. Sad, really, since he did have his redeeming features. Did you know he commissioned a boat in 1915 and sailed to Europe to try to persuade Britain, France and Germany to stop the First World War? The American belief that the world will jump to attention when it calls is occasionally quite endearing.

And while Ford was sailing his boat over to the killing fields of France, where were you?

You're trying to catch me out, aren't you? I've already told you I was a Bolshevik in that incarnation. Actually in 1915 I was skulking in St Petersburg, trying to avoid being sent to the front. I could see the War was pointless, just emperors playing battle games with working people as their counters, and I was damned if I was going to fight for the Tsar in some squabble with his royal relations.

Who was it who said that the twentieth was the century of world wars but also the first time in human history in which the idea of militarism was effectively challenged?

The New Internationalist, if I'm not mistaken, which has always been a favourite in incarnation waiting rooms up here. I particularly liked it in the early years before it was adopted as the house magazine of the UN in the early 21st century and started being translated into 38 languages. At that point I felt it lost some of its naive charm.

Next month: a stitch in time saves Albert Einstein and unveils the future CEO of the world.

The NI Crossword
No 45 by Axe

Crossword no.45

1 Handel arrangement a Cuban revolutionary entwined for old Botswana (12)
9 One in an alphabetical guide declaring law, without force, and expounding Zionist principles (9)
10 Haggard old Baron John (5)
11 Small number in Persia with one from New Guinea (5)
12 Polar cart used in caper (9)
13 English cathedral bishopric's presidential seat (6)
15 I nearly made the Isle of Man, it is obviously true (5)
18 Base of the jaw hit with force: it marks traditional Chinese rule (5)
19 Departing from Khartoum is general (6)
22 Place in Belgium where the Prince of Wales almost takes French king (9)
25 Magistrate of old must have been a Superman! (5)
26 Letter linking courses in Mississippi and 6? (5)
27 From, I hope, lone building one appreciates the Loire, for example (9)
28 Follower of the philosophy that the company imbues recreation in stoic Norse style (12)

1 Live first-class in Juba outskirts or Algerian port (6)
2 Fly about popular part of Ethiopia... (6)
3 ...organized work force to diminish standard associated with Jack (5,4)
4 Nigeria's extreme revolutionary force has currency there (5)
5 Day time takes time coming! (5,4)
6 Inveiglers remove Elvis look-alike, transforming West African nation (5)
7 Commonwealth member, to the Spanish relief, is a European state (7)
8/21 A puma, for example, climbs up trees scattered about an unstable part of Chile (7,6)
14 It oversees Rio's bakery production, maybe (5,4)
15 Is it excluded by Anglicans or hard Papacy converts? (9)
16 Company trapped in ice-fall from French destruction of the environment (7)
17 In Paris, where a girl's exploited, so they say, old French pastry-casing (7)
20 Florence's line is one that has no bearing on physician's practice (6)
21 See 8
23 Plain in South America that some international law is stood on its head (5)
24 Paradoxical, removing king causes division of Greece (5)

1 Previous name for Botswana (12)
9 Proselytizing, for instance (9)
10 John of ---, uncle to the English King, Richard II, and father of Henry IV (5)
11 Citizen of the democratic western part of New Guinea (5)
12 Region of the world which takes its name from the Greek, meaning 'opposite the Great Bear' (9)
13 Palace and 'fields' of Paris (6)
15 Evident truth (5)
18 Last Chinese dynasty, set up by the Manchus in 1644 (5)
19 District of Scotland's Grampians: illustrious British 19th-century general (6)
22 Industrial city of S Belgium, on the R Sambre (9)
25 Feudal official or bailiff: to thread with rope (5)
26 Area of distributaries in a river basin (5)
27 Wine-lover (9)
28 One who follows (the works of) this Chinese philosopher (551-479 BC) (12)

1 Algerian port, formerly known as Bougie (6)
2 Larva of a moth-like insect of the Trichoptera (6)
3 Standard associated with the Northern states in the American Civil War (5,4)
4 Currency of Nigeria (5)
5 A: About 6,000,000,000,000 miles.
Q: What is a -----? (5,4)
6 River and country of West Africa (5)
7 Member country of the EU since 1995 (7)
8/21 Arid strip in N Chile, S Peru (7,6)
14 Mountain feature of Rio de Janeiro and descriptive of certain landforms elsewhere (5,4)
15 Books found in various Christian Bibles but not in the Jewish or Protestant canon (9)
16 Destruction of an environment's means of survival (7)
17 Theatre and red-light district of Paris (7)
20 Florentine dynasty at the time of the Renaissance (6)
21 See 8
23 Steppe-like flat land in northern S America (5)
24 Greek order of architecture and verse foot (5)

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Solution to no.44

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