Apropos of nothing-at-all, I should be doing some work for UNESCO in the next few days. The pay is pathetic, but I feel more than a trace of guilt for taking any of their money at all. You see, UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is like a particularly loyal guide dog, infested with worms and other parasites. Few UN organisations are more corrupt. At a guess, my impression is that of every $1.00 pumped in to the organisation, perhaps 3c actually gets spent on something worthwhile, rather than champage-swilling soires for the Nomenklatura. Or worse, anti-Democratic, anti-Western or anti-Semitic agitprop.
But oh, what that 3c buys! Like other UN organisations such as the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation), the WHO (World Health Organisation), and the ILO (International Labour Organisation), UNESCO does a lot of good behind the scenes - despite being parasitised almost to the point of mortality. One of the things people highly critical of the UN ( like myself ) often forget is just how much good is done by its various organs, outside the glare of publicity.
The money's already been allocated, and frankly, after 3 months without an income, I could use it. But what I can do is give them value-for-money by doing rather more work than I'm being paid for. I can't make up for all the Kleptocratic tapeworms that infest the entire structure, but I'm egotistical enough to think that maybe I can make up for one of them. "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness", and this particular project is highly worthwhile in its own right, no matter who the sponsor.
In the 60's, one of the presents lavished on me as a kid by my Uncle Ted was a UNESCO book called 700 Science Experiments for Everyone. From a review:
At the end of World War II, the newly formed United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), noting the shortage of textbooks and teaching materials throughout much of the world, commissioned a book that would allow teachers to devise laboratory experiments with the most common of materials--candles, balls of paper, saucers, odd strands of twine. UNESCO's report grew into this fine and highly useful collection of experiments in the biological, geological, and atmospheric sciences. The experiments illustrate relatively simple facts--how static electricity can be concentrated, how liquids change to gases, how water is purified by passing through charcoal--with only minimal interpretation.I venture to say that this book alone has done far more practical good in making the world a better place than any number of Pundits, Blogs, Commentators or Editorials. It certainly got me interested in Science and matters Scientific, how the Universe is constructed and what it does. UNESCO has since fallen on hard times, but the spirit behind its original ideals is not quite dead. Perhaps in some miniscule way, I may make just a smidgin, a small scintilla of difference, in making that dim, dim spark glow just a little more brightly. And if not, it can't hurt.
In that same spirit of education and enlightenment, I'll mention again the definition of one word : Jew. It may make no difference, but as I said before, it can't hurt.