Lunchtime conversations today included "What would be your first edict if you were King?" One answer: An enormous canapy over the entire country, a few hundred metres up, with a one-to-one map printing on its inside, so you could look up and figure out where you wanted to go, or maybe even carry a mirror so you wouldn't strain your neck. This answer with a nod to How to Travel with a Salmon. Also, the banning of sand. The supplementary question "What single thing could you do to most increase general happiness?" yielded Tom B's idea of a reverse lottery, in which a millionnaire pays the cash, and a million people get a quid each.

I also learned that the Panopticon prison has actually been built in Cuba, which strikes me as rather like actually locking a cat in a box with poison, strapping somebody to a wall in a cave so they can only see shadows of the real world, or (again Tom B) cutting down trees in a forest and frantically running away before they fall. But that's Castro for you.