Monthly Archives: November 2005

Whaddya Mean, It Doesn’t Walk?

If, like me, you always had a secret desire to have your very own Robby the Robot (the real star of Forbidden Planet), then the Hammacher and Schlemmer catalogue has just the thing for you. It’s a handmade, accurate, and … Continue reading

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In Praise of Panto

The British tradition of Pantomime has evolved from its roots in the 16th century. There’s a paen of praise to Panto penned by Simon Callow in today’s Guardian – well worth reading.   He mentions in passing the production of … Continue reading

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The Christmas Letter

Yesterday, I sat down to pen that most dreaded of all missives (apart from perhaps a tax demand) – the annual Christmas letter. This species of letter is much maligned – with some commentators, Simon Hoggart in particular,  mining its … Continue reading

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It’s a Big Ad

OK, sometimes, I admit, marketing can be creative. This cross between Orff and Peter Jackson is very, very good.   (hat tip to Tom at Idiolect)

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FIGHTAIDS@HOME

Following along the lines of SETI @ Home and ClimatePrediction.Net, there is now a grid computing project that is aimed at helping to design new anti-HIV drugs: FIGHTAIDS @ HOME. Grid computing makes use of the idle time of your … Continue reading

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Signs of Life

Signs and signage are an inevitable part of life. From the humble "keep off the grass" to rococo variants that confuse more than they inform. Of course, there are web sites devoted to some of the more bizarre specimens that … Continue reading

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Good News, Bad News

I like sushi, but my chopstick skills leave much to be desired. So the good news is that Decor Craft Inc. have brought out Clothespin Chopsticks – the perfect thing for klutzes like me.   The bad news is the … Continue reading

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First Mice, Now Icebergs Get In On The Act

Following on from the delightful discovery that male mice sing to woo the female, comes a story that scientists have recorded icebergs "singing". Methinks the word "singing" is a tad wishful thinking – part of the song sounds like an … Continue reading

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The End of an Era

My husband, Martin, has been the power behind Martins balletcenter for over 20 years. He has taught jazz dance to hundreds of pupils over the years. What made his school probably unique (certainly to my knowledge) was the fact that … Continue reading

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali in London

Steve, over at The Sharpener, pens a piece about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s appearance at the ICA in London. Worth reading.

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Lightning Can Strike Twice

Rachel’s story has been published today in The Sunday Times. Just go and read it, you hear?   Update: Rachel writes: "Resentment and anger are the breeding ground for the pitiless narcissism that I believe lies at the heart of … Continue reading

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Umberto Eco on God

There’s an interesting article in the Sunday Telegraph today written by Umberto Eco: God Isn’t Big Enough for Some People. In it, he weighs the religious celebration of Christmas against the purely commercial one. Not surprisingly, he finds the latter … Continue reading

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The Singapore Sling…

…well, perhaps not quite yet. But Spiegel carries an English-language article about an unlikely event: a Sex Industry convention held in Singapore… As ever, Dr. Judy gives good quotes…

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Two Down…

…three to go? The inimitable Steve Bell puts out his take on the latest Bush rumour. Meanwhile, al-Jazeera staff have started a blog to plead Bush not to bomb them.

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Today’s Anniversary…

…is that today (25th November) is designated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.   And if you think that that’s another pointless checkmark in the touchy-feely box, then just ponder on the fact that the World … Continue reading

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The State of British Comedy

Programme schedules for Thursday nights on BBC TV now bring three half-hour comedy programmes back-to-back. There’s a joke somewhere in there about London buses…   Last night I sat down to watch all three, curious to see whether I’d last … Continue reading

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Boris Puts His Neck On The Line

Boris Johnson looks like a buffoon. Sometimes he behaves like one. But not always.   The news story – that Bush wanted to bomb the al-Jezeera news station in Qatar – is still rumbling on. It wasn’t helped by the … Continue reading

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The Mating of Leopard Slugs

Well, it looks as though David Attenborough – that grand old institution of nature films – has done it again. Last night the first episode of his new series – Life in the Undergrowth – was aired on BBC TV. … Continue reading

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Fun With Coprolites

I’ve come across some weird games in my time, but this one is not only passing strange, but strangely educational.

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So Dip Me In Chocolate…

…and throw me to the lesbians…   My favourite line from Jerry Springer – The Opera. It’s now out on DVD, and I’ve just been watching it yet again. It’s humanity – good and bad – writ large in operatic … Continue reading

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