Monthly Archives: July 2006

The Burton Repertory Company

I got around to seeing Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride tonight – and thought it was brilliant. In these days of CGI, it is wonderful to see how good stop motion animation can be, when it is carried out at the … Continue reading

Posted in Film | 2 Comments

Don’t Lose Your Head

I’m somewhat disappointed to learn that the female praying mantis does not always bite off the head of her mate during the sex act. Apparently, it’s much more likely to happen in the laboratory, where the sights and sounds (of … Continue reading

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Clarifying the Big Bang

The Angry Astronomer (Jon Voisey) has a useful post over at his blog that addresses some of the misconceptions that people have about the Big Bang. For example, despite the name, it was not an explosion – it was an … Continue reading

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Microsoft Live Labs has some news about their Photosynth project. It will be shown at Siggraph next week. Meanwhile there are a couple of videos on their web site. An Overview and a Demo – this latter video is the … Continue reading

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The Forbidden Corner

My brother is just back from a trip to Yorkshire and recommends a visit to The Forbidden Corner in Middleham. Apparently it’s a series of architectural follies created in a four-acre garden by a Colin Armstrong who was once the … Continue reading

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The Silly Season Has Begun

Margot has discovered that the Silly Season has begun in the media. Sometimes I wonder whether it ever went away…

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A Hairy Tale of Soy Sauce

The Museum of Hoaxes adds some more background to the true tale of Soy Sauce made from human hair.   I’m intrigued to see that the original paper (published in the online Internet Journal of Toxicology) is by Alexander Tse-Yan … Continue reading

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Rita Gets Another Award…

I missed this when it was announced, but the latest issue of the Gay Krant (the Dutch gay magazine) draws my attention to the fact that the Lovely Rita Verdonk was awarded a place of honour in the Hall of … Continue reading

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That’ll Do Nicely

Mike, over at Coffee Corner, draws my attention to the fact that the makers of Monopoly are planning to replace the paper cash in the game with credit cards. He does some nice riffs on similar implications for other games. … Continue reading

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Spin and Deliver

Sometimes, there are good reasons why inventions stay on the drawing board.

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Art Foretells Reality

Last night, BBC Four showed a couple of programs devoted to the life and work of Terry Gilliam. First up was an interview with Gilliam by Mark Lawson, which was interesting in itself. But for me, the real revelation came … Continue reading

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What Grandmas Are For

I’m currently reading William H. Calvin’s A Brief History of the Mind. Calvin writes really well, and puts together an absorbing and convincing story of how the human mind has developed. While he traces the development of the human species, … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | 2 Comments


Fareena Alam writes a nasty and spiteful review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book The Caged Virgin in The New Statesman. Sample: "Hirsi Ali, a woman who has built her career on portraying herself as a victim". Er, no, Ms. Alam, … Continue reading

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Play Anywhere

An interesting user interface from Microsoft Research. Although, I have to say that it’s not the first time that I’ve seen something like this. At the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, their digital archive already uses a similar system. … Continue reading

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History Repeats

A thoughtful piece by Brian Keenan in The Guardian today on his reaction to the current events in Lebanon. For those who don’t know Keenan’s background, here is a reminder.

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Kids, Don’t Try This At Home

Ben Goldacre, over at his Bad Science blog, contrasts the scientific fakery of the Brainiac TV show (emphasis on show: it’s entertainment, not science, kids) with the genuine article in the form of Theodore Gray dropping a kilo and a … Continue reading

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The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man was a British horror film released in 1973. It’s become a cult classic. Well-deserved, in my opinion. The first time I saw it I was stunned. There’s no obvious blood and gore – all the horror comes … Continue reading

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I am at a loss to comprehend the situation in Israel and Lebanon. This analysis over at the Smokewriting blog strikes a chord with me. The continuing saga reminds me of the central premise in Harry Harrison’s Deathworld: the positive … Continue reading

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Cultured Meat

Cultured Meat – also known as in vitro meat – is animal flesh that has never been part of a complete living animal. Some scientists are experimenting with growing meat in this way as a food source. Apparently, now that … Continue reading

Posted in Food and drink | 1 Comment

Bill and Melinda Meet Nkosepaca

Excellent article by Sarah Boseley in The Guardian today on Bill and Melinda Gates’ visit to a South African township. Worth reading.

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