Monthly Archives: November 2006

What The World Eats

David Ng, over at The World’s Fair blog has an entry on an interesting looking book: Hungry Planet. It’s a photo-essay of the authors’ visit to 30 families in 24 countries for a total of 600 meals. The striking thing … Continue reading

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The Antikythera Mechanism

Alun, over at his Archaeoastronomy blog, comments on the news that a team of scientists appear to have unravelled the workings and purpose of the Antikythera Mechanism. It’s a remarkable relic, and an interesting story.

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Management Madness

In large organisations, it often seems that more time is spent in trying to manage things than in actually doing productive work. Moishe Lettvin provides a good example when he describes his time working on Microsoft’s Vista operating system. He … Continue reading

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In Gods We Trust

While watching the Beyond Belief videos, there were a couple of occasions when Scott Atran took the floor. The first time was when he delivered a strong attack on what, up until that point, had been presented in the conference. … Continue reading

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Father Neil

I mentioned the other day how impressed I was by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I’ve now watched one of the final sessions from Beyond Belief. I now understand why he was called Father Neil in the conference. He is an absolutely brilliant … Continue reading

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Cotard’s Delusion

The White Queen, in Alice Through The Looking Glass, claimed to be able to believe in six impossible things before breakfast. If quality, not quantity, is the measure, then Cotard’s Delusion must score pretty highly on the "impossible things" scale. … Continue reading

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Getting Worse

A depressing report in today’s Guardian from Natasha Walter about the position of women in today’s Afghanistan. It would seem that the euphoria felt after the fall of the Taliban is turning out to be a false dawn. The Taliban … Continue reading

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Getting The Message Across

I’m currently watching the series of videos made of the Beyond Belief conference. Session 3 had a rather nervous and hesitant presentation by Professor Joan Roughgarden, which caused something very interesting to happen. Richard Dawkins was asked to respond off … Continue reading

Posted in Language and Reference | 2 Comments

Loony Zunes

Thus far, I’ve successfully avoided the siren song of the Apple iPod and not bought one. And I fully intend to keep it that way. Now, of course, Microsoft has arrived in the same market space with its Zune device. … Continue reading

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The Periodic Table

I’ve placed this under the category of Art, since it goes a step beyond mere Science.

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Big Brother

It transpires that here, in the Netherlands, Big Brother is not only watching you, but listening to you as well.

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Philosophical Musings

David Byrne places his entry for the 20th November in his Journal into the "Philosophical Musings" category. It’s an interesting read, ranging from climate change, the economy of China, to the wellsprings of religion. I do quibble with one thing he … Continue reading

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Retired Husband Syndrome

Interesting piece by a BBC reporter about Retired Husband Syndrome – a condition seen in some Japanese wives. I can well believe that having a retired husband suddenly cluttering up your personal space can be unnerving, and given certain aspects … Continue reading

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Leonids Video

As I mentioned, my attempt to watch the Leonid meteor shower was foiled by the weather. However, some people got lucky, and there’s even a video to prove it.

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Little Recipes for Little Cooks

And here’s another book – this time from the 1930s. Funny how the assumption is that only girls want to cook…

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Things Girls Like To Do

That’s the title of a book published in 1917. As you can imagine, the things are limited to housekeeping and needlecraft. The book is published as part of the Uplift Vocational Series. And as expected, the boys get the better … Continue reading

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The Revelations of a Rat Catcher

Ike Matthews was a professional rat catcher who worked in Manchester, and who published a book distilling his 25 years in the trade in 1898. It’s become available online and is an interesting read. I probably need to pick up … Continue reading

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World AIDS Day

Just six days to go to this year’s World AIDS Day on the 1st December. The theme for this year is accountability. The EU Commission has also launched its AIDS – Remember me? web site – a somewhat odd little … Continue reading

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Death In The Woods

I’ve mentioned before that at this time of the year I regularly see crops of mushrooms in the woods. Today’s Guardian has an article by Giorgio Locatelli extolling the delights of gathering, cooking and eating wild mushrooms. Trouble is, I … Continue reading

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How To Avoid Nightmares

Here’s the FurReal Friends Butterscotch Pony for every little girl who’s ever dreamed of having her very own animatronic pony. But doting parents would be well advised to heed the warning: Adults take note: Pony comes unassembled in box with head … Continue reading

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