Monthly Archives: April 2007

Alice In Sunderland

While I’m on the subject of graphic novels, I must mention Bryan Talbot’s Alice In Sunderland. Its subtitle is "An Entertainment" – and what an entertainment it is! A great fireworks display of a book – fizzing with ideas and … Continue reading

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Fun Home

I mentioned Alison Bechdel’s biography of her family, and her father in particular, some while back. Now, Amanda Marcotte writes a review of the book (Fun Home) that is worth reading in itself.

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Another National Treasure

And talking of National Treasures, here’s someone else who I really do believe deserves that title, even if he, and many other people, would recoil at the idea. It’s Peter Tatchell. There’s a good profile of him in today’s Guardian.

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A National Treasure

That’s Victoria Wood. I’m pleased to say that she’s back on our TV screens at the moment with a series called Victoria’s Empire. Lucy Mangan’s review in The Guardian captures the same sense of pleasure that I felt watching it.

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The Banana

Although this seems like something that the Monty Python team would have produced, apparently it’s a deadly serious attempt to show how God has designed the banana for human consumption. Words fail me.     Someone should tell the makers … Continue reading

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Thank God For Sex

Chris Clarke, over at Creek Running North, crystallises an astounding insight: Evolution is an epiphenomenon of sex.   Extraordinary. I think I would probably say that rapid evolution is an epiphenomenon of sex, but nonetheless, it’s a staggering concept to … Continue reading

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One Small Step

There’s something about the current fad for celebrities wanting to spend $200,000 on a trip into space that I find faintly distasteful. Marina Hyde summed it up in her usual mordantly witty fashion here. However, I hold no such misgivings … Continue reading

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Drowning in the Psyche

The BBC recently had a short series of excellent documentaries on British Science Fiction: The Martians and Us. Here’s an extract devoted to the work of J. G. Ballard. It makes me want to re-read The Drowned World onceagain.   … Continue reading

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Pan and Daphnis

Yes, both characters in Greek mythology, but also the names of two of Saturn’s many moons. There’s a stunning shot posted on the Cassini-Huygens web site showing the two moons and Saturn’s rings. You may need to view the high … Continue reading

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Darwin vs. Design

Zachary Moore has an excellent essay over at Goosing The Antithesis that crystallises his argument why Intelligent Design is philosophy, rather than the science that it purports to be. Worth reading.

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A Day Out

I had a day out yesterday. An old colleague was retiring and I was invited to his farewell party in The Hague. So it was an opportunity to see him and the old firm, as well as a chance to … Continue reading

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Cat’s Cradle Discussed

There’s a good article by AC Grayling, which has been reposted over at the New Humanist Editor’s Blog. Entitled What’s Up With Physics? it is a view of the debate in physics around string theory, set in the context of … Continue reading

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A Japanese Dr. Sarton

I was reminded of Asimov’s Caves of Steel when I read this story in today’s Guardian. Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro has designed a humanoid robot in his own image, just like the Dr. Sarton of Asimov’s tale. The news story is … Continue reading

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A Year In 13 Days

Fascinating reports of the discovery of a potential water-bearing planet orbiting a star just 20 light years away. But the fact that really stretches my synapses is that a year on this planet lasts just 13 days. Birthdays must be … Continue reading

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Skeletons In The Closet

I see that The Times today carries a story on the late Ted Heath, and the suggestion that he "propositioned men for sex". Whether that’s true or not, I have no way of knowing, but what I find faintly risible … Continue reading

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Flowering Teas

Chinese Flowering Teas look intriguing. I must keep an eye out for them, but I doubt that my local Coop stocks them.   (hat tip to Gastronomy Domine for the link)

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Waiter, There’s A…

…I’ll leave the rest unfinished. Desperately sad, but at least he was only a danger to himself.

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The Children of Húrin

That’s the title of the posthumous novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien, and now completed by his son, Christopher Tolkien. I’m uncertain whether to take the plunge and get it. On the one hand, we have a strong recommendation … Continue reading

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Koninginnedag’s Coming

Koninginnedag (the Queen’s Birthday) is celebrated in The Netherlands on the 30th April. Basically, it’s an excuse for a countrywide party. Already the preparations are underway. Last Friday evening, for example, Martin and I joined in with a small group … Continue reading

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Birdbrain’s Back

Last June, I blogged about a male chaffinch that was constantly attacking his own reflection in our windows. Well, he’s back. He clearly hasn’t learned. And the warm weather seems to have triggered the behaviour a couple of months earlier … Continue reading

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