Monthly Archives: September 2007


Ah, that’s a bit better, the Draganflyer radio-controlled helicopters are a bit more reasonably priced than MicroDrones. Still out of my price league, though…

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Cleaning Gutters

It’s getting to be that time of year when the gutters need frequent cleaning to keep them free of leaves and debris. My eye was caught by the iRobot Looj. Perhaps that’s more practical than a MicroDrone…

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These little beauties are rather fascinating. I think I know what I’d like for Christmas…     The only problem is that each one of these MicroDrones costs $60,000. Oh well, give it 10 years and they’ll be affordable toys.

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Brain-Eating Bacteria

Sometimes, Mother Nature lets slip the mask, and shows us what she’s really capable of…

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Hand Shadows

Part of my self-education when I was growing up was to read my father’s collection of bound copies of "The Boy’s Own Paper". Poring through the contents I’d come across articles on knot-making, or survival skills, or magic tricks in … Continue reading

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The Broken Column House

Pruned has an intriguing entry about the architectural follies in the Désert de Retz. Money and decadence, how often they seem to combine in our species…

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The Art Of Being Human

Liz has been invited to attend a Buddhist weekend meditation workshop called "The Art Of Being Human". She has mixed feelings about it. I can understand why.

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Another National Treasure

Today’s Guardian has an excellent article about another National Treasure: the illustrator Quentin Blake. Worth reading, although I think I could have done without the "don’t think of a hippopotamus" trick at the end of the first paragraph. Apart from … Continue reading

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Henze’s Phaedra

Here’s an interesting interview with Hans Werner Henze, talking about his life and his latest (and probably his last) opera, Phaedra. It makes me want to see it. I remember seeing an earlier opera of his, The Bassarids, in London … Continue reading

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British Values

Prospect magazine asked "50 writers and intellectuals" (erm, so they are distinct groups, are they?) to define what they meant by the phrase "British Values". It provides an entertaining read, showing that the meaning is very difficult to pin down. … Continue reading

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Ooh – move over Aibo, I think you’ve got competition…

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The Hoax of Hatto

Joyce Hatto was a pianist whose husband, William Barrington-Coupe, perpetrated an extensive hoax for years. It’s a riveting story. I’m only sorry that the Coupe name has been besmirched by such goings-on… Really, one should expect better… Havagesse, indeed! Harrumph! … Continue reading

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Right On…

I know that I am not in full possession of the facts, but somehow I think I am probably right in my knee-jerk reaction to this item: You Go, girls…   There’s something about the very phrase – Religious Police – … Continue reading

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Travels In Hyper-Reality

David Byrne travels through the USA. It makes me remember echoes of Umberto Eco…

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Sign The Petition

It’s a small thing perhaps, but sign the petition.

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Exploding A Myth

Vaughan, over at Mind Hacks, points out that the famous sequence of cat pictures painted by Louis Wain that are supposed to illustrate his descent into madness actually do nothing of the sort. Damn, there’s another factoid that I’ve held … Continue reading

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An Interview With Oliver Sacks

This is an interview with Olver Sacks. It’s worth reading. He sums up my feelings almost exactly: I intensely dislike any reference to supernaturalism, but I think there can be profound mystical feelings which do not have to call on … Continue reading

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Not A Good Idea

I really wish they wouldn’t do it. Microsoft, I mean. It’s almost as though they encourage the "evil empire" persona – the company that you love to hate. They’re at it again. They’re showing off the technology that enables dynamic … Continue reading

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Weapons of War

Ophelia sums it up far better than I can. It’s what she says. 

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Alien Quadrilogy

I recently plonked down some hard-earned dosh for the 9 DVDs that constitute the collection of the four "Alien" films, plus lots of "the making of" extras. Yep, I bought Alien Quadrilogy. Well, since Amazon were offering it at nearly … Continue reading

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