Monthly Archives: October 2007

Comet 17P/Holmes

At last I’ve managed to see Comet 17P/Holmes. Last night was the first night of clear skies since the announcement (on October 24) that the comet had suddenly increased in brightness. It’s currently in the constellation of Perseus. It looks … Continue reading

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Sherwin Nuland

Look. Don’t just click away to the next attraction that the internet has to offer. Watch this personal testimony from Sherwin Nuland, a human phoenix. A wondrous affirmation of the human spirit.   <

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Truth Matters

But obviously not to the Society of Homeopaths. I can’t say that I am surprised.

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Shared Values

I think Mr. Eugenides has nailed it. Shared Values? Steve Bell also has a pertinent comment and Peter Tatchell gives chapter and verse.

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Doom and Gloom

George Monbiot contributes a thoughtful, but depressing, column to today’s Guardian. It’s on the subject of the worrying environmental trends laid out in the UN’s latest Global Environmental Outlook report, published last week.   His sense of depression is deepened … Continue reading

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Growing up in the Isle of Man, we had our own version of Halloween, and ours predated the American version. Hop-Tu-Naa involved carving turnips into lanterns; a much more difficult task than all this effete pumpkin rubbish. More background here, … Continue reading

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The Robotic Moment

David Smith ("Ludens") has a thought-provoking piece on his Preoccupations blog. It’s about Sherry Turkle and her views on what she calls "the Robotic Moment" – how the growing encounters that we humans have with cybernetic devices are changing our … Continue reading

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The Origami Tradition

A short Japanese film on the tradition of origami.       (hat tip to Paper Forest)

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Rob posts a useful Anthropomorphism Checklist for those of us curious to see where on the spectrum they might lie.

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Changing Habits

Orac points out how much attitudes have changed to cigarette smoking. I find it interesting to watch old films and see how taken for granted smoking was. The contrast with today’s attitudes is very striking. The zeitgeist moves on…

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The Godfather?

Somehow, I didn’t expect this as a result; and I went for the full 45 questions as well…   What Classic Movie Are You?personality tests by  

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More Tosh

I see Mark Vernon has been cranking out tosh again. Not content with this, he’s now come out with another column that leaves me pounding my head on the table. He seems to be saying that awe arising from ignorance … Continue reading

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Songs of Mass Destruction

It arrived in today’s post. The latest CD from Annie Lennox: Songs of Mass Destruction. It’s playing as I write. Whoo-Hoo – Marvellous! Wonderful! More!   Simply magnificent.

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What’s Good About Religion?

I do like Pat Condell’s riffs on religion… I just wish I shared his optimism. Update: August 2013. I’ve long stopped watching Condell’s videos. It seems to me he has crossed the line into prejudiced argument. Avicenna puts his finger … Continue reading

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More Books on the Isle of Man

I mentioned in the last entry that I’d stumbled across a 1909 book on the Isle of Man that had been scanned in by the University of California. Curious, I’ve just done a search of the Internet Archive, and it’s … Continue reading

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Isle of Man Guide

I see that the University of California has scanned a copy of a book originally published in 1909: The Isle of Man, written by Agnes Herbert and illustrated by Donald Maxwell.       It’s a fascinating read. Miss Herbert … Continue reading

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Microsoft and Flickr – Part II

Recently, I blogged about the facility that Windows Live Photo Gallery has to upload photos into Flickr. This is just a heads up to those of us who care about image metadata (“the truth is in the file”) that not … Continue reading

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Naked-Eye Comet

Phil, over at the Bad Astronomer blog, reports that comet 17P/Holmes has increased in brightness, from magnitude 17 to magnitude 3, literally overnight. He gives its location in the night sky (you have to be living in the Northern Hemisphere), so … Continue reading

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UDA Drag

Once again, the Telegraph‘s Obituary column delivers it in spades. This time it’s for Sammy Duddy, aka Samantha. I swear, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

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The Power of Advertising

I don’t know whether to be appalled or fascinated by this image of Mikhail Gorbachev being used to advertise Louis Vuitton luggage. Well, OK, I’m appalled. It would be rather like seeing Nelson Mandela advertising smack and crack. Ah, alright, … Continue reading

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