Monthly Archives: November 2007

A Storm in a Teacup

The case of Gillian Gibbons is a salutary example of how truth is stranger than fiction. I admit, that when I saw the headline that people were demonstrating against her sentence of 15 days for allegedly insulting Islam, I thought: … Continue reading

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Immanence

Here’s a nice post from Ebonmuse that captures the feeling of connectedness with the world without the pollution of religion.

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Cost/Benefit Analysis

Here’s a terrific little video on a quick and dirty analysis of Climate Change, and what we should do about it. Needless to say, I support his argument. I really don’t want to live in the world of Cormac McCarthy’s … Continue reading

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Ramachandran Webcast

I see that VS Ramachandran is giving a talk at the Royal Society tonight. Even better, it will be webcast. I’ll be watching.

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DG’s Classical Music Store

I see that Deutsche Grammophon has launched an online music store. It’s notable for a number of things:   it offers MP3 format without the curse of DRM (Digital Rights Management) the music is encoded to a very high quality … Continue reading

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Reality

Jesus and Mo discuss the wilful ignorance of second-year students at Dundee University. Emily Mackie, get a life – no, first get an education, then you might understand what life is about.

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RIP Verity

Damn, Verity Lambert has died. While she’s best known for producing the first two series of Doctor Who, she left her mark on many other notable productions in British TV. She will be missed.

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Launchball

From the first time I visited it over fifty years ago, the Science Museum in London’s South Kensington has been a favourite haunt of mine. It’s just revitalised a gallery – Launchpad – and celebrates with an online game: Launchball. … Continue reading

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Asylum No More

The UK seems to be moving towards having a tough stance on asylum-seekers, and to hell with the consequences. The Independent reports on two disturbing cases (Maud Lennard and Meltem Avcil), and Craig Murray reports on an even more disturbing … Continue reading

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Quality of Life

What makes for a good "quality of life", when looking at a society as a whole? Is it possible to come up with metrics? After all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. I see that the Dutch … Continue reading

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Someday My Prints Will Come…

BibliOdyssey points out that the British Museum has made a large proportion of its collection of prints available online: The size of the database is enormous. There are more than 13,000 satirical prints for instance. A free text search on … Continue reading

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Useless Gadgets

Wired has a great list of 10 Snake-Oil Gadgets. What is deeply depressing, however, is the long list of commenters who swear blind that dowsing actually works.

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Performance-related Pay

I see that the Vatican is to bring in performance-related pay for the 2,600 lay members of its staff. I also note that the priests, bishops, monks and nuns who form the Papal administration are exempt from this. I’m sitting … Continue reading

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The March of Technology

It wasn’t so very long ago that portable computers weighed in at 22 lbs (10 kgs). Here’s John Cleese extolling the virtues of the Compaq Portable II.       (hat tip to Charles Arthur over at the Guardian)

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Taking the Biscuit

Denis MacEoin accuses Ben Goldacre of ignorance. I came away from this piece with a feeling of embarrassment, a conviction that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The comments on the piece do a pretty good job of demolishing what … Continue reading

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Meditating on History

Flea has another brilliant post. This time she is musing on how best to teach history to her young son. Worth reading.

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All Things Must Pass…

…but many people refuse to acknowledge the fact. A perfect example is the fuss currently underway over the chestnut tree in a garden at the back of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Let it go, and plant another one … Continue reading

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Peter Cameron

Doug Ireland has a long and interesting interview with Peter Cameron, a writer whom I have not come across before. That will have to change I think. And they also discuss another writer, Denton Welch, who sounds intriguing.

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Lost in Transit

A quite staggeringly stupid thing to do – lose two CDs containing the bank details and national insurance numbers of 10 million individuals. Diamond Geezer imagines the likely outcome.

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Jim and Pascal’s Wager

National treasure Stephen Fry shows, once again, why he is a national treasure.   He weaves together denialism of global warming, the difference between British and American culture, and Pascal’s Wager. Simply brilliant. Jim is a twat, by the way, but of … Continue reading

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