Monthly Archives: November 2008

Out On A Spree

I can’t do justice to expressing my thoughts on recent events in Mumbai, so I’ll let Ophelia do it for me.   Today’s Observer carries several pieces about them. I found those by William Dalrymple and Jason Burke to be … Continue reading

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The Leaked List

Yes, I know I have a warped sense of humour.       The maker of the video mashup talks about it here. Worth reading. And I’ve not seen Der Untergang, so that’s an ommision I will proceed to rectify as … Continue reading

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There’s Bugger All Down Here On Earth

After a day browsing the internet, that final quote from one of the best songs of science is what sticks in my mind.    

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Death Comes to the Birdfeeder

Being Winter, I’ve hung up a birdfeeder outside my study window. It gets lots of visitors, generally members of the Tit families. Yesterday I was working away when suddenly I caught a flash of something whizzing past the windows, and the … Continue reading

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An Interview with Jacques Vergès

Der Spiegel has a fascinating interview with the attorney Jacques Vergès. Vergès: I believe that everyone, no matter what he may have done, has the right to a fair trial. The public is always quick to assign the label of … Continue reading

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Big Hands

Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C# Minor is a tricky piece to play, not just for the necessary speed and precision for the allegro section, but also for the chord stretches. At the peak of my piano-playing ability (when I was 17, … Continue reading

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A Little Levity

This interview with Sarah Palin, with its background counterpoint of turkeys in their death throes, is like something out of Monty Python. My jaw is still on the desk.    

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A Right Charlie

I must confess that I have little time for the British monarchy, although strangely enough I do feel better disposed towards the Dutch monarchy. Thinking about it, it’s possibly because of the individuals involved and of what they say and do. … Continue reading

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The Spectacular Sea-Slug

Carl Zimmer, over at The Loom, has a couple of fascinating posts on the Emerald Green Sea Slug, which turns out to be something from science fiction – practically a plant/animal hybrid. Wonderful.

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Euthanasia

Jesus, Mo and the barmaid discuss the question of euthanasia. Needless to say, I’m with the barmaid on this one.

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God Trump Cards

New Humanist publishes its religious trump cards, illustrated by Martin Rowson. I’m closest to the secularist/atheist/humanist figure, but I don’t have that wimpy beard in real life. I agree with my mother who once opined that she could never trust … Continue reading

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Presidential Origami

God, after the last few blog entries I needed a laugh, and Presidential Origami did it for me. But perhaps it’s just gallows humour after all…    

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Dark Reflections

Johann Hari has another powerful piece of writing – this time about a series of documentaries – that does nothing to dispel my pessimism. Kasim Abid’s Life After the Fall in particular makes it easy to despair.

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The Miniature Earth

The Miniature Earth. Watch it.

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Dumbing Down Nature

I’ve always found Natural History a fascinating subject. And I used to look forward to natural history programmes on the Beeb. The zenith of such programmes was of course anything that had the magic name of David Attenborough associated with … Continue reading

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Spread Happiness

Keith Olbermann with his reaction to the passing of Proposition 8. Bravo.    

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The Big Necessity

Another book for the reading list: "The Big Necessity" by Rose George. Johann Hari explains why its author should feel flushed with success. Hopefully her consciousness-raising is not just a flash in the pan…

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Swinburne’s Turtle

Richard Swinburne is the Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford. He apparently sees the Anthropic Principle as a convincing argument from design for the existence of God.   Fortunately, Tom Rees … Continue reading

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The Roots of Language

An interesting article in today’s Guardian about Daniel Everett’s encounters with the Pirahã, an Amazonian tribe with a unique language. Sent as a missionary to convert the tribe to Christianity, he ended up not only rejecting his faith, losing his marriage, … Continue reading

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Plus Ça Change

And of course amidst all the euphoria over the Obama victory comes the depressing news that Californians have voted in favour of legalised discrimination against gay people. Proposition 8 looks as though it has passed. A sad day for many … Continue reading

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