Monthly Archives: December 2008

Boys and Their Toys

Chris Clarke, over at Creek Running North writes about a fairly depressing example of boys and their toys – in this case 4×4 owners churning up nature just because they can. I see the same sort of thing in the … Continue reading

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The Riddle of Consciousness

Here’s a terrific article on self-awareness by V. S. Ramachandran. I might quibble with his opening sentence (the riddle of consciousness is very far from being "one of the last remaining problems in science"), and Dr. Vaughan Bell wonders about … Continue reading

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Wolves and Humans

Jean Kazez has an interesting post up at the Talking Philosophy blog, where she writes about two books covering the subject of what it is to be human. The more interesting of the two seems to be Mark Rowlands’ The … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | 3 Comments

Dark Sky Parks

I see that Scotland is preparing to host Europe’s first ‘dark sky park’. It’s near to where my brother lives, so that I’m pleased that he will be able to enjoy it. Around here, even though we are in what … Continue reading

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Cutting Your Cloth…

…to fit a false argument. Oh dear, I seem to be very negative today, what with pointing out Madeleine Bunting’s tripe, and now I feel impelled to do the same for Andrew Brown. Well, it’s not as if he doesn’t … Continue reading

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Darwin and the ‘New Atheists’

While I’m mentioning Darwin, I might as well draw your attention to another piece by ‘Our Maddy of the Sorrows’. This time Madeleine Bunting is urging us not to let the great man be hijacked by “New Atheists” – whatever … Continue reading

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Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

We’re just under a year away from the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” and a couple of months away from the bicentenary of his birth. As part of the celebrations, New Scientist … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | 2 Comments

The Riposte to Woo

Tim Minchin has a way with words. Brilliant stuff.         (hat tip to PZ Myers)   Update: Oh, and the verses are here.

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Subprimes Explained in PowerPoint

Following on from the John Bird/John Fortune explanation of the Credit Crunch, here’s an excellent explanation of Subprimes.   (hat tip to Andy for the link)

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The Brothers Grimm

One of the things I like about Christmas is that there’s usually a veritable feast of films on the telly. Sometimes you can pluck out a plum, but it has to be said that many are simply turkeys. Last night, … Continue reading

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Save the World: Be Heterosexual

That seems to be the gist of the Pope’s Christmas message. On the one hand, I can understand that he is what he is, an old fool who has little understanding of what it is to be human, because his … Continue reading

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The Credit Crunch Explained

John Bird and John Fortune with the best explanation of the Credit Crunch I’ve yet heard.    

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Shouldn’t Happen To A Dog…

No comment – other than the fact that it speaks volumes about the owner.

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RIP, Adrian

Adrian Mitchell has died. Here he embodies one of his best-known poems – updated for modern times: To Whom It May Concern…    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2062203&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1   Adrian Mitchell from Neil Astley on Vimeo.  And here’s Michael Rosen remembering the man.

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Human Homecare

Here in the Netherlands, there’s an annual award for the best TV commercial, which is voted for by the public. Usually, the winner is a commercial with humour, but this year, the winner was the commercial produced by the Dutch … Continue reading

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Feet of Clay

Well, it didn’t take long for the euphoria over Barack Obama to evaporate. His choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inauguration is a slap in the face for many people. Plus ça change, plus c’est la … Continue reading

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Parasites on the Brain

A couple more heart-warming stories from this wonderful world of Nature that we find ourselves in. First, the Puppet Master’s Medicine Chest and then, complete with video, a story about a tapeworm in a woman’s brain. Verily, the evolutionary landscape … Continue reading

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Windows Live Wave 3

I see that the latest versions of the standalone applications (including Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Writer) have now been released. This download page is still currently describing the applications as “beta”, but the applications … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Photography | 2 Comments

Postcards Home

One of the careers that my father had was as a ship’s engineer. He began with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company on the ships that crisscrossed the Irish Sea. The Island at that time (the 1920s) was a … Continue reading

Posted in Photography, Travel | 3 Comments

What Makes Altruism Good?

A very interesting and thought-provoking post by the Barefoot Bum. Go read.

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