Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Digital Closet

There was an interesting article on Ars Technica the other day about anti-gay censorship in online gamer forums. The article itself is well-written and level-headed, but what really struck me was reading the comments (all nine pages and counting at … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Traditional Crafts

Here’s a post to extol the virtues of traditional crafts and craftsmanship. Last Sunday, there was an event held in our local small town of Varsseveld. Billed as an “Old-timers’ day” (you can understand why I felt right at home), … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Britain’s Gulags

Johann Hari has written another compelling article, this time on the shameful history of Britain’s dealings with Kenya. Go and read it.

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Short Memories?

The Guardian had one of its “In Praise Of…” leaders the other day. This time, it was “In Praise Of Stonewall” – the UK-based group that campaigns for equal rights for gays and lesbians. And it’s true, as far as … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Michael Crookes

I was saddened to learn that Michael Crookes died last month. He was a dancer, choreographer, writer and dance administrator. He was only 47 when he died on the 12th April, in Tunbridge Wells. He had been suffering from cancer. … Continue reading

Posted in Performing Arts | 5 Comments

A Panto Moment

In last night’s episode of The Apprentice, Sir Alan Sugar provided us with a perfect pantomime moment when he said to the losing team: "This ain’t no bladdy game show, you know…" I suspect that up and down the land, … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a comment

Comicbook Science

I’m watching the programme on Ida, the 47 million year-old fossil, at the moment. Or at least, trying to watch it. I am growing increasingly tired of the flashy camera shots, overpowering music and the whizz-bang sound effects, which, as far as … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Leave a comment

“Vengeance Is Mine”, Saith the Lord

A few weeks ago, I received a chain email from a distant relative. It was about the James Boulger case. As it happens, the email is one of these zombie emails that constantly circulates throughout the internet refusing to die. … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Repairing the Cathedral

From one point of view, this is nothing special – just a video of people doing their job. In this particular case, it’s repairing a telescope. A telescope that happens to be orbiting the earth. The Hubble telescope. Watching this … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Leave a comment

RIP, Pleo

I’ve always had a soft spot for robotic simulacra of humans and animals. I went through a period of wondering whether to buy a Sony Aibo, until Sony announced that they were getting out of the robot dog business. The … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet | Leave a comment

Passion or Greed?

The scientific tale of Ida, a 57 million year-old primate fossil, is amazing enough, but what I found almost as striking was the light it also casts on the human passion for ownership. The tale of how the fossil passed … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Science, Society | Leave a comment

Nightingales in the Orchard

A wonderful article by Mary Warnock about self identity and ageing. Go and read it.

Posted in Health and wellness | Leave a comment

Five Minutes With Richard Dawkins

A surprisingly good interview with Dawkins, considering the limited time available. I am envious of his bookshelves, and I’m sure I would be envious of the books were I to be able to examine them.

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Why Am I Not Surprised?

As expected, Russian police broke up today’s pro-gay demonstration in Moscow with excessive force. And I also note without surprise that Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd-Webber are quoted as saying that they "knew little about" the tough line being taken by … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Swine Flu and Tuberculosis

Hans Rosling deserves to be not just a National Treasure, but a Global Treasure for his analyses of the wash of data that we are all swimming in (if not drowning in).   Here, for example, is his comparison of … Continue reading

Posted in Health and wellness | Leave a comment

Fun With Technology – Part IV

So, I blogged back in February about how I was having some problems with the “Play to” feature in the new Windows Media Player that will be part of Windows 7. Since getting the Release Candidate of Windows 7, I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet | Tagged | 26 Comments

Eurovision Roundup

Eurovision looms, and I can do no better than to point you to this roundup in the Guardian of some of the sillier entries. Included in them is the Dutch contender: Shine, performed by the Toppers. Alas, the Guardian’s scathing … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a comment

Windows 7 RC

Well, it’s now a week since I downloaded the Release Candidate of Windows 7, so how is it shaping up for me? For the most part, I’m very impressed. I’ve installed it on both my Tablet PC and (gulp) my … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet | Leave a comment

Windows 7 RC

Today’s the day that the Release Candidate of Microsoft’s Windows 7 becomes available. Being a nerd, it’s downloading as I write this. But one thing already strikes me as being curious. Recently, on the Engineering Windows 7 blog, the Windows … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet | Leave a comment

RIP, Marilyn

Marilyn French has died. I read "The Women’s Room" back in 1979, and it was clear that the quote on the front cover of the Sphere paperback: "This novel changes lives" was not simply hyperbole. I still have the book. … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment