Monthly Archives: December 2010

Carbideschieten 2010

I don’t know where the year has gone, but here we are at the last day of 2010. And in the Dutch countryside, the last day of the year is celebrated by Carbideschieten. So once again, we enjoyed the hospitality … Continue reading

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Found and Lost

When I first moved up to London from the countryside, way back in the early 1970s, I became a volunteer helper at one of the first gay counselling groups that sprang up around that time. This was Centre, long since … Continue reading

Posted in Friends | 9 Comments

Am I a Microsoft Fanboi?

I think the answer has to be “no”. Honestly, I do care about what Microsoft does. After all, I rely on its products to power my computing infrastructure. I use Windows 7 on our Home Theater PC, our PCs and … Continue reading

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UN Restores Resolution

I noted earlier this month that a UN Committee had proposed removing the reference to sexual orientation in the UN’s resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. It was a move led by African and Arabic nations – in other … Continue reading

Posted in LGBT Politics, Society | 1 Comment

Rare Exports

I know I’ve blogged about this short film before, but I really think it is a little gem for Christmastime. The makers have now come up with a full-length feature film on the same theme, but I can’t help feeling … Continue reading

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Winter Wonderland

If you don’t have to travel anywhere, it’s rather pretty outside. There have been several falls of snow in the past week, and the daytime temperatures are still below freezing. Driving in this is somewhat less pleasurable; fortunately, we’ve got … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | 2 Comments

Two Data Points

While it is true that the Netherlands is one of the most prosperous countries in the EU, the other side of the coin is that there is also more poverty than in previous years. In particular, after a long period … Continue reading

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Political Ska

Although I no longer live in the UK, I still follow what’s happening there. And the acts of the new coalition government fill me with despair. We seem to have learned nothing since Thatcher. Here’s a musical take on the … Continue reading

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Microsoft’s Marketplace Merry-go-round

My mobile phone is an ancient (in mobile phone terms) Nokia 6310i. I bought it for myself back in 2002. It still functions perfectly well as a phone, but in these days of Smartphones, it’s positively primitive. Thus far, I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Consumer Electronics | 9 Comments

The Geminids – II

Well, I had a spot of luck after all last night, despite the fact that we had snow showers and the sky was cloudy during the evening. I woke up at 03:30 am and found that the sky was cloudless, … Continue reading

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The Geminids

It’s the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower tonight. I’m hoping that there will be clear skies here, but at the moment we have snow showers passing through, so it’s highly probable that 2010 will be another missed opportunity. … Continue reading

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Science or Dogma

A few days ago, I mentioned Jacob Bronowski and his TV series The Ascent of Man. Here’s that scene of him speaking at Auschwitz, explaining the difference between science and dogma. (hat tip to Alun Salt for providing me with … Continue reading

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Sorrowful Songs

Henryk Górecki’s 3rd Symphony, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, was composed in 1976. While many take its meaning as a remembrance of the Holocaust, Górecki himself said that it was an evocation of the ties between mother and child. Here’s … Continue reading

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The Night Sky

Here’s a stunning time-lapse video made by Stéphane Guisard of the night sky at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. Do watch it at the full 1080p resolution and in fullscreen mode for the best effect. Seriously beautiful. I just wish … Continue reading

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My Father, The Bomb and Me

When I was growing up. Jacob Bronowski was a presence on the telly. He was the scientist, the boffin, who could be relied upon to explain science to the rest of us. In 1973, he presented a ground-breaking series, The … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science, Society, Television | 1 Comment

The Antikythera Mechanism – in Lego

I have mentioned the astounding Antikythera mechanism before, but here’s something really brilliant: it’s been reconstructed using Lego. What I like about the video is that it demonstrates how the various component parts work together and end up as a … Continue reading

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Someone Like You

I’m looking forward to the release of Adele’s next album “21” on the 24th January. That young woman has talent. Here she is singing one of the songs from the forthcoming album.

Posted in Music, Television | 1 Comment

The United Nations – A Force For Good?

I hope that the above title is somewhat of a rhetorical question. I would hope that, on balance, despite its many failings, the UN still counts for something in this sorry world. However, when it gets down to a personal … Continue reading

Posted in LGBT Politics, Society | 5 Comments

The Unchosen War

World AIDS Day was on December 1st. I had the luxury of reflecting on lost friends, since it is my good fortune to be living in the Netherlands. Some of us reflect on the fact that they are fighting in … Continue reading

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