Monthly Archives: January 2012

Japanese Archery

I often drop by Jeffrey Friedl’s blog. He’s a computer scientist living in Japan, but in addition to this, he’s a keen, and talented, photographer, and his blog usually has stunning images of Japan and Japanese society. He recently attended … Continue reading

Posted in Photography, Society, Sport | 1 Comment

If You’re Not Angry, You’re Not Paying Attention

That’s the culmination of an excellent speech and article by Maryam Namazie. Please, just go and read it. Her argument rings true.

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I Don’t Believe It!

You know, when I was at university, in the dim and distant past, back at the beginning of the 1970s, the LSE (the London School of Economics) was viewed as a hotbed of student activism. So recent events at the … Continue reading

Posted in Organizations, Society | Leave a comment

Burka Ban

Five years ago, I thought that news that the Dutch government were considering a burka ban to be a very bad idea. Fast forward to today, and now the current Dutch Cabinet has voted in favour of the ban, despite … Continue reading

Posted in News and politics, Society | Leave a comment

The Science Delusion

There’s a book review in today’s Guardian. It caught my eye, because the book’s title is The Science Delusion, which sounded rather provocative. Turning to the review, I saw that it was written by Mary Midgley, and my heart sank. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Science | Leave a comment

De Botton’s Folly

A few days back, I wrote that I was not convinced by Alain de Botton’s presentation of his Atheism 2.0 thesis, and even less impressed by his use of a false categorisation of Richard Dawkins. Now I see that de … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, Society | 2 Comments

“Verging On Fascism”

There was unease last week in Amsterdam’s Orthodox Jewish community when it emerged that their nominal Chief Rabbi, Aryeh Ralbag (who lives in New York), stated that homosexuality was an illness that could be cured. As a result of this … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, LGBT Politics, Society | 7 Comments

Atheism 2.0? Dear God, No…

Alain de Botton is a philosopher. He recently gave a talk at a TED conference where he proposed “Atheism 2.0”, a form of atheism that would reject all deities and supernatural acts but cater to the “ritualistic side” of some … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, Society | 5 Comments

A Reminder of Magic

There’s a wonderful article in today’s Observer. It’s by Susannah Clapp, and it’s reminiscences about her friend Angela Carter. Carter was a brilliant novelist who died of lung cancer ten years ago at the young age of 51. As Clapp … Continue reading

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Forced to be Sterilised

There are times when the law goes beyond being “a ass” as Dickens’ Mr Bumble famously said, into realms where the law is simply anti-human. I was amazed to learn this week that Sweden requires, under force of law, that … Continue reading

Posted in LGBT Politics, Society | Leave a comment

Dedicated Comic

I see that yesterday’s Jesus and Mo is dedicated to Rhys Morgan, Jessica Ahlquist, One Law for All, and Salman Rushdie. Quite right, too.

Posted in Humour, Society | Leave a comment

Time is Money

When I was growing up (many years ago), there used to be a saying: “If you want to know the time, ask a policeman”. Presumably it started when most people did not carry around timepieces of their own, whereas policemen … Continue reading

Posted in Organizations | 1 Comment

How Did He Do It?

If you saw last night’s Sherlock episode (The Reichenbach Fall – note the singular, by the way, a nice joke), you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, and don’t want spoilers, then stop reading now. … I suppose, … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Television | 10 Comments

Just Wait…

I mentioned a few months back that I was being tempted by the Samsung Slate PC Series 7 that is now available in a few markets around the globe. Now that CES 2012 is in full swing, a whole slew … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Consumer Electronics | Leave a comment

The Joy of Books

What books get up to at night.   I sometimes wonder what happens in my library deep in the night as well. (hat tip to Matthew Cobb over at Why Evolution is True)

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A Dastardly Plot

I know that there are some intelligent churchmen around, but I do despair when I read bollocks like this: The Spanish Catholic Church is also concerned about homosexuality. During his Boxing Day sermon, the Bishop of Córdoba, Demetrio Fernández, said … Continue reading

Posted in Society | 2 Comments

Open Mouth, Change Feet…

For a moment there, I thought that Microsoft were improving. After a bad start in the process for rolling out updates for Windows Phone, they began communicating more transparently about the updates, and began rolling them out in a more … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Electronics, Organizations | 2 Comments

Storage in Windows 8

The team at Microsoft responsible for building Windows 8 (the next version of Windows) have been documenting the detail of its design in a series of blog posts over at, naturally enough, Building Windows 8. I’ve been following this blog … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet | Tagged | 6 Comments

My Nokia Lumia 800

It’s now been almost two weeks since I got my new Windows Phone – a Nokia Lumia 800. How has it been so far? I think I’m still very much in the Honeymoon period. The hardware (Nokia) and the software … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Electronics | 5 Comments

Grumpy Old Man

Yes, I freely confess that I’ve become a Grumpy Old Man. The latest thing to trigger a stream of grumpiness from me is the experience I’ve just had with the many-tentacled Google… It all began innocently enough. I went to … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet | 2 Comments