Monthly Archives: November 2010

It’s that time of year…

…when I wonder yet again whether exams are really the best way of judging students’ knowledge, and whether our teaching methods are the most efficient way of getting knowledge across. I’m half way through my giant pile, so as a reward to myself, I’ve allowed myself a quick post. One of the things which is […]

Modest Popstar Saves World

Singer James Blunt has told the BBC how he refused an order to attack Russian troops when he was a British soldier in Kosovo. Blunt said he was willing to risk a court martial by rejecting the order from a US General. But he was backed by British General Sir Mike Jackson, who told him […]

Saturday chit-chat

Well, we’ve now got two people doing Missing Link style ’round-ups’, although that said, the choices they make are rather different. As mentioned last week, Club Troppo’s Don Arthur has been doing his bit: here is the latest installment. However, Rafe at Catallaxy is also doing something similar, a reprise of the job he used […]

Future Imperfect

Policing of Wednesday’s student protest “did not go to plan” but the violence that flared was down to a “hardcore” minority, the police minister has said. Nick Herbert told MPs police would learn lessons after 41 officers were injured when a section of demonstrators stormed the Conservative party HQ. The prime minister has also condemned […]

The Higher Criticism

Until I was published, I had not experienced that phenomenon known as ‘the literary festival’ or the ‘science fiction convention’ or the ‘[insert favoured genre here] convention’. They are–for one who hasn’t encountered them before–strange beasts, not entirely to be trusted. Like all large, loosely organised events, they are prone to ideological capture, something I […]

Climate change: is nuclear power the answer?


Just a quick explanation as to why I might be a bit scarce at the blog in coming weeks – my students have their exams tomorrow and I will be buried under a pile of marking. I think only teachers and lecturers can really understand what this means – it’s a bit like being buried […]

This probably belongs on Failblog…

But it’s so good I’m posting it here. It comes via Kae, who doesn’t know its provenance. I strongly suspect it will finish up on Failblog in due course, but until then you can enjoy the schadenfreude. I’m reminded of a line in Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck Stomp: If you see a sign that says ‘say […]

On not boring one’s readers to tears

Writers want to be read. We hope that you pick up our efforts in your local bookshop or while browsing the interwebs, read a few pages, like what you see and hand over your cash. My politics are right wing enough for me to admit happily to a desire to retain some of that cash […]

Crafty ways of making money

In her 2006 book Thrift to Fantasy: Home textile crafts of the 1930s-1950s, Rosemary McLeod traces the history of home-based handwork in New Zealand. With beautifully detailed photography, she shows examples of women taking pride and displaying their creativity with scraps of fabric and thread, making beautiful aprons and oven clothes from hessian (usually washed […]