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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Change You Can’t Believe In

UK Labour leader Ed Miliband has said his party’s leadership lost touch both with its own members and the public. In a speech to the national policy forum, Mr Miliband proposed reforms aimed at making the party less insular and its decision-making more open. He said the Labour Party “can only win if we change” […]

The Art of Law

This post is in part a very belated response to a series of posts by Jim Belshaw (here and here). Sorry it’s so late, Jim! I do think about these things, but they take a while to percolate. What do people want out of their lawyers, and do lawyers provide these things? Part of the […]

Early Humans and interbreeding

Last night my husband and I were watching the first episode of A History of Ancient Britain by Neil Oliver. I love archaeology. For a large portion of my childhood and beyond, I wanted to be an archaeologist. I’m fascinated by glimpses of people in the past. One of the things I always feel sad […]

‘Throw the Jew down the Well’

You know, sometimes that awful joke in Borat was true. Which means, ahem, that it isn’t funny any more. The remains of 17 bodies found at the bottom of a medieval well in England could have been victims of persecution, new evidence has suggested. The most likely explanation is that those down the well were […]

What does ‘online learning’ really mean?

It’s been a long time since the idea that people could learn while interacting with a computer (or other electronic device) was new. People in our Engineering faculty talk about testing students using computers in the 1980s, and claim that as ‘online learning’. At the Uni where I work there’s been a group of people […]

Entitlement, greed and luxuries

David J alerted me to an article which says that Australian kids are taking luxuries for granted: Yesterday’s luxuries have become today’s necessities, giving children a bad case of “affluenza”, parenting experts say. Increasing wealth, cheap toys, gadgets and time-poor parents have produced a generation of children who often can’t tell the difference between need […]

Drawing the line at Ned Kelly

Bizarre factoid for a Friday: men who are tattooed with Ned Kelly are more likely to be killed or kill themselves. For non-Australian readers, Ned Kelly is a famous Australian bushranger (highwayman) who wore homemade plate armour and was hanged in Melbourne after he was captured in a police siege in Glenrowan. The Daily Mail […]

Burning the Midnight Oil

CLIMATE change is a global problem that all humanity has to tackle because “human beings can’t live on the moon”, the Dalai Lama says. On a one-day visit to Parliament House today, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader appeared unfussed that Julia Gillard had refused to meet with him, at one stage referring to the Prime […]

Left Behind

Please excuse this extended exercise in textual analysis. I’m quoting from a form letter which was the response to a constituent’s enquiry by Maria Miller, the minister for disabled people: I believe that the Government owes a duty to disabled people to promote their independence and equality and I also believe that it has a […]

It’s the end of the world as we know it… and we eat BRAINZ!

A worried member of the public has forced Leicester City Council to admit it is unprepared for a zombie invasion. The authority received a Freedom of Information request which said provisions to deal with an attack, often seen in horror films, were poor. The “concerned citizen” said the possibility of such an event was one […]