Monthly Archives: February 2009

Thoughts on juries and justice

The other day, I was supposed to be doing PhD thesis when I got caught watching the documentary called The Times of Harvey Milk, which featured real archival footage of the various people involved. Once I’d started watching, I couldn’t stop. Of course, Sean Penn has just received an Oscar for his portrayal of Harvey […]

‘Do not go there, you may burn’

In light of recent discussions of what it is to be clever and different, here’s one video clip that — for mine — properly captures what it is to swim upstream as a girl. The lyrics are gender neutral (albeit cleverly done). The clip, however, is focussed on a single young women (although it also […]

Theodore Dalrymple stirs the pot

British psychiatrist Theordore Dalrymple (aka Anthony Daniels) both annoys and interests me in equal measure. On the one hand, he’s a resolute defender of personal betterment: as documented in Life at the Bottom, he was willing to put his career on the line so that welfare recipients could gain an education — up to and […]

Your starter for 10

University Challenge, it’s fair to say, is knitted into British culture in all sorts of odd and interesting ways. The only other parallels I can think of for cultural influence and longevity are shows like Blue Peter and Dr Who. The headline for this post, for example, is instantly recognizable to pretty much anyone over here. […]

Monday Funnies

A couple claiming benefits who sailed part way around the world on a £100,000 yacht have been warned they face jail. Shashi Bacheta, 52, had claimed she was so ill she had trouble getting out of bed, but investigators said she would go scuba diving. Bacheta, of Swansea, admitted 16 counts relating to benefit fraud […]


All of us will have come across those internet contracts (aka End User License Agreements, aka EULAs). You know the ones: they say “Terms and Conditions of Use” and you scroll down about 20 clauses, and click “I agree” at the bottom. Because I’m a contract nerd, I do actually sometimes read them out of […]

The Dawkins Delusion – Guest Post by ‘G’

[SL: G is a lurker and occasional commenter on this blog who describes himself as an ‘amateur theologian’. I’m not sure what he means by that, because he seems pretty knowledgeable to me. His home blog is here. In this piece, he turns his mind to Richard Dawkins’s popular piece of God-bashing, The God Delusion. […]

The Chicago Tea Party

Traders on the floor at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange go crazy about Obama’s stimulus plan. The one doing most of the talking is a chap by the name of Rick Santelli. It’s all delivered in the best ‘gangster’ accent, and if nothing else is a rapid-fire introduction to the concept of ‘moral hazard’. Highlights include: […]

Blog Wars Redux

Crikey have decided to monetize the various lefty groups that dine out on attacking Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt. First there was Boltwatch, then the Blair/Bolt Watch Project. Now there’s Crikey’s ‘Pure Poison‘. ‘Boltwatch’ originally belonged solely to Jeremy Sear (of Anonymous Lefty fame), but the Blair/Bolt Watch Project was a collaborative effort, recruiting the […]

On the top shelf with all the other porn…

Muslims have complained that the Koran is often displayed on the lower shelves, which is deemed offensive as many believe the holy book should be placed above “commonplace things”. Now officials at one library have recommended keeping all holy books, including the Bible, on the top shelves. The move has come despite concern from Christian […]