Monthly Archives: July 2009

Video killed the radio star

I don’t listen to radio very much. When I do, I avoid commercial stations like the plague. I can’t stand the ads, the cheesy voice overs, the annoying comperes and the gimmicks. Some of the things they talk about are really not suitable for small children, and I almost always have my kids in the […]

There’s something about monotheism…

Via Dave Bath, I’ve learnt that leading Spanish director (he won Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2005 for  Mar adentro) Alejandro Amenábar has made a film about classical scientist Hypatia. It’s to be called Agora and stars Rachel Weisz. For those unfamiliar with the background, Hypatia (an astronomer) was killed in appalling circumstances by a Christian mob shortly after Christian […]

What kind of a woman am I?

There’s this stereotype about marriages that the husband comes home cheerfully, to find his wife stony-faced. After some time of receiving the cold shoulder, he tentatively inquires as to what the matter is, and finds out that he’s forgotten that it is his wedding anniversary. With whom do my sympathies lie? With the husband, all […]

The more things change…

The US president has said police acted “stupidly” when they arrested a black Harvard scholar outside his own home. Prof Henry Louis Gates was held last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to the top university where he teaches. Barack Obama said the US had a long history of African-Americans being disproportionately stopped by police. Officers […]

The Eve of the War

Since everyone else has been doing Moon landing celebrations, I thought I’d accrete to myself the sort of celebration that makes most sense to someone who wasn’t even born (several years off, in point of fact, during the Apollo 11 mission). Unlike many X-ers and Y-ers, I’m not fazed by Boomers who wish to party […]

Roman or Celt?

My sister and I have this really daggy game where we challenge each other as to which historical group we would like to belong, and justify the answers. It started out with Venetian or Florentine? (As I recall we were both Venetians). Then we went to Roman or Celt? You can see why I’m addicted […]

And they say all politicians are liars….

Jacqui Smith feared she was not up to being home secretary and wished she had been better trained for the role, she reveals in a magazine interview. She told Total Politics magazine she had “never run a major organisation” before accepting the job in 2007. “I hope I did a good job but if I […]

Britain is completely ukfi-ed

The body set up to manage taxpayers’ stakes in nationalised banks has said it will be “challenging” to sell the stakes held by taxpayers. UK Financial Investments (UKFI) was set up to manage taxpayers’ shareholdings in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds after they had to be rescued. It said the market value of UKFI’s […]

The upper class can kiss my…

Tory leader David Cameron has defended expenses claims for his second home and said he would do the job for “half the money, twice the money or no money”. But Mr Cameron denied he had used the expenses row as a way to get rid of long-serving “grandees” in his party. He told BBC Radio […]

Pride comes before a fall

Writing a post for Jim Belshaw on things that make me proud got me thinking about pride more generally. In religious tradition, pride is not viewed as a good thing. For example, Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Of course, pride is also one of the Seven […]