Why we need a DOT EVERYONE (2)

March 31st, 2015 by Roger Darlington

In my previous posting, I linked to a preview by Martha Lane Fox of her planned Richard Dimbleby Lecture. The speech was delivered at the Science Museum and broadcast on the BBC.  It contains much food for though and one big idea: the creation of a new institution called DOT EVERYONE.

You can read the full speech here.

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Why we need a DOT EVERYONE (1)

March 30th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Martha Lane Fox, formerly the Government’s Champion for Digital Inclusion and now CEO of Go ON UK, is giving the Annual Richard Dimbleby Lecture this evening. She will call for the establishment of a new public body to debate Internet issues which she has dubbed DOT EVERYONE and she has provided a blog preview of her proposal.

You can read her blog posting here.

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How do the ‘dabbawallas’ of Mumbai deliver more than 350,000 home-cooked lunches to office workers every working day?

March 30th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

I confess that I had never heard of the ‘dabbawallas’ of Mumbai until I read reviews of the 2013 Indian film “The Lunchbox” and only very recently did I manage to see the film [my review here]. So who are these ‘dabbawallas’ and how do they work?

“Mumbai’s committed contingent of 5,000 dabbawallas delivers over 350,000 lunches per day to office workers across the megacity. Typically the lunches are packed in stacked metal lunchboxes which lend this collection of culinary couriers their name: dabba = tiffin, container; walla = worker. Each tiffin is picked up at the client’s home, delivered to his office, and then returned, a trip during which it will typically pass through the hands of at least 12 dabbawallas across an elaborate zoning system. Somewhere in the middle—far away from the fast-paced delivery antics—a home-cooked lunch is enjoyed.”

This is the opening of a fascinating online article about the ‘dabbawalla’ system which you can read here.

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

A review of the book “Zone Of Crisis: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran And Iraq”

March 29th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

How much do you know about these four countries? You know that they are constantly in the news headlines and are deeply troubled states. but what are the root causes of these troubles and how well have local leaders and the international community tackled the issues?

Amin Saikal is an Afghan-born scholar of international affairs who has written an accessible and thoughtful book examining each of these four states. You may not read the book, but you can at least read my review of it here.

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British general election (7): if there is just one difference you need to understand

March 28th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“At the last general election, 12% of voters did not support Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem candidates: on average, in the polls during March this year, the number of respondents saying they intended to vote for other parties was 26%.”

This is a quote from a piece by David Cowling – someone I knew 45 years ago in student politics (we were both president of our students’ union), The theme of the article is how difficult it going to be for the pollsters to call the result of the coming General Election, now less than six weeks away.


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Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito acquitted of Meredith Kercher murder

March 28th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Like many people around the world, since the appalling murder of Londoner Meredith Kercher in 2007, I’ve read a lot about the case and followed the incredible twists and turns of the Italian judicial process. I never felt that the case against American Amanda Knox and Italian Raffaele Sollecito  was sound or fair and I was astonished when they were both convicted and later reconvicted. Three and a half years ago, I made my view clear in this blog posting.

So I am delighted that these two young people have now been acquitted and can start to put their lives back together, but I am so saddened that the family of Meredith Kercher still do not have the answers they want and deserve. The Italian judicial system – aided by a sensationalist and prejudiced media – has failed Knox & Sollecito and the Kercher family. The case needs to lead to some major revisions in police and court practices in Italy

The BBC website has some useful information here and the Knox campaign website is here.

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The mellow fruitfulness of Diana Krall

March 27th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

I always try to try out new films, books, or music and I know I’m coming very late to Canadian pianist and singer Diana Krall, but I saw her on a recent Jonathan Ross show and decided to buy her latest CD “Wallflower”. The songs are very familiar, but Krall’s interpretation is wonderfully soothing as I work on the computer.

Would you recommend some of her earlier work to me?

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My 3rd short story: “The Edge Of War”

March 27th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Continuing my Friday theme of highlighting one of my short stories, my third effort was deliberately different in style from my fist and second which equally were different from one another.

Although it is a work of fiction, it is set in a very particular time and place historically and inspired by the life of my late father-in-law who was a Czechoslovak fighter pilot during the Second World War.

The story is called “The Edge Of War” and you cash read it here.

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A review of the award-winning movie “Birdman”

March 26th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

It won four Academy Awards and was actually nominated for nine. You may well never see it; if you do see it, you may not like it; but it is a stunningly original piece of work.

You can read my review of “Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” here.

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Something to put things in perspective and cheer you up: how all life on Earth will come to an end

March 25th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

The BBC has helpfully provided an account of the most likely options here.

Now you know why we pay our licence fee.

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)