Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category


36 once-popular names that have fallen very much out fashion

April 7th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Online resource BabyCentre has compiled a list of 36 once-popular names that are yet to be registered on its database in 2017. Of course, this is not a statistically accurate sample of the whole baby population in the UK, but it’s probably quite a good indication of some broad trends. These are the names that […]

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Happy April Fools’s Day

April 1st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

in the age of Trump and fake news, it’s getting harder to work out what is genuinely an April Fool’s Day story and what is just bizarre reality. The BBC has a compilation of recent stories that seem crazy but are true. I’m pretty sure that this story in this morning’s “Guardian” newspaper is their […]

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An existential question for the 21st century: how do you change the duvet cover?

March 30th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

You’d think that duvet covers would have openings on two sides to make it easier to change, but that would be too simple. Instead we have to struggle, but you can find some – not entirely serious – advice here.

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How should you make moral decisions?

March 28th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to […]

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Welcome to International Happiness Day

March 20th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The International Day of Happiness (known as Happiness Day) is celebrated throughout the world on the 20th March. This Happiness Day was founded by United Nations adviser Jayme Illien on 28th June 2012, when all 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted UN resolution 66/281 The International Day of Happiness. As […]

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Mindfulness – and the reason for the raisin

March 11th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

A friend of my mine has become a trainer in mindfulness and wanted to try out a session with me. One of the exercises she used involved a raisin as explained in this short video: The experience was strangely peaceful but a bit weird.

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How important is the birth order of children?

February 10th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

It is widely believed and indeed evidenced that first-born children are generally more successful educationally and professionally.  I am a first-born of three and have a younger sister and a younger brother. Of course, this is anecdote and not evidence, but, while I was the first person in my family to go to university, in […]

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Where the heck is Matt Harding now?

November 4th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

I love the videos created by American traveller Matt Harding. This is his latest:

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Ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

October 29th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

The Dunning-Kruger effect is defined as “a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is”. The phenomenon was first observed in a series of experiments by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of the department of psychology at Cornell University in 1999. Policial commentators […]

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From Moscow to Mexico: a father-and-son’s 2,000 mile voyage by bicycle from northern Idaho to the Mexican border

September 22nd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

A colleague of mine has just done something remarkable. Together with his teenage son, he raised over £5,000 for the cancer charity Macmillan by cycling some 2,000 miles in the United States over a period of seven weeks. I made a small contribution to the cause which which is why I followed the journey on […]

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