Archive for July, 2006

The planet is boiling

July 26th, 2006 by Roger Darlington

This July has seen temperatures in the UK exceeed 30C day after day – a most unusual experience. But we are certainly not alone. United States Temperature hits 48.8C in South Dakota, 46C in California. Hundreds of thousands are left without power as air-conditioners overload the electricity grid. At least 10 suspected heat-related deaths are […]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (0)

What a piece of work is a man

July 26th, 2006 by Roger Darlington

At the moment, we have a Czech medical student staying with us for six weeks. He is 24 and has done five years of a six-year medicine degree at the University of Prague. He is spending six weeks with us while he works at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in central London. It’s great to […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (3)

How many post offices do we need?

July 25th, 2006 by Roger Darlington

The House of Commons rises for the summer recess today to start a 76-day break. Among the many issues with which the Government will have to grapple while MPs are away is the future role, size and funding of the Post Office network. The subject was examined last week by a special hearing of the […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

The massive threat of carousel fraud

July 24th, 2006 by Roger Darlington

You’ve probably never heard of it. But HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) reckon that it accounted for a record £7.4 billion of imports and exports in the first quarter of the current financial year . That represents a six-fold increase in a year. That means that this financial year the total losses to the Exchequer […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

What is YouTube?

July 23rd, 2006 by Roger Darlington

YouTube is a successful example of a site based totally on user-generated content – in this case, video clips. The site is now the 18th most popular in the world with 20 million visitors last month downloading 2.5 billion clips. Recently US television networks have changed their attitude to the site from hostility to co-operation.

Posted in Internet | Comments (0)

What is Second Life?

July 23rd, 2006 by Roger Darlington

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by over 345,000 people from around the globe. Currently it is growing at 12% a month and it is one of the most exciting social networking […]

Posted in Internet | Comments (0)

The Spanish civil war

July 22nd, 2006 by Roger Darlington

All war is brutal and terrible, but here is something especially bitter about civil war. This week marks the 70th anniversary of the commencement of the Spanish civil war – a three year conflict )1936-1939) in which between 300,000 and 1 million people were killed. A special feature of this war was the international involvement […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

Up the Poles

July 21st, 2006 by Roger Darlington

According to the “Guardian”, following Poland’s entry to the European Union, around one million Poles have come to work in Britain. There are two living in my street and our local Asian shops advert Polish foods. Today’s G2 supplement of the newspaper is devoted entirely to the phenomenon with one article actually in Polish. I […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Eliminating world poverty

July 20th, 2006 by Roger Darlington

The British Government’s Department for International Development has produced an excellent liitle booklet entitled “Eliminating world poverty”. You can obtain a copy by e-mailing or you can access the text online here The good news… * India lifts 12 million people out of poverty every year. * 75 million more children are in primary […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Summer in the city

July 19th, 2006 by Roger Darlington

For several weeks now, most of Britain has been expriencing exceptionally hot weather. Yesterday temperatures reached 33C (91F) across an area of central and southern England stretching from Hereford to Bedfordshire.Temperatures of 52C and 47C were recorded unofficially on London buses and the tube. As a result, I have abandoned my ususal jacket and tie […]

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