Archive for December, 2008

Byzantium 330-1453

December 23rd, 2008 by Roger Darlington

This week, I managed to visit the Royal Academy in central London see the exhibition on Byzantium 330-1453 which opened on 25 October 2008 and runs until 22 March 2009. This is a fabulous exhibition which spans a period of over 1,000 years from 330, when the Emperor Constantine consecrated his new capital, to 1453, […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

“Guns, Germs And Steel”

December 22nd, 2008 by Roger Darlington

I’ve just started watching the television series “Guns, Germs And Steel”. In fact, this series was first broadcast in 2005 and it is based on a book published in 1998. The presenter of the series and the author of the book is American academic Jared Diamond. Jarrod seeks to explain the whole history of civilisation […]

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Try this Christmas quiz

December 21st, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Two of my very clever friends scored 25/30 but I confess that I only managed 19/30. Try it yourself here.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (1)

Our new roof (6)

December 21st, 2008 by Roger Darlington

When I did my first posting on our new roof, I said that I’d been told that it would take three-four weeks. Six weeks later, the scaffolding was finally removed this morning – just in time for Christmas. The roofers that Derek (Vee’s brother-in-law) appointed did a first class job and then went on to […]

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (3)

The end of the Red Army Faction

December 20th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

This week, I’ve seen the impressive German film “The Baader-Meinhof Complex” [my review here]. This week too has seen the release of a notorious member of the group called Christian Klar after 26 years in prison. The Red Army Faction or RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion in German) – in its early stages commonly known as […]

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US Senate race still not over

December 20th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

We still don’t know the actual composition of the United States Senate that will face President-elect Obama for the next two years. There’s been a lot of publicity about the choices to be made to replace Barack Obama (Jesse Jackson Jr?) and Hillary Clinton (Caroline Kennedy?), with a stench of scandal surrounding the first and […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

How many words in English?

December 19th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

I’m fascinated by the English language – partly because it’s the only one I speak and partly because so many other people around the world speak it. Two books that I’ve enjoyed reading are “English As A Global Language” [my review here] and “Mother Tongue” [my review here]. According to “The Secret Life Of Words” […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (5)

Could the Second World War have ended sooner?

December 18th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

I’ve just finished watching the excellent television series “World War Two: Behind Closed Doors”. This series has explored the relationships between Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, using new information from Russian records and interviewees. Stalin is confirmed as a brutal and manipulative mass killer. However, his paranoia was fuelled by his belief that […]

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Was the IWF right on the Wikipedia issue?

December 17th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

In the last few weeks, the Internet Watch Foundation – which I chaired for the six years 2000-2005 – has been in the centre of a storm over its decision to put on a blacklist a page on Wikipedia which contained an image which it judged to be potentially illegal. The most thoughtful piece that […]

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Post early for Christmas

December 15th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

During my two and a half years on the Postwatch Council, I did no less than 66 media interviews. I’m now on the Board of Consumer Focus – which took over Postwatch at the beginning of October – and this morning I did my first media interview for them. It was a live interview at […]

Posted in Consumer matters | Comments (0)