Archive for November, 2009

The Tamil script

November 30th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

I’m current writing a short story which involves a language or script with hundreds of symbols or letters. This may seen very odd to English speakers since the English alphabet is only 26 letters. But, on a recent cab ride, my Tamil driver told me that his language has 247 characters. Hard to believe? Check […]

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3D comes to discoland

November 30th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

If you’re a lot younger than me, perhaps you go to discos, in which case you may know that the coolest thing around just now is the experience offered by 3D glasses. In the UK, they’ve been developed by the North East’s Novak collective. To obtain a hint of what’s involved, go here, click on […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

Will Pakistan fail?

November 29th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

Since India and Pakistan obtained independence from Britain in 1947, India has managed to remain a vibrant, if flawed, democracy, whereas Pakistan lost its eastern section (now Bangladesh) and is in real danger of becoming a failed state. No elected civilian government has ever survived a full term and the all-powerful military posses the nuclear […]

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Listening to Souad Massi

November 28th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

When I was on holiday in Iran, I bought some local music and I’ve done a posting about the musician in question. I like to listen to music from around the world and am always open to recommendations. A member of the British group visiting Iran told me about a singer called Souad Massi of […]

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Iranian repression (1): Shirin Ebadi

November 27th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

Shirin Ebadi is the first Muslim women to be awarded a Nobel Prize, winning it for peace in 2003. She has been away from Iran since travelling to Spain for a conference the day before the disputed 12 June presidential election, but she still intends to return. Meanwhile her husband has been beaten and her […]

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Iranian repression (2): Maziar Bahari

November 27th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

For 118 days, 12 hours, 54 minutes, Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari was detained, interrogated and beaten in Tehran’s notorious Evin prisoner where he was accused of spying for the CIA, MI6, Mossad and “Newsweek”. He is now in London with his wife and newborn daughter, but the Revolutionary Guards have threatened to track him down […]

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Proof of evolution – the laryngial nerve

November 26th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

This clip from a recent Channel 4 programme is fascinating:

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Word of the day: gyre

November 24th, 2009 by Roger Darlington

An oceanic gyre is any large-scale system of rotating ocean currents – a fuller definition in this page from Wikipedia. Apparently, around the globe, there are five huge gyres that contain accumulated rubbish from the oceans in what represents an environmental disaster – more information in this article from the “New York Times”.

Posted in Environment | Comments (0)

What sort of personality are you?

November 23rd, 2009 by Roger Darlington

There’s a test here. I haven’t done it yet. Apparently it takes 20 minutes and I have work i have to do first. But let me know how you get on. Footnote (24/11/09): I’ve done the test now. I scored high for openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, and agreeableness and medium for neuroticism. Looks like I need […]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (2)

Can Labour win?

November 22nd, 2009 by Roger Darlington

Here in the UK, there has to be a General Election in the next seven months. The most likely date is Thursday 6 May 2010 when we have local elections. Labour will be defending its record in office of 13 years. Can it win a fourth term? Sadly I think not. But it may be […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (1)