Archive for March, 2010

NightHawk on holiday

March 23rd, 2010 by Roger Darlington

There will be no postings on NightHawk for a while since I’m on holiday in China – but daily postings will be resumed shortly, so don’t stay away. While I’m away, you might like to browse through some of the 160 sections on my web site.

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (0)

“Yes we did”

March 22nd, 2010 by Roger Darlington

It’s terrific news that at long  last President Barack Obama has managed to win health care reform and extend coverage to some 32 million Americans.  But it was a close call won only after enormous effort and much compromise. Last night, the House of Representatives approved the bill passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

“When China Rules The World”

March 22nd, 2010 by Roger Darlington

I’m just about to start a trip to China and, in preparation, I’ve read a really excellent work: “When China Rules The World” written by Martin Jacques. You can read his summary of the main arguments here. You can read my review of the book here.

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

The Gini coefficient

March 21st, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Arguably nothing is more important in politics that inequalities in power and wealth. Power is hard to measure and wealth is often used as a kind of proxy measure. Now inequalities in wealth can be measured in many ways but a well-accepted instrument is the Gini coefficient . This is a measure of statistical dispersion […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Happy Iranian New Year

March 20th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

It’s the Iranian New Year and we celebrated it with Iranian friends here in London. The New Year celebrations go by many names, typically Nowruz meaning ‘new day’. The event is unrelated to Islam and indeed precedes it. We marked the occasion at the London flat of Iranian brother and sister Mehrdad and Manoosh, whom […]

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What’s the problem with GM food?

March 20th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Genetically modified (GM) tomato puree first appeared on British shelves back in 1996 without debate. Then, in in 1999, there was a controversial study – subsequently criticised by experts – which suggested that GM potatoes damaged the digestive tracts of laboratory rats.  Since then, we’ve had virtually no GM foods in Britain and protesters have […]

Posted in Consumer matters | Comments (0)

“I sat on Mao’s knee”

March 19th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Not me – a friend of mine. I’m off to China in a few days time and was talking about this trip to a friend today when she told me this fascinating little story. On 1 October 1959, China celebrated the 10th anniversary of its independence. At that time, my friend was a young girl […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

Medieval & Renaissance artefacts

March 18th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Today I revisited one of my favourite galleries in all the world: the Victoria & Albert Museum in my home city of London. I went to see the new Medieval & Renaissance Galleries – an absolute treasure trove of wonderful artefacts. Before and after this culture came eating at the Kensington Creperie: once for a […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (1)

50 days to General Election

March 17th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Here in the UK it’s exactly 50 days to the certain date of the General Election (Thursday 6 May 2010). Today I downloaded onto my iPhone the Labour Party election app. As well as information on Party policies and political news, apparently it is the first UK political app to allow Party supporters to quickly […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

Who gets the tip?

March 16th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Figures released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) show that nearly two thirds of adults who leave a tip (61%) don’t know where their money goes, with 95% expecting it to go to staff and not business owners. I always tip in cash so that I know that the staff will receive […]

Posted in Consumer matters | Comments (1)