Archive for February, 2011

“And the winner is …” (1)

February 14th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

As a massive movie fan, I spent a happy couple of hours last night watching the BBC coverage of this year’s British Academy film awards. You can see the full list of BAFTA nominations and winners here. I’m pleased to say that I’ve seen – and thoroughly enjoyed – the films that took the majority […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (1)

Tony Blair’s “A Journey” (4)

February 12th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I continue to read “A Journey” by Tony Blair. Of course, the most memorable feature of his premiership was Britain joining with the United States in the invasion of Iraq. Blair devotes over 100 pages of the 700-page volume to the Iraq war. There are no new facts or revelations because there was no cover-up […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (1)

AV or not AV? That is the question

February 11th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

In the British House of Commons, there are 650 members elected by the ‘first past the post’ system. How many do you think obtain more than 50% of the votes cast? Well, the answer is only 270. If we change the voting system to the alternative vote (AV), every Member of Parliament will need at […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (1)

Baby Catrin: progress report (2)

February 10th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

It’s Day 25 in the young life of my beautiful granddaughter Catrin and I saw her for the fifth time today. Her mum Emily had to attend a Board meeting so her dad Richard looked after her in a nearby cafe. After my Consumer Focus Board meeting, I took a taxi to the cafe and […]

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (8)

The largest empires in history

February 10th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I continue to enjoy my evening class in International Relations led by our lecturer Dr Dale Mineshima-Lowe. Last week, we looked at India and Pakistan and this week we discussed Russia. We were told that the old Russian  empire was the third largest in history. But: which was the first and which was the second? […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

Teaching evolution in American schools

February 9th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

In this fascinating blog posting, it is highlighted that: In the United States, only 28% of biology teachers consistently teach the principles of evolution as recommended by the US National Research Council Of 34 advanced nations, only Turkey has a lower proportion than the USA of people who reject the notion of evolution An understanding […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

Thinking of visiting India?

February 8th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

In 2003, we had a great trip to India, made particularly enjoyable by our wonderful guide Hamid Shah, We’ve kept in touch with Hamid and are delighted to hear that he has just formed his own travel company Indus India Travels. So, if you ever think of visiting India (and it is a marvellous experience), […]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (2)

What’s wrong with multiculturalism?

February 7th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Last weekend in Munich, British Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech in which he pronounced: “Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream.  We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

Watching “The Promise”

February 7th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

This evening, I watched the first of a four-part, seven and a half hour drama on the Arab-Israeli conflict called “The Promise” and broadcast on Channel 4. It is written and directed by Peter Kosminsky. A couple of weeks ago, the “Observer” had a good article on the making of the series. It concludes: “Whatever […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Happy Chinese New Year (2)

February 6th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

As I explained would be the case in an earlier posting, today Vee and I joined our wonderful Chinese ‘family’ – Zhihao, Hua and Joshua (almost 4) – in celebration of the Chinese New Year in central London. We were in Trafalgar Square for the noon explosion of hundreds and hundreds of firecrackers,  but there […]

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