Archive for July, 2011

There must not be another Hama

July 31st, 2011 by Roger Darlington

The political protests in Syria came later than in most Arab countries but have now been running for almost five months. The demonstrations began within a matter of days of Vee and I leaving the country after a brief holiday. One of the places we visited briefly was the city of Hama (see here). This […]

Posted in My life & thoughts, World current affairs | Comments (0)

Why is the most powerful nation on earth powerless to resolve its debt crisis?

July 31st, 2011 by Roger Darlington

“The crisis is ostensibly about raising America’s debt ceiling from its present $14.3 trillion (£8.7tn). But in reality the crisis is not about the ceiling but a consequence of the polarisation of US politics that began under George W Bush and hardened with the arrival of Barack Obama in the White House and the birth […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

How political shifts have altered the map of Europe

July 30th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

With 21 European Union member states now under varying degrees of right-wing government, Europe has never been more blue. To see how its political complexion has changed in the 38 years since Britain joined the EEC, click on this interactive map produced by the “Guardian”.

Posted in History, World current affairs | Comments (2)

A review of “Of Gods And Men”

July 30th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I don’t see that many foreign films but this French-language work was recommended to me and is well-worth viewing.  I’ve reviewed it here.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

A review of “The Social Animal”

July 29th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I’ve just finished reading a fascinating book about how people behave and how they achieve success. You can read my review of “The Social Animal” by David Brooks here.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Whose afraid of the cookie monster?

July 28th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I’m not talking here about what we in Britain call biscuits, but about bits of data which are stored on your computer when you visit certain web sites and are used when you revisit those sites  – see more information here. The use of cookies has been in the news recently because of a European […]

Posted in Internet | Comments (0)

39 stops on the London Underground

July 27th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

The London Underground system – popularly known as the Tube – is the oldest in the world (it opened in 1863) and the second largest in the world (only Shanghai is larger). Today I made one of the longest tube journeys of my life by travelling from Sudbury Hill on the Piccadilly Line to Hornchurch […]

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Exactly one year to the London Olympics

July 27th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

In exactly one year’s time, the 2012 Olympic Games will open in London. Essentially all the buildings are ready, but of course much more planning needs to take place. Today various special events will be held to mark the occasion. I have volunteered to be a London Ambassador for the Games, providing advice and guidance […]

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Word of the day: limerence

July 26th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

This is a word which was invented quite recently. It was coined about 1977 by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov. According to the Wikipedia page, it describes “an involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction for another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated”. Madly in […]

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How we are treating the sick and disabled

July 25th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Three months or so ago, I did a posting about how I had accompanied a good friend of mine with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to an interview as part of a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) because he had applied for the new Employment & Support Allowance (ESA). He was refused the ESA, he appealed, and […]

Posted in British current affairs, Social policy | Comments (0)