Archive for April, 2013

The rise and rise and rise of CO2 in our atmosphere (1)

April 30th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere have been rising inexorably for the last two hundred years. At the start of the industrial revolution, CO2 was around 280 parts per million (ppm) of the atmosphere. Sometime in the next few weeks, that level could pass the 400 ppm mark – see report here. Global […]

Posted in Environment | Comments (2)

How long does it take to form a new government?

April 29th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Of course, it depends on the country and it depends on the circumstances. At one extreme, normally a British General Election is held on a Thursday and, in the course of the following day, a new Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen and immediately starts to appoint a ministerial team. At the other extreme, […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Why is crime falling? Here’s 15 possible reasons.

April 28th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Earlier this week, I did a posting about the dramatically falling levels of most crimes across many developed countries. I explained that nobody was sure of the explanation. In today’s “Observer” newspaper, political columnist Andrew Rawnsley devotes his weekly piece to the subject and floats no less than 15 possible reasons: The reduction of lead […]

Posted in Social policy | Comments (5)

A review of the new sci-fi movie “Oblivion”

April 27th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

I think that Tom Cruise is attracted to a type of science fiction movie because of the very odd sci-fi dimension to his religion Scientology. However, I doubt that “Oblivion” will do a lot for his career. You can read my review here.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Your protest in support of Bangladeshi textile workers

April 26th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Hundreds of garment workers were killed and injured when an 8 story building housing five textile factories collapsed on 24 April. Large structural cracks appeared in the Rana Plaza the day before and an evacuation order was given. The building and factory owners ignored the warning and insisted work continue hours before the building collapsed. […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

At last, some good news: crime is falling

April 26th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Although I said “at last”, in fact crime has been falling – in both the UK and many other developed nations – for decades and I last blogged about this fascinating, and welcome, trend, about a year ago here. This week, we have the news that, in England & Wales last year, crime again fell, regardless […]

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

The need to test claims – or else

April 23rd, 2013 by Roger Darlington

All the time, people are making claims that are not challenged and tested. Sometimes the results can have life and death consequences, as revealed in this astonishing story of how fake bomb detectors were sold in strife-ridden Iraq. It is outrageous that someone should sell a device intended to save lives knowing that they did […]

Posted in British current affairs, Science & technology | Comments (0)

My seven choices from the Man Booker Prize

April 23rd, 2013 by Roger Darlington

The Man Booker Prize has now been running for over 40 years and I have read seven of the winners. You can see the full list here. Two of them are novels by Hilary Mantel, the latest being “Bring Up The Bodies” which I read on holiday recently – see my review here.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Somewhere in a quiet Belgian square …

April 22nd, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (0)

The North Korean spy who blew up a plane

April 22nd, 2013 by Roger Darlington

In the current climate of international tension between North Korea and most of the rest of the world, it is no bad thing to be reminded of the true nature of this regime. Today the BBC web site publishes this remarkable story of outright terrorism in 1987. Of course, North Korea is more than capable […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)