Archive for April, 2013

Ever heard of the tuatara?

April 13th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

During our recent visit to New Zealand, we came across a creature that I had never heard of before: tuatara. It is a most unusual animal. It is rare and can be found only in New Zealand. It looks like a lizard but comes from a distinct lineage going back 200 years million which means […]

Posted in Environment | Comments (0)

TalkTalk still letting down its customers (1)

April 12th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Four years ago, I lost my Internet service for 10 days and blogged about the horrendous experience here. This week I fell into another black hole in cyberspace … My Internet service provider is TalkTalk which, ever since Ofcom has published comparative complaints data, has been an outlier with the worst record of any ISP.  The latest data […]

Posted in Internet, My life & thoughts | Comments (1)

How well treated are children in your country?

April 11th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

An important measure of how civilised is a country is how well that nation treats its most vulnerable citizens, its children. The UN agency UNICEF periodically publishes league tables on this issue. This week it has published its latest report. The key table – on the frst page of text – ranks 29 developed countries […]

Posted in American current affairs, British current affairs, World current affairs | Comments (0)

Would you outsource the naming of your baby?

April 10th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

I have an extensive essay on my web site about naming practices around the world which you can check out here. I recently received an e-mail from the United States responding to my essay. It said: “I found your blog when I was doing research on baby names. I work as an editor for BellyBallot […]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (4)

America’s health (dis)advantage

April 9th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

I have done a posting in the recent past about how America spends so much on healthcare and yet its citizens have such poor health outcomes compared to many other developed countries. My attention has now been drawn to a brilliant infographic which sets out these issues very clearly and identifies the major reasons why […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

One more view on Margaret Thatcher

April 9th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

In my time, I’ve met four British Prime Ministers. Given my politics, they were all Labour: Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. I never wanted to meet Margaret Thatcher. This was not just a matter of ideology, but also an issue of personality. While I accept that she modernised Britain in some important […]

Posted in British current affairs, History | Comments (1)

Comparing North and South Korea

April 8th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

The “Guardian” newspaper today has a fascinating comparison of North Korea and South Korea which you can see here. Two basic tests of how a government delivers for its citizens are the number of years you can expect to live and the standard of living you can expect to enjoy in those years. Life expectancy […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

My Thought For The Week

April 8th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Each weekend for more than 13  years, I have sent out an e-mail Thought For The Week to friends and colleagues. You can check out all the thoughts here. The lsit of recipients has grown and grown and, following my recent holiday in Australia & New Zealand, the circulation list has passed the 2,000 mark. […]

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The brutal reality of North Korea

April 6th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

Is North Korea trying to instigate a war or just attempting some kind of political gamesmanship? We know very little about how and why decisions are made at the top of this brutal and secretive dictatorship. Probably Kim Jong-un is inventing the myth of an imminent American invasion in order to distract his people from the poverty […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (2)

How many countries have you visited?

April 5th, 2013 by Roger Darlington

I have always believed the old adage that travel broadens the mind. I love visiting new countrires and experiencing new cultures because I learn so much. Our recent round the world trip has added three nations to my total, so that I have now visited 60. You can view the list – and a world […]

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