Archive for March, 2014

All aspects of food security to be impacted by climate change insists latest UN expert report

March 31st, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Following a review of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies claimed to be  “the most solid evidence you can get in any scientific discipline”, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has produced a new report endorsed by officials from 115 countries. You can read the BBC coverage of the report here. One aspect of […]

Posted in Environment | Comments (0)

A review of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

March 30th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

I love films and one of my favourite genres is the superhero movie. I liked “Captain America: The First Avenger” [my review here] and this weekend I enjoyed even more “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” [my review here].

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Why did the Black Death spread so quickly?

March 30th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

In the 14th century the Black Death ravaged Asia and Europe, killing up to 200 million in total, including around 60% of the population of London. It has long been assumed that the disease spread so quickly because of rats, but new evidence unearthed in London now suggests that it was an air-borne disease. So […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

Sometimes it’s a good idea to revisit an old film: “Salvador”

March 29th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

I’m a big movie fan and I’ve put hundreds of film reviews on my web site here. But I don’t see the same film more than once very often because there are so many other movies that I want to view. However, this weekend, I rented a film that I first saw in the cinema 27 […]

Posted in Cultural issues, History | Comments (0)

Catching up with Catrin

March 29th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

As regular visitors to this blog will know, i usually try to see my adorable three year old granddaughter Catrin once a week. Here’s a couple of photos from our delightful time together this week. Catrin attempts to set a new world record for how much frozen yoghurt one can get into the standard cup. […]

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (0)

What now for consumer representation in the UK?

March 28th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

As I explained in this posting, Consumer Futures – formerly Consumer Focus – is about to transfer to Citizens Advice. The organisation has put together a short document to capture the essence of its time as Consumer Focus and Consumer Futures, so that it is on record for future interested parties and as a handover […]

Posted in Consumer matters | Comments (0)

How a decent level of welfare can actually promote economic growth

March 28th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

“There is no general correlation between the size of the welfare state and the growth performance of an economy. To cite a rather striking example, despite having a welfare state that is 50% bigger than that of the US (29.4% of GDP as against 19.2% of GDP in the US, in 2009), Finland has grown […]

Posted in Social policy | Comments (0)

How BIG is the solar system?

March 27th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

The short answer is: it is larger than you thought – and even astronomers are having to recalibrate their estimates. The solar system consists of the four inner planets (including our own), the asteroid belt, the four outer planets (or five if you count Pluto),  and then the Kuiper Belt and probably the Oort Cloud. But […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

How will the crisis over Crimea ‘end’?

March 26th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

“We know where this is likely to end. We will accept Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea. Sanctions will be quietly dismantled, Moscow will reassure Kiev with a deal on neutrality. Nato will agree no further eastward expansion. The G7 will again become G8; and Crimea will join Tibet, Kosovo, East Timor, Chechnya, Georgia and other territorial interventions […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

The end of the dream that was Consumer Focus

March 25th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

At the time of the last Labour Government, there was a grand project to pull together all the statutory consumer bodies – most representing consumers in a particular regulated sector – into one integrated consumer voice.  Ofcom resisted the inclusion of its newly-formed Consumer Panel, the Department of Transport kept Passenger Focus outside the scheme, […]

Posted in Consumer matters | Comments (0)