Archive for April, 2014

That zip wire fiction burn three months later

April 30th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

It’s now exactly three months since I suffered quite a severe zip wire friction burn in Costa Rica at the beginning of a three-week holiday to five Central America countries. You can read an account of the zip wire ride and see a photograph of my injury here. Since then, the wound has healed well […]

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Do we really live in “this grumpy democracy where everyone has a voice”?

April 30th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Recently, I was a speaker at a breakfast seminar organised by the Westbourne Communications agency in central London. The title of the session was “Stakeholder Challenge And Influence: Lessons For The Utilities Industry”. I was invited in my capacity as the Chair of the Customer Challenge Group at South East Water to talk about different […]

Posted in British current affairs, Consumer matters, Internet | Comments (0)

What do I think about Scottish independence?

April 29th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

This question was recently put to me by an online friend in Australia. I responded briefly as follows: I’m a democrat so, if Scotland wants independence, I accept that. But I hope that the Scots vote to remain in the United Kingdom with a fresh look at how much power can be devolved to the […]

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Who was the first man to assess accurately the age of the Earth? Who was the leading campaigner against lead in petrol?

April 28th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Actually it was the same guy: the brilliant American geochemist Clair Patterson (1922-1995). Patterson’s estimate in 1953 of the age of the Earth was 4.550 billion years (give or take 70 million years). This number still stands although the margin of error is now down to about 20 million years. Patterson was the most prominent scientist […]

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The road to democracy in Britain has been long and troubled – and the Great Reform Bill of 1832 was one of the greatest battles

April 27th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Many in Britain take our democracy for granted, not appreciating how hard to was to win and how long the battles took. It is no wonder that countries like Afghanistan and Iraq find that creating a democracy from scratch is exceptionally difficult. I have just finished an immensely readable account of the extended political campaigning […]

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Time for an up-date of what I am doing in my ever-changing portfolio career

April 26th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

For the last 14 years, I have been a portfolio worker, holding a mix of appointments, some paid and some unpaid, all to do with consumers, most to do with communications. The composition of my portfolio regularly changes as appointments cease or new ones start, so it is not surprising that even my family, let […]

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Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah have reached a new accord – but what’s the difference?

April 26th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

The “Guardian” has this brief comparison: Hamas Founded 1987 as offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt by a group in Gaza including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, later assassinated by Israel. Military wing is the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades. Its founding charter committed to the destruction of Israel and the founding of a state based on Islamist values. […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Why citizens and consumers often need a nudge

April 25th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

In 2008, a book was published which proved seminal in discussions about how people make decisions and how they can be encouraged to make better decisions. It was called “Nudge” and written by two American academics called Richard H Thaler & Cass R Sunstein.  I have reviewed the work here. Today Sunstein has an article in the […]

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Is this the best action movie ever made?

April 25th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

I refer to the Indonesian martial arts film “The Raid 2” which I have reviewed here.

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Please support Martha Lane Fox’s Mad May March

April 24th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

I have heard Martha Lane Fox speak many times and met her several times, mostly in the context of our joint passion for promoting digital inclusion, and she is am amazing woman. She is about to do a charity walk as she explains here: “On May 2nd, it will be ten years since I broke […]

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