Archive for August, 2014


Can you name 10 famous Belgians?

August 31st, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Vee  and I are spending a few days this week on a short break in Antwerp in the northern (Flemish) part of Belgium. Our guide book offers the following 10 famous Belgians: Gerard Mercator  (1512-1594) – the inventor of the Mercator projection to represent the spherical globe on a flat page. Georges Simeon (1903-1989)- the […]

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Reviews of two recent Scarlett Johansson movies

August 31st, 2014 by Roger Darlington

The first is “Under the Skin” which I’ve reviewed here. The second is “Lucy” which I’ve reviewed here. Johansson is a fine actress whom I have now seen in 11 films.

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Word of the day: lambent

August 30th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Lambent means softly bright or radiant or dealing lightly and gracefully with a subject or running or moving lightly over a surface. The adjective seems to be a favourite of the American author Lionel Shriver because she uses it several times in her novel “The Post-Birthday World” which I have just read.

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A review of the novel “The Post-Birthday World”

August 30th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

I’ve just finished my first novel by Lionel Shriver – thanks to a gift from my sister. It’s “The Post-Birthday World” and you can read my review here.

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Conversations with Catrin (19)

August 29th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

My granddaughter Catrin is now more than three and a half years old. ***** She is very well-behaved but still assertive. C: “I do what I want to do.” [That’s what you think, sweetheart.] ***** She is very imaginative and loves play acting. C: “My baby is lost in the storm. You have to search […]

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Now that the Israel/Gaza war is over (for a time), what did it cost and what did it actually achieve?

August 28th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

After the collapse of at least eight temporary ceasefires, it looks as the ‘permanent’ ceasefire between the Israeli Defence Force and Hamas is holding. So it is time to take stock of the consequences of the 50-day conflict. What was the cost? In Gaza, more than 2,100 were killed, most of them civilians, including about […]

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10 pictures of the most colourful places on Earth

August 27th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

The world is full of landscapes that are so surreal, and so intensely coloured, that it’s hard to believe they really exist. Take a look at some of the strangest, and most vibrant, views in the world here.

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Should Scotland become an independent state?

August 26th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

Last night, I spent one and a half hours watching a televised debate on the future of Scotland and the referendum on Scottish independence to be held on 18 September. The debate was between Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling. It was the second and last of […]

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We have a rule in Britain …

August 25th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

…  If it’s a Bank Holiday, it has to rain. It’s almost a law of physics. Today it’s a Bank Holiday in Britain and – guess what? – it’s raining (hard). I feel particularly sorry for all those involved in the Notting Hill Carnival here in London which is due to have its busiest day […]

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The price we pay for a free web

August 24th, 2014 by Roger Darlington

“The business model of the internet is surveillance. We build systems that spy on people in exchange for services. Corporations call it marketing.” This is a quote from security guru Bruce Schneider in a column by John Naughton in today’s “Observer” newspaper. It is the explanation of how web services can be ‘free’ and the […]

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