Archive for January, 2016

Why were the opinion polls so wrong in predicting the result of the British General Election of May 2015?

January 20th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

This week, a report by Professor John Curtice for research agency NatCen was published which essentially concluded that the pollsters failed to obtain a genuinely random sample. As a result, they underestimated support for the Conservative Party. The problem is that some voters are easier to contact than others. Those who are easier to contact […]

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

A review of the new movie “Creed”

January 19th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

This is the seventh film in the “Rocky” franchise but it’s not called “Rocky VII” for a reason. Stallone is far too old to portray a top-class boxer so we have a re-invention of the franchise with a new young, African-American star in the eponymous role. It is surprisingly good and you can read my […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

How many of the world’s richest people have the same wealth as half of the globe’s total population?

January 18th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Oxfam has calculated that: In 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people – the bottom half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010. The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44% in the five years since 2010 – that’s an increase […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

My review of an excellent new book on international politics

January 17th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

I’m a bit of a news junkie and am fascinated by national and international politics. However, so much reporting of current affairs lacks context. One needs to know something of the history and geography of a nation or region to make real sense of what is happening today. British journalist Tim Marshall has written an […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (2)

How good is the quality of your water?

January 16th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

This week, in my capacity as Chair of the South East Water Customer Panel, together with other Panel colleagues, I visited one of the company’s water treatment works at Bewl in Kent to learn more about how water is treated before it is of the right quality for customers. Many customers think that running a […]

Posted in Consumer matters, My life & thoughts | Comments (0)

Is Wikipedia the best site on the web?

January 15th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

This was the title of a column that I wrote eight years ago. At the time, Wikipedia had 8 million articles in more than 250 languages. The amazing site is 15 years old this week and now has over 38 million articles, over 5 million articles in English alone. I use it all the time as […]

Posted in Internet | Comments (0)

How to remember things

January 15th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

After a break for the Christmas/New Year period, I return to my Friday postings of advice from the Life Skills section of my web site. Do you ever have trouble remembering things? If so, you might like to learn about some techniques for remembering different information. You can check out the various techniques here.

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (0)

This year’s Academy Award nominations and the films that I have seen

January 14th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

America’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced this year’s nominations for what are popularly known as the Oscars. As usual, a small number of films has attracted a large number of nominations, so the top eight movies have garnered no less than 57 of the nominations. I have seen five of these eight works […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

“Keep calm and carry on” – the true story of this wartime campaign

January 14th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

For years now that very British exhortation “Keep calm and carry on”, in its original wartime text or in multifarious variations, has been ubiquitous – on posters, mugs, tea towels and so on. But just how commonplace was the advice in the Second World War when it originated? A letter in today’s “Guardian” newspaper has […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

U.S. presidential election (16): is Ted Cruz eligible to be America’s president?

January 13th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Oh, the irony of it: after all those stupid Republican birther claims that Barack Obama was not eligible to become President of the United States, there is now a discussion – mainly in Republican circles – about whether Ted Cruz, a serious candidate for the Republican nomination, is actually a US citizen and therefore eligible […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (1)