Archive for July, 2016

Don’t forget Hong Kong – the only place in China with anything like genuine elections

July 31st, 2016 by Roger Darlington

“On 4th September, sandwiched between the Brexit vote and the US elections, Hong Kongers have the opportunity to vote in the four yearly LegCo [Legislative Council] elections. Hong Kong’s democratic processes are a hangover from its colonial days – the first election took place in 1995 two years before handover. UK graciously offering HK a […]

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A review of “Seven Brief Lessons On Physics”

July 30th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

When I studied physics at school half a century ago, the universe was explained by the steady state theory but now the Big Bang theory is very much the consensus, while I was taught that there was nothing smaller than electrons, protons and neutrons but now we have discovered quarks, gluons, neutrinos and more. It’s […]

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Word of the day: indexical

July 29th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been reading a short, but fascinating, book titled “Seven Brief Lessons On Physics”. In the process, I came across a word which was new to me: indexical. I have learned that, in linguistics and in philosophy of language, an indexical behaviour or utterance points to (or indicates) some state of affairs. For example, ‘I’ […]

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A review of the new movie “Star Trek Beyond”

July 28th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Science fiction is one of my favourite movie genres, so I’m always going to catch an addition to the “Star Trek” franchise. This one is unoriginal but workmanlike, as explained in my review here.

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Depressed by the Brexit decision? Look at the bigger picture: we are entering a new Renaissance

July 27th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Many of my friends and colleagues are – like me – still shocked and saddened by the decision in the recent referendum that Britain should leave the European Union. But there has never been a better time in human history to be alive, as I have tried to explain in my most recent column on […]

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Question: when is a tall story not a tall story?

July 26th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Answer: when it’s about tallness but it’s true. “Men and women have grown taller over the last century, with South Korean women shooting up by more than 20cm (7.9in) on average, and Iranian men gaining 16.5 cm (6.5in). A comprehensive global study looked at the average height of 18-year old men and women in 200 […]

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Understanding the different branches of Islam

July 24th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

I have now attended two sessions of the City Lit course on “Global Political Islam’. Recently we have been looking at the various branches of the religious faith. Virtually from the beginning of Islam, there has been a major split. Unlike the divisions in the Christian world, the differences are not about theology and belief […]

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A review of the Japanese film classic “Ran”

July 23rd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Any serious film fan needs to see some of the classics, including some foreign ones. I’ve just caught up with the 1985 Japanese work “Ran” which I’ve reviewed here.

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U.S. presidential election (29): the vice-presidential candidates

July 23rd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have now chosen their Vice-Presidential running mates but, outside the United States, nobody has heard of them. So, who are they and why were they chosen? The Republican candidate Donald Trump has selected Mike Pence who is the governor of Indiana. He is socially conservative and has 12 years experience […]

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What happens when consumers complain?

July 22nd, 2016 by Roger Darlington

A new report from Citizens Advice examines the consumer journey, from the stage when consumers experience a problem and intend to launch a complaint, through the complaint process, until the problem is solved (or not) across a selection of consumer and public services markets. The report finds that about half of all consumers who took […]

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