Archive for September, 2017


The most popular first names in Britain today

September 24th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just issued its annual data for the names chosen last year for boys and girls born in England and Wales. I always use this material to update my comprehensive essay on naming practices all around the world. You can check out the section on British first names here. […]

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What is this thing we call a nation?

September 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Recently, we have been commemorating the 70th anniversary of India achieving independence from Britain which, at the last moment, resulted in the creation of Pakistan as well as India and subsequently – following a civil war – to the creation of another nation state Bangladesh. I have just returned from a short trip to Georgia. […]

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Election. election, referendum, referendum

September 22nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

There are a lot of interesting polls going on around the world just now. Tomorrow (Saturday), there is a general election in New Zealand and the next day (Sunday) there is a federal election in Germany.  In both cases, the incumbent party is a Right of Centre one: the National Party in NZ and the […]

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“Brexit: Implications for Digital Citizens and Consumers”

September 20th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This paper, published today and written for the Carnegie Trust by William Perrin, a fellow Board member of the Good Things Foundation, considers both the potential risks and opportunities Brexit brings digital citizens and consumers in the UK. Specifically, it explores: the regulation of the digital sector and telecommunications market; mobile roaming; data privacy and […]

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A review of “Reality Is Not What It Seems” by Carlo Rovelli

September 19th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli seems to have replaced British academic Stephen Hawking as the foremost exponent of the latest thinking on basic physics in terms which are generally accessible to a non-specialist readership. For those of us who access Rovelli’s work in English, his first popular work was “Seven Brief Lessons On Physics”, but […]

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A short guide to comparative religions

September 18th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Taoism Shit happens. Confucianism Confucius say, “Shit happens.” Buddhism If shit happens, it isn’t really shit. Zen Buddhism What is the sound of shit happening? Hinduism This shit happened before. Mormonism This shit is going to happen again. Islam If shit happens, it is the Will of Allah. Stoicism This shit is its own reward. […]

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Visit to Georgia (5): Sighnaghi

September 16th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Our third day in Georgia was full of more new experiences. Most of our group took a day trip east of Tbilisi out to the Kakheti region which is the wine-growing district of the country. It was another day of 33F/91F. Our guide was Lasha who had studied at King’s College in London and sported […]

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Visit to Georgia (4): Gori

September 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Another day in Georgia and another set of fascinating experiences. Five of us – Silvia and I plus Jim, Leslie and David – hired a car to take us to Gori. This is about 80 km (50 miles) north-west of Tbilisi and around an hour’s drive if (as proved to be the case) your driver […]

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Visit to Georgia (3): Tbilisi

September 14th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Our first day in Georgia was very enjoyable indeed. We are all staying at the Mirabelle Hotel, a small place of just 14 rooms located very centrally on the north side of the river and very close to the imposing, new Sameba Cathedral (built 1995-2004). The group – all friends of Eric and Cindy – […]

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Visit to Georgia (2): the journey out

September 13th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The journey from London to Tblisi took all day, partly because there are almost no direct flights between the two capitals and partly because there is a three hour time difference between them. So we left home at 7.30 am London time and arrived at our hotel in Tbilisi at 1 am local time. The […]

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