Archive for October, 2017

What do you know about the Republic of Salo?

October 19th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading a novel by Martin Cruz Smith titled “The Girl From Venice”. It is set in northern Italian at the end of the Second World War and some of the action takes place in Salo. The relevant Wikipedia page opens as follows: “The Italian Social Republic, informally known as the Republic of Salò, […]

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Albert Einstein vs Philipp Lenard: a clash of intellectual titans

October 18th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been watching recordings of the 10-part National Geographic television series called “Genius” which is a fascinating presentation of the life of the brilliant scientist Albert Einstein. A theme of the series is just how human Einstein was in his problems with family, friends and colleagues. Scientists may be incredibly intelligent but they can be subject […]

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The great storm in south-east England in 1987

October 16th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Thirty years ago today, a great storm unexpectedly hit the south-east of England (coincidentally a similar storm is hitting Ireland today and Scotland tomorrow). I’ve kept a daily diary since I was 13 (I’m now 69) and I’ve looked up what I wrote for Friday, 16 October 1987: “I was awakened about 4.30 am by […]

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A review of the new film “The Party”

October 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This black comedy is a British oddity of a film in so many respects: written by a woman (Sally Potter), directed by a woman (the same Potter), as many female roles as male (actually one more out of seven), shot in black and white, located wholly on the ground floor of a London house, told […]

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A fascinating course on the rise of social movements

October 14th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Today I attended a one-day course on social movements held at London’s City Lit college. Social movements have a long history around the world, but over the past few years we have seen a significant rise. The day provided an opportunity to hear about, explore and discuss some of the key ideas of contemporary social […]

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Assessing the risk factors for dementia

October 13th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Over the years, I’ve taken part in a number of health studies and trials. I like to contribute to the overall health of the nation and it does me no harm to be regularly checked across various health dimensions. I’ve now been invited to participate in a new trial to assess the risk factors associated […]

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A review of the recent film “A United Kingdom”

October 12th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This film is based on a fascinating story – both political and romantic – of which I was previously totally unaware. Tne kingdom in question is not Britain today but Bechuanaland (modern day Botswana) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The unlikely romance was between the black lawyer who is a prince, Seretse Khama […]

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My congratulations to Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler

October 10th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

US economist Richard Thaler, one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, has won this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics. Professor Thaler, of Chicago Booth business school, co-wrote the global best seller “Nudge”, which looked at how people make choices. To mark the award, I reproduce below my review of his seminal book. ************************************************************** “Nudge” […]

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My weekend films: the rather different “Blade Runner 2049” and “The Lego Ninjago Movie”

October 9th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“Blade Runner 2049” You really need to have seen the original 1982 “Blade Runner” to appreciate this long-delayed sequel because the new film is not a self-contained story but – and all the more satisfying for being so – a clever development of the earlier narrative. For this, we must thank Hampton Fancher, the co-writer […]

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Young people communicating less by post

October 9th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

A poll of 2,000 people finds 43% of millennials (those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) have never sent a handwritten letter, thank you card or parcel to someone they know. However, 80% are sad that these are not sent as much anymore, according to the research which was carried out for ipostparcels […]

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