Archive for December, 2017

My 15 best films of 2017

December 31st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

As readers will know, I’m a massive movie fan and review all the films I see for this site. I’ve been encouraged to pick out my top ten movies of 2017. I find this so difficult, but I tried and came up with these 15 that I list simply in alphabetical order: “The Big Sick” […]

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Three of the most likely technological advances of 2018

December 31st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Professor Jim Al-Khalili is one of my favourite scientists – able to explain complex ideas in simple and accessible form, especially quantum physics. In today’s ‘Observer” colour supplement, he writes: “What about 2018? Surely the world won’t look too different? All I can say for certain is there are three technologies we’re going hear much […]

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Why sadly we’ll have to wait at least another year before President Trump can be impeached

December 30th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“In 2017 we saw with new clarity that the strength of the US constitution depends entirely on the willingness of those charged with enforcing it to do their duty. And today’s Republicans refuse to fulfil that obligation. They, like Trump, are without shame. This was a fatal oversight by Hamilton, James Madison and their fellow […]

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Why sadly we’ll have to wait at least another year for a Labour Government

December 29th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“The problem is that there is an obstacle: the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. This 2011 law says that, in order for there to be an election, the government has to lose a confidence vote or the prime minister has to persuade two-thirds of MPs to vote for one. Both are possible in theory in 2018, but not […]

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A review of the novel “The Rising Tide” by Prashant Vaze

December 28th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

These days, some young adult fiction is so good it should be read by adults themselves and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the the “His Dark Materials” trilogy by Philip Pullman and “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. “The Rising Tide” too will appeal to adults as well as youngsters. Like the previously mentioned trilogies, this […]

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A review of the 1946 film “A Matter Of Life And Death”

December 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

At the end of the Second World War, relations between the Americans and the British were a little strained as, in the run-up to D-Day, the yanks won local hearts while they were “overpaid, oversexed and over here” and a British Government department suggested the idea of a locally-made film to improve perceptions. Written, produced […]

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Would a universal basic income really work?

December 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

We need some new, big and bold, ideas to tackle poverty and inequality.  I have done an earlier posting about the intriguing idea of a universal basic income.  I don’t know if this approach would work but I think we should try it. There is a trial in Canada; there is a trial in Finland; […]

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So who exactly was Alexander Hamilton?

December 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This week, the multi-award-winning American musical “Hamilton” finally opened in London. But, until the success of the show on Broadway, most non-Americans knew nothing about Hamilton and I suspect that many Americans were not as familiar with his achievements as they should have been. I’ve just watched a recording of a two-hour American-made documentary on […]

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Nine questions raised by “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

December 22nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

If you haven’t yet seen the eighth movie in the “Star Wars” saga, you might want to skip this posting because it involves spoilers. But, if you’ve seen the film and came away with lots of questions, you’ll want to check out the IMDb list of nine questions arising from the plot. And, if you’re […]

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In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the shortest day of the year

December 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

It’s known as the Winter Solstice. The shortest day lasts for 7 hours 49 minutes and 41 seconds in London, UK, where I live. This day is 8 hours, 49 minutes shorter than the June Solstice. After this point, the days start getting longer and the nights shorter. Hurray! This information is taken from a fascinating piece […]

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