Archive for May, 2018

Northern Ireland: 1968 and now

May 31st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

1968 was a momentous year around the world and there are all sorts of events marking its 50th anniversary. So, earlier this week, I was at the British Library in London for a talk sponsored by the Political Studies Association when the speaker was Bernadette McAliskey (nee Devlin).  She came to fame with the outbreak […]

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What is the secret of health and happiness?

May 30th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“For some, eating alone can be a joyous thing: forking mouthfuls of pasta straight from the pan, peanut butter licked off a spoon, the unbridled pleasure of walking home from the chippie alone on a cold night. But regularly eating meals in isolation is a different story. This one factor is more strongly associated with […]

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A review of the movie “Hidden Figures” and the story of three remarkable African-American women

May 29th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In some ways, “Hidden Figures” (2016) is a (belated) companion piece to “THe Right Stuff” (1983). Both tell the story of the herculean effort by the United States – which failed – to beat the Soviet Union to put a man in space. Whereas “The Right Stuff” focused on the first seven America astronauts who […]

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If you’re confused about the current crisis in Italian politics …

May 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

… it’s not surprising. The country has effectively had no government in the two and a half months since a general election and it is possible that a new set of elections will now have to be called. The proposed new governing alliance is an unlikely combination of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), which […]

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A review of the 2015 documentary “He Named Me Malala”

May 26th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

‘Me’ is of course Malala Yousafai, the inspirational Pakistani girl who aged 15 was the subject of an assassination attempt by the Taliban. ‘He’ is her father Ziauddin who, in his own way, is a remarkable individual and who – contrary to what she states in this moving film – gave her much more than […]

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A review of the latest super-hero movie “Deadpool 2”

May 25th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The original “Deadpool” was made for just $58M but its takings were almost $800M so a sequel, indeed a franchise, was an inevitablity. “Deadpool 2” was released just weeks after “Avengers: Infinity War” and both super-hero movies star Josh Brolin as big and bad, but the two offerings could hardly be more different. “AIW” brings […]

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Two of the biggest crises in post-war French history: May 1958 and May 1968

May 24th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Over the last two weekends, I’ve spent a day at the City Literary Institute in central London on a course looking at a period of crisis in post-war French history which occurred 60 years ago and 50 years ago this month respectively. In each case, the lecturer was the French Sebastien Ardouin.  He was very […]

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In the UK , it’s Dementia Action Week – and I’m a volunteer for a relevant study

May 23rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Alzheimer’s Society has designated this as Dementia Action Week. There are currently around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. It mainly affects people over the age of 65 (one in 14 people in this age group have dementia), and the likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly with age. However, dementia can affect younger […]

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A review of the new film “On Chesil Beach”

May 22nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Ten years ago, I read the novella by Ian McEwan [for my review click here] and now he himself has adapated the story for the screen with director Dominic Cooke making his first feature film. The work was shot on location on the Dorset coast and deploys much use of classical music, but this is […]

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Can we really control the tech giants?

May 21st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports Matt Hancock has said that the Government will enact legislation to control social media firms and online abuse but, in a television interview this weekend, he admitted: When he called in representatives of 14 leading Internet companies to discuss his concerns, only four turned up. […]

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