Archive for June, 2018


Word of the day: mastaba

June 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Mastaba is the Arabic word for bench. It is a trapezoid shape which originated in Mesopotamia 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. Mastaba is also the title of a new 600-tonne, 20-metre high floating sculpture made from more than 7,000 colourful oil barrels which has just been unveiled on London’s Serpentine. It is the work of Bulgarian artist […]

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Will there really be a Brexit dividend to fund increases to the NHS budget?

June 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Conservative Government has announced that there will be a new funding settlement for the NHS to mark the 70th anniversary of the the creation of the health service. This may well not be enough but the news is welcome. However, it is unclear how it will be funded. The Prime Minister claims that part […]

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Is there a solution to the Cyprus problem?

June 15th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“The Cyprus Problem” by James Ker-Lindsay (2011) Before I visit a new country, I like to read about the place and, in the case of a forthcoming holiday in Cyprus, it seemed essential to familiarise myself with the issues around the partition of the island and this short and balanced account by an academic at […]

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How many states should there be in California?

June 14th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I first heard about it on the American programme “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”; now it’s been picked up by the British media including this item on the BBC website. It’s a proposal to divided the current US state of California into three and the proposition will appear on the ballot paper in November. […]

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We need to know more about dementia – what are the risk factors and how do we treat it?

June 13th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I have done several blog postings about a health study on dementia to which I have been invited to contribute. This is a large-scale, longitudinal study based at the Imperial Research Hub at Charing Cross Hospital in London and it is looking particularly at whether the level of beta-amyloid in the brain is a risk factor. […]

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“Power to the people: How stronger unions can deliver economic justice”

June 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice has just published a discussion paper entitled “Power to the people: How stronger unions can deliver economic justice“. This paper shows why trade unions and collective bargaining are good for workers and good for the economy. It shows how the decline of the union movement has contributed to a […]

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A review of the new animated movie “The Breadwinner”

June 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

We are living in a golden age of animation and Oscar-nominated “The Breadwinner” is a wonderful addition to the genre. An Irish-Canadian-Luxembourg co-production, the source material is a young adult novel by Canadian writer Deborah Ellis and both production house (Cartoon Saloon) and director (Nora Twomey) are from the Emerald Isle. Set in the Afghan […]

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Not all politicians are the same – for instance, there’s Nick Boles

June 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

At first sight and sound, Nicholas Edward Coleridge Coles, Conservative Member of Parliament for Grantham and Stamford, could be taken as the archetypal Tory politician. The son of Sir Jack Boles (a Head of the National Trust) and the great-nephew of Conservative MP Dennis Boles, he studied at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He is […]

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Review of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

June 9th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The reboot of the “Jurassic Park” franchise in the shape of “Jurassic World” was such a box office success than a sequel – the fifth dino rampage – was inevitable and, while this has not thrilled the critics, it will do well enough with the fans of the monster genre because it is genuinely entertaining. […]

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400 years ago, Europe’s Thirty Years’ War began

June 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This summer, four centuries ago, three characters were thrown out of a window in Prague – they all survived – and, from this bizarre incident, a war began than ran for 30 years and caused utter devastation throughout Central Europe. The Holy Roman Empire was convulsed by a bitter conflict between the Catholic Austrian Habsburgs […]

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