Archive for September, 2018

A review of the new Polish film “Cold War”

September 30th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is a most unusual but utterly engaging film. Written and directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, it is largely in Polish (although the dialogue is quite sparse) and set mainly in Poland (but with sections in Berlin, Paris and Yugoslavia). It was shot in black and white and in an aspect ratio of 1.37 : 1 […]

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Who voted for Hitler?

September 29th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading “The Shortest History Of Germany” by James Hawes and I’ve reached the section on the rise of Nazism in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The explosive rise in the electoral support for the Nazis was amazing – from 2.6% in 1928 to 43.9% in March 1933. Dawes invites the reader of […]

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Citizens Advice super-complaint to CMA on the injustice of loyalty payments

September 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

A super-complaint has been lodged today by Citizens Advice with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) calling for the regulator to investigate the loyalty penalty in a number of essential markets: mobile handsets, broadband, mortgages, home insurance and savings. Research by Citizens Advice has found that consumers lose over £4 billion a year to the loyalty penalty, with 8 […]

Posted in Consumer matters | Comments (2)

The global flu pandemic of 1918 killed at least 50 million – but where did it start?

September 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The horror of World War One is estimated to have caused between 15-20 million deaths mainly in Europe but, even before the war ended, a global flu pandemic in 1918-1919 resulted in a further death toll of between 50-100 million and infected around one third of the world’s entire population. This week, BBC Two television […]

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What’s in a name? A lot more than you think.

September 24th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Last week, the Office of National Statistics published the most popular baby names in England & Wales for 2017. This gave me an opportunity to up-date my extensive website essay on naming practices around the world where I have drawn out just how different these practices are from our experience in Britain. It is assumed […]

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Could Texas turn blue? The battle between Cruz and O’Rourke.

September 23rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In the strange world of American politics, a blue state is one where the Democratic candidate is the winner. Texas has traditionally been a safe red state – that is, Republican. But that might change in the forthcoming US mid-term Congressional elections. It underlines America’s strange and turbulent political moment that the highest-profile and most […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

A review of “Love In The Time Of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez

September 21st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Márquez was born in Colombia in 1927 and died in 2014. This work – one his most famous – was published in 1981 and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. I finally read the work after seeing the film and visiting Colombia, including Cartagena, the Caribbean city where the novel is located […]

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Who are the best providers of communications services?

September 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Choosing a communications provider should not be simply a matter of price but also of service quality – but which provider is the best for fixed, mobile or broadband? Fortunately Ofcom provides some very helpful data and I’ve reviewed the latest statistics in my new column on IT matters here. Today, at Ofcom headquarters, I’ll […]

Posted in Internet, Science & technology | Comments (0)

Why and how we could regulate Internet content

September 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Ofcom has today published a discussion document examining the area of harmful internet content. The document is designed to contribute to the debate on how people might be protected from online harm. It considers how lessons from broadcasting regulation might help to inform work by policymakers to tackle the issue. This follows an interim report […]

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Who has saved more lives than any other person in history? You’ve probably never heard of him.

September 17th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was an English scientist who lived in the 18th century. He discovered the first vaccine, which was for the smallpox virus. This disease was widespread at that time and killed many people. Those who were infected but survived were often left badly scarred. Jenner noticed that milkmaids who had caught the cowpox […]

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