Archive for May, 2019

What’s so special about the orbit of the planet Mercury?

May 31st, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Mercury is tidally locked with the Sun in a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, and rotates in a way that is unique in the Solar System. As seen relative to the fixed stars, it rotates on its axis exactly three times for every two revolutions it makes around the Sun. As seen from the Sun, in a frame of reference that rotates with the orbital […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

A review of “The Last Temptation Of Boris”

May 31st, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The Park Theatre in London’s Finsbury Park is a small venue but puts on some interesting plays. This week, I went to see the deeply satirical play “The Last Temptation Of Boris” written by Jonathan Maitland and starring Will Barton in the eponymous role with most of the other actors playing more than one character. […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

A review of the new film “Rocketman”

May 30th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Inevitably, this bio-pic of British singer/songwriter Elton John will be compared with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the film about British rock group Queen, since both were directed by Dexter Fletcher and they were released with less than a year between them. But Dexter only worked on “Bohemian Rhapsody” for three weeks, following the firing of Bryan Singe,r […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

How can we summarise the history of the United States? Let me try …

May 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

My review of “A Little History Of The United States” by James West Davidson This is not just a short account (300 pages) but it is conveniently broken up into 40 brief chapters and the writing style is very accessible, even conversational, with an emphasis on personalities and stories rather than dates and statistics. The overall […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

The European Union is a large democratic entity – but not the largest. That would be India.

May 27th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

India – with a population of 1.3 billion and an electorate of around 900 million – is the world’s largest democracy and, for all its faults and flaws, this democratic system stands in marked contrast to the democratic failures of Pakistan and Bangladesh which were part of India until 1947. Elections in a country of […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Post-May, where now for Britain and Brexit?

May 26th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“The next five months look set to be the most torrid, yet pivotal, period in our history since the second world war. And as the Tory party engulfs itself in a self-indulgent leadership beauty parade, all remaining hope lies with Labour. Only Corbyn can conceivably deliver us from this unholy and destructive mess. But it’s far […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

A review of the newly re-released 1964 film “Dr. Strangelove” (1964)

May 24th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb” – to use its full title – was directed. co-produced and co-written by Stanely Kubrick with the other writing credits going to the author of the book on which it was based (“Red Alert” by Peter George) and noted satirist Terry Southern. […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

And now there are 24 seeking to be the Democratic candidate in 2020

May 23rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I’ve already blogged four times on the ever-growing field of those who wish to be elected as the Democratic candidate in the United States presidential election of 2020. The latest – and tallest – to declare is New York mayor Bill de Blasio. This brings the current field to an incredible 24. Of course, we […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

Do you understand the D’Hondt method being used in today’s UK elections to the European Parliament?

May 23rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Elections start today for the European Parliament which represents the 28 Member States of the European Union. Following the Brexit referendum , the plan was that the UK would be out of the EU by now and therefore would play no part in the election – but we are still a member and so we […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

Word day: folderol

May 22nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I had never heard this word until I saw it used in the House of Commons today by Conservative Member of Parliament Jacob Rees-Mogg. It means “nonsensical fuss” and was used in the context of the current state of the Brexit fiasco.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)