Archive for February, 2020

50 simple ways to make your life greener

February 29th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

We all need to our bit to respond to the climate emergency facing our planet. We can’t all do the same things, but this article provides expert tips on how to be kinder to the planet – from cooking and cleaning to fashion and finance. Please choose at least one.

Posted in Environment | Comments (0)

Would you like to live to be 100 (or more)?

February 27th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Living to 100 will soon become a routine fact of (long) life. Life expectancies have been rising by up to three months a year since 1840 and although gains in the UK began to slow in 2011, it is still estimated that more than half the babies born in wealthier countries since 2000 may reach […]

Posted in Science & technology, Social policy | Comments (1)

Word of the day: occultation

February 24th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I’m reading a new book on the recent history of the Middle East with particular reference to the rivalry between Sunni Islam Saudi Arabia and Shia Islam Iran. The work is called “Black Wave” and it is written by the Lebanese Emmy award-winning journalist Kim Ghattas In one of the early chapters, there is an […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (1)

A review of the utterly over-the-top movie “Birds Of Prey”

February 23rd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Thought that films about comic book characters were all man-made? Well, here in the DC comic universe, we have a movie with women as producer (Margot Robbie), writer (Christina Hodson) and director (Cathy Yan) in which the girls also fill the main role of Harley Quinn (Robbie again) and the three eponymous birds (Mary Elizabeth […]

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How much of our brain do we really need?

February 20th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Some time ago, I read a fascinating book called “The Brain” by David Eagleman. If there is one clear message from the book, it is that the brain exhibits remarkable plasticity. People talk of the brain as hard-wired, but it is the opposite of that. Eagleman describes some remarkable cases of people recovering from injury […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

Thank you and farewell “Madam Secretary”

February 15th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I suppose all good things have to come to an end and I’ve just watched the last episode of the American television series “Madam Secretary”. The series began in 2014 and seasons 1-5 each had between 20-23 episodes. The sixth and last season has concluded with just 10 episodes, making 120 episodes in all. I’ve […]

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A review of the important new movie “Queen & Slim”

February 14th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

How many American films have a black woman as both writer and director and black actors in both the lead roles and in most of the support roles? But this is how it should be for a work that reflects the Black Lives Matter agenda and it is a genre-blending triumph, part thriller-cum-social commentary, part […]

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Sajid Javid has resigned as Chancellor rather than sack his Special Advisers, but who are Special Advisers?

February 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Special Advisers – or SpAds as they known in political circles – are a small number of political advisers appointed by each Secretary of State to serve that Cabinet Minister only for the duration of that minister being in the office. Some have specialist knowledge of the subject matter of the Government Department headed by […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

Why has it taken so long for the UK to move on regulation of the Internet?

February 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

For six years (2000-2005), I was the first independent Chair of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an industry-funded body which combats illegal content, primarily child abuse images, online. We had significant success, certainly in eliminating the hosting of child abuse images in the UK. However, I was concerned that there was other material online which, […]

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How many people have been into space?

February 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I was born in 1948, so I was a teenager when the so-called Space Race between the USSR and the USA was at its height. It seemed that, every few months, there was a new first: the first satellite in space, the first dog in space, the first man in space, the first woman in […]

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