Archive for June, 2020

Dare to hope: the Democrats could sweep the board in the 2020 United States elections

June 30th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

For the third time during this lockdown, this evening I attended an online lecture to review the current state of the elections to be held in the United States on Tuesday 3 November 2020. All these lectures have been run by London’s City Literary Institute and given by the college’s Principal Mark Malcolmson. Of course, […]

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A review of the 2018 movie “Book Club”

June 28th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In most films, the leading roles are given to men, so we should applaud this work in which the four main characters are female and played by talented women who are a joy to observe. Even more than a dominance of men, moviedom is dominated by young actors, even as the population ages, so it […]

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Universe, they discover a black neutron star

June 23rd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Scientists have discovered an astronomical object that has never been observed before. It is more massive than collapsed stars, known as “neutron stars”, but has less mass than black holes. Such “black neutron stars” were not thought possible and will mean ideas for how neutron stars and black holes form will need to be rethought. […]

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I told you a month ago that the 2 metre rule would be revised

June 23rd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the 2m social-distancing rule in England is to be relaxed from 4 July. From then, people should still try to maintain 2m distance, but new guidance of “one metre plus” will apply where that is not possible. He also announced that pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers could reopen from 4 […]

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How I first learned about racism and how I am still on a journey

June 22nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

On 21 June 1948, passengers disembarked from the liner “Empress Windrush” including some 800 from the Caribbean. Although there had been black people in Britain since the Romans, the arrival of this group of immigrants is widely regarded as the beginning of the history of multicultural Britain. Since 2018, 21 June has been known as […]

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A happy Juneteenth to all my American readers

June 19th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I confess that I had never heard of the American notion of Juneteenth until very recently. I suppose the Black Live Matters events of the last few weeks has brought the anniversary to more prominence outside the United States. For non-Americans, Wikipedia provides an explanation of Juneteenth: “Juneteenth (a portmanteau of June and nineteenth;] also known as Freedom Day,  Jubilee Day, and Liberation Day is […]

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Word of the day: Augean

June 16th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This is an adjective describing a task which is both difficult and unpleasant. The origin of the word is a story from Greek mythology involving  the king Augeas of Elis (in the western Peloponnesus) whose stables, filled with 3,000 immortal cattle, had not been cleaned for over 30 years. The cattle, moreover, were not only […]

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The legacy of white supremacy

June 15th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

An American friend of mine has put it succinctly: “One of the many profound outcomes of the BLM movement is an awakening among many people (many are already quite enlightened on the matter) that racism is indeed systemic. The entire adventure of British, other European and American imperialism (as well as Japanese imperialism) was and […]

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Is it time for Canada to invade the United States?

June 14th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

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Word of the day: racism

June 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has resulted in protest movements, both in the United States and around the world, that have raised so many important issues and so many interesting ideas. We are seeing debates ranging from the urgent need for police reform to the long-postponed removal of offensive statues and memorials. Now […]

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