Archive for November, 2020


Word of the day: semiquincentennial

November 25th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Semiquincentennial (also called sestercentennial or quarter millennial) is the 250th anniversary of an event. I find it really difficult these days to find semiquincentennial birthday cards. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to the semiquincentennial or 250th anniversary of the 1776 establishment of the United States of America which will fall on 4 July 2026.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


A review of the novel “Winter In Madrid” by C J Sansom

November 21st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Christopher John Sansom is a British writer of historical crime novels best-known for his Matthew Shardlake series set in Tudor England. He has written two standalone novels: “Dominion” (2012) which I read first and “Winter In Madrid” (2006) which I read rather later. While “Dominion” is set in a fictional Britain of winter 1952 when […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


A review of the 2019 film “Dark Waters”

November 20th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

There is a sub-genre of drama movies that tell true-life stories of how powerful private corporations produced products that seriously harmed consumers and/or citizens, covering up the information and denying responsibility in the face of brave and tenacious individuals who sought to reveal the truth and hold them accountable. I think, for instance, of “Silkwood” […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


A review of the new Italian film “The Life Ahead”

November 19th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Like my mother, Sophia Loren is an Italian who grew up in Naples. However, Loren has lived longer (she is now 86), she has had a rather more illustrious career (she has won two Academy Awards), and her son Edoardo Ponti has been more successsful than me (he directed this Italian-language film). Although based on […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


Why are coronavirus infection rates and deaths so much lower in Africa than in the rest of the world?

November 17th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

According to an article in the “Independent” newspaper, it was a year ago today that the first coronavirus case was recorded in China. Since then, the global pandemic has infected 55.1 million and killed 1.33 million. Every nation on earth and every part of the globe has been impacted by the virus, but surprisingly the […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)


A review of the 2017 film “Mother!”

November 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I should have done my homework but, in the middle of the second lockdown of a global pandemic, I was struggling to find an interesting film that I hadn’t already seen. Then I found this movie with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead and I’ve been a huge fan of hers since “Winter’s Bone” a decade […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


When he becomes President, expect a flurry of Executive Orders from Joe Biden

November 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This time of year four years ago, I was on a flight to Washington DC. The Americans had just had their four-yearly presidential election and, to the amazement of the world, Donald Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College although not in the popular vote. By chance, I was seated next to an […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (1)


A review of the new film “The Trial Of The Chicago 7”

November 11th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The late 1960s was a terrible time in the United States with race riots and anti-war demonstrations. The film “Detroit” powerfully depicted the outcome of a riot in that city in 1967 and this movie looks at the aftermath of a demonstration in Chicago in 1968. Eight activists – one was severed from the case […]

Posted in Cultural issues, History | Comments (0)


How many cases of coronavirus been caused by touching contaminated surfaces?

November 6th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The World Health Organization has warned about surfaces being a source of transmission, while conceding there are no reports demonstrating infection in this way. It said: “Despite consistent evidence as to Sars-CoV-2 contamination of surfaces and the survival of the virus on certain surfaces, there are no specific reports which have directly demonstrated fomite transmission. People […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)


A review of “China’s War With Japan 1937-1945” by Rana Mitter

November 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The Second World War is generally thought to be clearly delineated as taking place from 1939-1945, although the two major allied nations – the Soviet Union and the United States – did not enter the conflict until 1941. For China, though, the Second World War can be seen as a major period in a wider […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)