Archive for February, 2021

How large is the British House of Lords?

February 26th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The House of Lords is the upper chamber in the British political system but the one with less authority. Its main roles are to revise legislation and keep a check on government by scrutinising its activities. Since 1911, its power to block “money bills” is limited to one month and its power to block other […]

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A review of “The War Of The Worlds” by H G Wells

February 25th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In my teenage years, I read quite a lot of Wells and studied “The History Of Mr Polly” at school. However, while over the years I saw film and television versions and even listened to a musical interpretation of “The War Of The Worlds”, I was 72 before I eventually read the novel which was […]

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How should we test for coronavirus?

February 24th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

There are two tests to determine whether someone has coronavirus (and one – a blood test – to establish whether someone has actually had the virus). The first test for the virus is called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This involves swabbing the back of the throat and the nostrils. The swab has to be sent to […]

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Did you know that, in the Second World War, the British interned Jews on the Isle of Man?

February 20th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

No, neither did I, until I read “Jews Don’t Count” by David Baddiel [my review here]. You can learn more about this internment here.

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Would you like to buy the narrowest house in Britain?

February 18th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

What is believed to be the narrowest house in Britain is located on Goldhawk Road in Shepherd’s Bush, west London. The width varies a bit between the five floors but is typically a mere 6 feet (2 metres). Originally this location was simply a gap between two buildings but it was filled in as a […]

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A review of “Jews Don’t Count” by David Baddiel

February 18th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I read this book because, in his own review of it, a good Jewish friend encouraged all his non-Jewish friends to do so. I’m glad that I did and I would endorse his recommendation. It is a short work (just 123 pages) but compelling and important. Baddiel, who is a Jew best known for his comedy, […]

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A review of the new film “Greenland”

February 18th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In the middle of a global pandemic which has killed millions, here comes a movie featuring an extinction event that wipes out some 75% of all life on Earth. Cheery, eh? Of course, there is something of a sub-genre of films involving threats to Earth from cosmic objects. Think of “Meteor” (1979), “Armageddon” and “Deep […]

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A review of the new film “News Of The World”

February 17th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I’m a huge fan of Tom Hanks (who isn’t?) and I would watch him reading a telephone directory; here we view him as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd reading items in a newspaper to illiterate folk in post-civil war northern Texas. This poorly-paying itinerant role brings him unexpectedly into contact with a 10 year old girl […]

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Word of the day: metonym

February 16th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

A ‘metonym’ is: ‘a word or phrase used in metonymy, a figure of speech in which the name of one object or concept is used for that of another to which it is related. As an example, “the crown” is a metonym for “royalty”.

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A review of the new book “Joe Biden” by Evan Osnos

February 12th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is not so much a biography as an extended profile written by a staff writer on the “New Yorker” and adapted from an occasional series of articles written by the author for the magazine. It was rushed out for publication the week before the presidential election of November 2020 on the assumption that Biden […]

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