Archive for July, 2021

Does anyone still seriously doubt that the climate is changing?

July 22nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is the latest Weatherwatch from the “Guardian” newspaper: A deluge of rain has inundated parts of western Germany and Belgium over the past week, caused by a slow-moving low pressure system that led to catastrophic flooding. Several rainfall records were smashed, including Mannheim in south-west Germany, which usually receives 70mm (2.7in) in an average […]

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Have you ever heard of a place called Arthurdale?

July 21st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I hadn’t – but I’ve been watching the excellent 2014 PBS America television series “The Roosevelts” and I was fascinated by the reference to the experiment in community living called Arthurdale. The Wikipedia page on the subject states: Arthurdale is an unincorporated community in Preston County, West Virginia, United States. It was built in 1933, at the height of the Depression as […]

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A review of “V2”, the latest novel by Robert Harris

July 20th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is my seventh novel by Harris (he has written 14). He is never going to win the Booker or the Pulitzer, but he is a consummate storyteller whose forte is to set a fictional personal tale against a backdrop of actual historical events. In this case, the story takes place over five days at the end […]

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A review of the new super-hero movie “Black Widow”

July 19th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and I’ve seen virtually all the previous 24 movies in the franchise, but these films have been released over a period of 13 years and I’ve only seen each offering once at the cinema on its release, so I struggle to remember all the cross-linkages […]

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A review of the classic film “The Battleship Potemkin” (1925)

July 17th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This black white silent film directed by the legendary Sergei Eisenstein narrates the mutiny on the titular vessel in 1905 which can be seen as a forerunner of the two revolutions of 1917. Except for the leader of the mutiny, all the roles were filled by ‘people off the streets’ and, in the Odessa steps […]

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A review of “The Power Of Geography” by Tim Marshall (2021)

July 9th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Following the (deserved) success of “Prisoners Of Geography” – sub-titled “Ten maps that tell you everything you need to know about global politics” – Marshall has now produced this companion work subtitled ” Ten maps that reveal the future of our world”. While it is true that there are 10 double-page maps, there are another […]

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Word of the day: aphelion

July 5th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is the point at which the Earth is furthest from the sun. It occurs because the earth’s orbit is not circular but mildly elliptical. The precise moment of its occurrence this year is 23.27 BST today 5 July. At this point, we will be 5M kilometres further from the sun than in early January […]

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Word of the day: the Sahel

July 2nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The term is derived from the Arabic word for coast or shore and here it is used in a figurative sense in reference to the southern edge of the vast Sahara. So the Sahel is a huge region of Africa between sands of the Sahara to the north and the savanna of Sudan to the […]

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