Archive for November, 2021

How did Covid variants go from Delta to Omnicon?

November 29th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

At the end of May 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) adopted a new system of naming Covid variants of concern or special interest with letters of the Greek alphabet. It did this to avoid stigmatising countries or regions where such a new variant was first identified. At the time, there were four variants of […]

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A review of the new Disney animation movie “Encanto”

November 28th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

For the third consecutive weekend, I spent part of Saturday taking my two granddaughters (almost 11 and 5) to see a new animated movie. I have to say that, from my adult (73) point of view, this was by far the best. Set in rural Colombia, the colours are wonderfully vibrant and the visuals are […]

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A review of the new bio-pic “King Richard”

November 26th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I confess that I was first attracted to this movie by the title because my son is called Richard. When I learned that it was a bio-pic about Richard Williams’ creation of tennis super-stars Venus and Serena, I was sure that a young female tennis-playing friend would want to see this work and it has […]

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The latest tragedy to hit the wonderful country of Ethiopia

November 24th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

“… for the tourist who wants something different and is prepared for some challenges, Ethiopia is a great destination. The exotic names of places we visited were themselves magical: Addis Ababa, Axum, Lalibela … But the history was so rich and fascinating, whether it was the skeleton of Lucy, the stelae of Axum, the rock […]

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Word of the day: uchronia

November 22nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The term uchronia refers to a hypothetical or fictional time period of our world, in contrast to altogether-fictional lands or worlds. The concept is similar to alternate history, but uchronic times are not easily defined and are placed mainly in some distant or unspecified point before current times. The term has been applied to Philip […]

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A review of “Beyond A Fringe”, the memoir of Conservative politician Andrew Mitchell

November 21st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In 1971, for the first time I read a memoir by a Conservative politician: “The Art Of The Possible” by Rab Butler. As a lifelong member of the Labour Party, it has taken me exactly 50 years to repeat this experience. My ‘excuse’ is that my son – who works in the international development sector […]

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It’s World Toilet Day – and that’s serious

November 19th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

World Toilet Day (WTD) is an official United Nations international observance day on 19 November each year to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Worldwide, 4.2 billion people live without “safely managed sanitation” and around 673 million people practice open defecation. Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. In […]

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What do you know about the Central Asian nations with names ending in -stan?

November 17th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The name ending ‘-stan’ means ‘land of’. In Central Asia, there are seven of them. I have been to one – Uzbekistan [see travel notes here] – and plan to make a trip next year to five of them: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. There are two others – Afghanistan and Pakistan – but […]

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My last three movies – so utterly different

November 16th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Readers of this blog will know my love for films and my wide-ranging tastes, but the last week was something special. I went to the cinema three times and saw three films that could hardly have been more different from one another: The Japanese black and white classic “Throne Of Blood” – my review here […]

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A review of the new movie “Eternals” – the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

November 14th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is a Marvel movie like no other and it has a director (and co-writer) like no other: Chinese-American Chloé Zhao. This is a work that could hardly be more different than “Nomadland” for which Zhao won the Academy Award for Best Director which shows the scope of her talent and the bravery of her […]

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