Archive for November, 2021

I bet you’ve never visited a materials testing house

November 7th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

It’s a (very) little known fact that, when I left school in Manchester, I thought I wanted to be a mechanical engineer. Indeed I obtained a place on a university degree course to study mechanical engineering, but deferred my entry by a year to go into industry for some practical training. I learned very quickly […]

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How many covid deaths have there been worldwide?

November 7th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

According to figures complied by John Hopkins University in the United States, which are based on the official data published by individual governments, we recently passed the grim threshold of 5 million covid deaths worldwide. However, as this article explains, this figure is certainly a serious underestimate. According to a model developed by The Economist, […]

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How did Bletchley Park break Nazi Germany’s Enigma code?

November 6th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I’ve read the novel “Enigma” written by Robert Harris [my review here]; I’ve seen the film directed by Michael Apsted [my review here]; and this weekend, I visited Bletchley Park where a British team built on the work of Poles to break the Enigma code used by the German army, navy and air force during […]

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What are the most popular baby names in Britain?

November 4th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Of course, names change in popularity. According to the data compiled annually by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and published each September, the most popular names for children born in England & Wales during 2020 were as follows: Position Boys Girls 1 Oliver Olivia 2 George Amelia 3 Arthur Isla 4 Noah Ava 5 […]

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What does Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 3 mean to you?

November 3rd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I recently listened to the piece on Classic FM and the music always reminds me of the Australian pianist David Helfgott whose struggle with this piece – and indeed with life – is depicted in the film “Shine” starring Geoffrey Rush as Helfgott (see my review here).

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A review of the new blockbuster sci-fi movie “Dune”

November 2nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel of 1965 was first filmed by David Lynch in 1984. I found that adaptation visually impressive but hard to follow plot-wise. So I was looking forward to seeing this second attempt to translate the novel and determined to see it soon and in IMAX; indeed it proved so popular […]

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A review of the 1954 classic Japanese film “Seven Samurai”

November 1st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This Japanese film is for many one of the very best movies not made in the English language and certainly one of the most outstanding works by the great director Akira Kurosawa. Set in 16th century Japan, it tells the tale of farmers who are brought close to starvation by the repeated raids of bandits […]

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