Archive for May, 2023

A review of the odd film “Harold And Maude”

May 30th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

I was chatting with an American friend and conversation turned to funerals. He mentioned a film from half a century ago – it was released in 1971 – that, in spite of being something of a film buff, I’d never heard of, let alone seen – so I looked it up. Harold (Bud Cort) is […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

What is colour and is yours the same as mine?

May 30th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“For a long time, people believed that colours were objective, physical properties of objects or of the light that bounced off them. Even today, science teachers regale their students with stories about Isaac Newton and his prism experiment, telling them how different wavelengths of light produce the rainbow of hues around us. But this theory […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

A review of the classic “Three Colours” film trilogy

May 28th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“Three Colours: Blue” (1993) This was the first of a trilogy of films directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and written by him and Krzysztof Piesiewicz. Taking their titles from the colours of the French flag and loosely inspired by the French national motto of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, “Blue” represented liberty and is regarded as a […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

“Roger And (Not) Out” – a memoir of my first 75 years

May 27th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

For the last nine months, I’ve had a major project: I wanted to produce a memoir in time for my 75th birthday on 25 June 2023. And I’ve done it. It was published this weekend. For family and friends who will be attending my birthday celebration, a free, signed copy of the memoir will be […]

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (0)

A review of the 1989 classic movie “Do The Right Thing”

May 25th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

African-American Spike Lee is absolutely an auteur. In this, his most seminal film, he is writer, producer and director and takes the role of the viewpoint character. Set on one, blisteringly hot day in Brooklyn, we follow Lee’s Mookie, a 25 year old delivery man for a local pizzeria run by an Italian-American family headed […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Is Thursday the new Friday?

May 25th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

I finally retired shortly before the Covid pandemic hit us, so I have no current experience of the workplace. However, I live in central London so I see a lot of office workers and I talk to a lot of people in hospitality. It seems to me that, since the ‘end’ of Covid, many people […]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (0)

Does Artificial Intelligence need a global regulator?

May 24th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

The leaders of the ChatGPT developer OpenAI have called for the regulation of “superintelligent” AIs, arguing that an equivalent to the International Atomic Energy Agency is needed to protect humanity from the risk of accidentally creating something with the power to destroy it. In a short note published to the company’s website, co-founders Greg Brockman […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of humans as a species?

May 23rd, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“Humans are an exquisitely intelligent and capable species of ape. Our physiology has been fine-tuned for efficient long-distance running; our hands are elegantly dextrous for manipulating and making; and our throats and mouths give us astonishing control over the sounds we make. We are virtuoso communicators, able to convey everything from physical instructions to abstract […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

A review of “All Quiet on The Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque

May 18th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

Having seen both the American (1930) and German (2022) film versions of this famous novel, I thought that it was time to read the original work (1929) in an excellent English translation (1994) by Brian Murdoch. The novel contains less narrative but more reflection than the films and has lost none of its power and […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

How processed food is killing us

May 17th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“Strange as it may seem, food has replaced tobacco as the leading cause of early death globally. Each year, more people die in America from illnesses caused by poor diet than were killed fighting in every war in US history combined. In the UK the situation is equally dire. Officially, the health effects of food […]

Posted in Environment | Comments (0)