Archive for March, 2024

A review of “How To Stop Time” by Matt Haig

March 30th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

It is an intriguing, if fanciful, proposition: a small number of special people age so slowly after puberty – about one year for every 15 of a normal person – that they can live 900 years or so. Since such a person will eventually and inevitably attract suspicion from ordinary mortals, these subjects of exceptional […]

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What if the Labour Party wins the coming General Election with a huge majority?

March 19th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

Do you remember the General Election of December 2019? Do you really remember it? The Conservative Party, then led by Boris Johnson, won a landslide victory with a majority of 80 seats, a net gain of 48, on 43.6% of the popular vote, the highest percentage for any party since the General Election of 1979.   […]

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Where do people live the longest? Welcome to the notion of blue zones.

March 14th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

I met somebody earlier this week who recommended to me a series of programmes available on Netflix. The series is called “Live To 100: Secrets Of The Blue Zones” and consists of four programmes averaging around 40 minutes each. Presenter, American Dan Buettner, visits five locations around the world where there is an exceptional number […]

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A review of the new film “Wicked Little Letters”

March 10th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

The English are noted for their eccentricity and there’s a good deal of it on display in this rather odd offering. It’s as if two films were shot and then, in the cutting rooms, the pair were interwoven. One is a ribald comedy with lots of obscene language, while the other is a social drama […]

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A review of the new science book “White Holes” by Carlo Rovelli

March 10th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

This is the third book that I’ve read written by the famous Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. He has a lively and engaging style, unusual for scientists, and this latest work contains a series of references to Dante’s “Inferno”. But the concepts about which he writes are hard to comprehend. Black holes used to be […]

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A review of the new Netflix bio-pic “Rustin”

March 10th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

I confess that, prior to the release of this Netflix movie, I had never heard of American political activist Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) who – as set out in the film – played a key role in the organisation of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was a formidable organisational feat: in […]

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Ever heard of the antemurale myth

March 7th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

The Antemurale myth or the Bulwark myth is one of the nationalist myths which implies a certain nation’s mission of being a bulwark against the other religions, nations or ideologies. The word “Antemurale” is derived from Latin ante (before, in time and space) and murale (wall, attributive). The Antemurale myth is different than other nationalist myths because it does not insist on the uniqueness of a certain group, but […]

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A review of the 2006 film “Inside Man”

March 6th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

This starts as a bank robbery, becomes a hostage situation, and then finishes up as neither. Writer Russell Gewirtz attempts to come up with a clever plot but, in the end, it is just too beyond credulity. Nevertheless, any film directed by Spike Lee is worth seeing – although I found the flash forwards confusing. […]

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A review of the new blockbuster movie “Dune: Part Two”

March 3rd, 2024 by Roger Darlington

We’ve had to wait two years for the second part of French-Canadian co-writer and director Denis Villeneuve’s hugely ambitious screen version of Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel of 1965. I took the opportunity to rewatch the first segment a few days before I viewed the second. As with “Part One”, I caught “Part Two” […]

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Ever heard of the Phaeton complex?

March 1st, 2024 by Roger Darlington

When I check out the biographical details of people who are successful in various sectors, I’m struck by how often their childhood is characterised by the absence, physically or emotionally, or one or both parents. Apparently this phenomenon has a name: the Phaeton complex. As Wikipedia puts it: “The Phaeton complex is a psychological condition described by Maryse […]

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