Archive for April, 2024

A review of the recent film “In The Land Of Saints And Sinners”

April 30th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

The ‘land’ in question is the “forgotten county” of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and the cinematography is so gorgeous that at times the film looks like an advertisement from the local tourist board. Although the director is American, the scriptwriter and all of the cast and crew are Irish. Set in 1974 at […]

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A review of “The Great Empires Of Asia” edited by Jim Masselos

April 29th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

Long before European powers encircled the globe, Asia was home to some of the greatest empires ever seen. This excellent work describes seven of those empires covering a wide range of geography and time. It does so in a concise and readable manner with each chapter having a short table of key dates and a […]

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Is there anyone out there? How would we know?

April 28th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

If there is an alien civilisation, it is probably on a planet circling a star, right? There are an estimated 200 billion trillion stars in the universe. A lot, right? So how come we have found no evidence for any other intelligent life? I’d always assumed that evidence could come from the use of the […]

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Have there been lost civilisations? How would we know?

April 28th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

In this fascinating article, the wonderfully-named Flint Dibble – an esteemed archaeologist – effectively rebuts the arguments of Graham Hancock. He writes: “It’s the quantity of actual archaeology, an enormous body of positive evidence, that proves the negative. There is no lost civilisation from the Ice Age that was global and used advanced technology to […]

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A review of the stunning new film “Civil War”

April 27th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

Written and directed by the British Alex Garland, this action-thriller was not what I was expecting. Sure, it’s a war movie – very much an anti-war movie – but there is no explanation for the war and the apparent cause (a secessionist alliance between the states of California and Texas) makes no sense, while there […]

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A review of the 1942 classic movie “The Magnificent Ambersons” 

April 23rd, 2024 by Roger Darlington

When Orson Welles signed a two-picture deal with RKO Pictures in 1940, the result was the acclaimed masterpiece “Citizen Kane” followed by the butchered masterpiece “The Magnificent Ambersons”. Again Welles wrote, produced and directed, but this time he did not star – in fact, it was the only film that he ever directed in which […]

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Holiday in Pakistan (12): conclusion

April 21st, 2024 by Roger Darlington

The conclusion of my holiday in Pakistan was almost as disruptive as the beginning, with a threatened flight change. At Islamabad airport, I was not given a boarding pass for the onward journey from Doha. Then, at Doha airport, I had to visit three desks of Qatar Airways, be  told that my intended flight was […]

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Holiday in Pakistan (11): Islamabad and Taxila

April 20th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

We finished our holiday in good spirits since we had the best hotel of the trip (the Serena), the weather was excellent, and we had some interesting visits. We drove along the wide Constitution Avenue in Islamabad, on which many government buildings are located, and then north-west to the ancient city of Texila which is […]

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Holiday in Pakistan (10): the worst journey of my life

April 19th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

The antepenultimate day of our holiday (Friday) should have been nothing special. The plan was to take a one hour flight from Gilgit back to Islamabad and visit some tourist sights in the Pakistani capital. What could possibly go wrong? In short: everything.  The morning flight from Gilgit was cancelled for some reason that was […]

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Holiday in Pakistan (9): more of the Hunza Valley

April 18th, 2024 by Roger Darlington

Our last day (Wednesday) in the Hunza Valley was a very long one. We left the hotel at 8.45 am and I was finally back in my room at 10.30 pm after almost 14 hours. The mountain-side road went through five tunnels – one very long indeed – built by the Chinese before we reached […]

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