Even at the height of the Victorian era, when a quarter of the globe was painted red we were bemoaning our “national decline.” Then it might have taken the form of too many Irish navvies, the poor drinking excessively, the theory of evolution and scientific progress undermining the moral fabric of society, slum over-crowding, disease [...]
I read an astonishingly solipsistic interview of Sir Jonathan Miller on the BBC this morning. The main tenor of his grumbling was that at 79 many in the theatrical world consider him past it, his lack of employment being further exacerbated by his having accepted a knighthood for services to the arts.
He was knighted [...]
International reaction is positive to the news of Chris Huhne’s impending imprisonment.
This poem also applies: William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697:
As you’ll answer it, take heed This Slave commit no Violence upon Himself. I’ve been deceiv’d. The Publick Safety Requires he should be more confin’d; and none, No not the Princes [...]
Why is it so difficult to buy an ordinary light bulb?
I don’t want a euro-eco bulb that saves the planet. I don’t want halogen, stick bayonets, small spotlights, small candles, large spotlights, large candles, mini-globes, G4s, R39s, or a “soft lite” mega globe low-energy bulb.
I want a good old-fashioned, 40W, bayonet, light bulb, [...]
Another reason why playing poker these days is less and less part of my fun activities.
That’s me with the flopped quads, or a 99.8879% percentage of winning – on the turn his odds were still a paltry 2.3% of winning. Guess what? For fucks sake.
The 2011 census includes many fascinating statistics, doubtless troubling to many. I did however find this one very encouraging.
The number of those who said they had no religious affiliation increased by 10 percentage points from 15% (7.7 million) in 2001 to 25% (14.1 million) in 2011.
That statistic should be quoted back every time [...]
I’ve begun reading Museum Without Walls, the latest book from national treasure, Jonathan Meades. I’ve not even completed the first chapter but I’ve been entranced, again, by his vocabulary, wit and wisdom. Some quotes will hopefully elucidate my enjoyment.
While discussing taxonomy and football:
A buzzard is an avian analogue of the even squeakier David [...]
Irony was running amok today.
First, the UN, an organisation dedicated to saving humanity when confronted by the powerful whims of nature, sent cholera riddled Nepalese soldiers to Haiti following the disastrous 2010 earthquake. So far the cholera epidemic they spread has killed over 7,000 Haitians. A UN report has said that “no group or [...]