Nov 042011
My breakfast today - an example of healthy English food

The unhealthiness of Scottish food is in the media. Suggestions are to copy the healthier English cooking instead, to reduce obesity in Scotland. Here is what I (an Englishman) had for breakfast this morning: 2 hash browns. A sausage. A rasher of bacon (streaky, smoked). A slice of Bury black-pudding. 2 small mushrooms fried in butter. 2 pealed plum tomatoes from a can. A fried egg (fried in extra virgin olive oil). A glass of Golden Grapefruit juice. A mug of tea (Twinings Chai tea, with full-fat milk). It sets me up for the day. I suspect it acts like . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 312011
Jeremy Paxman's rich-man's guilt-trip about his generation

Daily Mail: ‘I am part of the most selfish generation in history and we should be ashamed of our legacy,’ says Jeremy Paxman Speak for yourself, you lucky rich man! (Salary perhaps £1 million per year). See: London Evening Standard: And now your starter for ten: Just how many Romanians are living over Paxman’s garage? Guardian: Paxo’s dirty laundry gets a very public airing Wikipedia: Jeremy Paxman (I wonder if I earned £1 million over my full career? I’ll do the sums sometime). I won’t waste much time on his rubbish. But it is worth commenting on some statements in . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 252011

The Ministry of Justice is currently consulting on a white paper which seeks to criminalise squatting of buildings where there is no resident. All sides of the debate are publicly making their cases. Here’s mine. (My formal response to the consultation is at the end). The UK has various laws on squatting: Wikipedia: Squatting in the UK (summary) Wikipedia: Squatting in England I have just one home, and obviously I am sometimes away for a few days, on holiday or staying with other people. If someone gets into it while I am away, and squats in it, I can get . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 232011

This article was prompted by a recent NewsScientist editorial: “Stamp out anti-science in US politics“. But after starting to write it, I was delayed by two new books I’ve bought: “The Magic of Reality” by Richard Dawkins and Dave McKean, and “Lying” by Sam Harris. How very appropriate! The fine line between ignorance and lying When do you stop giving the benefit of the doubt to people who keep making claims in defiance of science? The first time someone makes such a claim, they may simply be ignorant of the relevant science. Many scientists will be ignorant of science away . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 122011
Where were you when ...?

Why is this the only concert programme I have kept out of very many? (Answer at the end). 11 September 2001 I remember how I heard the news about President Kennedy, and where I was when the planes hit the World Trade Center. No one else should be interested in what I remember. Questions Being analytical, I sometimes ask questions and follow lines of enquiry that lead to unpleasant thoughts: On a typical day, over 7000 people die in the USA. How do the views of the friends and relatives of the other 7000 people who died on 11 September . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]