Are we heading for Fahrenheit 451?

25th August 2014 0

Our language is constantly being debased in ways I hate. A “notebook” is apparently a small laptop, not a little exercise book on which to scribble thoughts. A “tablet” is yet another screened device, not a pill that you put into your mouth. I noticed the other day that a plane I was riding on at 35,000 feet was referred … [Read on]

Are newspapers only fit to wrap your fish and chips in?

25th August 2014 1

It is said that after the age of about forty the great Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, read nothing except the Bible and newspapers. These days, alas, newspapers play an ever smaller role in the cultural role of any country. I don’t know a single young person who reads, let alone takes, a newspaper regularly. I say alas not because I … [Read on]

Britain’s overloaded ark

15th August 2014 0

The French newspapers of late have reported clashes in Calais between different nationalities of ‘refugees’ camping there, preparatory to illegal entry into Britain. The French offer them advice as to how to claim asylum in France, but they are not interested in doing so. They want to get to England, their ‘promised land,’ according to the newspapers. According to my … [Read on]

Black Sea Dog

11th August 2014 0

I got the Seven Year Itch recently. That’s how long I’ve been in Bulgaria. We’ve just had a nightmarish seaside holiday in Primorsko, just south of Burgas. Black Sea ushered in Black Mood. One evening last week, shortly after our return, I cracked and ran screaming towards my British passport rather like a baby grabbing his bottle. I even took … [Read on]

Tell the truth but tell it slant

2nd August 2014 0

Success in indirection lies, wrote Emily Dickinson, but I think our age responds more to the explicit than to the implicit, at least in literature. Recently, for example, I read of the discovery and sale of the manuscript of Siegfried Sassoon’s anti-war poem Atrocities, published in 1919, in which Sassoon denounced the atrocities committed on the British side during the … [Read on]

Tattoing and the World Cup

17th July 2014 0

Although football is hardly the American national sport, the New York Times ran more than one article about the German victory in the World Cup, with links to sites that explained the part that advanced technology had played in it. For example, physiological monitoring of the players in training allowed the manager to select those to play who were at … [Read on]

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