The Dude on Death (and life)

British television viewers were treated yesterday to a Newsnight special, in which the normally grumpy puss presenter Jeremy Paxman conducted a half-hour interview with Anglo-American writer Christopher Hitchens. The subject of Paxman’s almost reverential piece is the original drink-soaked trotskyite popinjay for war: a journalist and essayist famous for being one of the leading ‘new […]

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Elder Talib speaks unto the nations

The Grauniad‘s Taliban-embedded correspondent, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, has delivered his final report from the front line of the holy war against infidel imperialism. In it he conveys his hosts’ view of life following the glorious Taliban victory against the evil forces of crusaderdom. “I am a representative of the movement and I walk among the people […]

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Coffee and cake are good for the brain

Scientists in Catalonia have found that the bourgeois world’s favourite drug caffeine improves cognitive ability, especially when taken in combination with glucose. The ‘active ingredients’ of coffee and cake have a synergistic effect, say the researchers, who report their findings in the journal Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. According to psychobiologist Josep Serra-Grabulosa… “Our main […]

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Miliband Minor in cream carpet scandal

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed following a fortnight of paternity leave, Ed Miliband is interviewed by the Guardian’s Allegra Stratton and Patrick Wintour, who reveal that the Labour leader and his partner Justine have a “beautiful cream carpet” in the living room of their north London home. Cream Carpet? For heaven’s sake! What kind of a person […]

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Climate change: the big picture

The Geological Society of London recently published a position statement which with articulacy and precision outlines the science of climate change in little more than six pages of text. The statement contains a fair amount of scientific jargon, much of it defined, and demands a careful reading rather than a cursory glance. What is particularly […]

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A generalisation too far

Spotted by me a week ago on the north bank of the River Thames, near the Woolwich Ferry terminal in the London Borough of Newham… Much as I despise all religion, Islam included, seeing such graffiti on the streets of a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious city is deeply disturbing. While it is easy to remove […]

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Where shopping trolleys go to die

Shopping trolley graveyard by the Thames Path near Greenwich (photo: Francis Sedgemore) There is a certain serenity to this scene, similar to that found in human graveyards. Notice how the metal trolleys are becoming one with the river mud. Looking at them, I find myself imagining far into the future, when all traces of their […]

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Justice for Catriona Patel

In July of last year I wrote about the deaths of cyclists on London’s roads, and as part of that discussion referred to the crushing under the wheels of a tipper truck of Catriona Patel, who was an experienced sports cyclist as well as London commuter. Nearly a year and a half later, Dennis Putz, […]

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Post-Climategate

Being in part an outlet for off-the-cuff comment and opinion, I can afford on this website the indulgence of a little political hyperbole. Some of my friends and associates don’t like it, with scientists, science writers and PRs among them. Blogs, they say, are unrepresentative of both informed public debate and wider public opinion, and […]

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Climategate – the human cost

It is now a year since the release of a thousand emails and other documents stolen by a hacker from the server of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. This gave rise to the manufactured scandal known as “Climategate”. The political fallout from the affair continues, including with the […]

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