Tyve timer, for helvede!

I had considered writing a review of Søren Sveistrup’s crime thriller serial Forbrydelsen (BBC version: The Killing), which on Saturday completed its 20 episode broadcast in the UK. I watched every hour-long programme, and was impressed, but there is not much I can add to what other Britlanders have written about the Danish television sensation. […]

Read More →
Paul Baran switches packets no more

Internet innovation is for many synonymous with the latest mobile gadgetry, and few give a thought to the underlying technologies. Behold the new technical illiteracy. One of those fundamental Internet technologies is network packet switching, invented in the mid-1960s by Paul Baran, Donald Davies and Leonard Kleinrock. Packet switching involves cutting up data into small […]

Read More →
Oh Madeleine, Madeleine, whyfor art thou, Madeleine?

A short poetic interlude… “Augen gab uns Gott ein Paar,Dass wir schauen rein und klar;Um zu glauben was wir lesen,Wär ein Auge gnug gewesen.Gott gab uns die Augen beide,Dass wir schauen und begaffenWie er hübsch die Welt erschaffenZu des Menschen Augenweide;Doch beim Gaffen in den GassenSollen wir die Augen brauchenUnd uns dort nicht treten lassen […]

Read More →
George’s penny folly

One of the things scientists learn very early in their careers is to develop a sense of order and scale. It’s all very well jabbing away at a handheld calculator, and have it spit out answers to 13 decimal places, but if the problem to be solved doesn’t call for such accuracy, or is based […]

Read More →
Draig ar y Tafwys

A small Welsh invasion force was spotted this afternoon proceeding along the River Thames near Greenwich. The navigationally-challenged raiders were largely ignored by the local populace as they headed downriver, and are now rumoured to be holed up in a tavern near Gravesend.

Read More →
A cloud of hysteria threatens to engulf the planet

The authorities in Japan may have raised the nuclear alert level by a notch, and there is no doubt that the situation there is serious, but the fallout from Fukushima is arguably more political and psychological than radioactive. I have already commented on pisspoor punditry and reporting of the nuclear emergency, and since then have […]

Read More →
Angie’s Angst

Deutsch Atomkraft oder libyschen Öl – was für eine schwierige Entscheidung. “He [Libyan deputy foreign minister Khalid Kaim] begins by thanking the UN security council members who abstained, especially Germany, which seemed to amuse him for some reason.” Sehr komisch.

Read More →
St Julian of Melbourne: a man without sin

Courtesy of Laura MacPhee at the Index on Censorship blog, I learn that Julian Assange of Wikileaks and shameless self-promotion fame yesterday addressed the Cambridge Union. Following a “lofty allusion” to George Orwell,… “He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future.” …the brave and persecuted defender of […]

Read More →
Natural disasters and human reaction

Anthony Grayling is as ever on the ball when it comes to the question of divine non-intervention and the incompetence and/or immorality of a god who allows his children to suffer. However, with all due respect for the philosopher, Grayling appears not to understand the motivations of those who come together in places of worship […]

Read More →
Global energy and political will

"There are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources." (Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Stanford University) The political fallout of the nuclear emergency in Japan has brought to mind a recent two-part academic paper on energy policy which argues that meeting all global energy […]

Read More →
fff