Climate misperceptions

While there is near-unanimous agreement among climate scientists that Earth’s average surface temperature has increased from pre-industrial levels, and that human activity is a principal cause of global warming, opinion polling carried out by climate change communications specialist Edward Maibach and colleagues shows that a significant proportion of the general public in the United States […]

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Of blog posts and online illiteracy

Überblogger Norman Geras is understandably peeved with a linguistic faux-pas committed by many bloggers and blog followers. This concerns the use of “blogs” to describe both online journals and the textual products of the procrastinatory activity known as blogging. Let’s get this straight. What you are reading now is a “blog post”, and the section […]

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Old Geezers Mumming in Carshalton

And now for a spot of Christmas culture… Video by Francis Sedgemore A group of hairy, tweedy old farts, most of whom are associated with Morris dance sides in the south east of England, are seen here performing a traditional Mummers play in the Lord Palmerston pub in Carshalton, Surrey, on Tuesday 27 December 2011. […]

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Relaxing religion

A study by a student of religious psychology and his medical research colleagues based in Trondheim is said to show that there exists a positive correlation between church attendance and lower blood pressure among those who like to plant their bums on pews. What I would like to know is how this correlation compares with […]

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The march of democracy?

I have written before about Avaaz.org. Mostly positive, but also critical of its tendency to political hyperbole. That said, I shall continue to sign Avaaz petitions, and am confident that this form of mass-market, direct democracy has a constructive role to play in civil society. It doesn’t help, though, to see Avaaz get carried away […]

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Praise be to Jesus (but not on ITV)

Anyone who watches the output of British chat show host Jonathan Ross needs their head examining, but so too would any artist who turned down the opportunity to appear on one of the gobby shite’s insanely popular television programmes. The insanely talented musical comedian and evangelical atheist Tim Minchin didn’t, but his specially commissioned song […]

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Another light goes out over Europe

The words artist and statesman do not normally sit well together, but they certainly did in the case of Václav Havel, who died this morning aged 75. In turn a playwright, poet, dissident and president, and finally a writer once again. For me and my comrades on the libertarian left during the 1980s, as we […]

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Of slippery slopes and greasy poles

Of the many obituaries of Christopher Hitchens published today, few are worth reading. With some of them, my impression is of copy hastily hacked up long ago, with the scribes muttering over their afterwork pints, ‘For God’s sake, Hitchens, just die already, or my editor will lose interest and bin the piece I spent all […]

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So long Dude!

The Dude is no more, and I am without words to describe my reaction to the death of this fellow drink-soaked popinjay. My New English but London resident friend Katy Evans-Bush has done an excellent job of celebrating the life of Christopher Hitchens, and without resorting to the journalistic clichés that you will find in […]

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