Archive for June, 2008

Dead air

27Jun08

Assuming I can fix problems that the travel agents have suddenly discovered with my flights, I’m off on a two week holiday from tomorrow. Updates may appear, or they may not, depending on the whims of the Internet Gods and whether I write anything down while I’m away. With a bit of luck, I will […]


I’m supposed to be lesson planning, but this article caught my eye. Women in a northern Malaysian city ruled by conservative Islamists are being urged to forsake bright lipstick and noisy high heels in an effort to preserve their dignity and avoid rape. Kota Baru, the city in question, is part of Kelantan, a state […]


My town is probably the only town in Japan with sister schools in Turkey. Over a hundred years ago, a Turkish ship ran aground on the coast here. Most of the sailors perished, but a few were rescued by local people, and Turkey was grateful. There’s a small museum nearby commemorating the event, a few […]


When I was a teenager, continously in search of new reading matter, I worked my way through most of Robert Goddard’s books. I liked the plot twists, and the fact that I could read them in a few bus rides. One day, I had read almost the whole way through one of his novels (I […]


Mark Lynas has written a book on climate change, called Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. I haven’t read it, so I can’t comment on its content (though from the title, I would speculate that Lynas is not a climate change sceptic). He’s also written an article on the Guardian website about writing […]


The Economist has another example of a graph that tells the viewer, well, nothing. Last time it was due to comparisons between data sets which weren’t really comparable. This time, it’s an odd choice of data to start with. Apparently, trade diversity is important. My study of economics did not go beyond A-level, but I’m […]


It’s early summer, the rainy season is upon us and the mosquitoes are out. And this week love is in the air. Or something like that. Once a week, I attend a cooking class. I’m not a totally awful cook, but I could certainly use the practice. The teacher speaks a little English, but mostly […]


Previously: Prologue Vladimir Nabokov Hello, little girl.. Of course I’d heard of Nabokov before this, and of course I’d heard of Lolita, his most famous and most notorious work. But I had not read it, nor seen the films, so I knew only the barest outline of the plot. It’s a book about a man […]


Gordon Brown would have welcomed headlines pointing out that yesterday’s results were a victory for the Labour government. David Cameron would have liked them to emphasise that the vote was won by pressure, promises and concessions on other issues to anyone who wanted them. I don’t think either of them wanted this. David Davis’s resignation […]


Except I can’t, because I already did. And I don’t believe the best way to solve problems is to abandon them, anyway. But there are days when I really, truly, wonder what the country is going to look like when I go back in a year or two. The bill to increase pre-charge detention limits […]