Filed under current affairs

The Heroism of A Stranger

The Heroism of A Stranger

In the park adjoining the Museum of Childhood is a drinking fountain with an unusual and tragic history. Most marble fountains were erected by local worthies to provide refreshment for visitors, a few are memorials, but I doubt if any has such sadness associated with it. Water is essential to life. It is central to … Continue reading

Fish Tank

Fish Tank

This is the third Andrea Arnold directed film I’ve watched, so I think that’s the whole of her output, and this is another intriguing story of a young woman at odds with the world. Mia lives on a council estate in Essex. Her single mum has a boyfriend, an early appearance of Michael Fassbender. The … Continue reading

Counting Islands

Counting Islands

Here’s an oddity from a few days ago in the i paper: Indonesia is to begin the mammoth task of counting all of its islands with the aim of protecting its territory and natural resources. The government has never had a definite number of islands that make up the vast archipelago, with estimates reaching up … Continue reading

Writing and the Brain

Writing and the Brain

Here’s an article from Thursday’s i paper by Tom Bawden Learning to read profoundly transforms the brain, according to research which sheds new light on disorders such as dyslexia. It is because reading is such a new ability in human evolutionary history that our genes do not provide for a “reading area” i out brains. … Continue reading

Brexit – The Devil and the Details

I’ve heard a lot about how hard Brexit will be, and the governments rush into it is worrying. Here’s an article from the i’s Jim Armitage which provides an example of the complexities ahead, and should terrify anyone in these islands. The complexity of untangling 44 years of seamless trade and regulation with Europe is … Continue reading

Child Prodigies

Child Prodigies

James Ferguson grew up in rural Scotland in the early 18th century. Like most families, the Fergusons could not support their children so sent them to work at an early age. James became a shepherd but spent his days making models of mills, spinning wheels and any other mechanisms he saw. At night he lay … Continue reading

The Eagle Huntress

The Eagle Huntress

This film follows 13 year old Aishoplan as she becomes the first female eagle hunter in Kazakh history. We see her with her family, helping with the family farm work, and staying in town where she and her siblings are at school through the week. She comes from a long line of eagle hunters, but … Continue reading

Imprisoning the Mentally ill

This is from Patrick Cockburn, award winning war correspondent with the i paper. It seems a far cry from his usual topic, but not really. The criminalisation of the mentally iill is one of the cruellest and most easily avoidable tragedies of our era. He discusses a number of cases of impending executions for the … Continue reading

The So-Called Disease of Aging

The So-Called Disease of Aging

Last night I watched a BBC documentary largely focused on the work of eminent biologist Paul Nurse, on current work on gene technology in relation to the process of ageing. He spoke of how cells develop cancer and dementia due to the simple process of age, the cells just accumulate damage which impairs the usual … Continue reading

The Limits of Lip Reading

The Limits of Lip Reading

Most of us think of deafness as just not being able to hear things, but there is a huge spectrum of hearing deficits from high pitched to the very low, often the result of prolonged exposure to industrial noise or rock music- I know of a dentist who struggles to hear women’s voices. Must be … Continue reading