Monthly Archives: January 2013

The one-woman Hilary Mantel backlash

I’ve only just started reading “Wolf Hall”, so I’m not qualified to say whether Joan Smith is right about the novels that are hoovering up Britain’s literary award. Let’s just say that she isn’t a fan: It isn’t even as … Continue reading

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Game theory & not blowing up the world

I’m not sure what the “Pop-Up Economics” rubric really means, but Tim Harford’s latest perambulating lecture — about RAND theorist and Nobel Prize winner Thomas Schelling — is absolutely fascinating.  And I say that as the proud holder of a … Continue reading

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Noises off

A champion of Twitter turns against — yes — Twitter: Look, I’m no saint here. I’ve said some things I regret on Twitter. The medium is dangerous and tempting. When Abraham Lincoln was mad, he would famously write people scathing … Continue reading

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The willows in winter

Cookham Bridge in the background, no swans and no swan-upping.

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Open all hours

If you write for The New York Review of Books, don’t be surprised if the boss calls you up with a query in the middle of the night or just when you’re sitting down to Christmas lunch. At 83, he … Continue reading

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Imagining the future

I’ve only ever read one Iain Banks novel — “The Wasp Factory”, a book I didn’t really get on with, if I remember rightly. And that was at least twenty years ago. But this interview in the Atlantic — pegged to … Continue reading

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From Cuba, in Creole

Definitely my album of the week: “Santiman” by The Creole Choir of Cuba, released on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Heartbreakingly beautiful songs. I like this collection even more than the group’s last album, “Tande-La”. If you want to hear … Continue reading

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On not being stuck behind a pillar

Booking seats in a West End theatre can be like buying a very expensive lottery ticket, so I can see a future for this crowd-sourced website.

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On not saying sorry

David Frum detects a hint of contrition from the movers-and-shakers at Davos. About time too: “What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.” So snarked Queen … Continue reading

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The greatest sporting moment of all time?

“So many things could have gone wrong but fortunately they didn’t.” Forty years on, Gareth Edwards and fellow-Barbarians revisit that magical try against the All Blacks. I’m really not sure I can remember a more thrilling sequence in a sporting event, 2012 Olympics … Continue reading

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