Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tutti frewti

Not quite the winner of the Michael Gove Ice Cream Parlour Spelling Bee.

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After some discussion as to what “essential object” meant, the professor leading the seminar said something meant to clarify things and drew something that looked like lightning bolts on the blackboard. “Mr Feynman,” he said. “Would you say that an … Continue reading

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Techno-pessimism: for & against

Leon Wieseltier loathes blogs, although it’s not clear he knows much about them: they don’t necessarily have to be “first thoughts”, and I don’t understand why he assumes there’s some sort of 300-word limit. Twitter arouses his scorn as well … Continue reading

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The Great War & beyond

“Unveiling Cookham War Memorial”  by Stanley Spencer I pass the memorial almost every day when I’m out walking. (Spencer’s brother, Sydney – who was killed in action in the last month of the war –  is among  the villagers whose … Continue reading

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In the spirit of Glenn Gould

A musician who loves crossing borders, from bluegrass to pop and folk, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile is about to release a collection of Bach sonatas and partitas. It turns out that a certain Canadian pianist is one of his prime … Continue reading

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Old world, new world

A.A. Gill used to be instinctively anti-American: One of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever done in public was to appear—against all judgment—in a debate at the Hay Literary Festival in the mid-90s, speaking in defence of the motion that American … Continue reading

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Sound advice about the greasy pole

Samira Ahmed attends a journalism conference where one of the themes is  how to encourage more state school pupils to enter the profession: Guto Harri made perhaps the most helpful comment of the morning panel discussion. Referring to the public school and Oxbridge … Continue reading

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Father’s Day

The card I received today has much the same punchline as this Blondie classic from 1950, preserved for posterity in my much-thumbed copy of the wonderful Penguin Book of Comics.

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Shortly before my arrival there had been another police campaign, reportedly of exceptional rigour, against illegal immigrants. The attitudes to immigrants are the same the world over – the stories about West Indians in England (“twenty-four to a room”) are … Continue reading

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The first time I’ve ever walked across the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Why did I wait so long?

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