Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Crypto insight

If Bitcoin and its ilk are disrupting old-type money, why do all news stories about it feel obliged to tell us the current value of Bitcoin in, er, US $? When will I see a story in which the value … Continue reading

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Carbon coins and the odd airship: Kim Stanley Robinson and the future

In the past, Kim Stanley Robinson has taken a Tolkien-like three volumes to transform a planet, in his magnum opus the Mars Trilogy. Now however, he can manage it in one. Admittedly, The Ministry of the Future is about the … Continue reading

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Yes, Africa really is home to the world’s top telescope

Two hundred years ago, a couple of interesting and related events took place in the worlds of science and of empire. Of course, they began in London. First, a group of gentlemen met at a pub and started the Astronomical … Continue reading

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“Fish, er, make love in it”

Was W C Fields right about the hazards of drinking water? I always feel a little uneasy about people who don’t drink tap water, at least in the UK. The water quality here is high, and the reasons people give … Continue reading

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Life off Earth: maybe some facts at last?

Life on another planet? (Or to be precise, in the clouds above it?) A news story doesn’t get a lot bigger than the detection of possible life indicators in the clouds of Venus. It potentially suggests that life is abundant … Continue reading

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Eclipses! Magic! Toilets! A life lived to the full!

If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at this. It’s the first attested movie of a solar eclipse, filmed on May 28, 1900 in the US. It has been lovingly restored after languishing in the vaults of the … Continue reading

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10-22 and all that

If you are at all involved in the world of higher education and research, you have probably heard of Skolkovo. A literal green-field site on the western edge of Moscow, it is home to post-Soviet intiatives including a business school … Continue reading

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Getting physical in Da Lin

What do you know about Taiwan? Well, it’s where one-time communist Chiang Kai-Shek fled in 1949 after defeat by Mao, to become a thorn in the flesh of mainland China and darling of the US right. It’s where most of … Continue reading

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Cash or card?

I am not much of a joiner of single-purpose campaigns. But here’s one I’d maybe pay money to support. And that would be appropriate, because the subject is money, and to be precise, coins and notes. Despite the offical Bank … Continue reading

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It was 50 years ago today – the most misreported event in sports history?

.. on December 9, when I was lucky enough to witness an undying talking point in sports history. The place: Anfield, of course. I, my father and 39,674 others were here for Liverpool v Leeds United. To be exact, in … Continue reading

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