Tag: society

By now you have probably heard about the phone hacking scandal that has swept across the United Kingdom and shut down the world’s most popular English-language paper: the News of the World. With a circulation of some 2.6 million, the 168-year-old News of the World dwarfs papers like The New York Times and the Guardian, and only really stands up against other populist tabloids like the Daily Mail and The Sun. The current state of play suggests that phone hacking…

It has slowly and insidiously come to my attention, over the last two years of ‘pro’ writing, that most bloggers seriously struggle to compose cogent sentences that other humans can comprehend. Apparently it’s actually hard to put words together in a way that conveys your thoughts. I don’t want to point any fingers — that would be rude — but it’s safe to say that the problem is endemic to blogging, and almost every site has at least one writer…

I’ve been watching Boston Legal recently. In it there’s a character called Alan Shore who uses his passionate,¬†mellifluous voice to devastating effect in courtroom closing arguments. In an episode I just watched he argues that the U.S. government should ‘hire the geniuses’, rather than public sector contractor cronies. It’s not actually his best closing (his ‘Free Religion’ one is amazing), but later, talking to his buddy Denny Crane, he says it a lot more succinctly: Hire the geniuses, not the…

via ted.com … and now I want to go to New Zealand! And do underwater photography! This talk’s an almost perfect blend of insightful commentary, beautiful photography and chilling reality. (Eleni, this one’s for you!) Watch out for the bit on Blue Fin tuna — I had no idea that FISH (not sharks, not whales) could weigh a ton. A ton tuna would be about two or three times the size of the tuna in the above photo, by the…

via youtube.com I don’t think people appreciate the power of nuclear weapons. ‘Hiroshima!’ people cry. Sometimes people even remember the other one: ‘Nagasaaaaaaaaakkeeeee!’ Yes, atomic weapons have only ever been used twice. Little Boy and Fat Man were incredibly primitive devices — really, Little Boy hadn’t even been tested before they dropped it. Fat Man had been tested just once. They were dropped, about 150,000 people died, and that was that. No more atomic weapons — just research… lots and…

… I might even be a celibate gay like him too at this rate. (Though, with one of my cousins now successfully married off, there is slightly less pressure on me to, er, perform… in the Jewish sense…) Anyway, the genius, polymath, inimitable and generally-awesome Stephen Fry twittered a link to a 30-minute video interview. Ostensibly, from the title, it’s some kind of retrospective… but it really isn’t. Stephen spends half an hour giving us a succinct and hyperacute overview…