Thursday 31 March 2016

The Inner Conflict of Han Solo [SPOILERS]

Obligatory warning!

Major spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Continue at your own risk.

Friday 25 March 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-03-25: Joni

Who disturbs my slumber?

The Calculus of Patriotism

Last week was a significant one for Scotland. Thursday 24 March was the prospective date for Scottish independence, if the 2014 referendum had gone the other way; the Scotland Act became law, devolving additional powers to Holyrood; and the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report was published by the Scottish Government.

With the fall in oil price and ensuing collapse in North Sea oil revenues, Scotland's deficit has drastically worsened. The deficit of the UK as a whole is 4.9% of GDP; that of Scotland is 9.7%. This would have presented a serious problem for the government of a newly independent Scotland.

Friday 18 March 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-03-18: Joni

Sleepy cat.

The Trump Dilemma

The elders of the Republican party are presented with an interesting choice. It's now all but inevitable Trump will go into the convention with a big lead in delegates, if not an outright majority. They can use backroom shenanigans to exclude Trump, within the letter of the party rules; or make their peace with his nomination.

Donald Trump

Friday 11 March 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-03-11: Joni

This box is mine also. (See photo from two weeks ago.)

Assorted US Election Thoughts

I've tried to compose posts on the US elections, but it's hard to know where to begin. We are witnessing a grandiose collision of money, power and spectacle that only the United States of America could achieve.

"What's happened to the American Dream?"
"It came true. You're lookin' at it!"

If the Comedian were a real person, he'd be loving this. And probably working for Donald Trump.

Here are some thoughts on the latest developments, in no particular order.

Friday 4 March 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-02-04: Joni

Joni is completely unimpressed by her new cosy cat bed (at left), and taking a nap on her scratching box instead.

Tuesday 1 March 2016

Second Blogiversary

As of today, I've been writing this blog for two years. Hurrah!

Here are the ten most viewed posts I've published in the last year, starting with the most popular:

  1. Bad Motivator: Star Wars Episode 3. One of a series of posts written before Episode 7 came out, and arguing the key flaw in the prequel films was bad character motivation.
  2. Bad Motivator: Star Wars Episode 1
  3. Acts of Cowardice: The SNP and GMOs. Criticising the SNP's extraordinary decision to enact a blanket ban on GM organisms in Scotland, which it openly admits was done for public relations and marketing, not science.
  4. Why I'm voting for Julian Huppert: The excellent Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, who narrowly lost his seat in the 2015 General Election.
  5. Bad Motivator: Star Wars Episode 2
  6. A Good Feature of The Phantom Menace. Yes, it has at least one good idea, although as usual George Lucas botched the execution.
  7. Magic Sugar Pills: On our leaders' embrace of homeopathy; and how it makes Jeremy Corbyn not only a bad leader, but a bad socialist.
  8. Farewell to Belle: In January we reluctantly had to rehome our cat Belle, who had been stressed and unhappy since the arrival of our baby son and our older cat Dexter's passing away. She has now been adopted, and we wish her all the best.
  9. Birth and taxes: Why I wasn't angry at having to pay a large tax demand.
  10. Clean Reader: Because It's Obscene. On the Clean Reader software, which bowdlerises e-books with a search-and-replace on certain words.
Of the older posts, Death and Facebook still gets a great deal of traffic. The subject of Facebook's inhumanity is not going away in the foreseeable future.

Cute Cat Friday remains a perennial favourite, now starring the lovely Joni (pictured).

I'm very glad to have kept the blog going through all the challenges of becoming a parent. I'm still enjoying it very much, and looking forward to many more years posting here.