Friday 27 January 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2017-01-27: Joni

Surveying her territory on a chilly day in the garden.

Delusions of a Big Nation

England's struggle with its own national identity is at the root of Brexit. In a recent article in the New European, Professor Nicholas Boyle develops this idea, and sets it in context of the demise of the British Empire. His piece makes some interesting points, but gets carried away at times, becoming too elaborate for its own good. (Also, a professor at Cambridge should really understand that Scotland is not a colony.)

I think Boyle's key point can be expressed a lot more simply: England has the self-image of a Big Nation.

Friday 20 January 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2017-01-20: Joni

I have claimed this rocking chair. It is mine now.

President Zuckerberg

A Vanity Fair piece by Nick Bilton asks, Will Mark Zuckerberg Be Our Next President?

According to Betteridge's Law of Headlines, the answer is no. But in his opening sentence Bilton insists this is a serious question, so let's play along. (The same question has been picked up by The Atlantic.)

Mark Zuckerberg.
Photo credit: By PresidĂȘncia do MĂ©xico - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

Friday 13 January 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2017-01-13: Joni

Joni on the conservatory roof, closely watching a squirrel (circled).

Passengers: Review WITH SPOILERS

Passengers (2016) has stayed with me more than I expected; beneath the glossy production design, and a love story between the two attractive leads, something much darker is struggling to receive its due.

Plot spoilers ahead; consider yourself warned.

Friday 6 January 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2017-01-06: Joni

I like this box. Now, what's going on up there?

Generation Ruin

For the first time I can recall, I am greeting the New Year with more fear than optimism. My personal circumstances are all right, for which I am very grateful; but the wider direction is frightening. I was born in 1978 and came of age in the 1990s. My generation grew up in a time of extraordinary optimism, which is now dead and gone.

It wasn't all sunshine. The first event in world news I clearly remember was the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. At school, they showed us the news on television, and we saw the brave student protestors with their version of the Statue of Liberty, named the Goddess of Democracy. Then we saw the tanks roll in. It was educational, although not in the way our teachers had hoped.

A man stands in front of a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square.
Image source: Wikipedia