Monthly Archives: August 2012


Curiosity has been sending back pictures from Mars.

NASA has named a local spot Glenelg which, apart from being a place is Scotland, is the name of the beach district in Adelaide, just down the road,  where I often take the dog for a walk.

I think that is cute.

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On being wrong

Image by Jack Triest

I was wrong on climate change

You have to be prepared for unexpected evidence on climate change and I think I might have been wrong.

I thought that that the BBC would never report solid evidence that the Antarctic ice shelf is cooler now than it used to be.  I was convinced that it would just never happen.  After all,  Richard Black, the BBC’s environment correspondent is so sure his ground, and exerts such a powerful influence, and is so definite that “the science is settled” that all would be ever see from the beeb was a story of catastrophic warming.  Oh well, no one can be right all the time. Continue reading


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All Blacks win 22-0 tonight

Just got back from Coopers’ Alehouse in Adelaide.  Jeanie went to Sydney last weekend to watch the All Blacks win the first of the three annual matches against Australia for the Bledisloe Cup.  Tonight it was at Eden Park in Auckland, where it is nigh on 20 years since anyone beat the All Blacks.  They do not show rugby live here on free-to-air, and I have resisted having the awful pay-TV channels they have here in the house.  So we went out.  Atmosphere, we thought. Continue reading

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Filed under News from at home, Sport

Left, Right, Closed, Open

I am starting to wonder if there is a bit of realignment going on in the world order.  In the sense that, instead of the old dichotomy between the political left and the political right, a more important distinction is emerging between those who want  openness of information and debate, and those who want to close it down.

And curiously, it is tending to emerge that, by and large, it is those from the traditional left who are keenest to close down open debate, and to have government police, not just our streets, but our newspapers, our internet access and (if they can manage it) our very thought processes.

Examples abound.  Here are just a few: Continue reading

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William Carlos Williams

Most people grow out of any early liking for poetry, but I never have.

I came across my copy of William Carlos Williams’ Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems the other day.  This was his final collection, as fresh today as it ever was.

Like Pasternak, he evidently thought that poetry was no more a profession than good health, and practised as a doctor specialising in paediatrics.  He married, had a family and did all the stuff that successful professional men do. But he also wrote great stuff. I have always liked this little masterpiece of 20th century American literature, which I assume is about his mad but loveable friend Ezra Pound:   Continue reading

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Picture Post

There is no point to this post.Perdita the English Setter Except that I like this picture taken by Louise Woodhouse.

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Funny ha ha Scottish Style

According to the BBC, the funniest one liner from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year was by Stewart Francis:

“You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”

This was bit lost on me, because until now I neither knew nor cared that David and Victoria Beckham have children called Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven. So it was a bit like those jokes from Shakespearean history plays that are not at all funny until the pun is laboriously explained.

I preferred the other 9: Continue reading

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Daughter II

Lucy also has her own blog site now, at

Annabel meanwhile seems to be busying herself as editor at Citizen New York.



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St Peters InterCol

Here are some photographs of the St Peters v Prince Alfred InterCol football match for Year 5, the final match of the season.  We are talking football like in soccer here, obviously, not Aussie Rules.

These are all thumbnails: the full size images are available here.   But these are quite big, so might take a while to download.  If you want to see the pictures on screen – but not print them – there are medium sized versions here. These are my copyright, but all St Peters or Prince Alfred staff and Year 5 parents are of course welcome to use them for private purposes.  Continue reading

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Assange helicopter rescue

Here is an interesting question.  Suppose:

  • The news the Ecuador has granted Julian Assange political asylum is true, and
  • That enough money could be raised to rescue him by air.

Update 17/8/12: Ecuador has now granted asylum.  It says that Assange’s fears are justified.  They are plainly right: if this was all about the Swedes wanting to interview Assange about these absurd “retrospective rape” charges, they could have accepted Ecuador’s invitation to do the interview in the Embassy. They still could.

Update 22/8/12: According to Julian Assange, the UK police have been in the building the other night, swarming around the fire escape, presumably trying to nab him in the corridor.  It seems that the embassy is just the upper ground floor apartment of this building, and not the staircase or the rest of the building. So this might not work: it seems that the police would be able to grab him as he headed up the stairs towards the roof.  Pity.

Would a helicopter rescue from the Embassy roof be practical?

It seems clear that if Assange were to simply hail a cab for the airport, he would be arrested on the spot.  Even if he got to Heathrow, he would be arrested there.

The nearest place of safety would be somewhere like Jersey – outside the European Union but still within helicopter range of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange is holed up.  Continue reading


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