August 2006

A comment was posted earlier that has a certain resonance. While there is no greater online sin than blogging about blogging, I will trespass for a moment – always with the aim of pleasing you better, dear spectators. The comment: You know, if you took the amount of time you spend on a week’s worth […]


While cycling today, I was thinking about moral orders. Specifically, if one was given the chance to take any moral formulation that human beings have dreamt up and ascribed divine status to and make it real (give it ontological status), which would you choose and why?


Apparently, Paul Crutzen, an environmental scientist who shared a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on the role of CFCs in ozone layer depletion, thinks we should correct for global warming by injecting two million tonnes per year of sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere. According to Wikipedia: “sulfates occur as microscopic particles (aerosols) […]


Antonia invited me to see the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s book this evening and, despite having watched the first twenty minutes as a free online trailer, I found it well worth paying for. Based on our discussion afterwards, I have tentatively concluded that it is a film unusually subject to people taking away […]


To those with access to e-Journals different from those at Oxford:


In less than a week, I will be in Vancouver. This astonishing thought has partially provoked the cascade of attempted task completion that my life should turn into between now and then. I have even been wandering around inside the insane labyrinth that is the OUSSG website. Frankly, I am scared of it. I have […]


Oxford’s canal system is one of the more interesting parts of the county to explore. They certainly look as though they harken from a departed era of red brick and steam powered industry. Nonetheless, they have a good modern role as walking paths, cycling routes, and waterways for the longboats that seem to form a […]


Today’s bi-hourly deluges precipitated the purchase of an umbrella: not for my own sake, but on account of the constellation of electronic gadgets that now follow me about as I walk a broken bicycle to Cowley, or carry groceries back from Sainsbury’s to Church Walk. There is a lot of talk these days about combining […]

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A friend of mine challenged me to come up with the collection of items that I would submit to ‘Desert Island Discs’ – a British radio show in which interview subjects are questioned about what they would bring along to soften the experience of being stranded on a desert island: “Created by Roy Plomley in […]


I bought John Banville’s The Sea in Dublin because I so enjoyed Shirley Hazzard’s The Great Fire: the last Man Booker Prize winning novel I had read. Actually, I note with some surprise that, upon looking it up, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty won the Booker Prize, while Hazzard’s book did not. Nonetheless, from […]

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