Covid Vaccines

Another great point from New Internationalist is that $100 billion of public money has been poured into private companies so that they can produce vaccines. Just in case you thought that the state was good for nothing and doesn’t support research and development! If this surprises you, find out who developed the touch-sensitive screens weContinue reading “Covid Vaccines”

New Internationalist – History of Vaccines

New Internationalist is a wonderful magazine, very engaging and very educational. Find out more about it here In the May – June 2021 edition here are two interesting facts that I didn’t know. Although Edward Jenner created the world’s first smallpox vaccine in 1796, he had some considerable help from a man who’s largely unsung,Continue reading “New Internationalist – History of Vaccines”

29th June – As I walked out one Midsummer Morning

I suppose this could be referred to as the sequel to Cider with Rosie. This book is superb as it’s equal measures of memoir, travel book, and historical reference. Laurie Lee leaves the Cotswolds, heads to London, and then determines to head further afield, arriving in Vigo in Galicia before taking a year to walkContinue reading “29th June – As I walked out one Midsummer Morning”

22nd June – The Plague

Written by Albert Camus, The Plague is at least partially an allegory of the German occupation of France during WWII. The narrator of the story is only revealed at the very end of the story. Most of the story is told in the third person, with only occasional references to ‘we’. The plague that comesContinue reading “22nd June – The Plague”

21st June – The Levellers

This is a review of the book “The Levellers: The Putney Debates” by Geoffrey Robertson QC. The Levellers were polemicists and pamphleteers rather than politicians, notable for their criticism of anyone in power, whether King Charles I or parliamentary leaders or generals in the army or the heads of city guilds in London. The LevellersContinue reading “21st June – The Levellers”

1st June – Paint Your Town Red

Paint Your Town Red by Matt Brown and Rhian E Jones tells the story of how one city in the north of England decided to level up without waiting for London to do something about it. Community Wealth-Building is a growing movement in the UK and elsewhere, aimed at transferring economic, social, and political powerContinue reading “1st June – Paint Your Town Red”

20th May – Profit over People by Noam Chomsky

Chomsky traces the history of neoliberalism from the Reagan / Thatcher years through to the 1990s via a series of free trade agreements. Neoliberalism refers to the policies and processes whereby relatively few private interests are allowed to dominate as much as possible of people’s social lives in order to maximise their profits. Chomsky analysesContinue reading “20th May – Profit over People by Noam Chomsky”

7th May – Pandemic – Covid-19 Shakes the World

The first book of Slavoj Zizek’s I’ve read and it won’t be the last. This is a very thought-provoking, funny, and accurate book, recommended for all and don’t be put off by the headline that this man is the most dangerous philosopher in the west. An example of what Zizek writes:In the last couple ofContinue reading “7th May – Pandemic – Covid-19 Shakes the World”

16th April – Finntopia

Finland was until very recently poor and had been historically a country of extreme poverty for centuries. It is quite remarkable to see what a people and their politicians have achieved by caring for each other and being clever. Finland ranks at or near the top in air quality, education, happiness, honest government, opportunities forContinue reading “16th April – Finntopia”

30th March – The Metaphysical World of Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton invented calculus, discovered the binomial theorem, explained the rainbow, created a reflecting telescope and explained gravity. He was Master of the Royal Mint and oversaw the updating of the English coinage. He was an MP. Most of these items should be known to most people. What is less well-known is that he spentContinue reading “30th March – The Metaphysical World of Isaac Newton”