Yearly Archives: 2009

six months of linux

I’ve been running both the laptop and the desktop on various flavours of Ubuntu for about six months now, which is time enough to get an informed opinion. This wasn’t a deliberate decision. I started with Xubuntu on the laptop, … Continue reading

Posted in Blather | 13 Comments

A criminal failure

I picked up in Stockholm the latest Swedish crime sensation, Aldrig Fucka Upp (Aldrig means “Never”; the rest is quite easy for English speakers to work out). The author is a criminal lawyer in Stockholm, Jens Lapidus; it’s set in … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Sweden | 1 Comment

Night train tips

Swedish Railways runs some lovely sleepers which are, I think, the best way to get up to the north; and when you factor in the cost of a hotel room, they are also as cheap as flying and spending the … Continue reading

Posted in Sweden, Travel notes | Comments Off on Night train tips

Dead elk and minicabs

I spent last week rushing around Sweden, mostly to places I had lived in or visited before, as part of a Radio Four Crossing Continents programme which will go out in early September. The rest of the series is full … Continue reading

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Another encounter with a philosopher

I climbed from the bottom of the lecture theatre in the Law building in Cambridge to find at the top of the stairs, Professor Dennett, who engaged my companion in conversation. He was, he said, working on a research project … Continue reading

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The second time as farce

I would imagine Jesus was a kind of Jewish reformer. If you were looking for an equivalent to the figure you dimly perceive through the gospels it would probably be a Richard Dawkins.A C Grayling.

Posted in Blather | 3 Comments

on being told by PZ to fuck off

PZ posted a tremendous rant about me and Michael Ruse last week, which concluded with a heartfelt exhortation to both of us to “fuck off” (his emphasis). The cause was a piece I did on the grauniad site about Ruse’s … Continue reading

Posted in God, USA | 51 Comments

Granny on a mobile

I found through the extremely eccentric google news alerts a lovely clip of a wolf in western Finland, where is was discovered by a couple of schoolboys out for a walk. Being modern Finns, they did not pull out their … Continue reading

Posted in Sweden, Travel notes | Comments Off on Granny on a mobile

Consolations of a hangover

Well, Fishing in Utopia did win the Orwell prize. This is delicious and wonderful. I knew a couple of the judges liked it. I also knew – or at least strongly suspected – that one didn’t. I knew Tony Judt … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Literature, Sweden | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

undiscriminating reads

on trains in and out of London Ken MacLeod, the Night Sessions: very good and tightly imagined account of what a war on religion would actually mean; and what a secular Scotland would be like. Written with great sympathy for … Continue reading

Posted in God, Journalism, Literature, Sweden | 8 Comments