Monthly Archives: May 2003

Fancy a Shag?

There are a lot of things I love about Britain. Some of them are a surprise even to me. I remember returning from work trips to California, Arizona, and southern Italy, a year or so ago and being overwhelmed, by comparison, with the green soft beauty of this country’s landscape. One thing I hate about […]

The Perfect Gift

Book lovers, pre-order this novel now. Twice. Update: embedded link to the Newsday review courtesy of the author. (See comment linked below.) Is it just me or do most of the recommended titles in that article read like the names of porn videos?… Like this:Like Loading…

Thanks, Dad and Mum

Back from my parents’ where I participated in a UN-inspired “computing for food” swap. They gave me lunch and dinner; I removed 1496 copies of the Klez worm and installed a virus checker. I also took photos, but they won’t let me post them to my Website. Protest now, PooterGeek readers! Like this:Like Loading…

Running Shoes. For Running In.

Every few months I have to go into a “sports” clothing shop, push my way through terminally unathletic people in Russell Athletic sweat shirts, step around pot-bellied blokes in Nikes who are unlikely to “just do it” or (anything else) any time soon and ask that question, the question that will penetrate the cookie-cutter hip-hop […]

Turkey Wins Song Contest

Everybody hates us; we don’t care. Like this:Like Loading…

Being John Tourist

I spent yesterday wandering around Cambridge with Chris and his equally funny and fun girlfriend Lynn. I bought overpriced fudge from the fudge shop, took photographs of them in front of great lumps of English heritage and we browsed antiques. We had a bostin’ time. They also nudged me into a CD fair where I […]

Erin Noteboom

Erin Noteboom is a thirtysomething former physicist who now writes full time. Recently she won the CBC Canada Literary Award for her series of Second World War poems Ghost Maps. Several are excellent; a few made me wince. She uses simple words powerfully. As well as her static site, she keeps a writer’s notebook. Like […]


Yesterday evening an attractive, smart woman took me out for dinner. Then we went to see The Matrix: Reloaded. I came home and stayed up until 1:30am… …listening to a documentary on the World Service about the current state of Afghanistan (or, as the BBC have it on their Website summary of the programme, “Afghansitan“). […]


I’ve been too tied up with computer problems this past couple of nights to post anything to the ‘Blog. How did I fix them? Well, non-geeks might as well stop reading this entry now. I fried the Windows partition table on my Win98 drive. Running PartitionMagic 4.0 under DOS I was told to follow the […]

The Eternal Optimism of the Israelis

One of the frustrations of a ‘Blog is that there are stories that you know all your friends would love, but you can’t tell properly because someone else involved in the actual events might Google for it ten years hence and object violently. So let’s just say I know of a person with a serious […]

English Food

It’s Friday night. I’m standing outside a restaurant with two Italians and a Mexican. (No, this isn’t a joke.) Another Mexican is yet to arrive. We are in King’s Parade, the most touristy of touristy locations in the touristy town of Cambridge. Across from us is one of the most photographed buildings in the World, […]

How Could It Come To This?

Do you remember the Cold War when people would talk about how things behind the Iron Curtain were nothing like as bad as the Americans said they were? Then the Curtain fell away and it turned out things were much worse. (After this revelation most of the Marxists on this side folded up their tables […]


This evening, driving home in the Spring sunshine from a seminar at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology I had the rare pleasure of leaning out of the window of the car and shouting “Awight, gorgeous?” at an attractive young woman and having her respond by waving at me and smiling. She was, of course, someone […]

Saint George

John Reid had the unenviable job of answering questions about the resignation of Clare Short, the International Development Secretary, this morning on the Today Programme. He put in a solid performance despite interviewer John Humphrys‘ “sophistry”. The accusation was accurate. Of course, Reid’s job would have been easier if he had not been forced to […]

Spring Clean

If you have a moment, hop over to where I've tarted up my photo gallery front page and added more captions to the photos themselves. Please let me know of any bugs or mistakes you find. I really will put up my sister‘s wedding photos soon. Honestly. Like this:Like Loading…

Or Maybe Banking…

When I was having dinner with Adrienne and Blaise and their friends a few days ago, A&B were teasing me that I was actually Jewish. Blaise really is Jewish; Adrienne just studied physics at The Weizmann . Yesterday I was reading an interview with James Watson, who used to be the director of The Cold […]

Déjà Not Vu

A quiet morning on Radio 4’s Today Programme so there’s time for an item about the evolution of the eye (Oxford physiologist’s grand theory about species expansion undermined on air by Cambridge biologist pointing out that the former has his dates wrong), time for an interview with a slippery Sinn Fein representative (refusing to answer […]


Bryan Singer has been responsible for some of the best opening sequences of films I have ever seen, in The Usual Suspects, The X-Men, and now The X-Men 2. Unlike the first in this series, which declined steeply from a beautifully directed and affecting first few minutes to a camp-a-thon between stagey Brit lead actors, […]

Poverty Breeds Crime

“As long as young people feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up you are never going to make progress” Cherie Blair The poor, poor things. Like this:Like Loading…

Well Done, Sis!

I was so busy being a cleverpants yesterday evening that I forgot to congratulate my sister publicly on her real cleverness in getting a promotion at work. Congratulations, Clare! She teaches law, adminsters a school, and still finds the time to raise “her” baby daughter, despite the lack of any obvious genetic connection. What’s Clare […]

Edward Said: Not Bad; Just Very Silly

There are scarcely enough quotation marks available for this entry. Edward Said, Palestinian “intellectual”, has published his latest “book”. It is 84 pages long. It costs £13. I am not suspicious of Said’s status as a Palestinian victim of Zionism*—he seems to be honest—but I become ever more suspicious of his supposed talents—how many ways […]

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