Archive for January, 2009


Darwin vs. slavery

January 29th, 2009

200 years since his birth and 150 since “Origin” was published. Darwin is going to own 2009.
We have a campaign to make his birthday on Feb 12th a national holiday.
We have a strong revival of that good old-fashioned church vs. science debate, currently squabbling over Darwin’s role in the “intelligent design” vs. atheists bun-fight.
And of [...]

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Aside: That Phone Message

January 28th, 2009

Just managed to grab this off my answerphone.
See this post and this one for the full story.

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Stem cells? Yes we can!

January 28th, 2009

Hot on the heels of Obama’s inauguration, here’s another welcome piece of news from the US: regulators have “cleared the way for the world’s first study on human embryonic stem cell therapy” (via BBC).
Obama has said that he intends to restore science to its rightful place in the national agenda. But of course this won’t [...]

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January 27th, 2009

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A blue moon occasion

January 26th, 2009

Most of the time freelance journalists have to chase their stories, ferreting them out of their contacts or trying to find promising leads on the newswires. It’s not easy, believe me, especially when you don’t have the reputation and reach of a big paper behind you.
And then come long hours pitching pieces to editors…
But once [...]

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One year ago

January 25th, 2009

I’m not much one for anniversaries or that kind of thing, and I really hate the kind of me-me-me journalism that relates every news item back to the interviewer’s own life… but having said all that, I’m posting this anyway.

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The new nuclear age

January 22nd, 2009

It’s easy to mock 1950s Britain.
America had shiny Cadilliacs and ice-cream parlours and the birth of rock’n’roll (yes alright, I’m basing my entire knowledge of ’50s America on “Back To The Future”). But what did Britain have? Post-war austerity, buttoned-up morality, grey food and bad architecture.
Oh, and we also had The Bomb.
When we think about [...]

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Remembering a talk about memory

January 20th, 2009

One of the best things about living and working in London is the year-round roster of talks and lectures at places like the Southbank and the ICA. For a freelance journalist on the lookout for stories, these events are essential springboards into new territory.
Last year I was in the audience for the launch of a [...]

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Don’t believe the (geno)hype

January 19th, 2009

I’m starting to put together my next freelance story. While I’ve got a few freelance gigs on the go - things like the Darwin commission - I like to have original pieces developing alongside them. It’d be nice to have an editor fund my work from a one-line pitch, but sadly my career isn’t [...]

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Context is everything

January 13th, 2009

Somebody saw fit to upload this “funny clip” to YouTube, presumably hoping to compete with dancing kittens and moonwalking otters for your affections. I’ve posted a response, but hopefully whoever put up the original will replace it with something a little less idiotic.

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