Viewing entries posted in December 2010
It's arguable that life's two greatest milestones, life
and death, are both ones we don't experience. The first
because we're not properly conscious; the second because
we're not properly conscious. You can't experience your own
death, by definition. Both being born and dying prove
It's the time of year for gifts. Which means the time of
year for gratitude too, though many Christmas presents the
cheap scent, the plastic toy will evoke the opposite
feeling: despair. As Socrates put it one day, when he
walked into the bustling...
There's a chilling moment in Michel Houellebecq's novel,
Atomised. Bruno met Christiane on the 'orgy circuit'. They'd
embarked on a wild journey of porn and drugs. Then, one day,
Christiane reveals something to Bruno. She suffers from a
degenerative condition. It puts her in...
The question type designers get asked more than any other is
probably 'why?' (or perhaps 'y?') Why do we need so many
typefaces? Why can't we stick to about 50, which would
obviously include the biggies like Helvetica, Baskerville,
Caslon, Gill Sans and Arial....
Whatever else Christmas may be about, it is definitely about
food. Turkey is as emblematic of the festive season as
tinsel; Christmas pudding as Christmas presents. Hence
supermarkets and celebrity chefs alike go into overdrive at
this time of year. Even non-foodies will obsess...
The drip-drip from the recent Wikileaks expos's often felt
like a case of 'tell us something we didn't know.' Prince
Andrew's opinion of the French. Gordon Brown's qualities as
a prime minister. The undiplomatic dispatches have
presumably been raising smiles, alongside frowns, because
I am now a philosopher, but once I was one of the three wise
men. Aged four, topped in a gold paper crown, I edged onto
the stage where Joseph and Mary (it was an all boys school)
stood woodenly by a crib...
The other evening we had a few people I don't know
terribly well round for dinner. While we were having a
drink my son, who is thirteen, put on some music: Land of
Hope and Glory. Deep down I absolutely love it. But...
December is upon us. Present buying needs to step up a gear
if we are to avoid a last-minute flurry of panicked purchase
decisions made in a marathon length relay between
overwhelmed and under-stocked retailers.
The other advantage of getting one's shopping done
We live in an individualistic age, and many suspect it does
not serve us that well, what with it's delusions of
self-sufficiency that breeds loneliness, and selfishness
that fosters alienation. But our attention to the individual
is far from all bad. Self-esteem, self-knowledge and
Between 1989 and 2010, the economy of China grew at an
average rate of 8.9 per cent a year. Growth figures of that
sort are normally only achievable in small countries; but
China has 1.3 billion people, a fifth of the world's