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The couch potato, the chav, and the Oxford English Dictionary

Apparently we should not use the term couch potato [Wikipedia definition] any more as this is giving the humble potato a bad image, according to the British Potato Council. Read more here. They are apparently mounting protests outside the offices of Oxford University Press – printers of the Oxford English […]

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Britain’s Dire Houses

An Englishman’s home is his castle. So goes the old phrase anyway. In truth, it’s probably more likely to be a nasty, damp, poorly maintained house on a anodyne street in some suburban area. Oh, and the house will cost a fortune to buy or rent, the windows will let […]

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Science in Kansas

It’s not usual for me to post any US politics news here, but this is a funny way to present the religious fervour in Kansas, thanks to AMERICAblog. The state of Kansas has been determined to press ahead with plans to teach a religious approach to science: In honor of […]

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Schüssel’s Reactionary Carrot

So is this the price we have to pay to keep the European Constitution alive: to slow down the pace of enlargement, as suggested by Austrian Prime Minister Wolfgang Schussel in today’s FAZ, reported by EUObserver? I suppose that such comments from a centre-right leader of a country in which […]

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iBook in the fridge

How do you breathe new life into an old Apple iBook? Put it in the fridge! Seriously, I was about to remove the memory from a 3 year-old and bashed-to-death iBook that had packed up a few months ago and thought ‘Ah, well, let’s see if it turns on’ and […]

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Politics in a field – Björkvik [UPDATED with photos – 15.08.2005]

Every country has its bizarre political traditions. The UK has more in the House of Commons than most countries have in total. But Sweden must have one of the sweetest and very old-fashioned political traditions – Goran Persson’s annual speeches at the Folkets Park in Björkvik, in the countryside somewhere […]

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What is a lingon berry?

There are some small things about spending time in other countries that it’s just hard to get your head around. Matters that are more complex than translation difficulties. One such complication in Sweden has been the lingon (-et) which literally translates as lingon berry. So what, you ask, is a […]

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The strange world of Swedish football

My previous experience of football outside the UK has been quite grand. While on my travels I have watched Inter vs. Helsingborg FF at the San Siro in 2000, and FC Barcelona vs. Club Brugge at the Nou Camp in 2003 (both Champions League). In the last fortnight, I have […]

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Two tests every blogger should take

You might have read some of the other entries here and thought "what is this guy on about". That’s for sure the way I feel when reading many blogs! So here’s an idea to do something about it. There are 2 tests that give a good idea of what a […]

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Why Europe (but not the people) will run the 21st century

It is seldom that you come across a political book as clear and straightforward in its prognosis as Mark Leonard’s "Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century". The chapters flow with a clarity that is unusual for such a book, and it for sure really makes you think. But there […]

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If CNN is the face of globalisation??

??then we have to be quite worried. I am thankfully sheltered from CNN at home in London (the joy of terrestrial TV, and choosing your news sources on the internet) but come across it from time to time on my travels and never cease to be shocked what a heady […]

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The ending of youth – now even in political terms

Each and every one of us has to cross the bridge at some point. From the security in the relative innocence of youth, we traverse to arrive in the hard world of adult life and realise all of what we have been ‘building’ for years actually counts for very little. […]