April 12, 2011 | palm trees in W2

pigeons puzzled by
the palm tree’s flutter of green knives:
no branch, no leaves – what?


April 12, 2011 | I, me, this person

In his forthcoming book, Julian Baggini (see article, New Scientist, March 12th) will probably, address the fact that we each of us experience our “self” both as first person singular – “I”, as first person plural – “we” – and as second, and sometimes third, person – “me” and “us”.

And that first person is experienced [...]


April 12, 2011 | Defence spending, etc..

James Blitz, Alex Barker and Carola Hoyos ended their very interesting and substantial article about Defence spending, “Up in the air” [FT September 21st 2010] by quoting RUSI’s Malcolm Chalmers: “This change in Britain’s posture will be the most significant since the immediate aftermath of the cold war”.

I have just re-read the Ministry [...]


April 12, 2011 | AGING

I am old, very old:
Knee, ankles – thick ; eyes water; ears mistake;
_____________________and memory…and gut…and tremor
Brain? So far still here…


April 12, 2011 | Haiku

Parakeets’ best height
__________________to fly at
__________makes for zigs
and zags. Ah.


April 12, 2011 | Comment, autumn 2010

I have listened, at two highly respectable London think tanks, to dramatic accounts, one of Iran’s Missiles, based on Israeli intelligence, the other about China’s economic and military espionage, based on American.

What with a new coalition government, a financial crisis, global warming, a deficit and government’s cuts and its SDSR, we in this country [...]


April 12, 2011 | Letter to New Scientist, August 2010

Among all those people in your August 7th issue, writing about the universe and so on, is there one who can tell me how the Big Bang is a better bet than Genesis? I find them equally incredible.

not published


April 12, 2011 | China

Your leading article, CHINA THE ENABLER (International Herald Tribune 4/5 – 12 – 10) asks “What is China thinking?”
I guess China is thinking “What is the United States thinking, sending a nuclear-powered, nuclear–armed, aircraft carrier, and other warships, and announcing, and conducting, along with its ally South Korea, live-fire exercises, in disputed waters, close to [...]


April 12, 2011 | Circumcism and Panic

It struck me, reading a book recently about male circumcision (by an American Jewish doctor), that 30-50 years ago a vast majority of American boy babies were circumcised – at 8 days, in hospital, without anaesthetic, without their parents there.

This very early trauma, I thought, might well account for some of the national paranoia, [...]