Thanks for clicking by...

Gathered here are thoughts on literature, technology, education, religion, culture and anything else that interests me. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Please note, comments are (currently) unmoderated.

New Poem: The Transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus Mute rocks and burning suns fall, unknowing, from their blind orbits into dumb alignment. Through dark glasses we gaze up and wonder in wonder at these far symmetries, projecting onto heaven’s canopy untold desires for order amid the spinning choas. Venus, we call her, is in her transit. In our blindspots [...]

Share

Direct to Kindle: ‘Into Great Science’ available now

Amazon now allow anyone to publish to their store using ‘Kindle Direct Publishing‘ so I’ve uploaded a short story called ‘Into Great Science’ which I wrote last year. “Fumbling, floating, he found the hammer, and headed for the window…” In lean times NASA has gone into partnership with the Catholic Church, launching a ‘Voyager’-style probe [...]

Share

Soul Synaesthesia

This month’s Believer documents a strange case from Hungary of audio-kinetic synaesthesia. The subject, whenever he hears certain words, ‘sees’ them as discrete and definite actions or gestures. Colour synaesthesia is more common: sounds or numbers are seen as distinct colours, and some estimates reckon that around 1 in 23 experience it. And I just [...]

Share

Life after Life ¦ Christianity and Euthanasia ¦ Reverend Death

I finally got round to watching ‘Reverend Death’, Jon Ronson’s documentary about George Exoo, a Unitarian minister who has performed around 100 ‘assisted suicides’, mainly for those who have been turned down by other organisations practising legally in places/states where it is carefully controlled because they do not have terminal illnesses. Most of the people [...]

Share

Saviour Sibling?

A bill regarding the use of human embryos is currently passing through parliament at the moment, and, naturally, causing a huge amount of debate. One piece on the BBC caught my ear the other morning – a Bishop was asked what he thought about the creation of so-called ‘saviour siblings’: human beings created for the [...]

Share

The World Can’t Wait For You, USA

[Update: following extraordinary scenes where the US contingent were booed by the rest of the delegates when it was announced they would reject the compromised plan, they performed a dramatic U-turn and have agreed to adopt the 'road-map' (wouldn't 'path way' be greener?!). A huge relief. Now we just need some non-automobile metaphors :-] Gore [...]

Share

Eels | Quantum Physics | Many Worlds | Meaning

A quite brilliant piece of TV on BBC 4 tonight. Worth the license fee on its own, Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives traced the journey of Eels front-man Mark Everett uncovering the life of his father, the eminent physicist Hugh Everett III. Everett Snr, in a radical challenge to the Quantum Mechanical orthodoxy of the day, [...]

Share

In Praise of Eccentricity

Just back from a wonderful weekend in the depths of Wales. I didn’t find RS Thomas, or any great rural epiphany, but, in keeping with the joys of weekends in other people’s houses, had a great time dipping into some books. The most enjoyable was Edith Sitwell’s English Eccentrics*. It’s an eccentric volume itself, but [...]

Share

In The Shadow of The Moon

In The Shadow Of The Moon is a magnificent movie. No voice-over. No animation. No mock-ups. Just archive footage, and interviews with the Apollo astronauts. It’s stunning as a film, stunning to be reminded of perhaps the single greatest technological feat of mankind, and stunning to be reminded – in a way Gore never quite [...]

Share

‘Does Your Soul Have a Cold?’ | Wholphin | IFC Monday 9pm EDT

Out of the same stable as The Believer, Wholphin is a short-story mag for short films. They mailed me today about a great-looking film, showing on IFC this Monday at 9pm EDT. (I’d love someone to record it for me The spiel goes: Back in 2000, western pharmaceutical companies began a massive marketing campaign to [...]

Share