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What a waste: the future’s rubbish

Every now and then the press gets exercised about your bins. They’re getting smaller, or they’re only being collected once a fortnight, or they’re going to be chipped, or weighed, or they won’t be emptied if you leave it in the wrong place (see image left, which comes from this story)… Nothing upsets Middle England […]

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I’ve always been a Maverick

When I updated my phone to iOS 7 a few weeks ago, I was a little concerned. I know enough to know that you should never, ever, be an early adopter. But I’ve always been a maverick, so I went for it. After a couple of days, I updated my iPad, too. In both cases, […]

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Apps for Cyclists

I’ve tried a number of apps for cycling, but the one I keep returning to is Cyclemeter. Unlike a lot of the others, Cyclemeter is a paid app, and the great thing about that is that it doesn’t nag you constantly to upgrade to a “pro” version. I am not a pro, have no aspirations […]

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Cheater’s Game by Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison

Although married 16 years, this is the first full-blown recorded musical collaboration between Austin-based Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison. It’s great. The vibe is very similar to Ms Willis’ recent solo work (her album Easy is one of the best-sounding records I own), but here her voice blends with Robison’s to great effect. They share […]

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Dancing on the Hedge. Spoiler alert: it’s shit

I’ve watched all three episodes of the BBC drama “Dancing on the Edge” – but why, why, why? I saw the previews. I quite liked the idea of a drama about social prejudice and jazz in the decade leading up to the second world war. I read about it in the Graun, and there was […]

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Educational Expectations

One of the latest buzzwords used to smite teachers is expectations. We were sent a form to fill in the other day (filling in forms being the response to most of the pressures put on schools) asking what we were doing to “raise expectations of what students can achieve”. Like most teachers, I’m offended by […]

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Roll away the scones

So I got some Elite Arion rollers. Not the cheapest option , and not the most expensive, these are just smooth plastic rollers in a plastic frame, no adjustments, no hook-up, no need to use fancy software. I’m a complete amateur at this, obviously, but I’d read that using rollers as opposed to some kind […]

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We don’t need more growth, we need more equality

All the chatter is about the lack of growth in the economy, which is a massive red herring for what’s really wrong. More growth means more consumption, and we need to consume less. What remains is a smaller pie, and the problem with the pie is that the idiot who sliced it up didn’t do […]

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A daily dose of wishing I lived somewhere else – a parallel universe, maybe

Bercow isn’t entirely wrong when he says that the low turnout at last week’s local election was a consequence of the lack of any real choice between the main parties. It’s even worse than usual now, because the Lib Dems are dead people walking, so the choice between Labour-Tory policies and Tory-Tory policies is like […]

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Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain

It was hard to avoid the publicity surrounding this book in the lead-up to its publication, and the author’s interesting TED talk was so gripping that I was very much looking forward to reading this. This review is based on having spent two weeks reading a copy I purchased myself. It’s not a professional rush […]