How the other half live - part four

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla on their three week holiday at their villa on the Cote d' Azur.           Pictures courtesy of Reuters.

Why are we at war? part six

The Taliban are currently fighting the Coalition and the Afghan government to the negotiating table. After years of telling us that the Taliban are terrorists with whom negotiation is not possible, our leaders have suddenly identified 'moderate'...

Money and Ethics

The German newspaper, Der Spiegel, has revealed the Catholic Church has been investing in the American company, Wyeth, the birth control pill manufacturer. It also brought to light that it had investments in the British arms company, BAE Systems and...

I was tagged

5 things about me - I was tagged... I was tagged by davidsbass Let's keep this going (not) I was tagged........ write down 5 things about yourself and tag 5 people to keep this going. This is a childish and silly game, pursuing the...

Boko Haram

More than seven hundred people have been killed in a week long insurrection in Nigeria. The Maiduguri prison under attack. The Nigerian authorities have been collecting hundreds of bodies from the streets after a week of clashes...

Social networking sites blamed for suicides

Archbishop, Vincent Nichols, the Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has criticised social networking sites, emails and text messages, claiming they can cause suicide in young people. The Archbishop claimed that such electronic...

Racism

President Obama's solution to America's racism problem. Let's get together and have a beer. Picture courtesy of Reuters.

How the other half live - part one

For billions of people life is a constant struggle to merely survive. A Somali refugee at an aid camp. A Somali mother and child. A doctor pinches the skin of a mal-nourished Somali child. A displaced Sudanese boy. ...

The Fall of Richard Nixon

I remember Richard Nixon's time in office well, even though, or is it paradoxically because, I was child at the time. His changing, but always, iconic status in the public eye has always been a mystery to me. Even as a child, it was obvious to me that...

What price sport?

Alma illegally killed. A golden eagle. The birds are illegally poisoned to improve shooting on grouse moors. Photograph: Murdo Macleod. Alma, a young female, golden eagle, which had been tagged and was being tracked by Roy Dennis on his...

Pizza: a history

The invention of pizza was a long and slow process. It would be more accurate to say that it evolved, rather than it was invented. Whilst many people, rightly associate pizza with Italy, its origins probably date back to ancient Greece, where flat...

Jedi

You may, as I did, think that Jedi was a fictional religion, invented as a part of the Star Wars story. You may have even heard of tens of thousands of people across the English-speaking world declaring themselves in census returns to be Jedi, and...

Krakatoa

This is my hundredth blog post. As a special treat I have chosen to present some spectacular pictures. The volcano on the island of Krakatoa is showing signs of activity once more. An amateur photographer, Dr Marco Fulle, who is an Italian...

Why are we at war? part five

“The problems that exist in Afghanistan are not susceptible to a military solution.” These are David Miliband's words. In that case, I would have to ask the foreign secretary: what are our soldiers doing there? Why have they been there since 2001? What...

Violence

If you succeed through violence, you have not solved the problem, but only created the seeds for another. These are the wise words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Violence takes many forms. At its most tragic we see it writ large in the killing...

Organic food?

Latest research states that there is no evidence that organic food is any better for one than conventionally grown food? Given the additional cost of buying organic food, this woulld seem to clearly imply that we should avoid it.

Why do we tell stories?

I have just read a book that should be of interest to everyone who loves stories and is curious as to why we devote so much time and effort to the telling of stories. Throughout history and across the globe every known society has produced stories and...

The paradox of self-interest

If we adopt a self-centred approach to life by which we attempt to use others for our own self interest, we might be able to gain temporary benefit, but in the long run we will not succeed in achieving even our own personal happiness. These are the...

Why are we at war? part four

David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has presented a change of tactics. He has proposed, not merely negotiating with the Taliban, but offering them high ranking positions of authority and influence in the Afghan state. These are the very people who...

This is the most important blog ever!

You don't think so but it is. Just look at the hits it got. Never mind there are no comments. There are so many hits. You got to read this. It is so important and so am I! Does that offend you? Does that make you laugh? Do understand I wrote it...

Do the right thing

Two wrongs don't make it right. These are the wise words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They were also the words of my mother, said so long ago that I no longer recall precisely when (although, I must admit, more than once). We all know the...

Scribbles Challenge 39

The monk and the novice were journeying across the endless steppe. This was a pilgrimage, a quest, which would enable the novice to reach a higher state of spiritual development (although, he had not been told its purpose). Together, this novice and...

Fear

Fear arises when we view others with suspicion. These are the wise words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. How often do we needllessly harm ourselves and those round us by creating fear as a result of our own inability to see others without...