Monthly Archives: March 2012

Last resorts

Micronesia is shrinking. Although spread across a vast swath of the pacific, this sub-continental grouping of tiny island states and federations was already small enough in land area, but is now getting noticeably smaller year by year. Recently I heard that many citizens of Vanuatu are planning an imminent move to one of the Himalayan

My way or the highway

There is a recognizably French way of parking. You kiss the car in front in a sociable manner, then kiss the car behind with slightly more élan. Then you kiss them both once more, because two kisses are de rigueur among the citizens of Gaul. Then you step into the street as if you owned

Doing porridge in the Goldilocks Universe

Douglas Adams kindly presented us with the ‘puddle parable’ before he left, in which a pool of rainwater is so impressed by the way the pothole he lies in exactly fits his shape, that he believes himself destined for greatness … right until the sun dries him up. This spoof on anthropocentric thinking, intelligent design,

Sparing the rod

I recently watched a harrowing interview with a Swedish couple who had lost all of their children. No, there hadn’t been a fire or anything. Social services simply turned up at the door one evening with a couple of police officers, grabbed the kids (who were kicking and screaming blue murder and trying their best