Archive for the ‘People’ category

Carl Davis and “Safety Last!”

Thursday, 10 August 2023

I was very sad to hear last week that we have lost the film composer Carl Davis. He produced an amazing body of work, composing for film and TV, conducting, and writing concert works, including several ballets in recent years. Among his scores and soundtracks are The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the acclaimed documentary series The […]

Read the whole article...

Zhou Youguang (1906–2017)

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Zhou Youguang, who died today, the day after his 111th birthday, was known as the “Father of Hanyu Pinyin” due to his role in designing the Romanization system widely used for representing Mandarin Chinese. Today, Pinyin is the official Romanization system for Mandarin in China and many other countries, is used in millions of people’s […]

Read the whole article...

Aristocratic titles that shaped physics teminology

Saturday, 24 October 2015

I recently read that the buildings of the old Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University are under threat of partial demolition, which led me to consider where the laboratory’s name came from. Most people who work in physics will have heard of the Cavendish, and may assume the laboratory, and the associated professorial chair, are named […]

Read the whole article...

One constant good: Semper eadem

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

As a child, I remember reading in my treasured 1990 edition of the Guinness Book of Records about the longest serving monarchs. Back then, the book was a scholarly work, and amongst the detail, it gave the date, a quarter of a century in the future, when the Queen would take that record. Today, that […]

Read the whole article...

Return of the giant hogweed?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

This summer has seen numerous stories in the media about giant hogweed, including plenty of cases where people, particularly children, and even pets, have been injured after coming into contact with it. My fascination with the giant hogweed began in childhood when on holiday in Cornwall one year. There was an article in a local […]

Read the whole article...

James Horner (1953–2015)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

In March, I was fortunate enough to see the première of Collage, which was to be James Horner’s last concert work, at the Royal Festival Hall. At the end of the performance, the composer came on stage to take his bow, the same smiling, bearded gentleman as in the pictures accompanying his many obituaries this […]

Read the whole article...

Aldi: refreshing lack of cigarettes on sale

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Until last year, I knew little about the Aldi supermarket chain. Surely it was one of those stores selling strange, unheard-of, cheap brands of goods stacked up on the floor, at rock bottom prices? However, in July 2014, the newspapers featured obituaries of Karl Albrecht, the co-founder of Aldi and reportedly Germany’s richest man, who […]

Read the whole article...

Springfield, Oxfordshire

Monday, 30 June 2014

A few years ago, Sky Television ran a viral advertising campaign that featured a live action version of the famous opening sequence from The Simpsons, filmed at various locations in the UK, promoting Sky One as the home of The Simpsons on British television. The animated version begins with the camera swooping over the Springfield […]

Read the whole article...

Childish disrespect

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher, her policies and legacy, are highly divisive. Let me be clear: I believe people absolutely have the right to criticise her, to point out where she went wrong, to discuss and debate the way she changed the country for better or for worse. As she was such a major public figure, I do […]

Read the whole article...

Elizabeth Tower; next stop Platinum Jubilee

Sunday, 3 June 2012

It has been reported that most MPs are in favour of renaming the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster as the Elizabeth Tower in honour of Her Majesty the Queen, on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. The large square tower at the other end of the building was renamed the Victoria Tower to […]

Read the whole article...

By browsing this site, you agree to its use of cookies. More information. OK