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Thoughts

Olympics, children’s sport, and competition

I was not a sporty child. I was the sort of person who would much rather curl up with a book (good book for preference, but any book would do) for the whole of breaktime than run around outside. I hated tag. I always ended up being ‘it’ and could …

Lucy Skywalker, Prince Lee, and Hannah Solo

We watched the Star Wars trilogy again this weekend, and I commented to Robin that of course Luke figures out straight away that his sister must be Leia: she’s the only actual woman in the universe. (In the first film there’s Aunt Beru, and the second and third films have …

Maths to 18? Try getting maths right at 8 instead.

The increasingly bizarre furore over the possibility of returning to O Levels and CSEs in England has rather overshadowed another piece of news: a report suggesting that, because it is so essential in our society and so poorly understood, maths education should be made compulsory to age 18. But the …

The best time and place in history

This week we had a little competition at work: a bottle of wine for the best answer to the question posed by an article in Intelligent Life magazine: what was the best time and place to be alive? The article clarified the question in the standfirst: if you could travel …

Names, gender and identity

I was surprised at how disappointed (and disturbed) I was to discover that the title character in The Sword of Rhiannon was, in fact, male. And not only male, but a male evil god accidentally released from his prison. (This isn’t a spoiler: you find out who he is by …

sword

The Sword of Me

I can’t now remember why Robin and I decided to run an egosearch on Google Images. I think it might have been something to do with a discussion on the relative popularity of our names. In any case, Robin doesn’t seem to have very much of a net presence. A …

Directors’ remuneration

A few days ago we received in the post the voting information for the AGM of the Nationwide, with whom we have a mortgage and of whom we are therefore members. The resolutions we are asked to vote on are very simple: we are asked to approve the accounts, approve …

Iain Caddell

I recently learned that one of my school teachers has died. Iain Caddell was my guidance teacher for almost all of my time at secondary school. In that role he helped me through what was at times a very difficult period for me. He always listened to people, always treated …

Fuel prices and dividends

We were looking at a news article about fuel price rises the other day, and how some people are struggling to pay. Apparently Centrica are warning of further rises over the next year. Robin asked whether Centrica had paid dividends to its shareholders recently, so we looked it up.