A defence of royalty

My lack of interest in the forthcoming Royal nuptials is about as total as it gets. However, people will keep writing about it, and I don't always look away from their articles in time... So Johann Hari has written a fairly boilerplate piece about the monarchy, and why the UK shouldn't have one. He sensibly … Continue reading A defence of royalty

Facebook discussions with an old socialist

My dad's friend Martin is an old-school Labour man. I'm his friend on Facebook. It's nice being in touch with such people. Whilst they're not always right, sometimes they are. [Martin R]: The poor are dangerous. Some people: "this is patronising". Me: The poor *are* dangerous. This is clear from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Western … Continue reading Facebook discussions with an old socialist

Cruel and unusual pun-ishment

Bad puns, old Internet memes, very out-of-date 'cute animal news' stories, and aviation references, all in one photograph. I'm spoiling you all, just like being left in the sun for a week spoils cream. Yes, she really is at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle. Incidentally, this post was based on a tweet by @anattendantlord, which was itself … Continue reading Cruel and unusual pun-ishment

Dull Friday quiz

Since I've been blethering on about aviation, that's the quiz topic: 1) Which single airport (domestic or international) is the most popular passenger destination for people flying out of Boston Logan Airport? 2) Where was Air Berlin headquartered for the first 12 years of its existence? 3) Out of the top 40 international destination airports … Continue reading Dull Friday quiz

Airlines and Virginity

There's been some chat this weekend about a sale of Virgin Atlantic. Very much like the sale of Cadbury, this is a point where my general views about the free market are coloured by views by the awful bastards who might end up owning things that I like to have [*]. Virgin Atlantic are the … Continue reading Airlines and Virginity

Friends don’t let friends buy gift cards

Australia's worst book retailing chain, RedGroup (parent of Borders and Angus & Robertson) went into administration yesterday. There are a few reasons for this: 1) RedGroup was a highly indebted private equity portfolio company; 2) Australian retail spending has been weak-ish in general for the last year or so; 3) Books have been particularly hard-hit … Continue reading Friends don’t let friends buy gift cards

Mac, and back, with knobs on

I believe it's a popular cliche among serious enthusiasts for Mr Jobs's products to say "once you go Mac, you'll never go back". Here's a datapoint to the contrary. I bought a MacBook Air at the end of 2008. At the time, the GBP was at an entertaining 2:1 exchange rate with the dollar. Naturally, … Continue reading Mac, and back, with knobs on