Environment

A light in the dark

They say life may be possible on other planets. There is water on Mars, even on the moon, and as long as there’s water, life as we know it has a fighting chance. Or so they say. The future of humanity may lie beyond our galaxy, as intrepid colonists of other worlds, so distant the …

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Of creation and the significance of pi

The other day one of my sons called to tell me (in a rather smug tone) that he’d written a computer programme that could calculate pi down to the nth decimal. “And that is good why?” I asked. I mean, I’ve lived most of my life with pi being 3.14, and so far this has proven …

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And in the night there is light

In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about light pollution, this being the encroachment of electrical light on the darkness of night. I don’t think anyone denies the benefit of artificial light – for those of us that live in the northern hemisphere, life would be very, very, very (you get the picture, right?) dark …

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In praise of spring and the returning light

Welcome to Sweden, staunch home of the Lutheran church as is displayed by the relatively large number of religious red letter days in our calendar. Not that Swedes are particularly religious – not these days. Neither are we pagan, but some rituals are hard to kill, and no matter Anselm (our apostle) no matter the …

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2036 is 23 years from now – thank heavens!

No sooner have we celebrated the fact that we’ve all survived the end of the world as predicted by the Maya calendar (which, BTW, seems to have been a TOTAL misunderstanding as the Mayans mainly concluded one cycle of time would end on the 21 of December 2012 and be replaced by a new one) …

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Man, mud and jeeps – a reflection on human perseverance

I spent Christmas away from home – very far away. On Christmas Eve, I lay awake most of the night listening to the hyenas scrabbling at the canvas of our tent. On Christmas Day, I lay just as awake, listening to the two lions that roared in chorus (or maybe they were roaring AT each …

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The end of the world

Since man took his first shaky intellectual steps, we’ve been thinking about The Final Day. All religious beliefs contain some sort of Day of Reckoning, and implicit in this is the belief that Someday It Will All End. The Maya Indians believed that this would come to happen on December 21 of 2012. Okay, so …

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Shop until you drop

It is five thirty on the Friday after pay day, and I’m stupid enough to be at IKEA with a shopping list long as my arm and droves of people equally equipped. Of course, the reason all of us are there at this same time is because our lists exceed our end-of-month wallets, and so, …

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Value for money

Today I bought a packet of ”Scottish cookies with Belgian chocolate” in my Swedish supermarket. Ah, the joys of globalisation, hey? I must admit it was the word Scottish that attracted me in the first place – that and the rather discreet packaging in white with a picture of – yupp, you guessed right – …

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Who made wasps? And why?

This weekend has, for a change, been sufficiently dry to inspire me to do some gardening. Quite necessary, as weeds thrive in the wet summer we’ve had so far. Now one can either embrace weeds and decide thistles, nettles, dandelions, chamomile and out of control daisies belong in your flowerbeds, or one does one best …

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