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'The Mortal Maze', a modern thriller set in the Middle East

Comments & Reviews "Ian Richardson has written a page turning thriller that screams to be turned into a blockbuster...

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Tough times for French cinema?

Today's Guardian newspaper has a worrying article about the future of the French cinema. Worth reading if you love French movies, as I do.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Evidence that the past isn't always a Golden Age

It's true that gender equality has still not been achieved in many areas of society, but there have been great improvements over the past several decades. If you don't believe me, look at these adverts from the past:

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The changing meaning of words - cont.

The Macmillan Dictionary has changed its description of marriage to include same-sex couples.

The next step is to redefine "wife" and "husband".

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

What did you say was on fire?!

I was going through some old files yesterday and came across an email sent to me in my final years with the BBC. It came from a friend who had been producing a BBC interview with a well-known Hollywood actor. The actor -- sorry, but I am with-holding all names to protect both the innocent and the guilty -- was enthusing about his girlfriend:

Hollywood Actor: "I'm so in love I couldn't care if my house was on fire."
Interviewer: "I wanted to mention your arse."
Hollywood Actor: "What arse?"
Interviewer: "You brought it up. You said your arse was on fire."
Hollywood Actor: "I said my house was on fire. Daft bitch!"

Fortunately, the interview wasn't going out live, so the interviewer was spared her blushes.

Faith -- what does it now mean?

There was a time not that long ago that people were described as "religious" or "not religious", but nowadays the fashionable phrase is "people of faith" or "not of faith".

Those phrases are not just inaccurate, but insulting. I have faith in all sorts of things -- not least that there are more good people than evil people in this world -- but I most certainly do not believe that there is an all-seeing god somewhere out there directing the lives or each and every one of us. Nor do I believe that there is a heaven or a hell awaiting all of us when we die.

A friend of mine prefers to call people who believe in God as "religionists". This seems a sensible description and tucks in nicely with other accepted "ists" such as "atheist" and more than 1000 other descriptions ending in "ist": http://www.morewords.com/ends-with/ist/

LATER: Minutes after publishing the above, this interesting article from the Washington Post was drawn to my attention: http://bit.ly/WashingtonPostAtheism

Friday, 16 August 2013

How the meaning of a word is changed

A Guardian newspaper writer is annoyed that the meaning of the word "troll" or "trolling" has been wrongly widened by some powerful sections of the media.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Memories of a very recent past

Who would have thought 10 years ago that Google would become a verb? A fun picture shared by The Educator's Room:

Not as nice as they might sound

Just because those cold callers from overseas are Australian and sound really nice, doesn't mean they aren't trying to rip you off. The Guardian explains: http://bit.ly/14x7hpK

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Ooops! Did I really mean that?

Australia's Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, may take a while to live down this gaff. Perhaps he should invest in a dictionary.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Birthday greetings to William Goldman

He's 82 today. Birthday congratulations to a fine screenwriter and the author of one of the funniest and finest books about working in Hollywood. Buy it and you will laugh and learn.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Books on bikes

A new way to get books to the masses:  Have mobile libraries on bikes:

BBC man is so fed up!

So, why is BBC interviewer, James "Jim" Naughtie so irritated by the use of the word "so"? The answer is here: http://ind.pn/1cEjDFR

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Reading this newspaper could make you sick

An amusing pattern of "health" stories is emerging in the UK's Daily Express -- even to the point where the same front page headlines have appeared on different days. For more read this Press Gazette story.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Old Grammarian & the God's Triangle scandal

My wife stumbled across this biography of the Revd Hedley J. Sutton, my great uncle and one of the people to have a prominent role in the true story of my book, God's Triangle.

Hedley had an exceptional intellect and was a prominent Baptist missionary in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) before becoming vice-principal of Carey Grammar in Melbourne.

He was an austere, rather unwordly man, and as far as I have been able to establish, he never talked about the scandal that blighted some of his time in East Bengal or about his part in the cover-up.

This modern world

We went out for dinner with friends a couple of nights ago. A family was seated at the next table. Mother was chatting away, but no-one was listening. Father was on his mobile, daughter was texting and son was playing a video game.

We have since learned that this is now a common scene in restaurants.

Lines you wished you'd written yourself.

Famous first lines in literature, from Atlantic magazine. 

How to earn loadsa money -- become a charity boss!

The London Daily Telegraph reveals where chunks of your charity donations end up -- in the pockets of overpaid executives.

"Charity begins at home," goes the old saying, but does it have to be in the homes of the fund-raising bosses?

LATER: The Daily Mail joins the outrage against the huge salaries.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Australian film deal with God's Triangle

Very nice to get some publicity in Australia and London about the film deal for my book, God's Triangle: http://www.godstriangle.com/