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my mendeley obsession 0

My Mendeley obsession

Everyone needs a little pointless highly-satisfying task to do when you should be doing something else – I mean, something other than Facebook. For me, that’s Mendeley. At first glance, it’s just a citation tool. Basically, you put all your journal articles, research papers, conference proceedings, book chapters, etc in...

Haute Couture bullshit 0

Haute Couture Bullshit

Some designer is making clothes out of cow dung. Look, I’m all for people doing innovative things with waste products, and animal excrement is actually a pretty serious problem. It’s a major contributor to the eutrophication of our waterways, leading to algal blooms and hypoxia (the depletion of oxygen in...

Review- Soul Tourists 0

Review – Soul Tourists by Bernardine Evaristo

Soul Tourists by Bernardine Evaristo is not at all what I was expecting from the cover or the blurb. It is a fairly linear story, but told partly in prose, partly in verse and partly in a sort of condensed dialogue format which swings from internal to external. It doesn’t...

The Perpipatetic Book Lover 0

The peripatetic book lover

It’s not easy being a book lover on the road. My parents (bless them) have several hundred of my books in storage in their garage, and yet I still shipped over two boxes of printed matter! One box of those were my diaries and notebooks and various works in progress....

Such lengths for a loo 0

Such lengths for a loo

Two tales this week show the extraordinary lengths people will go to in order to get a loo. A young girl in Dhanapur village in India went on hunger strike for two days to persuade her parents that they should build a toilet in their home. The 15 year old...

Review-Home Truths (1) 0

Review – Home Truths by David Lodge

We live in a society that is obsessed with celebrity and success. We like to think this is somehow new, but it was as true in 1999 – when Home Truths was first published – as it is now. Adrian and his wife Eleanor live in a nice home in...

The Source of the Thames 0

Source of the Thames

It was on visiting Oxford on a hot, hot day in 2004 that I decided that I wanted to find the source of the Thames. I didn’t know right then that that is what I was after, what I was pursuing. All I knew was that I wanted to know...

On the phenomenon of toilet cafes 0

On the phenomenon of toilet cafes

Approximately one hundred years ago, this blog started life as a place where I could collect all the toilet news you never knew you wanted to know. A few years have passed since I’ve done anything regularly toilet-related, but today an email popped into my inbox about a toilet cafe...

Two Galleries 0

Two Galleries

One of the things I frequently do in London is go to the 14:30 free tour at The National Gallery. Held every day, a guide takes you through 3 or 4 of the galleries, and talks about a dozen or so paintings. The tour is always different, depending on the...

hothouse by Brian Aldiss 0

Review – Hothouse by Brian Aldiss

Review: Hothouse by Brian Aldiss Look, I persevered. It is no doubt an interesting book concept. And I came away from it with a clear and unsettling feeling that I had just spent a week in overgrown and hostile jungles, amongst the sticky, sharp, cloying, impenetrable vegetation of Aldiss’s future...