Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Lest We Forget: 2016

What an instructive year 2016 turned out to be!

We learned nothing new, of course — I am hard-pressed to name any year when that happened. But it was a great year for reminders. 

Monday, 27 June 2016

In praise of immigrants

Immigrants in Britain have been suffering abuse and harassment in the days following the notorious Brexit vote. By immigrants I mean anyone who the psychotic xenophobic shit-heads have decided does not belong in the UK. Which means: unless you have pasty white skin that goes blistering red after fifteen minutes in the feeble English sun, you are at risk of being identified as “an immigrant”. But the waves of intolerance and hatred extend well beyond those whose bodies reflect light at unwelcome wavelengths. Anyone who is an actual immigrant feels suddenly unwelcome, too. It doesn’t matter whether you are poor with no skills beyond ambition and tenacity, or well-off and well-educated and propping up local deficiencies. It doesn’t matter whether you are at risk of being evicted post-Brexit, or are legally allowed to remain. It doesn’t matter whether your family arrived one generation ago, or you arrived last week and were only expecting to be here for two years. Whatever the case: you do not feel welcome. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Rumours, secrets, and other sounds of gravitational waves

Last Wednesday LIGO announced another detection of a binary-black-hole merger. Four months passed between the first announcement (in February, of a detection the previous September) and the second (a detection from late December). Which begs the question: are more on the way?