May 2008

Two brief items about time and my recently completed circumnavigation. For years, my timepiece of choice has been the Citizen Skyhawk. It’s a solar-powered marvel, with only one flaw: its multiple city feature doesn’t accomodate the Indian time zone (IST=UTC+5:30). When I was at Hyderabad Airport last week, I stopped by a watch store and…

Read More Time travel

The photos from the trip (334 of them) are now up here. Among my favourites: The “broken rainbow” bridge in Beijing. The sheer scale of the Forbidden City. A view inside…. Announcing a bake sale in my hotel for the earthquake victims. Tianenman Square. Hutong pics: #1, #2, #3. Beijing subway. Beijing Airport, Terminal 3.…

Read More Photos are up

I’ve just arrived back in Seattle after my circumnavigation. The day started out uneventfully: I drove from Oxford to Heathrow, dropped off the car, took the shuttle to Terminal 3, checked in, and flew through security. What’s wrong with this picture? I thought Heathrow was the airport we all hated… The flight to Chicago aboard…

Read More Heathrow works, Chicago sucks, Edam isn't

I was in the Oxford W.H.Smith’s just now, and among the books upstairs they had two full shelves ((I.e. two bays of five shelves, each about 4 ft. wide.)) devoted to “Tragic life stories”. Accounts of abused childhood, “white slavery”, honour crimes, prostitution, life with medical or psychiatric conditions (including anorexia and self-mutilation), drugs, and…

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I’m blogging from a Starbucks in Oxford, grimacing at the expense of the T-Mobile WiFi. Never mind. Herewith a random collection of observations about the last couple of days. Bangalore was cool. The staff in the Amazon Bangalore office were very welcoming, and presentations and meetings went very well. I have a bunch of action…

Read More In Oxford

This is an interesting trip for airports. At Beijing, I arrived and departed through the extraordinary new Terminal 3. I only saw Singapore from the inside, but it’s one of the most impressive international shopping centres I’ve ever seen. At Hyderabad, I had my first experience of the new Rajiv Gandhi airport, which is a…

Read More Airports

Derb has a fabulous piece over at Taki’s Magazine about Darwin, evolution, and the uncomfortable consequences of this simple but revolutionary idea. It cannot be denied, though, that Darwinism’s metaphysical implications are hard to square with any view of human nature not flatly biological; and this applies as much to the “blank slate” egalitarianism of…

Read More Darwin's uncomfortable truths

I’m sitting in a restaurant called The Lucky Shamrock, at the far end of the incredible new Terminal 3 building at Beijing Airport. ((Curiosiy: There are lots of stores carrying duty-free, luxury, and Olympic-themed items, but no bookshop or newstand.)) Breakfast is on its way: the choices were “English”, “American” and “French” style. The latter…

Read More At the sign of The Lucky Shamrock