Birthday status – 47 and counting

birthdaycakeIt’s my birthday today and I’m having trouble believing that I’m 47. That’s like, old. Nearly.

So I decided to check out some famous actors who were also born in 1968, and see how they’re bearing up. Continue reading

Little people matter more than big ideas

beheadA lot has been written about the recent murder of 12 journalists and cartoonists at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. It’s a good sign that so much has been said – freedom of expression is alive and well – at least in the West. In many Muslim countries, by contrast, saying what you think can get you flogged or executed. Continue reading

Reasons for optimism

happysadTo kick off 2015, I’ve compiled a list of 10 good facts you probably won’t hear on the news. Continue reading

Talking to myself 2014

facetofaceSteve: So, Steve, this has become something of a New Year tradition, hasn’t it?

Steve: What? Talking to myself?

Steve: Yes. It’s what I do all the time, really.

Steve: Almost like a crazy person.

Steve: Exactly. Continue reading

Is Christmas over-commercialized?

christmasshoppingYoungest son: Daddy, what’s your favourite TV advert?

Me: I don’t have one. I always skip the adverts.

Youngest son: But you must have a favourite?

Me: No. I never watch them. But what’s your favourite?

Youngest son: It’s a Christmas advert. I don’t know what it’s called.

Me: Why do you like it?

Youngest son: I like the Christmas music, and the snow, and all the Christmassy things.

Me: And what is it advertising?

Youngest son: I think it’s just saying, be nice to each other. It’s advertising caring and sharing and giving presents.

Me: That sounds lovely. Do you think it might be advertising a company?

Youngest son: No, I don’t think so. If it is, I don’t know which one.

By the way, this will be my last blog post before Christmas, so may I take this opportunity to wish all my blog followers a very Happy Christmas!

Is it?

questionmarkToday I have a cold and nobody wants to be in the same room as me, so I’m spending extra time with my blogging friends instead.  Do make sure you have your antivirus software fully up to date before reading any further.

Having nothing much to do on a Sunday afternoon all alone, I started typing “is it” into the Google search box, and as usual, Google offered some helpful suggestions. Most puzzling to me were:

Is it down?

And:

Is it Christmas? Continue reading

Will robots replace humans?

friendlyrobot

Consider this. Nearly every large animal on this planet is stronger than us. Almost every predator has claws, or venom, or sharp teeth. But humans have two advantages that have enabled us to survive and thrive – a large brain, and hands that can pick up and manipulate objects. At the very dawn of pre-history we were busy making stone tools, turning animal skins into clothing, and decorating our own bodies with things that we’d made. We just can’t help it. We have to make things. Give any human a physical object and they will try to do something with it.

stoneagetools

In the modern world, we are constantly surrounded by machines and inventions – from the clothes we wear, to the houses we live in, to the cars, trains and planes we travel around in, to the computers and other electronic devices we use for work and leisure. In this article, I want to consider this special relationship between humans and the machines we create. I want to look at where this relationship with our creations is heading.

Continue reading