I am Michael Common*

5 January 2009 13:06

And so it continues. Not content with discovering "passive" smoking, the health boffins have now discovered something called "third-hand smoking"  – all the better, presumably, to drive the last remaining… Continue reading

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Chump of the Day

5 January 2009 12:32

The National Gallery of Scotland needs to raise £50m to prevent the sale of Titian's Diana and Actaeon from being sold. The painting, part of the Bridgewater Collection, has been… Continue reading


Good News* from Somalia

4 January 2009 22:58

For once. Also, for once, good news for a newspaper. Colin Freeman, the Sunday Telegraph's chief foreign correspondent has been freed 40 days after he and his photographer, Jose Cendon,… Continue reading

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Halls of Fame

4 January 2009 22:43

In general, I suppose I don't have too much against the idea of a cricket Hall of Fame though given that we've managed to get along fine without one for… Continue reading

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Further Adventures in Live-Blogging

4 January 2009 17:09

We were here for the primary debates last year. We covered Obama vs Clinton. We live-blogged the Presidential debates and we dared not miss Biden vs Palin. But all of… Continue reading


Mr Pennyfeather finds a new job

4 January 2009 14:48

You probably heard about the new school in Sheffield that won't call itself a school because that word has "negative connotations". Watercliffe Meadow will instead call itself a "place of… Continue reading


Obituary of the Day

4 January 2009 14:26

Some New Year cheer, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph's obituaries column. The deceased, in this instance, is Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, one of Britain's largest landowners who, had she not been… Continue reading


Mr Webb Returns To Washington

4 January 2009 14:16

There were all manner of reasons for Barack Obama to pick someone other than Jim Webb as his running-mate (though there was a case to be made for Webb too).… Continue reading


Transatlantic Differences

3 January 2009 23:57

There are times when it's good to be away from the hurly-burly of American politics. Doubly so when the subject of gay marriage comes up. Here, for instance, is a… Continue reading


And so to 2009…

3 January 2009 23:26

Back then and not before time. Or, rather, back rather sooner from a holiday hiatus than was the case last year. Anyway, I hope you all had a splendid Christmas… Continue reading


The Continuing Hiatus

29 December 2008 3:04

If my RSS feed is anything to go by, American bloggers are much keener about blogging between Christmas and Hogmanay than are their British counterparts. Good for them, I dare… Continue reading


Merry Christmas

24 December 2008 14:23

So, here it is again. Well, here's wishing all friends and readers out there a most jolly Christmas. May it be all you dare hope it could be. Blogging to… Continue reading


Whither the Drug War?

22 December 2008 18:29

Mike Crowley asks whether Barack Obama will offer any "substantial" change to America's drug policy. There's an easy, short answer to that: No. At least, during the campaign Obama offered… Continue reading


The Kennedy Difference

22 December 2008 18:17

John Judis: I think it would have made most sense for Barack Obama to have appointed Caroline Kennedy a delegate to the United Nations in the manner of Shirley Temple… Continue reading


Today’s Question

21 December 2008 19:32

Why has the United States never produced a great darts player?


Why don’t you just cancel the bus service?

19 December 2008 20:13

It's good to see that not every sector of the economy is knee-capped by the "credit crunch". So hurrah for NHS Lothian who are advertising this exciting opportunity: Job Title:… Continue reading


Alternative Titles

19 December 2008 19:42

As mentioned in this post on the best newspaper corrections of the year, the Guardian acknowledged that Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude not, as the paper… Continue reading


Tartan Blogging

19 December 2008 19:31

A reader notices an absence of blogging on the subject and asks: "What's happening in Scotland?" Answer: Bugger all.

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Rick Warren Goes to Washington

19 December 2008 19:11

Well, you wouldn't expect Christopher Hitchens to be impressed by Barack Obamas decision to ask Rick Warren to give the invocation at the new President's inauguration, would you? Sure enough,… Continue reading


The Cruiser Goes Down

19 December 2008 17:21

Conor Cruise O'Brien's death, at 91, comes as a jolt. By the end, the Cruiser was something of a reactionary (his hostility to nationalism had led him to embrace Bob… Continue reading


Cricket Fans Reluctant to Embrace “Modern” Game; Insist Old Ways Best.

19 December 2008 16:27

As a member of the English cricket team's supporters club (vital for snaring Ashes tickets next summer) I was pleased to receive this email from the ECB today: ‘Tests are… Continue reading


The Kennedy Gall

19 December 2008 15:55

Andrew suggests that Caroline Kennedy is, in most important respects, less qualified to be Senator from New York than Sarah Palin was to be Vice-President of the United States. There's… Continue reading


The Media Campaign

18 December 2008 22:52

Ouch! The paradox of this scene was that the Obama campaign’s communications strategy was predicated in part on an aggressive indifference to this insider set. Staff members were encouraged to… Continue reading


Department of Correction

18 December 2008 20:13

Ah, it's that time of year again! Yup, the splendid blog Regret the Error rounds up the most entertaining newspaper corrections of the year. Some of my favourites: The Daily… Continue reading

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Kennedy Reveals All

18 December 2008 18:53

So Caroline Kennedy is kind enough to explain why she thinks she should be appointed the next Senator from New York: "I come at this as a mother, as a… Continue reading