topic: planet earth

going barefoot…

I had a revelation some years ago while camping with some friends near Cape Wrath when, over three days, I went barefoot. Not only did I discover that my feet could cope with any kind of terrain (by changing shape, they proved to be the best all terrain ‘shoe’ *grin*) but, more importantly, I realized in what a profound way feet ‘feel’ the earth. We clump around our world with ‘space suits’ on our feet […]

who wants to live for ever…?

I used to passionately desire immortality. I would argue its benefits: the ability to experience so much more, to achieve so much more, to produce so much more artistic work. I wanted this so much that I remember getting quite manic reading Raymond Kurzweil who believes that we’re on the verge of being capable of halting ageing – and that, once this is achieved, it would only be a matter of time before rejuvenation became […]

folding plug – saviour of the universe

My brother pointed this out to me yesterday and it got me rather excited. Now first of all, for all of you outside the UK, this may be hard to understand. You may even think I’ve lost it. “Plugs? He thinks plugs are going to save the world?” But bear with me… The reason this excited me – apart from the sheer elegance of Min-Kyu Choi’s design – was because it took me completely by […]


Here’s another of those wonderful graphics (discussed in a previous post). It instantly makes many things clear. Not least how responsible we are in the West – the US and Europe in particular – for the predicament we find ourselves in. Also how little China and India and Brazil, the new ‘bad boys’, are responsible. And most crucially, how little time there is… Then, when you combine it with this other graphic… noting especially the […]

little blue planet (take 2)…

The first time we were able to see our planet from space – a single, blue jewel floating in the void – it changed how we saw Earth – how we saw ourselves – profoundly. We have now found other worlds circling other suns – hundreds (?) of them… At first we could only detect massive ones – bigger even than our Jupiter. But we have recently been able to detect planets just a few […]


Now here is something that blew my mind… First take a look at this then have a play with this. I have never come across a better justification for the Web (for computers, even) than this… Gapminder is a revelatory instrument (like a telescope, a microscope): it not only presents statistics in a way that anyone can absorb – but puts it somewhere where anyone with access to the Net can use it… I cannot […]