Daily archives: January 12, 2007

Who can buy Castle Dracula?

Bran CAstle, linked tenuously to Vlad Tepes and the Dracula story, was returned to the von Habsburg family after the fall of communism in Romania. Now Dominic von Habsburg wants to sell up, but there’s an argument between local and national authorities over who has the right to make offers on the property.

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Sounding like some of the stuff I was saying last year about simplifying our lives, psychologist Oliver James’ new book diagnoses a “disease” called affluenza. Symptoms include the need to have more and more, even though so little of what we buy makes us happy, and a fixation on received ideals of beauty and other media inspired shallowness.

The Telegraph has published parts of the book. Part 1, Part 2

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Catching up with Comment is Free

The comment in the Guardian’s Comment is Free section is sometimesawful, but the replies often make up for that. (Conversely, some of the most intelligent pieces attract a higher ratio of drivel and ranting.) Just a selection of the columns I’ve read this week-

This piece about the ethics of diamonds is neither here nor there, but the line in one of the comments about De Beers planning to sink tons of diamonds in the North Sea in the twenties so the price of their remaining stock would stay high conjures up images of a Clive Cussler style hunt for the cache. (The Diamond Invention, alternate version).

Rebecca Front tries to reduce her food miles and gets equal measures of supportive advice and self righteous nonsense.

Richard Buggs insists that Intelligent Design is a science. Surprisingly, he isn’t roundly mocked and some commenters even offer up ways to test the scientific validity (ie show up the argument for the nonsense it is) of Intelligent Design.

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The totem pole of Salford Quays

Salford’s Native American connection goes back to when Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show set up camp there. Of the 97 Sioux who were cast members at least one stayed in the city to start a family.

The pole itself was donated in 1969 and stood outside Furness House until 2005. It has now been tracked down and is to be restored and returned to the Quays.

Compost Queens and other stuff

This is an experiment in linkdumping

Let’s see how well it works…..

Bette Midler, LA’s composting queen
For cross posting to Dig.

Identifying British victims of mass disasters

Coffee may relieve the pain of exercise. (And who could resist a report that was first published in The Journal of Pain?)
For cross posting to Digest.

David Miliband, a serious contender for the next Labour leader? From a Green point of view he’s certainly more attractive.

Note That was a bit messy when it first arrived. Edited to make it easier to read.