The Milky Way and the lighthouse

Here we stand on the shores of a cosmic ocean. This (or something pretty close) is from the first episode of Cosmos, that I watched as an entranced sleepy 14 year old, up very late to catch every last resonant image, every last amazing fact (Hypatia, how had I not known of thee? Voyager, small […]

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December 3rd, 2012 by Romana Challans

A world of women as chattel

In many cultures, women are property, chattel with no right or worth. Dowry must be paid to get rid of them. They only bring shame and dishonor – unless they do the only thing of validity for a woman and bear sons. Less valuable than animals if not suitably breeding, they can be raped, tortured […]

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December 3rd, 2012 by Romana Challans

The right to life – I have it.

The Way It Was | Mother Jones. This article has made me angry. So angry, i am going to open very far too fresh wounds. I don’t miscarry. Five times, the fetus died. Five times, this longed for child died before twenty weeks. Some early, two, very very late. Once I gave birth to a […]

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January 23rd, 2012 by Romana Challans

Eva Braun – Stereotype tinged with evil

New Biography Explores the Life and Myth of Eva Braun – The Daily Beast. Fascinating – a woman who was nothing without a man is a scenario played out daily. She becomes a non entity reflecting his wishes. She was forced into the background, but stayed because he did not leave. His marriage to her […]

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November 11th, 2011 by Romana Challans

How sugar molecules secretly shaped human evolution

Sugar. How it has changed us. There is a speech i cherish from the seventh Doctor Who, storyline Remembrance of the Daleks, (the anniversary episode) which goes : JOHN: Hmm? Your tea. Sugar? DOCTOR: Ah. A decision. Would it make any difference? JOHN: It would make your tea sweet. DOCTOR: Yes, but beyond the confines […]

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October 11th, 2011 by Romana Challans

The story behind the photograph that shamed America – Telegraph

Powerful, confronting article. The sadness i feel in he whole thing is indescribable – yet i wasn’t the deluded teenager imitating adults, nor could i ever have been. Nor was i the frightened girl, masking her fear behind dark glasses and an innate dignity, born of many generations of oppression. This story makes no sense […]

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October 11th, 2011 by Romana Challans

The lure of Ada

Ada was my second programming language. I had used Basic on CP/M to do many things, pushing my Amstrad CPC 6128 well beyond its comfort zone. I went on to PCs, and finally ended up at Flinders University (the observant reader has noticed The Serval Project is based there, yes, it is a homecoming to […]

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October 7th, 2011 by Romana Challans

The Body on Somerton Beach | Past Imperfect

Most murders aren’t that difficult to solve. The husband did it. The wife did it. The boyfriend did it, or the ex-boyfriend did. The crimes fit a pattern, the motives are generally clear. Of course, there are always a handful of cases that don’t fit the template, where the killer is a stranger or the […]

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August 18th, 2011 by Romana Challans

mental_floss Blog » The Fascinating Story of the Fleet River

You’ve probably already heard of Fleet Street, as it happens to be the home of a certain notable “demon barber,” but did you know the street is named for something equally as dark—namely a polluted, underground river? via mental_floss Blog » The Fascinating Story of the Fleet River.

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August 18th, 2011 by Romana Challans

Looting with the lights on | Naomi Klein | Comment is free | The Guardian

This is what Cameron got wrong: you can’t cut police budgets at the same time as you cut everything else. Because when you rob people of what little they have, in order to protect the interests of those who have more than anyone deserves, you should expect resistance – whether organised protests or spontaneous looting. […]

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August 18th, 2011 by Romana Challans