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STAR WARS 3 hartter

News that J.J. Abrams will direct the seventh Star Wars film almost broke the internet yesterday. It’s easy to see why anyone who nerds out over franchise properties would take interest. After all, Abrams helmed the 2009 big-screen reboot of Star Trek, a film that shook the camp and cheese from the franchise’s previous films, replacing it with hip humor, thrilling action, and lots and lots of lens flare. Abrams’s sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness is perhaps the most anticipated franchise film of the year. 

I won’t speculate whether an Abrams Star Wars film will be successful or not—you probably wouldn’t want me to, because I hold the extreme minority opinion that Lucas’s Revenge of the Sith is a deeply profound and moving work of cinema art—but I do think that the choice to hand the next big film in the Star Wars franchise over to Abrams represents the…

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It was my Father’s opinion that a whistling worker was a happy chap. His assumption extended to a belief that a whistling worker, fulfilled and sated with his day’s toil, enjoyed evenings around the hearth with loved ones, chomping on hearty, nourishing fare and discussing the events of the day in tedious detail. Terrible snob, Father.

Several weeks ago, just as Summer was drawing to its soggy end, on a train to Derby I heard a strong,  full lipped whistle.

“Coming through!” the whistler chirped. I peered over my newspaper and saw a sturdy man in paint splashed overalls manoeuvring a trestle table down the Carriage. He wore a mask. A mask like the Lone Ranger wore.

He set the table down and retraced his steps.

“Afternoon!” he said in a flat east Midland’s accent. He whistled a refrain from a Musical. South Pacific if my memory serves me. But…

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Prada For Breakfast


Snail mail is one of my favorite things to receive. There’s nothing like opening your mailbox and (after sorting through all the junk catalogues and bills) finding a letter from one of your best friends, or even a Christmas card from distant relatives. There’s a quality to handwritten mail (and postcards, short as they may be) that just can’t be surpassed with smart phones, Facebook, and tweets.

As far as postcards are concerned, they’re super easy to send and require much less effort than letters, but are just as wonderful to receive! In my experience, the funnier and shorter the message the better — the dull (and jealousy-generating) “We’re in Ireland, it’s so beautiful here! Miss you!” will never beat something hilarious or an inside joke. I’ve gotten some pretty funny postcards from friends, and I’ve saved every one.

Postcards are not only a great way to catch up…

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A Sense of Belonging

Egypt has just witnessed some of the fiercest clashes in the revolutionary era, as many protestors appear radicalized. There are still peaceful demonstrations, to be sure, but even these appear to be violently resisted by police. It is hard to blame the police, though, as the lines are blurred.

I missed out on the latest battles. I spent January 25 in Helwan, a city to the south of Cairo at the end of the Metro line. The Muslim Brotherhood was conducting an outreach campaign to counter-program the message of demonstrations and unrest offered in Tahrir. I planned to take the Metro downtown to see these protestors, but on the way the car stopped and sat for five minutes – at the very stop nearest our home in Maadi.

Demonstrators in Tahrir had cut the tracks, causing a backup. Rather than waiting what could be an hour or more, based on…

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We’re living through an interesting and potentially groundbreaking peroid of history at the moment with “The Arab Spring”, the very first African-American  President of the United States taking and retaining office, the economic balance of power shifting eastwards, and seeing the biggest challenge to Capitalism since the Bolshevik Revolution and “The Great Depression” of the 1930’s.

However, if you live in the United Kingdom there is another potentially historic development arriving in 2014: Scottish Independence. If you’ve not been following the news or do not live in the UK I’ll give a rundown of what I’m about to address. All of the nations which currently make up “The United Kingdom” were not always part of it; Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland to be exact. Scotland has been part of the UK for just over three centuries, since the 1st of May 1707 to be precise when the Acts of Union…

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