Opinion, Neurosurgeon, Blues, Suicide, Writer


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How The Pollsters Got It Wrong

Sebastian Payne | The Spectator | 12th May 2015

Interview with Jim Messina, number-cruncher trained on Barrack Obama's campaigns, who worked on the recent Conservative election campaign in Britain. The Conservative victory confounded pollsters' confident predictions that no party would win a majority. Messina analyses the flaws in the polling methods and compares the rules for political campaigning and advertising in Britain and America (1,017 words)

Anatomy Of Error

Joshua Rothman | The New Yorker | 18th May 2015 | Metered paywall

Henry Marsh is one of Britain's leading neurosurgeons, distinguished among his medical peers and the subject of two television documentaries, the most recent chronicling his volunteer work in the Ukraine. But as he approaches the end of his career, Marsh feels a rising need to "bear witness to past mistakes I have made." His latest book Do No Harm is an act of atonement, an analysis of his mistakes and why he made them. (3,316 words)

Been On The Road Since “Three O’Clock”

Marc Myers | Wall Street Journal | 8th February 2011

The blues musician B. B. King died this week. This interview, from 2011, describes the itinerant life of a man whose dedication to touring could be matched by few other musicians. King was then 85 and carrying out a full international concert schedule. For King, the blues were life. "I feel emotional inside when I hear or sing the blues. It's a good feeling. It's like church for me." (1,135 words)

The Male Suicides

Will Storr | Mosaic Science | 12th May 2015

In all countries of the world, more men commit suicide than women. What shapes this consistent pattern? Professor Rory O'Connor has been studying suicides for two decades and thinks that mental illness and depression are not the answer. Suicidal men feel responsible for what is "social perfectionism", the need to match what they think people expect of them. This is the clue to the psychology of the suicidal mind. (4,882 words)

The Littoral Space

Warren Ellis | Matter | 6th May 2015

Warren Ellis compares being a writer to standing on the shore, keeping "a wary eye on the riptide, because you know that all the small things you’ve built could be swept away overnight." A writer's life is perpetually vulnerable to winds and tides and to the whims of editors and producers who may buy your work. No success makes this easier or removes the fear that reputation can be washed away. (951 words)

Video of the day: Fighting in Medieval Armour

What to expect: Medieval armour. Cumbersome? Immobilising? So we used to think. But watch: (3'50")

Thought for the day

When we ask for advice we are usually looking for an accomplice
Marquis De La Grange

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