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Category Archive: Life

Mar 06 2014

How filesharing in Germany cost me $3000

At my new address, the scientist – passive-aggressively polite – told me I had to sign a retroactive rental contract. This could easily have been done by email — when he asked to meet, I should have smelled a rat, but obliged outside a supermarket in November, not stopping to wonder why both ex-flatmates turned …

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Mar 03 2014

Hunger games: food, money and how I grew up feeling fat

Twice in my life, I’ve been a bit rotund. Both times, it was a common enough experience. At eleven I gorged on pizza, chocolate bars and caramel ice creams, more available at secondary school than in our previously welfare-dependent house, and stayed a slightly tubby teenager till added height changed my proportions, though it may …

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Dec 24 2013

Class dismissed: how I went from homelessness to Oxford, and what Richard Dawkins has nightmares about

Say this city has ten million souls Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes * * * A letter in a too-large envelope came five years ago this week. The paper had shifted in the excess space so the plastic window meant for the address showed its initial lines of text instead. …

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Sep 25 2013

‘What’s truth got to do with it?’ On Bennett’s History Boys and contrarianism

‘So,’ asks antagonistic teacher Irwin in The History Boys, ‘our overall conclusion is that the origins of the Second War lie in the unsatisfactory outcome of the First?’ Yes say his students, hearts set on a place at Oxbridge. ‘First class. Bristol welcomes you with open arms. Manchester longs to have you. You can walk into …

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Sep 23 2013

Extendable tethers: skeptidrama and a lesson from Project Runway

If you haven’t read Greta Christina’s thoughtful, extrapolative recaps of Project Runway, the U.S. fashion-based reality series, you should – whether or not you’re a follower of fashion, talent shows or trash culture at large. Rifling through someone’s rubbish bins, as the tabloid press’s urban foxes will confirm, can be the fastest means of learning sordid …

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Sep 19 2013

Solving my hair frustration

RedHead

Not having had a haircut since May, and with no reliable hairdressers to hand, I’d been suffering barnet-based ennui of late. Then I did this. It worked, I’d say.

Sep 15 2013

Winter is coming: forget Christmas and fall in love with it

Warning: contains spoilers for C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. Each season has a scent to herald and define it. Summer’s belongs to sizzling car roofs and sweating rubber tyres, the static residue of thunderstorms following heatwaves, autumn’s to low-hanging mist and rotting leaves, then toffee apples, fireworks and chip fat running into drains. Winter’s at its height …

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Aug 19 2013

Polyamory: our partners may be countless, but they still count

000

Remember Craigslist Mom from earlier this summer, who sought a ‘sugar baby’ for her son through an online ad? I wanted at the time to write an open letter to her. So much was wrong with her advert that I ultimately struggled. We need to lose virginity as a concept - having sex doesn’t involve losing anything, or …

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Aug 15 2013

Secular synthesis and why we need it – or, Hello Freethought Blogs

You already know that I’m a #FTBully. Of all the letters after my name (admittedly, there aren’t very many), those are the ones I’m proudest of. My feeling is, that tells you all you need know about me. Keep reading though. I’m 22, secular, British, poly, queer, tall, ex-Christian, “left wing and long-winded”, a nerd, a graduate …

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Jul 19 2013

More creationism at the Keswick Convention

Remember the ‘Scale model of Noah’s ark‘ creationist exhibit, from this time last year in my hometown? The Keswick Convention is in full swing again, and a friend just linked me to this footage from the local marketplace. Watch out for more young earth creationism, threats of Hell, the blood of Jesus and salvos against …

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