Saturday, 30 September 2017
Interviewed this week by Dave Hodgson of Talk Radio Europe on my new book: Secrets of the Centenarians: What is it like to live for a century, and which of us will survive to find out?'
You can hear the interview here:
And the New Zealand Herald ran this long excerpt from the book:
Monday, 25 September 2017
I'll be signing copies of my new book: 'Secrets of the Centenarians: what is it like to live for a century and which of us will survive to find out?' at Waterstones, Camden High St, at 1800-2000 on October 6. I'll also be giving a brief talk. All welcome.
I'm also in the Books Etc September book Club:-
Friday, 15 September 2017
Across the world, women have a four or five times better chance of reaching the age of 100 than men. Why?
Part 2 of the Daily Mail's serialisation of Secrets of the Centenarians (Reaktion)
Thursday, 14 September 2017
How do you live to 100? A big piece from today's 'Daily Mail' based on my new book 'Secrets of the Centenarians' (Reaktion). Part two tomorrow!
Sunday, 10 September 2017
First there was Harvey (see my blog of Sept 4). Now we have Irma, and soon there will be Jose. Hurricane Irma is the fiercest Atlantic tropical storm in a decade. It has caused more than 30 deaths across a number of Caribbean islands, including Barbuda which is now said to be ‘barely habitable’. Next in its path is Florida.
But the deadliest Atlantic hurricane of all remains the Great Hurricane of 1780, which made landfall in Barbados on 10 October. Most buildings were destroyed or severely damaged and ‘a luxuriant fertile island’ turned into ‘the dreariest winter.’ The number killed was put at 4,500.
Next the storm moved on to St Lucia, where only two houses survived in the port city of Castries. Five Royal Navy ships that had been fighting in the American War of Independence were sunk and nine others severely damaged. The island’s death toll was estimated at 6,000.
On St Vincent, more than 580 out of 600 houses at Kingstown were destroyed. At Grenada, 19 Dutch ships were sunk, while off Martinique, 4,000 French sailors were drowned, and perhaps 9,000 people lost their lives on the island. The total death toll from the storm was put at around 30,000.
For the full story, see Storm: Nature and Culture (Reaktion Books).
Wednesday, 6 September 2017
As members of the EU, we are able to trade freely in the richest market in the world. We can travel to, study in, work in, and retire to 27 fairly nearby democratic countries.
But not only that. The UK has special bespoke deals on a whole host of things – we are not in the euro, we are not in the Schengen area. We get a discount on the sum we should be paying into the EU, we have special opt outs in the areas of fundamental rights and freedom, security and justice, etc. In other words, we are ‘HAVING OUR CAKE AND EATING IT’.
But Theresa May and the Brexiters plan to throw away this unbelievably good deal. Instead, they are demanding all sorts of impossible arrangements like being in the Single Market without Freedom of Movement or leaving the Customs Union but having ‘frictionless trade’.
To the (confected on the part of the better-informed) outrage of the Brexit fanatics, the EU has made clear on numerous occasions that none of this is going to happen, but still the UK has no plan B.
*Thanks to Elkhart Public Library, Indiana for this mention for my book - 'Disaster!' https://myepl.org/epl/index.php/39525/
Monday, 4 September 2017
In my book, Storm: Nature and Culture (Reaktion), I discuss a number of ways in which a tropical storm can cause catastrophic damage.
The one usually focused on is the power of the winds, but in addition there is the way sea levels rise because of low air pressure, making flooding more devastating. And then there is heavy rainfall. This has been the biggest problem with Hurricane Harvey, which has been drenching Texas and Louisiana.
During the course of 4 days, some areas suffered more than 40 inches of rain, making Harvey the wettest tropical storm on record to hit the continental United States. At least 47 people have been killed, and 43,000 have had to be housed in temporary shelters. The storm has also been blamed for one death in Guyana.
Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has described it as the worst disaster in the history of Texas, with damage being estimated at anything up to $190 billion.