General MacArthur: ‘splendid in every way’

By Chris McCarthy

I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me – nothing to me – is more revolting. 

General Douglas MacArthur, 19 April 1951 Read more of this post


Federer’s landmark London victory sets stage for tennis in 2012

By Cressida Smart

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made a strong start to the final of the ATP Tour Finals in London. Opening his account, the Frenchman delivered a mammoth ace, and lost only one point in his first three service games. Roger Federer responded with equal force, upping his game to break Tsonga to love at 4-3 with two archetypal backhands and a passing shot, allowing him then to close out the first set.  The resulting score presented Tsonga with a familiar feeling of déjà vu; a week ago, he experienced a similar collapse in the deciding set of their group match. Read more of this post

A how-to guide for beating “gallery rage”

By Cressida Smart

A friend’s recent Facebook status read as follows: “…is sharpening elbows and getting ready for the scrum to see Leonardo da Vinci tomorrow”. Echoing the thoughts of art critic William Feaver, who coined the term “gallery rage”, this recent problem risks ruining blockbuster exhibitions and discouraging visitors. However, with the epic Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in London, the National Gallery of Art has taken note and introduced changes to combat this ever-growing dilemma. Read more of this post

Stanley Baldwin Toast: ‘secret curiosity’

By Chris McCarthy

Long may it be before the rich gift of our people for vivid word-making is sterilised by what for the want of a better word we call today, education.

Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, 6 June 1928

The art of oratory has been a powerful skill since man first learnt to speak. It has mobilised armies, launched wars, reconciled divided peoples, established statehood, and shaken religions. Demand for this valued craft will never diminish, though the quality of its supply will remain variable. When we think of gifted twentieth century speakers, figures such as British wartime leader, Winston Churchill, and U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, are commonly cited. The circumstances of their times was one of the major reasons their speeches were so well received. But both also understood and valued the importance of language and would frequently devote hours, days, and weeks, refining, redrafting and developing their speeches. Read more of this post

The Artist film review

By Emma Brooks

I don’t go regularly to the cinema, but I do go more than once or twice a year if that’s much to go by. Films seen this year at the cinema include X-Men First Class, The King’s Speech and Black Swan amongst others. But really, the film that caught my attention the most this year is The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius. Read more of this post

Time for the Arab League to step up

By Samuel Perriman

On Saturday the Arab League, best known for tea sipping diplomats and rambling diatribes, will officially suspend Syria in reaction to the Assad regime’s continuing campaign of brutal violence against the uprising. Read more of this post

The Discover Bosnia program

By Simon Stiel

The 2000s witnessed several initiatives to educate schoolchildren about genocides. Holocaust Memorial Day has been commemorated since 2001 and the Rwandan genocide was included on the school curriculum. Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Bosnia: a war that saw Europe experience again concentration camps, mass rape, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Read more of this post