Nottingham is least car dependent

Nottingham has been identified as the least car dependent city in England, according to new research.

The Campaign for Better Transport rated 19 cities for quality of public transport, ease of cycling and walking and how available options were.

Nottingham was noted for high bus usage and an expanding tram network, while London and Brighton were also praised for giving people effective choices.

Good news eh! Move there in two weeks!

Reading

I haven’t read too much fiction of late. I ploughed through 1984 and Brave New World again as well as 400 pages of War and Peace while at Oxford but then got caught up in the second-hand book shops which fortunately plagued the city. I get suckered in every time. And I started to pick up history books, particularly from eras I haven’t read too much of. In England, we are all taught the Norman Invasion of 1966, Henry VIII, the English Civil War and the subsequent Commonwealth under Cromwell, the Industrial Revolution and finally the two great wars of the last century.

So I set out to learn more, rounded myself as full of the meals served in Harry Potter’s dining room I partook in every day. The history books available for about £2 were from the series produced in previous decades that are now no doubt uneconomical. So I read Europe in Crisis 1598-1648 involving King Gustavus of Sweden laying waste to Germany and Poland, the Spanish armies in Belgium and the Netherlands and the endless battles of the Holy Empire which ruled huge swaths of Europe for 5 centuries. Who knew this? 🙂

I also bought a book on 18th century England, an area seemingly bypassed by my history teachers. And considering it involved the loss of the US colonies that seems rather petty. Since I have been teaching at Oxford, so my stack next to my bed right now includes Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King, history books concerning the 17th and 18th centuries, anthropological books, a 1960s psychology book on persuasion, Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen, narratives on violence, stories of elephants and the psychology of exclusion.

Its late. I need to get some sleep so I turn to War and Peace. Night!

Former light-welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton has revealed he is unlikely to fight again.

The 31-year-old who also won the WBA welterweight title has not fought since losing to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009.

Hatton told BBC Radio Manchester: “You can never say never, but if I was to put my last pound on it I would say ‘no, I think that’s me done’.

When Ricky puts on his last pound, it will be his 254lbs and he will be dead by 47.

I also saw Inception the other night. Hugely impressive on the big screen, very entertaining, impressively thought-out, slightly over-the-top and possibly mildly off-target with the love story/Hollywood end. The whole notion of entering into the subconscious through dreams, taking private  information or implanting ideas to influence their corporate (in this case) decisions in their conscious state is enough for me. The idea could be a warning against DNA modification or just the evils of capitalism. But noooo, we need the I just gotta get back to my kids story. Shame but not everyone saw it like that so go see it. 🙂

Exit Through the Giftshop – Banksy

If you haven’t seen this, you have to. I saw it a few months back in Cardiff and was fascinated, easily slipping from laughter to curiosity and back. You simply have no idea whether it is a prank, a mocking documentary or a genuine documentary. The story is so credible and yet amusing that it mustn’t be true. However I think it is. I think Banksy understands the fickle and mutual masturbation ring that is modern art and uses it to bast all the targets particularly the art world in gentle ridicule.

Watch it and see and click the title for a Wall Street Journal article about the film.