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Christopher Fowler
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London is simply too eerily blue-skied and sunny at the moment, so we hied ourselves off to visit friends in Nuremberg at the weekend. Bavaria's second city was snowless but not exactly Christmas-free, with seven Christmas markets, too many Bavarian sausages and too much Glühwein available on every corner. Our charming friends live in an elegant sandstone apartment buildins beside the castle, the…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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My crime books deliberately use elderly leading characters, which leads to quite a lot of debate with readers. Somebody said to me recently, 'We really look after older people here - there are care homes everywhere.' I was horrified by her casual acceptance of the idea that the best thing to do with older people is leave them in a home, but with the disappearance of the multi-generational nuclear…
16 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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You can have your genetic code analysed to find out where you're from, but it can't tell you who you are. I recently had dinner with some very nice social-data analysts, who told me that statistically I was an outlier who didn't fit their paradigms. The press is full of data telling us about how we vote, how long we live…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Today I'm slipping through the eye of the hurricane between the Catalan protests and the General Strike planned for Friday. The road to the airport has been unblocked and I'm outta here. Oddly, despite my bad experiences in seven years of owning a flat in Barcelona (mugged, robbed, insulted, caught up in terrorist attack etc) I love the place and its people more than ever. Now that not-so-Priti…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Only one thing could mess up my travel plans. Summer dies. Autumn storms sweep in. It's still around 24C in Barcelona, but it's wild and wet, with the kind of thunderstorms that usually only occur in horror films. The local ladies are now wearing their autumn outfits, which involve padded jackets and layers of scarves. I'm typing this in shorts, mopping my forehead, they're pottering past in…
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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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Remember when you first did something that felt like genuinely being in the future and how excited you were? It might have been getting in a new car, or seeing a movie in 3D, or trying a new kind of computer for the first time. For me, it was a trip on Concorde. I went from London to the West Indies in about four hours. There was a secret trick to being able to afford to do this; a friend in…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Here's a subject I came across in the online Nature magazine (the academic periodical of British sciences). Today many Americans see the gun as a symbol of freedom from state control, and credit 1791's Second Amendment for having saved the newly freed US from the fate of Britain's other colonies. But in the UK guns were not seen as the bedrock of of liberty. This is because here, gun ownership was…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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In yesterday's news, Donald Trump snubbed a climate change meeting to attend a prayer meeting. Belief, which once drove the world, has turned into a poison that is destabilising our lives. From the overabundance of information that inspires incontinent thinking, to the storming of Area 51 and the bizarre rumours about the MMR jab, the world of half-truths continues unchecked because it sells. And…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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No post today - autumn is being celebrated across Southern Europe with fire festivals, and I'm off to one. Back in a day or so. Two words; Dragon breasts.
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Today's story proves that I don't make up my stories. Don't you hate it when people thrust flyers at you outside the station? When I come out of the tube at King's Cross I get energy drink samples, magazines, mad stuff about Jesus and requests for cash. When I come out of the underground station at a small town further along the coast from Barcelona, I get witch doctors. Badelona, it appears, is…
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