I really do remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday. It was 1980, I was at boarding school and my friend Elly came back from half-term with a couple of vinyl LPs belonging to her older brother. One was Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, and the other was Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf. Both had been out for three years or so but were not known to us — this was the post-punk era, when interesting music was coming out of the London club scene, you got your clothes at Kensington Market and boys were starting to wear eyeliner at parties (apart from the ones who wore cummerbunds).… Seguir leyendo »
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I’ve spent most of the past week nose down in Troubled Blood, the fifth Cormoran Strike novel by JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith. It is the best one yet, by miles — confident, utterly gripping, niftily plotted, clearly meticulously researched (there are all sorts of faint echoes of long-ago murders) and heavy on satisfying characterisation. The plot — there are no spoilers here, by the way — concerns the disappearance 40 years before the start of the book of a female GP who may or may not have been the victim of a serial killer. The novel was published on Tuesday and is 944 pages long.… Seguir leyendo »
There was Michael Jackson, milling around somewhere at the back of my consciousness in a box labelled “top tunes, disturbed person, poor old thing”, and I’d gone out to supper last Thursday and came back at about 11pm, made a cup of tea and logged on to Twitter, as you do, whereupon I found hundreds of people were posting about Jackson being taken to hospital, being in a coma, possibly being dead.
I turned on the television but that didn’t give me any new information at all. Ten minutes later someone posted on Twitter that the Los Angeles Times was confirming that Jackson had died.… Seguir leyendo »
The news last week that prenatal testing for autism might be on the cards was rather spun out of shape: we are not on the verge of a test — not right now, anyway – but work by the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University shows we are heading that way.
The team found that babies exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb had a higher risk of developing autistic traits. Previous research had shown that high levels of testosterone were associated with less eye contact by a child’s first birthday, slower language development by their second birthday, more peer difficulties by their fourth birthday and more difficulties with empathy by their sixth birthday.… Seguir leyendo »