I have encountered many pundits screaming the demand that all genealogy MUST be shared, open, and available to all (no, it does not). Funny they never care about the quality of what gets shared. I encountered many others just screaming anything in an effort to simply grow the pool of potential money for themselves.
Despite Putin's immense power (and rumoured vast wealth), he consistently presents himself as a servant of his people - a trick learned from the Emperors of Byzantium. His divorce, announced last week with his wife at his side after seeing a performance of La Esmeralda, was straight from the imperial textbooks.
If you haven't checked out Vine, I recommend it. You get 6.5 seconds to make a simple stop and start, edit when filming, movie. You touch the screen and it records, lift your finger from the screen and it pauses. That's it, 6.5 seconds of barbaric jump-cuts. What's weirdly enchanting is its absolute gluttony.
Amongst the formative experiences of my childhood are the regular trips I used to take to the workshop that produced extraordinary caricature puppets for the satirical 1980s TV show Spitting Image. I would poke around excitedly in the huge puppet storage room, and get under the overworked caricaturists' feet.
It is becoming increasingly likely that we in Britain are going to be faced with an in-out referendum on our membership of the European Union in the next couple of years. In order to help reframe and hopefully reenforce our understanding of Europe, I have decided to tell its story in the form of a fable. This is a true story although its truth is not necessarily contained in the individual events described.
One dank Saturday afternoon last year, I snapped up the Georgian portrait you see here in a near-empty Northamptonshire junk shop. I haggled him down to £8. Even so, you might think I was robbed, since it is a fairly unremarkable picture. But the lady shown was one of the more interesting characters of the late 1700s.
I have to admit to a certain amount of confusion of late. I was asked recently by a friend 'what' I considered myself. I live in Scotland and here, in the run up to the referendum on independence next autumn, most people are trying to figure out, in essence, if they're more Scottish than British or vice versa.