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Interests
My primary interests are listed below. However, I still count my work as a primary interest too, including all aspects of the services listed elsewhere on this site.
Movies
Top ten movies:
  • Educating Rita
  • Wicker Man
  • Donnie Darko
  • The Man Who Fell To Earth
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Don't Look Now
  • Crash
  • Solaris (new version)
  • The Good The Bad and The Ugly
  • Cube
Music Albums
My interest in music increased dramatically when I bought my first iPod, and I now buy about 30 abums a year. However, here is my all-time top ten (the ones I have played the most):
  • Funeral (Arcade Fire)
  • Hounds of Love (Kate Bush)
  • Hunky Dory (David Bowie)
  • Soul Cages (Sting)
  • Night at the Opera (Queen)
  • Out of the Blue (ELO)
  • Outside (David Bowie)
  • Powaqquatsi (Philip Glass)
  • Ray of Light (Madonna)
  • Direct (Vangelis)
Books
Factual top ten:
  • Thinking: From A to Z (Higel Warburton)
  • The Elements of Style (William Strunk and E.B. White)
  • Which Lie Did I Tell (William Goldman)
  • The Demon Haunted World (Carl Sagan)
  • The Oxford Guide To Style (OUP)
  • 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
  • Powers of Ten (Charles and Ray Eames)
  • Bad Medicine (Christopher Wanjek)
  • The Gulag Archipeligo (Solzhenitsyn)
  • The New Oxford Dictionary of English
Fiction all-time top ten:
  • Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
  • Nice Work (David Lodge)
  • Thinks (David Lodge)
  • Enduring Love (Ian McEwen)
  • Walking on Glass (Iain Banks)
  • High Rise (J G Ballard)
  • The Child in Time (Ian McEwen)
  • Smiley's People (John LeCarre)
  • Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
  • Dune (Frank Herbert)
Science and Ideas
These are the principles that I adhere to when considering new ideas:
  • it is better to believe in something that is true than in something that is false but comforting
  • belief itself is an indulgence (it means accepting something despite the lack of convincing evidence) - it is better to accept things that are beyond dispute (the Earth orbits the Sun), provisionally accept things that are likely to be true (such as the Big Bang), reserve judgement on grey areas (whether or not the universe created deliberately) and reject things that are likely to be false (such as ghosts) or are certainly false (homeopathy)
  • critical thinking and the scientific methodology are the only ways to discover what is true or likely to be true
  • scepticism of unlikely claims is vital and should be promoted to prevent descent back into the dark ages (my favourite Web site: www.randi.org)