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Administering noxious substances

Last night Greater Manchester Police confirmed that Mr Crompton had been arrested for administering a noxious substance. A spokesman said: ‘On Tuesday, 2 Apr 14, police in North Manchester received a report of concern over medicine administered to a resident at a Blackley care home. Officers from the public protection investigation unit started an investigation […]


Codejam is here again. It is a test in devising algorithms against the clock, open to all-comers world wide. It was supposedly started by Google as a way of trying to select good programmers to work for them, or at least of providing a more objective measure of candidates’ abilities than the usual interview process. […]

WebVan Mark 2

Webvan is a strong contender for the biggest dot-com bust ever. In the increasing frenzy of the late 1990s Louis Borders persuaded the boys at Benchmark Capital that he had an even bigger hit (at that point Borders bookstores, which he had founded in 1971, were doing well). It was so exciting that due diligence […]

Iran Air flight 655

It was an Airbus A300 on a flight from Tehran to Dubai shot down by USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988 using guided missiles. All 290 people on board (16 crew, 274 passengers, including 66 children) were killed. It was a classic mix of incompetence leading to the accident, and deviousness in trying, and eventually […]

Barrack-room lawyer

It is several decades since I used the phrase in the title, so I checked the spelling at the online OED: and realized with amusement that it arguably did not quite fit. Miller has just escaped, implausibly. Faced with this report from the Parliamentary Commissioner, most ministers would have resigned: Were Mrs Miller’s ACA claims […]