Visits to prison

Visits to prison

Netherhall House students sing at Mass on Sundays in London prison. “Visiting prisoners has been for many of us not only an act of mercy, but a very humanising experience of stepping into a world, like our very own, in need of redemption. “ Just before the end of last...

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An induction evening, New year 2017

An induction evening, New year 2017

"The explorer, in seeking to peer further into the darkest recesses, turned out his light." * "The drunk, having dropped his car keys, searched, and eventually found them beneath the street lamp. Happily, he concluded, keys are only ever lost under street lamps." **...

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Will-o’-the-wisp trading

Will-o’-the-wisp trading

The recent development of information technology has created a novel phenomenon in the skittish world of finance: electronic trading. Traditional physical contexts of trade where market actors engage in auditory and visual experiences to exchange financial instruments...

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Michealangelo’s ‘David’

Michealangelo’s ‘David’

The following short essay was written for a philosophy exam on March 14, 2015. It is published here as it is intended to serve as a starting point for another essay for the UNIV Forum in April 2017. The essay contains the beginnings of an idea: the notion of a 'lingua...

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What’s happening in the Bolivarian Republic?

What’s happening in the Bolivarian Republic?

At around this time last year, I wrote an article describing the rise of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and the legacy he left behind. I also offered some reflections on the country’s future, in view of the legislative elections which were coming up at the end of last year,...

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Visit of the Queen Mother

Visit of the Queen Mother

Queen Mother's speech at the opening of Phase I on the 1st November 1966. 50 years on, the same ideals and standards are the inspiration of the definitive Netherhall project. "It is often said that we live in an age of challenge, and I find it inspiring to visit...

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Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

Guest speakers are a regular part of the the life of the house at Netherhall. Taking place on Mondays, the invited guest arrives at 6:15pm for a tour of the house by the director and afterwards they are accompanied by a couple of students for an aperitif and dinner....

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Possibility and Ability

Possibility and Ability

The exploration of this topic was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend on how accountable terrorists (specifically ISIS) should be on an individual basis for their acts of terror. We frequently encounter in the news how recruits are ‘brainwashed’ or...

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The beginning of the end

The beginning of the end

Some may argue that two and a half years is a little on the long side to thumb every leaf of a book. But the book of this article is no ordinary book. Sparse in words, and even the words it does contain are neither English nor complete: "cresc", "rit", and the like....

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Beauty and Wonder in Buildings

Beauty and Wonder in Buildings

Our second speaker of the academic year was Javier Castañon, Head of Technical Studies at The Architectural Association, who spoke about Beauty and Wonder in Buildings. In particular, he spoke about the subtleties of architectural craft he employed to bring together a...

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December’s eighteen books

December’s eighteen books

September's list has gone through and the books are now sitting in the director's office waiting to be stamped, and read. So, we are now looking for proposals, seventeen in fact, since I have already ordered the first: the mighty work of Robin Moore "In search of lost...

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Science and life

Science and life

Three fields of scientific investigation are considered which manifestly suffers from an absence of philosophical support when considering their aims. They are: the pursuit of artificial intelligence, evolution and embryonic stem cell research. All three make at least...

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September’s eighteen books

September’s eighteen books

Eighteen books are ordered each quarter for Netherhall. This September's batch, however, was a little rushed. Four books were already on the list, added by Peter Brown, the former director. But another fourteen were needed to complete the order. With the seismic...

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Was Chávez really the people’s Hero?

Was Chávez really the people’s Hero?

Hugo Chávez Frías was the president of Venezuela from 1999 till his death in 2013. He was immensely popular, winning three general elections by landslide majorities and losing only one referendum election during his fourteen-year tenure. His popularity derived in...

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Have you lost your marbles?

Have you lost your marbles?

Does the British Museum hold the Elgin Marbles unlawfully? Is this just one more expression of colonialism? Following a late cancellation from a proposed speaker. Our resident archaeologist Edoardo Bedin kindly stepped in to explain the historical background behind...

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Forget Sherlock: here’s the real deal

Forget Sherlock: here’s the real deal

Think Sherlock Holmes was the greatest detective to ever have lived? Well, think again... Apart from the obvious fact that Mr Holmes was but a fictional character, it seems as though Holmes’s creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had a weak spot for a well-known...

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Magna Carta – Still Relevant?

Magna Carta – Still Relevant?

David Letterman: “What is the literal translation ?” David Cameron: “You are testing me.” David Letterman: “Oh it would be good if you knew this…” David Cameron: “Yeah, well it would be.” It is worrying that even our Prime Minister has forgotten the meaning of our...

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Marriages and Annulments

Marriages and Annulments

When, in 1533, Henry VIII decided to marry Anne Boleyn and to declare his previous marriage to Catherine of Aragon null and void, his ‘great matter’ had already dragged on for about six years. By that time, virtually nobody believed that Pope Clement VII would ever...

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Edmund Burke and the Concept of Freedom

Edmund Burke and the Concept of Freedom

To claim that Edmund Burke was “the visionary who invented modern politics” may seem somewhat bold, for it requires us to ask ourselves in what sense Burke was a ’visionary’ and what we mean by ’modern politics.’ But this was what the Conservative MP for Hereford and...

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Turning Thought into Matter

It is not common in London to meet the architect who created the space in which you are standing. On Monday November, Netherhall’s residents had this odd experience when Javier Castanon, head of Technical Studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture...

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Richard III: Six in a million

Richard III: Six in a million

Inter their bodies as becomes their births: Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament, We will unite the white rose and the red . . . . Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, from Shakespeare’s Richard III The recent visit to Netherhall...

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Career Direction: An Illusion?

Career Direction: An Illusion?

Being an economics and management student, I have often asked myself what awaits me in the future, knowing that the supply of management students vastly outstrips the demand for people with our qualifications. To help answer this question, I caught up with Nuala...

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The Good Doctor of the English Dictionary

The Good Doctor of the English Dictionary

Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas: I wish, however, that the instrument might be less apt to decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things they denote. This quotation from the preface of Samuel Johnson’s...

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The Napoleonic Wars Revisited

The Napoleonic Wars Revisited

Thinking of the Napoleonic Wars can lead one to consider the rather stately ambience of Trafalgar Square, its neoclassical solemnity and its vigorous triumphalism. One is, as it were, transported to a fascinating though fleeting world of legendary heroes and...

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A New Play Coming Next Year

A New Play Coming Next Year

In early 2013, two friends and I decided to try and achieve our long-term ambition. We had performed short humorous sketches at school together for three years, but we wanted to entertain the general public and were confident that we were suitably experienced to...

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The Manon Quartet, Live in the Auditorium

The Manon Quartet, Live in the Auditorium

On 11th October we had the great pleasure of hearing the Manon Quartet in the Netherhall House Auditorium as part of the “Cavatina” season. The concert began at 8 p.m. and from the first note, played by the violin, all of us were delighted by the charming musicians in...

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The Victorians

The Victorians

There was a time when a burgeoning middle class had acquired a sense of being full of self-made men, and when the aristocracy had a deep-rooted belief in noblesse oblige. It was a time of great intellects, politicians, gentlemanliness and extraordinary women, of...

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What was the Industrial Revolution?

What was the Industrial Revolution?

A cynical and perplexed William Blake once inquired “was Jerusalem builded here, / Among these dark Satanic Mills?” Blake’s disquiet expressed in 1804 through his famous poem certainly had a raison d’être. Industrialization stood as an inexorable phenomenon within...

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The laity’s champion

The laity’s champion

One of the twentieth century’s greatest promoters of the lay vocation was beatified this year, on Saturday 27th of September. A quiet, even slightly shy man, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo worked tirelessly behind the scenes during and after the Second Vatican Council to...

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The obscure life of cyber athletes

The obscure life of cyber athletes

An obscure occupation in the West, a ‘cyber athlete’ can nonetheless earn buckets of money. Where does the money come from, and with such lucrative winnings, why are e-Sports relatively unheard of? Jonny Parreño reports read more
Jane Austen

Jane Austen

'Who here’, he asked, ‘does not know who Jane Austen is?’ Thankfully, almost everyone had heard of her at least. But what of her significance, her extraordinary talent, and her unique status in the English literary canon? A more muted reaction naturally. The man who...

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Hamlet in the lounge

Hamlet in the lounge

‘To be, or not to be: that is the question’. This iconic quote from a tortured young Hamlet has been, and will continue to be, expressed in infinite shades of pain, and it is one which actor Michael Benz has delivered over one hundred times to packed out theatres in...

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DNA: Unlocking life’s code

DNA: Unlocking life’s code

On February 28th, 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick were having lunch at the Eagle pub in Cambridge. There they declared to its patrons that they had ‘discovered the secret of life’. Perhaps they had one too many to drink, but these young scientists were in the...

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Saving Face

Saving Face

On 22nd October, 2012 Netherhall residents welcomed Dr. Ian Brown, Associate Director at Oxford`s Cyber Security Center and senior Research fellow at Oxford Internet Institute. Dr. Brown spoke on the privacy issues in social networks, especially relating to Facebook...

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Uncovering the new stolen generation

Uncovering the new stolen generation

There was a time when making babies and starting a family was a simple matter. Benevolent Nature and gentle Evolution had so kindly equipped our race that man and woman only had to be literally of ‘one flesh,’ albeit briefly, to beget human life. Usually, this child...

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Brazil today

Brazil today

In the 1980s Brazil was considered a ‘failure’ as a developing economy when compared with countries like Japan and South Korea. Until the 1990s Brazil, as well as much of South America, experienced what is now known as the ‘lost decade’, characterised by economic...

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Syria: war in the fertile crescent

Syria: war in the fertile crescent

Two teenagers were arrested when caught spraying anti-government slogans in the south of Syria. When their mothers came to plead for their release from the police station, activists on the ground claim they were told: ‘You won’t see them again. Go back to your...

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The number games

The number games

After almost six long and bloody years, the Second World War finally came to a desperately desired close. While the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still spark heated debates about their impact upon the length of the war even to this day, a lesser known...

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The story of Poland and its people

The story of Poland and its people

Poland prevents some problems to historians not only because Poles are difficult people to deal with but also because it was not able to create its own narrative in the way other . nations have done so. Let me explain. When nations started to create states in the 18th...

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Flavours of east and west

Flavours of east and west

Everyone has heard the name. Occasionally, we hear the term ‘Byzantine’ used as a negative adjective meaning ‘convoluted’, or ‘incomprehensibly elaborate’, particularly pertaining to bureaucracy, particularly the kind nowadays found in Brussels. The term ‘Byzantine’...

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Right on!

Right on!

Being American has proven to be a problematic identity for me. On many levels America still proves to be the most influential and powerful country in the world with the highest GDP but also seemingly the most imperialistic with the highest military budget in the...

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Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels

Our congratulations go to Tim Reckhart on the nomination of his short film ‘Head over Heels’ for an oscar (short film - animated). The film was created by tim and his peers on a a master’s course in ‘Directing Animation’ at the national film and television school,...

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Voice for the voiceless?

Voice for the voiceless?

Recently, Tony Blair, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, spoke in my church on ‘Christian leadership’. Up to this point, my faith and my politics had been engaged in healthy dialogue, but suddenly they confronted each other in church. Just sitting in my...

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The banality of evil

The banality of evil

After the end of the Second World War, prominent Nazi leaders were charged with war crimes at Nuremberg between the 20th November 1945 and the 1st October 1946, but a contingent had managed to successfully flee from Germany. One of those fugitives was Adolf Eichmann,...

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Young and underemployed

Young and underemployed

Just this month new figures have been released showing record youth unemployment across Europe. According to a report by the International Labour Organization, unemployment in the UK for those 15-25 actively seeking work is still above 20%. In Spain it is now 56.5%,...

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A for Anonymous

A for Anonymous

When I was asked by a friend back in November to write an article on the topic of vigilantism (and in particular the growing world of cyber vigilantism), I immediately thought of the character V from the film V for Vendetta (2005, dir. James McTeigue). V is consumed...

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Evelyn Waugh Revisited

Evelyn Waugh Revisited

It is often fascinating to look back at famous authors’ earliest examples of writing in childhood, so as to witness the traits evident even at such a young age that will later make them distinct and, in their own ways, extraordinary. The earliest literary composition...

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Peruvian peregrinations

Peruvian peregrinations

When I began studying Spanish at Glasgow University, I never believed it would make me an Inca. Being a Scot, I chose the course with an eye to a bargain: three languages – Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan – for the price of one. And I didn’t even have to travel away...

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