Michael Cook likes bad puns, bushwalking and black coffee. He did a BA at Harvard University in the US where it was good for networking, but moved to Sydney where it wasn’t. He also did a PhD on an obscure corner of Australian literature. He has worked as a book editor and magazine editor and has published articles in magazines and newspapers in the US, the UK and Australia. Currently he is the editor of BioEdge, a newsletter about bioethics, and MercatorNet. He also writes a bioethics column for Australasian Science and contributes occasional op-ed pieces to newspapers and websites in the US, UK and Australia.
French president opposes same-sex marriage
22 Feb 2012 | CONJUGALITY |
Same-sex marriage is an issue in the election campaign for the French Presidency, which puts the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, against the Socialist leader, François Hollande. In a wide-ranging interview in the leading newspaper Le Figaro, President Sarkozy explained why he opposes it.
St Petersburg moves against promotion of gay lifestyle
22 Feb 2012 | CONJUGALITY |
The Russian city of Saint Petersburg appears to be taking such a harsh stand on gay rights that gay marriage seems out of the question. To the dismay of Russia’s gay community, the municipal authorities are about to pass a bill which would ban promotion of “sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transsexuality” to minors.
Sarkozy draws line in sand over euthanasia
21 Feb 2012 | CAREFUL! |
The two candidates in France’s presidential election are using euthanasia as one of the defining differences in the campaign. In a wide-ranging interview in Le Figaro, President Nicolas Sarkozy explained why he would not back it:
A portrait of universal values
17 Feb 2012 | FEATURES |
A photo of a fleeting moment in the Arab Spring demonstrations in Yemen is the winner of the 2011 World Press Photo competition.
Fudging the figures on contraception
14 Feb 2012 | FEATURES |
The White House says 98% of Catholic women have used contraceptives. Its own statistics do not support this.
Our pick of the films of 2011
26 Jan 2012 | FEATURES |
After bunkering down with our reviewers, we've settled on a list of the best films of the past year.
Asian Tiger Moms at work?
9 Jan 2012 | FAMILY EDGE |
This is 23-month-old Howard Wong on the drums. This YouTube video has some interesting comments beneath it. A sampling...
7 reasons why “Merry Christmas” will always beat “Season’s Greetings”
20 Dec 2011 | FEATURES |
Don’t let Grinches steal your Christmas by substituting meaningless slogans.
Just one hitch with all those eulogies
19 Dec 2011 | FEATURES |
Who was the greater public intellectual, Christopher Hitchens or Vaclav Havel?
Must-watch video: If kids are so damn expensive why does our China need a one-child policy?
15 Dec 2011 | DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY |
Singer Chuanzi (real name 姜亚川 Jiang Yachuan) was a troubled teen who ended up in jail. But after being released, he forged a new career as an entertainer. After he appeared on China’s Got Talent with his singing dog “Dudu” he became an instant hit. “Zheng Qianhua” is one of his best known songs. It's about a new father who names his daughter “Zheng Qianhua,” which literally means, “to earn the money to spend.” It's an outstanding critique of the one-child policy.
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