Category: Russ

Student journalism: the next generation

My career as a writer is entirely the result of becoming involved in student journalism, which itself is probably the result of the deathly dull engineering course I’d enrolled on. So I was quite flattered to be invited to deliver…

Ducking for a Vulcan

XH558 pic by Russ Swan

I’ve got quite swept up in enthusiasm for the Avro Vulcan, the last airworthy example of which is retiring this year. It’s a remarkable aircraft by any measure, and I have a particular personal affection for the beast. One of…

Up hill and down dale

ALWAYS a time for reflection, New Year, and my recent post about the 50,000 miles I clocked up over 18 months in the Citroen DS4 got me to thinking. In an idle hour (not much productive work to do this…

My own Bourne identity

IN THE 2002 movie, super-cool uber-spy Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) battles to discover his identity by way of fast cars, beautiful women, big guns, and huge explosions. This has very little in common with what I’ve spent the last couple of…

The day I met Neil Armstrong

If you know only two things about Neil Armstrong, you will know that he was the first man to set foot on the moon, and that after his adventures in space he retreated to the quiet life of an engineering professor. What seems to…

I’ve been called worse

Having just filed my latest contribution to Laboratory News, I kicked back for half an hour to read the previous issue – which had been lurking on my desk for a couple of weeks. My monthly column is Lab Babble,…

A free agent

Today, Friday 26 August 2011, is my last day as an employee of Centaur Media. A few weeks ago, the company announced wide-ranging redundancies and a major internal reorganisation. I fully expected my position as editor of Laboratorytalk to become…

Ripping into Rip Tide

I didn’t get it at first. Ploughing my way through Stella Rimington’s latest novel Rip Tide – an advance copy kindly sent by her publisher before my interview with the great Dame of spy fiction a couple of weeks ago…

Blowing my trumpet

I’m sure that most journalists will confirm that feedback from readers is really appreciated, especially when it is favourable. So I was particularly pleased this week to receive two positive comments in quick succession. The target of this approval was…