Month: October 2015

Weekend Reading

Been hard to avoid Halloween articles this week but I’ve done my best!

  • How Friendships Change in Adulthood
    In the hierarchy of relationships, friendships are at the bottom. Romantic partners, parents, children—all these come first. This is true in life, and in science, where relationship research tends to focus on couples and families.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KqlqK5
  • Why Working Form Home Can Be Both Awesome and Awful
    For over a year, I worked almost exclusively from my tiny apartment in Harlem. Aside from trips into an office every six weeks or so, my work schedule and surroundings were mostly left up to me. On some days, I would fly through assignments and personal tasks with unusual efficiency.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PKHlm8
  • The best way to boil an egg, according to science
    Boiling an egg seems like it should be one of the easiest culinary feats to master. But as anyone who has tried knows, it isn’t. You can end up with rubbery whites, chalky yolks or half the white taken off with the shell. Here’s why: An egg isn’t one thing, it’s two.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RqejXn
  • Terry Gross and the Art of Opening Up
    On a late-summer morning, Terry Gross sat before a computer in her office — a boxy, glass-fronted room at WHYY in Philadelphia — composing interview questions.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NncTMK
  • What Happened to the Boy Who Accidentally Shot His Sister Dead
    Sean Smith today. “For a long time, I was self-destructive in every way imaginable.” (David Albers for The Trace) Sean Smith was looking for the Nintendo games his mother had hidden when he found a .38 revolver in his father’s underwear drawer.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PtmLHT
  • How Friendships Change in Adulthood
    In the hierarchy of relationships, friendships are at the bottom. Romantic partners, parents, children—all these come first. This is true in life, and in science, where relationship research tends to focus on couples and families.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KqlqK5
  • Question – Does being self-deprecating help or harm you socially?
    Hopes&Fears answers questions with the help of people who know what they’re talking about. Today, we ask psychologists and communication experts if making fun of ourselves makes us look bad.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1hV9VUi
  • Saul Bass On His Approach To Designing Movie Title Sequences
    Graphic designer and Oscar-winning director Saul Bass worked with some of the most creative filmmakers in Hollywood to set the tone for their work through his unique title sequences for films ranging from Psycho to Goodfellas.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jDRrJQ
  • View from the Overlook: Crafting ‘The Shining’
    From 2007, a 30-minute documentary on the making of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Includes interviews with Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, and Sydney Pollack.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1i9N4UW
  • Why so many alien hunters are looking at this one mysterious star in the sky
    Alien hunters are abuzz. A mysterious star called KIC 8462852 is their latest hope for finding an intelligent species beyond the Earth. And they are throwing every resource they can to find a way of confirming that aliens exist.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jKs7lm
  • Greenland Is Melting Away
    On the Greenland Ice Sheet — The midnight sun still gleamed at 1 a.m. across the brilliant expanse of the Greenland ice sheet.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NxKgfR
  • Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill
    When it comes to automotive technology, self-driving cars are all the rage.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RYqifI
  • Europe’s Time Zones and Daylight Saving Systems Are a Total Mess
    Is it summertime or wintertime? Since Sunday, no one in Turkey has been entirely sure. Following a decree originating from the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s government has officially delayed the start of daylight saving by two weeks.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1P4KsF8
  • Inside Apple’s perfectionism machine
    In retrospect, it was easy to miss — a bit of combined technology never really seen before in a laptop. Everyone missed it, even those who tore down the ultra-portable MacBook, even those who looked right at it.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1O9lOEL
  • Scotland’s Plastic Bag Ban Saved 650 Million Bags In Its First Year
    Just eight cents a bag and suddenly no one wants one. One year ago, Scotland started charging five pence for plastic grocery bags. In the following year, 650 million fewer bags have been used, an 80% reduction. Before the ban on free carrier bags, as they’re called over there…
    Read: http://ift.tt/1He1vxR
  • Nepal Just Got Its First Female President
    Nepal made history on Wednesday, electing a woman to become the country’s first female head of state. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, from the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), received 327 votes of the total 541 ballots cast in Nepal’s parliament.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Sbyp8L
  • Question – Are humans meant to be monogamous?
    Hopes&Fears answers questions with the help of people who know what they’re talking about. Today, we ask psychology, biology, and sexuality experts whether humans are wired to stay together.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KFTKkG
  • The End of Craft Beer
    Read: http://ift.tt/1M3y9b0
  • The Broken Pop of James Bond Songs
    Our latest Exclusive is by Adrian Daub and Charles Kronengold, who recently co-authored The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism (Oxford University Press), a cultural history of the Bond-song canon.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Oa22c7
  • In Which We’re Up All Night – Home – This Recording
    It is impossible to describe insomnia to people who are sound sleepers. These are the people who trust that getting in bed will be followed by falling asleep, as surely as night follows day; these are the fearless people. Sleepless people are a very different breed.
    Read: http://ift.tt/PcGJrU
  • How Sitting Is Harming Your Body and What You Can Do to Counter Its Perils
    More than a century after Thoreau’s magnificent manifesto for the rewards of walking and the evils of sitting, we have finally put data around the all too obvious fact that the human body, a marvelous machine animated by motion, is not meant for extended stillness.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1XvjhpY
  • What does Scotland do after the stabbing at Cults academy?
    The fatal stabbing of a teenager at Aberdeen’s Cults academy, in an area of the city not known for gang violence or knife crime, has inevitably led to suggestions that school security should be tightened.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ri1s9S

Hitchrick and the new job

I’ve spent the last few hours filling in forms, lots of forms, repeating the same information over and over. But I don’t mind because it’s because I’ll soon be starting a new job.

The paperwork is a little more involved because I’m making the move from a permanent salaried role (which is all I’ve ever known) to a contract. That means I need to think about things like hiring an accountant, setting up my own limited company, getting a business bank account and lots of other fun things that require a lot of reading.

I’m excited though, not just because I’ll be getting back to work but because this is something I’ve considered in the past but never really had the courage to make the leap. Turns out being made redundant was just the kick I needed!

I have chosen my new company name, and just off the phone with my new accountant who will take care of a lot of the paperwork for me – I was pondering tackling it all myself but I think I’ll give it a year or so before I head down that path.

For now, I just need to finish a few more forms, confirm my start date and start figuring out my new commute which, when the weather allows, will see my cycling to work. Win win!

Another reason for me to be glad about getting this contract is not only professional – I’ll be doing Business Analysis for a bank – but stems more from my state of mind. There is no doubt that not working has a negative effect on me, and not just the money worries. I like to be busy, but no matter how I tried, I found filling my days with non-creative and non-contributory actions just wasn’t enough for me.

I’ve been out of work, officially, since the end of July, that’s 3 months when I could’ve learned a new language, or tried a new activity. But I didn’t, because whilst I always want to be better for me, I’ve realised that what I really need is to have something to contribute to that is beyond me. At least, I think that’s what it is… still trying to figure that bit out.

Regardless, I’ve got a new job! Huzzah!!

Weekend Reading

Some cracking reads this week, some quite dark, some wonderfully uplifting and the usual nonsense in-between.

  • The Doctor
    As the sun set on a Saturday in early February, Mubarak Angalo, a farmer in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, was riding in a pickup truck with two friends. They had spent the day at a market, selling vegetables, and were returning to their village when they heard a low droning sound overhead.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QoHWZ9
  • Out of the Darkness — Accountability for Torture — Medium
    THE CIA USED the music of an Irish boyband called Westlife to torture Suleiman Abdullah in Afghanistan. His interrogators would intersperse a syrupy song called “My Love” with heavy metal, played on repeat at ear-splitting volume.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KeFwHa
  • Mr. Pop
    Excerpted from The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook. Out now from WW Norton & Company. One day in 1992, a demo tape addressed to Denniz Pop, a 28-year-old DJ, arrived at a Stockholm-based music company called SweMix.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LLnn4X
  • Patti Smith on Time, Transformation, and How the Radiance of Love Redeems the Rupture of Loss
    That transcendent transience is what beloved musician, artist, and poet Patti Smith explores in M Train (public library) — a most unusual and breathtaking book: part memoir, part dreamscape, part elegy for the departed and for time itself.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LZQyHE
  • The Story Behind Bob Beamon’s Miracle Jump And The Only Photo That Mattered
    The man who took one of the most famous photos in Olympic history wasn’t a professional photographer.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LoG2UJ
  • The death and life of the great British pub
    The Murphy family, John, Mary and their adult son Dave, were preparing to spend a 33rd Christmas as landlords of the Golden Lion pub in Camden, north London when they heard the rumours.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jlnkqm
  • Of Hegemonic Hoverboards and the Power of Power-Laces: Living in Back to the Future II’s 2015
    As Marty McFly walked out of the alleyway and into the town square, he was distracted not by the flying cars whizzing by high above but by a robotic Texaco attendant. Then he was attacked by a holographic shark.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jEs4Hc
  • Becoming Nicole
    They were identical twin boys, Wyatt and Jonas Maines, adopted at birth in 1997 by middle-class, conservative parents. Healthy and happy, they were physically indistinguishable from each other, but even as infants their personalities seemed to diverge.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QNI6Jy
  • How an F Student Became America’s Most Prolific Inventor
    “It’s really a one-person sort of vehicle,” says Lowell Wood, right after he offers me a lift back to my hotel. His brown 1996 Toyota 4Runner, parked outside his office building in Bellevue, Washington, has 300,000-plus miles on the odometer and looks it.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jyE1P9
  • Do People Actually Wear Pajamas?
    With the arrival of cooler weather comes the resurgence, in catalogs and department stores, of that most dubious of offerings: the two-piece set of pajamas.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PEPZ5D
  • How Jellyfish Exhibits Became Underwater Dance Clubs
    Infinite blue in action. (Photo: Dan90266/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 2.0) Jellyfish are, with all due respect, incredibly weird. They’re 95 percent water, and spend their lives being pulled to and fro by currents.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1M18cuI
  • Refugees who changed the world
    (CNN)They are destitute, desperate but determined. Thousands of them flee their homes every year, risking lives in unseaworthy boats or packed truck beds. The cinematic icon and legendary cabaret singer rose to fame in Germany in the 1920s.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RXRvzd
  • Why too much choice is stressing us out
    Once upon a time in Springfield, the Simpson family visited a new supermarket. Monstromart’s slogan was “where shopping is a baffling ordeal”.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1W5VMX4
  • Cirque Du Soleil Style Aerial Dance Gains Popularity In Phoenix Area
    There’s a new form of “dancercise” sweeping the Valley that’s guaranteed to leave you hanging. The art of aerial dance isn’t for everyone. But studios around the Valley are making it available to anyone, and you don’t even have to run away and join the circus.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MH8O34
  • The Hollow Earth Is Filled With Giants, Germans, and A Little Sun
    Giants, Germans, and paradise all await within the Hollow Earth. (Rainy Season in the Tropics by Frederic Edwin Church) Ah, the underworld. From time immemorial, people have believed that there is another world lying just beneath the surface of our planet.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MDZJbk
  • Please don’t call me A Girl Called Jack. I have something to tell you.
    First published in the New Statesman on 20 October 2015. I love a Google alert.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1W81Gak

Create to win

I have no job at present.

All the fish I had have died.

I started Couch to 5K but my ITBS flared up so I can’t run.

I’m behind on my reading challenge for the year.

Just in case anyone was wondering why I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog, and other places, it’s because I’m failing. I predicted this would be a year for failing I just didn’t think it would be this kind.

I like to keep busy, so not working isn’t the best for my mental health, neither is not being involved in anything creative so I’m pushing to fix that in a few ways, one of which being NaNoWriMo which starts in November.

I know. I’m mental.

I just need a few wins.

Weekend Reading

This week I started the Couch to 5K program. This has no bearing on the following links, other than I’ve spent more time reading/recovering because I’m so unfit!

  • 22 Candid Photos from NASA’s Just-Released Project Apollo Archive
    An image from Apollo 9, March 1969. (All Photos: Project Apollo Archive/flickr)  Between 1969 and 1972, 12 men, on 6 different space flights, walked on the moon, with NASA’s Project Apollo. And one of the few things that came with them? A camera.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MZUvsX
  • The Silver Arrow, the Real Ghost Train Haunting the Stockholm Metro
    Fanciful legends about ghost trains regularly pop up around subway systems, rail tunnels, and abandoned tracks. But in the case of the Stockholm Metro, the ghost train is real.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LhQhhb
  • What’s Lost When Most People Work From Home
    There’s plenty of research out there on the benefits of remote and flexible work. It’s been shown to lead to increased productivity, and has an undeniable benefit for work-life balance. But what does it do to everyone back at the office?
    Read: http://ift.tt/1L2Cyct
  • Nasa planning ‘Earth Independent’ Mars colony by 2030s
    Humans will be living and working on Mars in colonies entirely independent of Earth by the 2030s, Nasa has said.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jgMvK4
  • The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy
    It really was a dark and stormy night.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Pl9ikj
  • A Criminal Mind — The California Sunday Magazine
    In the 1980s, psychiatrist Joel Dreyer was a fixture on Detroit’s WXYZ Channel 7. His commercials promoting his treatment center, InnerVisions, which he named after the Stevie Wonder album, sometimes ran up to five times a day.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MKyJcB
  • A man who recorded every detail of his life for five years has the ultimate way to live in the moment
    Some of the tirade is against technology, which many claim stops us from making connections with each other. The bigger worry is that, in our attempts to capture memories that we fear may be lost forever, we don’t live in the moment.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1ZkCgoN
  • The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease
    I had lived thirty good years before enduring my first food poisoning — odds quite fortunate in the grand scheme of things, but miserably unfortunate in the immediate experience of it.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1OqMqxJ
  • The secret of Bake Off? Keeping a secret
    When Nadiya Hussain won this year’s Great British Bake Off and gave her tearful winning speech, more than 100 people were surrounding her in the field in Berkshire where the show is filmed.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1R4yzxE
  • Inside Reddit’s Plan to Recover From Its Epic Meltdown
    Skip Article Header. Skip to: Start of Article. It began on the Thursday night that much of Reddit—the eleventh biggest site on the American Internet, the one that Steve Huffman helped found when he was barely more than a teenager—went dark.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1FQINkS
  • Uncovering The Secret History Of Myers-Briggs
    To obtain a hard copy of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), the most popular personality test in the world, one must first spend $1,695 on a week-long certification program run by the Myers & Briggs Foundation of Gainesville, Florida.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Mf7Iv7
  • The Sick People and All Their Guns
    This week on Episode One Million of “Stupid Things Donald Trump Said,” the Donald lent his expertise to the recent mass shooting in Oregon, attributing it to shooter Chris Harper-Mercer’s mental illness rather than the ease of gun ownership in the United States.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LpK2Ue
  • The Passion of Nicki Minaj
    Pop music is dominated almost exclusively by the female star — Beyoncé, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and, as always, Madonna.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1OkMlwW
  • News & Views
    Last week Suffragette opened the London Film Festival. Suitably enough the gala screening involved political protest, heated debate and lots of thoroughly inspiring women. I was lucky enough to be working on the red carpet.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RC12vz
  • A Very Revealing Conversation With Rihanna
    I DRESSED VERY CAREFULLY for her, the way I would for a good friend, thinking hard about what she likes. What I think she likes. I ordered Uber Black — the highest level of Uber I’ve ridden.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QlkoUL
  • Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine
    Lots of people like Hello Kitty, but it takes a special kind of devotion to open an entire dim sum restaurant devoted to the cute icon. But for those who have just been dying to bite into a dumpling shaped like her face, Hong Kong has you covered with Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1JXtcec
  • Her Code Got Humans on the Moon—And Invented Software Itself
    Skip Article Header. Skip to: Start of Article. Margaret Hamilton wasn’t supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. It was 1960, not a time when women were encouraged to seek out high-powered technical work.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1GFDeR2
  • The fat city that declared war on obesity
    Oklahoma has lost a million pounds of fat. Ian Birrell meets the mayor who piled on the pounds then launched a healthy living crusade and changed his city’s infrastructure. But can even this defeat our century’s biggest health curse?
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jtgGh8
  • Sisters separated 40 years ago in Korea reunited working in same US hospital
    Two orphaned sisters separated decades ago in South Korea have been reunited after being hired at the same hospital in Florida. The women, now both in their 40s, were stunned to learn that they were related, having not seen each other since the early 1970s.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1K3d0Z2
  • We’re not as selfish as we think we are: here’s the proof
    Do you find yourself thrashing against the tide of human indifference and selfishness? Are you oppressed by the sense that while you care, others don’t? That, because of humankind’s callousness, civilisation and the rest of life on Earth are basically stuffed? If so, you are not alone.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1k3WZNz
  • Jennifer Lawrence blames herself for making less money than ‘the lucky people with d—s’: ‘I failed as a negotiator’
    Jennifer Lawrence says she was paid less than her male “American Hustle” co-stars because she “failed as a negotiator” — and she believes that failure may have stemmed from a deeply-ingrained female fear of assertiveness.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QnRH9H
  • The Gonzo Vision of Quentin Tarantino
    “I READ, IN A BOOK about Bette Davis, that anybody who does an interview while drinking alcohol is a damned fool.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jrKsmm
  • This Scottish city apparently has the sexiest accent in Britain
    LONDON — People from Glasgow have the sexiest accent in Britain, apparently, while those hailing from Newcastle sound the most intelligent.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LbQYXP

P.S. Happy Birthday to me!

Apple hedging on good enough

I’m a big fan of Apple products. Their hardware is always well designed and well made. I like using them, I like they way they work, how they feel in my hand.

I am not a fan of most Apple software.

The operating systems are good enough, but not groundbreaking. I don’t want all the baffling options and lack of consistency I see with Android – I had an Android phone for a year or so, it never felt “nice” to use – and whilst it sounds like Windows is getting back to being usable, I like the Apple hardware too much to move (maybe the new Microsoft lap/tablet/top thing will sway me?), and most Linux variants I’ve seen and used are not user-friendly.

Apple keeps moving iOS and OSX forward but ultimately they do what they need to do and don’t get in the way too much, which is all I need.

Apple applications on the other hand are, almost across the board, not great and everywhere I look there are better alternatives.

I may give the Photos app a stay of absence here, as it suits my needs but I know most people look to other solutions here.

I use Safari as my browser, but beyond that I hardly use any of the Apple applications on either operating system.

On iOS I use Cloudmagic and not Mail, Todoist rather than reminders, Fantastical over Calendar, Spotify over Music, Overcast for podcasts, Dropbox for files, Evernote for notes, and Dark Sky for weather.

In fact just about anywhere I can, I’ve swapped out Apple apps for 3rd party ones, and I’m not alone. Apple proudly talks of the over 1 billion app downloads made through the App Store on iOS alone, but how many of you have a folder on your iPhone that holds unused, and undeleteable, Apple apps?

But hey, it’s all about choice I guess, right?

Except it isn’t, or at least it won’t be. Look at how Android is starting to tie together the information your phone knows about you to produce ‘Now’ cards, and because it can get access to your email, your calendar, the websites you browse, it has more data with which to be helpful.

Apple is heading the same way, and it all makes sense. For a tiny computer in my pocket, the more useful it can be, the more likely I am to invest in it and, at some point in the future, our smartphones need to be smarter, they need to push the information I need to me when I need it, not wait for me to open an app.

So, the fact that I’m NOT using the apps that Apple offer becomes more than just a preference, it’s a limitation.

I’m not sure how I get past that. Part of me hopes, and possibly presumes, that the weight of consumer need will push Apple to open things a little more, allow better integration at the system level to the various apps I use. When I ask Siri to play my “Radio G” playlist, it should know I mean in Spotify, not Apple Music.

Alas, I fear that day won’t ever arrive. Apple has been very protective of its ecosystem, and whilst it is slowly adding more and more capability to the apps that it does offer, at some point I have to decide to make do with ‘good enough’ or leave the ecosystem to get what I want from my technology.

The next couple of years are gonna be interesting.

Weekend Reading

I’m behind on my Goodreads challenge so I’ll admit I haven’t read all of these this week but they all looked interesting…

  • ‘If the Camera Moves it’s Got To Be for a Reason’: An Interview with Roger Deakins
    Nobody shoots movies as well as Roger Deakins. He is without question our greatest cinematographer: an exemplar without comparison.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1L8Zb0g
  • Blank Space: What Kind of Genius Is Max Martin?
    Among the stranger aspects of recent pop music history is how so many of the biggest hits of the past twenty years—by the Backstreet Boys, ’NSync, and Britney Spears to Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and the Weeknd—have been co-written by a forty-four-year-old Swede.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1FLqgWR
  • Study: White people react to evidence of white privilege by claiming greater personal hardships
    Researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have found that white people respond to evidence that they are privileged by their race by insisting that they face greater hardships in life. In a study published in the November issue of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, L.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1JN1Ffp
  • The Untold Story of Susan Hawk
    She had always dreamed about being Dallas County district attorney. But as her career took off, her personal life was falling apart—divorce, pain pills, thoughts of suicide. After two months of treatment, she says she’s ready once again to serve.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Q0mqJQ
  • Online Dating Made This Woman a Pawn in a Global Crime Plot
    Audrey Elaine Elrod was in rough financial shape as the 2012 holiday season drew near. She’d been out of work for a year, ever since quitting her longtime clerical job at the county public health department in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Z2Pdn4
  • 43 Books You Won’t Be Able To Stop Talking About
    I read this over the summer and have probably recommended it to everybody I know at least three times since then. It is an amazingly written novel that explores traumatic childhood abuse but also the universal human capacity for kindness, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Q2o8up
  • Take a look around the extraordinary derelict island featured in the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’
    One photographer, Kevin Dooley, has documented the entire island — and it’s pretty spectacular. People first settled Hashima because of nearby coal resources. The Mitsubishi Group bought the island in 1890 to use it as a base for coal extraction from the sea. 
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MbxhgE
  • The Taken King’s titular character is transgender (although you’re forgiven if that’s a surprise)
    Destiny’s most recent expansion, The Taken King, is centered around a transgender character. That’s big enough news, but the more interesting question is the following: Why wasn’t this discussed in the gaming press?
    Read: http://ift.tt/1j0mkap
  • Up Periscope: Why Twitter’s Live Streaming App is a Personal Branding Game-Changer
    Today’s episode of Youpreneur.FM is all about the latest social media favorite, Periscope, and how it’s taking the online marketing world by storm. Chris gives tips on how to start your own scopes and how he’s been able to monetize the app himself.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Z4opD8
  • Google’s Cute Cars And The Ugly End Of Driving
    The thing about covering tech, especially for a long time, is that you have these moments where you get to really reach out and touch the future. They’re rare. But you get to the point where you can recognize them and see the truly significant shifts. The very early web felt that way.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RrRH9L
  • Times Square: The City’s Id, Now and Always
    Times Square in the de Blasio era.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KX7Xx4
  • Apple Watch Users Are Working Out (And Standing) More, Survey Says
    Apple CEO Tim Cook announces fitness apps for the new iPhone 6 and Apple Watch in 2014 in Cupertino, California. The Apple Watch automatically nags users to stand up every hour and alerts them when they haven’t met their daily exercise goals.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QWhIwQ
  • Inside the creation of the Microsoft Surface Book
    No one saw it coming: The Surface Book, history’s first Microsoft laptop (or notebook, if you prefer). And has there ever been a more apt setting for a special delivery than the giant and largely defunct Post Office building in Midtown Manhattan in New York City?
    Read: http://ift.tt/1FTmif6
  • Digital dependence ‘eroding human memory’
    An over-reliance on using computers and search engines is weakening people’s memories, according to a study. It showed many people use computers instead of memorising information.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Liqp0d
  • Inside the world of audio branding with Skype’s new pings, bounces, and pops
    The year that Skype launched its calling service, the world was in the midst of a sonic crisis: the ringtone. Mobile phones — to which Skype was an indirect competitor — were becoming ubiquitous, and so were the personalized sounds that went with them.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1j7TkgT
  • This caffeinated peanut butter could replace your morning coffee
    You can now eat a caffeinated peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of drinking a cup of coffee. The food product company STEEM now offers caffeinated peanut butter with as much caffeine as two cups of coffee in one serving, according to the company’s website.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LhKAQ4
  • The Transfiguration of Aloneness: David Whyte on Longing and Silence
    Longing is one of those acutely reality-warping emotions that magnify their object — be it a person or an outcome — to astonishing proportions until it eclipses just about everything else in your landscape of priorities.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Q9DjSo
  • The Passion of Nicki Minaj
    Pop music is dominated almost exclusively by the female star — Beyoncé, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and, as always, Madonna.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MZ89wD
  • The Scrappy Female Paleontologist Whose Life Inspired a Tongue Twister
    Mary Anning, pictured pointing at a fossil on the ground next to her dog, Tray. (Image: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons) Say “she sells seashells by the seashore” quickly, three times in a row.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1VHbyYa
  • DNA At the Fringes: Twins, Chimerism, and Synthetic DNA
    Plenty of things can go wrong in DNA testing in a run-of-the-mill case. Problems with interpreting the sample, determining the right match probabilities, and ensuring the integrity of the sample and the evidence collection and testing process are everyday, ordinary kinds of issues that may arise.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ll69ei
  • When a Father’s Son Becomes His Daughter
    I called Papa in June 2001, the night before my sister Juno’s sweet sixteen party.“I’m coming in on the bus around five,” I said. “I’ll be wearing makeup and women’s clothes. I just want to let you know so you’re not surprised. We can talk about it later.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Gyx0T0
  • News & Views
    I, like approximately 13 million people in the country, spent Wednesday evening bawling my face off watching Nadiya Hussain become crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off. It was all too much – the amazing cakes, Nadiya’s tears, the camaraderie of the lovely participants.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NsEqiH
  • Rampage Killings Linger in Memory, but Toll of Gun Violence Is Constant
    Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and now, a community college in Roseburg, Ore. One after another, mass shootings have horrified the nation, stoking debate about the availability of legal guns and anguish over the inability of society to keep weapons out of the hands of seething killers.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MjssWT
  • Facebook is supplementing the “like” button with six emoji reactions
    You know what’s cooler than a single emoji to express emotion? Seven emoji to express emotion. That’s right: Facebook is reportedly testing out adding six emoji options (
    Read: http://ift.tt/1L3hkew
  • You can learn to be creative, if you’re willing to embarrass yourself
    In 1666, one of the most influential scientists in history was strolling through a garden when he was struck with a flash of creative brilliance that would change the world. While standing under the shade of an apple tree, Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple fall to the ground.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1L1GPx2
  • To overcome procrastination, be more selfish
    We’ve all had the experience of wanting to get a project done but putting it off for later. Sometimes we wait because we just don’t care enough about the project, but other times we care a lot—and still end up doing something else.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1L1DC0f

Once more unto the breach

Once more unto the breach
Dear friends, once more;

I had plans and goals, but then I always have plans and goals, and I achieved one of them in August yet, whilst September slipped by in a Singapore haze, October has loomed large and plans were made once more.

The plan for October had been to start Couch-to–5k on the 1st of the month, alas man-flu felled me, reducing me to a lump on the sofa.

But I WILL start and I WILL be at 5K distance for the end of the year (hear me, ohhhh god of positive thinking!). At that point ParkRun will beckon, the habit will be established, I will be a runner once more.

I’m keen to get started, raring to go, and that usually bodes well as I know my fitness/weight loss challenges are very much determined by my mood (as are my eating habits, I am the epitome of an emotional eater).

And so, it begins again.

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge…

(yes, I’m leaving out the last line… mostly because I can’t be bothered rewriting it to a more Scottish view)

I am a feminist

Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month, the PMM bloggers will write about their views on one of them. Links to all posts can be found at http://www.polymeansmany.com.

I am a feminist. Perhaps not a very good one, but I’m still learning.

Hang on, how can you be a bad feminist? I’m either a feminist or not. Let me start over.

I am a feminist.

I thank my Mum for even though, I wasn’t consciously registering it, her constant, quiet, protestations about the patriarchy (not a word she has ever used) stuck in my brain.

I know the very last thing anyone needs is another white cis male voice in this conversation, but as that would bring a fairly premature end to this piece then please forgive me as I batter on.

Feminism is not a topic I write about very often for the reason stated above, but I do listen and try and amplify others when and where I can, I also try not be mindful of my communications and my actions. I don’t always get it right, but when I get it wrong I own my mistake and try and make things right as best I can.

So, what does that have to do with polyamory?

Honesty, trust, communication, being open and listening to my partners and understanding that they have an equal place in the relationship is a reasonable summary of my approach to polyamory and matches my attitude and approach to feminism.

There is also a parallel, no doubt better explored and written about by others, between feminism and polyamory. Both are a deliberate choice, a break away from the more ‘traditional’ (i.e. culturally accepted) norms of monogamy where the man is the ‘primary’ and the women is ‘secondary’.

I am a feminist. A non-monogamist feminist.

I should probably get a t-shirt made or something…

Weekend Reading

More random stuff from various sources, enjoy!

  • Inside the Group of Straight Men Who Are Swearing Off Women
    All over the world, straight men are making the conscious decision not to be involved with women. This isn’t a decision in any sort of metaphorical sense. These men are literally cutting women out of their lives, completely.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KTweVZ
  • Coming out of the bisexual closet
    For decades, I’ve called myself a lesbian. Is it finally safe to admit I like men, too? The candles were lit for dinner, and my date had arrived. I really liked this person, and I looked around a bit nervously, wondering what everyone was thinking.
    Read: http://ift.tt/QYLSXY
  • What Happens Next Will Amaze You
    This is the text version of a talk I gave on September 14, 2015, at the FREMTIDENS INTERNET conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Good morning!
    Read: http://ift.tt/1V8KKQu
  • ‘We Value Experience’: Can a Secret Society Become a Business?
    The bespectacled man with short-cropped hair stood up. “Can I ask a question!” the man shouted, vocal cords straining. The audience turned. They were all members of The Latitude, a secret society based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NWrwJw
  • Michael Faraday on Mental Discipline and How to Cure Our Propensity for Self-Deception
    “That point of self-education which consists in teaching the mind to resist its desires and inclinations, until they are proved to be right, is the most important of all.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1FZDREG
  • Sneaker Wars: Inside the Battle Between Nike and Adidas
    Everybody wants the Yeezys. It’s a frigid February night during New York Fashion Week, and Kanye West has just spent the afternoon at a runway event in SoHo unveiling his first fashion collection for Adidas—a collection anchored by the futuristic Yeezy Boost 750s, a.k.a. the Yeezys
    Read: http://ift.tt/1h2fXSB
  • News & Views
    You see, even though we have the second-worst life expectancy in 15 European countries, because we eat, drink and smoke to excess, and don’t do enough exercise (I KNOW! I’M SHOCKED, TOO!) there are many, many great things – like having the good manners to take bad news on the chin
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LhF7ux
  • Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.
    COLLEGE students tell me they know how to look someone in the eye and type on their phones at the same time, their split attention undetected. They say it’s a skill they mastered in middle school when they wanted to text in class without getting caught.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KYAWBL
  • Apple Watch Photo Face Gallery Offers Cool Customization
    Twitter user and Apple Watch aficionado Stefan Poulos of Poulos Collective has posted a series of wearable wallpapers he’s designed for use with Apple Watch’s new Photo Face.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ww2bYl
  • How Spotify’s Discover Weekly cracked human curation at internet scale
    In the ‘90s, Aby Ngana Diop was the queen of taasu, a practice of ritual poetry performed by female griots in Senegal.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KL2Yzj
  • Vegas on the Black Sea
    There is no chacha in the chacha fountain. There was supposed to be, of course.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MAN8b7
  • Ina Garten Does It Herself
    For a long time, Ina Garten was a Hamptons shopkeeper who waited upon the wealthy. She has been, for a shorter time, a celeb­rity chef of some wealth. “Am I a billion­aire? Of course not!” she told me recently over tea on the Upper East Side, and then she laughed.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KMhjeS
  • 13 Mistakes People Make in Their 20s
    Most people use their 20s to figure out what it means to be an adult, and the process is certainly not easy for everyone.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1iFNzH1
  • Meet The Most Powerful Force In The Star Wars Universe: The Man Who Makes The Toys
    We spoke to Hasbro’s Star Wars design director to discover how the most anticipated toy line of all time is created. When I was a kid growing up, Christmas day meant one thing: more Star Wars toys. I couldn’t get enough of those beloved 3 and 3/4-inch Kenner action figures.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LJCikG
  • Threats. Vitriol. Hate. Ugly truth about women in sports and social media
    Editor’s Note: The following contains offensive, vulgar language used to address an important but sensitive subject matter. Reader discretion is advised. The first time I was ever called a “cunt,” at least to my “face,” was on a sports blog in 2006.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MVaU4B
  • Donald Trump Is Not Going Anywhere
    ‘I don’t worry about anything,’’ Donald J. Trump told me aboard his 757 as we were flying to the recent Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1ODKK6K
  • How Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ Kicked Off the Streaming Revolution
    Capitol Records had a problem. The year was 2000, and one of the biggest bands on its roster was about to release the highly anticipated follow-up to its breakthrough album without a radio single or music video.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KOxcOS
  • Behold: The Ultimate Crowdsourced Map of Punny Businesses in America
    Every day, we pass business signs. Big billboards, tiny gold leaf etching on glass doors, honking neon lights—all of this signage is part of the visual white noise of one’s daily travels, whether it be by foot, car, bus, or train.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1N0n7oH
  • Google’s Cute Cars And The Ugly End Of Driving
    The thing about covering tech, especially for a long time, is that you have these moments where you get to really reach out and touch the future. They’re rare. But you get to the point where you can recognize them and see the truly significant shifts. The very early web felt that way.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1j1qiQF
  • Why Hurricane Joaquin Is So Hard To Forecast
    UPDATE (Oct. 1, 1:21 p.m.): Hurricane Joaquin has been upgraded to a Category 3 storm (and is expected to hit Category 4). Here’s the latest forecast: The odds are that Hurricane Joaquin, now lingering 175 miles east-northeast of the Bahamas, will hit somewhere along the U.S.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1JJdCD1
  • Future reading
    From 2009 to 2013, every book I read, I read on a screen. And then I stopped. You could call my four years of devout screen‑reading an experiment. I felt a duty – not to anyone or anything specifically, but more vaguely to the idea of ‘books’.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KTkf7x
  • Rage Against the Machine bassist: I apologise for Limp Bizkit
    Rage Against the Machine’s bassist Tim Commerford has taken it upon himself to issue an apology. A deeply personal one, that can only have been delivered after hours of soul-searching and personal torment.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1GggtTv
  • 9 Nodding Strategies for Your Next Meeting
    You‘ve got a bunch of meetings coming up, but do you have your nodding strategy ready? More seasoned professionals may think they can just nod the same way they did in their last meeting, but that’s not an option — people will notice.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1FFEGIe