Month: November 2015

Weekend Reading

Quieter week as I’ve spent most of my time reading documents at work so a bit ‘over reader’.

  • The Generation That Doesn’t Remember Life Before Smartphones
    Down a locker-lined hallway at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, Zac Felli, a junior, walks to his first class of the day. He wears tortoiseshell glasses and is built like he could hit a ball hard. He has enviable skin for a teenager, smooth as a suede jacket.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1SJ6T29
  • Frankie Boyle on the fallout from Paris: ‘This is the worst time for society to go on psychopathic autopilot’
    There were a lot of tributes after the horror in Paris. It has to be said that Trafalgar Square is an odd choice of venue to show solidarity with France; presumably Waterloo was too busy.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1N4C4k2
  • Bringing Up Genius
    Before Laszlo Polgár conceived his children, before he even met his wife, he knew he was going to raise geniuses. He’d started to write a book about it. He saw it moves ahead.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NPUjPb
  • Why you always get sick over the holidays
    Lucky are the few who haven’t gone on a much-needed holiday only to spend their vacation hugging a box of tissues in a bed-bound Theraflu blur. So commonly do people seem to fall ill on vacation that some psychologists have christened it “leisure sickness.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1N41Ncg
  • Kristin Beck: A Navy SEAL in Transition
    Back when she was a member of SEAL Team 6—Kristin Beck liked to grow her beard real long. But as disguises go, that was nothing compared with the life she lived as a man. What’s it take, and how does it feel, for a paragon of masculinity to travel so far to find her true self?
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Lz1ZPO
  • Eagles of Death Metal Discuss Paris Terror Attacks
    During Eagles of Death Metal’s November 13 show at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, gunmen entered the venue and opened fire on the crowd, leaving at least 90 dead. The band spoke to VICE about the tragic events that took place that night.
    Read: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n74HBrrFnIc
  • The Unlikely True International Story of the Man Called Orange Brother
    Li Hongjun did not usually take selfies. But out in the orange grove, he was not in his usual state of mind. It was early February, and the lunar New Year was approaching.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ih5uKw
  • The Duke, the Landscape Architect and the World’s Most Ambitious Attempt to Bring the Cosmos to Earth
    Last fall, a hand-picked group of the world’s top theoretical physicists received an invitation to a conference about the multiverse, a subject to which many of them had devoted the majority of their careers. Invitations like these were nothing unusual in their line of work.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ot1BZ4
  • Resurrecting the Original Road Trip on America’s Ghost Highway
    In the past 15 years, while hunting for missing pieces of the Old Spanish Trail, Charlotte Kahl would sometimes find herself following pick-up trucks. She could be in a town she’d never been in before, at 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning, and everything would be quiet.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Nevs4K

Weekend Reading

Obviously a lot of the focus of the news has been, rightly, the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Mali. This list feels frivolous but perhaps it’s good to ‘look away’ for a few moments.

  • Secret Chambers, Grain Silos and the Long, Long History of Pyramid Conspiracy Theories
    The Giza Pyramid complex, photographed by Eduard Spelterini from a hot air balloon in 1904. (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)  In 867 AD, a European monk named Bernard caught a ride on a slave ship out of the southern Italian city of Taranto.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Qiq70H
  • Noel Gallagher Is Esquire’s December Cover Star
    I was born in Longsight in Manchester, which is a really rough-arse part of town. They knocked our street down to build this new-fangled thing called an Asda superstore in the Seventies and we got housed in this place called Burnage, which at the time was quite a leafy suburb.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QmeqGt
    Always had a soft spot for this guy. Do we need more ‘rock stars’ willing to be like him?
  • Do you overfunction or underfunction in a relationship?
    Whenever someone claims there are “two kinds of people in the world” – extroverts and introverts, realists and idealists, optimists and pessimists – you can be pretty sure they’re oversimplifying.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1SrMxKN
    Can anyone guess which I am??
  • Mothers Of ISIS Recruits Fight Their Own Battles Back Home
    In Calgary, between the soccer practices and the hours at her accounting job and the potlucks with the neighbors, Christianne Boudreau spent every spare minute watching Islamic State videos, her nose pressed up against the computer screen.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1JcYsfi
  • The Transformation Of Jack Monroe
    Jack Monroe, true to her self-outing last month as transgender “non-binary”, is surrounded by a mountain of masculine/feminine stuff in the small two-bedroom flat she shares with her five-year-old son in Southend, Essex.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MfT5dU
  • On Gawker’s Problem With Women
    The following story — on the treatment of female editors, writers, and managers at Gawker Media — was scheduled to appear on Gawker.com on Friday, November 13. It had been originally written in July, kiboshed in August, reported further in October, and prepped to run in early November.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MLEpEO
  • Obama is America’s first basketball president, and his love of the game is all over his legacy
    Ever since he stepped on to the national political stage, Barack Obama has been accused of being an elusive figure. But when it comes to sports, basketball especially, no one can doubt his conviction or what he stands for. The man just loves hoops.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RWOmzl
  • I do not share your consensus, and that’s fine
    Dare I wade into a post about politics? Actually, the fact that question is even a question is rather the point of this post.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1X2Ofn9
  • Why Sarcastic People Are More Successful
    Everybody just loves sarcasm. It’s so warm and fuzzy and makes everyone feel nice. So go ahead with those biting quips — they’ll definitely win you friends and admirers! I’m being sarcastic, of course.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1WVAlZg
    I doubt many of you will appreciate this article, but thought I’d post it anyway. I can explain it if anyone wants..
  • Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan For The Future Of Facebook
    Facebook is firing on all cylinders. Now Mark Zuckerberg is looking to the decade ahead, from AI to VR to drones.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PwBwdi
  • Still Life
    Compared with the glistening two-story mansions that surrounded it, the house looked like something from another time. It was only 2,180 square feet. Its redbrick exterior was crumbling, and its gutters were clogged with leaves. Faded, paint-chipped blinds sagged behind the front windows.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1WfNZDQ
  • The Doomsday Invention
    Last year, a curious nonfiction book became a Times best-seller: a dense meditation on artificial intelligence by the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who holds an appointment at Oxford.
    Read: http://ift.tt/20W09nv
  • Inside the World of For-Profit Snuggling
    Inside an inconspicuous-looking storefront on a tree-lined street in Portland, Oregon, Samantha Hess prepares to cuddle with a stranger. “Big spoon or little spoon?” she asks the man, who is in his mid-50s. Instead, he opts for a more ambitious position.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1McpLot
    *snuggles*
  • What Is Disruptive Innovation?
    The theory of disruptive innovation, introduced in these pages in 1995, has proved to be a powerful way of thinking about innovation-driven growth.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Li1uJT
  • The Empathy Gap Between Paris and Beirut
    Hours before the carnage in Paris on Friday, a double suicide bombing ripped through a working-class shopping district in Beirut. ISIS claimed responsibility for the explosions, which caused 43 deaths and hundreds of casualties in the worst bombing to strike the city in a quarter century.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QHumlL
  • The Coke bottle’s iconic design happened by sheer chance
    The Coca-Cola bottle was born 100 years ago, yesterday, when its iconic contour bottle—heralded as the “perfect liquid wrapper”—was approved for patent on Nov. 16, 1915.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1j5M3xQ
  • Unfollow
    How a prized daughter of the Westboro Baptist Church came to question its beliefs.
    On December 1, 2009, to commemorate World AIDS Day, Twitter announced a promotion: if users employed the hashtag #red, their tweets would appear highlighted in red. Megan Phelps-Roper, a twenty-three-year-old legal assistant, seized the opportunity.
    Read: http://ift.tt/20W06Is
    Not comfortable reading but worthwhile
  • You Won’t Live to See the Final Star Wars Movie
    Kathleen Kennedy has heard a lot of movie pitches. For decades she worked with Steven Spielberg, producing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, the Jurassic Park series. You get the picture.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1luTznQ
  • The Guy Who Pointed a GoPro the Wrong Way for an Entire Vacation Is the Most Dad Thing on the Internet
    The necessary call-and-response nature of the internet means I need to somehow draft an introduction pretending you haven’t already seen this video of an Irish dad using a GoPro, even though we both know you’ve already seen this video of an Irish dad using a GoPro…
    Read: http://ift.tt/1S27JqF
  • How famous writers and artists wooed their lovers with food
    The road to artistic greatness is littered with lovers and cherry pits.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1luFqHh
  • El Niño could be the most powerful on record, scientists say
    Some scientists say their measurements show that this year’s El Niño could be among the most powerful on record — and even topple the 1997 event from its pedestal. Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at Stanford University, called the temperature reading significant.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1kFvJpl
  • Hasbro Now Has a Toy Line For Seniors Starting With a Lifelike Robotic Cat
    After already conquering demographics including kids, teenagers, and those technically considred adults, Hasbro is reaching out to that last frontier of consumers: seniors, with a new toy line featuring lifelike robotic companion pets that only need affection, not feeding or bathroom breaks.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Mnbu8s
    File under NOT FREAKY AT ALL (aka Uncanny Valley)
  • Hello, it’s me. On a flip-phone. Samsung unveils clamshell model
    We all owe Adele an apology. After the internet mercilessly took the piss out of the flip-phone she used in her video for Hello (a decision the director said was thought through – “it’s so distracting to see an iPhone in a movie”), news has emerged that Samsung is releasing a flip model.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1HWzTmF
  • Creed: The Oscar Contender We Should Have Seen Coming
    You’ve heard the story a thousand times. A contender nobody saw coming—a newcomer, an underdog, an oddball nobody knew what to do with—enters the ring in the 11th hour, and blows them all away. It’s the story of Rocky Balboa that won a best-picture Oscar in 1976.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1kEC2Jz
  • SELFIE
    The revolutionary potential of your own face, in seven chaptersThe one where a woman snaps a picture of herself, by herself.The one where we met three dead photographers who would have loved the iPhone.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MEp4m7

Weekend Reading

I start my new job in a week or so, not sure if that means the number of links in these posts will increase or decrease, part of me is interested to see what happens, part of me isn’t bothered, and part of me wonders why I’m telling you this.

  • People who worry incessantly about failure could be better off than those who don’t
    For everyone who’s ever been told that they worry too much—here’s some deeply satisfying news for you. Worrying may be a good thing.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1HtzBhJ
    I’m worried how much time I’m spending compiling these posts, that’s a good thing, right?
  • Meet one of the world’s most groundbreaking scientists
    As the dish of steamed chicken feet clattered onto the table, an impish toddler drummed with her chop sticks. Nobody in the noisy restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown gave a second glance at the man dressed in a polo shirt and jeans enjoying dim sum with his little girl, wife, and mother.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1SvUhfg
  • Why Nick Hornby is Turning Other People’s Books Into Movies Instead of Writing His Own
    The High Fidelity writer finds making movies, like Brooklyn, more satisfying than spending years alone in a room writing a book. Nick Hornby is a culture hero. His 1990s novels High Fidelity and About a Boy were era-defining bestsellers that became cult-adored films.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1L6SKGm
  • What It’s Really Like To ‘Walk’ In Space
    Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren left the International Space Station on Friday for their second spacewalk in less than two weeks. Their assignment was to configure a vent door on the port side ammonia tank.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1kDuE0q
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    Read: http://ift.tt/1kIzOs7
  • Unmasked! The Mexico City superhero wrestling for pedestrians’ rights
    The traffic light turns red at the corner of Avenida Juárez and Eje Central, the busiest pedestrian crossing in Mexico City, used by around 9,000 people every hour. Tonight, a driver stops his grey Peugeot exactly on the crossing where the masses are trying to pass.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1XYttr6
  • David Mitchell: separating literary and genre fiction is act of ‘self-mutilation’
    Author David Mitchell has let loose the latest salvo in the perennial “literary vs genre” war by saying that those who dismiss fantasy and science fiction are committing a “bizarre act of self-mutilation”. Mitchell is one of the handful of authors with a foot in both camps.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1iPTRDQ
  • How U.S. Drinking Laws Created the Fake ID Market
    Detail of a hologram on a German ID card. (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons) True story—a couple weeks ago, a restaurant attempted to deny me service because they thought I had a fake ID.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1HFvQWt
  • Exit Interview: I Spent 20 Years Behind the Wheel of a Big Rig
    Long-haul trucking isn’t the sort of job where you can go to work, space out, and come home at night. Driving a truck means living a different type of day-to-day existence, roaming far and wide, sleeping on the road and, sometimes, exploring places that you’d never have gone otherwise.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MnFen0
  • Cephalopod Science is Even Weirder and More Mysterious Than You Imagined
    This cute little guy may be the future of medicinal technology. (Courtesy of Joshua Rosenthal/Used with Permission)
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RBIOdr
  • Bob Dylan and the “Hot Hand”
    For decades, there’s been a running academic debate about the question of “the hot hand”—the notion, in basketball, say, that a player has a statistically better chance of scoring from downtown if he’s been shooting that night with unusual accuracy.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1XZUKcH
  • Sony is finally killing Betamax
    Of all Sony’s failed proprietary formats, Betamax has to be the most iconic — the videotape format’s eventual vanquishment by VHS set the stage for countless media wars down the subsequent decades. It is probably news to you, then, that Beta cassettes are still a thing you can buy.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1HsIihn
  • Shia LaBeouf Launches Bizarre Public Performance Art Piece
    Shia LaBeouf is now an art installation, open to the general public. Following his head-scratching red-carpet appearance at the Berlin Film Festival where he sported a paper bag on his head, the Nymphomaniac star is setting up shop for one week at a gallery on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1bT23g5
  • David Cameron hasn’t the faintest idea how deep his cuts go. This letter proves it
    It’s like the crucial moment in Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American. The US agent stares at the blood on his shoes, unable to make the connection between the explosion he commissioned and the bodies scattered across the public square in Saigon.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1GWAmoN
  • BlackBerry Priv Review: BlackBerry May Win You Back With Android
    I don’t know anyone who owns a BlackBerry anymore. Not a single person. Had BlackBerry’s new Priv been released five years ago, things could be different. I’d own one. You’d own one. Obviously bankers, lawyers and salespeople would have them.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Q7OzSy
  • Worth the Risk?
    IN THE MONTHS AFTER HER SIXTH CHILD WAS BORN, Amy Reed didn’t bounce back the way she had in the past. She continued to bleed, heavily, to the point where she had to plan her days around it. She became anemic and even climbing stairs was difficult.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RNxLxV
  • Caged: What Drives Ronda Rousey to Wake Up and Fight
    “When are we going to see women in the UFC, dude?” – TMZ cameraman”Never.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1QsVDZf
  • When People Say ‘You Look Tired’
    I don’t know if there’s ever a day I don’t hear that phrase at least once. Sometimes I hear it multiple times a day. You look tired. It used to offend me, but now I just respond with one simple answer: “I am tired.” You see, I don’t just look tired, I am tired.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PEj1C4
  • The Asteroid Hunters
    On August 18, 2015, an otherwise unexceptional summer Tuesday, NASA issued a press release titled “There is No Asteroid Threatening Earth.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1kNwXOL
  • This is about the time I chose not to die. — Medium
    I’ve waited two years to write this story. I also waited until the people surrounding me now have a good sense of what a healthy me is like. And for myself, I needed to wait until I was sure I had both some distance and some victories under my belt.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MEDk1A
  • Why Psychopaths Are Immune to Contagious Yawning
    You are sitting at home, watching TV. You yawn. Your partner tries to resist, but can’t, and soon he or she yawns, too. It’s not just in your head: Yawning is contagious, not just in humans but in many species. It’s even contagious between us and our dogs.
    Read: http://ift.tt/20GvHxv
    Luther was right!
  • “People I Want To Punch In The Face” Notebook
    There’s nothing like a pocket-sized notebook to keep track of what really matters. With Rude Notebook’s handmade “People I Want To Punch In The Face” journal, it’s really all in the name.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MojreZ
  • TIME Magazine Charleston Shooting Cover Story
    On the night of June 17, a gunman opened fire in a church basement in Charleston. Nine people died. Five survived. Survivors and families tell their stories of faith and forgiveness He did not kiss her goodbye that day.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RQGvmS
  • Charlie Brown Never Found His Little Red-Haired Girl, but We Did
    Donna Johnson Wold’s hair, which was once, in her own words, “violently red,” has long since faded to the white you’d expect of an 86-year-old grandmother.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Mga9OO
  • The Second Most Famous Thing to Happen to Hiroshima
    It starts with a thwack, the sharp crack of hard plastic against a hot metal surface. When the ladle rolls over, it deposits a pale-yellow puddle of batter onto the griddle. A gentle sizzle, as the back of the ladle spackles a mixture of eggs, flour, water, and milk across the silver surface.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1jNSS8y
  • Non-Binary Feminism: The personal is still political
    Content Note: There’s mention in this article of the heated debates around feminism and trans, of societal gender inequalities, and of gender-related bullying in schools. I’m using non-binary and genderqueer interchangeably here to mean genders outside of the male/female binary.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1WQrLep

Weekend Reading

I’m realising the links I’m choosing for these posts are rapidly forming a pretty good picture of my interests, this week is no different.

  • Why The Machines That Dig Tunnels Are Always Named After Women
    Tunnel Boring Machines, or TBMs, are some of the most fascinating manufacturers of our infrastructure: Two-ton primary-colored cylinders with jagged teeth that chomp through the Earth. And every single one of them has a traditionally female name.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PXmOv0
  • Siri and Cortana Sound Like Ladies Because of Sexism
    Ask Siri if she’s a woman. Go ahead, try it. She’ll tell you she’s genderless. “Like cacti. And certain species of fish,” she might say. So is Amazon’s Alexa. Microsoft’s Cortana. Samsung’s S Voice. And Google Now. But man, do they ever sound a lot like women.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Wi9SPS
  • The Outcast
    Greg Torti awakes in darkness, usually before four. Any little sound will do it. A dog barking down the street. A rabbit bumping against the trailer. An armadillo rooting for grub worms. The wind.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LP3oXg
  • One Day at Panda Express
    On a bright day in the flats of San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles, the busiest restaurant around is a Panda Express tucked into a shopping center dominated by a Walmart.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1N7ZhXo
  • Stand Brave, Life-Liver: An Interview With Joanna Newsom
    The musician on her new album Divers, abandoning the classical idea of “good singing,” and admiring Grimes.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1kIYK2U
  • Mark Thomas interview: The social-activist comedian talks opera, charity shops, and Nicholas Soames
    I want to have as much fun and create as much chaos as I can The mixture of theatre, journalism, activism and stand-up I do is about finding ways to complain about social injustice – whether it’s a punk gig on the banks of the Thames or getting hold of ladders to change the letters round on a cinema sign
    Read: http://ift.tt/1N28Brt
  • Customs, Not Costumes: Why I Wear the Local Attire While Traveling
    Last month, during our UK weXplore, I took fourteen students to get fitted for kilts at the Highland House of Fraser in Inverness, Scotland.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1XFsUCy
  • Bloggers Are Being Murdered In Bangladesh And It Is Shaking The Country’s Secular Foundation
    DHAKA, Bangladesh — Sitting outside a tea shop in Dhaka on a recent evening, Baki Billah, a soft-spoken 36-year-old blogger, glanced from table to table to see if anyone was watching him. “Most of the time now, I stay at home,” he said.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1GRn24N
  • 20 Little-Known Facts About Being Left-Handed
    With just 10% of the population being left-handed, it can be easy for everyone else to forget we’re living in a right-handed world.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MoarC4
  • Londoners Are Using Chalk to Save Their Sidewalks from Discarded Chewing Gum
    The Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) has had enough. The organization says discarded gum removed last year from London’s well-trafficked Oxford, Regent, and Bond Streets amounted to 86,000 square meters of guck.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1GZiWYb
  • The Mother of All Questions, by Rebecca Solnit
    I gave a talk on Virginia Woolf a few years ago. During the question-and-answer period that followed it, the subject that seemed to most interest a number of people was whether Woolf should have had children.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1V9QJz1
  • Forget Nirvana, Pearl Jam Was the Most Influential Band of the 90s
    A few years ago, I interviewed Tom Delonge at an Angels & Airwaves show. He made sure to tell me about how he has always drawn his influence from the 70s’ mod scene, the band The Jam, and the esoteric symbolism surrounding the occult. He really said this.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KUyUxY
  • In October alone, 218,394 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by sea
    The number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean this year broke another staggering record: Roughly the same number of people arrived in the month of October as in all of 2014, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR).
    Read: http://ift.tt/1kmtkz4
  • Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away?
    I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PY7YEl
  • Tom Jones Will Take DNA Test to Find Out if He’s Black
    What’s new pussycat? Oh, just maybe the singer’s race Well, this is a bit unusual, admittedly.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RJS139
  • Pantone: How the world authority on color became a pop culture icon
    Colors are tricky. If you’ve ever brought home a can of paint that you thought was taupe in the store but your partner points out looks “kinda pink” on the wall, you know how frustrating—and unreliable—color perception can be.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1WrJnwX
  • 6 Ways Work Will Change In 2016
    Most major workplace trends don’t evolve overnight, and if you know where to look, you can already witness their approach. Many of the trends that will come into focus in 2016 already exist today, but their significance is expected to grow and become mainstream in the year to come.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RtoXx3
  • Is It Harmful to Use Music as a Coping Mechanism?
    Listening to music is a form of emotional self-care that many of us turn to every day, without much conscious thought.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PgCYyQ
  • London’s Plague Pits Map Shows Where the Black Death Got Buried
    There was no time for proper funerals during the Great Plague of the 1660s. (Image: Detail from painting by Rita Greer/Wikipedia) Subterranean London is a crowded space.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1km8aAT
  • Alameda Spite House
    A spite fence is a fairly common occurrence, but a spite house? Now that takes dedication. Houses (and fences) of spite are built when a land owner has the time, money, and just the right amount of malice to use construction as a weapon.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1qXZ5xW
  • Landmark Reunion for Mastermind Box Models
    A businessman and a University of Leicester student who were brought together 30 years ago as the mysterious figures for the box on the revolutionary new game Mastermind, have been reunited for the first time since that historic day.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PlKUyE
  • After the Snowden Revelations, Did We Change Our Behavior on the Internet?
    These quotes are from a video montage of man-on-the-street interviews John Oliver made Edward Snowden watch, when Oliver interviewed him in April, 2015.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1iBpzVa
  • Guinness Tweaking Its 256-Year-Old Brewing Process So Vegans Can Enjoy A Pint, Too
    It must be tough out there sometimes for a vegan or a vegetarian — your meat-eating friends can’t talk about anything but bacon, and waiters never know if there’s cream in the soup or if the potatoes are fried in lard, etc.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1iFfwyt
  • Edith Garrud and the Jiu Jitsu of the Suffragette Movement
    Officially, Edith Garrud is not a character in the forthcoming film about the British suffragette movement named, appropriately, Suffragette. But the activist, self-defense proponent and trainer of Emmeline Pankhurst’s 25-woman strong Bodyguard collective is certainly there in spirit.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1kcDClG
  • Investigatory Powers Bill: what’s in it, and what does it mean?
    May said that “communication records up to 12 months” will have to be stored by internet and communications service providers. This means the individual webpage — “just the front page of the websites,” in May’s words — will be kept.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1HqQZDw
  • Adele: Inside Her Private Life and Triumphant Return
    As Adele steers through a South London high street in her four-door Mini Cooper, with her toddler’s vacant car seat in back and the remains of a kale, cucumber and almond-milk concoction in the cup holder, a question occurs to her.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ol97GS
  • Binge-Watching Guide: The James Bond Movies
    Not many international secret agents have a cinematic shelf life of 52 years. Actually, there’s only one: Bond … James Bond.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NbCUfb
  • Quentin Tarantino on police boycotts: ‘I’m not being intimidated’
    Under increasing fire from law enforcement groups, director Quentin Tarantino broke his silence Tuesday and said his remarks condemning police brutality had been misrepresented to “demonize” him and deflect attention away from the issue.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Pk7SGs
  • Hello, I’m Mr. Null. My Name Makes Me Invisible to Computers
    Pretty much every name offers some possibility for being turned into a schoolyard taunt. But even though I’m an adult who left the schoolyard decades ago, my name still inspires giggles among the technologically minded. My last name is “Null,” and it comes preloaded with entertainment value.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KYZJBd
  • Science Tackles Very Important Question: What’s The Best Cheese For A Gooey Grilled Cheese Sandwich?
    There are some things we don’t need scientists to tell us — like the fact that cheese is delicious and was created by the dairy gods to please us — but there are other questions we need answered by the professionals in order to live our best lives.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1WAaWi8
  • Thrilling Video of Two Men With Jet Packs Flying in Formation With an Emirates Airbus A380 Over Dubai
    Jetman Yves Rossy and Vince Reffet from Jetman Dubai use their jet packs to fly in formation with an Emirates Airbus A380 over Dubai in a thrilling new video. A separate video details the thorough planning that had to go into the flight to make sure it was done safely for all those involved.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1RZIt3X

Small pleasures

Those of know me will know of my tendency to research things before I buy them. A lot of the items I use most often have been bought online after a lot of comparison and pondering, and it’s fair to say that not all of them have been a success; a lot of near misses but enough successes to keep me happy.

Two items in particular stand out. One I’ve had for a while now, the other a recently new addition, but both hit the mark when it comes to my criteria:

  1. I am reasonably price conscious but not overly so, I’ll happily pay to get exactly what I want.
  2. The items have to be of good quality.

That’s about it really. Nothing startling there.

I’m also a big fan of minimising clutter. It goes with my love of Scandinavian and Japanese design movements. I like clean lines, simple function in harmony with good features.

I use both of these items everyday and I thought I’d mention them here, given that we are approaching a certain holiday season and I think they could make good gifts for someone.

My wallet

I’d been searching for a minimal wallet for a long time. I found the Supr Slim wallet (originally on Kickstarter) but it was a little TOO minimal for me; it only has one pocket.

Not long after that, again on Kickstarter, I found Trove Wallets.

Trove Wallet

In my wallet I have my Glasgow Subway travel card, Bank card, Driving Licence, Credit, Cineworld, Nectar and Tesco Club cards. Notes get folded in thirds and take up the last available space. I’ve had this for a while now and every now and then someone will comment on it; ‘That’s your wallet?’ ‘That’s really neat’.

Yes it is. That’s the appeal. I was sick of lugging the typical multi-pocketed fold wallet that I’d have most of my adult life and, for me, sacrificing a few seldom used cards was well worth it.

My keyring

God how I hate keys, especially when set on a keyring. All those angles and pointy bits, ugh. I’ve tried many different solutions in the past but they all have the same issue. Bulk.

And then I found Orbitkey.

Orbitkey

Aside from my car key, I have keys for front and back doors to the building, my letterbox and my front door. Held together with a simple screw fitting, the clever sprung washers allow the keys to rotate (the screw itself will click into a tiny notch on the mounting plate to keep it still).

Simple, effective, minimal. Brilliant.

Note: I have not been paid to endorse these products, I’m doing so because I love mine and every time I pick them up and use them, they make me happy. Hey, it’s the little things, right?

Ohhh and no doubt that the basic principles that both the above products rely on have been used elsewhere but for these I can attest to the quality of them, they are both well worth the money.