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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.