Weekend Reading

More high profile deaths, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds. No links to articles as they’ve all circulated but all had the same underlying theme. These people will flawed, they were inspiring, they were human. Waiting for Ripley If in space no one can hear you scream, torment is doubly painful. Inside her cocoon aboard a starship, the woman looks peaceful, but she’s forced to sleep, unable to dream, and on a course toward a waking nightmare. Iconic character for many reasons, we need more. Meet Henry Orenstein, the man who changed how the world plays Henry Orenstein was standing outside his concentration camp barracks, shivering, when the amplified voice of his salvation cut through the frigid air: “All Jewish …

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Podcasts Update

The list of podcasts I subscribe to is ever evolving, so here’s a quick update. I’ve slimmed down the number of subscriptions a little recently, and found some new ones too. Couple of things to note. As I’ve found more quality content I’m much more willing to listen to longer podcasts than I was previously, and because I always have a backlog of episodes I’m pretty free and easy with the delete button! The joys of choice. So, in no particular order, here is my updated list of podcast subcriptions: 99% Invisible (subscribe) (website) – Design is everywhere – a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. ALWAYS fascinating and way more entertaining than it sounds, …

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Compiling Weekend Reading

For those that are interested (OK, because one person asked), this is my current workflow for how I capture the links/articles and how they make their way into the Weekend Reading posts. Background I used to do posts like this when I had a separate, professional, blog that focused on technical communications. I would collate interesting and useful articles by hand. It was time consuming and given that a lot of what I was doing was repetitive HTML formatting, I tried a few ways to automate it. That was about 8 years ago and I ended up with a funky Word macro that sort of did the job. Fast forward several years and I've made a concerted effort to read longer …

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Weekend Reading

‘Fuck You, 2016’ A chorus of celebrities and people on the street echoed host John Oliver’s message for the end of the year: “Fuck you, 2016.” Wary we are skewed by the media we consume but… yeah I got nothing. Fuck you, 2016. Have more famous people died in 2016? It’s been held up as a particularly gloomy year for celebrity deaths. But has the grim reaper really claimed the souls of more notable people than usual in 2016? David Bowie, Prince, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Nancy Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Sir George Martin, Victoria Wood, Leonard Cohen… Yes. Fuck you, 2016. Literary Hub’s Best Books of 2016 Sudden Death, Álvaro Enrigue, trans. Natasha Wimmer (Riverhead): The best way I can …

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Todoist update

Time flies when you are being all productive and shit – or something like that – anyway, I was revisiting some old blog posts recently and I spotted that it’s been a while since I mentioned the continued joy of using Todoist, in fact the last post was 17 months ago and, my oh my has a lot changed since then. Some of those changes – being made redundant and starting life as a contractor – has changed how I use Todoist but given how often I try out new apps, I think it’s notable that it’s still my To Do list/Task Manager app of choice. OK, I’ll concede that it might just be down to ‘app-fatigue’, meaning any of …

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My Own Christmas Carol

It’s early December, and I’m helping my Dad get the boxes down from the attic. Christmas music is playing in the living room whilst Mum declutters the everyday ornaments to make room for decorations and festive bits and bobs. We unpack the familiar glitz and glitter and start to untangle the fairy lights. One set doesn’t work and so, armed with a spare bulb, one by one I work my way down the chain to find the fault. Unfurling and clipping together shiny hanging ornaments that will hang in doorways. The Merry Christmas banner above the alcove in the back room. The step ladder is brought in from the cold of the garage and long trains of foil covered paper …

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Weekend Reading

Why Time’s Trump Cover Is a Subversive Work of Political Art Time Magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” announcement is, year after year, grossly misunderstood. The power of a photo, and I bet Trump had no idea, and likely won’t ever realise what has happened. 12 Gifts for Perennials, a curious people* Perennials is a term coined by Gina Pell, my co-founder of The What. It’s used to describe enduring, ever-blooming, curious people of all ages not a demographic or a generation. If this sounds like you or someone on your holiday list, here are some items you’ll both enjoy (especially #12). In case you need some last minute inspiration for holiday shopping! On Optimism and Despair First I would …

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Weltschmerz

I think English needs new words or, at the very least, some words that exist in other languages need to be adopted. As an example, look to schadenfraude. Schadenfreude is defined as “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Borrowed from German into English and several other languages, it is a feeling of joy that comes from seeing or hearing about another person’s troubles or failures. It is similar in meaning to the English term “gloating”, an expression of pleasure or self-satisfaction at one’s own success or another’s failure” Which isn’t very nice but we’ve all done it, even in its mildest form, the comedy of the pratfall, the banana skin slip, brings an element of schadenfraude. It’s maybe not …

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Weekend Reading

The True Purpose of Microsoft Solitaire, Minesweeper, and FreeCell If you haven’t ever played Solitaire, Minesweeper, Hearts or FreeCell, it’s safe to say you’re in the minority. These simple Windows games have probably caused more lost worker hours than anything short of a worldwide coffee shortage. We’ve all been played! (geddit, played… ohh COME ON!) The mild glory in being second best In a recent and quite gloriously camp interview with RuPaul, Graham Norton attempted to explain the Eurovision Song Contest. Ru is madly curious: does Britain ever win? What do you get when you win? “Oh, no,” says Norton, knowingly. “No one actually wants to win.” I’m competitive by nature but as I age, I mellow, like a fine wine …

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Nosce te ipsum

I hate myself. I just ‘verbed a noun’ and I can’t un-see it and now I’ll have to admit it and tell you that the original title for this post was ‘Do you journal?’ … I KNOW!! So there you go. Please don’t judge me (too harshly). (Who am I kidding, I know all of you are judging me… and when I say ‘all’, I mean ‘both of you’ dearest readers) And yes, clearly the only route to salvation was to go for a latin title instead. Honestly, sometimes I despair. I digress. I wanted to ask if anyone else keeps a journal? Or a diary? If you do, why? What got you started, and what benefits are you seeing …

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