Month: August 2018

Six by Nico: The 70s

Another menu, another visit to Six by Nico. This time round a menu inspired by the joyous food of my childhood in the 70s. I was tempted to don my flares and cycle there on my Chopper, but I was wary of being in some freak headline accident, ‘Man gets flares trapped in Chopper chain, falls under lorry’.

Still, it was good to revisit some of the beloved dishes of my childhood although I don’t recall ever having SPAM!

  1. SPAM & MASH – Potato Espuma, Smoked Ham Hough, Pickled Mustard Seed
  2. PRAWN COCKTAIL – Tiger Prawn, Baby Gem Ketchup, Tomato, Shellfish Marie Rose
  3. CHICKEN KIEV – Black Garlic Emulsion, Pea Pesto, Rainbow Radish
  4. SALMON TIKKA MASALA – Onion Bhaji, Caramelised Cauliflower, Lime Gel
  5. DUCK A L’ORANGE – Confit Duck, Aromatic Carrot, Orange Puree
  6. TRIFLE – Summer Berries, Saffron, Almond Sponge, Whipped Creme Fraiche

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Six by Nico: The 70s. What a meal! 👌

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Apertifs got us kicked off, and the Harvey Wallbanger certainly hit the mark and then, as always, SNACKS! Beef & Horseradish Vol-Au-Vent got us kicked off with bang, succulent beef in a crisp vol-au-vent with a subtle horseradish paste was a great way to get the palate warmed up, same goes for the Vegetarian option featuring fresh beetroot.

As I say I don’t recall having Spam but if it tasted half as good as the wonderful balanced dish I had last night then my parents will have a lot of questions to answer. A rich and creamy espuma, moist and lightly salty ham, and that pickled mustard seed to give it a little kick, a few spoonfuls of utter delight! Bring back Spam I say!

What’s more 70s than Prawn Cocktail? Well this one had three types of prawn – tempura, garlic and grilled – with a rich shellfish sauce, with some fresh tomato, grilled baby gem leaves and was definitely not the tangy, cloying affair of my youth. All three prawns were perfectly cooked, although the tempura was a little thick (IMO) making it more a battered prawn but still, no bad thing!

Thankfully the next dish did not explode on us, instead this Chicken Kiev oozed out a rich, dark, tangy, garlic-ey emulsion as you cut through it. It’s the kind of sauce you occasionally get that makes you wonder if they’d sell you a bottle of the stuff as it was deliciously more-ish! Fresh pea pesto helped lift the entire plate and keep things light and this was the first dish to bring silence to our table. A delightful little plate of food.

Curry time, and whilst I think there was a missed opportunity to serve this a la TV dinner, what we did get was perfectly cooked salmon, a deconstructed onion bhaji, with spots of lime gel/curd, all sprinkled with caramelised cauliflower florets. The salmon was the star, although perhaps the tikka masala aspect got a bit lost as the smear of sauce didn’t really have the kick I expected. A good dish but not a great one.

There have been quite a few duck dishes at Six by Nico but this one just won top prize! Perfectly prepared confit duck that melted in the mouth, was well accompanied by lightly herbed carrot ribbons, and a zesty but not overpowering orange puree. It’s a 70s classic sure, but this update proves why it was so popular, when you get the balance of flavours right it’s an absolute star of a dish!

And now, for those who know me and my penchant for trifle (at Christmas, I’m not a monster) came the dish that was likely to make or break the entire meal. Served in a tumbler – ohhh how very 70s – this was layer after layer of dessert heaven. From the sugar coated sesame seeds, to the sharp boozy cherry base, each layer provided flavour after flavour. Personally I would’ve liked more of the middle ‘creme’ layers to balance out the boozy cherries, but it’s a minor quibble. I never lost faith in trifle, but now I feel its future is assured!! Thank you Nico!

Overall one of the better menus for sure, and I do feel that Six by Nico is best when they are being bold, delivering big flavours without overwhelming. They more subtle dishes are always good but too many in one menu can start to dilute the overall experience, thankfully The 70s was a very well thought out menu.

What a lovely evening in the company of good friends, great food, wonderful friendly service and, I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, at £28 for six courses of wonderful food, plus £5 for an apertif and £5 for snacks (between two) Six by Nico continues to be ridiculously good value for such well prepared and considered food.

Ohhh and maybe they can keep the awesome 70s playlist too!

Weekend Reading

  • Robot says: Whatever
    In Henry James’s intriguing novella The Beast in the Jungle (1903), a young man called John Marcher believes that he is marked out from everyone else in some prodigious way. The problem is that he can’t pinpoint the nature of this difference.
    Next week: We’ve made a robot that cares!

  • From Death Traps to Disneyland: The 600-Year History of the Roller Coaster
    The resounding click-clack muffles the murmur of anticipation as the train inches up the wooden structure. When the riders reach the apex, the bright blue summer sky swallows everything. Then, with a lurch, gravity takes over. Everybody screams.
    I have not been on a rollercoaster in years. Already making plans to rectify that!

  • Do Nothing for 2 Minutes
    Take 2 minutes out and sit quietly. One to bookmark.

  • Why Can’t Europe Do Tech?
    The heyday of Nokia Corp. and Ericsson AB is a distant memory, and Europe doesn’t have anything remotely comparable to Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, or Facebook, or Alibaba or Tencent, companies with market values ranging from $400 billion to $1 trillion and counting.
    Flip it. Why can’t American Tech do anything that considers Europe properly?

  • How to read freely
    It’s mid-August, which for season-blessed Northern Hemispherers, means a heap of summer guilt: Guilt that you only made it to the beach twice this summer, that you haven’t eaten enough watermelon, that your kid’s farmer’s tan is barely noticeable.
    YES TO THIS. (and has inspired a blog post)

  • We’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised
    When I saw the photograph I could scarcely believe it was the same country. A picture of Brighton beach in 1976, featured in the Guardian a few weeks ago, appeared to show an alien race. Almost everyone was slim. I mentioned it on social media, then went on holiday.
    Clean eating, anyone?

  • The Art of the Late Bloomer
    The 18th century was a golden era for finding stuff in England: Roman coins in the garden soil, plesiosaur bones in the Dorset cliffs, passions buried under the crust of social expectations.
    Can’t wait until I start to bloom. OK, that sounds weird.

  • Coconut oil is ‘pure poison’, says Harvard professor
    For certain health food shops and wellbeing sites it is the panacea that helps everything from bad hair and mental grogginess to obesity and haemorrhoids. But the carefully-crafted image of coconut oil as a cure for many ills has been roundly rejected by a Harvard professor.
    I’m always wary of things that are oddly popular. It’s good to question these things, I was right!

  • It’s time to ditch the penny
    If you see a penny on the floor, do you even bother to pick it up? Low-denomination coins are increasingly useless and costly to produce. According to staff at the Bank of England, the economic reason for keeping them—fear of inflation—has been thoroughly debunked.
    FUCK YES.

  • PV Sindhu: How India’s Olympic badminton star became a sponsors’ dream on £126,000 a week
    It was no surprise when Serena Williams topped the Forbes list of highest-earning female athletes released earlier this week, but you may have not recognised the name of the woman in seventh place.
    This doesn’t sit right. Good in many ways, but is she being rewarded for (currently) small successes? Serena is the best tennis player in the world, ever.

  • Femicide – an all too familiar story.
    So. Here’s the deal. I am what some people could call ‘feisty’. Basically I have a big mouth and I’m not very good at keeping it shut if I think someone needs to know that I know what they are up to. I call cat callers out. A. Lot.
    Hard read. Must read. We must do better.

  • New research suggests evolution might favor ‘survival of the laziest’
    If you’ve got an unemployed, 30-year-old adult child still living in the basement, fear not. A new large-data study of fossil and extant bivalves and gastropods in the Atlantic Ocean suggests laziness might be a fruitful strategy for survival of individuals, species and even communities of species.
    FINALLY! I’ve been saying this for years! *heads back to sofa*

Turn off the TV

“I saw this advert in a window that said: ‘Television for sale, £1, volume stuck on full.’ I thought, ‘I can’t turn that down.’”

Do you remember the TV series “Why Don’t You?”. It had a really catchy theme tune, the type that stuck in your brain for the rest of the week, I bet some of you can hear it right now? Sing along!

“Why Don’t You, WHHHyyyy don’t you, Why. Don’t. You… just switch off your television set and go outside and do something less boring instead”.

Ahhh the memories.

It always struck me as odd though, that a TV show was suggesting I should turn off the TV. I know the late 80s were strange times for many of us, but this did seem a oddly self-defeating. If I turn of the TV set every time your programme starts, what’s the point of the programme. Needless to say I didn’t switch off my television set (and not just because no-one called it a ‘television set’) as there was another hour or so of cartoons to digest before my parents would usher me off the sofa and encourage me to go ‘outside’. I’m presuming that the subliminal messaging of Why Don’t You had somehow filtered through into my parents brains, as they clearly believed ‘outside’ was the very definition of “something less boring instead”.

That was then, when the TV had 4 channels (just), when the remote control was me being told to get up and change the channel, back when putting the TV on was an occasion in itself. Those days the weekends and evenings revolved around what time a TV show was on – god forbid you try and talk to my Mother from 7.30pm on a Monday or Wednesday less you disturb Coronation Street – and live broadcasts were watched by everyone lest you missed out and couldn’t join in the chat the next day.

I never bought into the soap operas my Mother seemed to enjoy so much and pointedly, and with no shortage of teenage huffing theatrics, took the same stance as my Father by finding other things to do to keep myself busy. These things were better than watching those rubbishy TV shows and so my inner snob was finally revealed and given license to roam.

Today I remain the TV snob of formative years and take no pleasure in confirming that my Father has slipped and fallen into the grips of the very soap operas he used to noisily fold his newspapers at, purely because it signals that I too can expect a similar stumble, presuming it’s not already begun. How will I know? And will it be Eastenders or Hollyoaks that become my raison d’être.

I say all of this purely as exposition for a confession. Recently I have fallen into the habit of turning on my television set as soon as I get home, channel surfing to see what is on and, almost without fail, finding nothing of interest or stimulation. Hello inner TV snob! I’m not sure why I do this but I’ve decided to justify it by claiming it’s a subconscious act in which my brain is simply testing my capacity to enjoy the latest antics from Albert Square and, so far at least, I remain thankful I am as bemused by the longevity and success of said soap opera.

With an abundance of streaming services available, and the ability to easily schedule series recordings of my favourite shows, it’s rare that I ever watch ‘live’ TV at all these days, and looking at my Twitter feed I know I’m not alone in this. Where as before it took a royal wedding, or Live Aid, or the FA Cup final, to coax us to huddle in front of the TV, now the latest season of our favourite TV show not only makes us huddle but encourages us to camp out. Binge-watch and chill.

On demand TV is perfect for me as I have a tendency to get bored with TV shows, especially these days with so many other things competing for my attention. Equally the ‘wait a week for the next episode’ approach doesn’t really fit with my ever changing social calendar so being able to pick and choose when I watch a show has gotten me back into watching episodic TV. With great choice comes even less responsibility if my ability to get sucked into watching episode after episode of a show whilst the dishes pile up in the sink; did you know you can pour a fresh bowl of cereal, dump some milk in, and get back to your seat all within the ‘The next episode will start in 15 seconds….’ Netflix count down?

Watching TV is a distraction technique, pure and simple. There are always other things I could be doing than dumbly watching another episode of Homeland, or yet another Netflix stand-up comedy special. This guilt goes back to my childhood, my newspaper rustling father, or the go out and do something less boring instead mentality. I need to make it a choice and engage with what I choose to view. It’s no surprise that the bulk of my TV watching tends to be sport as I can let the rising levels of excitement from the commentators guide me on when to pay attention, meaning I’m typically on my laptop, or doing something else, rather than actively watching.

That is, until I get sucked in, that’s when everything flips on its head and instead of being the background noise that stops my flat feeling quite so empty, the TV becomes the only thing that holds my attention. Chores go undone, dishes unwashed, meals are quick and easy and largely just a stream of snacks by that point.

So what do I choose to watch? Do I have any recommendations? Isn’t that what we do now? Not a day goes past without someone mentioning the best new show ever and how you must watch it. How demanding! And when you do watch it and can only provide a mediocre shrugging response, it was ok but not really my thing, you once again show that you are not of this moment, this cultural event is not yours. And then you repeat this over and over again. Tell me, how many shows have you lightly agreed you’ll try and watch, knowing that you probably won’t…? I’m well into double figures now.

I do tend to miss the zeitgeist of such things, Game of Thrones was a few seasons old when I discovered it. Breaking Bad had been out for 18 months before my addiction kicked in, and I’ve yet to be dragged into that show that Ru Paul hosts.

But some shows do land, and most notable for me is my most frequent, current, recommendation, The Good Place. It may have faltered towards the end of season 2 but remains a short, silly, light-hearted feel good show which, in the midst of the tumultuous shit-show that is writ large in the news each day, seems all the more vibrant and important.

What else? The problematic Seinfeld series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee is the very definition of a guilty pleasure. Rich white guy in self-indulgent show? Yes. Is he out of touch with the current climate? Yes. (The most recent episode with him and Alec Baldwin discussing #metoo is awful). Yet for those awkward moments that seem to lack any self-awareness there are many wonderful moments of hilarity, insight, and again this is a TV show about nothing (see all previous episodes of Seinfeld) which zips past in 20 mins.

I gave up on The Handmaid’s Tale as it is just too relentlessly bleak (but I’ll likely read the book at some point), The Staircase failed to grab me in the first episode (but a rewatch sucked me in). The Defiant Ones, a documentary series looking at the rise and rise of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine (billionaires who sold Beats Headphones to Apple a couple of years ago) was interesting, and I have a whole blog post trying and largely failing to dissect the brilliant Hannah Gadsby piece, Nanette.

Outside of that, a friend has loaned my the boxset of Sports Night (written by Aaron Sorkin) which will sit nicely beside my ongoing rewatch of The West Wing which I’m pacing alongside The West Wing Weekly podcast, which has made it more a dual format affair and has the side joy of a whole host of other TWWW fans to interact with on social media.

As ever, it’s social media that seems to drive a lot of what I consume on TV these days. Seeing that someone in my tribe is watching a show, or raving about a documentary, or sharing interesting quotes from the latest hit drama, always piques my curiosity way more than all the adverts and billboards. The best advert is word of mouth, says the old adage, and these days social media = word of mouth so where else would I get recommendations from??

The flipside of this is both a list of things to watch that would require me to retire a few years ago, and a distinct sense of FOMO and it’s only getting worse and the real kicker is that a lot of the latest greatest TV shows are of increasingly high quality, well written, well produced, slick, smart and engaging. Why wouldn’t you just stay in and watch something more interesting instead?

Weekend Reading

  • We Use Sports Terms All the Time. But Where Do They Come From?
    Your third-grade phys ed teacher used them all the time. Your neighbor does, too. Even your kids pull them out every once in a while. We’re talking about sports idioms, those everyday phrases ingrained in our lexicon, handed down from generation to generation.
    Also interesting to see how many of these have crossed the Atlantic.

  • Home Office refuses visas for authors invited to Edinburgh book festival
    The festival, which starts on Saturday and includes appearances from 900 authors and illustrators from 55 countries, routinely provides assistance for visa applications. It has reported a jump in refusals over the last few years.
    This country is getting worse.

  • Bill Maher Is Stand-up Comedy’s Past. Hannah Gadsby Represents Its Future.
    Last weekend, as Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix phenomenon Nanette continued to rack up impassioned reviews and think pieces, Bill Maher aired a new HBO special, Live From Oklahoma. If you watch them back-to-back, they seem to be in conversation, or debate.
    In light of this, it was interesting seeing Marcus Brigstoke doing standup at the Fringe.

  • Science Has Resolved the Question of Boxers vs. Briefs
    In 1925, boxer shorts were unleashed on the world: loose-fitting underwear for men, featuring an elastic waistband inspired by the shorts worn by boxers. It was underwear for the inner pugilist.
    Because this is important!

  • The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes
    Two exhausting years in, Kate found the beginnings of an alternative in an online forum. A loose confederation of do-it-yourselfers were working on a system that would eventually help link an insulin pump to a glucose monitor and connect both to a smartphone app.
    Hmmmm. Not sure we are quite ‘there’ yet though, are we?

  • “Snapchat dysmorphia”: why people are getting plastic surgery to look like their edited photos
    Grace Smith*, 28, started using the Facetune photo app a few years back to edit wrinkles out of her face. The lines between her eyebrows created a shadowy effect on her forehead, and she thought she looked fresher and prettier in pictures when the shadow was erased.
    Very much not good.

  • The Iraqi Spy Who Infiltrated ISIS
    BAGHDAD — The driver was sweating as his white Kia pickup truck sped along a rain-slicked Baghdad highway toward a neighborhood bustling with open-air markets. With every jolt and turn, his pulse quickened.
    Wow. What a story.

  • Adam Grant’s simple trick for actually enjoying your successes
    If you’re anything like me—a class A overachiever—you’ve probably been advised more than once to slow down. Relax, take a breath, just enjoy your latest success for a bit before worrying about the next one.
    Posting for reasons (for MY reasons)

  • Pop Songs in English, Written by Native Speakers of Swedish
    If you were in the land of the living in ’93, you will remember a song called “All that She Wants,” by the Swedish band Ace of Base. I don’t know anybody who resisted that song.
    If you are reading this, and you don’t like at least one Abba song, just… leave.

  • Only 15 people have ever finished the grueling and secretive Barkley Marathons — here’s what the race is like, according to people who’ve tried
    For a runner who tries to enter the Barkley Marathons, one thing is certain: they have almost no chance of finishing. The first Barkley race was held in 1986, but the course distance was bumped up to at least 100 miles — probably 130 miles, depending on who you ask — in 1989.
    Pretty sure I’ve linked to this before. If you can find it on Netflix, watch the documentary. Bonkers. People are awesome.

  • How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man
    Shortly after Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin wrapped up their recent summit at the Finnish Presidential Palace, in Helsinki, around two hundred journalists gathered in the building’s neoclassical ballroom.
    Yes, it’s a ‘Trump’ link, but it helped me better understand some of the finer points of this particular shitshow.

  • Paris baulks at ‘horrible’ eco-friendly public urinals
    Bright-red, fully exposed, urinals have been placed across the city to reduce peeing on the streets. But the eco-friendly devices, which are filled with straw and designed to be odourless, have left many unconvinced.
    So many jokes, so little time.

  • When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life
    Monika Glennon has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. Other than a strong Polish accent, she fits a certain stereotype of the All-American life. She’s blonde. Her husband is a veteran Marine. Her two children, a boy and a girl, joined the military as adults.
    This is horrible. People can be so so vile.

  • Is neuroscience getting closer to explaining evil behaviour?
    In 1941, en route from a ghetto to a concentration camp in Ukraine, a Nazi soldier beat my grandfather to death. My father witnessed this murder.
    Maybes aye, maybes naw.

  • Leaving a Good Man Is Hard To Do
    Several years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the prolonged and heart-wrenching breakup that persisted in destroying my entire life over the course of many months, a friend sent me an essay she thought I should read.
    Genuinely posting for a friend (where that friend is ME! hahaha)

  • The Rub of Rough Sex
    This is a piece about abuse. This is a piece about kink and a piece about consent. This is a piece about the law.
    This is a jarring, long, piece about consent, kink, sex, and where boundaries start to fail.

  • Women’s Pockets are Inferior.
    For each brand mentioned in this study, 4 pairs of jeans were measured: a skinny and straight style in both mens and womens clothing. Skinny style is referred to as slim in some brands and if a standard straight style was unavailable, a boot-cut style was used instead.
    Definitely posting THIS for a friend.

  • This is how tiny changes in words you hear impacts your thinking
    In 1973, America watched as then President Richard Nixon vehemently declared on national television, “I am not a crook” in regards to the Watergate scandal. Not many people believed him.
    Strong words, short sentences. I do not always consider my words. I might have to start.

  • Aretha Franklin Wasn’t Just A Great Singer — She Was A Genius
    “Genius” is a title Aretha deserves, without question. That we have often failed to give it to her (and other black women) shows only our own biases.
    Been re-listening to her early albums. LEGEND.

  • 60 Times Madonna Changed Our Culture
    Madonna was a pioneer of welding her voice to her image, and in a culture consumed with critiquing how women look, and controlling how they use their bodies, she’s been on the front lines — a seductress and a battering ram.
    Another LEGEND, for so many reasons.

  • MIT mathematicians solve age-old spaghetti mystery
    If you happen to have a box of spaghetti in your pantry, try this experiment: Pull out a single spaghetti stick and hold it at both ends. Now bend it until it breaks. How many fragments did you make? If the answer is three or more, pull out another stick and try again.
    Science, bitches! Also, I’d never heard of this at all. Is it a maths geek in-joke?

Euro2018

When the Commonwealth Games finished, 4 years ago, I took with me many fun memories and a real sense of pride in my home city (I wrote about it too). So when the chance to volunteer to help out at another major sporting event being held in Glasgow, I leapt at the chance.

I was offered a role as a T1 driver, which meant I spent the last couple of weeks driving various ‘Presidents of…’ and ‘Executive Directors for…’ around some of the venues being used to host the European Championship events in Glasgow.

Whilst not on the same scale as the Commonwealth Games, given that this was the first year this new ‘Championship’ had taken place, I think we acquitted ourselves pretty damn well! It all went by in a blur, 5am starts each day added to the general ‘zoning out’ effect that I remember from 2014 too; get up, head out, do your shift (0600 to 1630), head home, wash your uniform (1 of 2), eat, sleep, repeat.

Ohh but what fun! I got to meet some lovely people from all over European, got an Italian physiotherapist hooked on the band Honeyblood, chatted about Aston Martins and Porsches with the President of FINA (she wanted to buy a DB9 but they are seen as ostentatious in Germany so she ‘settled’ for a Porsche 911S instead!), and on the whole had a blast. We had a good bunch of volunteers, and I got into most of the venues I visited to watch some of the sport on offer; gymnastics, swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, cycling (road race), and triathlon.

Add in a buzzing George Square and Glasgow Green, and it certainly seemed like the event was a success and I’m so glad I volunteered for it. One visitor did comment that they hadn’t been to Glasgow before but she was delighted that ‘the people really are friendly very much all the time, is good!’ (to be fair, her English was way better than my Italian).

I do hope there are more events of this scale attracted to Glasgow now, there is no doubt we can deliver world class sporting events when we need to and, bar the lack of a dedicated athletic venue, we’ve got everything you could need.

Glasgow Olympic bid for 2028, anyone?

Weekend Reading

  • France outlaws lewd cat-calls to women in public amid attack uproar
    France voted to outlaw sexual harassment on the streets, leaving cat-callers and aggressively lecherous individuals facing potential on-the-spot fines of up to 750 euros as part of tougher legislation to fight sexual violence.
    Good.

  • Somebody at Fitbit needs a lesson on the menstrual cycle
    How long was your longest period? Eight days? Ten days? Two weeks? A month? It’s the “how long is a piece of string” of the female body, isn’t it? I’ve had periods that have lived, like a Mayfly, for a single day. In 2016, I had a period that lasted the entirety of the Rio Olympic games.
    More women in tech would help with this kind of poor, male-centric, thinking, no?

  • Color or Fruit? On the Unlikely Etymology of “Orange”
    The human eye can distinguish millions of shades of color, subtly discriminating small differences of energy along the visual spectrum.
    And what rhymes with orange…?

  • The Mystery of Winnie the Pooh’s Pants
    Experts weigh in on the bear’s bottom half. On Friday, Disney released Christopher Robin, a live-action Winnie the Pooh film.
    TROUSERS! Stupid Merkins.

  • The trick to staying close to coworkers when you work from home
    At the moment, I am about 245 miles (394 km) from the majority of my coworkers in New York. I’m almost 3,000 miles (5,000 km) away from my direct supervisor in San Francisco, and more than 3,600 miles (5,700 km) away from one of my favorite teammates in London.
    Home working is becoming more prevalent, some good tips in here.

  • A Spectre is Haunting Unicode
    In 1978 Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry established the encoding that would later be known as JIS X 0208, which still serves as an important reference for all Japanese encodings.
    I wonder which other unicode remnants are there for no good reason.

  • Why Are Thousands of People Watching an Old Man Sleep on Periscope?
    Bob Pagani isn’t sure why hundreds of people tune in to watch him sleep every week. Nor did he ever plan to become a minor Periscope celebrity while literally snoring. It just … happened. “It was really just by accident,” Pagani says, “like pretty much everything interesting in my life.
    Dear Internet. Never change (well, not these bits at least)

  • Denialism: what drives people to reject the truth
    From vaccines to climate change to genocide, a new age of denialism is upon us. Why have we failed to understand it? By We are all in denial, some of the time at least.
    Not sure I buy this… oh wait…

  • Meet the guy with four arms, two of which someone else controls in VR
    Yamen Saraiji has four arms, and two of them are giving him a hug. The limbs embracing Saraiji are long, lanky, and robotic, and they’re connected to a backpack he’s wearing.
    The future is as equally amazing as it is terrifying.

  • Architects of the Future
    In 1960, Buckminster Fuller had an idea to transform New York City: a two-mile-wide geodesic dome over the top of Manhattan. The self-titled “anticipatory design scientist” wanted to cover the city from the East River to the Hudson and from 21st Street to 64th Street.
    And yet, still no jet packs!

  • How Helsinki Arrived at the Future of Urban Travel First
    Harri Nieminen decided it was time to replace his car with an app. He had owned a car in Helsinki for the past nine years but recently found he’d lost the patience for parking on crowded city-center streets, especially in snowy months.
    More of this please. No reason a compact city like Glasgow couldn’t follow suit.

  • In Conversation: Kathleen Turner
    When Kathleen Turner, standing in the Vulture reception area, introduces herself in her singular throaty rasp, the effect is almost comic — who else has a voice like that? “This thing happens with restaurants,” says Turner as we walk to a conference room.
    Actual legend.

  • What to do with your implicit bias
    White/Innocent. Black/Criminal. Men/Clever. Women/Nurturing. If you’ve ever taken an implicit bias test or training, you’ll recognize pairs like these as examples of the unconscious associations our brains make about social categories.
    Guilty as charged.

  • La Traviata
    According to Hungarian news site Parameter.sk, the woman, identified only as Eva N, played a four-minute aria from Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ non-stop, in her house with on speakers full blast, from morning until night.
    Bet her neighbours wish she’d been the ‘woman that strayed’…

  • Why this student collected more than 50,000 golf balls out of the ocean
    Marine pollution is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about golf. But 18-year-old student Alex Weber is hoping to change that. She’s been collecting golf balls from the ocean for the past two years. So far, she’s accumulated more than 50,000 balls.
    Dear golfers. Aim better.

  • LA’s Awesome History Of Weird, Food-Shaped Restaurants
    An exterior view of Eddie Blake’s Tail o’ the Pup hot dog stand. It was located at 300 N. La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard, next to the Beverly Center. (Photo by Gary Leonard via Los Angeles Public Library Collection)
    These are utterly superb.

  • You are not original or creative on Instagram
    Everyone on Instagram is living the same life. If it seems when you scroll through your feed that everything looks similar, that’s probably because it is.
    Guilty as charged (take 2)

  • Employees of a U.K. Burger King will hear Toto’s “Africa” 108 times today
    A U.K. Burger King location will continuously bless the rains down in Africa today as it plays Toto’s earworm “Africa” through its speakers on constant loop. All day. Seriously. The Camden Town Burger King will play the 1982 epic as the result of a Twitter contest.
    How many times before someone goes postal? 50? 73?

  • New study: People tend to aspire to date someone ‘out of their league’
    Online daters tend to pursue people who are “out of their league,” according to a new study that used a unique method to analyze a large online dating website in Boston and three other major US cities.
    VERY Guilty as charged.

Weekend Reading

  • What made Darth Vader such a visually iconic character
    Darth Vader was only on screen in the original Star Wars movie for 8 minutes and for a little under 34 minutes in the whole original trilogy.
    I can STILL remember that opening scene. Scary.

  • Volcano Coffee
    Recyclable pod coffee – not an advert – I ordered some and they are fab.

  • I swapped apps for dating in real life – this is what happened
    Over the past five years, my online dating CV looks like this: two one-year relationships, five four-month relationships, several flings, 30 first dates, and around 2,500 Tinder matches.
    No frickin comment.

  • Liberty Media’s Ellie Norman: ‘We want to show F1’s raw emotion’
    These are challenging times for Formula One. The sport is in the process of a long-overdue reinvention under new owners in the post-Bernie Ecclestone one-man-band era.
    If you were ‘bored’ of F1 in the past, it is starting to change.

  • You’re Never Going to Be “Caught Up” at Work. Stop Feeling Guilty About It.
    Most people I know have a to-do list so long that it’s not clear that there’s an end to it. Some tasks, even quite important ones, linger unfinished for a long time, and it’s easy to start feeling guilty or ashamed about what you have not yet completed.
    So true. Give it up, let go!

  • “We’re in This Amazing Golden Era of Documentary”
    An 85-year-old Supreme Court justice. A pastor with a public television show. Identical triplets separated at birth. A songbird gone too soon. A pope. Pandas. It isn’t a bad joke or the line at the post office that unites these figures.
    So true. I’m starting to get hooked on them.

  • From Africa to tea with the Queen
    Eighty-year-old women are supposed to stay at home. The neatly dressed grandmother of our collective imagination derives her pleasure from indoor pursuits – cooking, reading, knitting.
    LEGEND.

  • The Sherpa Of New York
    “This was the original price,” Serap Jangbu Sherpa assured them as he pulled down a waterproof jacket from the rafters, “but now you get 35 percent discount.”
    Ain’t life a funny thing.

  • “I Saw Kink In God”: Dominatrixes And Their Orthodox Jewish Clients
    “Hasids are outsiders in New York, and so are sex workers. So, I think they maybe see us in a weird way as outlaws, like them.” We took turns peeing on Moishe’s face while he lay face up in the tub, lapping at our urine.
    Live and let live. Each to their own. Whatever. Life is too short for people to get all worked up about this kinda thing, no?

  • Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason
    In June 2016, Antonio Perkins unintentionally broadcast his own death to the world. It was a sunny day in Chicago, and he was sharing it on Facebook Live, a platform for distributing video in real-time, released just a few months earlier. The video is long.
    Ignore all their recent marketing, FB is still not good.

  • Japan’s Emperor Is Stepping Down Soon, Which Could Cause Major Headaches for Computer Calendars
    For most people, resigning from your job doesn’t necessitate the invention of any new computer characters, just a new Twitter bio. But as The Guardian reports, when Emperor Akihito, Japan’s current ruler, abdicates the Chrysanthemum Throne next year, that’s exactly what the country will need.
    This seems a little short-sighted?

  • Lawson Craddock’s Amazing Last-Place Finish In The Tour De France
    A broken shoulder blade; cobblestone roads; the Alps and Pyrenees: none of them were enough to stop U.S. cyclist Lawson Craddock from finishing the Tour de France on Sunday. Wearing number 13, he suffered a bad crash on the race’s first day – and refused to quit.
    Jesus. What a courageous idiot.

  • Conspiracy theorist Jones seeks dismissal of Sandy Hook defamation suit
    Lawyers for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones were due to ask a Texas court on Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit against him and his InfoWars website filed by parents of two children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre who accused him of slander, according to court papers.
    Without clicking, what do you think this guy looks like? Yup. What is with these people?

  • The case for puns as the most elevated display of wit
    Humor me please, and consider the pun. Though some may quibble over the claim, the oft-maligned wordplay is clever and creative, writer James Geary tells Quartz. His upcoming book Wit’s End robustly defends puns and tells the distinguished history of these disrespected witticisms.
    If you don’t like puns well… nope, I’m out.