Weekend Reading

Knitting at the end of the world I love this picture of actor Nicholas Hoult knitting on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road. As do I. Contrasts are always interesting. Trent Reznor Thinks Artists Should Speak Out “Bad Witch,” your ninth studio album with Nine Inch Nails, is the final record of a politically-minded trilogy you began in 2016. If you have a platform you must use it, now more than ever. Now is the envy of the dead Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away, and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well, and live broadly. You are alive and living now. …

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Weekender

Years ago I used to write up posts that recapped my “fascinating” weekend (that’s some ironic quote marks, just to be clear. I used the same title for these – Weekender – and all of them were written in a vague, pseudo diary style which I think fitted the purpose for which I wrote them; I have a crap memory so even now looking back at the last time I published a post titled Weekender I can recall exactly which weekend that was (4 years ago, time flies like a banana and all that) and exactly what happened. When I sat down to write up my London weekend it felt very much like that, a post for me to remember …

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Weekend Reading

Philosophy shrugged: ignoring Ayn Rand won’t make her go away Philosophers love to hate Ayn Rand. It’s trendy to scoff at any mention of her. One philosopher told me that: ‘No one needs to be exposed to that monster.’ Many propose that she’s not a philosopher at all and should not be taken seriously. The problem is that people are taking her seriously. Academic arguments aside, if it works for you, it can’t be all that bad. Can it? Disposable America A straw is a simple thing. It’s a tube, a conveyance mechanism for liquid. The defining characteristic of the straw is the emptiness inside it. This is the stuff of tragedy, and America. As we ban plastic ones, look …

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That was London

I have been and went to that London and it was good! Mind you there was a small blip at first. I was primarily there to see the Foo Fighters perform at Wembley Stadium, so you can imagine my confusion when I realised, only a few days before heading down, that they were, in fact, performing at the Olympic Stadium. This rendered my ‘clever’ hotel location booking a bit redundant but that’s what I get for not checking the detail. I’m calling this the ‘London effect’ as it’s not the first time I’ve gotten locations wrong … A few years ago, I was down in London and on arriving at our hotel for the weekend I boldly marched up to …

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Weekend Reading

Can our phones solve our love lives? It would be most of our first choices to have relationships in the real world; but for many of us, it is a great deal more plausible to pursue them with, and via, our phones. Phones provide exemplary compensation for the frustrations of living with actual people. Solve? My phone IS my love life! This Dr is demanding to be addressed by her title, and the men aren’t happy A woman on Twitter had the audacity to ask to be referred to by her earned title of Dr and, unsurprisingly, drew ire from a gaggle of angry men online. The end of angry men cannot happen quickly enough Open Ocean: 10 Hours of …

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Clap your hands

I walked home from work the other day. It takes about an hour at a reasonable pace, but that day I was in no rush at all. The sun was darting in and out between fluffy clouds and there was a gentle breeze in the air. There were flowers everywhere, vibrant green hues in the branches overhead, and the recent rains had swollen the river enough to give it a pleasing burble as it meandered its way downstream. There is something very soothing about walking with no real purpose, letting your body find its own pace, feeling the connection your foot makes with the ground and how your body reacts to that. A simple way to stay, literally, grounded and …

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Weekend Reading

Why are (some) Star Wars fans so toxic? With at least one new film every year, you’d think it would be easy being a Star Wars fan in 2018, but it isn’t. That’s not because JJ Abrams killed off Han Solo in Episode VII, or The Last Jedi snuffed out Luke Skywalker. I love Star Wars. It’s my childhood universe. How can it bring so much hate? Ersatz Free Trials On Monday Apple announced that they are officially supporting so-called “free trials” for non-subscription apps. The reaction has been a breathless celebration that Apple has finally relented and given developers something we’ve been asking, no begging, for since the dawn of the App Store. Apple are relentless at maintaining their …

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Derren Brown

I’m writing this a few days after the event, just in case there were any lingering effects. I fear my mind may never quite recover… Note: NO SPOILERS INCLUDED. I’ve seen most, if not all, of Derren Brown’s TV shows. From the one off specials to the early series that were broadcast in a late evening slot on Ch4. He is not without controversy and I’ll happily admit to, still, remaining sceptical about how he does what he does; is it magic, is it manipulation, are there stooges involved, is it all fake? Or perhaps it’s a little bit of everything? He is first and foremost as he readily admits, a showman, he is trying to entertain using methods and …

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Podcast: No Such Thing As A Fish

Probably the most popular podcast I listen to, so likely won’t be news to many of you, but without fail No Such Thing As A Fish has managed to educate and humour me with every single episode. Some are funnier than others, some are definitely more quite interesting* than others, but regardless it’s never not a wonderfully silly listen. The people behind it were/are all researchers involved with QI (*hence the rather horrible wording) and each week each of the four panellists (aka QI elves) bring one fact that they discovered in the past week, along with some background research of other interesting and related tidbits. It sounds dull, but the four main members of the team are engaging, witty, …

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Weekend Reading

10 Strikes and You’re Out – the iOS Feature You’re Probably Not Using But Should For many years now, iOS has offered an option in the Passcode section of the Settings all: “Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts. tldr; the timeout between attempts increases, would take 4 hrs to get through all 10. Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, major study finds If you wear glasses I’ve got some good news: you may well be smarter than the average person. A new study published in the journal Nature Communications has found that needing to wear glasses is associated with higher levels of intelligence. But you probably knew that already. Does having glasses but not wearing …

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