Weekend Reading

  • In Conversation: Quincy Jones
    In both music and manner, Quincy Jones has always registered — from afar, anyway — as smooth, sophisticated, and impeccably well-connected. (That’s what earning 28 Grammy awards and co-producing Michael Jackson’s biggest-selling albums will do.
    Quite the interview this, to say he’s not shy about revealing secrets is… well just go read it.

  • String Theory Says We Have At Least 10 Dimensions, But That’s Not The Weirdest Thing About It
    Okay, well, maybe string theory isn’t all that simple. For one thing, it requires the universe to have at least 10 dimensions to work (and some versions require as many as 26).
    You know, some of us struggling in just one of these dimension things. Calm down, science, calm down.

  • Deadpool 2: is this the most annoying marketing campaign ever?
    At this stage, it feels like Deadpool 2 has been coming for several eons.
    LOVED Deadpool but yeah, the sequel already had a lot to live up to but already feels over-hyped?

  • My secret battle.
    It was 28th October, a few short weeks ago. It was about 11:10 on a Saturday afternoon and in twenty minutes time we were going live for Saturday lunchtime’s game on Sky Sports between Manchester United and Tottenham.
    Many people struggle, and the more voices that talk about this stuff the better.

  • What is happiness made of?
    An infographic for you.
  • 6 Artists on Their Favourite Abba Songs
    Who knows what strange formula goes into the perfect pop song. Some strange admixture of melancholy, melody, joy, lust and a glorious middle eight, maybe? But something else, too, something far more elusive that structure and theme.
    Who doesn’t like Abba! (note: if you don’t like Abba don’t darken my door again!)

  • Oxford Comma Dispute Is Settled as Maine Drivers Get $5 Million
    Ending a case that electrified punctuation pedants, grammar goons and comma connoisseurs, Oakhurst Dairy settled an overtime dispute with its drivers that hinged entirely on the lack of an Oxford comma in state law.
    This is hilarious, although the solution looks so ugly (but is grammatically correct, I checked with a lawyer!)

  • Satire only makes Jacob Rees-Mogg stronger
    Take heed, the metropolitan liberal elite! Cower, all you Conservative moderates!! Weep, environmentalists, and prepare your online petitions!!! Jacob Rees-Mogg is upon you, a black darkness over the shire, a shade upon your allotments, a frozen shadow upon all your back garden gazebos.
    We need more direct criticism of people like him (see also Trump, stop laughing at him, starting taking him down!)

  • 15 ways to reduce the amount of plastic you use in daily life
    Plastic pollution is an issue many of us are now highly aware of, thanks to David Attenborough’s recent series Blue Planet II shining a light on the staggering scale of harm plastic waste has on the environment. “A truck load of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute.”
    A handy list and definitely something I’ve been much more conscious of since said TV series.

  • The Sound of Ice: Nordic skating on thin black ice sounds like lasers
    This small lake outside Stockholm, Sweden, emits otherworldly sounds as Mårten Ajne skates over its precariously thin, black ice. “Wild ice skating,” or “Nordic skating,” is both an art and a science.
    Fascinatingly eerie.

  • He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He’s Worried About An Information Apocalypse.
    In mid-2016, Aviv Ovadya realized there was something fundamentally wrong with the internet — so wrong that he abandoned his work and sounded an alarm.
    Right. That’s it. Turn off the internet already!

  • Nana’s Famous Pancake Recipe
    Today is without doubt one of my favourite days of the year – pancake day! I  love pancakes…..now I am not talking crepes, which are lovely in their own right, but a Scottish pancake which is a thing of beauty.
    Shared because Scottish pancakes are the best pancakes (aka drop scones don’t ya know).

  • Olympic biathletes learn to shoot between heartbeats
    U.S. biathlon Olympian Jeremy Teela at the Vancouver 2010 Games. Back in 1767, Norwegian border patrol troops had far too much time on their hands. So they decided to put their two best skills —firing a gun and cross country skiing—to good use.
    Lunacy! After that much cardio the ‘between heartbeats’ for me is about an hour after I stop for a lie down.

  • Drones that dodge obstacles without guidance can pursue you like paparazzi
    Artificially intelligent drones are coming—and they’re going to shoot some really sick snowboarding videos along the way.
    Once again my love of tech (there is some cool stuff happening to make this work) and my desire for the world to be a better place (can I use this to stalk someone?) collide.

  • New dog-like robot from Boston Dynamics can open doors – video
    Ground-breaking robotics engineering and design company Boston Dynamics have released footage of the SpotMini, a dog-like robot that can open doors in the most unsettling manner possible.
    No doubt you’ve all seen this. Combine with the link above. Smart machines that can track you, and then open the door you closed to keep them out. All hail Skynet.

  • Ambitious Women Shouldn’t Afraid Of The Word ‘Bitch’. Or The Term ‘Ambitchous’
    I was talking to a friend about a big step-up she was facing at work and she suddenly said, “I know I need to do this. But I’m hesitating because I am scared people will call me a bitch.” My reply was harsh: “They might call you a bitch. It doesn’t mean you are one.”
    An aside: what percentage of women who are called a ‘bitch’ are called that by other women? (anecdotal evidence from my very very small pool suggests it’s high?)

  • Photographer Kristina Makeeva Captures the Otherworldly, Frozen Beauty of the Earth’s Oldest & Deepest Lake
    If you’re a nature lover, Siberia is where you need to be.  This is home to Lake Baikal, the oldest lake in existence and it is famous for the depth and large size of it that was made famous by the Great Siberian March by the Russian army in 1920.
    More frozen water that is utterly utterly beautiful.

  • No, opposites do not attract
    Everyone seems to agree that opposites attract. Young and old people, happy and distressed couples, single folks and married partners – all apparently buy the classic adage about love. Relationship experts have written books based on this assumption.
    Great, so I have to find someone who is the same as me? Awesome… /sarcasm

  • An Oral History of The Wire’s Unforgettable 5-Minute ‘F*ck’ Scene
    One of the greatest moments in TV and, as the article suggests, one that cemented by love of The Wire.

  • The United States of Guns
    Like many of you, I read the news of a single person killing at least 17 people in Parkland, Florida today.
    I don’t even know what else to say.

  • The publishing company that’s only publishing female authors in 2018
    When author Kamila Shamsie challenged the book industry to publish only women in 2018 to help address a gender imbalance in literature, just one publisher took up the challenge – the Sheffield-based company And Other Stories.
    For all you book club attendees out there.

  • Snapping Into Focus: Photography As Mindful Practice
    The illiterate of the future will be ignorant of the pen and the camera alike. —László Moholy-Nagy, 1934 Photography is a powerful form of visual expression, available to everyone. Most people have cameras and take pictures—lots of them.
    I never thought about my random ‘stop and snap’ desire as anything other than curiosity.

  • Google turns on default adblocker within Chrome
    Google will start automatically blocking intrusive ads within its Chrome browser for desktop and Android from Thursday 15 February.
    This is good. So royally fed up of my actions being hijacked.

  • In Her Own Words: Lena Dunham on Her Decision to Have a Hysterectomy at 31
    “Hmm, your blood pressure is low. We’ll check that again in half an hour. Is there any chance you could be pregnant? Wait, of course not; you just had a hysterectomy!”
    There are comments about the fact she is white and has money, where many still struggle, but it’s a story worth sharing.

  • What Color Is a Tennis Ball?
    It seemed like an easy question. The query came from a Twitter poll I spotted on my news feed last week, from user @cgpgrey. “Please help resolve a marital dispute,” @cgpgrey wrote. “You would describe the color of a tennis ball as:” green, yellow, or other.
    Oh dear god.

  • Hot on Instagram – but is it art?
    Video: Hot on Instagram – but is it art? Some museums are incorporating cameras in their exhibits for visitors to get the perfect picture.
    Yes it is. Next question?

  • This woman trolls trolls with cakes
    Kat Thek’s Brooklyn apartment looks like it came right out of a Wes Anderson movie. A pink flamingo and a golden skull sit on tables; vintage posters and bags of spices from all around the world hang on colorful walls.