Political Obituaries

The thoroughly humiliating and extremely satisfying demise of Tony Abbott. First Dog on the Moon anticipating last week’s schadenfreude months ago. Bonus First Dog.

The UK media’s treatment of Jeremy Corbyn.

What the British were really laughing about on Monday.

British Constitutional Law 401: Death of the Monarch.

Read More · 23 September 2015 · · Weblog

Homo newsltdi

National Geographic Society discovers ancient human who rewrites history, makes him majority shareholder.

Read More · 10 September 2015 · · Whatever

Wattle and Daub

Marketing legends.

More Buxton Bowie—it’s Cobbler Bob.

Chimps and monkeys have entered the Stone Age.

One Aussie bloke’s awe-inspiring hobby.

When English earthworms met the forests of New England.

Kudzu, the vine that never truly ate the South.

How the ballpoint changed handwriting.

How media fluff helped Hitler’s rise. A new theory of Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Hitler’s world.

Refugees’ worldly goods.

Duck army.

10 September 2015 · · Weblog

As you’d expect of someone who’s rated all of U2’s UK number one singles as good or better, I once again contradicted the usual chorus of U2/Bono hate in this thread (which at least wasn’t as much of a chorus as it was in some). I can’t see Bono in the same dismissive light as so many at Popular do; to quote Gag Halfrunt, he’s just this guy, you know? (Blinding revelation: Bono is Zaphod Beeblebrox, in all his good and bad aspects.)

Read More · 12 August 2015 · Music

In a Scary Cave with Bats

Your next selfie could be your last.

Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 travel expense report.

Bowie, Eno and Visconti record “Warszawa”. Brilliant work from Doctor Buckles.

The invention of the AeroPress.

The guy behind Australia’s greatest ever meme. (Parental Advisory Warning: your kids won’t know who John Howard was.)

The year the old internet finally died. Not if I have anything to do with it. (I have very little to do with it.)

Warner Music hid evidence that “Happy Birthday” is in the public domain. All together now: “Class ac-tion law-suit, class ac-tion law-suit...”

Zoological insights could help fight bacterial drug resistance.

A computational approach for obstruction-free photography.

Climate change nightmares are already here. The Pentagon prepares for a century of climate emergencies. The scariest part isn’t what we know, but what we don’t.

12 August 2015 · · Weblog

Early 2015

With one or two exceptions, I haven’t posted many photos here this year. Here’s a visual diary of early 2015 in and around Edinburgh (and a trip to London), before the photos of Australia take over.

8 August 2015 · · Journal

Hotter Than July

The world’s fastest shoelace knot.

Earth’s land mammals by weight.

“We are building skyscraper favelas in code —in earthquake zones.”

It’s not climate change — it’s everything change.

The art of the car chase.

What’s the deal with translating Seinfeld?

The source of bad writing.

The web we have to save.

The end of capitalism has begun.

1 August 2015 · · Weblog

Summer Holiday

Hartz Mountains National Park

We got back earlier this week from a month in Australia, our first visit in over five years. It was a pretty intense trip, not only because we saw lots of family and friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in that long or even longer, but because our kids were now old enough to be taking it all in much more than when they were little.

I had thought that going in winter—because that’s when northern summer holidays happen—might lead to a lot of wet and grey days indoors, but we were lucky with the weather, which was sunny in Sydney and Canberra, and mostly sunny in Tassie, and only really wet and grey on one weekend in Melbourne. Then there was our trip to the Hartz Mountains National Park, when the temperature dropped as we climbed the mountain, until it hit zero and the early morning drizzle turned... to snow. In all my past years of visiting the place, I’d never seen it looking like this. More photos and reflections to come, once I get organized.

Meanwhile, Cecil has been blogging in my absence (because I queued up a month’s worth of entries beforehand in WordPress), and has now finished his adventures in Peru. But that project isn’t quite finished yet, either, so stay tuned for further developments.

31 July 2015 · x1 · Journal

Changing Colours

I followed my stolen iPhone across the world.

Comic artists’ obsession with Mad Max: Fury Road.

The dead of World War II, visualised.

Maasai women lead a solar revolution.

Madagascar’s Panther Chameleon is actually eleven different species.

Missing link found between the brain and the immune system (Nature article, via Mefi). Louveau had better clear a space on his shelf for a Nobel.

How well can you hear audio quality? (Three out of six for me. Eyes boxes of CDs warily...)

Australian maths academics “could be jailed for delivering online course material to foreign students”.

The undoing of Ed Miliband.

How a fake news story wrecked three people’s lives.

12 June 2015 · · Weblog

Shiny and Chrome

The man who cut out his own appendix. There’s a potential joke to be made here about socialised medicine, but I’m too in awe. (The jokes could go either way, I suppose... mine would be on the “Bow Down to the Awesome Resolve of its Surgeons!” side.)

If you don’t speak French, how can you judge if Charlie Hebdo is racist?

Inspirational Tasmanian MHA and Senator Christine Milne’s journey.

Windows is Shutting Down.

Why the New York of the movies doesn’t exist any more.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter Twenty.

Self-driving trucks are going to crash into the US economy.

Time-lapse mining from internet photos. The coolest image-manipulation I’ve seen since seam carving.

“Why should you thank someone for not killing you?”

Octoploid, Bartholomew the Rhinoceros, and more sculpture by Jud Turner.

On the road again with George Miller. Fourteen-year-old me from 1982 grabbed me by the throat and dragged me to the nearest cinema to watch Mad Max: Fury Road on the big screen. It was stunning: every bit as good as the hype has it. Rewatching the originals over the weekend was worthwhile, too; even Thunderdome came off better than I’d remembered.

22 May 2015 · · Weblog

Y’all Doomed

There’s no point posting most of the post-mortem links I gathered after the election, but here’s a few that stuck.

Paul Mason: Labour haven’t just failed to win—it’s worse than that.

John Prescott: Labour lost the election 5 years ago.

Inside the Milibunker: the last days of Ed.

The reinvention of the SNP.

Six reasons you don’t want to be George Osborne right now.

The arguments against the Human Rights Act are coming. They will be false.

Which human right would you give away?

22 May 2015 · · Politics

It Had to Be Done

For too long, man has yearned to destroy the sun.

14 May 2015 · · Politics

May 2015