One, Two, Three, Four, Five Balloons

Fake Black Friday deals from Obvious Plant.

Thom Yorke and George Monbiot chat about climate change.

David Graeber: Why isn’t Turkey cutting off Islamic State’s supply lines?

There are only four circles, and none of them touch.

Count Buckules’ finest hour: The Counting Song.

29 November 2015 · · Weblog

Underwater Forests

Papua New Guinea’s witch hunts.

iTunes Terms and Conditions: The Graphic Novel.

It’s time to nationalise Twitter. The origin of tweet.

Exxon knew everything there was to know about climate change by the mid-1980s—and denied it. The harm Exxon Mobil has done. Who will pay for climate change?

A time bomb that could blow up a free internet.

Four months hand-cutting a paper microbe.

Read More · 24 November 2015 · · Weblog


Explaining graphic design to four-year-olds.

Real-time expression transfer for facial reenactment.

The guerilla campaign to save Star Wars.

Eradicating complex academic writing.

Suggestions for stock photos in abortion articles.

When two become one.

Solar microgrids in rural Kenya.

I want to believe.

1 November 2015 · · Weblog

Mining for Rags

Compulsive decluttering.

The mansplaining of Taylor Swift.

An atlas depicting every colour imaginable.

The stranger and the ring.

Permanent Holiday. Wait for the bit around the four-minute mark.

A tumor stole his memory. Then it all came back. Most amazing story I’ve read this year.

Bitcoin mining “adds to the demand for coal-fired power ... slowing the pace at which fossil fuels can be phased out”.

The genius of The Great British Bake Off.

“Believe me, I’ve faced worse than tablespoonfuls of cinnamon during my life.”

Has a victim’s brother solved the Lockerbie bombing?

“I thought I had lost my daughter. I think I aged 10 years.”

The death and life of a British pub.

Mining for 100-year-old jeans.

14 October 2015 · · Weblog

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

June 2015