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On a Dark Desert Highway

Omicron, I can’t believe it, I’ve never been this far away from home.

How Covid stays one step ahead of us.

How one scientist concluded that Covid began with a spillover at Wuhan’s wet market.

Why some people pretend Covid doesn’t exist. ICU is full of the unvaccinated.

How protein-based Covid vaccines could change the pandemic.

Pandemic nostalgia.

28 November 2021 · Comment · Events

Rewriting History

AI is starting to have a big real-world impact, hijacking art history and swapping singers’ voices.

Nineties Dad Thrillers—like Yacht Rock, a genre recognised in hindsight.

Jurassic Park but with a cat. Claws.

Emily Zugay redesigns your favourite corporate brands.

People who have unusual—or non-existent—inner voices.

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28 November 2021 · Comment · Weblog

Old Hobart Town

The slow march through my old 35mm negatives continues, and has yielded a few more galleries for Detail of Tasmania in the mid-1990s.

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28 November 2021 · Comment · Memory

Finding Fukue

Three years ago, Canadian musician Jessica Stuart tried again to find a lost friend in Japan. The resulting twenty-minute short film about her quest is a touching story of brief childhood friendships that echo through a lifetime, the experience of being an outsider, memories meeting the present, how and why we fall out of touch, and what that means for us. Last year Stuart and the filmmakers came together remotely to reflect on the film and its reception.

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28 November 2021 · Comment · Uncategorised

Firth of Forth

A month ago today I took the kids out to a place J. and I had visited a couple of times when we first moved to Scotland: Culross in Fife, former Royal Burgh and home to a striking ochre-harled palace. We spent an hour walking around the town admiring its seventeenth-century buildings, before driving to nearby Valleyfield Woodland Park for a walk in the woods to admire miscellaneous fungi. We finished the day at Queensferry at sunset, taking in the red glow of the rail bridge while eating some of Edinburgh’s finest ice-cream and fish and chips. It was an enjoyable afternoon, captured in these galleries of Culross, Valleyfield and Queensferry.

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20 November 2021 · Comment · Journal

Quids Game

Why are we so exhausted? How to find your focus again.

The study of the mind needs a Copernican shift.

Will AI enable us to talk with whales?

The race to reinvent document editing.

How WeChat became a trap for Uyghurs.

Inside the Facebook Papers. “History will not judge us kindly.” Facebook is an authoritarian state.

If Wes Anderson directed X-Men.

Grievous bodily charm.

The unnatural history of the beach.

Yurts, yoghurt, and Mongolian microbiomes.

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4 November 2021 · Weblog

Useful Websites

Useful websites.

The story behind Ommadawn.

Chernobyl’s Reactor 4 just woke up. I don’t know what to say.

It’s too late to stop shortages of cans and cardboard. Blitz Spirit!

Why are Britons so much more relaxed about Covid than Europeans? Will it last?

Trauma books won’t save you. Mixing and matching vaccines pays off.

How Cold War Steve turned Covid angst into art.

Social media doesn’t turn people into assholes—they already were.

Can history predict the future? Did David Graeber explain the past?

How to stay assertive in emotional conversations. What if emotions aren’t universal?

Wellness and the far right.

Cats and their human doubles.

Move over, John Williams.

22 October 2021 · Weblog

Mad World

How we view free time is making us less happy. How to cultivate hope. How to stop languishing. Ready, steady … oh.

Much of white American culture was cooked up by the real estate industry.

Why flight is so controversial in online games.

Armando Iannucci’s epic Covid poem. Six rules that will define our second pandemic winter. Covid was spreading as early as mid-2019. UK private hospitals treated just eight Covid patients a day during the pandemic.

A TikToker disrupted thousands of scientific studies.

Once you see this video of a Welsh seagull, you can’t unsee it. Sorry, Thumper.

Jarvis.

No longer hurting.

Yemen’s floating unexploded bomb.

Maria Ressa’s fight for facts.

The Brexit three-card Monte.

We’ve got 99 problems.

Stages of life.

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9 October 2021 · Weblog

20 GOTO 10

I was excited to see a sample of Sir Clive’s handiwork at a school open day yesterday…

Sinclair C5

They said it still works.

3 October 2021 · Infotech

Straw Dogs

Polynesia’s master voyagers.

Breaking into games design in 1982.

The psychological toll of wanting your kid to be perfect.

Cory Doctorow on Facebook and its secret war on switching costs.

The invisible plague.

Post-vax covid is a new disease.

What “mild” really means.

The vaccine is doing what it was designed to do.

Iran was our Hogwarts.

Millennials know how to get richer.

Noel Fielding as cakes.

Giant straw animals take over northern Japan.

26 September 2021 · Weblog

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