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
It was a record year for turnover at the top of the UK single charts, but I haven’t had much to say about many of 2000’s number ones. Here are some more of the honourable exceptions.
Read More · 5 May 2015 · Music
Popular has spent 2015 exploring the number ones of 2000, which is starting to tread on musical ground first covered at this very site; but a lot can change in fifteen years. Here are some of my initial comments on the year’s UK number ones, edited and adapted.
Read More · 5 May 2015 · Music
I’ve spent the past week and a half preoccupied with Blur’s new album The Magic Whip, which is better than anyone had any right to expect. It’s fast become my favourite Blur album since The Great Escape, possibly even since Parklife, which for an unexpected comeback is some sort of miracle; it’s as if they never went away.
A few blurry links: interviews and analyses at DIY and The Sunday Times; reviews at Drowned In Sound and The Guardian; Graham Coxon and Stephen Street talk about it.
4 May 2015 · · Music
We had great eclipse viewing conditions in Edinburgh yesterday morning. (In your face, Transit of Venus 2004.) Armed with a pinhole camera and just the right degree of cloud cover, I even managed to get a few decent photos. No eyeballs were harmed in the taking of these images.
21 March 2015 · · Events
I grew up thinking of Malcolm Fraser and Australia’s Liberal Party as the bad guys, a view which only became stronger when I immersed myself in 1975 lore as a political science student in the late 1980s. When Gough Whitlam died last year, I lost a hero. Once I would as happily have danced on Fraser’s grave as on Margaret Thatcher’s.
But while Thatcher’s legacy in Britain becomes more toxic by the year, Fraser’s is more benign. His government presided over some positive changes—welcoming Vietnamese refugees, establishing SBS, opposing apartheid and white minority rule in Rhodesia, and the Northern Territory Land Rights Act—and saw through some of what Gough started. I’ll never approve of what he did in 1975, although I attach most of the blame to Governor-General Sir John Kerr for cravenly going along with it. Dismantling Medibank was a blot on his copybook as well, as was making a minister of John Howard. But after his time as prime minister he did and said a lot worth admiring.
David Pope’s cartoon in the Canberra Times captured it best. I love his reference to the old jokes about how Fraser looked like an Easter Island statue, too.
Time to relinquish the rage.
20 March 2015 · · People