It’s Popular with a Latin flavour.

Read More · 30 November 2014 · Music

Jupiter Artland

For the past few years, each spring and autumn, we’ve been taking our kids along to some art classes for young children held at one of the most impressive places in Edinburgh, Jupiter Artland. It’s in the grounds of a private stately home, but is open to the public each summer. You’ll find plenty of photographs of its monumental artworks online, but this is a gallery of three years’ worth of my own, taken in conditions the public doesn’t usually get to see, and including some temporary works now removed. The stars of the site are Cells of Life by Charles Jencks (who was featured here previously) and Love Bomb by Marc Quinn, but there’s a lot more to see, including some works not shown here. If you ever get the chance, make the trip.

26 November 2014 · Art

Wasting Time on the Internet

Burning NH4Cr2O7 with HgSCN opens a portal to Hell.

Burning hydrocarbons threatens to open a portal to Hell.

Frank Serpico (of Al Pacino movie fame) on today’s out-of-control cops.

Escape from Jonestown.

Why we should give free money to everyone.

Why I am teaching a course called “Wasting Time on the Internet”.

Musician plays an actual keyboard cat.

George Costanza in Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”. Pretty slight, but I’ll take whatever reminders of Seinfeld I can get.

If cities were lit only by the stars (via Wired).

I vant to be alone.

24 November 2014 · Weblog

Racing around the world with Popular.

Read More · 20 November 2014 · Music

The Popular thread on Britney Spears’ first UK number one wandered into some depressing territory, thanks to the song’s controversial video. Here are some of my comments from it.

Read More · 20 November 2014 · Music

Creating and Doing

How to win the lottery (via Mefi).

Against productivity.

How to shut down Tolkien (Mefi).

Don’t assume that the last one is only for programmers; it’s almost entirely about writers, and has lessons for anyone seeking to create anything. It’s made me reflect on my own efforts to create stuff online, and how and why they’ve dwindled in recent years; it might even serve as a spur to do something about it.

On that note: Dan Ariely on managing your time (via, erm, Time).

11 November 2014 · Weblog

Ghost Country

World maps without New Zealand.

Text Messages From a Ghost and its sequel.

The Hot Zone and the mythos of Ebola.

A Nigerian virologist on Africa’s response to Ebola.

More late poems by the still-not-late Clive James: My Latest Fever and Rounded with a Sleep.

In memoriam: Noel Pearson remembers Gough Whitlam and Cate Blanchett thanks Whitlam for free education.

A five hundred year moment? (Via Mefi.)

The Internet’s First Family (or, What Is All This “Via Mefi” Stuff, Anyway).

11 November 2014 · Weblog

When Women Stopped Coding. I was a teenager when personal computers were first making their way into homes and schools and being monopolised by boys. Before then, everyone taking computer science at university was coming to it cold, so young men and women were starting on a level playing field. By the time I took first-year comp sci, you could already see the “computers are for boys” narrative bedding in.

In a related vein: The Dads of Tech.

The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing.

11 November 2014 · Infotech

Pecked to Death by Ducks

I’ve spent far too much time in recent weeks following the depressing saga of Gamergate, a collective outburst that should really have lasted no more than a day but thanks to Twitter has dragged on for months, making life miserable for numerous female gamers, developers and critics. As someone who was a nerdy, shy teenaged male obsessed with computers and games, my sympathies are naturally with... the people who haven’t been waging a misogynistic hate campaign. I mean, Jesus.

Read More · 9 November 2014 · Net Culture

October 2014