Serious Business

Benin City, the medieval capital now lost without trace. 100 African cities destroyed by Europeans.

In the capital of Europe. Written before the bombings of last week, which once again reminded me in the worst possible fashion that I’ve visited too many sites of subsequent terrorism. New York, Paris, London... Brussels.

Three-quarters of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates.

Nothing to apologize for.

Teachers sent packing because they earn too little.

Netflix generates more traffic than the entire Internet.

The Bribe Factory.

Global warming’s terrifying new chemistry. Current temperatures are shocking even to climate scientists. Longest coral bleaching event on record. West Antarctic ice sheet could melt rapidly. Carbon emissions haven’t been this high since the dinosaurs.

31 March 2016 · Weblog

Shabba Me Whiskers

Many of the world’s lakes are vanishing. Greenland’s feedback loop. February breaks global temperature records by even more than January did.

A route to carbon-negative cars.

“These people are you and me”: Richard Flanagan meets Syrian refugees.

The most radioactive towel in history.

Frequency delinquency. !?,;:--.

Andy Stanton’s cult humour for kids. His Mr Gum books are some of the funniest I’ve read, to my son or otherwise. Andy Stanton at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Brian Six.

The funniest hacker stock photos and (better) the funniest hacker stock photos 2.0.

A musical instrument made from a badger badger badger badger thereminnn thereminnnnnn.

Grenade in microwave! [Link already dead, sadly.]

17 March 2016 · Weblog

And in the End

A belated farewell to the late George Martin. Apart from his monumental work with the Beatles, which I could hardly begin to go into here without taking all week, I’ll always remember his work on one of my favourite comedy records, Peter Sellers’ 1959 album Songs for Swingin’ Sellers. The Fabs themselves were fans of Martin’s comedy productions, which helped bond them in the early days. On one Sellers track in particular, “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”, Martin masterminded the Indian orchestral sounds that would come in handy on later Beatle tracks.

This sad event had happy consequences for Monday’s pub quiz. It meant that the bonus round was on the Fabs, and all those years of devouring Beatle biographies finally came in handy. Seventy loverly nicker.

17 March 2016 · People

Danger is Everywhere

The favourite temperature dataset of climate deniers just confirmed global warming.

“All we can do is hold our hearts”: my Mefi post on the breathtaking threat of the Mosul dam.

The man who made “the worst video game in history”.

An accurate predictor of whether someone supports Donald Trump.

Tip off.

The Snoopers’ Charter promises a surveillance state comparable only to China and Russia.

Why Facebook is depressing.


The Most Dangerous Writing App (via Mefi).

Read More · 3 March 2016 · Weblog

Carry On Keeping On

Back from Oz (last week), where I abandoned all pretence of keeping up a daily posting schedule. But still collected a few links.

A history of Japan.

An oral history of Deliverance.

Google can tell where a photo was taken using just pixels.

A village built for Fiji’s poor survived Cyclone Winston unscathed.

How America made Donald Trump unstoppable.

The boomer supremacy.


Austerity nostalgia.

An enormous musical marble machine.

“Wrong type of trees” in Europe increased global warming. Fossil fuel use must fall twice as fast as thought. Antarctica could be much more vulnerable to melting than we thought. Sea-level rise “could last twice as long as human history”.

Australia has a new climate.

2 March 2016 · Weblog

← February 2016