Speedysnail

Hurricane Season

Another batch of links on politics and other miscellany.

Read More · 2 October 2017 · Comment

The Wiley, Windy Moors

It’s a big ol’ links round-up. Exasperating political stuff below the fold.

Idyllic old postcards of the Catskills are now scenes of abandonment.

How our pictures can help reclaim lost history.

Dutch masterpieces with mechanics.

The Netherlands feeds the world.

A collection of deliberately inconvenient objects.

The notorious “free watch”.

Shoegaze isn’t dead, it just moved east.

Aussie bloke sings “Wuthering Heights” in its original key. A Brazilian equivalent.

Morris the reversible fish.

These videos about EnChroma glasses are a study in bottled-up male emotion. It’s like watching Field of Dreams.

Read More · 19 September 2017 · Comment

Hot August Sites

The 100 greatest comedy movies, according to a BBC poll of international critics. I’ve only seen 62 of them, better get cracking. [Edit, 2/10/17:] Time Out made a similar list in January. Members of Metafilter suggested more.

The first album composed and produced by an AI.

Twelve ways to spot a bot.

The Home Office isn’t fit for purpose. It shouldn’t matter that the government has got the number of migrants wrong. People with two nationalities should be feted, not mistrusted.

Can we fix it? No, someone else can. Thread.

Just how evil is Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

The end of the line for queueing.

My iPhone turned me into a squirrel-chasing dog.

31 August 2017 · Comment

The State of Things

I’d better get a post up if this blog isn’t to go a whole second month without any. The summer holidays took over: first I was out in Australia for a few weeks with the kids visiting family, and when we got back I began decluttering, culling five hundred old books and listing a bunch on Amazon, carting stuff to charity shops, auctioning on eBay, and tidying up things that had accumulated over the years. All still ongoing. We’ve also had trips to Glasgow, to Glentress for mountain-biking, a few Fringe shows, friends visiting, and the kids going back to school; and a disaster or two, such as our son’s new bike getting pinched last week.

So there hasn’t been much time for stopping here to comment on the state of the world, sorry as it is. Not that much has changed since the last times I did: Brexit is still a shambles, Trump has dropped all pretense of being anything other than fascist, and the climate is still inexorably changing.

But I do have a ridiculous backlog of links to post, so here’s a selection.

Read More · 28 August 2017 · Comment

The End of Coffee

Accelerationism.

A vaccine could reverse Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders.

Britain: the end of a fantasy.

Anatomy of a doomed campaign.

The Republican defense of Trump is built on a massive lie.

Zealandia.

What’s wrong with bribing millennials?

No time like the present.

Where Brexit will hurt the most.

Give nothing to racism.

Going with the cheaper, flammable cladding saved five grand. Unbearable.

The end of coffee.

20 June 2017 · Comment

Trumpoline

Time for an update on U.S. politics. Events are moving faster than any occasional-links-posting blog, so I’ve skipped the more ephemeral links and focussed here on some more lasting ones.

Read More · 13 June 2017 · Comment

Ancient and Modern

A jade bracelet made millennia before the Stone Age, and not by modern humans.

Humans were in California 130,000 years ago.

Submerged landscapes of the North Sea.

Shoreline erosion in Tasmania.

38 million pieces of plastic on an uninhabited South Pacific island.

Where oil rigs go to die.

Where have all the insects gone?

Europe’s last primeval forest is on the brink of collapse.

American climate change refugees. U.S. conservatives’ incoherence over climate change.

Australia’s first wooden office building.

11 June 2017 · Comment

Scallop Gallops

An air-powered car—made of Lego.

The Lego Apollo Saturn V has exactly 1969 pieces.

How online shopping makes suckers of us all.

Torching the modern-day library of Alexandria. How eBooks lost their shine. UK readers return to print. The fall and rise of physical book sales worldwide.

The demographic inversion.

The best way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper and the 40th of Star Wars.

The 200-word RPG challenge.

Roger Moore, in memoriam (a two-parter—make sure you click through to the epilogue).

Dom-in-OES.

Fun with Atoms: The Radium Girls. Starfish Prime.

How do you count without numbers?

Here comes the galloping scallop.

11 June 2017 · Comment

Hopes and Fears

I couldn’t vote this morning as I usually try to, and have had a vague dread all day of being hit by a bus before I can get to the polling station this evening.

Despite my bitterness over the line Jeremy Corbyn has taken over Brexit, and being convinced in the early weeks that we’re doomed, I’ve found myself caught up in hope borne out of recent opinion polls and my Twitter bubble that he, and the decent Labour policies he brings with him, might get over the line, or over enough of a line to form a minority government, or something, anything. Anything other than the bumbling, evasive, heartless, smug authoritarianism of Theresa May and her party, which promises to ramp the past seven years up into an exponential curve of awful.

But we’re probably doomed.

Here are some links I’ve been neglecting to post here in the interim.

Read More · 8 June 2017 · Comment

The State of It

Mining has destroyed a renowned fossil site in China.

Anatomy of a Brexit power-grab. Can the Brexit clock be stopped? That’s even less likely now.

Facebook use is a predictor of depression.

Kaz Cooke remembers John Clarke. His death was terrible news—a great comedian, a great Australasian, and not a bad photographer of birds.

Bidding on the soul of Detroit.

West African migrants are being sold in Libyan slave markets.

Where are you really from?

The utter uselessness of job interviews.

Aim for a hundred rejections a year.

AI programs are mirroring our racial and gender biases.

A Canadian river just vanished in four days.

19 April 2017 · Comment

Driftwood Maps

Inuit cartography.

Netto-Katzen.

Freeze a jolly good icefloe.

The next pandemic. Vive la resistance.

How inner-city developments have killed Aussie rock.

Stephen Collins on vlogs.

What writers really do when they write.

Five ways to steal time to write.

The 50 best Britpop albums. I own at least two-thirds of ’em.

Why bargain travel sites may no longer be bargains.

How not to create traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl.

A world without retirement.

Years you have left to live, probably.

10 April 2017 · Comment

Catastrophising

A Trump- and Brexit-free assemblage of links.

Read More · 15 March 2017 · Comment

Bamboom

How the gains we make in AI could ultimately destroy us.

Limmy’s techno version of an old Fry’s Turkish Delight ad.

The archaeology of Rogue One.

The linguistic evolution of “like”.

Roadie wrap.

Redaction art.

The parts of a good apology and a bad one.

Scots have more words for rain than the Inuit have for snow.

The Gulf Stream is unstable.

Why are Dutch children the happiest in the world? We’re really good at judging parents.

Minesweeper tumbleweed.

Thanks to my blogless mate Paul for some of the above.

19 January 2017 · Comment

In With the New

And so we collapse into 2017, waiting to see just how dire the Trump administration will be, whether Brexit really will mean Brexit, and who next among the West’s democracies will follow Britain and the US down the road to nowhere. It’s enough to take the wind out of any little-read blog’s sails. I do have a few ideas about more substantial projects for coming months, but for the moment only a few links.

Read More · 10 January 2017 · Comment

←Weblog in 2016