Sluggo is Lit

An interview with Nancy cartoonist Olivia Jaimes. Her take on the classic strip, starting on 9 April this year, is a revelation, and the contrast with the previous incumbent couldn’t be greater. It’s like seeing early Peanuts for the first time.

Read More · 1 December 2018

Harshing my Mellow

What does the Marshmallow Test really measure? Not what we thought.

Remembering my Oxford interview.

New Labour was far more leftwing than it is given credit for.

How China made its own Internet. Beijing will judge every resident on their behaviour by the end of 2020.

“You descend into hell by coming here.”

Swiss activists “decided to never sing the populist’s song”—only their own.

Fascism is not an idea to be debated, it’s a set of actions to fight.

Read More · 24 November 2018

No Surprises

I was busy with family and work in October, but there’s still time left for a few more of the month’s links.

Read More · 31 October 2018


Low-maintenance fishpond.


This piece on China’s persecution of its 10 million Uyghurs (via Mefi) is the stuff of nightmares. The surveillance aspect is awful, but so is the transformation of Kashgar described in the second part of the article. Earlier this century the Chinese government was talking with UNESCO about World Heritage status for sites along the Silk Road. I wonder how many they destroyed when obliterating Kashgar’s Old Town.

“If you write thousands of sentences that have absolutely nothing to do with what you think or feel those sentences are still what you will become.”

Farewell, Geoff Emerick, famed producer of Split Enz’s Dizrythmia, and engineer for some sixties band or other.

4 October 2018

Halfway to Boiling

Permafrost may thaw far faster than expected.

Halfway to boiling.

The climate reality few dare mention.

The quietest place in America increasingly isn’t.

How music stopped meaning everything.

Skim reading is the new normal.

Let’s all go back to Tumblr.

A self-solving Rubik’s Cube.

Polarization in Poland.

I will not debate you.

Lonely boy. (Via Mefi.)

Maslow derived his hierarchy from Native American beliefs.

27 September 2018

The Whirlyhole

The lost wonders of medieval Britain.

The unfolding catastrophe of Arctic archaeological sites.

Changes in Atlantic circulation could cause global temperatures to surge. Unsurvivable heatwaves could strike the heart of China by 2100. “More carbon has been released into the atmosphere since [1989] than in the entire history of civilization preceding it.” Back to the future.

Read More · 7 August 2018


The beautiful, ugly, and possessive hearts of Star Wars.

Emmy Noether changed the face of physics.

Usborne are giving away PDFs of their Computer Guides from the 1980s.

Coral forests have been discovered around deep-sea volcanoes off Sicily.

Drought has revealed ancient sites in Welsh farmland and a massive unknown henge at Newgrange.

Global warming is destroying Arctic archaeological sites.

Icelandic whalers may have killed a blue whale.

Rogue Chinese factories have been using CFCs. My home state ends up under the ozone hole every summer.

China’s dystopian dream: A.I., shame and lots of cameras.

How blogs broke the Web. Whoops.

20 July 2018

The London Thylacines

A serious plumbing snake.

Werner the Herzog.

Wonders claimed by lava.

Wonders reclaimed from a canal.

The London thylacines.

On boredom.

2 July 2018

The Rains

Forget Weezer’s Toto covers, what you need is “Africa” played by a chicken.

Flashheart as a Jedi master posing suggestively with a fully lit lightsaber.

The fate of a kid in a ’70s public information film.

From scraps.

Read More · 18 June 2018

Wooden Bananas

Cat food.

A giant cat photoshopped around London.

Counterfeit bananas.

A conference call in real life.


Read More · 1 June 2018


Earlier this month, my hometown of Hobart had months’ worth of rain in a single evening. Wild weather floods Tasmania’s southeast. Record rain and flash flooding inundate Hobart. Storm damage at the University of Tasmania. I wonder how many old friends were flooded.

Read More · 31 May 2018

Brexit Bites

Mate, I really don’t care. The issue of Brexit was settled almost two years ago. We have ten years from the point at which we leave the European Union to negotiate a free trade agreement. Your next ten years are irrelevant. I was not prepared to end up with absolutely the most harmful outcome imaginable. If they don’t support and help Theresa May to get a deal, there is the risk of having somebody much, much more aggressive. You’re deluded if you think you’ll be able to blame the debacle just on them. I’m beginning to think I may have voted the wrong way.

Read More · 25 May 2018 · 1 Comment

Zone Rouge

The Argentine river that appeared overnight.

France’s silent spring.

The struggle over how to remake Puerto Rico.

Rising sea levels reshape Miami’s housing market.

“Plastic is literally everywhere.” The mutant enzyme that eats it.

Electric buses are affecting oil demand.

Green Belt. Zone Rouge.

26 April 2018

Topiary Bestiary

Rebuilding a sculpture destroyed by ISIS.

Tim Winton on how young men are being shackled to misogyny.

Molly Ringwald revisits The Breakfast Club.

Have I Got an Excuse For You.

Zombie Simpsons: no brains.

Wakanda shakes the world.

“My son fell over. This is my report.”

Topiary bestiary.

Squares turning into circles.

Old Navy rips off an artist and dares her to sue. Happens all too often, but this is such a blatant example.

26 April 2018

The Only Thing on the Menu

A few links to finish the month on, political and otherwise.

Read More · 31 March 2018


David Graeber on changing the course of human history.

Why Melburnians should love Lygon Street again.

In China and Japan, a copy is just as good as an original.

Nocturnal drone landscapes.

Crushing a candy floss competition.

There’s even more garbage in the Pacific than we thought.

This is a boring shark attack.

“The Ace of Spades” on an actual spade.

We’re all gonna die.

26 March 2018

The Hounds of Love

One of the greatest Google searches there is. [Archived.]

Read More · 5 March 2018

How About Now?

Time to catch up on some links.

Read More · 13 February 2018

Some Sheep

A Bucketful of Happiness. Darth Vader sans vocoder. Seagulls!

Stuckie the mummified dog.

Some sheep.

Australian nicknaming conventions.

Read More · 21 January 2018

←Weblog in 2017