That Was the Blog That Was

With hours left to go in the day, month, year and decade, there’s no time to wrap up the many other aspects of the year or indeed decade that I might have covered, so it’s one last post in this format before everything changes in 2020.

Read More · 31 December 2019

OK Boomer Memes

The trafficked teenagers tending UK cannabis farms (2017).

Plastic pollution is making Central America uninhabitable.

The best minds of a generation have not been destroyed by social media. Though it could depend on the generation: boomer memes that helped Scott Morrison in Australia are now helping the Tories.

Read More · 22 November 2019


I would drive 300 miles, and I would drive 300 more, just to see the lamb I sent 300 miles away back at my door.

Breads of the world.

May you live in interesting times.

Read More · 26 October 2019

The Smoking Clathrate Gun

Debbie Harry suspects she had a near miss with Ted Bundy. Imagine if some psycho had cost us “Heart of Glass”.

Cormac McCarthy’s tips on how to write a science paper.

The best self-defence video of all time.

A sea bubbling with methane has been seen in Siberia.

Herd immunity illustrated.

15 October 2019

Emergent Castles

A full-size Parthenon featuring 100,000 banned books at the site of a Nazi book-burning.

Pictures with as many pixels as there are animals still alive in their species.

Miniature castles emerging from burled wood.

An amazing archive of East German home movies (via Robert Popper).

Read More · 2 October 2019

Disaster Area

Johnson bulldozes Britain deeper into chaos. The trade remedies problem. Do Conservative MPs really think they can cope with the consequences of No Deal? Brexit’s circles of self interest. What Johnson and co. are trying to teach us with their performative prorogation.

Read More · 6 September 2019


Something grim rises from Trump’s rally.

Trump wants to be a dictator. It’s not enough just to laugh at him.

Muslims lived in America before Protestantism even existed.

Permafrost N2O levels are twelve times higher than expected.

Antarctic sea ice has fallen precipitously since 2014.

Our fight against fake news is starting to turn the tide.

Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew.

Many of the “oldest” people in the world may not be as old as we think.

Critically acclaimed horror film of the 2010s or your Ph.D. program?

It’s okay to be good and not great.

The birth of the semicolon.

The dawn of the Chinese blockbuster.

Mr Olds’ remarkable elevator.

A new clue to the origins of life.

18 August 2019

The State of It

Evidence that the Home Office should be abolished, part XVII: The Home Office have privatised the visa system and made it even less accessible. The Home Office detained a trafficking victim for five months because it insisted he was somebody else.

Evidence that the US is lost, part XVII: The youngest child separated from his family at the US border was 4 months old. America’s new concentration camp system.

How Rupert Murdoch’s empire of influence remade the world.

Canadian permafrost is thawing 70 years early. The reality of melting Greenland sea ice. Antarctica has lost as much sea ice in four years as the Arctic lost in 34. Planes are even worse for the climate than we thought. #ShowYourStripes

Finally, a sad development in a country close to me: Cocaine and meth fuel crime and chaos in Fiji.

2 July 2019


A new way to build tiny neural networks.

A guitar built out of epoxy resin.

Shredding the Game of Thrones theme.

The fight to be the real Lord Buckethead.

Russell T. Davies on Years and Years (with spoilers through episode 4). It’s the series of the year, and his best work.

Read More · 12 June 2019

Pink Mist

Music consumption has unintended economic and environmental costs.

A new kind of metasurface uses the sun to clear foggy screens.

The pink lakes of Australia.

A hundred years of climate anomalies in thirty seconds.

How much ice has Greenland lost to climate change?

The Guardian changes the language it uses about the climate.

A new piece of climate change SF by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Ian McEwan displays his ignorance of SF while promoting his own. Sad.

“Violent attacks are winning, and infections are unchecked.”

Read More · 27 May 2019


Corvid creativity.

Panoramas of dogs.

Better wind turbines.

Better planting.

Amygdala hijacking.

Read More · 4 April 2019

Desert Island Links

The fight over the legacy of Dungeons & Dragons.

How Australia’s compulsory voting saved it from Trumpism.

Former British diplomat Robert Cooper on Brexit.

Tim Berners-Lee on where the Web goes from here.

Read More · 23 March 2019

This Post Does Not Exist

Tasmania’s devil of a climb.

Forest soils need decades to recover from fires and logging.

Greenland’s ice is melting faster than scientists thought.

How millennials became the burnout generation.

The chaotic early days of Trump’s foreign policy.

The government have shown us that UK citizenship can never protect our rights.

This person does not exist.

Some good news: Ebola vaccine supplies are expected to last.

8 March 2019

Electricity and Salt

A few links for a new year.

Read More · 1 January 2019

←Weblog in 2018