The psychology of human misjudgment.

Life’s biggest regrets.

What if you could do it all over?

Your brain doesn’t work the way you think it does.

Where is the dividing line between you and the world?


Revenge bedtime procrastination.

Be a schedule builder, not a to-do list maker.

How to make the most of your resolutions.

The joys of being an absolute beginner.

Why you should talk to yourself in the third person.

Acceptance is key to introverts’ well-being.

The psychology of returning to “normal”.

Dinnertime is always now.

23 March 2021 · Weblog

Fragments of Energy

Mathematicians discover the perfect way to multiply. Mathematics shows how to ensure evolution.

Fragments of energy may be the fundamental building blocks of the universe. A teenager explains quantum mechanics.

The mystery of the Antikythera mechanism.

The ancient city of Hegra makes its public debut. The oldest city in the Americas is under invasion.

Penthouses and poor doors.

National priorities. The nothing women know all too well.

Dead souls.

Read the standing orders. Read them and understand them. (Mefi.)

Read more…

22 March 2021 · Weblog


Your age in CO2. Up 28% in my lifetime. It only went up 14% between 1850 and the year I was born.

Our warmest decade.

Climate change is flooding the Arctic Ocean with light.

Hundreds of Australian species face extinction after last year’s fires.

Hormone-altering chemicals threaten human procreation.

We’re tearing apart the tapestry of life.

The scale of the threat is difficult to grasp.

Read more…

20 March 2021 · Environment

The Benefit of Hindsight

Nobody could have predicted the insurrection.

Nobody could have predicted the insurrection.

Nobody could have predicted the insurrection.

Nobody could have predicted the insurrection.

Among the insurrectionists that nobody could have predicted.

A Night at the Garden.

The American Abyss.

Russia cultivated Trump for 40 years.

I see no choice but to resign from this Death Star as it begins to explode.

20 March 2021 · Politics

Mr Bun the Baker

Brexit is coming apart at the seams. Everything that they promised is coming unstitched.

It clawed at the seam where I felt connected to the country I called home.

The Conservatives have ripped us from our only possible home.

How did a man with no shame come to haunt our times?

I was completely and utterly horrified by what I felt was almost a coup.

We had to be complicit in the fallacy that these things could just work.

When something has gone wrong and you need to distract the audience, you send in the clowns.

Title from the greatest of all Brexit tweets.

20 March 2021 · Politics

A Year On

Five pandemic mistakes we keep repeating.

The best and worst places to be in the pandemic. How your country compares.

How Iceland hammered Covid with science. The world’s unlikeliest pandemic success story.

The hunt for Europe’s earliest, crucial Covid-19 deaths.

The pandemic heroes who gave us the gifts of time and information.

Britain’s outbreak through the eyes of a New Zealand nurse.

Michael Rosen on what it feels like to nearly die.

Their noses paid the bills. Then Covid took their sense of smell.

I used to be a stand-up comedian.

Read more…

17 March 2021 · Events


It’s months since I’ve been outside Edinburgh, and a year since we’ve been outside Scotland. The furthest I’ve travelled since last February is forty-five miles to Ruby Bay in Fife, with the kids during the October school holidays. Here are a few belated photos of it.

Ruby Bay

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16 March 2021 · Travel


A year ago today was my last day in the office before the first lockdown, with our university telling us all to work from home a week before the prime minister did. For almost three months we’ve been in Scotland’s second lockdown, which is only now starting to ease: older primary school kids (including ours) went back to physical school full-time yesterday, and younger high school kids (including ours) have started going back a day a week until Easter.

Read more…

16 March 2021 · Journal

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