Weeks Turn into Months

Russia’s genocide handbook. Russia’s genocidal identity. The words that lead to mass murder. The novel that mapped out Putin’s war plan.

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30 April 2022 · Events

After the Volcano

Three months after the eruption, Tonga is slowly rebuilding [archived] as it struggles with aid waste.

Geologists are building an account of the devastating eruption: how it unleashed a once-in-a-century shockwave [archived], worldwide tsunamis, and a disturbance in space like a solar storm. Why was it so explosive?

A New Zealand researcher has snorkelled over the volcano before the robots take over.

30 April 2022 · Events

Plastic Love

How Youtube’s algorithm turned an obscure 1980s Japanese song into a hit. Mariya Takeuchi, the singer behind it.

Microplastics have been found in human blood.

Inelegant variations.

Forever is not the definition of success.

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30 April 2022 · Weblog

Reinfection Misconceptions

Britain still believes the three big myths about Omicron.

Covid restrictions have now eased in Scotland (as of 18 April), and at least two-thirds of people seem to have abandoned masking in the shops. Two of our household caught it again in March, one pretty badly, so we had another few weeks of disruption as a result. I had another faintest-of-faint test result, but didn’t come down with it this time. Is this going to be the story every three months?

The grief of a million US Covid deaths isn’t going away.

The first US cases may date back to mid-December 2019.

30 April 2022 · Events

Good Friday

Gorse at Chesters Hill Fort, 15 April 2022

When the kids were little we used to visit North Berwick a couple of times a year, but for some reason hadn’t been in eight years. (Possibly because finding a parking space there on a warm dry day is almost impossible.) I took them out there on Good Friday for a beach picnic of hot cross buns and some soft serve, for old times’ sake. On the way back we spontaneously stopped at Chesters Hill Fort to admire its earthen ramparts, cows and gorse. Click through for more photos.

19 April 2022 · Journal

Gartmore House

A few days ago we visited Gartmore House in Stirling for our son’s performance, which I’ve since discovered was the home of Robert Cunninghame Graham from 1883 until 1900. I took a few photos of the grounds while we were there… click through to see more.

Gartmore House, 8 April 2022

11 April 2022 · Journal

The Horror

Reports on the weekend of the bodies of mutilated children left behind by retreating Russian troops in Bucha, just outside Kyiv, confirmed the worst fears of recent weeks.

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7 April 2022 · Events


At the end of August I managed a post on my favourite music of the year to date, intending to round it out in December. Before Christmas I was scouring the usual lists of the best albums of 2021 to see what I’d missed, which led me to at least three that would make my own: Arlo Parks’s summery Collapsed in Sunbeams, Halsey’s Reznor-produced If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, and the Glaswegian techno of Chvrches, who had never quite clicked for me before, with Screen Violence.

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1 April 2022 · Music

Stirring Up Dust

Sometimes when a musician dies unexpectedly, an Elliott Smith or a David Bowie, I end up bingeing their back-catalogue and becoming a bigger fan than when they were alive. It feels as if the war in Ukraine has had the same effect, teaching me so much about the place that I find myself wishing I could visit places that are now gone. It’s been eye-opening to learn about its archaeological urban sites as old as Mesopotamia, its Korean community who have lived there since the 1960s, and other features of its pre-war life and culture.

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1 April 2022 · Events

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