Storm in a Teacup

My Australian family, on both sides, came from staunch tea-drinking traditions: Mum’s father was English and her mother umpteenth-generation Australian, and Dad’s mother was Manx and his father third-generation British colonial from Fiji (where Dad was born, and lived too until his teens). Tea-drinking places, all. Whenever our families would gather, endless cups and pots would be brewed throughout the afternoon as we sat and talked, and pretty early on I was drinking it too.

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25 January 2024 · 1 Comment · Food

Right Twice a Day

GQ recently ran a piece on why “true watch heads” never set the time on their watches, which smacks more than a little of rich privilege, is surely in no way an accurate reflection of all or most watch wearers or collectors, and is frankly a bit rage-baity. Just posting a link to it could be considered trolling… and yet I did exactly that, to Metafilter yesterday (though I couldn’t bring myself to include the headline’s “true”, and had to resist the urge to insert “some”; it was still a hell of a hook). I was fascinated by the idea that some people treat watches as nothing but jewellery, and thought that others might be too. And I had a feeling that the article could prompt my favourite kind of Mefi thread, the kind that blossoms from a small seed into a field of flowers, full of collective memories and lore—which it did.

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14 January 2024 · Memory

Why Not Space

Why not Mars. Why not anywhere else. (Both via Mefi.)

Generative AI has a visual plagiarism problem. Artists have been saying this for eighteen months, but it’s striking to see it laid so bare.

The most mysterious cells in our bodies aren’t ours (archived).

Why “doing your own research” so often backfires (archived, via Mefi).

Lena”, from Valuable Humans in Transit and Other Stories.

The Asian world order. Actual European discoveries.

13 January 2024 · Weblog

There Can Be Only One

The mystery of the medieval fighting snails.

Modern humans emerged from several groups, not one.

A Highlander II: The Quickening RPG. The BBC actually broadcast it at Christmas the year it came out—I watched it while staying with relatives. Never again.

The villain who plans to demolish the toy shop in a Hallmark Christmas movie sets the record straight.

Switzerland’s forgotten curse (archived).

Honeypot ant honey is effective against golden staph.

Jack Horner, of “building a dinosaur from a chickenfame, asks: Where are the baby dinosaurs? I’ll have to recalibrate my triceratopsometer.

9 January 2024 · Weblog

Cold Feeling

Frost on the attic windows, 26 December 2023
Frost on the attic windows, 26 December 2023

Time to break the ice on a new year, with a sidebar picture of Boxing Day frost on the general site pages and one of a chilly Vindolanda from last Saturday afternoon on this month’s. Here’s to warmer days.

9 January 2024 · Site News

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