Toast of the Toun

Colonial America is a myth.

Voter ID in Britain is “far worse than any US state”. How the U.K. became one of the poorest countries in Western Europe.

After the Halloween horror in Korea, here are ten tips for surviving a crowd crush.

How Ukraine won the battle for Kyiv. There’s a harrowing 90-minute documentary on Mariupol: The People’s Story on iPlayer at the moment. It’s devastating to see the human impact, and to have the story of its destruction laid out all at once.

Doctors using AI catch breast cancer more often than either does alone.

The icy village where you must remove your appendix.

I binged on Fern Brady’s stuff on iPlayer last year, before she became the breakout star of the latest series of Taskmaster. Fern Brady Goes Viral has sadly dropped out of view for the time being, but there are excerpts on YouTube. Here’s a podcast featuring Brady on autistic meltdowns, understanding emotions and being the black sheep.

All 125 times a professor said “beef” in one lecture.

Crumbs. “A prankster spun a web of deception about the inventor of the electric toaster … one Scottish primary school organised a day of activities in his memory” [via Mefi]. Our kids have been at Scottish primary schools during the timespan of this hoax. This is all too close to home (appliances).

20 November 2022

Moai on Fire

Treat your to-do list like a river.

The king of reloading.

The man who doodled his abode.

The most visited website in every country.

The end of the DSLR.

The endlessness of Spotify.

Growing old online.

Sorry, we wrecked the economy.

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24 October 2022

Smooth Criminals

How to nurture a personal library.

How catchy, disposable songs came to dominate the music industry.

How do good conversations work?

How bout dat moonwalk?

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2 October 2022

Eat a Dinner, Mattress Wayne

When “Z” meant joy.

Wish you weren’t here.

Britain from afar. The party’s over. Liz Truss will make Johnson seem a political genius. We have to stop normalising the absurd.

The Queue is a triumph of Britishness. A rolling thread about the Queue. An interim solution to the Queue. We queue in this country.

9/11 in 3:44.

The tipping points the world is failing to heed.

How the CIA destroyed the socialist internet.

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17 September 2022

Humus Remains

Statistical analysis has laid to rest the Covid-19 lab-leak theory.

A reevaluation of key passages of the New Testament with profound implications.

Life as the deepfake Tom Cruise.

Insane in the Great Plains.

Humus remains.

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16 August 2022

Talk to the Handfish

Song of the Summer. A World on Fire.

Hot-weather tips from Cambodia, India, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

A new ozone hole has been discovered over the tropics.

The amateur investors ruined by the crypto crash.

The YouTube scuba divers solving cold cases.

How Scotland is reinventing its canals. We’ve lived a short walk from one for twenty years. Impressive to think that it was so radically improved only a year or two before we moved here.

I grew up a short drive from these and never suspected.

Consider the octopus.

Three seconds of joy.

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22 July 2022

Mammoth Finds

Months after a burst of underwater explosions created an immense crater, many Tongans are still without internet access, while Australia and New Zealand are seeing dazzling sunsets.

How Tonga thwarted a new libertarian nation.

A mammoth find in Mexico City. A baby mammoth found in the Klondike.

Godzilla meowing.

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30 June 2022

Risotto Fascista

How Sam Ryder ditched his ego and found his joy.

How Mike Oldfield made “Moonlight Shadow”.

Werner Herzog’s twilight world.

The oral history of Better Call Saul.

Infinite images and the latent camera.

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27 May 2022

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

History Lessons

The PowerPoint slide that killed seven people (Mefi).

How Janet Sobel was written out of art history.

Dismayed to learn that the late William Hurt was another wrong ’un? Philosophy might help.

Eighteenth-century paintings of mushroom clouds.

What David Graeber left behind.

Why commercials are coming to the biggest streamers. We’ve reached peak subscription.

Charlie Brooker’s How TV Ruined Your Life, episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

How to become remarkably successful. Worth a shot.

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26 March 2022