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

What Has Been Lost

The Tongan resort destroyed for the third time.

The con that tricked dozens into working for a fake design agency.

The a-ha moment that drove electric car sales in Norway.

Using an ecological model to estimate the number of lost mediaeval manuscripts.

Britain, things could actually be good.

10 March 2022

Cheese Myths

A cheeky kea steals a GoPro and films its escape.

Pop-up memes.


AI colorizer. I tried it on some old black-and-white photos and got mixed results, but a few were convincing.

How did life emerge under a dimmer Sun?

Analysing past societal collapse using big data. A mega-drought 4,200 years ago toppled empires.

Ten books for thinking clearly about statistics. We need a standard unit of measure for risk.

Toto’s “Africa” played on instruments in Majora’s Mask.

The New York Times hasn’t made Wordle’s words harder.

The fourteen biggest cheese myths.

Three weeks of disruption in Ottawa come to an end, but what comes next? They brought their own cranes with them. Their Facebook activity was an endless rabbit hole of astroturfed groups and pages. Two brought a full package of firestarter bricks into a residential lobby. Interference from Trump pointed to convoy campaign manipulation.

22 February 2022

High Rotation

The secret life of a super-recogniser.

Clues about the evolution of writing.

Homebrewed silicon.

The problem with NFTs.

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2 February 2022

Blood Tests

Could microclots help explain long Covid?

A virus likely triggers almost all multiple sclerosis, and mRNA vaccines could prevent it.

Thingu in HD. The blood test scene from Frozen.

Teenage sarcasm is a sign of intelligence.

Brexiters now worry about the judgment of history. The Brexit mug.

Cassetteboy on Boris Johnson’s latest woes. Led By Donkeys on same. What happened to non-Boris-Johnsons who broke lockdown rules. Most have no idea about the set-up of 10 Downing St. Let’s assume he’s going. What then?

Britain’s Defence Secretary on Russia and Ukraine.

The Federal President of Germany (PDF in English) on The Conference: “Bureaucratic and political structures can only resist their misuse as long as there is a stable, democratic constitution that keeps an equally stable government from slipping over the edge into the ideological abyss.”

A story of Easter Island.

What world do we want to live in after Covid?

Always famous.

23 January 2022

New Year, Old Links

Happy new year (we hope). The theme this year is chains, as befitting this restricted time, from a set of photos of a giant rusty chain that I took in Shetland and hadn’t found a use for yet. Tune in every month for a new lump of iron.

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9 January 2022