Archive for the ‘Zeitgeist’ Category

PayPal gets political

PayPal has just changed the appearance of the pound symbol on UK accounts, to make it look much more like a Euro symbol. How horribly and needlessly political…

Nine days after Leave

Nine days on from the vote to Leave, I thought I’d try to sum up what has happened that actually matters: * The Vote. In the largest vote in British history, the people voted to leave the EU. The Leave results were in middle-class as well as working-class areas, deeply rural as well as urban […]

A film for today: “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”

If you want a good film to watch this Sunday, it’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007). I’ve just seen it again, and it’s an utterly perfect fit with this moment in history.

The Leave vote in the West Midlands: an infographic

Here’s my quick re-tabulation of the BBC local results, to show only the West Midlands. It demonstrates the ‘Leave’ vote surging across rural and metropolitan areas alike, in what was the biggest popular vote in British history. Of course, some are already trying to re-frame the narrative on the vote — feebly squeaking about voters […]

“O brave new world…”

“O brave new world, that has such people in it!” — Shakespeare, The Tempest.

We’re leaving the EU

Congratulations to every one of the much-mooted “… people who have not spoken yet”. You’ve spoken at last, and have voted for the generations who are coming. It’s 4.45am and the UK is leaving the EU.


A Coventry man has started a very promising service for remote recruitment and networking of bona fide African talent… “SkilledAfricans, a pan-continental social network that boasts 750,000 members, aims to […] “increase knowledge, and prove knowledge,” says CEO and co-founder Dr. Nicolas Bussard. The website and app — which launches this week — are designed […]

Breakthrough Starshot

The $100m Breakthrough Starshot plans to send light-sail powered space probes to Alpha Centauri, at 20% the speed of light. This major private project was announced yesterday by an all-star panel, including Stephen Hawking, Freeman Dyson, Mark Zuckerberg and others. The final cost seems likely to be around $12bn. Cosmos magazine covers the technical details, […]

Pet Shop Boys – Super

Super, there’s a new album from The Pet Shop Boys. Just released, and Super. Yes, the title is just… Super. 1. Happiness. 2. The Pop Kids. 3. Twenty-something. 4. Groovy. 5. The Dictator Decides. 6. Pazzo! 7. Inner Sanctum. 8. Undertow. 9. Sad Robot World. 10. Say It To Me. 11. Burn. 12. Into Thin […]

UK banks – no longer such pals with PayPal?

Are the UK banks no longer co-operating with PayPal like they once did? The message on transferring some PayPal balance to my bank is now: “Please allow 0-3 working days for processing.”, whereas previously the message was about how the transferred money might take up to three hours to appear in the bank account.

23rd June: better off out

So the EU Referendum date has been set, Thursday 23rd June, and the race is on. June is still a long way away, and I might change my mind by then. But, based on all that I’ve read so far, I think we’d be better off out of the EU. And that’s especially true for […]

Edge Question 2016 – in Kindle .mobi format

The annual Edge Question compilation is out today, asking 194 leading thinkers and do-ers: “What do you consider the most interesting recent [scientific] news, and what makes it important?” The combined answers run to the length of two novels. There’s no official ebook version, and Instapaper is going to choke on 133,000 words. So, as […]

Cat pubs

Cat pubs, hopefully soon to become as a much of a trend as cat cafes… “Bristol’s Bag o’ Nails pub has over a dozen cats roaming around the establishment and they are all happy to join you for a convivial pint.” Perhaps one could make a temporary ‘cat pub’, if a group all brought their […]

The online shop, or not

Do you ever fill up your online shopping cart with goodies, only to then abandon the site without buying them? You’re not alone. While the people of the West Midlands are the most prolific gift-givers in the UK at 2015 (an average of 17 Xmas presents, given to more than eight family & friends), we’re […]

World Map of Stereotypes

Amazingly detailed and complete, a new World Map of Stereotypes…

Course in the sight reading of Spanish?

Why are there no adult courses in “sight reading of Spanish” and other similar-to-English written languages? Not in speaking the language, not in writing it, but just in being able to sight read it — to the level where one doesn’t need to puzzle over the surreal Google-isms of Google Translate. Such a course would […]

Search across all national and local newspapers in the UK

A handy new Google CSE search engine for all national and local newspapers in the UK. Though setting up RSS keyword alerts for Google News is probably a lot less work, if you’re regularly tracking a set of topics.

Latte artist-of-the-day, delivered by robots

It seems that the robot coffee-froth-art baristas are on their way, though not quite yet in kitchens on the High St. Once the bots are proven in the chain coffee shops and have a central database of latte art designs to choose from, could chains then have a curated “artist of the day”? With the […]

Drone Races

The new, underground sport of first-person drone racing. Don’t forget to take the air-sickness tablets, guys…

Amateur Creativity

A two-day free symposium on Amateur Creativity is to be held at the School of Theatre, University of Warwick (on the outskirts of Coventry) on 17th – 18th September 2015. It… “aims to challenge perceptions of amateur creativity and contribute to debates about the cultural significance of the amateur”.