There’s building work occurring next door, they’ve dug a deep hole which we were hoping might be for a swimming pool but is probably just a basement.

Here’s this weeks big dup of links, hastily assembled. I’m keeping record of where I’ve been on the net. That’s my excuse this week.








  • Diet of the ancient people of Rapa Nui shows adaptation and resilience not ‘ecocide’
    “Research by an international team, led by the University of Bristol, has shed new light on the fate of the ancient people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). It had been proposed that vast forests of giant palm trees were cut down by the people of Rapa Nui leaving them among other things without canoes.”
  • Vice chair of Trump’s voter fraud commission wants to change federal law to add new requirements for voting, email shows
    The day after Donald Trump was elected president, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, now the vice-chair of Trump’s commission on voter fraud, told Trump’s transition team of a proposal to change federal law to allow stricter requirements on voter registration. Kobach’s team was “putting together information on legislation drafts for submission to Congress early in the administration,” Kobach wrote to transition team member Gene Hamilton in an email. “I have some already started regarding amendments to the NVRA [National Voter Registration Act] to make clear that proof of citizenship requirements are permitted (based on my ongoing litigation with the ACLU over this).”
  • Mighty T. rex ‘walked rather than sprinted’ – BBC News
    “The size and weight of a T. rex would have prevented it from moving faster than 20km/h (12mph), research suggests. University of Manchester scientists used a new computer simulation to assess the speed of the massive biped.”
  • Behind the Velvet Ropes of Facebook’s Private Groups –
    “In recent days, I’ve gotten to know beekeepers in Rhode Island, dental hygienists in New Jersey and Wiccans in Tennessee. I’ve seen gardeners swapping fertilizer advice, flight attendants complaining about annoying passengers and fishermen arguing about which lures are best for catching muskies. I now know that there are hundreds of people who love creating memes about “The Sopranos,” and thousands who believe, with total conviction, that the Earth is flat.”
  • The iron law of online abuse | Idiot Joy Showland
    “You could call it something like Cohen’s Law – named, of course, for Nick Cohen, the seething thing in the middle pages of the Observer – or the Iron Law of Online Abuse. It goes something like this: every single pundit or journalist who goes on a moral crusade against left-wing social-media crudery will have, very recently, done the exact same things they’re complaining against. They will have used insults, personal attacks, expletives, epithets, or unpleasant sexual suggestions; they will have engaged in bullying or spiteful little squabbles; they will have indulged in some form of racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia; they will have encouraged political repression, violence, or censorship; they will have threatened to contact someone’s editor or boss or the police or otherwise have conspired to ruin their life. Chances are that they won’t have been very good at it, but they will have been mean; they will have used invective. This is always – always – true.”
  • Chechnya: Names of 27 men slaughtered and buried in bloody night revealed as gay purge continues · PinkNews
    The names of 27 people slaughtered in a single night by Chechen authorities have been published.
  • Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker announced as 13th Doctor | Television
    “She is the first woman to take on the role, playing the 13th Doctor in the BBC1 drama. Whittaker, who rose to fame in ITV’s crime drama Broadchurch, had been touted as one of the contenders. Debate has been whirring over who would play the Doctor ever since Peter Capaldi announced in January that he was leaving the programme.”
  • Stressful experiences can age brain ‘by years’, Alzheimer’s experts hear | Society | The Guardian
    “Stressful life experiences can age the brain by several years, new research suggests. Experts led by a team from Wisconsin University’s school of medicine and public health in the US found that even one major stressful event early in life may have an impact on later brain health.”
  • 142 Behind-The-Scenes Photos Reveal Blade Runner’s Miniature World 
    “A massive gallery of behind-the-scenes Blade Runner slides has been uploaded to the internet, revealing a teeny, tiny world of space blimps and flying cars, all crafted with special care and beautiful attention to detail.”
  • James Baldwin, The Art of Fiction No. 78
    “Baldwin writes in longhand (“you achieve shorter declarative sentences”) on the standard legal pad, although a large, old Adler electric sits on one end of his desk—a rectangular oak plank with rattan chairs on either side. It is piled with writing utensils and drafts of several works-in-progress: a novel, a play, a scenario, essays on the Atlanta child murders, these last compiled in The Evidence of Things Not Seen. His most recent work includes The Devil Finds Work, an attack on racial bias and fear in the film industry, and a novel, Just Above My Head, which draws on his experiences as a civil-rights activist in the 1960s.”
  • How virtual reality is magical, ridiculous, and not figured out yet
    “First of two parter from Nat
  • Song to Song to Wait, What? — SUSANNAH BRESLIN
    “In the last few years, I’ve seen several Terrence Malick movies: “The Tree of Life,” “To the Wonder,” “Knight of Cups.” In order to enjoy them, one must be open-minded or at least in a Terrence Malick kind of mood. “
  • 7 Correctives on Migration
    “Correcting the skewed and myopic vision of migration which often informs public opinion often seems a hopeless task. When the refusal to grant asylum to several hundred unaccompanied children caught up in Calais is framed as a reaffirmation of national sovereignty, it is tempting to concede defeat. When French authorities decide that a bulldozer is the most effective tool for managing migration, it optimism is difficult. When Germany and Greece agree to slow the already tortuous pace of family reunification, keeping desperate families apart for even longer, it seems futile to continue.”
  • Top 10 Skills With Huge Demand in Future | Born Realist
    “Being competent is very important for standing out in the crowd. Having a set of emotional and intelligence skills along with technical skills is equally important to survive in the future. As digital advancements are taking over the world and some skills expire with time, research suggests that technical skills will be very useful for the emerging industries. In this article we discuss the skills categories required by people who are most likely to start a new job or recruit new employees.”
  • Ideas for Work
    17 Ideas for the modern world of work
  • Vera Marmelo on Keeping Your Day Job
    “It might also be a cultural thing here in Portugal. We are used to seeing our parents working the same job for years and years and years. We are used to this idea of buying yourself a house, and buying yourself a car, and all of that. And even though I’m not really that interested in the possession of things, I’m still interested in that idea of not having to be always thinking about money. I’m surrounded with amazing, creative friends from different areas that are always struggling and worried about money. Often they spend all of their time working bad jobs just to keep themselves going and end up exhausting themselves, unable to do anything else. The struggle to make money can actually interfere with their ability to make art.”
  • Graphic novelist Jillian Tamaki: ‘Our brains are being rewired to exist online’
    “In one of Jillian Tamaki’s comic-book stories, entitled 1. Jenny, a “mirror Facebook” appears on the internet. At first, it looks like it is merely a duplicate of the familiar social network – until small changes begin to appear on everyone’s profiles. Like most internet phenomena, it is “all anyone could talk about for two weeks”, considered “playful at best, mischievous at worst”. But as Jenny watches the mysterious mirror-Jenny’s life diverge from her own in tiny ways – growing her hair long, watching Top Gun – she grows increasingly obsessed with the life that could be hers; wishing, all the same, that “she had followed through with her threats to quit Facebook. (Threatening to whom?)””
  • Sarah Kinlaw on Trying Something Every Single Day
    “I have a practice called “just try.” That’s my practice. I literally just try. For as serious as I said earlier that I am, and that I take feelings seriously, I take people seriously, I take all of this seriously, I am in a deep practice of trying to go easy on myself when it comes to creative output and literally I have a theory of working every day. I think that this is an important part of a lot of things. Anything mind and body oriented, I’ve noticed that if you do it every day, it gets easier. It somehow becomes less traumatic in a way. It creates this feeling.”
  • What are Fermented Foods?
    “So what are fermented foods? I get this question all the time and I am going to provide the answer in three different posts. This one will help you understand what are fermented foods in general and then I will follow up with a post explaining in detail with recipes on how to make your own fermented foods: sauerkraut, other fermented vegetables and condiments and kefir.”
  • Enchanting René Magritte Experience Goes Inside Surreal Paintings
    “Iconic Dadaist, surrealist, and conceptual artist René Magritte died 50 years ago this August, but his work is reborn in a new immersive experience called Magritte VR. As part of festivities commemorating the Belgian artist’s life and work, the Magritte Estate commissioned an immersive world to be constructed from high resolution scans of his most famous paintings, such as The Treachery of Images, Golconda, and The False Mirror. A sculpture imitating the “pipe” in The Treachery of Images stands nearby. Ever the prankster, Magritte would likely appreciate that visitors must literally enter a giant bowler hat in the seaside Belgian town of Knokke to view the immersive experience.”
  • The Victory Motel – Lives Revolve Around One Another in Owen D. Pomery’s Bleak and Pensive Collection of Shorts
    “”To all who wander lost and take sick solace in the plight of others.” Those ominous words open Owen D. Pomery’s latest comic The Victory Motel – debuting this weekend at the inaugural South London Comic and Zine Fair – and seem to rather neatly encapsulate the weary existentialism of so much of his work in one cynically profound soundbite. Pomery began his route into comics through self-publishing before becoming one of the staple components of the Avery Hill Publishing creative machine via The Megatherium Club, Reads and his acclaimed Between the Billboards.”
  • David Lynch on meditation in the NewStatesman: Heaven is a place on earth
    “What is Transcendental Meditation? What is transcending? Where do you go when you transcend? And what good is it to transcend? To help answer these questions, I’ve done a little drawing and you can refer to it from time to time. You will notice a line at the top of the drawing representing the surface of life. We live on the surface and see surfaces everywhere. This right side represents matter and the left side will represent mind. Mind and matter.”
  • Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers
    “We’ve talked so much about the reader, but you can’t forget that the opening line is important to the writer, too. To the person who’s actually boots-on-the-ground. Because it’s not just the reader’s way in, it’s the writer’s way in also, and you’ve got to find a doorway that fits us both.”
  • Sugar is poison. My heart attack has finally opened my eyes to the truth | Giles Fraser: Loose canon
    “In 1996, 1.4 million people in the UK had diabetes. Since then the figure has trebled to over 4 million.”
  • What Could Have Been
    “Labour’s performance in June’s general election stunned many, not least Britain’s political pundits. In the weeks and months leading up to it they had confidently predicted a historic demise for the party, a chastening at the hands of the Tories which would leave Labour out of power for a generation. Instead, the campaign has taken Britain closer to a left-led government than any time in its history.”
  • A Disney Animator Shares The Moment He Finally Understood CG Animation
    “A group of friends and I were chatting the other day about our “AH HA” moments. A shot where something clicked. I can clearly point out a few of these in my career, but this one comes to mind first. I was STRUGGLING with CG, big time. In fact before getting to Disney I had decided to give it up and try my hand at storyboarding. Then I was accepted into Talent Development as a CG Animator and decided to give it one last shot. I spent 6 months in Tal Dev and there were some clicks but I still had a hard time using the graph and a lot of the other tools. Here’s an embarrassing fact…I went through all of “Frozen” not knowing how to switch between IK
  • Three surprising ways to battle anxiety, backed up by science
    “Anxiety can present as fear, restlessness, an inability to focus at work or school, finding it hard to fall or stay asleep at night, or getting easily irritated. In social situations, it can make it hard to talk to others; you might feel like you’re constantly being judged, or have symptoms such as stuttering, sweating, blushing or an upset stomach. It can take the form of a panic attack, or it can be present all the time.”
  • Resignation letter from Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi to Yanis Varoufakis and DiEM25
    “Hannah Arendt once said that as long as one German died at Auschwitz because of her or his opposition to Nazism, the Germans are not responsible collectively for Nazism. Your letter to us, renouncing the horrors perpetrated in Europe’s name and resigning from our Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) in protest, offers Europeans the same kind of possibility of redemption that Arendt’s ‘single-German-dying-in-Auschwitz’ offered the people of Germany.”
  • Now that, is how you write a Love Letter
  • Bromance blossoms as Jeremy Corbyn meets EU’s chief Brexit negotiator in Brussels | The Independent
    Labour leader gives Michel Barnier an Arsenal shirt and receives a French nationalised railway poster in return
  • Mosul – Worse than Srebrenica – Craig Murray
    “Here in South Eastern Turkey I have been watching a great deal of news coverage, on a satellite system showing news channels of many regional countries, of the major massacre of Sunni Muslims in Mosul which is taking place as you read this. The video of a couple of people being thrown off a cliff is something I wish I had not watched; it is on the Independent website here. Human Rights Watch have confirmed the location in Mosul. This video had become so viral on social media that some Western mainstream media felt obliged to note its existence. But I have been watching, on other national channels, TV images still more disturbing. These include images of mass shootings. Most chilling of all have been much less graphically violent pictures, of shambling columns of men –and boys – being marched off. It is fairly plain that these are residents of Mosul rather than ISIL fighters. The images reminded me forcefully of Srebrenica.”
  • What Could Have Been
    Labour’s performance in June’s general election stunned many, not least Britain’s political pundits. In the weeks and months leading up to it they had confidently predicted a historic demise for the party, a chastening at the hands of the Tories which would leave Labour out of power for a generation. Instead, the campaign has taken Britain closer to a left-led government than any time in its history.


I’m All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart by The Five Bars

“Bongolia” by Incredible Bongo Band

“B-A-B-Y” by Carla Thomas

“Dirt And Grime” by Fathers Children

“You And Me” by Penny & The Quarters

All About Me – Syd

Go Off – M.I.A.

How Long (Betcha’ Got A Chick On The Side)” by The Pointer Sisters

Odeon – Disco boy – Disco baby

Funky – The Chambers Brothers

“Deadcrush” by alt-J

“Blue Flowers” by Dr. Octagon

(As always playlist regularly updated at the Listening Booth)


Rabbit, Run by John Updike.

A Clash Of Kings by George R R Martin

Split edited by Katie West (purchase)

Dubliners by James Joyce

Drawn and Quarterly: 25 Years of Contemporary Cartooning

The Essays of Montaigne Book One

Becoming A Writer by Dorothea Brande

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