One of my favourite blogs is back

Spoiler alert! There will be a bad word in this posting, and it will appear right after this sentence. Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest is back. This is one of my favourite blogs on the web, because of the bloody-mindedness of its sole blogger, Freewheeler. The blog is about the quality and quantity … Read More

Take On Me a-capella version by UMD Generics

A couple of years ago I posted a few seconds of an a-capella version of Aha’s eighties monster hit Take on Me AS SUNG BY PICKLES, and … you know? Youtube just keeps on giving. Turns out this version was not made by pickles in jars, but by a group called UMD Generics, and their … Read More

Writers and their typewriters

The Guardian has a nice (but short) gallery of an extinct cliché, photos of writers behind their typewriters. Via Eamelje. Photo of JG Ballard by David Montgomery / Getty Images.

On why braille is dying

Braille is not necessarily dying. But if you take the threats to print books and you sort of make a caricature of them, those are the threats to Braille books. Creating Braille books is extremely labor-intensive. They’re incredibly bulky. For instance, the Harry Potter series comes in 59 volumes, and they’re all almost a foot … Read More

Rules that have been basic tenets of society for centuries

So there I was at the 24-hour grocery story getting whatever sketchy garbage it is that I eat, and only one checkout was open. So there was kind of a line, and as I’m on deck to pay for my stuff I notice there is this woman just pleading with the cashier. She is trying … Read More

Why Icelanders became bankers, or: a machine for turning cod into PhDs.

What went on before: fishing highlights the tragedy of the commons. Since there is no incentive for fishermen to limit the amount of fish they catch, they tend to catch too many. The supply does not have the time to restock, and the price of fish is low because everybody is selling fish. The classic … Read More

Those darn internets!

Yes, there is a guy who is trying to grow all known beard types on his face, and has managed to collect 25 of the 35 variants so far.

Also blogging elsewhere

Although my posting frequency here never has been a thing to brag about much, lately it has dropped below the “once a week” that I unconsciously saw as a minimum. This is not because of the dreaded blogging fatigue, but because I’ve joined a couple of other blogs—which I must have written about once or … Read More

Story tropes

This is too important to just leave to my browser’s bookmarks. I just found this absolutely marvelous online dictionary of narrative mechanisms called Television Tropes & Idioms. Despite the name it is not just about TV, but about story telling in all mediums, including games. And every definition I’ve encountered so far is absolutely spot … Read More

The news is back

As you may know, I blog at a couple of other places too. One of them is 24 Oranges: off-beat news about the Netherlands in English. Somewhere around February, we hit a dry spot in the news. Nothing would come our way. I’d Skype Orangemaster, my co-conspirator, and ask: “And?” And she’d say: “Nothing.” And … Read More