"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Monday, September 25, 2006

Branson Pickle

Further to our earlier discussion, the new scientist blog's got something about Branson's largesse.

Friday, September 22, 2006

War on Bathtubs

Just read this in an old paper from last week - quite a good John Allen Paulos-esque piece by Gavyn Davies on over-reacting to terrorism.

At last, a genuinely useful keyboard

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Economist comes out in favour of action on global warming.

This is a change of direction for them - they used to take a "let the free market sort it out when it happens" line.

The heat is on

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Just finished this excellent book by Richard Layard, a Professor at LSE and expert on the economics of happiness. Interesting findings about how British/US society has got so much richer in the last fifty years but no happier. A lot of this is to do with rising expectations and status anxiety. His social and personal remedies include: less television, better clinical drugs, more taxation, less inequality, less geographic mobility, more membership organisations, restrictions on advertising, meditation...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Life Hacking

The Lifehacker website aims to help us become more productive. Just what I need, so I had a look, and ended up installing a Greasemonkey script on Firefox that blocks access to Fitzrovian, personal webmail etc. during office hours (of course, I did all of this during office hours, too). Trouble is, you can turn off greasemonkey with one click (e.g. at lunchtime, as I write this), but it discourages me from idle surfing. Can anyone tell me how to rewrite the script so that it blocks access all morning, then lets me in over lunch, then blocks again in the afternoon?

Of course, all of this might just be a new form of procrastination. Apparently O'Reilly or someone commissioned them to do a book on life hacking, but then cancelled it because they kept missing their deadlines...

Monday, September 04, 2006

What were the causes of 9/11?

This article in Prospect gives the 'top 10 most plausible explanations' for 9/11. It does largely let America off the hook, and the author works for the mainly centre/right New America Foundation think tank, but makes some interesting points all the same.