Have bike in a bag, will travel

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014

While the Kit Bike remains a concept at the moment, a bicycle, consisting of just twenty one pieces, that can be dismantled and packed away into one relatively small carry bag, may become a boon for travellers who want to move about at their own pace.

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If we had to pay everything’s true cost could we afford anything?

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014

Here’s something to think about the next time you buy a hamburger. Or a cheeseburger. Or, come to that, absolutely anything else for that matter. Does the price you pay bear any relation to the actual cost of producing said commodity, considering the number of hidden – and not necessarily financial – costs?

What you pay for a cheeseburger is the price, but price isn’t cost. It isn’t the cost to the producers or the marketers and it certainly isn’t the sum of the costs to the world; those true costs are much greater than the price.

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There’s more physics to playing a guitar than meets the eye

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014

Dr David Robert Grimes, an Oxford University based physicist, makes playing the guitar seem more like a science experiment, than anything else:

Dr Grimes derived equations describing how string bending, vibrato and whammy bars change the pitch of a note. He found that the properties of the strings had a big effect on the change in pitch – in particular the Young’s modulus (a measure of how much the string stretches under force) and how thick the strings are. He also worked out how easy hammer-ons and pull-offs are, depending on the height of the guitar strings above the finger board. Finally, he confirmed the equation for string bends experimentally, measuring the frequency of the sound produced for strings bent through different angles on a guitar.

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Hit songs that ended up fading into obscurity

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014

Not all of the songs that reach the top of the music charts are destined to become classics, or end up even being remembered. In fact some of these tracks may find themselves vying for the title of most obscure of all time

Surprise. With a few exceptions, songs popular during the adolescence of people still alive today are much more popular than songs and racist comedy routines recorded during the reign of Queen Victoria.

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Words and Pictures

Tuesday, 29 July, 2014

2 stars
Words and Pictures scene

Don’t go thinking the local high school staffroom is devoid of workplace rivalry, far from it, as Words and Pictures, trailer, the latest feature from Fred Schepisi (“Last Orders”, “The Eye of the Storm”), goes to show, as tensions between Dina (Juliette Binoche), the new art teacher, and Jack (Clive Owen), her English counterpart, start to escalate.

The antagonism, pointless as it is, however amuses students of their Vancouver prep school, while giving Dina, who is afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, and Jack, who struggles with alcohol addiction, an opportunity to see passed their personal issues, conditions that have also hampered the creative, and academic, output of both in recent years.

It becomes apparent very early on where “Words and Pictures” is going, and while it is enjoyable for a time to watch the sparring teachers trying to go one up on each other, it quickly becomes repetitive. Skipping this class is probably a better option, and in this instance it is unlikely that anyone will send you to the detention room for doing so.

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The forgotten rule of “Fight Club”, you do not talk about a sequel

Tuesday, 29 July, 2014

A sequel of sorts is on the way for one of 1999’s most intriguing movies, Fight Club. But the follow-up, being written by US novelist Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote the book that the film was based on, will be released only as a graphic novel. Well, for now anyway.

The book will be set ten years after the events of the first book, with its unnamed protagonist married to Marla Singer and father to a nine-year-old son. Fight Club, says Palahniuk, was “such a tirade against fathers – everything I had thought my father had not done combined with everything my peers were griping about their fathers. Now to find myself at the age that my father was when I was trashing him made me want to revisit it from the father’s perspective and see if things were any better and why it repeats like that.”

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Missed your favourite band play live? You could try the Music Vault

Tuesday, 29 July, 2014

If you can’t get to the gig, it could be the gig can come to you… the Music Vault contains more than thirteen thousand video clips of live performances, including concerts in their entirety. So, where to start?

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All work and no play makes you far worse than just dull

Tuesday, 29 July, 2014

A degree of playfulness, as opposed to playing the fool, and we are talking about in adults here by the way, is far from a bad thing, in fact being possessed of a… spirited nature may have health and well being benefits.

What Proyer and the other researchers who have recently moved to fill that gap are discovering is that playfulness, as a personality trait, is not only complex but consequential. People who exhibit high levels of playfulness – those who are predisposed to being spontaneous, outgoing, creative, fun-loving, and lighthearted – appear to be better at coping with stress, more likely to report leading active lifestyles, and more likely to succeed academically. According to a group of researchers at Pennsylvania State University, playfulness makes both men and women more attractive to the opposite sex.

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The mixed media artworks of Liz Brizzi

Monday, 28 July, 2014

Artwork by Liz Brizzi

Los Angeles based artist Liz Brizzi creates a captivating range of mixed media works.

Via Design is Kinky.

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Have hipsters and the cashless society put paid to pick pockets?

Monday, 28 July, 2014

Pickpockets may soon be a thing of the past, as changes in fashion, that sees men wearing tighter fitting trousers, and a reduced reliance on cash, that results in people carrying less money generally, says Wilfred Rose, a former New York City wallet lifter, who spent the best part of forty years pilfering the pockets of its residents.

Then there was the time, he claims, that he decided to show off after spotting an off-duty sergeant, a renowned chaser of pickpockets, on his way to Yankee Stadium. Mr. Rose sidled up to him in the crowded train, plucked a roll of $300 from the man’s pocket and slipped $30 or $35 of his own money, in smaller denominations, into the sergeant’s pants. When the sergeant recognized Mr. Rose one stop later, he patted his pocket, reassured to feel money there. (In an interview, the sergeant, now retired, denied ever being bested by Mr. Rose.) But that was a long time ago. These are lean years for pickpockets. People carry more credit cards and less cash; men wear suits less, and tightfitting pants more. The young thieves of today have turned to high-tech methods, like skimming A.T.M.s.

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