Trailer for Hidden Figures, the new Theodore Melfi film

Friday, 20 January, 2017

Hidden Figures is the latest feature from Theodore Melfi, who brought us St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray, and Melissa McCarthy, in 2014.

Here he explores the story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), an African American mathematician, who, during the lates 1950s and early 1960s, calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury, the United States’ first human spaceflight program.

Based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures opens in Australian cinemas on 16 February. See the trailer here.

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The biggest threat to your marriage? Your smartphone. So phubb it

Friday, 20 January, 2017

The biggest threat to your love life, or relationship? Your smartphone. That may not be such a surprise, given the dangers the device can potentially pose elsewhere in your day-to-day life. For example, I hope no one here engages in text messaging while driving.

So pronounced is the peril to martial matters though, a neologism has been created in its honour, phubbing. A portmanteau, or marriage – if you’ll excuse the pun – between the words phone and snubbing. I see instances of phubbing all to often.

Couples on buses, trains, or at restaurants staring, transfixed, into the screens of their phones. Almost oblivious to each other, it seems. I sometimes kid myself though, and imagine they’re engaging each other on some social media channel, as they sit there.

Most know what it’s like to be phubbed: You’re in the middle of a passionate screed only to realize that your partner’s attention is elsewhere. But you’ve probably also been a perpetrator, finding yourself drifting away from a conversation as you scroll through your Facebook feed.

And with some people glancing at their phone up to one hundred and fifty times a day, or once every six and a half minutes, no wonder some relationships are in disarray. The solution, to phubbing, though maybe not a strained love, is simple, if challenging.

It’s called abstinence. Put the phone away, and focus on your significant other. There is no alternative, or app that can help with something like that. It’s all about will-power, something else smartphones are eroding, and focusing on your desire for your partner instead.

Go to it. And when I said there was no app that could help, it immediately gave rise to an idea. A real idea. App developers, and venture capitalists, who wish to hear more, should have no hesitation in contacting me forthwith.

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Steve Scott, London based Australian editorial illustrator

Friday, 20 January, 2017

Illustration by Steve Scott

Steve Scott is an Australian editorial illustrator, and animation director, living in London. More of his drawings can be found on his Behance page, while his animation work is on Vimeo.

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So yes, what exactly is GitHub?

Friday, 20 January, 2017

GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service. Git was created in 2005 by Linus Torvalds, the Finnish software engineer behind the Linux operating system. That much makes sense. If GitHub still confuses you, as it does me, this short video may help you understand it.

It’s good. It explains GitHub. But what about the links to GitHub pages, that I’m sometimes sent? This is an example of what I mean. What’s the deal there?

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Mini Metros, minimal maps of mass transit systems by Peter Dovak

Thursday, 19 January, 2017

Design by Peter Dovak

Washington, D.C. based graphic designer Peter Dovak seems to spend a bit of time on trains, so it makes sense he’d turn his hand to designing maps for mass transit systems. And Mini Metros is the elegant, minimally styled, result.

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“Designing for Change”, the 2017 Semi Permanent book

Thursday, 19 January, 2017

The 2017 Semi Permanent book is in the planning stages, and submissions are being accepted from creatives interested in having their work included. Anything goes, including photography, illustration, painting, design, 3D, sculpture, typography, and street art, so get to it.

You have until 5 February. More information about specifications, etc, can be found here.

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Hot Thoughts, oh yes, hot new music by Texas rockers, Spoon

Thursday, 19 January, 2017

You never know what to expect when you listen into the new release selections that digital music player Spotify offers, so it’s always satisfying to happen upon a gem.

Today I’m talking about Hot Thoughts, new music from Austin, Texas, based rock act Spoon. It’s also the title track of their new EP, which is due for release in March.

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Coffee futures speculators cannot have their cuppa and drink it to

Thursday, 19 January, 2017

Worth repeating. An on-going drought in Brazil, one of the world’s largest producers of coffee, is likely to see the price of our favourite caffeinated brew rise soon. That’s not good news. Unless of course you are a commodity speculator, in which case an increase in costs will suit you.

Prices for robusta, used in instant coffee, are near a four-year high in London on concern supplies will drop. That’s also boosting the aroma-rich arabica beans, with futures posting the biggest advance of 2017 among components of the Bloomberg Commodity Index. Last week, hedge funds lifted their bets on a rally for the first time in two months.

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The Trolley Problem, illustrated and animated

Thursday, 19 January, 2017

British philosopher Philippa Foot’s ethical dilemma, the Trolley Problem, presents us with quite the conundrum.

A runaway train threatens the lives of five people further along a rail line. For whatever reason, the five are unaware the train is approaching, or they’re unable to get themselves off the line.

You, however, could switch the train onto another line, sparing the five. However, a sole person is on this other line. Do you sacrifice one person for the sake of the five? Or not?

While the dilemma may seem like an academic exercise, it has real life ramifications. The advent of driver-less cars is a case in point. In an emergency situation, an autonomous vehicle may find itself needing to choose between the apparent lesser of two unpleasant outcomes.

I wonder what will happen there?

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Trailer for Dunkirk, the new film from Christopher Nolan

Wednesday, 18 January, 2017

The second trailer for Dunkirk, the new feature from US film director Christopher Nolan. A story set around the evacuation of Allied forces from France in 1940. Due for release in July. Nolan’s work is consistently top notch. I’m looking forward to this one.

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