Visualising the evolution of pop music from 1956

Thursday, 5 May, 2016

A look, and listen, at how pop music evolved… based on top ten hits as charted by Billboard, from 1956 through to today.

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Is it time to make Penny Farthing racing an Olympic sport?

Wednesday, 4 May, 2016

Penny Farthing races at the Herne Hill Velodrome, in the south east of London, in 1928. I lived for a short time in Tulse Hill, the suburb neighbouring Herne Hill, but was unaware of its presence, or that it was one of the oldest track cycling venues in the world.

But how about those bikes, hey? Look at them go. It’s time to introduce Penny Farthing racing as an Olympic sport, I think.

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A latter day obituary for William Shakespeare

Wednesday, 27 April, 2016

Better late than never I guess… The New York Times obituary for William Shakespeare, as if it were written at the time of his death though.

Over the course of three decades, Mr. Shakespeare rose from working-class obscurity in Warwickshire to become one of England’s foremost playwrights and poets – acclaimed for his penetrating insights into the human character, his eloquent, flexible and infinitely expressive verse; and his readiness to burst the bounds of the English language (drawing on a vocabulary of more than 25,000 words).

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The trailer for The Founder, the story of Ray Kroc and McDonald’s

Tuesday, 26 April, 2016

We all know that brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald founded the famous hamburger restaurant that bears their surname, but it was Ray Kroc, an Illinois business man, who oversaw the concept’s expansion across the US, and then overseas, and it is his story that is the subject of John Lee Hancock’s latest film, The Founder.

This could make for interesting viewing, if the trailer is anything to go by. What is it that they say… you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs?

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We could never run out of history, there’s too much of it

Friday, 22 April, 2016

Histography, an interactive timeline that spans the history of the universe, from the point of view of certain of the inhabitants of Earth that is, from the Big Bang, straight on through.

Note: you require either the Chrome, or Safari, web browsers to view this page.

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An animation of the Titanic sinking in real time

Wednesday, 20 April, 2016

This is a curious production, an animation running for two hours and forty minutes, that depicts the sinking of the Titanic in real time, starting from when it struck the iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.

I didn’t look at the whole clip, but the detail is impressive though, and harrowing. You can read more about the project here.

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The story of the number zero is far from a story about nothing

Tuesday, 19 April, 2016

Of all the numbers, in their infinite abundance, it could be argued that zero has the most interesting story.

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If photos could move, the stories they could tell…

Friday, 15 April, 2016

Now here’s a way to bring the days of old into the present… animate photos from times bygone. The date on the “time machine” says we’re visiting 1931, though it somehow seems earlier.

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The Levi’s 501 documentary

Thursday, 7 April, 2016

If you’re a fan of Levi’s jeans, particularly the iconic 501 cut, you’ll enjoy this short documentary that explores their history, design, and production. I have a few pairs of Levi’s in the wardrobe, though not 501s. They’re the wrong cut for me apparently.

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Galileo, just another ordinary mathematics professor then?

Tuesday, 5 April, 2016

A re-evaluation of the work of Renaissance era astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei, seems to suggest his achievements, and reputation, may be overrated.

Could that really be the case?

In 1609, Galileo Galilei was a 45-year-old, largely unknown, north Italian professor of mathematics, a profession with a low social status, well on his way to total obscurity. He had produced his brilliant experimental demonstrations of the laws of falling bodies years earlier but had not published them. He was known among his circle of friends as a purveyor of good wines and a castigating, razor-sharp wit. Then Galileo stumbled upon the recently invented telescope and began the astronomical observations that would make him famous. Realising that he had lucked onto the scientific equivalent of winning the lottery, he rushed into print in early 1610.

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