Playlist: August 2017

It was really difficult to decide on which song should have pride of place at the top of the post this month. I heard some absolutely fantastic tunes. In the end it had to be TrexytII’s Best of August future house mix, a 38 minute compilation which led me to discover at least three grade-A tracks.

TREXYTII – Mix #123 Best of August Future House

Continue reading…

A London morning

At the start of July I was in London for a couple of days for a conference on a research project. Naturally I booked a seat on a coach arriving stupidly early in the morning (6:15AM) and took my camera. I spent about three hours wandering a circuitous route from Victoria to the conference hall in Millbank, just behind Parliament, via Battersea on the south side of the Thames. Fortunately, it turned out to be a pretty gorgeous morning. Here are the best of the photos I took.

Continue reading…

The Hungry Empire

This post is just a quick recommendation to listen to an audiobook currently available on the BBC Radio iPlayer. It’s called The Hungry Empire, by British food historian Lizzie Collingham, and in five 15-minute episodes charts the history of the British Empire, from the 1500s to the 1960s through the lens of food. It turns out that the history of food in the Empire has some really important things to tell us about how ordinary life was lived in that period and how it has shaped much of our modern world.

Continue reading…

The Egg by Andy Weir

My philosophy of life

Andy Weir is the author of the acclaimed book and film The Martian. Like I’m sure many authors, he has written a number of short stories. Unlike most, however, he has published them openly on his website for our appreciation.

I recommend first reading the short story The Egg, which can be found on Weir’s website here, mulling over what you understand from it, then returning to read my comments.

Continue reading…

Accidental Anarchist

This is a short post recommending a BBC Four documentary  – Accidental Anarchist: Life Without Government.

I agree wholeheartedly with Carne Ross’ mistrust of the state and deeply sceptical view of the structure of international relations. Unlike him, however, I’m less hopeful about of our ability to make any meaningful changes to either.

Continue reading…

Photographic Interlude

This month’s first photo album comes courtesy of a trip home in June. Mum’s garden is in fact in even fuller bloom now, but in the late afternoon light that day I got some nice shots. Summer really is a relentlessly green month, so I’ve been more creative with the colour correction in these to try and accentuate different shades and moods.

Continue reading…

Playlist: July 2017

This month, an 8 hour 24 minute work of classical music, yet more trap / melodic dubstep / future bass, and the rediscovery of some music I used to love.

Squired & Minit – Awake

This is the first release from this duo and they will definitely be an act to watch!

Continue reading…

Hopes and fears of an AI future

In these summer months, lunchtime walks have become a near-daily event for me. Even when it isn’t sunny it’s at least warm. While I walk I tend to listen to something stimulating – a radio 4 program or podcast – but I’m fast exhausting my familiar listening material.

This week I’m giving Sinica a go. It’s a podcast broadly about China, where the hosts invite a special guest to help them cover one specific issue each episode. Yesterday lunchtime I listened to an episode from June, Kai-Fu Lee on Artificial Intelligence in China, and I include below a ~6 minute segment from the end of the episode, which is the focus of this post.

Continue reading…