If we want to do something well, we cannot do it all

Comforting Thought: If We Want to Do Something Well – We Cannot Do It All

"Opt out of the relentless pursuit of personal optimisation of our lives. Opt-out of picking and choosing a new partner when we get bored of the person we have been with for many years simply because we are bored. Opt out of trying to become a social media influencer with a million friends on Instagram…

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

16 Self-Promotion Tips for Artists and Musicians on Twitter

This post was inspired by a music producer whom I greatly admire. On Twitter he was asking how to get more engagement with people. I thought it a good moment to give out my tips and ideas, based on my own experience in what works. 1. Find your audience across multiple disciplines Your audience is…

Ancient Word of the Day: Hibernal

Ancient word of the day: Flukra

As the southern hemisphere turns now towards the colder months we are all finding comfort into our nests and getting cosy for the winter. In New Zealand and the southern parts of Australia we are experiencing snow in the alpine regions. So it seems appropriate now to talk about the many ancient words for snow.…

People make things to express their need (or fear) of connection | Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: Within crisis is opportunity for growth, compassion and love

This crisis that everyone is in right now poses a range of unique opportunities for us as the dominant species on earth. This is the first time in human history that we as a sentient and conscious species have a three opportunities for growth as a collective: Limitless capabilities for (virtual) communication across time and…

Book Review: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan

Book Review: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan

Book Review: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan There have been a swathe of books lately on how to overcome shyness. This one is my favourite. This memoir recounts the adventures of Quiet American, Jessica Pan as she undertakes a year of living as an extrovert in London. It’s a…

Book Review: The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Book Review: The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Ant-lover and Professor Emeritus of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, Edward O. Wilson has been arguing for the unity and connectedness of all human knowledge for many decades. In his latest book The Origins of Creativity, Wilson singles out creativity as humanity’s most important legacy which has allowed us to evolve and dominate other organisms on…

What do the longest living people in the world have in common?

Ancient Word of the Day: Rema

Rema (Shetland Scots) The mirror-calm surface of the sea on a calm day. A body of water with a surface as smooth as cream. Comes from the Scots word "reyme", meaning "cream"). Rjómalogn (Icelandic) Cream-calm, used to denote  profoundly tranquil weather or sea. Arafin (Welsh) Calm or slow weather in Welsh. blikkstille./ blekkstille (Norwegian) A…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Teens in Brooklyn (1980's)

List of the week: Adult words I used as a teenager to make myself sound more intelligent

As a teenager I was incredibly precocious at times, spouting big words to make myself feel older and more worldly in high school. Later on, as my vocabulary developed at University, I dropped these intellectual bombs into conversations to make myself feel better in the company of people more middle class and posh than I was.

Te Ao Maori and the aesthetics of cosiness

An indepth exploration of the aesthetics of cosiness

There’s a lovely subreddit I recently found called Cosy Places, which calls for people to submit their log cabins, hideaways and cosy loungerooms. This is a veritable treasure trove of different ideas for cosiness. Someone even parsed the photo content in the subreddit and came up with the recipe and criteria that make up a…

Scotland's Momentous Decision on September 18th

Travel: A Survival Guide to Edinburgh Slang and Scots Words

If you ever go to Edinburgh and find yourself in one of its countless excellent pubs, you may want to strike up a conversation with one of the grave looking, old guys at the bar drinking pints. If so, you will want to be able to hold a conversation while also not making a fanny…

Ten Great 'Old Man' Insults

Top Ten Greatest Old Man Insults

Put the kettle on and start eating some water crackers with lard on them. Just to get in the mood for this one... Nincompoop: Is said to come from the Latin legal and medical term Non Compos Mentis meaning 'not of sound mind'. This evolved into nincompoop meaning a stupid or dumb person. Flibbertigibbet: A flighty…

Polski jedzenie/ Polish food: My om nom nom nominations

Eight words in Polish that have no English equivalent

You may have noticed that I'm on a bit of a Polish love-spree right now. If you're still here and reading about it, that means you haven't tired of my meanderings into everything to do with Polish culture, food and art. Because of the PB I've decided to learn the language. After all, the PB…

Retro TV Channels from the 70's, 80's and 90's are on the internet for all posterity

Retro TV Channels from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are on the internet for all posterity

Want something a little bit different for your next party? Here's  a novel idea for entertaining guests. A modern browser version of vintage TV channels featuring soaps, ads, comedy, drama, music and even news from particular decades! Find it here The only requirement is that you use a PC for this app rather than a touchscreen…

Book Review: The Domesticated Brain by Bruce Hood

Book Review: The Domesticated Brain by Bruce Hood

This is a riveting read from one of the leading lights of modern psychology, Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol. The book’s main premise is that 20,000 years ago our brains were 10% larger than what they are today. And that the reason for this is primarily the influence of social practices, culture and…

A quaint internet road map from 1996

Tech: A quaint visual voyage through the internet in 1996

Found in the David Rumsey Map Collection online, this poster entitled Ínternet Road Map from the magazine PC Computing dates from the quaint year of internet history, 1996. Back when I was a teen and when 'surfing the web' was something only geeks and introverts did, and therefore which I did with fervour using some…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Techno Collective

Postconscious: a web experiment

POSTCONSCIOUS is a web experiment by Andrew McCarthy that extracts random posts from Twitter, and reads them aloud using Speech Cloud text-to-speech. The app uses a cute and kitsch reverb effects and a retro typeface called Space Mono. What results is a strange echo-chamber of vaguely familiar and yet alien sounding voices coming out of…

<3 The Internet: Radio Garden is the audible heartbeat of towns, cities and nations

Designed by Studio Puckey in collaboration with Moniker. Radio Garden was developed in coordinator with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Radio Garden is one of the internet's most ingenious and surprising apps. It brings together the voices, music and the rhythms of different bustling cities and quiet villages together. All of this is suddenly accessible at the…

Matchbloc: Czechoslovakian matchbox art from the mid 20th century

Matchbloc: Czechoslovakian matchbox art from the mid 20th century

The design and aesthetic of Eastern Europe was really beautiful. Product  labels and film posters of the mid-20th Century, like these fruit box labels of Australia are optimistic, bright and speak volumes about the artistry of the people who made them. The modernist and colourful aesthetic is incredibly timeless. Subject matter for posters and product labels…

Mysterious Rongorongo Glyphs from Easter Island's Rapa Nui Tribe

Mysterious Rongorongo Glyphs from Easter Island

A collection of 24 sacred wooden objects from Easter Island bear Rongorongo inscriptions, a system of glyphs that was discovered in the 19th Century and is still a mystery to historians. Numerous attempts at decyphering the proto-writing have been unsuccessful. These pieces of wood (a lot of it driftwood) are weathered, burned and damaged and…

Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet http://wp.me/p41CQf-8h

The quirky origins of Australia’s native animal names

Although I thought that the cockatoo was an Aboriginal word, it's not! Its a relic of the first Europeans visiting the spice isles of Maluku (now Malaysia) in the 15th Century. They had birds there akin to cassowaries and cockatoos. Other well-known Aboriginal-sounding names are in fact from abroad as well. ‘Bandicoot’: an Indian name…

A pep talk for babes who are on fire

A pep talk for babes who are on fire

This pep talk is brought to you by the PEP TALK GENERATOR. You are a ball of fire. You are a flaming, feisty, bold ball of fire. You may feel like you get extinguished a lot, but you are set ablaze more times than you are drowned. You are smart, you are unique, you are…

Map Porn: The Most Beautiful Geological Maps on Earth

A pep talk for babes who feel small

This pep talk is brought to you by the PEP TALK GENERATOR and written by a wise woman named Celeste. Don't keep yourself too hidden. Embrace feeling small — let it open up the world before you, then watch it change with your touch. From the way you move oceans to the breaths you unknowingly take. The…

Hipster menu generator: get ready for culinary darts of displeasure

Hipster menu generator: get ready for culinary darts of displeasure

I'm sure you're familiar with the trend of indecipherable menu items that's sprung up all over the world recently, right? it's also known as hipsterising a menu. Suddenly there's a whole new world of pretentious sounding menu items that you've never seen in all of your years prior, living on our planet. Who knew that…

Maira Kalman. Seeing the Profound in the Ordinary World http://wp.me/p41CQf-2p

A Pep talk for babes with anxiety

This is a pep talk for babes with anxiety. Close your eyes and sit with that feeling. Research shows that anxiety takes 20 minutes to pass when approached with mindfulness. This is not going to last forever. Recognize that your anxiety is part of who you are, but not all of who you are. Discomfort…

Interactive History Like You've Never Seen It Before https://wp.me/p41CQf-Imj

Interactive History Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Histography is a visually stunning interactive online timeline that spans across 14 billion years of history, from the Big Bang to 2015. Taking data from Wikipedia, the site updates automatically and orders events using an algorithm. It's like Wikipedia just with more engaging and interactive audiovisual specs and beautiful typography. The interface allows for users…