22 March 2014

Sigue Sigue Sputnik: a look back to the future

Robert Rankin sparked a discussion of Sigue Sigue Sputnik on Facebook last week: I am trying to remember the name of this really dreadful UK band in the nineteen eighties, they had a couple of minor hits with a sort of techno sound, the lead singer wore a fishnet stocking mask (they looked a bit like Slipknot looked later) and I recall Janet Street Porter was a big fan for some reason. ... Read more

13 March 2014

Let’s all talk about death

End-of-life healthcare is expensive. The top 5% of end-of-life patients incur nearly half of the nation’s healthcare costs. So one of the objections some Americans raise to the idea of universal healthcare, is that we simply can’t afford to offer everyone that kind of care. The assumption is that if everyone has healthcare, everyone will want to be kept alive as long as possible. Except that’s not true. It turns out that if you actually ask people what they would like in terms of end-of-life care before they are unconscious on a drip feed or in a coma, they say that no, they don’t want to be kept alive if they’re in a coma, they don’t want chemotherapy if it’s only going to keep them alive for another 3 months and will make them feel miserable, they don’t want an extra 6 months of life confined to bed and attached to tubing and machinery. ... Read more

11 March 2014

Best pen ever

If you share my unhealthy obsession with office supplies, but you’re still using a Pilot V5/V7 or G2, then you really ought to try the Sanford uni-ball Jetstream. Experts agree, it’s the best everyday pen around. It has taken over from the uni-ball Gel RT as my pen of choice, and the Gel RT had long replaced the Pilot V5 in my affections. (Signo 207? Don’t talk to me about the Signo 207. ... Read more

10 March 2014

New site design

I’ve just deployed a brand new site design. The new theme is Hexa by Automattic. I think it’s a big improvement, given my new link-heavy content strategy™, but let me know if you notice any problems. I’m not wild about the hidden-ness of the menus and search (check out the hexagons top right), but I can probably fix that when I have some spare time.

9 March 2014

Time and energy wasting time

Once again it’s that time when we have to adjust dozens of clocks in the devices in our homes, in the pointless exercise in government stupidity known as Daylight Saving Time. A few things to remember: Farmers don’t like it, and a number of recent studies suggest that it wastes energy. Even those who believe it saves some energy, like California’s energy utilities, generally conclude that having DST all year would save more energy than changing the clocks twice a year. ... Read more

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