Sign of the times 1: Forget the year of the Black Death or the Spanish Flu, medieval historian Michael McCormick believes the year 536 AD was the worst to be alive when a mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness for eighteen months.
The sound of silence: Take a look at this animated GIF. Do you ‘hear’ a thudding noise as the skipping pylon hits the ground even though the GIF is silent? If so, you are demonstrating the McGurk effect. Read more ›››
I was browsing the Amazon website to see what odd mix of items it thinks I should consider spending my money on. This included Italian shoes and premium quality headphones for some reason, but the thing that caught my eye was the Amazon Dash.
These little gizmos are branded to a particular product and the idea is that when you notice that you’ve run out of that product you simply press the button on the Dash and it will order a resupply through some technological voodoo. Read more ›››
I’m getting worried now: It seems to be a be a tradition that the New Yaer should be welcomed in with apocalyptic visions. I mentioned last week that both the US CDC and Amazon were preparing for a zombie apocalypse last year. Now comes news that students at Leicester University estimate that human kind would be wiped out within 100 days with fewer than 300 survivors outnumbered by millions of zombies. Read more ›››
A new toy turned up on my doorstep yesterday in the shape of one of those Amazon Dot gizmo. It came free with my subscription to The Telegraph which I took out over a month ago and I’d almost forgotten about it.
For the uninitiated, the Dot is the little brother (or sister) of the larger Amazon Echo and does all sorts of things from giving weather forecasts, answering trivia questions, playing music and reading audio books to controlling your lights and central heating. Read more ›››
Apart from my Sunday Round-up, I’ve been pretty quiet for the last few days for the very basic reason that I couldn’t get at my WordPress dashboard.
It was all very weird. All was fine on Thursday but when I woke on Friday, there it was gone even though Shooting Parrots was still up. Instead I got a mysterious Error 500 message which as error messages go is so generic as to be useless. Read more ›››
I don’t normally have much sympathy for the likes of Facebook, but I did think they were in a ‘damned if they do, damned if they don’t’ position last week when there was that fuss about them banning The Terror of War.
Their algorithm for picking up on and prohibiting the publishing of photos containing child nudity couldn’t tell the difference between the perverse and this iconic image of children running from a napalm attack in Vietnam because one of them happened to be naked. Read more ›››
I was reading about the disharmony aboard the Harmony of the Seas, the ship that is supposed to be the last word in cruising that has turned into a bit of a PR disaster, demonstrating that building site holiday resorts aren’t just confined to dry land.