Month: January 2010

  • Buying Books: The Perils of Nabokov

    To the tune of: April March – Poor Lola You are browsing the second-hand books in a small town’s famous covered market, waiting for the other reader to finish whatever the other reader is finishing, when you happen across a book. It is amongst the Books You Normally Read and The Books You Like The Cover […]

  • A Timely History of Briefs.

    Today, he announces to much fanfare, is the 65th anniversary of the creation of the briefs,those underpants of the first order. They were first sold by Coopers Inc of Chicago (now Jockey International) on January 19th 1935, designed by apparel engineer Arthur Kniebler as a replacement for the jockstrap, hence their name of jock-brief. (Briefs are known as jockeys to Americans, presumably because it reduced a man’s wotsits until they were midget-sized.) In England the traditional design meant they came be to be called Y-fronts – due to the unusual apeture at the front for extracting the wotsit.

  • Veni, Vidi, Validity – Blue Monday and Valid Arguments

    (This post to the tune of…) Professional statistics-mangler Professor Cliff Arnell is conquering the news again today, for his yearly profile-raiser about this being the most depressing day of the year. As Ben Goldacre has pointed out, he was paid to produce this research by Porter Novelli, a PR firm, who pitched the idea and date […]

  • A Week In Politics

    Order! Order! Following the Parliamentary Education Services release of their edutainment flash-game ‘MP For A Week‘, I’ve written a bit of analysis over at Nicholas Lovell’s GamesBrief of the title, covering its accuracy, education value and entertainment value. The axe that the commons authorities want to grind is razor sharp – this game makes the […]

  • On meetings of minds.

    At the start, chance happenings – two good brains happening on each other, meeting by renown and word of mouth. Nothing else, no writing. Then, with writing, papyrus passing from palaces of the kings as edicts, the only minds that were known. Then writing widens, concepts are allowed and others than the kings have raw […]