Writing

Beating Jet lag

Pilita Clark on avoiding epic jet lag.

Finally, forget all the guff about resetting your body clock with light, melatonin or whatnot and concentrate on doing it with food. Eat as little as possible at the airport and on the plane, then tuck in at the first meal time in your destination, preferably breakfast at least 14 or so hours later...There is even research to back it up, though admittedly it was done on mice.

Long been a proponent of breaking fast in a heroic fashion.

Lingua Francas

Again, Michael Skapinker in the FT writing about Marcon's ambitions to make French the lingua franca:

He sees a coming demographic dividend for French. Seventy per cent of Africans are under 30, and the continent’s population growth will be explosive. The number who, for colonial reasons, speak French will balloon.

In colonial times, the French were desperate to impose their language on their empire. As one historian of the French in Africa, quoted in Nkonko Kamwangamalu’s book Language Policy and Economics: The Language Question in Africa, said of France’s colonial policy: “It has always been a cardinal belief of Frenchmen that there is only one valid culture in the world; that it is their duty to lead all men towards it.” In French colonial schools, children learnt French.

As opposed to the British who used language as method of disenfranchisement 😟

The British, for the most part, could not have cared less what language colonial subjects spoke. Educational provision in the British empire was fitful. When imperial civil servants did offer schooling in English, they often concluded that it was a bad idea because it gave the colonised ambitions above their station.

In his book English and the Discourses of Colonialism, Alastair Pennycook recounts an inspector of schools in colonial Malaya saying: “As pupils who acquire a knowledge of English are invariably unwilling to earn their livelihood by manual labour, the immediate result of affording an English education to any large number of Malays would be the creation of a discontented class.”

English - The winners curse

Michael Skapinker on the UKs challenge of being a monolingual society:

One essay describes EU meetings where everyone speaks English without anyone bothering with the interpreters. “But when a British or Irish participant takes the floor, you can often notice that some participants suddenly grab their earphones.”

The problem is native speakers’ over-use of figurative phrases. The essay describes a television interviewer baffling then-French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron in a discussion about the rise of the far-right by asking him “So how would you buck that trend?”

I think I'm very guilty of speaking in idioms.

2017AD by DJ Cable

Just in time: DJ Cable drops his annual 🔥.

Treasure trove found in Westminster Abbey attics

From The Guardian:

His wonderful things include buttons and coins, the wrapper from a 17th-century pack of tobacco from a shop just outside the abbey walls, scraps of animal bone from workmen’s lunches, a medieval leather knife sheath, a 17th-century playing card, one patten – a 15th-century wooden and leather overshoe – and Rodwell’s favourite, invitations to the coronation of Queen Anne in 1702.

Asterix and the Linguist

Oliver Kamm on the delicate translations of Asterix to English. I genuinely had no idea jokes don't translate across languages. Surely dwarf shortage would?

In Asterix and the Goths, an early adventure of the indomitable Gauls, a couple of Roman legionaries stumble across two of their colleagues gagged and bound. Mistaking them for the outlaws they’re hunting, one legionary exclaims: “Look! A fat one and a little one! Visigoths!!!” To which his comrade replies: “Visi Goths? Why the past tense?”

Politics in the Music Hall

I possibly had a romantic version in my head of Music Halls being quite base. Sounds like it was much more orchestrated and nefarious than that, by Fern Riddell.

From the 1870s onwards the music halls were manipulated by an increasing level of middle-class control, which sort to neutralize any form of working class political discontent. They were used as a conduit for propaganda, and instead of speaking for the people the halls moulded their political temperament through increased patriotic fervour and a focus on domestic life.

Elmattic takes a well earned bow

Pretty sad to hear this, Elmattics mixtapes are pretty much a staple on LDNiNK playlists:

Thing is, I kinda feel like I did all I set out to do here. It's getting old. There's not really another level to take this to. Once you do the Old and New Testaments in mixtape form, where you gonna go with it? The odes to graffiti, They Live We Sleep--that's as tight as it gets.

His mixes are still up to download. Grab 'em before they turn to internet dust. Elmattic, you brought the best fire, a true Prometheus of Gotham.

Jan 2018

English - The winners curse

Lingua Francas

Beating Jet lag

Dec 2017

Elmattic takes a well earned bow

Politics in the Music Hall

Asterix and the Linguist

Treasure trove found in Westminster Abbey attics

2017AD by DJ Cable

Nov 2017

Wallpaper on the new Apple campus

World cup peregruzka

Data visualisation

Aug 2017

Destructive selection bias

Pantone marks a colour to honour Prince

Jul 2017

Urban planning done right

The making of the Maybot

Postscript resources

The Cohen Slayer

Innovative block about to break ground on Finchley Road

Jun 2017

Clay tombs

May 2017

Ghost ships in Japan

Oil rigs

Culture wars

Apr 2017

You should be watching The Expanse

Black Gull Books

Going back to the polls

Mar 2017

How to block auto-play videos in Safari

Shots fired by Nick Cohen

Nov 2016

Divorcing Facebook

Sep 2016

NMCN - Sign up!

Aug 2016

Installing Swift on CentOS 7.1

Apr 2016

Homebrew, Robofab, Fontlab

The real game of thrones

Timbuktu's great save

Mar 2016

Street markets in Soho in 1956

Outback palms - Aboriginal myth meets DNA analysis

Sep 2015

Freehand klaxon!

NMCN

Rotten at the top

Custom Macro Location for Fontlab

Fuck in a word

Rome! In maps

Jul 2015

Adobe

Killing the cloud

Apple Music Predications

Grand Armée Mass Grave Found

A Heath Robinson Last.fm

Jun 2015

String and Hip Hop Klaxon

Jerdon's Courser

With thanks

Feb 2015

A South American language is dying out because the last two speakers won't talk to each other

Caspian origins for European language

Dec 2014

Macchu Re-Release

Feb 2014

Winter is coming

Aug 2013

Ice Cream Truck Soundclash

Jun 2013

Dropbox and BBEdit

Jan 2011

Soviet era electronics

Poker Face vs String Quartet

This is creepy

This is cool

Dec 2010

Colour of the year

Nov 2010

Mood Swings, Stig of the Dump

Oct 2010

Verb-T, Kashmere and Ghost

Brightons finest

Jul 2010

Aura Journal

Digitonal release

Jun 2010

Fontographer restored