A gloriously bonkers invention
Say sayonara to boring old weather forecasts! This latest Japanese invention recreates tomorrow’s weather in a box. In your living room! I especially like the caption at 1.37. Apparently, the manufacture of this is due to be crowd-funded some time this year. Check out the Tempescope website for more details, and hope that the final version […]
The strangest optical illusion of all
This is called – with variations – the Motion After Effect. The reason that it happens is a wonderfully complex interaction between your brain and your eyes. It was first observed by Aristotle, but was not fully described until the 19th century, and not understood until the 20th. Stare at the spinning spiral for about thirty […]
Magic or maths?
This is an old puzzle re-done by a clever magician called Greg Rostami. I have watched it three times now and I have NO IDEA how it works. It’s not a trick (I don’t think) – that is, there’s nothing “secret” going on. But it’s got me completely baffled. (Best watched on full-screen).
How long to solve this puzzle?
What is the number in the space that the car is obscuring? This was part of test at a Hong Kong elementary school. The children were expected to solved it in 20 seconds. It’s one of those puzzles that – apparently – children solve much quicker than adults. Loads of smart-alecks on the web are boasting that […]
Writing a comedy about comedy writing
Writing comedy is hard. I’ve tried it. So to try to squeeze comedy out of the plight of writers writing a sitcom would seem to be a case of writerly navel-gazing at its worst. Thank heavens, then, for Episodes (BBC-2) which, having reached its fourth series, seems finally to be getting the attention it […]
The Audience and its audience
My mind wanders easily in the theatre. I think it’s the fakery of the whole thing, the spare sets, the imagined actors waiting n the wings, mouthing their lines, the sound of footsteps on wood when it’s supposed to be gravel… everything, really. And then I start to drift off. Mainly I’m wondering what I’ll […]
Magical and fabulous: There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
God, I hate so-called “magic realism”. In books, at any rate. I don’t get along with Gabriel Garcia Marques, or Isabel Allende, or any of that lot. (For some reason, I don’t mind it in films. I’m thinking of The Green Mile, which I like a lot, but there are plenty of others. I’m not sure why […]