London selfies glummer, less tilted and more bespectacled, study finds

Londoners take more glum-faced selfies than residents of other world cities, according to a data project. Analysis of images uploaded publicly on to Instagram in September found that the London style of selfie-taking was one of a restrained upright pose. Read the full story here

A massive disconnect: Hang on to those smartphones

Have the people who write this “old man yells at cloud” material ever actually used a smartphone? Sure, they can often be used to play pointless games like Flappy Bird or Crossy Road or Shooty Skies or LinkedIn, but they can also be used to — are you sitting down? — connect to people. Yes, […]

Digital images can’t be trusted, says war photographer Don McCullin

Don McCullin, one of the world’s finest photographers of war and disaster, said the digital revolution meant viewers could no longer trust the truthfulness of images they see. He said photography had been “hijacked” because “the digital cameras are extraordinary. I have a dark room and I still process film but digital photography can be […]

Roald Dahl’s greatest philosophical quotes ever

Everything we ever needed to know about how to live our lives is most likely to be found in a Roald Dahl book. Not only did Dahl create some of children’s literature’s most unforgettable characters in tales that transcend the generations, what is perhaps most captivating about his work is that, beneath the wonderfully eccentric […]

Museum ‘Bans’ Cameras And Asks Guests To Sketch Art Instead

the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has come up with a masterpiece of a campaign called #Startdrawing that encourages guests to sketch rather than snap pictures of its works of art. The Rijksmuseum hasn’t outright banned the use of cameras or mobile phones on its premises, but it has strongly discouraged it by displaying an image of […]

‘Great snakes!’ Tintin expert appointed UK’s first comics professor

Tintin expert Benoit Peeters has been appointed as the UK’s first ever comics professor, in a move which Lancaster University said marked its “full academic commitment” to comic book art. Peeters, author of a biography of Tintin’s creator Hergé and other titles about the quiffed Belgian adventurer, will take up his three-year post as visiting […]

Old spines – why we love the smell of secondhand books

Paperback advertises itself as “sweet and lovely, with just a touch of the mustiness of aged paper”, which sounds nice, I guess, though I wonder how it would go down socially: “Wow, you smell lovely, sort of like the Encyclopedia Britannicas in my grandad’s cellar.” Which is not to say that people should always give […]

Engineering lifesaving care for premature refugee babies

“Designers are problem solvers”, says James Roberts, a graduate of Loughborough University’s product design degree. Given an open brief for his final year project, Roberts was looking for a problem to solve. The 2013 Panorama documentary Saving Syria’s Children, which highlighted he plight of premature refugee babies dying from lack of access to incubators, provided […]