Fearless polymaths: irrelevance and creativity

The worst thing that ever happened to universities was when someone had the bright idea of creating disciplines, instead of allowing students to explore a range of subjects. Education is supposed to broaden the mind. Now it narrows it.

‘Motivated, creative and passionate’ – the words that kill your CV

  How can we break out of the business “buzzword bingo” trap? When in doubt, some of George Orwell’s rules on clarity and simplicity in writing are worth remembering: never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print; never use a long word where a short […]

Ai Weiwei shuts Danish show in protest at asylum seeker law

  “He had been watching the news during the night and wanted to react. I didn’t try to dissuade him. This is not so much about which country does more or less for refugees, it is the symbolic importance of the new law. This [kind of thing] is spreading over Europe, and we in Denmark […]

Creative industries contributed £84bn to UK economy in 2014

A report from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport published yesterday says the Creative Industries grew twice as fast as the rest of the British economy. The Guardian reports: One of the areas of strongest growth was in film, TV, video, radio and photography, which rose almost 14%, second only to architecture and graphic […]

Maynards and Bassetts unite to form new “adult candy” brand

Maynards and Bassets, two venerable British brands of sweets, have merged into ‘Maynards Bassets’ – not the kind of mouthful that gets you salivating. The new packets look good, but that name and logo (or ‘plaque’ as it’s known) looks a bit heavy to me. Not as heavy as the bizarre language used to describe […]

BBC Record Review 23 January 2016 playlist

Here’s the playlist for BBC Radio 3’s Record Review of 23 January 2016. At the time of broadcast, only four recordings were available in Apple Music although most of the artists have extensive presence there, which suggests a lot of what’s missing will arrive eventually – particularly if the recording hasn’t actually been released yet. […]

The Cinematic Portrayal of Graphic Designers in Film & Television

Pretty telling. I think Colin from Eastenders (also known as ‘gay Colin’ because back in those days, having a gay character on TV was still somewhat cutting edge) was the first ‘graphic designer’ I’d seen represented on TV. It seemed quite cool. He had grey walls in his flat, black ash furniture everywhere, was noticeably […]

This pot won’t let you kill your houseplants

After criticising the LG fridge that opens for you, I’m going to ignore the contradiction of my delight in this new gadget by suggesting it might have excellent applications in agriculture. Or something. I’m a plant killer. I need help. Take my money. On top of watering your plant, the pot does its best to […]

This LG fridge opens for you automatically – all life’s problems solved

Watch this on The Scene. Great news from LG. They’ve finally solved one of life’s biggest problems: LG’s new fridge has two big features. The first is the door itself, which now has what LG calls its Knock-On feature, which allows you to simply knock on the door to reveal what’s inside. Put more simply: […]