Friday Links: 21st July 2017


  • Radiolab’s first episode about the history and potential future of gene-editing tool CRISPR is probably my favourite podcast ever. The sequel isn’t quite as engaging (probably because I’m now familiar with the topic), but a great listen nevertheless
  • I think The Rubin Report might now make my list of regular listens. Eric Weinstein is always worth your time
  • The other Weinstein brother, Bret, was on Joe Rogan’s podcast recently. A university professor, Bret was recently accused of being racist in ridiculous circumstances. Rogan is barely to reply sometimes, staggered as he is by some of Weinstein’s stories


  • The 1992 US Olympic basketball team, aka The Dream Team, is/are widely considered the greatest basketball team ever. And now every one of their games are fully, legally available.

Friday Links: 14th July 2017

After attending the Frank Quitely comic art exhibition a few weeks ago, I’ve been right back into my comics. Lately, I’ve been reading:

And in non-comics reading, I’ve made a start on Gomorrah. And my next read might be about Chaos Magic – Condensed Chaos


I got a damaged copy of the book, The Science of Interstellar for £1. I also added to my order:

Friday Links: 7th July 2017



  • Still working through this long but illuminating guide to how Bitcoin works
  • Prodigy from Mobb Deep died while I was holiday, so I only found out about it recently. Time to revisit their great album, Hell on Earth.


Film Thoughts: Alien Covenant

Spoilers ahead

…Hey, Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a spoiler?

Here’s a formula for you: David + Walter + flute = Boredom

A wannabee profound moment that was actually dull and embarrassing. I’ve read that the innuendo was written as deliberately comical. But whether the cringe was purposeful or not, that moment was jarring in how tonally off it was from the rest of the film. Most films need moments of levity. But not like this

I thought Tennessee would be the most annoying character. Prometheus’ attempts at humour consistently fell flat. While Covenant has a different writing team, I thought Danny McBride would be tasked with delivering similarly bad lines, ticking off good ol’ country-boy stereotypes along the way. Yet Tennessee was the most watchable non-mechanical character in the film.  

The only problem with McBride’s performance is that Tennessee is the same person before his wife’s death as after. By its nature, film generally has to accelerate the grief cycle, particularly in an ensemble death-fest like Covenant. But Tennessee had almost no cycle. A few seconds of sadness, then he hits the emotional reset-button and is back on the clock. Maybe those scenes weren’t filmed chronologically. Perhaps McBride shot the scenes after the wife’s death before he acted finding out about it

Continue reading “Film Thoughts: Alien Covenant”

Friday Links: 26th May





I’m still on that NBA tip:


Friday Links: 12th May

(a wee bit late posting. No one will notice)

Friday Links: 28th April 2017



I haven’t bought any (yet), but last week’s obsession with sports GMs rekindled my interest in sports analytics. So I’ve wishlisted the following:

Other, unrelated additions to my wishlist (which is creaking under the strain)

  • Stealing Fire
  • Exploring the economic side of drug dealing, in Narconomics (there are far too many spins on ‘nomics’ now, which affects the books’ credibility. But I think it’s important to remember that it’s often the publisher, not the author, who chooses the title. Looking forward to reading it)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon (about the origin of the FBI)
  • I was a big fan of the Ninja Turtles cartoon and films in the early 90s (when they were known as ‘Hero Turtles’ here, for stupid reasons). I recently realised I’d never read the comic. I’ll need to change that soon