Writing from February 2011

Coins and Experiments

I started off writing a piece with a couple of interesting quotes from a recent London Review of Books, then realised it was much more suited to going on the Pepys site. So there it is. But it’s well worth a read even if you’re not into Pepys, particularly the bit about how coins were changed in the 17th century to foil counterfeiters and people who’d clip bits of the edges off…

In Periodicals on 2 February 2011. Permalink

Misfits is Buffy good

Paul Mison wrote a bit about Misfits, the E4 drama, which reminded me that I’d meant to dash off a quick “isn’t Misfits great” post when series two was on air. So here it is.


In Television on 3 February 2011. Permalink

Papanek on clogs

There’s the tiniest of barneys going on at BERG’s blog post about Nike’s Mayfly running shoes. I won’t reiterate my comments in detail here — I’m kind of ambivalent about the products, but find knee-jerk “they’re terrible!” reactions too simplistic — but they reminded me of a (not entirely related) bit from Victor Papanek’s 1984 book Design for the Real World.


In Misc on 6 February 2011. 1 comment. Permalink

Whoops! by John Lanchester

Whoops! is very good indeed. It explains the recent financial crash in clear and entertaining terms, and puts the size of the problem in perspective. An easy but very interesting read. Recommended. The bits below are mostly tangential to the details of the crash itself, but are the bits that I’d have turned page corners down for if I wasn’t unduly precious about my books.


In Books on 7 February 2011. Permalink

Embarrassingly pimping

On Friday I spoke at The Story about The Diary of Samuel Pepys. I really enjoyed giving my presentation but even aside from that, it was a fantastic day — the other speakers were amazingly, consistently, interesting and delivered their thoughts well. A life where I get to spend a Friday at events like that can’t be a bad one.


In Pepys' Diary on 20 February 2011. 1 comment. Permalink

1950 suits

The other day Russell linked to this 1950 film called Cricket. It’s all worth a watch but, because I’ve been thinking about suits recently, I was struck by the variety of suits on display.


In Misc on 21 February 2011. 1 comment. Permalink

Flexible with strong faces

Tidying up, I came across a text file I was updating while signed up for a couple of services that sent out casting calls for adverts and short films. This was a couple of years ago. Some of the descriptions of the actors required were bizarre or, occasionally, delightful. So here are some of the most interesting.


In Misc on 26 February 2011. Permalink