Marginalia

If it doesn’t fit anywhere else, it’s here.

Authenticity, by Alice Sherwood

I loved this book. Fast, funny start, and absolutely fizzing with interesting ideas from art, science, history, commerce, fashion and beyond. Sherwood tells a great story, but one of the things that delighted me was the sheer range of stories that I'd not encountered...

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My favourite nerd podcasts

Of course there is 99 Percent Invisible, home of @RomanMars and the beautiful nerds. And @HelenZaltzman 's The Allusionist. And @NoSuchThing As A Fish. But you knew about those three, right? I wanted to recommend a few less well-known podcasts (no shade intended -...

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How Music Works, by David Byrne

Having somehow let Talking Heads pass me by as a teenager, I've been discovering the joys of David Byrne recently. The Strong Songs podcast had a terrific analysis of the Stop Making Sense concert movie, which is astonishingly good on every level. The BBC's Soul Music...

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How to change the world with data visualisation

“She may look at it because it has pictures.” That was Florence Nightingale’s withering comment, as she sent a report about public health reform to Queen Victoria.Nightingale was not much impressed with the Queen (“The least self-reliant person I have ever known”)....

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Assorted news and links

The Prime Minister made much the same false statement to parliament on 24 Nov, 5 Jan, 12 Jan and 2 Feb. @FullFact have repeatedly requested a correction and the Office for Statistics Regulation have written to his office to ask him to stop. The claim is important in...

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How to Truth with Statistics

“The crooks already know these tricks; honest men must learn them in self-defense.” – so wrote nerd legend Darrell Huff, in his million-selling “How To Lie With Statistics” (1954). It’s a delightful little work, full of deceptive graphics, spurious correlations,...

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