Sunday 23 June 2019

The enduring fascination with Sherlock Holmes (2019)

A great round-up by Michael Dirda of recent books about, or sending-up, the great Sherlock Holmes - the most famous man who never lived. HERE.

Thursday 20 June 2019

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22 (1961)

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to, but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.

A good piece in today's Guardian on the new adaptation of Catch-22 and the novel. HERE.

Saturday 15 June 2019

Thursday 13 June 2019

Have Fun with God (2014)

I have never heard anything by Bill Callahan, but based on vague suggestions that he had created a "Dub" album I went and listened to it. Released in 2014, Have Fun with God is first rate. 

Meta-Research: A comprehensive review of randomized clinical trials in three medical journals reveals 396 medical reversals (2019)

An incredible piece of meta analysis on 3,000 Randomised Control Trials (HERE)


The ability to identify medical reversals and other low-value medical practices is an essential prerequisite for efforts to reduce spending on such practices. Through an analysis of more than 3000 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in three leading medical journals (the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine), we have identified 396 medical reversals. Most of the studies (92%) were conducted on populations in high-income counties, cardiovascular disease was the most common medical category (20%), and medication was the most common type of intervention (33%).

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Craft beautiful equations in Word with LaTeX (2019)

A nice piece in Nature on the power of LaTeX for typesetting equations and some tools that are available for people to use - whilst not having to abandon Word or other word processing software. (HERE). 

Saturday 8 June 2019

On Effort and Letting Go (2019)

A short essay in the Paris Review on the trials and tribulations of writing and piano playing by  Salvatore Scibona (HERE).
Every writer has a carburetor, unique to herself, that measures out a mist of fuel for the volume of flowing air in the cylinder of her imagination. A plug provides the spark, the fuel ignites, and off she goes.
The spark is an idea; the fuel is effort; the air is grace. She needs them all, and all in balance. If the cylinder contains too much fuel, it won’t ignite. She sits in an old car on a winter morning and twists the key while she pumps the pedal: the engine makes a cranking wheeze, not the whoosh of ignition. She pumps the pedal again, adding still more fuel, to no avail. She has flooded the cylinder. She has tried too hard.

Thursday 6 June 2019

Abercromby Square, Liverpool

Image from HERE.

Tuesday 4 June 2019

On the High Wire (1982)

A really great piece by Paul Auster about the high-wire walker Philippe Petit. HERE.

Flight deconstructed (2014)

Part of a superb collection of animated infographics by Eleanor Lutz a PhD candidate in the University of Washington Biology Department who uses behavior experiments and computer simulations to study how mosquitos navigate through the environment. Many, many more superb at her blog HERE.