Tuesday, October 29th, 2019
The Tube Ronnies complete with transcript, thanks to the invaluable IanVisits.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
Volvo unveils its first full battery electric model, the XC40 Recharge SUV with 402bhp a 248-mile range. Featuring no front grille!
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
AutoCar drives the electric Jaguar I-Pace from London to Frankfurt. As recently as two years ago such a journey simply wasn’t feasible. Now, once you have the more expensive car, it’s much cheaper than driving diesel let alone petrol. That said, charging stops are an hour rather than five minutes, and every 200 miles rather than say every 500. But I think there is some good here. Travellers must get out and stretch their legs for a longer while. All in all our automotive future looks improved.
Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
Pictures of the glorious Soviet metro stations, a photography book by Christopher Herwig.
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
The end of formal dining on Amtrak. The change is “driven by a desire to save money,” Amtrak said to The Washington Post, “and lure a younger generation of new riders — chiefly, millennials known to be always on the run, glued to their phones and not particularly keen on breaking bread with strangers at a communal table.” Sad!
Sunday, September 8th, 2019
I want to ride the Goldenpass Express, a Swiss panoramic train designed by Pininfarina.
Monday, July 1st, 2019
Tuesday, March 5th, 2019
Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
Chronicling from “below the API line”, as Venkatesh Rao calls it, are Austin Murphy with “I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon” in The Atlantic and Lauren Hough with “I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America” in The Huffington Post.
The depicted harshness of American work life for so many is terrible not just for those involved but for all. (Also these two share a prodigious unmet need to urinate on the job — is this the top new workplace tribulation?)
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
Robots don’t eat chocolate. James Meek weaves a rich tale of Cadbury’s moving its chocolate factory from Bristol in England to Skarbimierz in Poland. We get EU politics, British commercial history and contemporary Polish politics. It’s a microcosm of the economic game of musical chairs happening in our era. [via Tyler Cowen’s marginalrevolution.com]
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
Friday, March 17th, 2017
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Francis Fukuyama coins and explains vetocracy. The intricacies are bamboozling—which is the point. Seems to me that fixing this is the first domino.
Friday, November 18th, 2016
Some tentative optimism from The American Interest: If the new Administration can both push infrastructure and simplify the regulatory process, “it will have proven that the Trumpian earthquake can in fact break certain decades-long patterns of bipartisan paralysis…”
This article features a list by Dan McNichol of suggested public works projects throughout the USA. He is author of The Roads That Built America, a history of the Interstate highway system (of which I actually have a copy).
Monday, September 5th, 2016
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Speed of Dark
I was brought to this most non-sci-fi of sci-fi novels by the Brighton Science Fiction Discussion Group. Narrated in character by its autistic protagonist, Speed of Light initially reminded me of Mr Robot. Yes, I did like it, but wasn’t sure if the thinness of the other characters is due to our narrator’s limitations or those of the author; I don’t know her other work so can’t say. A mostly unsentimental decency permeates — actually it’s an exploration of decency — which gives it an appreciable pre-cyberpunk, almost square feel.
A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars; it’s where the rich use public transportation.
Petro Gustavo, Mayor of Bogota
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
Published in 1976, the themes nonetheless feel contemporary some 40 years later: environmental destruction, economic inequality, social alienation, childlessness. It’s all very naturalistic. We never encounter any aliens because they are long gone, and we don’t understand their amazing technological artifacts at all. And the people are in constant emotional turmoil.
Monday, July 18th, 2016
Friday, March 8th, 2013
Considering how central it is for Londoners, Why is the Tube so underrepresented in stories? The writer suggests that, like sex and prayer, and unlike on the street, any human significance down there is internal.
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010