Gadget Review: Topdon TC004 Infrared Camera


Liz is rendered in warm colours. The freezer is dark. The temperature range goes from mid 30C to -17C.

A few years ago, I tried out that Seek Thermal Compact Infrared Camera which is a USB addon for phones. It was a good gadget, but had a number of compromises to get it into such a small form-factor. I've just been sent the TopDon TC004 handheld thermal camera to review. It's a chunky beast […]

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The Mobile Phones of Doctor Who - Bonus Pyramid at the End of the World. And a sneak peek...


General talking on a sat phone.

If you're a Doctor Who fan, this post contains a lovely little surprise at the end. I promise you it'll be worth it. For a few years now, I've been running a blog series about the Mobile Phones of Doctor Who. I'm only human1, so I occasionally miss some of the devices. A reader contacted […]

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Why don't we just eat grass?


Photo of a glass of milk and some cheese in a field of grass.

I read an interesting discussion the other day about why humans (mostly) don't eat carnivorous mammals. It boiled down to a few main points: Carnivores often don't taste good due to their relative lack of fat and stringy muscles. Aggressive animals are hard to domesticate. What do you feed them? 1 and 2 are manageable. […]

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Can this new probiotic reduce lactose intolerance?


A small pharmaceutical bottle. It easily fits in my hand.

I ordered some pills off the Internet and swallowed them! What could possibly go wrong? Let's get one thing out of the way first. I am not a doctor. I don't even play one on TV. This blog post is not medical advice.

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Book Review: Pod - Laline Paull


Book cover showing a swirling mass of dolphins.

After reading Laline Paull's The Bees, I was eager to read her next work. The Bees was about Bees, obviously. Pod is about a pod of dolphins - and their oceanic friends and society. Weirdly, this is the third book I've read from the perspective of cetaceans. Both The Idiot Gods and Startide Rising deal […]

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Movie Review: Don't Worry Darling


Movie poster.

This film is a masterpiece. Sure, the plot is nothing special ("What is the dark secret behind this seemingly idyllic life?!?) but it is directed with such flare and texture that it becomes a joy to watch. I can't remember when I last saw something which kept me engrossed just through the sheer inventiveness of […]

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Restaurant Review: 3D Printed Redefine Meat @ Unity Diner


Inside of the fake steak. It looks stringy, just like real meat.

"How long have you been vegetarian?" Asked the waitress. "Oh, over twenty years now," I replied. She looked concerned. "Some people find the 3D printed steak a bit..." she paused, considered, and continued, "A bit intense. It takes people by surprise how it makes them feel. I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I'd eat […]

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The absurdity of technocracy


Screenshot of a scan of newsprint.

Punch was a satirical magazine first published in Victorian London. It had a long and noble history of poking fun at... well, just about every fashionable idea of the day. Anyone who pricked the public's conscious probably found themselves lampooned within its pages. Charles Babbage - inventor of the first mechanical computer - found himself […]

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Book Review: 12 Bytes - How Artificial Intelligence Will Change the Way We Live and Love by Jeanette Winterson


Book cover.

Hmmm... I was left a bit unconvinced by this series of essays. They feel like casually written blog posts - or hastily dashed-off Sunday Supplement articles. I was expecting a bit more rigour and investigation. The book treads over well-worn ground - most Silicon Valley companies are trying to recreate Mommy tidying their room via […]

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Unicode operators for semantically correct programming


Why do most programming languages use the / character when we have a perfectly good ÷ symbol? Similarly, why use != instead of ≠? Or => rather than →? The obvious answer is that the humble keyboard usually only has around 100 keys - and most humans have a hard time remembering where thousands of […]

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