Silver Haired Bias

Christine Lagard's official portrait. A silver haired woman.

I was unreasonably annoyed by some media commentator on Twitter complaining about the BBC. So I decided to use data to prove someone wrong on the Internet. In a recent article, the BBC described Christine Lagarde thusly: The role is likely to test the silver-haired 63-year-old, who has admitted before that she lacks economic experience. […]

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Book Review: Mismatch by Kat Holmes

Book Cover of Mismatch.

In Mismatch, Kat Holmes describes how design can lead to exclusion, and how design can also remedy exclusion. Inclusive design methods—designing objects with rather than for excluded users—can create elegant solutions that work well and benefit all. Holmes tells stories of pioneers of inclusive design, many of whom were drawn to work on inclusion because of their own experiences of exclusion.

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My first visit to a hairdresser in a decade

A long haired man with two hairdressers. It's me. And I look bemused.

Way back in 1999, I moved to Canada for a year. Ottawa got down to -30℃ - so I grew my hair to prevent my ears snapping off in the cold. And then I kept growing it. Very occasionally I'd go to a barber for a trim, but I hated the experience. I'm not good […]

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The future of the web, isn't the web

A fist emerges from a computer screen and punches the user.

My friends, and former employers, at the Government Digital Service have written a spectacularly good blog post "Making GOV.UK more than a website". In it, they describe how adding markup to their website has allowed search engines to extract semantic content and display it to a user. For example, the "Learn to drive" page […]

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Book review: This Is How You Lose the Time War - Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

A red bird and a blue bird.

Red belongs to the Agency, a post-singularity technotopia. Blue belongs to Garden, a single vast consciousness embedded in all organic matter. Their pasts are bloody and their futures mutually exclusive. They have nothing in common—save that they’re the best, and they’re alone. Now what began as a battlefield boast grows into a dangerous game, one both Red and Blue are determined to win. Because winning’s what you do in war. Isn’t it?

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A hiring test I'd like to run

A pet cat typing on a computer keyboard.

(For the avoidance of doubt, I have nothing to do with hiring at my employer. This test is probably deeply problematic in ways you'll angrily Tweet me about.) I'd like to tell you a story! I am a teenager applying for temp jobs. It's the late 1990s and the temp agency have asked me to […]

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The Mobile Phones of Doctor Who - Series 11

The Doctor holding Ryan's phone.

Welcome back, friends! I've identified all of the mobile phones used in every episode of Doctor Who! This post looks at S11 - starring Jodie Whittaker - but feel free to rummage in the archives. The Woman Who Fell to Earth A great crop of phones for the inaugural episode - and some mysteries. Ryan's […]

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Book Review: The Gendered Brain by Gina Rippon

Gendered Brain Book Cover.

Do you have a female brain or a male brain? Or is that the wrong question? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your sex determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries. But what does this constant gendering mean for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour?

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Sometimes, there is an objective truth

A random smattering of black dots on a white background.

I went to an interesting seminar a few weeks ago. As part of it, the facilitator projected this image up on the screen. They asked us to call out what we could see. I could kinda, sorta, maybe see an alien face. Someone else called out "a field". Another person shouted "a dog?" "Yes!" said […]

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Guide: Add an English Dictionary to Boyue Likebook eReaders

Wikitionary definition popup.

This is a quick guide to adding a new dictionary to your eBook. This uses the English Wiktionary Dictionary. I've tested it on my Likebook Ares and it works! Download the latest dictionary from At the time of writing, the latest English version is October 2018 The dictionary file is a .7z file. It's […]

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