I used OSMnx, Geoff Boeing’s amazing Python library for analysing street networks, to look at how orderly the streets are in various UK towns and cities.
Sacha Baron Cohen has a problem: his best tricks – assuming the persona of a wacky character to confuse unsuspecting interviewees, have self-limiting lifespans. If, as with Ali G, Borat and Bruno, they’re hits, they become useless, since there’s no longer anyone to fool.
Adapted from a live performance, I explain why you shouldn’t write a sequel to Lord of the Rings, with reference to various people who’ve tried and failed in different ways.
Let’s start at the end: “‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.” And with that, thousand-page long fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings is finally over – J.R.R. Tolkien drops the mic, and the history of Middle Earth is done.
Another part of an irregular series in which I attempt to drive myself mad using huge databases about public infrastructure:
If you visited one per day, for some reason, it would take you nearly 54 years. I’ve just worked out that statistically I’d probably be dead before I finished, so I’m not going to bother. There are 1,759 stops labelled “A” in the capital.
What’s the perfect day to get married on? If you live in the USA, I’ve worked it out (maybe).
I crunched data about the typical weather for each calendar date in different US cities, which was then used to power a tool to find the day with closest to ideal weather conditions for a wedding.
Want to take down the stress of picking the perfect wedding date? Bloomingdale’s can help! Check out our new interactive WEDDING WEATHER PLANNER!
The New Statesman asked me to write about crisps, so I went on YouTube instead:
2018 marks 70 years since Walkers, a butcher’s firm from Leicester, decided to beat post-war rationing by slicing potatoes instead of meat, and ended up creating the most popular brand of crisps in the UK. And while there have been dozen of variations of flavour and tweaks to the recipe, they’re still basically just the same old crisps.
The story of the origin of Eurovision, via Talented Mr Ripley fan-fiction for some reason:
Did you know: there’s a scene in the film The Talented Mr Ripley where, if you squint, you can see the Eurovision Song Contest being born? Admittedly you to have squint really very hard indeed, because it was made by Anthony Minghella, and not say, me.
What a gift Charlie Brooker’s dystopian series has been to journalists: any time a reporter covers a story about even vaguely dystopian technology, the main thing they have to do is determine which episode of Black Mirror it’s like, saving everyone the bother of finding out what’s really going on.
Inspired by Ed Jefferson’s recent look at London’s bollards, I decided to explore another aspect of our history that has worked itself into the fabric of the city: fences. You probably don’t pay much attention to fences as you’re going about your day-to-day life, unless maybe you’ve lost your headphones, which is completely fair enough.