Dune. Done.

So. They’re remaking Dune. 7 things we know so far about the Dune remake (& 3 things fans are hoping for) Dune has quickly become one of the most anticipated upcoming movies. With plenty of talent and a beloved source material already behind it, there were plenty of fans looking forward to this big screen … Continue reading “Dune. Done.”

What’s your number?

Another maths curiosity from the Futility Closet: Fortuitous numbers In American usage, 84,672 is said EIGHTY FOUR THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED SEVENTY TWO. Count the letters in each of those words, multiply the counts, and you get 6 × 4 × 8 × 3 × 7 × 7 × 3 = 84,672. Here’s something I’ve (pointlessly) … Continue reading “What’s your number?”

Office moves?

How many of us spend all our working days with Microsoft Office products? It’s sobering to think that I’ve been staring at monitors full of Outlook emails, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets for more than 20 years now. Might that all be changing soon? We’ll see. The new word processor wars: A fresh crop of … Continue reading “Office moves?”

What’s the rush?

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month, and all that. But doesn’t Christmas seem to start earlier and earlier each year? How long before we see Santa in July? Consult Quartz’s Christmas Creep Calculator™ Quartz has fed the latest data into its Christmas Creep Calculator™, which for years has harnessed cutting-edge artificial … Continue reading “What’s the rush?”

Hard work being lazy

Two articles on some recently published books which I thought worked well together. What we do: The evolution of work Much of Komlosy’s writing about the evolving understanding of labor is illustrated with excellent examples of linguistic differences. Across European languages, she points out, there exists a structural distinction roughly equivalent to what we’d recognize … Continue reading “Hard work being lazy”

Reading just isn’t a boyish habit?

An article from the Atlantic on a possible contributor to the educational gender gap in schools across the world. Boys don’t read enough In two of the largest studies ever conducted into the reading habits of children in the United Kingdom, Keith Topping—a professor of educational and social research at Scotland’s University of Dundee—found that … Continue reading “Reading just isn’t a boyish habit?”

It’s ok to just be ok

Here’s a piece from the New York Times on what might be putting people off taking up hobbies — we might be a bit naff at them. In praise of mediocrity – New York TimesIf you’re a jogger, it is no longer enough to cruise around the block; you’re training for the next marathon. If … Continue reading “It’s ok to just be ok”

Art and AI #2

More about computer science’s latest foray into the art world. The first piece of AI-generated art to come to auction As part of the ongoing dialogue over AI and art, Christie’s will become the first auction house to offer a work of art created by an algorithm. The portrait in its gilt frame depicts a … Continue reading “Art and AI #2”

Sometimes simple ≠ efficient

Here’s an interesting take on productivity and efficiency from Nikhil Sonnad at Quartz. Forget easy-to-use design. Choose something hard instead The new cult of simple software is making us less productive. Simple tools get in the way of our thinking by making assumptions about what we want to do, and by putting the ease of getting … Continue reading “Sometimes simple ≠ efficient”

Happy statistics day

It’s GCSE results day and, despite the new grading system, the news people are bringing out updated versions of their usual it’s-getting-better-it’s-getting-worse stories. GCSE results day 2018: New ‘tougher’ exams favour boys as gender gap narrowest in seven years Girls remain in the lead, with 23.4 per cent achieving one of the highest grades, which … Continue reading “Happy statistics day”

Blame typewriters?

I love typewriters. I used to own quite a few old ones, including a stupidly heavy Underwood. So I found this Medium article quite difficult to read at first. Death to typewriters What are you talking about, they’re amazing machines! You see, I blame typewriters for double-handedly setting typography back by centuries. Type before typewriters … Continue reading “Blame typewriters?”

Diminishing returns of an expanding universe

Everyone‘s getting excited for the next big Avengers film, and I expect I’ll be taking the kids to see it. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining but I am starting to tire a little of this shiny soap opera genre now. And I don’t think I’m the only one; I found myself nodding along in agreement … Continue reading “Diminishing returns of an expanding universe”

TEF teething problems

TEF boycott fears allayed as elite universities opt in With the deadline for applications to year two of the teaching excellence framework (TEF) closing at noon on 26 January, concerns remained that some of England’s elite institutions would decide to opt out of the policy because vice-chancellors were doubtful that the financial benefits of inflationary … Continue reading “TEF teething problems”

And they look really spidery too

Another great Excel article from Mynda Treacy​, this time about her​​ views on radar charts. It’s safe to say she’s not a fan. Some great points here about data visualisation and how to get messages across. I’ve never used a radar chart, but that’s more because I’ve never really understood them. Excel alternatives to radar … Continue reading “And they look really spidery too”

Recreating Ofsted’s Inspection dashboards

Thoughts on managing variability: School’s own data in the Ofsted inspection data dashboard “To try to overcome some of these issues while still presenting the data in a format very similar to the official dashboard I have thrown together a spreadsheet that emulates the Ofsted layout as much as I can (given Excel’s limitations).” This … Continue reading “Recreating Ofsted’s Inspection dashboards”

If only

PowerPoint should be banned. This PowerPoint presentation explains why. It is estimated that more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations are given every day. But as PowerPoint conquered the world, critics have piled on. And justifiably so. Its slides are oversimplified, and bullet points omit the complexities of nearly any issue.​ A great PowerPoint about PowerPoint, … Continue reading “If only”

“Integrating” and “rationalising”

Pearson, the company behind Edexcel and BTEC, amongst others, are in the news today. Pearson to cut 4,000 jobs after second profit warning in three months “Faced with these challenges, we are today announcing decisive plans to further integrate the business and reduce the cost base, rationalise our product development and focus on fewer, bigger … Continue reading ““Integrating” and “rationalising””

Records Management resources on the web

Something else I came across when researching records management was this list of records management resources on the web. It’s been compiled by Paul Duller via JISCMail and whilst I’ve added a couple of links of my own to this, I obviously aren’t taking any credit for this. I’m copying it here really for my … Continue reading “Records Management resources on the web”