Archive of: 2016

  • Top albums and films of 2016

    Well, the less said about the state of 2016 in general, the better.

    However, it’s been another inspiring year for music and film, so here are my picks of 2016. In no particular order, and as it’s my house I didn’t limit them to ten.



    (If you want to see what I picked when limited to ten films, then you can have a look at my Letterboxd Top Ten for 2016)

    • Arrival
    • Deadpool
    • Zootopia
    • Sing Street
    • Hail, Caesar!
    • Hunt for the Wilderpeople
    • The Nice Guys
    • Swiss Army Man
    • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    • Kubo and the Two Strings
    • Midnight Special
    • Captain America: Civil War
    • Jungle Book
  • Businessing

  • Debating Progressive Enhancement

    Don’t make up your mind about Progressive Enhancement by reading reductive blog posts or presentations that gloss over or outright ignore the details and nuances of actual web work. Read up on the individual tactics used. Judge them in terms of how effective they might be at solving the problems you are tackling. Every tactic strikes a different balance. Unless you plan on only solving one kind of problem, again and again, throughout your career, you owe it to yourself to study the tactics that lie outside your comfort zone.

    Baldur Bjarnason

  • Ask first, judge later

    So here is my rule of thumb. If someone comes to me with an idea, even if my immediate reaction is very negative, ask at least three questions about that idea to make sure you really understand it and appreciate it.

    Leisa Reichelt

  • Using GOV.UK patterns for fast service development

    The service is of the internet, not just on the internet. The team has used the internet to rethink how the service of sexual health testing is delivered to users. By focusing on user needs and working in small, agile teams, you can transform a public service.

    How the Sexual Health: 24 service used GOV.UK patterns

  • Atomic design

    Atomic design is a mental model that enables designers to create both the parts and the whole of a UI design system concurrently. It is not a rigid system that dictates a particular process, but rather a framework for building design systems efficiently and consistently.

    Vitaly Friedman - Taking Pattern Libraries To The Next Level

  • The past

    Coronet 6-6, Cornbury Park

    Around 5 years ago I had to put my belongings in storage due to a pending move.

    5 years later I finally got them back, and while unpacking my cameras I realised that the Coronet 6-6 still had a film in it.

    Yesterday I got the film back from the developers.

    As best as I can remember (comparing them to existing digital shots from the time, plus when I received the camera), they were taken in Cornbury Park, during the winter of 2010, while I was working at Torchbox.

    This camera was a present from Auntie Marie, who is now sadly gone. So although the memories are bitter sweet, it’s a nice reminder of the power of photography.

  • Hay

    Everyone has an idea about how to make it easier to find needles in the haystack, but no-one bothers to ask what all this hay is doing here in the first place.

    Rich Harris

  • Oxford Punt listening notes

    Select quotes from this month’s Nightshift so I can work out who I’m seeing at the Oxford Punt tonight

    Purple Turtle

    • 7pm Moogieman & the Masochists (are cleverer than you or us and have songs about the murder of Rosa Luxembourg, astronauts leaving their phones on the moon, and Wolf-Rayet stars)
    • 8pm The Aureate Act (smart enough to realise there’s nothing wrong with teenage musicians declaring a love for Genesis, Pink Floyd and King Crimson)
    • 9pm Being Eugene (purveyors of metalcore of a particularly virulent strain)
    • 10pm Drore (a malevolent, doomy crustcore supergroup)


    • 7.30 Great Western Tears (roadhouse country-blues)
    • 8.15 Slate Hearts (grunge riffage)
    • 9.15 Kanadia (Radiohead/stadium pop)
    • 10.15 STEM (electro duo, Portishead and Sneaker Pimps)


    • 8pm The Beckoning Fair Ones (tightly reined-in rage)
    • 9pm Cherokee (mighty heavy rock songs)
    • 9.45 Crystallite (big ol’ 80s stadium rock and blues given a goodtime grunge kick up the backside)
    • 10.30 Too Many Poets (in-your face gothic rock)

    Turl Street Kitchen

    • 8pm Charlie Leavy (hints of soul, jazz and even funk, Alicia Keys)
    • 9pm Coldredlight (frankly astonishing emo-blues)
    • 10pm Little Red (twist folk music into sublime new shapes, Imagine Nick Cave leading First Aid Kit into the forest to have tea with the Big Bad Wolf)
    • 11pm Crandle (lo-fi cabaret duo armed only with the cheapest Casio keyboard in the shop)

    White Rabbit

    • 8.30 Kancho! (lo-fi, high-octane two-man hardcore assault, At The Drive-In, Shellac)
    • 9.30 These Are Our Demands (taught, Sonic Youth-flavoured rockabilly ruckus)
    • 10.30 Lucy Leave (energetic and lo-fi noise approach, underpinning tigerish Pixies pop with bulldozing Hawkwind basslines)
    • 11.30 Brown Glove (Victorian gothic and dark sexual themes)
  • Boaty McBoatface and barriers to involvement

    my take: you want opinions, but you also want committed opinions. Your poll/survey/vote will erect (or fail to erect) barriers to participation, and those barriers represent a measure of commitment. No barriers = lots of votes, but high risk of Boaty McBoatface. High barriers = few votes, but from those who care.

    Nat Torkington’s very astute take on Boaty McBoatface.

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