The ultimate mashup: Gordon Freeman’s Model of a Modern Major General

The juxtaposition of the unlikely always has had appeal to me. Not least because it’s often very funny. I think such things are usually called ‘mashups’, but a century or so ago the word was ‘dada’, after the art movement that pivoted around superficially irrational juxtaposition. A friend pointed me to an example the other … More The ultimate mashup: Gordon Freeman’s Model of a Modern Major General

That ‘ol Christmas shopping zombie thing again

One of the things that always irritates me about Christmas is the incredible commercialisation that goes with it. The frenzy starts around October these days and has got to the point where the major retail chains are advertising their Boxing Day sales weeks ahead of Christmas itself. Apparently the act of giving away avalanches of … More That ‘ol Christmas shopping zombie thing again

What ever happened to all the good in the world?

I’ve been getting the disturbing impression of late that the default human position isn’t generosity and kindness; it’s selfish malice. I’ve blogged about this before, but it won’t go away. Life, it seems, is a zero-sum game in which all that counts is self, and the way to get ahead is to break somebody else. … More What ever happened to all the good in the world?

The dangers of being a good Samaritan when society is dysfunctional

Back when I was a kid at intermediate school (‘junior high’ in US parlance) there was an incident involving a trestle table at the back of the class, on which had been placed a lot of craft works. Adjacent to the trestle was a large cupboard in which all the coats and bags were stored, … More The dangers of being a good Samaritan when society is dysfunctional

Perhaps the pen is mightier than the voice

I was intrigued by some research I spotted recently which seems to prove that the pen is, indeed, mightier than the sword. Well, it’s mightier than the spoken word, anyway. The research suggested that there’s a specific reason why arguments on Facebook so often degenerate to slagging matches. It’s the same issue lawyers run into … More Perhaps the pen is mightier than the voice