Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before Opening Your Mouth

Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before Opening Your Mouth.

Catching up on the usual post-vacation email backlog, I found another interesting contribution from Farnam Street. It contains advice that I have failed to follow more times that I would like.

29 Dumb Things Finance People Say

29 Dumb Things Finance People Say – Business Insider.

I’ve been away (on which more later) and decided not to post as Internet access was of variable quality, but I kept note of stuff that I enjoyed.

Physicists probe urination ‘splashback’ problem

It seems that sitting down is the best sure-fire way to avoid unwanted splashing in a traditional toilet.

via BBC News – Physicists probe urination ‘splashback’ problem.

The surprising history of the to-do list and how to design one that actually works

The to-do list in particular is one that we spend a lot of time and energy on perfecting. Somehow, we don’t seem to struggle when it comes to making a shopping list and buying everything on it, but getting the tasks on our to-do list done is a whole other ball game.

The surprising history of the to-do list and how to design one that actually works – The Buffer Blog.


A little bit of fun today with some screenshots from <loudvoice>Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin</loudvoice>.

My Photo Galleries And A Warning

I have been uploading my photographs to my website,, for some time. However, I decided to simplify things and consolidate on the WordPress platform. Consequently, I’ve spent the last few days uploading my back catalogue to oddrops. The job’s now complete, so please browse.

Real Racing 3: A Warning

To while away the time, as the files have been processed, I’ve been playing Real Racing 3. It’s not really a driving sim game, more of an arcade game as you can crash your car into a wall at 250 mph. While there’ll be some entertainment as windscreens fracture and disappear, rear lights smash into smithereens, bumpers fall off, doors flap open, your car will bounce of the wall and be able to carry on to the finish of the race; it’s impossible to do enough damage to render the car undriveable. The graphics are great. There’re nice little touches like exhaust gases, tyre tracks in the grass, should you go off-track, reappear as you drive round subsequent laps, clouds are reflected in a car’s paintwork and the reflection changes as the car moves round the track. The cars (currently 73 different models) are wonderful replicas of real ones: from the humble Nissan Silvia to the Bugatti Veyron, Lambo’s, Koenigsegg’s and more. The tracks are based on real ones like Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Laguna Seca and Catalunya. I have had some fun playing the game and wasted hours—I was going to say “countless hours”, but the app includes a player profile that tells you to the last second how much of your life you’ve spent staring at an iPad. I’m not going to admit how much.

So why the warning? Well, the app is free to download, but the pricing model is freemium. While there is nothing wrong with this per se—after all I haven’t spent a single penny for many hours of playtime—it’s the balance that I think is wrong. When you race you win “money”, R$, and fame points. As you achieve certain milestones—completion of a series, accumulation of so many fame points, you are awarded gold. To progress through the game you must buy new  cars and upgrade those cars with R$ or gold. Winning a race might generate R$20,000+, but often is only 2-3k. This is true whatever the cost of the car you’re racing: you might have invested R$ millions in a car (plus upgrades) to race for a prize of R$3,000. Gold is awarded with even greater frugality. Of course, the freemium model means that you can buy  R% and gold with an in-app purchase (IAP). This is where EA/Fire Monkeys are trying to rip people off. Some of the top cars cost in the range of R$1-2.5 million. An IAP for R$2,000,000 cost £34.99. The Koenigsegg Agera R can only be bought with gold—800 pieces. An IAP for 1,000 gold costs £69.99. Such prices are excessive and seem intended to take advantage of players who are less bloody-minded than me.

So, if you ask me whether I recommend  this game, I say no: I don’t like the cynical attitude of the game’s designers.

Filtering Nonsense

Over the years, I’ve found that simply asking why and listening to the quality of the response is the best bullshit filter. If answers come back in cliches and generalizations, that’s an indication that more thinking is needed.

Filtering Nonsense.

I always wanted to write a post entitle Defining The Cock-up Blocker. These ideas are a start.

Istanbul in Full Popsicolor

I’ve continued my love affair with Popsicolor. I’ve created a set of popsicles from photos that I took during our recent visit to Istanbul.