Monthly Archives: June 2010

Shallow Thinking 2

The Guardian’s website has a simple but good piece today that furthers the discussion started below. John Naughton points out that a funny thing happened to us on the way to the future. The internet went from being something exotic to being a boring utility, like mains electricity or running water, and we never really […]

Shallow Thinking

In his new book ‘The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains’, author Nicholas Carr argues that the latest technologies render us less capable of deep thinking. His book suggests that our brains are changing as they learn to cope with skimming, browsing and scanning in much the same way that librarians are […]

Re:View – The Illusionist

The opening night of the Edinburgh Film Festival was Sylvain Chomet’s triumph of old-school detailed animation over the eye-searing primary colours and waxy-looking cyborgs of computer graphics. The director’s first feature, ‘Les Triplettes De Belleville’ was a quirky, slapsticky pleasure about kidnapped cyclist. ‘The Illusionist’ is a step forward both visually and in terms of […]

My Highland Fling

I packed a scarf. I packed a jumper. What I needed in Scotland, it turned out, was shorts and swimming trunks. It was baking in the kind of glaring midsummer heat you’d associate with Ibiza. The opening night premiere of the world’s oldest film festival in Edinburgh was a sensational success for the organisers, partly […]

I’m Now An App!

Well, me and a lot of other authors. The app takes you to Ether Books, where you’ll be able to download short stories for your journey. Ether are running six of my best, starting with the award-winning ‘Cupped Hands’. I’m already using the app myself, and even though I’m not exactly an impartial user I […]

Illusions In Scotland

I’m off to Scotland, first to the opening of this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, where the premiere movie is Silvain Chomet’s ‘The Illusionist’, an elegant homage to Jacques Tati from the guy who brought us the wonderful ‘Triplets Of Belleville’. Then I’m heading for Glasgow to give a talk about writing. In the meantime, here’s […]

Avatar – The Legacy

Come on, how much do you hate the word Legacy? ‘Avatar’, described by the Guardian as ‘the world’s first attempt to fuse the aesthetic of Starship Troopers with the ambience of mid-period Enya’, had more than 125 licensed products incorporating toys, clothing, books and video games which earned over an additional 100 million quid. But, […]

Great Tromp L’oeils

My mate Jan sends me some great trompe l’oeil walls from the US. American artists have proven exceptionally clever at producing realistic art, and these are some of the best I’ve seen. I wonder why we don’t do them in England? We certainly have enough big blank walls. Click on them to see more – […]

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Turn Weird

In unsettled times, it seems we are always told to turn to something safe and nostalgic, and so it is with stories and their makers. So Robin Hood, Alice In Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Jane Austen, Batman and even Dracula make comebacks. I’m surprised we haven’t had Winnie The Pooh or Tom Sawyer dumped in […]

Under Surveillance

This summer, watching seems to be a popular theme in the arts. There’s the Exposure exhibition at Tate Modern, about watching and being watched, and now comes a piece of pop-up theatre/dance in the form of the Electric Hotel, a uniquely designed outdoor spectacle, a fly-by-night hotel brought vividly to life through dance and sound […]