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A few blogs ago, close on the heels of perhaps the most (in)famous footballer of his generation, I wrote about the influence of numbers on our way of thinking. Now, with COVID-19 vaccines in the spotlight, and the very recent name change for one that has been beset by controversy, I turn my attention to the way names and their...

In October 2020, Australian rock band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released the separate audio components of the song Automation, a fairly opaque riff on human reliance on machines. The explicit instruction was for fans to create remixes and upload these to YouTube. YouTube had other ideas: its automated copyright detection system compared the...

In 1980 The Buggles came up with the one-hit single, Video Killed the Radio Star, a kind of lament for the old and the heralding of the new. The lyric "rewritten by machine and new technology" was not only a sign of the times but a foretaste of the digital age to come. Yet nobody could have predicted, despite...

Downing Street, Pelé, Diego Armando Maradona, the basis of the metric system, fingers and toes, scores and ratings. 10 is a bit of a common denominator for the way we organise things, and often a number synonymous in sport with the 'playmaker'. To wear the number 10 shirt somehow sets one apart. The death of a genius on 25 November got me thinking....

Whether it's a matter of jumping on the bandwagon or not, Spotify recognises the new norm, working from home, and has compiled 186 tracks to help you through the day(s): Work from Home with British Classics. Starting with a 44-second divertimento for flute, oboe and clarinet, a kind of classical wake-up jingle, and ending with a 30-minute trumpet...

As long ago as the fourth century BC, Aristotle observed that "man is, by nature, a social animal." It's no surprise then that so many of our most significant inventions - from the telegram in 1792 to the email in 1971 - have been in the pursuit of easier contact over great distances. Today's social media can be considered the...

What do Mozart, H.P. Lovecraft and Jay-Z have in common? In addition to (and perhaps in spite of) the popularity and influence of their main works, all three have engaged in ghostwriting: the act of producing a work which is officially credited to another individual.

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