The science behind the dress colour illusion

The science behind the dress colour illusion

It’s not every day that fashion and science come together to polarise the world. Tumblr blogger Caitlin posted a photograph of what is now known as #TheDress – a layered lace dress and jacket that was causing much distress among her friends. The distress spread rapidly across social media, with Taylor Swift admitting she was “confused and scared”. — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 27, 2015 I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow. I’m confused and scared. PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK…

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New South Wales' new logo and slogan slips by unnoticed – almost

New South Wales' new logo and slogan slips by unnoticed – almost

When Victoria unveiled its new state logo and tagline to much fanfare in August, the New South Wales premier, Mike Baird, was quick to get a jibe in. — Mike Baird (@mikebairdMP) August 12, 2015 *offer excludes harbour, infrastructure and sunshine pic.twitter.com/kj8S5qrP9D But at least people noticed Victoria had a new logo. Perhaps wary of similar negative publicity, New South Wales seems to have changed its corporate branding with no fanfare at all. In fact, the new logo and slogan appear to have been in place for at least a…

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Costeja González and a memorable fight for the 'right to be forgotten'

Costeja González and a memorable fight for the 'right to be forgotten'

If there is any first law of the internet, it must surely be the law of unintended consequences. Such must be the lesson facing Mario Costeja González, the Spanish man who sparked Tuesday’s contentious European court of justice (ECJ) ruling on the “right to be forgotten” online. The article Costeja González wanted the world to forget was 36 words long, dating from 1998, and said his home was being repossessed to pay off debts. His concern was the piece’s prominent position among the Google results if his name was searched….

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Archbishop of Canterbury creates a stir with 'great' remark to gay magazine

Archbishop of Canterbury creates a stir with 'great' remark to gay magazine

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has told the gay magazine PinkNews it is “great” that parliament passed a measure he opposed, leaving his aides scrambling to explain that all he meant was that it is great that parliament can and does pass laws. Welby, who campaigned and voted against gay marriage last year, remains opposed both to gay marriage and homophobia, his office explained. This spin is probably justified. Welby has an impetuous and enthusiastic manner when talking informally. He certainly would not want to announce a change of…

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If Ed Miliband doesn't read UK papers, what will he have missed?

If Ed Miliband doesn't read UK papers, what will he have missed?

There are things on this day, Thursday 29 May 2014, that Ed Miliband may not know. He may not know that George Michael has, once again, been rushed to hospital. Or that David Cameron is under pressure from his cabinet to enforce “red lines” in Europe over immigration. These things may pass him by because they are on the front page of the Sun. Asked for an opinion – and local radio reporters keen on advancement are prone to ask politicians for their opinions – he may find he knows…

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The Khmer Rouge and Cambodian genocide: how the Guardian covered it

The Khmer Rouge and Cambodian genocide: how the Guardian covered it

March 1975 The Khmer Rouge is poised to seize power after nearly five years of civil war. The Guardian’s Martin Woollacott reports on the fears of a “bloodbath” if they take over. A general tells him that whenever government soldiers are captured “almost all the officers are killed.” A bank worker says: “I am not afraid because I am not corrupt. If the Khmer Rouge win, there will be blood on the streets. But they will only kill the corrupt people who take American aid and don’t give it to…

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Scottish independence: 16 days to referendum – as it happened

Scottish independence: 16 days to referendum – as it happened

5.57pm BST17:57 Today’s developments • Both sides in the referendum campaign have urged Scottish residents to ensure that they submit their registration forms to vote in the independence referendum as the deadline for registration looms. Would-be voters have until midnight on Tuesday to register. • Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has put out a call for the so-called “missing million” who are not registered to vote to get out and harness “Scotland’s immense wealth”. The first minister said it was now an accepted fact that an independent Scotland would start…

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Richard Dawkins’s cosmic tombstone: what would you add?

Richard Dawkins’s cosmic tombstone: what would you add?

Richard Dawkins would like to create a “cosmic tombstone” adorned with humanity’s greatest achievements that can be beamed out into space when we are gone. The evolutionary biologist’s idea for a massive posthumous space-brag came in a discussion with physicist Prof Laurence Krauss in London hosted by The Skeptic magazine. Here’s what Dawkins said: “I sometimes think that even now actually we should be sending out what you could call a ‘cosmic tombstone’ because eventually the human species is going to go extinct and it would be nice to think…

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Surge in poles: Tony Abbott's flag count hits a new high

Surge in poles: Tony Abbott's flag count hits a new high

Tony Abbott’s announcement that Australia will send more troops to Iraq was made in front of no fewer than eight flags, bringing the flag-count-in-announcement index to an all-time high. This follows a six-flag announcement only last week, prompting social media discussion, jokes, and comparisons to the number of flags used by other world leaders. Here, I’ve collated the number of flags in backdrops to prime ministerial announcements posted to Tony Abbott’s YouTube channel, with the addition of his election night acceptance speech and the recent six and eight flag announcements:…

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FGM: a costly, organised crime against women and girls

FGM: a costly, organised crime against women and girls

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is big business. It’s trans-global and sometimes organised by centuries-old formal agencies, on a for-profit basis. Like most other efficient businesses, it markets itself as in the interest of the consumer, into whose lifestyle expectations it is firmly embedded. These observations imply no disrespect for the immense suffering which FGM causes. Across the globe there are probably 200 million women and girls now alive who have experienced (and survived) FGM. Cutters are often paid. Until recently nearly all excisors were medically untrained, but increasingly, excision is…

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