Monthly Archives: March 2012

Why pigs in space are worth your time: The case for playing Angry Birds

THIS may make me an addict turned dealer, but here’s my advice for the weekend. First, read this article. Then buy the Angry Birds Space app. It’s important to get the order right. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Economics, Human nature, Innovation, Liberal education, Technology

Even Disney can’t pick a winning movie script

SPARE a thought for the Mouse. Disney’s latest movie spectacular, John Carter, has lost the company $200m (£127m) after a disastrous opening. Meanwhile The Hunger Games opens at cinemas today on speculation that it will achieve a record-breaking run. Lionsgate, the studio responsible, has seen its stock rise some 75 per cent this year as the momentum has gathered. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Business, Economics, Film, Innovation

We mustn’t mourn the end of encyclopaedias

AS A boy, I remember being taken to the local library and taught to use the dark, weighty volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. As of now, that dates me. A “digital native”, someone to whom the modern information revolution comes naturally, is often defined as a person who has never owned a camera that needs a film. This week we can add, someone who thinks encyclopedias don’t need books. The end of the print version of the EB, announced on Tuesday, marks a turning point, but, despite twinges of nostalgia, one for the better. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Human nature, Innovation, Publishing, Technology

Taking fewer decisions is the smartest choice

IF YOU’RE going on a diet, you’d better start with a sugary drink. That’s the counterintuitive message of Willpower, a fascinating new book by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney exploring the biochemistry of self-control. Baumeister and Tierney argue, based on a considerable body of experimental research, that the ability to resist temptation takes considerable energy – in other words, the willpower to resist calorie-laden food can only come from the consumption of calories in the first place. Continue reading

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Filed under Human nature, Politics

Don’t let retrospective rules put out the lights

THE laws of physics have apparently been reinstated. The suggestion from Cern at the end of last year that neutrinos could travel faster than light sent our models of the universe atremble – but Cern, having turned everything off and on again, now puts the effect down to some faulty wiring. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Science