11th January 2016

I realise that Phantom Vibration Syndrome is not a new topic, but it is something that is real. The BBC has recently covered the topic where it is described as a “hallucination” caused by anxiety. Slightly worrying because I often feel the phantom vibration and presumed it was just because my body is used to it and is sub-consciously expecting it. In this case, I suspect the professor is talking nonsense and that I am right…

Indoor Rainbows are not something you may consider often, but if you head on over to The Creators Project you can see how some were made using miles of thread and a giant needle. The results are beautiful.

Smartphone design has remained largely unchanged over the past few years with the standard form being a large screen with thin bezels around the sides. There have been attempts to add personality to the designs from the likes of Samsung and Apple, but in general there is a sense of familiarity present with each new release. Faisal Semari, however, has come up with a design for a conceptual Moto phone that is truly different and wonderful to look at. The problem of fitting a screen that is useable to this thing remains, but it’s nice to see people considering unusual forms for phones again.

I had no idea that Disney created a character called Mickey Rat in the 1960’s. Neatorama takes up the story, but it is fair to say that when you look at him, you will realise why the idea did not catch on.

The news that UK Trains are trialling contactless tickets is positive because we really should be looking forward to the death of paper tickets in 2016. When time is tight and you are in a rush, there really is nothing better and my experience of Apple Wallet cinema tickets, Apple Pay and even my contactless debit card make using paper or entering something as laborious as a 4 digit PIN number feel archaic in comparison. Thanks to Sami from OxGadgets for the link.

I don’t know why, but the ‘Motorola’ name feels quite old to me when I think about it. It also seems that Motorola agrees with ‘Moto’ and ‘Vibe’ becoming the focus of future marketing efforts. The company explains the decision in this blog post and I think it makes perfect sense. “The Motorola legacy is near and dear to us as product designers, engineers and Motorola employees, and clearly it’s important to many of you who have had long relationships with us. We plan to continue it under our parent company, Lenovo.”

The news that Mein Kampf is returning to German shelves is one thing, but boy does this feel like the wrong time for such a thing to happen. The inclusion of critical points alongside the original text is positive I guess, but the New York Timesexplains why this is particularly bad timing- “The republication, even with critical annotations, of a work that advocated an Aryan “master race” comes as Germany finds itself at a crossroads after one million migrants, many fleeing conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, crossed its borders over the past year. Chancellor Angela Merkel has found herself struggling to maintain popular support for her migrant policy amid concerns about the social and economic costs of accepting the new arrivals, as well as over religious extremism and national security.”

Will 2016 mark the end of the phone number? is a new article at The Guardianwhich explores a prediction from Facebook that the ageless phone number may soon disappear. Numbers are of course needed, but ask yourself one question. How many actual telephone numbers do you know off by heart? I know my home number and my mother’s, but I could not tell you the mobile numbers for my wife, son or daughter, despite speaking to them on my phone multiple times a day.

Huge lottery jackpots are big news at the moment, in the UK and the US, and it always seems strange to me that people will buy more tickets because there is a £50 million jackpot than when there is a £5 million prize on offer. Having said that, I admit to buying an extra ticket this week for the big one, and I of course lost. As an old friend of mine used to call it, the ‘Stupid Tax’- I think he may be right. Anyway, Why We Keep Playing the Lottery is worth a read over at Nautilus because it delves into the detail of why marketing overpowers mathematical odds when it comes to such things.

Our Addiction To Technology is becoming quite the topic of the modern-age and something the older generation struggle to view rationally. It does not matter that people used to ‘all’ sit on the train reading newspapers. It does not matter that families used to watch the TV for hours every evening. All that matters is that if you are entertaining, or educating, yourself on a phone it is somehow wrong. And in that spirit, here are 20 Satirical Illustrations which take that view.

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