21st January 2016

It’s a well-known fact that most of us have become accustomed to lesser quality audio for music than we used to enjoy. The advent of digital music and the closeness of headphones has meant that pure audio quality no longer seems to matter, but there are some, also known as audiophiles, who swear blind that a speaker cable is worth £1,000 or that digital music can never be worth listening to. Esquire has tackled the subject with a new article entitled Audiophiles: Are They Hearing Something We’re Not? “The HiFi Wigwam Show — one of the premier annual gatherings for Britain’s audiophiles — has taken over the whole building. Every guest room contains a man — it’s always a man — with a hi-fi system he’s brought from home. People go from room to room, listening. Pinned to the walls of the corridors, you occasionally see a small ad written in the same impenetrable language as the guidebook. “Wanted: Nordost Valhalla speaker cables spades both ends,” reads one. “Please call.”” Thanks to Russ for the link.

North Korean scientists have invented a hangover-free alcohol, according to the Pyongyang Times. The state newspaper says the “suave” liquor will spare you wincing when you wake, despite boasting 30%-40% alcohol. The brew is reportedly made from a type of indigenous ginseng called insam and glutinous rice, and cultivated by an organic farming method.” The above comes from the BBC and would be a remarkable achievement if a) we would believe any statement that comes out of the country and b) if the government focussed on giving the population food and lighting as a priority instead.

On the subject of politicians, Donald Trump made the following remark recently-“We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries.” For a man who is running to become leader of the most capitalistic country in the world, this is a crazy statement. He is ignoring so many obvious realities with this statement that it verges on insulting the people who follow him, but I guess he has said worse recently. He is now just saying whatever comes into his head, and it is working! Fortune takes up the reasons why Apple would not be able to manufacture everything in the US.

How big would your feet need to be in order for you to climb walls like Spiderman? Yes, someone has actually researched this and concluded that they would need to be a European size 145 or a U.S. size 114. You would also require quite a few adhesive pads, but I for one would like to give it a try. Vocative has more information on this very important study…

“Somewhere in Flatow’s consciousness lingered scenes from movies in which a father holds his child’s hand, whispering in her ear. At Alisa’s bedside, he took her hand and whispered, “Daddy’s here.” She didn’t say anything. “If you can hear me, squeeze my hand,” he said. When he let go, her arm fell limp.” A new story called Hidden Damages has been published at The Atavist magazine. Sad and stunning.

€5000 is a lot for one piece of furniture, but when you take a look at the Wave City Coffee Table you may just believe it to be a reasonable price. I can’t imagine how people think up such ideas let alone actually make such creative objects.

The 80/20 Rule looks at online personas and the fact that “When you put your life online, people think they know 80% of who you are. But internet personas are really only 20% true.” I suspect all of us can see some reality in these numbers. No matter how open we believe we are online, we still have dominating digital personas. More at Matter.

If you are on the look out for some good quality non-fiction material, I must recommend The Big Roundtable. The site is simply designed, but when you click on the icons you will gain free access to a great selection of well-written stories.

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