Like Nobody Is Watching

Hello internet friends!

It’s the first Monday after switching to daylight savings time here where I am and ugh that switch is not being gentle to me. Oh well.


Something tells me that a behind-the-scenes documentary would be a lot more interesting than the real show could ever be: TV show contestants spend year in wilderness – with no one watching. The decision to just keep the contestants doing their thing while the show went off the air, the fact that someone still paid the people involved, the slow unraveling where contestants sneaked out to buy alcohol and get haircuts in a nearby village. That would make one hell of a miniseries.


Cities are pretty neat – there’s a whole bunch of people and things tend to be a bit more interesting. But how exactly did these things start? Who decided that living close to strangers would be a good idea? Turns out nobody, really – but people arranged themselves around the idea because they all happened to hang out at the same place of worship.


Usually the voices in my head are from podcasters but who knows – at some point some voice without a body might tell me their opinion on the latest tech news without me putting on headphones. If that ever happens, I know now who to contact. The Hearing Voices Network.


I’m not sure how important it is that a dishwasher has a web server. Or that it is even connected to the internet. But if you’re a company that builds internet-connected dishwashers with a web server component you might want to make sure there are updates when someone finds a bug. Instead we now have a hackable Miele dishwasher.


So… what exactly is the difference between gambling and insurance? The line is very blurry indeed.

Well, let’s put a chip in it and call it smart.

Puppy Culture

Hello internet friends!

Let’s get right to the links, how about that?

Buy! Buy! Buy!

The trend du jour that doesn’t seem to go away are the people (well, let’s be honest – ladies) in a tube that you can yell at to play some music. There’s the Amazon one, I think Microsoft has something as well and for people who like to talk to their phone, there’s Siri. And obviously there’s something from Google. And Google being an advertising company and not being able to stop themselves from being, well, Google, it seems like their person in a tube helpfully pointed out to people that they might want to watch the new Disney movie.


People like to look at baby animals on the internet. Not a very new idea. People like to argue politics on the internet. Also not a very new idea. But combining baby animals and puppies? A new idea. Here is why that is happening and the psychology behind it.

Buy! Buy! Buy! (again)

Most city centers these days feel like mall already – it’s not terribly hard to find the same couple of chain stores in most cities and it can be a bit samey-samey. But actually merging the two concepts – a city center, open to the public, and a mall, a centrally owned retail space – seems like something new. I’m not too sure I approve of that, I’m quite in favour of the public owning at least the walking areas between stores.

Internet Culture

Don’t worry. For a change this is actually something positive. People are happily(?) paying for online content. Not only via subscription services like Netflix and Spotify, but also for small, independent creators. At the heart of it is Patreon, a platform I really do like – I’m able to support people who do good stuff online, yay. (I’d have absolutely no moral problems with setting up a Patreon account for this newsletter, but… eh.)

Long Live The Queen

But what if she doesn’t? There’s a (not so) secret plan for what happens next. At least they won’t have to expire her in time for the press like one of her predecessors:

“The King’s life is moving peacefully towards its close,” was the final notice issued by George V’s doctor, Lord Dawson, at 9.30pm on the night of 20 January 1936. Not long afterwards, Dawson injected the king with 750mg of morphine and a gram of cocaine – enough to kill him twice over – in order to ease the monarch’s suffering, and to have him expire in time for the printing presses of the Times, which rolled at midnight.

Well, that’s it for today. Comment, like and subscribe!


Swipe Swipe Swipe

Hello internet friends!

I’m sitting here in the setting sun, listening to Pitbull. Which is exactly the reason why I didn’t add Spotify to my Tinder profile, I mean – I don’t need yet another reason to hardly ever have a match there.

Oh, no, it’s Dave again.

Confession corner: I quite like the whole idea of late night talk shows. A bit of mediocre stand-up, some banter with a sidekick while sitting at a desk, an interview or two with some random celebrity that might or might not be scripted in advance, some music – what else would you need on television before going to bed? (Actually I hardly ever watch these before going to bed. I watch them randomly on YouTube during my lunch break. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
One of the all time great hosts of these kinds of shows is David Letterman. And while he’s not doing that anymore, he did give this really good interview.

Uncle Licky

It seems like everybody loves the new Nintendo Switch and even I ponder if it’s something I might want to have. It’s the first Nintendo thing since the Wii that actually seems interesting – but maybe that’s just the hype talking. And because everybody is also a bit of an idiot it is now a thing to lick the Switch cartridges. Because they intentionally made them that way to keep people from eating them.
(This section title is stolen from this episode of Roderick on the Line.)

The dangers of wearing no pants at work

Yes, yes, we have all seen the BBC video with the intruding children by now. But do we know exactly why everybody shared it? To learn more, a proper analyst breaks it down for us step by step.

Evil dog news

Not evil news about dogs. News that dogs are evil.
Or that dogs are at least very good at manipulating humans into doing their biding. Which, as the lady in the article says, should come as no surprise to anyone who was ever in the vicinity of a dog.

I’d tap that island

Turns out you can learn a lot about people if you work at the same place for twenty years, especially if you have a lot and very passionate customers. Mark Rosewater, the head designer of Magic: the Gathering, sure did. And he shared twenty lessons in this talk. (Warning: long video.)
And because he knows that some people rather don’t watch a long video, here it is as an article for actual reading. (Well… in three parts. The second and third parts are available, too. So now you get to read three long articles.)

Humans need not apply

We’ve already managed to create embryos without any male involvement, but now some scientists managed to create one without an egg, just using stem cells. I’m pretty sure we’re heading towards a future where life isn’t really needed to create life anymore.
(Section title from this video. Don’t watch it if you’re easily scared by robots taking our jobs.)

Hello to the new readers! And thanks to those of you who gave me feedback on the new-ish format, that was very nice.


Monkey See, Monkey Drink

Hello internet friends!

Good news! We’ve reached the fourth year of this newsletter and just to warn you – I have decided to change things up for a little bit.
First things first: This email will now reach you from a different email address than before. I’ll actually be using my proper newsletter domain for the email instead of my personal email address. (This might help you to filter these emails, too – if email from set priority to high would be my idea for a good filter.)
I’ll also try to structure the links a bit more. While I enjoyed writing prose and just throwing links in whenever I felt like it, the most common feedback I got was: “Hey, have you seen this awesome article that you linked to last week but I didn’t see because I didn’t click all your links?” Sooo… here we go.
I hope you don’t hate these changes too much and if so, please be gentle when letting me know.



Turns out alcohol consumption is such a basic fact of human life that it actually precedes humans. Scientists have been working hard to go all scientific method on the “Drunken Monkey Hypothesis” by Robert Dudley and so far it looks good for our drunk ancestors.


If you’re not smart enough to avoid Twitter you might have seen the “white guy blinking” meme. Unlike other people who suddenly turned into a meme Drew Scanlon is in on it – as he should be, given that his job is to create internet content.


Bees are even smarter than we realized – they are even able to learn how to play football.


More or less all of the new voice interface bot services these days have a female voice. The good people at Quartz decided to sexually harrass these bots to see how they react.


Well, this is pretty: this guy in the 17th century decided the world needs a book with all the colors. Or at least the 271 watercolors he managed to mix together.

Well, does that help? 🤔
Either way: to those of you who have been around for a while, thank you very much. It sounds like a cliche (because it is one, but whatevs) but without you it’d not be fun to write these.

Comment, like and subscribe!