BBC Radio 4, Front Row Hay Festival debate: “Do we publish too many books?”
Podcast Fri, 29 May 2015, duration 29 mins
From the Hay Literary Festival, BBC Radio 4’s arts show Front Row asks the question “Do we publish too many books?” In a lively panel discussion, Samira Ahmed heads a panel of publishers, journalists and authors: Philip Jones editor of the trade journal The Bookseller, Crystal Mahey-Morgan Digital Sales and Marketing Director at Zed Books, Alexandra Pringle, the group editor in chief of Bloomsbury and Ali Sparks author of 41 books for children. Continue reading
On arriving, Caleb finds his prize is in fact to run the Turing Test on Nathan’s ground breaking artificial intelligence, to discover if it is truly a sentient being. Not an easy task; the AI is the alluring android-shaped Ava; former programming prodigy Nathan, the Mozart of the Internet, is a manipulative sociopath; and Caleb himself may not be quite the innocent he appears.
Screen writer Alex Garland’s directorial début is a chilly, tense, claustrophobic sci-fi drama of subtle performances concerning the moral and ethical questions of creation, conciousness and free-will. From the very first power-cut in Nathan’s total-surveillance bunker, you know that this is not going to end well… Continue reading
Welcome to the futuristic San Fransokyo, where misfit robotics prodigy (aren’t they all) Hiro takes on his late brother’s project, a medical robot, Baymax. But soon Hiro and his band of misfit science geek friends (aren’t they all) are out to catch the evil genius (aren’t they all) who stole Hiro’s invention and caused his brother’s death.
Disney’s direct re-invention of How to Train Your Dragon is an manga-inspired mashup of The Incredibles and Wall-E; a comic-book romp that has eye-popping action and the now-obligatory flying sequence over a glorious San Fransokyo which steals the show. Drop me off in town to go exploring and pick me up when the super-heroics are over. I can guess the rest – it’s all about family, innit? Continue reading
Everyone knows Stephen Hawking, the world’s most famous living physicist, author of a Brief History of Time, now so famous that he’s appeared on everything from The Simpsons to Star Trek. He is also the most famous motor neurone survivor.
From his bleak diagnosis in the 1960’s, The Theory of Everything follows the controversial physicist’s career from undergraduate to CBE, via walking sticks, wheelchairs and that world-recognised speech synthesiser. A lyrical, high-gloss movie in the tradition of understated British bio-pics, not afraid to take it’s time on lingering shots, but still managing to capture thirty years of Stephen and Jane Hawking’s lives together. Continue reading
We will soon be implementing a tougher security standard for encrypting passwords within the our events database. It should occur invisibly behind the scenes and I won’t bore you with the technical stuff, but if we do have any glitches, I’m going to honestly advise this is going on and quietly iron those out. Everybody loves a bit of improved security.
The question is, can master of style over substance Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice) overcome the worst movie title this decade as well as make computer hacking gripping and exciting? The answer is – no. So instead he churns out a third-rate Bond movie in his his favourite cop-show format.
Madame de Barra is a curiosity – a widowed woman gardener in seventeenth century France with the drive to make her visions a reality. When the unhappy gardening genius le Notre engages her to create a cutting-edge new al fresco ballroom for the King, it’s fairly obvious how it will all end.
Directed by, co-written by and featuring Alan Rickman as the bored and pointless seventeenth century French King, trapped inside a suffocating cage and wanting only the one woman he can’t have, it’s a deceptively tranquil take on ageing, loss and love. Continue reading
There’s a brilliant article on A List Apart: The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters) by Peter K Sheerin
from way back in October, 2001, now sadly marked “This article, while brilliant for its time, is now obsolete.”
However the topic doesn’t go away and we’re still struggling, not only with the style guide but how to render these shady characters for the web when there are all sorts of technical issues.
First of all, what’s the Difference Between an Em Dash, En Dash & Hyphen? And what has happened to them online?