The Twitter rebrand, an X shaped railroad switch to the wrong track

Mary Winter, semiotics specialist at Australian branding agency Principals, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, about the symbolism behind X, the new logo of Twitter, now known as X. The move possibly says a lot about what is going through the mind of Elon Musk, owner of Twitt … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Man apologises for social media threats against Yumi Stynes

A man has apologised to Australian author Yumi Stynes after making threats against her through social media last week. Stynes has been subjected to a barrage of online hostility recently, amid a backlash against Welcome to Sex, a sex education book she co-authored with Melissa Ka … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Sigrid Thornton joins the Australian Film Walk of Fame

Melbourne based Australian actor Sigrid Thornton was last night inducted onto the Australian Film Walk of Fame, at a ceremony at the Ritz Cinema, in Randwick, Sydney, where the Walk of Fame is located. Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on Hollywood Boulevard, in California, … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Vale Sinéad O’Connor, 1966 – 2023

Nothing compares 2 U, her 1990 hit, a song written by the Prince, sums up, somewhat, the pathos. | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Everything app killed the blue bird, an obituary for Twitter

Oliver Darcy, writing for Reliable Sources, a newsletter produced by CNN: Twitter, the text-based social media platform that played an outsized role on society by serving as a digital town square, was killed by its unhinged owner Elon Musk on Sunday. It was 17 years old. A zombie … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The delicious Rotating Sandwiches wins inaugural Tiny Awards

Rotating Sandwiches, designed by Lauren Walker, has been named winner of the inaugural Tiny Awards, a prize celebrating “the idea of a small, playful and heartfelt web.” Rotating Sandwiches is exactly what it says on the tin — go see for yourself — but if you’re feeling a bit pec … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Shankari Chandran wins 2023 Miles Franklin with Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens

Sydney based author and Australian Tamil lawyer, Shankari Chandran, has been named winner of the 2023 Miles Franklin literary award, with her novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, published by Ultimo Press in 2022. Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens is Chandran’s third work of fiction … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Barbie nukes Oppenheimer on opening weekend in America

Still from Barbie, a film by Greta Gerwig. But all of these box-office taking numbers are staggering: One of the prime records Barbie is breaking this weekend is the best domestic start for a movie helmed by a female director, with $155M. That figure beats 2019’s Captain M … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

X marks the spot, new Twitter logo soon, following name change

Twitter owner, Elon Musk, says the present blue bird logo of the micro-blogging service will be changed to an X styled emblem, and that an interim logo could be unveiled sometime today. The new branding follows the recent name change, from Twitter to X Corp last April. The change … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Napoleon, a bio-pic by Ridley Scott, parles-tu Francais?

Still from Napoleon, a film by Ridley Scott. British filmmaker Ridley Scott takes on the life of French military leader, and former emperor of the French Empire, Napoleon Bonaparte, in his new bio-pic feature, Napoleon. American actor Joaquin Phoenix stars in the lead role, along … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf, with her handwritten notes, found in Sydney

In 2021, Simon Cooper, a University of Sydney worker, rediscovered a first edition copy of The Voyage Out, the 1915 debut novel of British author Virginia Woolf, lurking amongst a collection of science books, where it had been misfiled years ago. What makes the find so remarkable … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Can AI avatars of dead loved ones ease the grief of death?

Special relatively and cosmic consciousnesses may one day possibly, maybe, precipitate interactions (of who knows what sort) with deceased family and friends. But that day, if it ever arrives, will be in the far, far, distant future. The idea though of making contact with the dea … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Announcing the winner of the 2023 Lyttle Lytton Contest

Last month the winners of the Lyttle Lytton Contest were announced. The Lyttle Lytton is a literary prize, but not of the usual variety. Instead of celebrating the good or excellent, Lyttle Lytton honours the worst of the worst. In this case bad, or terrible, would-be opening sen … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Albert Einstein, special relativity, and an afterlife: this is heavy

Image courtesy of Lumina Obscura. Is your dead grandmother… still alive? The answer is… … yes… … in a sense. That’s if information in the cosmos is never destroyed, but rather… rearranged. In this case the information I refer to are the atoms, sub-atomic particles, and who knows … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Book of Life, a memoir by Australian musician Deborah Conway

Melbourne based Australian musician Deborah Conway has been writing and recording rock and pop music in her inimitable style for over four decades. Her hits include It’s Only the Beginning, Alive and Brilliant, and Will You Miss Me When You’re Sober? In 1992 Conway won an ARIA aw … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

A sequel to The Way on the way says filmmaker Emilio Estevez

I mention Emilio Estevez’s 2010 movie The Way one day, and the next I learn the American director is working on a sequel to the film, which was set on the Camino de Santiago, in Spain. I also discovered The Way was re-released in American cinemas last May. Estevez describes the f … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

2023 Asian American Literature Festival abruptly cancelled

A biennial event, the Asian American Literature Festival (AALF) was first held in Washington D. C., capital city of the United States, in 2017, and then again in 2019. After Covid lockdowns put paid to the 2021 event, organisers and participants were keenly anticipating the 2023 … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Camino by Birgitte Stærmose, a remake of The Way by Emilio Estevez?

Still from Camino, directed by Birgitte Stærmose. When I first saw the trailer for Camino, the latest feature by Danish filmmaker Birgitte Stærmose, I couldn’t help but see parallels with The Way, trailer, a film made in 2010, by American actor and director Emilio Estevez. At fir … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Sarah Holland-Batt writing new book related to The Jaguar

Brisbane based Australian author Sarah Holland-Batt, winner of the 2023 Stella Prize, is working on a new book, which will published in Australia and New Zealand by the University of Queensland Press (UQP). A work of creative nonfiction, the new title will be a follow up of sorts … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Threads engagement declines, badges removed from Instagram

The curious joined, looked around, and then returned to what they were doing before. Daily active users on Threads, Meta’s answer to Twitter’s micro-blogging platform, declined by twenty percent in the days following the app’s red-hot launch, while time spent by users on Threads … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Short interviews with the 2023 Miles Franklin shortlisted authors

The winner of the 2023 Miles Franklin literary award will be announced in just over a week, on Tuesday 25 July 2023. Ahead of the presentation, The Bookshelf and Book Show have recorded interviews with all six shortlisted Australian authors. View the shortlist here. | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Films that influenced Barbie, the movie by Greta Gerwig

American filmmaker Greta Gerwig shares thirty-three films influencing her new feature, Barbie, and a varied collection it is. Titles include Saturday Night Fever, Playtime, The Truman Show, The Philadelphia Story, Heaven Can Wait, Gold Diggers of 1935, and (of course) 2001: A Spa … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Australian cafes feel brunt of rising inflation, interest rates

Australian cafes are among those bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis. Many are dealing with rising overheads, and reduced revenue, as their customers — who are negotiating increased rent or mortgage payments, among other things — feel compelled to reduce discretionary … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

#BookThreads, a name for the book community on Threads?

Threads banner image, by Meta. If Threads, Meta’s recently launched micro-blogging app, takes off and becomes as popular as the likes of Twitter and Instagram, a community of book readers and fans is bound to form. As was the case on Instagram, Threads’ Meta owned stablemate, whe … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Threads revenue tipped to reach $8 billion by 2025

Threads, Meta’s micro-blogging app, may only be a week old, and boast a relatively small membership of one-hundred million, but some analysts are already predicting, boldly perhaps, the Twitter clone may draw in revenues of eight-billion dollar per annum by 2025: Evercore ISI ana … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

How to define Australian food, if that is possible

Australian food critic Besha Rodell, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald: What is Australian food? Is there even any such thing? These are questions I’ve been pondering, researching and, at times, vigorously debating, for decades. We are not Europe. We are not Japan or Korea. A … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The National Biography Award 2023 shortlist

Book cover for Unknown: A Refugee’s Story, by Akuch Kuol Anyieth. Some late news to hand… the National Biography Award 2023 shortlist was announced yesterday, Thursday 13 July 2023, and includes the following six titles: Unknown: A Refugee’s Story, by Akuch Kuol Anyieth The Ghost … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

First edition of The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien sells for £10000

News articles mentioning first edition publications of well-known books have been featuring in the news feeds I read recently, and here’s another one. This time, a first edition copy of The Hobbit, the 1937 novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien, sold for ten-thousand British pounds o … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Bryan Brown: Australian stories need streaming service quotas

Australian actor Bryan Brown, speaking at the National Press Club this week, has joined calls for content quotas to be imposed on shows broadcast by streaming services in Australia. Local content quotas have been on the agenda for some time now, and are something Australian feder … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Books owned by Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones to be auctioned

Some of the books belonging to Charlie Watts, the late drummer of British rock act the Rolling Stones, will be auctioned later this year. Watts was no casual book reader though. Some of the items in his book collection include first edition publications of titles including The Gr … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Have Threads badges made my Instagram account valuable?

The launch last week of Meta’s Twitter-like micro-blogging service Threads has been a riotous success, if the one-hundred million sign-ups in its first five days are any indication. Threads seems to have been the much wanted breath of fresh air micro-bloggers were waiting for. Th … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The Loneliness Project, stories of loneliness curated by Marissa Korda

I’m a little late to the party, the Loneliness Project, by Canadian graphic designer and illustrator Marissa Korda, has stopped publishing stories, but previous editions remain online for your reading enjoyment. I have to say I like the way each story is presented as a different … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

What to do when no one likes the quirky links that you curate

Well this wasn’t part of the plan. Imagine you’ve set yourself up as the editor of a (possibly informal) email newsletter featuring (what you consider to be) interesting, funny, and quirky links. Except no one you send the newsletter to (possibly whether they wish to receive it o … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Music streaming has filled the Australian charts with old songs

TikTok has a lot to answer for. It has launched the careers of musicians who recording companies at first refused to blink sideways at, and revived the popularity of some acts who might be considered to have had their day. Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush, I’m looking at you. But TikT … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The fiery brilliance of Oppenheimer was achieved with no CGI

Oppenheimer, American filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s bio-pic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American scientist often referred to as the “father of the atomic bomb”, opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 20 July 2023. This is a film that stands to be remarkable for many reasons … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Twitter claims Meta Threads is theft of their trade secrets

Meta is possibly facing a lawsuit from Twitter, hours after the much hyped launch of Threads, its micro-blogging service, according to Semafor. In a letter sent to Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter accuses Meta of poaching certain of its employees (presumably those who weren’t laid off), … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The AIGA best book and cover designs of 2022 unveiled

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has announced the winners of the 2022 50 Books | 50 Covers competition. Almost five-hundred covers, from twenty-seven countries, were submitted for consideration in the annual contest, which commenced one hundred years ago, in 1923. T … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

WHAM! The story of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, by Chris Smith

There’s an old saying in the place where I reside: if you remember Wham! you were in the eighties. Wham! as in the out of control mega-successful British pop duo of the late George Michael, and Andrew Ridgeley. A new documentary of the same name, directed by American filmmaker Ch … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Center for AI Safety warns of risk of extinction from AI

The California based Center for AI Safety recently issued a short but stark warning about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI), suggesting the risk of extinction — presumably ours, along with other species — is a distinct possibility: Mitigating the risk of extinction from … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Barbie film banned in Vietnam over Nine-dash line map scene

American actor and filmmaker Greta Gerwig’s new film Barbie, has been banned by Vietnam’s Department of Cinema, on account of a scene depicting a map of the South China Sea. The map in question features the “nine-dash line“, which represents a territorial claim over the waters by … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The Tiny Awards, celebrating a small, playful, heartfelt web

Voting is open in the inaugural Tiny Awards, which honour websites that embody “the idea of a small, playful and heartfelt web.” Nominees include the, which I wrote about in April 2022, and, a blog directory, where disassociated is listed. Voting closes … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Monday 3 July 2023, hottest recorded day in the world

Temperatures on Monday reached an average of 17.01 Celsius, up from the previous high of 16.92 Celsius, recorded in August 2016. This as parts of the United States, China, and Africa, have sweltered through oppressive heatwaves in recent weeks. | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Mona Awad, Paul Tremblay claim ChatGPT learned from their books without permission

Canadian novelist Mona Awad, and American author Paul Tremblay, have filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, developer of ChatGPT, alleging breach of copyright. Both writers believe their works were used to assist “train” the artificial intelligence chatbot, after discovering ChatGPT is … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Threads by Meta/Facebook has started rolling out

Threads, the Meta/Facebook micro-blogging/discussion alternative to Twitter was ready to go when I came into the studio this morning. You can find me here. Threads is pretty simple to set up, especially if you’re already on Instagram (IG), and there’s the option to import your IG … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

The Bechdel test, a joke but cool, says Alison Bechdel

Devised in 1985 by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, though Bechdel says a friend, Liz Wallace, thought of it, the Bechdel test has become a well-known metric by which to gauge a film. To pass the Bechdel test, a movie must meet the following requirements: Feature at least two … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Kurzgesagt: the next pandemic could be made at home, scary hey?

Advances in biotechnology are being made in leaps and bounds. On one hand what is being learnt is making the world safer, but on the other, there is a downside. While cures for deadly diseases are being developed, even nastier pathogens are being created at the same time. Or coul … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Meta’s Twitter clone, Threads, said to be launching this week

The much talked about Meta/Facebook Twitter-like micro-blogging application, reportedly called Threads, will be launched later this week, according to Bloomberg. With well over one billion Instagram users, and approaching three billion Facebook members, Meta’s Twitter clone has t … | Continue reading | 7 months ago

Everyone and Everything, the debut novel of Nadine J. Cohen

Just as well I still check in on Twitter. If not, I’d have not found what I found out about Sydney based refugee advocate, and Australian writer, Nadine J. Cohen. First up her Twitter account has been suspended, and second, her debut novel, Everyone and Everything, is being publi … | Continue reading | 7 months ago