Back Again Again

August 3, 2016

It has been a few years since I wrote anything here. Why? Laziness perhaps, but more likely because of Facebook. It is easy to post something of interest on Facebook with a one-line comment. Some hardy souls do write longer posts there, but it is not really the place for the more thoughtful observations. I have noticed though, that I read fewer blogs than I used to and that many of those I used to read are no longer there.

I refuse to completely abandon the blog, thus this attempt to restart Cyberslacker.

And what inspired me to start? The discovery of a cartoonist who, cartoon after cartoon, has made me laugh out loud.

Canadian illustrator John Atkinson  combines a delightful cartoon style with a hilarious play with the English language, under the name Wrong Hands. (If he doesn’t do cryptic crosswords, he should)

Some favourites –

phonetically defined #4

(even more) phonetically defined

what separates us

simplified city map

movie plot generator

John generously allows these cartoons to be reproduced. I hope he is also making a living out of his work.


December 6, 2012


Somehow this caught my attention. Perhaps because it is so true.

This from artist Christoph Niemann who has a regular column in the New York Times Magazine called Abstract Sunday.

Christoph Niemann - Red Eye

Christoph Niemann - Red Eye

Christoph Niemann - Red Eye

Christoph Niemann - Red Eye

Christoph Niemann - Red Eye

Christoph Niemann - Red Eye

Christoph Niemann - Red Eye

Christoph Niemann - Red EyeChristoph Niemann - Red EyeChristoph Niemann - Red EyeChristoph Niemann - Red EyeChristoph Niemann - Red EyeChristoph Niemann - Red EyeChristoph Niemann - Red Eye

Age Quiz Time

July 27, 2012

People have been posting this sort of picture onto Facebook and elsewhere with the message – “you know you are old if you recognise this”.

Here are a few from my childhood.







One of the slightly surprising things that this exercise has thrown up, is in fact how little things have changed in the last 50 years or so. Setting aside the computer/mobile phone/ television examples, it is hard to find much that has changed so much that they are unrecognisable.

Even some of the objects I have shown here are in contemporary use in some form. The hand sprayer, the can opener and even the mini-blackboard (slate) for example.

The fundamental objects around us have been refined and re-designed but are generally fairly recognisable.

By the way, the objects are –

drive-in cinema speakers, sardine can opener, hi-fi stylus, US 45-rpm record centre, school inkwell, Philips videocassette, school slate, car starter-handle, clothes wringer, two can-openers, Tonette, fly-spray

Looks Can Deceive

July 4, 2012

The US Geological Survey has published this graphic showing how much water there is on the earth. The bubble represents all the water on the planet.

Picture of Earth showing if all, liquid fresh, and the water in rivers and lakes were put into spheres..

Apart from the obvious message about the preciousness of water, it is also a fascinating illustration of how differently we perceive volume and (almost) area. Almost, because in relation to the size of the earth, the oceans are not very deep.

It is the reverse of the surprising effect of seeing how far one drop of oil can spread on water.

For the geeks amongst you, the calculations are here.

Imagined Lives

July 3, 2012


So, London turned on a typically cold and wet summer again so far this year. Not that I regard that as a particular problem when visiting the old town. That’s what its fabulous museums and galleries are for.

I have written before about various visits to galleries. such as Art and Politics, Where Would We Be Without Maps.  

A particular favourite is the National Portrait Gallery. There is already a preponderance royal portraits at the best of times and during the Jubilee it was a bit overwhelmed with royal stuff.  But there are fortunately still other exhibitions on show.

As is often the case, the most interesting exhibitions are the ones tucked away in corners or downstairs by the bookshop. This time was no exception.

Imagined Lives is a small collection of portraits of unknown people that were once thought be be others.

Unknown woman, formerly known as Mary, Queen of Scots, by Unknown artist, circa 1570 - NPG 96 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

For example, this portrait which was once believed to be Mary Queen of Scots but which is now simply listed as a portrait of an unknown woman.

What makes this exhibition special is the very clever book that accompanies it. For each of the portraits a well-known author – John Banville, Tracy Chevalier, Julian Fellowes, Alexander McCall Smith, Terry Pratchett, Sarah Singleton, Joanna Trollope or Minette Walters has written a fictional account of what the lives of these sitters might have been like.

There are some wonderful portraits made all the more interesting by these stories.

Out of Retirement

September 23, 2011

What does it take to get this cyberslacker out of retirement? Why extraordinary wedding cakes of course.

Must have some Lego!

And some Scrabble.

Scrabble Wedding Cake

More can be found here.

Civic Pride

May 31, 2011

After having been dubbed one of America’s 10 “dying cities”, the good citizens of Grand Rapids, Missouri put together a wonderful video made by a collection of Grand Rapidians lip syncing to Don Mclean’s American Pie. It was paid for by local sponsors and produced by local volunteers.

I admire it both as a demonstration of civic pride and as a fabulous piece of filming logistics.


see also


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