Brief interview with Albert-László Barabási about his new book, The Formula, which lists five universal laws of  success, based on an analysis of a vast amount of data from a variety of  fields. I look forward to reading the book.

Erratic motion of north magnetic pole forces experts to update model that aids global navigation. "The most recent version of the model came out in 2015 and was supposed to last until 2020 — but the magnetic field is changing so rapidly that researchers have to fix the model now."

Ocean warming is accelerating, a new study shows. Frankly, I think even the "business-as-usual" climate scenario is too optimistic.

Steven Strogatz reflects on AlphaZero and the future of AI. "As machines become ever faster, and humans stay put with their neurons running at sluggish millisecond time scales, another day will follow when we can no longer keep up. The dawn of human insight may quickly turn to dusk. (..) We did pretty well without much insight for the first 300,000 years or so of our existence as Homo sapiens. And we’ll have no shortage of memory: we will recall with pride the golden era of human insight, this glorious interlude, a few thousand years long, between our uncomprehending past and our incomprehensible future."

The conceptual limits of machine learning.  "The question of ‘learnability’ — whether an algorithm can extract a  pattern from limited data — is linked to a paradox known as the  continuum hypothesis."

Think tickets in London's West End are overpriced? A breakdown of the costs proves they’re not a rip-off. I should add that these are commercial shows. It is simply impossible to break even on a contemporary dance or theatre performance.

Sleep expert Matthew Walker on the secret to a good night’s rest. Why We Sleep was one of my favourite books of 2018.

“What New York Was Like in the Early ’80s”. Part of a NY Times Style Magazine's issue on New York 1981-1983: 36 Months That Changed the Culture in which 36 writers, artists, fashion designers, musicians and more reminisce about the era.

Tattoos are copyrighted. "What many people don’t realize, legal experts said, is that the copyright is inherently owned by the tattoo artist, not the person with the tattoos."

The Financial Times architecture critic Edwin Heathcote on how radical 1960s architecture got it so wrong written on the occasion of the presentation of a book documenting the work of Archigram. "The most radical thing to do today would be to begin to forget these  seductive images and instead insist on the re-use and adaptation of existing structures." I should add that Archigram's output is a visual treat. But as Heathcote writes, we need new images of the future.

180,000 forgotten photos reveal the future of Greenland’s ice.

Archaeologists in Egypt have made an exciting tomb discovery - the final resting place of a high priest, untouched for 4,400 years.

Film footage from Paris from around 1890 with speed corrected, image stabilized and sound added.

Longform's Best of 2018.