Is ‘Stranger Things’ the Best Thing on TV since ‘Twin Peaks’? Plus: Heroic Humpback Whales, the World Hide-and-Seek Championships and Nude Statues of Donald Trump



The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed there’s been a slight re-design of the site (it’s subtle, so don’t feel too guilty if you missed it). As well as the Books page, there’s a shiny new header image and an easier to navigate Portfolio section.

The launch of The Secret Lives of Colour is now so imminent that I can practically taste it. Most excitingly I received my advance copy, which is beautiful. I’ve already shared thousands of images of it, but those who want even more, and/or would like to know about upcoming talks and other events, can visit the book’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages.

As ever, below are the stories — mostly on design and culture — that caught my eye this month and, at the bottom, three pieces from me. Bon appétit:

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Five nude statues of Donald Trump proved a comic gift to a New York City Parks spokesman — “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks,” he said, “no matter how small.” But the statues have also led to deeper commentary on the place personal mockery (and body shaming) has in our political discourse (see the Egyptian presenter item below)

Humpback whales come to the rescue of other species being hunted by orcas. But why?

The smart tattoo that can talk to your phone

Scientists used radiocarbon dating on the eyes of some greenland sharks to determine their age. One was 400 years old, making it the world’s oldest known vertebrate

What a multi-million dollar lawsuit between Samsung and Apples tells us about the value of design itself

For avid fans of Twin Peaks struggling to contain themselves until the release long-awaited third season (guilty), Stranger Things, Netflix’ homage to 1980s pop culture, has been manna from heaven. If you haven’t yet watched it, do so immediately.

What cookies have to do with the American presidency (hint: sexism)

In the same vein: eight Egyptian TV presenters have been suspended and ordered to lose weight

This is the most exclusive restaurant in America — it’s fully booked until 2025. But is it a mirage?

There’s a world hide-and-seek championship, and it’s held in an abandoned Italian town. That’s next year’s holiday sorted

And from me:

How mosque design can be used to counter anti-Muslim stereotypes

Why sports are getting so darned colourful

How a group of tech product designers are using (and re-tooling) age-old natural materials

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