Why did the golden age of The Simpsons end? redux - celebrity cameos

Last year, I wrote about the evolving nature of the writing staff as a possible reason for post-golden-age decline of The Simpsons. While I’d hesitate to argue a causal relationship, the decline in episode ratings did appear to correspond roughly to a change in the writing staff. Nevertheless, there are... [Read More]

Am I the asshole?

The Reddit community /r/AmITheAsshole has a simple premise: users describe a particular situation in their lives and others respond with their opinion of whether the original poster (OP) was the asshole in the situation. A vote is made using a set of initialisms: NTA - ‘not the asshole’: the OP... [Read More]

How Ned got Fland-diddly-anderised

One of the many words The Simpsons has given to us is Flanderisation—the gradual erosion of the nuances of a character until they become little more than a parody of themselves. Although, of course, named after Ned Flanders the term has found use in a number of other works; TV... [Read More]

The problem with folding phones

The prospect of a foldable phone/tablet combo has been causing a stir lately, thanks to Samsung teasing their latest innovation: a phone that unfolds into a tablet. While I don’t particularly fancy one of these devices—not that I could afford one—I can appreciate the technological feats that they are. [Read More]

Why did the golden age of The Simpsons end?

Around this time last year, I wrote a post dissecting the decline of The Simpsons from its peak in the mid 90s finding that the golden age of the show spanned an incredible 214 episodes. As a comparison, Friends, which seemed to have been on TV forever, managed 236 episodes... [Read More]

A cynical guide to fixing your gender pay gap

It’s April 5th, the deadline for reporting gender pay gap figures passed last night and your company reported a mean gender pay gap of 23.6%. Already the tabloids are baying for blood and a trending hashtag on Twitter is calling for the boycott of your company’s products. As the headlines... [Read More]

Organising your World Cup sweepstakes using R

Like many others are doing at this time, I’m sure, my friends and I are trying to coordinate a sweepstakes for the upcoming World Cup. For anyone unaware, the general format of a World Cup sweepstakes is: 32 people (or some factor, thereof) pledge an equal sum of money; each... [Read More]

The ups and downs of Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal

Has there ever been a better case of nominative determinism than a man named Arsene becoming manager of Arsenal, setting the league alight, before ultimately leaving the club like a burning building? The literal seconds of thinking I devoted to that assure me the answer is no. [Read More]

How to avoid getting the middle seat on Ryanair flights

I’ve noticed a lot of indignation lately towards the perceived change in how Ryanair allocates seats. For those unfamiliar with budget airline policies, Ryanair assigns you a seat at random unless you pay a charge—typically between €4 and €10. The ire has been directed at the claim that Ryanair have... [Read More]

Which is the best/most quotable Simpsons episode?

I’m one of those annoying people who make Simpsons references at any and every opportunity. In fact, in recent years I reckon my main interaction with the show has been making obscure references to it rather than actually watching episodes. I’m the worst, I know, but, I also know I’m... [Read More]