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My favourite error message, from the BBC website. Please unsubscribe.

hello,

I am aware that Substack has become problematic. The technical team is looking into migration options.

5 things:

  1. The best quiz question I’ve heard in a long time, from the FT:

    “According to the Oxford English Dictionary, which already existing four-letter word was first used in Britain in its now common meaning of “challenging” or “daring” by Nigella Lawson in 1998 to describe crème fraîche?”

    The answer will be at the bottom of the page.

  2. The last Ford Mondeo will be sold next year. Ford designers are legendary for their expertise in clearly delineating different degrees of status via the trim on the car. This amazing, touching documentary brings that to life. As does this moment from Autocar:

    “Ford’s tinsel artistes always made sure that you could tell a base from an L, or an XL, or a GXL, their palette including chrome edgings, dashes of matt black, anodized panels, slashes of cabin plasti-wood, racier wheel trims and vinyl roofs. So your pay grade was parked on your driveway, your aspiration the quad- headlight, Rostyle wheel, vinyl-capped GXL”

    (Both via Things who clearly shares my obsession with this stuff)

  3. Professor Kimberly Nicholas answers this question well.

    Are you someone who is generally hopeful or pessimistic about the future?

    "I think all climate scientists have a complicated relationship with hope. I think people ask this question a lot as a proxy for, “Are we screwed, are we too late, can I give up?” and the answer to that is no, it’s not too late, we can stabilize the climate and avoid catastrophic climate change.Science gives us reasons for hope, because we know what we need to do, we know what works to get it done, and it kind of comes down to what you believe about human nature and what you do to make that possible in your sphere of influence. I think it’s a mistake to feel that you need hope before you do that.__"

  4. More cars! Also via Things. Amy Shore tells you how to be a car photographer. I love this sort of insider-y stuff.

  5. Book design, these days:

    “Why do three out of four books these days look almost identical? It’s for the ‘gram. It’s for the Amazon thumbnail: big bold letters against a patterned background. I would like to now dub these examplars of what we will soon call “late iPhone era” of book cover design, and I look forward to its end, and when we can laugh at it, the homogeneity, their hiliarious earlycentury aesthetic.”

    (Notes From A Small Press, Anne Trubek)

Edgy. The quiz answer is ‘edgy’. Good, right?

(There are 671 of you. 671 is the magic constant of n×n normal magic square. Magic squares are big in recreational mathematics.)