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Another weekly round-up of topics, thoughts, articles or activities that the folk at MxM have been sharing or doing between ourselves in London and colleagues in snowy NYC.

Pages we’re turning

My New Year’s resolution was to read more, and so far, so good!

I have just finished reading the wonderful autobiography of Betty Halbreich, “I'll Drink to That”. She is an awesome no-nonsense woman in her 80s who still works as a personal shopper in Bergdorf Goodman. Her stories of women sharing their secrets, gossip and insecurities in the dressing room reminded me of the customers I dealt with when I worked in Luxury Retail. If you love textiles, shopping, fashion and want a little understanding about dressmaking, and an insight into how the privileged live, and a failed marriage, then this is a great read. Betty has a fab outlook on life with a wicked tongue. Upon finishing it I felt gutted it had ended and wanted to turn to the beginning again!

In keeping with my New Year’s resolutions, and wanting to start the year feeling fresh and energised, I have been de-cluttering. So it was very apt that I was given Stuffocation, Living More With Less written by James Wallman. I am only on page 14 but already feel that by the end of the year my house will almost be back to a blank canvas inhabited by just me, my husband, two cats, a small trunk of clothes & shoes and one bike(!). No coffee table books to collect dust, no sentimental bibelot and no drowning in piles of home admin.

On a similar note, my colleague Rachel is reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo which led to a flurry on Slack of videos on how to fold t-shirts and what gadget you need to fold t-shirts!

Other serious books recommended by fellow bibliophile @higgis is Revolutionary Iran: A history of the Islamic Republic. @higgis said: “Fascinating look at Iran pre and post Islamic Revolution and how the West has completely failed to understand it. Highly, highly recommended. One of the best books of history I’ve ever read.”

And given that it’s 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, he recommends “Eichmann Before Jerusalem” by Bettina Stangneth. Astonishing how ignorant people were generally about the Holocaust before Eichmann’s trial (which was in 1961). Also astonishing how much was known about Eichmann’s whereabouts prior to Mossad kidnapping him. Most interesting of all is how clearly it shows that Eichmann was a fanatical Nazi and not the “only obeying orders” stereotype that he painted in Jerusalem.

And of course anyone interested in this subject should read Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, which this book is a reaction to.

Lighter reading is being done by our colleague Ken in New York: The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year. Once that’s finished he’ll be getting a bit more high brow with Americanah.

Help yourself to a slice of birthday cake as FEL turns TWO this week!

An original idea formed by @cjbell_ and @ninjabiscuit that’s dedicated to all aspects of front-end development. Every month we host thought provoking talks covering a wide variety of topics around the technology, tools, processes, and experiences of front-end development.

In the two years it’s been going, we have heard from approximately 33 speakers, served up 264 pizzas, opened 52 bottles of wine, guzzled 880 cans of coke and drank just over 2,000 bottles of beer and ale!

Knit one, Perl one...

We’ll be having lunch time knitting lessons after Radio 4 did an article about knitters and coders having a lot in common.

This is from Computer Science for Fun: “Knitters get very proficient at reading knitting patterns, which are just varying combinations of k (knits) and p (purls). So the simplest pattern of all, knitting a square, would look something like: ‘30k (30 knit stitches), finish the line, then repeat this 20 times’.

A rib would look like: ‘5k, 5p, then repeat this [a certain number of times], then repeat the line [another number of times]’

To a computer scientist or electronic engineer all this looks rather like computer code or, to be precise, like the way of describing a pattern as a computer program.”

Listen to Lorna Hamilton-Brown and comedian and mathematician Matt Parker on the similarity between knitting and coding and making knitting cool.

We’ll be doing Culture at...

Already we have booked tickets to see Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert museum, an exhibition of one of the most innovative fashion designers: Alexander McQueen.

We’ll be guided by candlelight at Sir John Soane’s museum. On the first Tuesday of every month, when it is open late into the evening and lit only by candles, you can pad around as Sir John would have done himself.

Champion the Women of the World festival happening at the South Bank Centre. Celebrate the achievements of women and girls and look at the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their potential and contributing to the world.

And now, Science!

Chemists find a way to un-boil eggs! To which, Made by Many’s Łukasz states: “if they figured how to unboil yolks, then you’d never have to eat hard boiled egg when you wanted a soft boiled one.”

Who’s going to be the next Roger Black, Linford Christie or Kelly Holmes?

Instead of trying to stick to a fad diet in January to lose the winter padding, a bunch of us have decided January is the time to start training for another Tough Mudder, Triathlon, or just to keep fit. If you see an oddly dressed bunch of folk running along the Regent’s canal — that’s us! Don’t feel left out if you don’t have a buddy to run with, join GoodGym and feel extra smug.

Whooooo! Let’s go play...

Quick! Get yourself to Hammersmith before Valentine’s Day and channel your inner kid... thrash around in a soft play area filled with 81,000 balls.

Round of applause goes to...

Leslie Bradshaw was moderating at last night’s Google NYC/New Face of Tech and Innovation: Women, Leadership and Digital Diversity in NYC.

AdBro chats UX

Adam Brodowski is speaking on a panel at a Google UX met up at ITP, tonight at 6pm (New York time!). Five UX professionals, representing large and small creative agencies, startups and a tech company will share their insights on what they do, what working in the UX field is like and what companies are looking for in hiring UX talent. This is an opportunity to gain insight on the professional practice of UX.

Vivienne Berryman

Vivienne Berryman

If you need a Passive/Aggressive Picle on how to change a loo roll at work, just ask.
I also order sweets for the office.


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