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Sunday 26th March 2017

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Articles by Guy Lochhead:

Teaching Language Awareness

I wake up in my Belgian friend’s flat in Leeds to the sound of Spanish; her housemates are already awake. Alison’s staying over at her Scottish boyfriend’s so I can sleep in her room. I put the BBC World Service on my phone and get dressed to news of Kenya’s presidential election and another North [...]

Posted in Education, Writing | Leave a comment

An Idiot Drinks Whisky

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to “get” whisky. I wanted to be able to taste the differences between different malts and do my usual stupid thing of picking a favourite. A hipflask of this chosen malt would be a third of my fantasy cycle jersey pocket contents, along with the best 135mm compact [...]

Posted in Recipes, Reviews | 1 Comment

Mapping Open Source Birdsong

Xeno-canto is a wonderful web-project dedicated to sharing recordings of birdsong. It was founded by Willem-Pier Vellinga and Bob Planqué in the Netherlands in 2005, with the aim of using the internet to enable people from all over the world to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for birdsong. This belief in the internet as a [...]

Posted in Animals, Biology, Music, Organisations | Leave a comment

International Supermarket Roulette: Bazoori

In the International Supermarket Roulette articles, I will be trying food and drink I’ve never tasted before from some of the world food shops along Derby Road, Southampton. It’s a development of Polish Food Roulette, a game I used to play in which I’d pick something unfamiliar from the local Polish shop. Living alone does [...]

Posted in Recipes, Supermarket Roulette | Leave a comment

How To Party With A Golden Jellyfish

My dear friend Yas (who represented humans in our playing cards) recently told me about Jellyfish Lake, a beautiful blue lagoon on Eil Malk, one of the Rock Islands in the Republic of Palau. The lake was formed about 12,000 years ago, when sea levels rose enough to flood the Jellyfish Lake depression. Over time, [...]

Posted in Animals, Biology, Travel | Leave a comment

Eye Ball’s Sensational Run-Downs 2012

A lot has changed this year – we’ve diverged and also welcomed some amazing contributors, so we thought it would make more sense to spread the end-of-year lists out between more people than just me and Poppy. Here they are. Happy 2013 everyone! Make it incredible or you might as well just die! Guy Lochhead [...]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

The Nurse With Wound List

Nurse With Wound is the main musical project of Steven Stapleton. NWW combine elements of all sorts of avant-garde music, which Stapleton is a big fan and collector of. The first NWW album, 1979′s ‘Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table Of A Sewing Machine And An Umbrella‘ (the title a reference to The Comte!), contained [...]

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Eye Ball Playing Cards Pre-Order

We have produced a set of beautiful, casino-quality, poker-sized Eye Ball playing cards! The four suits are Animals, Plants, Bacteria and Fungi, and each card contains a stunning illustration (a different artist for each suit) of a particularly amazing species of that kingdom. You also get a nice little booklet giving information about what makes [...]

Posted in Miscellaneous, Playing Cards | 2 Comments

The Chaos Of English

Gerard Nolst Trenité was a Dutch teacher and linguist who was fascinated by the mess that is English. In 1920, as an appendix to his book ‘Drop Your Foreign Accent’, he wrote a poem collecting many examples of the inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies of the language. This initial version was 146 lines long, but he refined [...]

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

A Busy Week: Images Of Genesis

The Nuremberg Chronicle is a 1493 paraphrasing of the Bible focusing on its story of human history, written by the German historian Hartmann Schedel. I am a big fan of creation stories, and the Abrahamic one is pretty good. The Nuremberg Chronicle contains some images of this story that I think are very beautiful in [...]

Posted in Folklore/Belief, Visual Art | Leave a comment

How To Win At Scrabble

Here’s a list of all the two-letter words in the English language officially accepted in Scrabble, with definitions. Good luck out there. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. AA: Hawaiian lava flow AB: an abdominal muscle AD: advert AE: Scottish word for “one” AG: agriculture AH: verb form of saying “ah” AI: Bradypus tridactylus, [...]

Posted in Games, Writing | Leave a comment

Desert Recordist: An Interview With Christopher Kirkley

Chris Kirkley runs Sahel Sounds, through which he finds, records and blogs about extraordinary music from West Africa. This is not homogenised “world music” though; by openly acknowledging and celebrating the influence of outside cultures as a part of the creative process, the music is always honest, raw, unpredictable, beautiful, and changing and crossing boundaries [...]

Posted in Interviews, Music, People, Travel | Leave a comment

A Simple Man: A Review Of ‘Marcovaldo’ By Italo Calvino

I was introduced to Italo Calvino‘s writing by Phil MacDonald (one of our writers! Currently cycling from coast to coast of the USA!), who lent me ‘Cosmicomics‘ during a very difficult messy break-up. I had to live with my (ex-)partner for two final weeks, in a flat just above where her new boyfriend was living. [...]

Posted in Books, Reviews | Leave a comment

Tsaatan Tspecial: What Is Mongolia?

This article is from a special edition of Eye Ball about the Tsaatan people of northern Huvsgul aimag. Mongolia is a landlocked Central Asian country sandwiched between Russia to the north and China to the south. It is about 1.6 million km2, and temperatures vary from -40°c to 40°c. The country is split into 21 [...]

Posted in Geography, History, Travel, Tsaatan Tspecial | Leave a comment

How To Build A Bike

[popup show="IMG1"] Over the last couple of years, I’ve got pretty into bikes. I twisted my ankle quite badly whilst training for a marathon and turned to cycling as a low-impact alternative that would still improve my anaerobic fitness. The bike I had then was a rusty hybrid originally from Tesco. I wanted to get [...]

Posted in Buyer's Guide, Cycling | Leave a comment

Idolators, Using Paper Money And Subject To The Great Khan: A Review Of ‘The Travels’ by Marco Polo

Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant (sort of) who travelled around 15,000 miles through Central Asia and China with his father and uncle between 1271 and 1295. His accounts of his adventures, widely known as ‘The Travels’ or ‘Il Milione’, were very popular, and instrumental in introducing Central Asian culture to a European audience. The [...]

Posted in Books, Folklore/Belief, Geography, Reviews, Travel | Leave a comment

How I Acquired Laser Vision

A couple of weeks ago a man from Syria fired a laser into my eyes and now I can see. People seem to be curious about the procedure, so I thought it might be a good idea to write an article about my experiences. The Build-Up I had been thinking about getting eye surgery, on [...]

Posted in Biology, Medicine | Leave a comment

Please Help Our Friend Saraa Get To A Health Conference

Dear friends, After an incredibly stressful year teaching in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, I spent three weeks travelling around the countryside, staying with families of the school cleaners and then hiring a car, driver and guide to go and visit the Tsaatan reindeer herders of Huvsgul province in the North. My guide for this adventure was a [...]

Posted in Charity, Education, Interviews, Organisations, People | Leave a comment

The Christopher Hitchens Workout

“How to ward off atrophy and routine, you ask? Well, I can give you a small and perhaps ridiculous example. Every day, the New York Times carries a motto in a box on its front page. “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” it says. It’s been saying it for decades, day in and day [...]

Posted in Books, Politics, Writing | Leave a comment

Weird Canadian: Aaron Levin

Aaron Levin is a central part of the Edmonton underground music scene, exhuming and re-releasing rare and hard-to-find records from Canada and the rest of the world with an attention to detail that might be related to his background in mathematics. As he puts it, “The engine behind my enthusiasm is the intersection of my [...]

Posted in Interviews, Mathematics, Music, Organisations, People | 1 Comment

How To Keep Your Bike

Locks The best locks are from the Kryptonite New York, Abus Granit or OnGuard Bulldog series. All these come in various forms – U-locks, cables, chains etc. You can read reviews here. Kryptonite New York locks have an insurance policy attached to them that supposedly insures bikes up to something like £2000 against theft when [...]

Posted in Cycling, Sports | 1 Comment

Skateboard Buyer’s Guide: Decks
(Part 2)

The deck of a skateboard is the bit you stand on. Originally, back in the ’50s, a wooden 2×4 was simply nailed to some roller skate wheels and that was that, but the idea has developed massively to become a complex industry using different pressing methods, shapes and graphics. The first skateboard manufacturers came out [...]

Posted in Design, Skateboard Buyer's Guide, Skateboarding | 2 Comments

The Minnesota Declaration: Werner Herzog’s 12 Rules For Truth In Film

This is not an original article. It is a reproduction of part of a speech that Herzog made at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis on 30th April 1999. It deals with the issue of truth in film, arguing against the approach of Cinema Verité in particular. Herzog’s factual filmmaking has been criticised as presenting [...]

Posted in Film, People | 1 Comment

The Champion Of Tapirs:
An Interview With Brent Huffman

Brent Huffman knows ungulates (hoofed mammals). He has spent his adult life researching the animals and compiles the knowledge he’s gathered into the wonderfully informative website Ultimate Ungulate. I actually first heard about him through his knitting though – he sells beautiful hand-knitted, anatomically-correct tapirs to benefit the Tapir Preservation Fund. Based on this amazing [...]

Posted in Animals, Biology, Interviews, People | Leave a comment

Thairy: My Thai Diary

On our much-deserved break from school, Poppy and I went to Thailand with our friend Max. We had the most amazing time on Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. I fixed bikes and fed a wild monkey whilst paddling a kayak. It was absolutely mind-boggling. If you ever go to Yao Noi, please stay [...]

Posted in Geography, Travel | Leave a comment

A Mixtape From A Music Copyright Expert

E. Michael Harrington is who musicians go to when they get in trouble over music copyright and intellectual property. He has been a consultant and expert witness for Spielberg, Woody Guthrie, Snoop Dog, Tupac, George Clinton, Mariah Carey and loads of other people, and lectured at the best law schools in the U.S. We thought [...]

Posted in Interviews, Music, People, Politics | Leave a comment

Not A Walk In The Park:
Choosing The Right Wellies

This morning I spent the time that I should have been lesson-planning researching wellington boots. This stuff is important. I get quite obsessive about finding out about stuff before I buy it because I think the internet makes everything so much more open and transparent that there’s not really any reason to continue supporting irresponsible [...]

Posted in Design, Fashion, Reviews | 2 Comments

Eye Ball Top 11s And A 20 Of 2011

Top 11 things we saw: 1. One of Poppy’s kids, a boxing/thinking hero called Tsenguun, pacing up and down at the black tie school disco wearing blue jeans, winklepickers and a red zip-up sweater, lit by a strobe light 2. Guy’s parents opening their Mongolian Christmas presents on Skype 3. Abbé Adolphe-Julien Fouré’s sculptures at [...]

Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

My Head Capitalist; My Heart Socialist; My Soul Anarchist:
An Interview With Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is an English journalist who writes articles and radio programmes about personal finance. He is a bit of an idol of mine: someone who broadcasts widely beneficial things in an accessible and funny way to a national audience, and who seems to have got into that amazing position without compromising his integrity in [...]

Posted in Books, Charity, Education, Finance, History, Interviews, People, Politics, Radio, Writing | Leave a comment

A Quick Interview Before The Eternal Worm Devours Connecticut:
Dan Barrett

Dan Barrett is the Connecticut-based artist and teacher behind home-recorded doom-shoegaze(ish) bands Have A Nice Life and Giles Corey and the amazing DIY record label ENEMIES LIST, among other super-ambitious projects. I don’t remember exactly how I came across his work, just that everything I read about him was written in the superlative. He’s a [...]

Posted in Education, Folklore/Belief, Interviews, Music, People | 2 Comments

The Game:
The Wire’s Guide To Playing Chess

In the third episode of super-popular American TV series The Wire, there is a great scene in which one of the main characters, a drug-dealer named D’Angelo, explains the rules of chess to some of his fellow dealers in terms they understand, analogising it to comment on their situation in “the pit” and wider society. [...]

Posted in Games, Politics, Television | Leave a comment

Skateboard Buyer’s Guide: Introduction
(Part 1)

This series of articles is intended to help anyone who’s interested in getting a skateboard navigate the multitude of brands and options now available. It will never be complete – skateboarding is fickle, and brands come and go, change their image etc. – but I’ll try to write in general terms so it can be [...]

Posted in Skateboard Buyer's Guide, Skateboarding | Leave a comment

Omne Scibile: The Eye Ball Crest

“Argent lozenge per a line raguly, on the base Azure a lighthouse, in the dexter and the sinister a beam of light Or, on the chief Bleu Celeste centre a sun Or. And upon an eye wreathed in sunbeams and compass points. On a Compartment of ivy Vert and poppies Gules. And for Supporters, on [...]

Posted in Design, History, Miscellaneous, Visual Art | Leave a comment

Your Own Light:
An Interview With Em Ledger

Em Ledger is a super-enthusiastic exponent of DIY culture from Sheffield, England. I first heard of her through her The World’s A Mess And Yr My Only Cure zines, in which she interviewed her heroes from the global DIY and queer scene. The articles are presented with such honesty and clarity that it’s very difficult [...]

Posted in Books, Education, Fashion, Interviews, Organisations, People, Politics, Writing | Leave a comment

Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You: An Introduction To Tom Merrington

For the first half of my second year at university, I lived in a little basement flat in central Totnes with a Swedish choreography student called Louise. The place was pretty horrible in many ways – we were staying there over winter and there were huge gaps under the doors and just two electric heaters, [...]

Posted in Issue 1, Music, People, Visual Art | Leave a comment

Soundart Radio

Regular readers probably known how much a fan I am of this radio station. I’ve written about them in various forms many times over previous issues, but they’ve never been the subject of an article before. Soundart Radio is a perfect community arts radio station situated near Totnes, in rural Devon. It is set apart [...]

Posted in Education, Internet, Interviews, Issue 4, Music, Organisations, Radio | Leave a comment

WDC’s Blue Whale

The Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society currently have a fantastic life-size picture of a blue whale that you can view here. Blue whales grow to over 100′ long, weigh up to 170 metric tons and can live for 150 years. Wtf.

Posted in Animals, Biology, Internet, Issue 4, Visual Art | Leave a comment

Warren Robinett

Warren Robinett is an American computer programmer (sort of) whose work has developed to be multi-disciplinary and amorphous, dabbling in, and pioneering, many different fields, driven by curiosity and itchy feet. I first heard of him whilst researching early video games. He began his career creating for Atari the first ever graphical adventure game, ‘Adventure‘, [...]

Posted in Biology, Education, Games, Internet, Interviews, Issue 4, People, Technology | Leave a comment

Victor Huang Vs. An Octopus

There’s a great video on YouTube of an octopus stealing a diver’s underwater videocamera and swimming off, with the camera still recording. Victor Huang was filming off the coast of Wellington, New Zealand, when the octopus seemed to attack him. He swam for the surface before realising it was only interested in his camera. A [...]

Posted in Animals, Biology, Film, Issue 4 | Leave a comment

Unofficial Army Clubs

Alright, I didn’t know if I should write about this or not. Obviously, war’s not cool. I think the difference is that all of the things I’m writing about here were at a time of conscription, with a very different social and political climate to what we’re reading/writing from. I hope you can see these [...]

Posted in Fashion, History, Issue 4, Organisations | Leave a comment

Think Of Me First As A Person

‘Think Of Me First As A Person‘ is an extraordinary amateur documentary film shot between 1961 and 1975 in Norfolk, Virginia, North America, by a father about his son who has Down Syndrome. Dwight Core Sr. filmed his son, Dwight Core Jr. (or ‘D’), to document his growing up, on 16mm stock, in the way [...]

Posted in Film, Issue 4, People | Leave a comment

The Plastic People Of The Universe

After the Second World War, Czechoslovakia was a confused place. Initial attempts at re-establishing pre-war Czechoslovakia were unsuccessful, due to the changed population (which now included a large number of refugee Hungarians and Germans), the messy separation of the Soviet-seized southern region of Carpatho-Rus (now Ukraine), and political conflicts between the Slovak (Democrat) and Czech [...]

Posted in History, Issue 4, Music, People, Politics | Leave a comment

The Ig Nobel Prizes

The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded every year since 1991 to experiments that “first make people laugh, and then make them think”. They are organised by the scientific humour magazine ‘Annals of Improbable Research‘ and presented by real Nobel laureates at a ceremony in Harvard‘s [...]

Posted in Biology, Education, History, Issue 4, Organisations, Physics, Technology | Leave a comment

The Human Music Anthology

Pleonasm is a brilliant “independent musical community of uncategorizable avant-weird living room minstrels par excellence”. Naturally, they have a show on the always-exciting New York freeform radio station WFMU, but they mainly function as a website, where they post up weird music they or others have found, for all to enjoy. Recently they’ve been putting [...]

Posted in Internet, Issue 4, Music, Organisations | Leave a comment

The First Video On YouTube

“Alright, so here we are in front of the.. err.. elephants… and.. the cool thing about these guys is that.. is that they have really… really, really long… um.. trunks. And that’s.. that’s cool… and that’s pretty much all there is to say.” At 20:37 on Saturday April 23rd 2005, user ‘jawed‘ posted the first [...]

Posted in Film, History, Internet, Issue 4, Technology | Leave a comment

The First Internet Message

On October 29th 1969, a computer at the University of California told a computer at the Stanford Research Institute, “lo”. The message was communicated over 400 miles via ARPANET, the proto-internet Advanced Research Projects Agency Network developed by MIT for the US Department of Defense. ARPANET was the world’s first “packet-switching” network, in which all [...]

Posted in History, Internet, Issue 4, Technology, Writing | Leave a comment

The Bank Of Time

The Bank of Time is a screensaver that turns “Dead Time into Natural History” by visualising your computer’s idle time as timelapse imagery of growing plants. It’s an online screensaver, and your idle time is only “saved” when you’re online and the screensaver is running, but that doesn’t mean you have to always be connected [...]

Posted in Internet, Issue 4, Technology, Visual Art | Leave a comment


Snopes is another brilliant web resource, this time for disproving the hundreds of urban myths and fabrications that probably form a worryingly large part of our understanding of the world. It is run by a Californian couple, Barbara and David Mikkelson, who founded it in 1995 after meeting on the alt.folklore.urban Usenet newsgroup. It is [...]

Posted in Education, Folklore/Belief, History, Internet, Issue 4, Mystery, Organisations, Writing | Leave a comment

Seat 61

This article is thanks to my friend Juyoung, who told me about this site when I said I wanted to visit Berlin and Munich. Started by English railwayman and veteran train and boat voyager Mark Smith in 2001, the Seat 61 is an invaluable online resource for anyone interested in exploring the world’s railways, named [...]

Posted in Internet, Issue 4, Organisations, Travel, Writing | Leave a comment

Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery

This extraordinary brewery and pub chain has its origins in the oldest brewery in Yorkshire, The Old Brewery, which opened in 1758. A tanner from Meanwood, Leeds, called Samuel Smith bought the building from a historically-influential family called Hartley to help clear their debts in 1847. Tadcaster’s hard magnesium limestone water had long made it [...]

Posted in History, Issue 4, Organisations, Recipes, Travel | 1 Comment
A Slow Gold Rush

Visit Guy's blog, where he looks up things from a list of 12000+ items he's written down to research over the last few years... The best ones often end up in Eye Ball, but there's some great stuff that doesn't...