Rhodri Marsden

Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.

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Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify

Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything? Rhodri Marsden wonders if they signal a blow for people power – or the death throes of true democracy

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: The 1843 Millerite chart

* William Miller, a baptist lay preacher from New York, began an intense period of Bible study in 1815. He was looking for clues relating to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and in the book of Daniel he found what he was looking for. Chapter 8, Verse 14 reads: "Unto 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed". By conveniently interpreting one day to mean one year, Miller calculated that this momentous event was due in 1843.

Love seats: a picture from the blog 'Drunken Furniture'

Drunk furniture: Not here Steve

When Rhodri Marsden posted on Twitter a picture of two armchairs in a clinch like inebriated lovers, his 'Drunken Furniture' became an instant hit. Sofa, so good, he says
Mission Ruse on the day, in the city square

Tim Steiner's Mission Ruse and the real power of music

Rhodri Marsden tells the curious tale of an English conductor trying to revive the fortunes of a struggling Bulgarian town with just a song (and a band of 300)

Heinz tomato ketchup
Dromedary day: Raffia goes mapping in the Arabian Peninsula

Google sending its Street View cameras to the desert... on camels

The involvement of a camel is evidently a cute publicity stunt, but it does highlight Google’s growing interest in facilitating armchair tourism

Have you Snapchatted your bum? Or swiped right on your cousin?

Netiquette: A loser's guide to social media - from Facebook events to dating on Tinder

Have you Snapchatted your bum? or swiped right on your cousin? Fear not: help is at hand with Rhodri Marsden's guide to netiquette…
Revolution: Epson is trying a new approach

Refillable printers may spell the end for expensive ink cartridges

With printer companies no longer coining it by selling us overpriced ink, they’re being forced to take drastic measures.

Say Ello to the new social network that’s not that sociable yet

It's not Facebook or Twitter, and for many people that’s enough to sell them the idea

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Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there