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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Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: The Ogdens' ceramic ducks

The ducks first appeared at number 13 Coronation Street in the late 1970s and became an icon of the show

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Object: The Christmas tree light

The first electric Christmas tree lights were installed in the New York City home of Edward Hibberd Johnson this weekend in 1882

The NoPhone is a functionless lump of 3D-printed plastic

Rhodri Marsden: "The NoPhone is funny but let's say 'bah humbug' to anti-smartphone grouches"

The same size and shape as an iPhone 5 but with no functionality whatsoever, the NoPhone was intended as part joke, part art project, part social statement

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The Trivial Pursuit wedge

* This weekend 35 years ago, Scott Abbott, a sports journalist for the Canadian Press, challenged his friend Chris Haney, a picture editor for the Montreal Gazette, to a game of Scrabble. Haney arrived at Abbott's house with a Scrabble set which, he calculated, was the sixth he'd bought, thanks to repeatedly losing tiles. An exasperated Haney suggested they invent their own game. "How about trivia?" suggested Abbott. One hour later, over a couple of beers, they'd designed the six-spoked wheel of Trivial Pursuit.

Geek Mythology: I'm troubled by the rise of word 'bae'. But that’s the internet for you

Neither 'bim' nor 'gomping' will pass into common parlance, but I love them

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Horace Wells' tooth

* A touring showman by the name of Gardner Colton administered the laughing gas. John Riggs, a Connecticut dentist, wielded the pliers. Horace Wells, another dentist whose wisdom tooth had been causing him distress, braced himself for the extraction. But as Horace Wells's tooth left his body, he felt "not so much as a prick of pain"; 170 years ago this week, anaesthesia met dentistry.

Status symbol: if you own one of these, you are one of life's winners

Have you been ticking things off the "50 Signs A Couple Has Made It" list? Then you're dooming yourself to permanent unhappiness...

A sit-on mower and a wardrobe of gilets are on a list of signs that you've 'made it' in life, which went viral yesterday. Where does that leave Rhodri Marsden?

Online reviewers fill a vacuum for the average consumer - and our opinions carry huge weight

At this time of year in particular, we find ourselves relying on customer reviews to help us make tricky consumer decisions online

Art broken: the images that used to appear on DIY posters and leaflets are no longer part of Microsoft Office

Goodbye Clip Art: Vitally important bad design

Microsoft's Clip Art provided simple images for decorating documents with. Now it has been declared obsolete, and DIY leaflets will never be the same, says Rhodri Marsden

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The Sylacauga meteorite

* Mr Eugene Hodges arrived home from work on 30 November, 1954, 60 years ago this weekend, to find his front door besieged by strangers. When he finally got indoors, he discovered why people had been travelling from all over the town of Sylacauga: his wife had just become the first human being confirmed to have been hit by a meteorite.

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