One of the strange things about 'lockdowns' and 'WFH' has been the lack of what i kind of think of as punctuation events: the things we need to get everything done before and that we use as the metronomes for the rhythms of work and life. Holidays and deadlines are he big ones, but in a small way a drink with a friend, or a trip to the cinema also work like this. The last few weeks have seemed to have an unusual amount (well for 2020 at least) of punctuation events. PhD wise I had my upgrade exam (a verbal exam or interview about the work completed this far). I've been working towards it for a while and it's one of the few really formalised points in the timeline of a PhD. Life wise there were things like ovens breaking, car MOTs etc. those sort of banal things which upset the usual pacing of life. Resultantly, the frequency of posts on here has slowed somewhat. I don't mind really, and in some ways I feel like now I have a better idea now of how I want to use this page in the future. Which is both to provide a sort of rhythm. But also to help me digest some of the upgrade feedback and to think about the directions the research takes now.

One bit of feedback I did receive was that I might be more strident about saying what the research does, how it does it, and to claim some of the methods as my own. I guess this confidence takes time, but over the next few posts I'm going to give this a bit of a shot.


Though not directly related to my research – however, very much related to the theme of this blog – I've been thinking a fair bit this last few weeks about Anglo Arms knives. I first came across the brand on Gavin Hales Twitter (which is well with a follow if you're at all interested in policing). He and others have been using the hashtag #theresthatknifeagain to highlight the frequency in which the brands knives seem to be being carried (and seized by police). They're gruesome, shocking things, and it's hard to know how a company can really sell them online, and so cheaply (some sell for as little as £13.99). Google them, it's crazy. They're throw away cheap.

I'm interested in them as pieces of design. They're aesthetically really powerful and super photogenic. They stop my Twitter scrolling in it's tracks and I can certainly see why those in charge of police Twitter accounts choose to post images of them [1]. I'd imagine this is also part of the allure to those who carry them too. Simply, that they're designed for photos as much as to stab. I'm going to do some digging to se if anyone has done much research into the visibility of knives...

So what? I guess Im still formulating some ideas about this. But I think think that thinking about knife crime from a both a visibility angle and in terms or material artefacts is certainly important – it would appear that either Anglo Arms are...

Anyway, an area which I'm trying to keep up-to-date on.


[1] There's been a bit of debate as to whether or not the police should post pictures of knives at all. I think the argument being that whilst it shows a knife being taken off the street, images of the knives are both scary for the public, and could fuel a desire from some to carry one for protection. I'm not sure I buy this. I'd imagine that the siloed nature of social media means that the those following police Twitter accounts are unlikely to carry knives – I could be wrong.