Seamus K - Irish tech industry expat living in Sweden.

Good food writing

I have come late to the Angry Chef, but I am enjoying his sensible writing on food, diets, fads, quackery, and swearing (he doesn’t write about swearing, he just does it a lot).

This bit from his post today made me smile.

Another thing people struggle to understand is that when the proportion of people dying from non-communicable diseases goes up, this is usually a positive change. Everyone has to die of something, and the only other ways to meet your maker are communicable diseases and violence, which are generally not preferred options. If you want to live somewhere where your odds of dying from an NCD is very low, move to Afghanistan, Syria or South Sudan.

I occasionally have to make this point to people (“OMG so many more people are dying of cancer, we need to do something about X!” Sliabh: “well actually”). He makes the point much better 🙂

If I get to it, I should write a bit about my experiences with food in the last 6 months. I decided I needed to make a change. And it has worked well. But it was something not done with any “diet”. Lets see if I can write that.


Brexit – what is it good for?

As well as providing a huge spur to the analogy industry, Brexit has been very good for educating a lot of people (myself included) on many aspects of law, international trade and so on. 

For your education today, here is an excellent article on the mechanics of trade negotiating. And how the pro-Brexit side’s approach of shouting a bit louder to get what you want – will get you SFA.


The Rock Climber song

I have no idea where this originally came from, but we use to belt it out on the bus to and from Wicklow hikes back in my UCD MC days. I found a version online, but the guy had mangled the last verse. And that cannot be allowed. So with some help from Valerie H, here it is in all its (original) glory*.

It is sung to the tune of the Wild Rover. 

I’ve been a rock climber for many’s a year,
And spent all me money on rock climbing gear,
Now I’ve no money and me fingers are sore,
And I swear that I’ll be a rock climber no more.
And it’s no, nay, never, (jangle yer nuts!)
No, nay, never, no more,
I’ll be a rock climber, no never, no more.
I went to a crag that I used to frequent,
And told my belayer my fingers were spent,
I said to her ‘lead on’, she answered me nay!
You’re the rock climber, I only belay.
And it’s no, nay, never, (handle the jugs)
No, nay, never, no more,
I’ll be a rock climber, no never no more.
I took a big friend from my climbing rack, 
And I stuck it in the off width crack,
I went to climb on but started to peel,
And the hard ground beneath me was all I could feel.
And it’s no, nay, never, (finger the crack)
No, nay, never, no more,
I’ll be a rock climber, no never, no more.
And now as I lie here with my broken leg,
I knew that I should have banged in a peg,
And all I can do now is talk on and on
About the time I climbed the Grepon.
* I am still not 100% happy with how some of the verses scan. Somewhere there is an old UCD MC song book that has the proper words…

Where did Hurling come from? No, really?

Origins of hurling in Ireland – image presumed to be accurate.

Unesco has added the Irish sports of Hurling and Camogie to their list of “Protected Cultural Activities”.  I am not sure what “protected” means here (and I am too lazy to find out – hey! Its nearly 2020, in the age of fake news, people don’t have to look deal with reality if they don’t want to. 

If you do want to explore a bit of reality though, there is a comprehensive look at what we actually know about the origins of Hurling here,  from Aidan O’Sullivan at the UCD school of Archeology.


Imperial vs Metric units

Jon Pratt this week at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

Today in Paris, the kilogram will be redefined in terms of the some universal constants instead of a chunk of metal kept under (several) glass jars. Its a bit step forward and one that future proofs the measurement.

For those that use imperial measures, there will be change soon as well. Under the 1957 US-UK “Greenwich protocol on weights and measures” the imperial foot has been defined based on the size of the King of England’s feet. However as the UK currently does not have a King they default to using a measurement based on the size of the US President’s feet (the idea that there would be a reigning queen in Britain and simultaneously a female president being preposterous). 

Early in his first term Donald Trump had his feet measured to set the new standard for the foot (which incidentally shrunk a bit as his feet, like his hands, were smaller than average). 

On the death of his mother, one of (King) Charles first tasks will be to take off his shoes and socks to be measured, and allow this important standard to be reclaimed by Great Britain from the USA.


Brexit = Gaslighting

I was looking at the lengthy, and depressing list of fake stories the British press ran on the EU for 20 years. 

It struck me that this systematically feeding nonsense to someone to manipulate their opinions and behaviour has a name – Gaslighting. 

The madness that is Brexit is a prime example of the gaslighting of an entire country. Politicans and the public driven to psychosis by a systematic stream of misinformation, deception, and falsehood.

Farage and his kind tick so many of these boxes, it is scary: “11 Warning Signs Of Gaslighting“. 

As I Iook at the collapse of the UKs credibility and reputation as a result of the shambles that is Brexit one of the things I would get most angry about is that these shameless manipulators will dodge most of the responsibility to the harm they have done.



Brexit’s greatest growth opportunity

One of my guilty pleasures is reading reviews of really bad films. It can be fun to see professional reviews unload in as inventive a way as possible to describe the steaming heaps of manure they were forced by their jobs to give up some hours of their life to. 

But I think that pales in comparison to the invective written about Brexit. Anyone with more than a passing knowledge of reality can see how much of a catastrophe this is – a really bad idea to start with, now being executed with jaw dropping incompetence. It’s small comfort as we approach the catastrophe, but stuff like this does bring a little smile to my face. 


On the way to Mars

Google tells me that I am progressing well to Mars. I need to take a large number of intercontinental flights though if I am to make progress on this.


This is one of the coolest maps that floats around on the internet. It get re-tweeted and shared regularly. 

It shows the parts of Ireland and the UK that pronounce scone to rhyme with “cone” and those that pronounce it to rhyme like “gone” (the poor deluded fools).

IMHO this has to be the pinnacle of the internet. But it rarely gets a citation for where it came from. I discovered that it is from a University of Cambridge study on the decline of regional dialects. There are a few interesting things in there including – like  differences in pronouncing the “r” in “arm” exactly correspond to the Scottish-English border. The researchers reckon they can place where you are in the UK to within 35 miles based on how you pronounce certain words.

For me the main use of the excellent “scone” map is to identify where to prioritise the location of the compulsory re-education camps for when I come to power. Together we will end the use use of the blasphemous “gone” pronunciation.


Life is

Life has taught me we are all broken things…
Some of people are just better at hiding it.

There is a sadness, greater or smaller within everyone. A big part of like is learning how to mange that burden.

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