September in review

Lived Highlights LCD Soundsystem at the Barrowlands was utterly amazing Splurged on AirPods (still loving them) Gin Festival shenanigans A good month, quieter than August even though it was my Mum’s birthday at the start of the month, and my Dads at the end. Singapore envy not withstanding (my friends were there again), I confirmed a six month extension to my contract, attended one of the best gigs ever, got a new tattoo, had a wonderful day out at a gin festival, and attended my interview for Glasgow 2018 volunteering, so fingers crossed I make the cut (9k+ people applied for around 3k positions), ohhh and I randomly caught up with some old school friends who I haven’t seen for …

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Weekend Reading

Bananas Emit Antimatter Almost Every 75 Minutes Potassium-40 is a fairly unstable isotope, although the half life is nearly a billion years. Because bananas have so much of this isotope, there is enough decay to generate one positron (approximately) every 75 minutes. Hey CERN, hey, see that super collider thingybob… HAVE YOU TRIED A BANANA IN IT? A Story About ‘Magic’ Some years ago, I (GLS) was snooping around in the cabinets that housed the MIT AI Lab’s PDP-10, and noticed a little switch glued to the frame of one cabinet. It was obviously a homebrew job, added by one of the lab’s hardware hackers (no one knows who). A metaphor. I think. Maybe? I dunno. Flip that switch and see …

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Focus needed

With no apologies whatsoever, I’m gonna talk about going the gym. Again. The next block of ‘boot camp’ sessions starts on 4th October. It’s the third time I’ve signed up and have to admit I’m looking forward to it starting, and it’s got me thinking about how I can make it successful. The first time I did boot camp I went all in; I tracked my food in MyFitnessPal, tracked my weight, slept better, and was focussed on using the 10 weeks as a way to kick start a healthier lifestyle. As a result I lost weight, and my body changed shape enough that people noticed. I noticed too because my belts all had to be tightened in a new …

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Gin Festival

Last week I looked ahead at my calendar and realised that I had nothing at all planned for the weekend just passed. I wracked my brains for a second, it doesn’t take much longer, but couldn’t think of anything that I might just have forgotten to add. I really did have an entirely blank weekend. Bemused, I took to Twitter and that evening my query got a response from the lovely Sharon!  Do you like gin? Looks like I've got a spare ticket for the Gin Fest on Sat afternoon. If you don't mind me, Maw & Whiskey for company 😉 — Maul (@Maulin_Rouge) September 20, 2017 Do I like gin? Is a one-legged bear a catholic?!* And so it …

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Weekend Reading

Chords of Inquiry It’s 1984 or 1985, Prince and the Revolution are in California, and they decide to drive out to Joni Mitchell’s house in Malibu for dinner. Can still remembering ‘discovering’ Joni Mitchell about 10 years ago. I’m not a big reader of biographies but might pick this one up. Keeping ‘Insecure’ lit: HBO cinematographer Ava Berkofsky on properly lighting black faces The actors on HBO’s Insecure are hotter than you. They’re hotter than your friends, they’re hotter than me and they’re even hotter than the ex the show won’t let you forget about. That’s why I’m not hot, IT’S THE LIGHTING! (I’ve been saying this all along). A moment that changed me: turning my back on monogamy Brought …

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LCD Soundsystem

The Barrowlands is probably my favourite Glasgow gig venue. Large enough to generate a good crowd atmosphere, small enough to feel intimate, and tarnished enough to feel alive, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a gig there that wasn’t good. Add in a band that has a good live reputation and it was with an intrigued anticipation that I stood and waited through the last couple of tracks of the support act, Hot Chip’s James Goddard, for my first ever LCD Soundsystem gig. LCD Soundsystem have bounced around my music conscious since they first arrived, I was aware of them but nothing really clicked with me until Sounds of Silver where they started to make sense. That said their …

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AirPods, finally

I’ve held off getting a set off these for some time but as my current ‘commuting’ in-ear headphones (JLabs Epic BT – discontinued) are starting to show their age, both in terms of wear and tear and in how the diminishing battery life is impacting the Bluetooth connectivity. Although admittedly the latter concern is purely based on my perception, but they do seem to drop the connection to my iPhone far more than they used to, even though I logically know that the science behind that thinking is bunkum. I do have another pair of bluetooth headphones – my wonderful Jabra Revos – but I prefer in-ear for commuting as they let in enough ambient noise to keep me aware …

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Weekend Reading

Shorter list this week, largely because I’m presuming everyone is already aware (if they wanna be) of whatever the idiot President of the USA has said/done now, that you’ve already seen/heard enough hurricane horrors, and frankly want a break from the pending nuclear annihilation we might be facing (thanks North Korea!!). Ummm, so on that… er… cheery note… How Silicon Valley is erasing your individuality Until recently, it was easy to define our most widely known corporations. Any third-grader could describe their essence. Exxon sells gas; McDonald’s makes hamburgers; Walmart is a place to buy stuff. This is no longer so. Today’s ascendant monopolies aspire to encompass all of existence. If this piqued your interest, I’d suggest heading over to …

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X or not

We’ve had a couple of days to digest the recent Apple keynote, and a few more days than that to pour over the leaked data that basically outlined all of the announcements and almost reduced the keynote to little more than a series of (mostly) slick product presentations. Almost, but not quite. There was certainly no hint about the opening video and tribute to Steve Jobs, which was a nice surprise and perfectly handled by an emotional Tim Cook, and it certainly added to the poignancy of the occasion. The new venue certainly looks impressive but I find I’m still stuck between thinking it’s either ‘over indulgent’ and/or ‘inspiring’ but there is no doubt it’s well designed with an incredibly …

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4 beeps in the night

I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour for once and was asleep in no time at all, my weary bones and tired mind happily conceding to the warmth of the bed and the darkness of the night. I fell fast into a deep and comfortable slumber. So you can imagine my consternation and the enusing ire when, not long after the clock swept past 2am, I was rudely awakened by a short series of loud beeps. Startled awake, my eyes opened to the dark and in my chest the loudest of crashing thumps began as my heart beat the panic drum. My mind raced to the source; was it the (unset) burglar alarm or one of the smoke …

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