Weekend Reading

I don’t often muck about with the order of what follows, I tend to list things in the order I’ve read/bookmarked them. But given there was one topic that dominated and resonated I’ve bumped them all together. I’d urge any men to read the first few links in particular, especially if you’ve missed the horrifying build of the #metoo on social media this week (horrifying in terms of the numbers as they rose and rose through the week). Two alternatives to #WomenBoycottTwitter that don’t rely on women’s silencing After Twitter extending their risible “abuse” policy to a suspension of a celebrity white woman speaking out against sexual violence, the problems in their model have been laid bare, and to my …

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When Sgt. Pepper arrived

Earlier this year I listened to the remastered, reissued Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – an album that was released six years before I was born. The first thing that struck me was how similar it was to Nevermind by Nirvana. No, really. Nirvana had been making some waves but the first time I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit on MTV it made me stop and turn and stare. What was this? It wasn’t heavy metal, it wasn’t indie rock, it was new, and once I managed to get a copy of the album it stayed on my stereo, on repeat, loudly, for several weeks. It was the soundtrack for my first winter at college and to this day …

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44

44 is a tribonacci number, an octahedral number and the number of derangements of 5 items. Since the greatest prime factor of 442 + 1 = 1937 is 149 and thus more than 44 twice, 44 is a Størmer number. 44 is the number of candles in a box of Hanukkah candles. “Forty-Four” or “44 Blues” is a blues standard whose origins have been traced back to early 1920s Louisiana.[1] However, it was Roosevelt Sykes, who provided the lyrics and first recorded it in 1929, that helped popularize the song. “Forty-Four,” through numerous adaptations and recordings, remains in the blues lexicon eighty years later. Angel Number 44 is thought to be directly related to our passions. It tends to deal …

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Weekend Reading

Phoebe Waller-Bridge on Fleabag, Star Wars and presenting this year’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards When Phoebe Waller-Bridge was writing Fleabag, her show about a chaotic twentysomething woman who, as she winningly puts it, “w**ks down the barrel of the camera”, she had just started dating the man who is now her husband. Massive fan of this very talented person. If you haven’t seen Fleabag, find it, watch it now. I’m getting really fed up recommending it to people WHO HAVEN’T WATCHED IT YET!! ’Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on …

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Oops I inked me again

Tattoos hurt. Depending on where on your body, and what your pain thresholds are, the sensation of getting a tattoo can range from an almost soothing buzzing feeling, to a mild ‘scratchy’ feeling, through to a sharp cutting pain. I don’t mind the pain. It’s part of the parcel and becomes an intrinsic element of getting a tattoo, adding a visceral element to the trust you are placing in the artist. After all, you are allowing them to hurt you. There is also a formulaic/ritualistic element that comes to bear when I am getting a new tattoo. It all helps me get into the right head space I guess, and whilst each artist is different I’ve found they all go …

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Blade Runner

There is nothing new. When I heard there was going to be a second Blade Runner movie I ran the gamut of emotions that is likely familiar to sci-fi fans of my generation, a mixture of excitement, hope, and fear, all of which could be best summarised by the following statement: Please don’t be Jar Jar. I admit, this is a little harsh given the history and background of each of these sci-fi worlds, but given that Blade Runner was released just ahead of Return of the Jedi it’s worth nothing that we’ve waited a LONG TIME for these movies and that time has only further served to cement the ‘original’ movies deeper in our hearts. With all of this …

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Weekend Reading

Infertility and Me: Part One Where do you start telling people life hasn’t been too swell for the last couple of years? That you didn’t want to push anyone away but that keeping your head down and getting on with it felt like the only way to survive? A series of posts that you should read. Brave and honest writing, the more voices on this the easier it should be for others. 7 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Change the Way You Work “If wisdom were offered me on the one condition that I should keep it shut away and not divulge it to anyone,” said Roman philosopher Seneca, “I should reject it. There is no enjoying the possession of …

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If in doubt DIY

How many gigs do you attend each year? Which band have you seen most often? Which venue is your most attended? What month is ‘gig month’ for you? With quite a few gigs lined up in the coming weeks I’ve been busy scouring setlist.fm to create some sample playlists in Spotify to give me a sense of what said gigs may contain. Not all bands stick to fixed setlists though – Pearl Jam change theirs dramatically for each gig – but it gives me a sense of what to expect and has highlighted a couple of tracks I tend to skip, so it’ll be interesting to hear those particular tracks played live. It’s always interesting seeing what a band considers …

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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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