Inside the Guild Wars 2 firing that’s rocked the game industry. – Polygon

This is a terrible precedent for the company to set, and you can see why in the reaction from the quote-unquote ‘fans’ on reddit: “We’re literally running the company now… the moment a dev steps out of line or try to talk back to a player, guess what, they’ll know we got their hands on their throat and we can squeeze any time we like”.

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DJ Shadow Presents Find, Share, Rewind

This might be old news to other people, but I just found out that DJ Shadow has a podcast. Well, it’s a limited-series podcast of a 7-episode show he ran on an L.A. radio station last year. It’s basically a giant mix/unofficial new album. Two episodes out so far and they’re both really great.

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Paper Towns

I knew very little about Poland before moving here. Almost nothing about Warsaw. “I hear they have good pacts“, I used to dad-joke1.

Since then, we’ve been trying to get better. We recently went to the National Museum in Warsaw, where they have a new “Gallery of Polish Design” exhibit which is aimed squarely at dipshits like me who have a weird thing for mid-century design and electronics housed in discolouring plastic. Here’s a video of what you can expect in the exhibit:

Although not exactly vintage, they also had a vintage-inspired “paper town” toy that reminded me so much of Nintendo’s Labo. It’s basically a box filled with sheets of cardboard that you punch out and bend and fold into various parts of a ‘town’.

As we were leaving, I noticed they were selling a couple of these in the gift shop. So, of course, I bought them.

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Here’s the finished product from a different set that we made earlier, so you can see what they look like finally constructed:

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My daughter (who’s two and a half), was too young to ‘get’ the Labo2 but she absolutely loves these. She loved punching out the little buildings and vehicles and handing them to me to construct. The first night, she took the restaurant (the two-tiered building in the back-left of that bottom picture) to bed with her. My wife even said that if she was in need of a present for a similarly-aged toddler, she would get them one of these packs. They’re cheap, extremely cute, very tactile and recyclable.

If you can’t make it to the National Museum in Warsaw to buy them, you can also order them from ringoringo.pl.


  1. One of the good things about being a dad is that you can dad-joke unironically. 
  2. Too much waiting around for not enough payoff at the end for her 
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Housekeeping

You may have noticed some changes on this blog (or maybe you didn’t – there’s too much going on in the world for you to be concerned with my bullshit website).

The short version is that I’d been thinking a lot about what I wanted this blog to be. It’s probably the primary face of my internet presence, and I wasn’t really pleased with how it was representing me. Part of the problem, I realised, is that I was using a static website generator to power the website.

Don’t get me wrong, static site generators are wonderful pieces of software. You didn’t have to worry about backups or databases or where your content lives or extracting it from some SQL file later on. But they also mean that writing a blog post is a non-trivial task. To write a post, I had to create a file on my hard drive, open that in my editor, write the blog post, generate the site, preview it locally, then upload it to this server. I was using a fucking Makefile to streamline this process. Makefiles tickle my nerdy side deeply, but the process was so cumbersome it meant that I’d only write a blog post about something that really mattered, instead of just firing off a few posts every day. And I’m many things, but I’m not a ‘once in a while, here are my thoughts on a capital-I Important capital-T Topic’ kind of guy. I don’t work well like that and I didn’t feel like it best represented me.

(An anecdotal aside: during my migration back to WordPress, I came across a prominent WordPress developer who had actually left the project, citing fundamental problems with PHP as a language and the WordPress codebase in general. He also moved to a static site generator and, just like me, his output fell off a cliff after the move. You could argue that this is probably a reflection on the general state of blogging in 2018, but like I said, this is just an anecdotal aside.)

So that was the short version of what’s been happening behind the scenes. Now let’s see what happens next.

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Apple Engineers Its Own Downfall With the Macbook Pro Keyboard | iFixit

My 2011 MacBook Pro finally died (these models suffer from a graphics chip overheating problem) and I’m absolutely gutted because it was genuinely a beautiful machine to work on. It was rock-solid, had every port you’d ever need, and I sprung for the matte display, so it never had any problem with glare. And most importantly, the keyboard worked. The 2017 Touchbar MacBook Pro is the worst laptop I’ve ever used.

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Facebook’s retreat from the news has painful for publishers—including Slate.

Slate is sharing some information regarding their Facebook traffic since the 2017, when Facebook decided it no longer wanted to be a ‘news’ site. One interesting thing to note is that while most news organisations are seeing a dip in their engagement numbers, Fox News’s numbers are actually up. There’s a joke to be made here about real news vs news entertainment, but I’m not sure even I can be bothered to make it.

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Yes

Apologies for the interruption to my (ir)regularly scheduled posts about random bullshit no-one actually cares about, but I thought this was worth bringing up. Even though I have no idea how many people are actually reading this, this is my platform for my thoughts and this is something I feel strongly about. So here we go.


The 8th amendment of the Irish constitution recognises the equal right to life of the mother and an unborn child. This has always been a controversial amendment and people have argued that such wording has no place in the constitution. So, tomorrow, May 25th, Ireland is holding a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.

I want to encourage any Irish people reading this website to vote yes to repeal the 8th amendment on May 25th.

We all have our reasons for voting yes or no. We all have our stories. Let me tell you a little bit of my story.

We spent a long time trying to conceive. It took forever. Long enough that we experienced that pain when our friends got pregnant. Why could they get pregnant so easily, without appearing to even try? Each month, we’d realise we once again weren’t successful and we’d be desolate, completely unable to comfort each other. If you haven’t gone through this, you don’t know the pain involved. When I look back on it, I remember it as being one of the hardest points in my life.

But eventually we did it. My wife got pregnant.

The pregnancy was fun, but the labour wasn’t. My daughter was posterior, which basically means that instead of being face-down, the baby was face-up, so the baby’s head and spine was pushing against my wife’s spine so that every push was intensely painful. Also, with every push, the baby’s heart rate would drop precipitously. Eventually, it was decided to bring my wife in for an emergency c-section, where they discovered the chord was wrapped around the baby’s neck (just before I heard my daughter cry for the first time, I heard a surgeon say “look at this messer!”)1.

Obviously, this whole experience was extremely traumatic, both emotionally and physically. And that was just the beginning. Then there’s the issue of being a brand new mother, trying to breastfeed having had major surgery on your abdominal core. I can’t begin to explain the pride and admiration I have for my wife and how she handled the whole thing.

And this is when I realised that this only made me more pro-choice. Having seen first-hand the reality of pregnancy and labour and the reality of raising a child and the lasting (permanent?) scars, both literal and metaphorical, involved in the whole process, I firmly believe there is no way a woman should be forced to go through all this if they couldn’t manage it. And this is to say nothing of extreme cases involving, say, assault or a fatal foetal abnormality. Forcing a woman to go through all that would be barbaric.


Jump forward a couple of years and we’ve been extremely lucky and managed to conceive our second child without really trying very hard at all.

But halfway through the pregnancy, we found out there were complications. Well, no, wait, that’s not quite accurate. There were possible complications. And not insignificant ones, possibly. Which meant a lot of sleepless nights, worrying about how our child would be affected by all this. And there were a lot of tests. So many tests. During one particular test just after Christmas, a doctor (an Irish doctor) asked us “have you considered termination?”

We hadn’t, and we wouldn’t, because we knew the risks, and we knew how strong we were and we knew that we could manage it, no matter how bad it turned out to be2 and I wouldn’t judge anyone for making a different choice in the same circumstances.

And that’s kind of the point of all this: the choice already exists. When the doctor asked us if we’d considered termination, he meant “have you considered (traveling to England for) termination?” The 8th amendment doesn’t stop Irish women from having abortions, it just stops them from having abortions in Ireland3, where they can be surrounded by their loved ones when they really need it.

It’s a horrible, uncaring section of our constitution and should be taken out. And that’s what this referendum is about. Recognising that something is wrong with the current situation and trying to do something about it.

Please, vote yes.


  1. My daughter came out perfectly fine. As I write this, she’s a strong and sturdy two and a half years old. And she’s bilingual, did I mention that? She speaks English and Polish. Smartest kid I know. 
  2. It’s fine, by the way. My ten-week old son is healthy and thriving although he will need to be continuously monitored until he’s about a year old. 
  3. The 14th amendment added some extra provisions to the language introduced by the 8th amendment, saying “This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State and another state”. 
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