Freaks and Geeks →

1999:

2012:

How To Run a 5 Whys (With Humans, Not Robots) →

5 Whys are really useful for sorting out an issue in the correct way, but it’s hard to run a good 5 Whys. Dan Milstein’s presentation is a great starting point.

Two Things (Gibson TTS and Fictional Memory Palaces) | booktwo.org

If you play a lot of video games, or a lot of a video game, you slowly learn the map, it stays in your head. It doesn’t exist, it’s an imaginary place, but you can find your way around in it, even give directions within it.

A shared fiction is like a shared map, a space we can inhabit, a shared memory palace, even for a brief period.

Gibson TTS and Fictional Memory Palaces

10 ways to make Dublin better →

2 Elect a city boss

Dublin accounts for 40 per cent of the population, but nobody speaks for the city in the way Michael Bloomberg does for New York and Boris Johnson for London. Civic governance is incredibly weak, with an array of public bodies, from Dublin Port Company to the National Transport Authority, exercising power in the city. Any chance of metropolitan cohesion was squandered when Dublin was carved up arbitrarily between four local authorities in 1994.

These are some great suggestions. For whatever reason, the city seems to be experiencing an increased period of self-reflection. And that’s a good thing. Articles like these can only help.

John McAffee's insane life →

In the pre-dawn hours of April 30th of this year I woke to the sound of a bullhorn yelling un-intelligible orders. I ran naked outside and saw a military formation whose uniforms identified them as GSU, creeping slowly down my driveway. I laid down the pistol that I keep for protection and, contrary to Josh Davis’ assertion that I said “Motherfuckers”, said nothing and went back inside. I woke Amy, the 17 year old with whom I was living, and calmly told her to get dressed – that the GSU was invading the property.

Did you know John McAfee has a blog? Did you know it’s the most insane-slash-interesting thing ever?

Nike+ FuelBand micro-review

I picked up a Nike+ FuelBand in San Francisco a couple of months ago. It’s a nice piece of kit. On the wrist, it’s comfortable and, more importantly, unobtrusive. In black at least, it looks just like a charity wristband, so hardly anyone even notices it. The tiny little light-up display is both adorable and looks futuristic as fuck.

But I have a couple of minor problems with it.

  1. What the fuck is Nike+ Fuel? I’ve set a daily goal of 2,0001, but what does that actually mean? Is 2,000 a little or a lot? If I’m using this as a way to track my activity or to lose weight, I’d love to know exactly what this is supposed to represent2.

  2. This isn’t FuelBand-specific, and is more a problem with all phone peripherals, such as the Jawbone Up: If your peripheral has shitty battery life (the FuelBand gets less than a week per charge), can you not figure out some way to charge the peripheral off my phone? I’ve already have three things charging beside my bed each night, so if it’s between your stupid peripheral and my Kindle or my phone, you’re not going to win. Even some sort of pass-through between the phone charger and the phone that would siphon off enough to charge the peripheral would work for me.

Overall, it’s not bad. It would never replace my Nike+ app on my phone (I’ve logged 1,493kms run - I am locked in), but it’s a great supplement to it.


  1. Sub-problem: how am I supposed to refer to these units? “Nike+ Fuel Units”? That’s a bit of a mouthful, no? ↩︎

  2. This is like the problem when buying things off Xbox Live - the currency is “Xbox Points”, which doesn’t translate easily to euros, dollars or pounds. They’re obfuscating how much you’re spending. Why would Nike obfuscate the amount of exercise you’re doing? ↩︎

Welcome to Flavour Town →

What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense?

Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? If you hadn’t come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds? Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?

Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?

If you read just one restaurant review today, make it Pete Wells’ review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in the New York Times

Ashamed

To her family, I want to say: I am ashamed, I am culpable, and I am sorry. For every letter to my local politician I didn’t write, for every protest I didn’t join, for keeping quiet about abortion rights in the company of conservative relations and friends, for becoming complacent, for thinking that Ireland was changing, for not working hard enough to secure that change, for failing to create a society in which your wife, your daughter, your sister was able to access the care that she needed: I am sorry. You must think that we are barbarians.

I am ashamed that Ireland’s medieval abortion law still stands - Emer O’Toole - guardian.com

The Best

An interesting side effect, which I hadn’t anticipated, was that I developed a blind trust in the things I used. I trusted my lamp to be bright enough to light up the wheel well of a truck when its tire went flat, and it was. I trusted my wallet to hold cash, boarding passes, and IDs without deforming or falling apart, and it did. I trusted that my towel would dry quickly, because it was designed for travel, and it did. I trusted the zippers on my backpack to stay closed as I hiked through the night, and they did. These might seem like stupid things to worry about, but when you have trust in everything you own, you don’t have to worry about anything. It’s liberating and an amazing feeling. My life was markedly better because of it.

I’ve got a bit of a bag problem. By this, I mean that I seem to accumulate bags, because I have this wild, irrational fear of not having the correct bag for any given situation.

(Look, I already acknowledged it was wild and irrational. Shut up.)

For Christmas last year, my wife got me a GoRuck GR1. It is, hands down, the best bag I’ve ever owned. It’s the perfect size for a weekend away. It’s the perfect size for carry-on luggage on an airplane. I’ve used it in the worst weather Ireland can throw at it and it’s never once leaked or even gotten soggy. When I had my bike accident, the bag completely protected my MacBook Pro. Again, the best bag I’ve ever owned.

And I haven’t bought another bag since I got it because I haven’t needed another bag.

So I totally understand what Dustin Curtis is saying. It’s always worth doing your research and spending a little extra money, if necessary, to make sure you get the best.

Let's start the foodie backlash

Let’s start the foodie backlash

The OED's very first citation of "foodie" is from 1980, an oozing New York Times magazine celebration of the mistress of a Parisian restaurant and her "devotees, serious foodies". "Foodie" has now pretty much everywhere replaced "gourmet", perhaps because the latter more strongly evokes privilege and a snobbish claim to uncommon sensory discrimination – even though those qualities are rampant among the "foodies" themselves. The word "foodie", it is true, lays claim to a kind of cloying, infantile cuteness which is in a way appropriate to its subject; but one should not allow them the rhetorical claim of harmless innocence implied.