To the Graduating Class of “We Made It”

My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways.

Shane Koyczan

To every Pork Chop, Dog, Cabbage, and Frog. To every Marshmallow, Spaz, Foureyes, Geek, Dweeb, and Nerd. To every Gimp, Fag, Swot, and Mole. To anyone who had the audacity to be different. It Gets Better.

 

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Nollaig shona daoibh go leir

Like salmon returning to the place of their birth once spawning season is upon them, every Christmas the Irish diaspora returns home to their Mammies to celebrate in a way only the they can: Lighting the fire in the good room, leaving a Guinness out for Santy, and getting the Christmas clothes out for Midnight Mass.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btqSxlUJyxo]

We’re staying in Cambridge this year but will be sticking a candle in the window for the rest of you that make it home.

Happy holiday season.

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Don’t trust your peripherals

The brain’s perceptual systems are very easily fooled. You’re probably already familiar with the Thatcher Effect (where oddities that are very noticeable can’t be detected when the face is upside down) and the McGurk-MacDonald Effect (we hear with our eyes).

The Flashed Face Distortion Effect, noticed by Tangen, Murphy, and Thompson, shows that you can’t trust your peripheral vision either:

Next time you’re out in a nightclub, maybe take a proper look before writing the place off.

{lang: 'en-GB'}

J’suis seul dans ma cuisine/Et je bois du café

In the early nineties (1985 in Ireland years) my uncle shipped a percolating coffee pot over from America, which sat in the middle of the kitchen as we tried to figure out what this Cray supercomputer of a kitchen implement was for. It looked like a giant kettle with piping that led up to a mesh basin, which is where the coffee went. Up until then coffee came in a jar, tasted like willow bark, and was only every drunk under protest. Even Anthony Head’s on-and-off romance over a jar of Gold Blend couldn’t make it any more palatable. Gold Blend? We weren’t made of money.

Once we’d found some ground coffee (what do you mean Arabica – I want coffee) the pot was watered, loaded, and put on the gas. Within ten minutes of hissing, pffting, and all manner of steampunk noises this Dr. Snuggles-like machine produced what I can only describe as stimulant heaven. No more Mellow Birds for me… until the mesh corroded.

Ever since, like a heroin addicted J.R. Hartley jonesing for one last fix, I’ve tried to find a replacement. Times have changed and all you can find are french presses, cafetieres, and coffee makers. Until now!

Thanks to the Argos of the middle classes I’ve found a replacement.

I haven’t slept since.

{lang: 'en-GB'}