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.

 

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.

Time to Return to the Common Good

Kirby Ferguson concludes his Curtisian meditation on creativity with a call to tear down the power of companies who have grown fat strip mining the public domain while lobbying to extend their own copyrights.

[Previously]

Happy Winterval Everyone

Shame what turned out to be a very gentle ribbing was pulled from tomorrow’s Jonathon Ross show.  Looks like Peter Fincham is afraid to lose another job.

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.

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.

1. Copy, Transform, Combine 2. ???? 3. Profit

Part 3 of Kirby Ferguson’s documentary, Everything is a Remix, has just been released.  Enjoy:

Part 1 and Part 2 are still available.

Happy Christmas Everyone

May you be given Leonard Nimmoy’s DNA and a healthy ovum.

Two Nations Divided by a Common Language

Dara Ó Briain recently posted this video on Twitter to show just how different the Irish and British are in spite of a couple of centuries of speaking the same language.

In the early days of living together, I asked Ang to put the messages in the press.  While simultaneously trying to figure out when I’d installed a device for receiving emails into an iron and dialling NHS Direct to get an ambulance sent out she didn’t realise that her first forays into Hiberno-English were occurring.  Nowadays things are regularly grand in our house – to be sure things are rarely things any more, but yokes – and the expletive of choice is feck.

In return I’ve started saying “Ta ra!” and Tidy, which sound quite daft in a Dublin accent.

At least I didn’t mention the Immersion.

He Knows When you are Sleeping / He Knows When You’re Awake

If there’s one Christmas movie I need to see this season it’s Rare Exports.  Loosely based on a couple of Finnish short movies from 2003 and 2005, it could be this year’s District 9.

The 2003 short describes the hunting and training of Father Christmases.

Its 2005 sequel points out what can happen when a Father Christmas goes rogue.

I hope Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale gets caught up in the current Scandinavian love-fest since I haven’t seen such an imaginative horror idea in years.

Thought for the day; why do all Finnish kids look so weird?

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