Monday, June 26, 2017

Kiwi's cup (now)

Congratulations to New Zealand for winning the America's cup! 

Their competition the USA and a boat owned and run by Larry Ellison the Chairman (ex CEO) of the Oracle Corporation. Larry is a legendary alpha male, ego-maniac and billionaire, someone who hates to lose. Which, if I'm honest, makes the Kiwi victory even sweeter.

Brexit - simplified..

Nailed it!

Congratulations to SpaceX this weekend, two launches and two landings, one from Florida and the other from the West Coast. When you look at the scale of the craft (photo above) you begin to realise how amazing their engineering and software control systems are these days, that's a big vehicle to land on a raft bobbing around in the Pacific ocean, by remote control!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Secular religion

Original notes, story-boarding key parts of Pink Floyd's famous "wall" album (picture taken at the V&A "Their mortal remains" exhibition) - this is the closest thing I've seen to a secular version of "holy" scripture, who knows, give it 500 years and it could well become part of some religion (seems to be how that stuff works)

Lazy hazy days

I'm always up for trying a new beer and whilst in London enjoying a little R&R with my wife this weekend I popped into the Draft House (a craft beer bar) in Charlotte Street. There I found a beer from Cloudwater called NE DIPA Citra, which if you're not into beer probably sounds like gibberish. When decoded by the nearest hipster, we learn it stands for "New England Double India Pale Ale with Citra hops". The resulting beer is hazy and thick with a mango/citrus/peach laden flavour, and packs a heavy punch at around 9% ABV, the beer uses oats as well as barley to achieve the haze and copies a popular style from the North East of the USA (i.e. New England) I would imagine this isn't to everyone's taste, probably a bit of a "marmite" beer. I couldn't drink more than a half a pint in a sitting, but, like good wine, I found it had a strangely alluring finish that keeps you coming back for another (small) sip, intriguing.

Decent plonk

Decided to celebrate my 18th wedding anniversary with a decent bottle of plonk last night. 

So we cracked open a bottle I bought back in 2001. It was the second wine of a well known Bordeaux chateaux called Pichon-Baron in Pauillac. I visited this chateaux about 10 years ago, it's a beautiful place and a delicious wine, typically "Pauillac", bold, intense and full of the joys of cassis, spice and resinous dark fruits. Even though this wine was a "second wine" (i.e. made from the grapes left over after the main wine selection has been made) it has aged beautifully and (unlike me) will effortlessly improve for another 10 years. I think I paid around a tenner for this bottle but if you were to seek it out today it would be at least 4-5 times that; a real treat.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Back to the future

Saddened to see that Turkey took another step backwards into obscurity and ignorance recently. The government there voted to stop teaching the scientific facts of evolution in school; now Turkish children will be denied access to one of the most elegant, true, and wonderful scientific theories there is, child abuse by any other name.

Of course the culprit is the usual one, the politicized religion of Islam and it's childish insistence on teaching a plagiarised version of the Old Testament myth of Adam and Eve, a ridiculous and obviously allegorical tale of men being "magic'd" out of the dust by the Jewish sky god Yahweh. I feel sorry for Turkish children, a generation denied the magic of reality.


Just spent an enjoyable couple of days in London having some "grown-up time" (kids both away) Even managed to visit the Pink Floyd exhibition at the V&A museum, highly recommended!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Send prayers

Luckily, Gene Roddenberry wasn't a religious man..

"Special" ideas

Even though you could argue that plurality and freedom of speech are just "ideas", I believe it's a slippery slope when you make one idea "special" and protect it through law or violence from scrutiny and criticism over all others; every dictatorship, theocracy and despot has started out that way.

Coz I said so..

The argument from authority, nicely summed up by J&M today..

Monday, June 19, 2017

Another day

It's another Monday morning and we're digesting another terror incident in our Capital, sadly, it seems like barbaric terror attacks are becoming part of the fabric of things, could we see a point when they're almost expected?

It's early days but I'd bet a lot of money on the motivation of this attack being some twisted notion of revenge for Manchester and Borough Market (and possibly other actions) My worry is that this kind of tit-for-tat killing will start to become a "thing", you kill one of ours and we'll kill one of yours. We've heard it all before in Northern Ireland, that little spat lead to over 30 years of terror attacks that created inconsolably deep divisions between communities based along religious and cultural fracture lines, it's easy to see how that kind of intractability and frustration could easily emerge from the current situation and would probably be far worse.

It's at times like this we look to our leaders to lead; unfortunately we seem to be in a deep trough of despair at the moment in terms of the quality of leadership we should expect. I can only hope that our Prime Minister doesn't go for the low hanging fruit of censorship in a futile attempt to shut down debate and criticism of religion so as not to "offend" the sensibilities of Muslims (or capitulation to violence as I would call it). I can already see some of the warning signs of this, that silly word-salad of  "Islamophobia" and "racism" is being liberally sprayed around the news today and no doubt we will hear lots of victim-hood speeches from "pop-up" Islamic apologists as the investigation continues.

The attributes and motivations of the murderers  in recent events were certainly different but from the perspective of how we should respond, and what laws and processes we use to do that, no distinction is needed.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Carpe diem

Cartoon in the Times today captures the moment perfectly..

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Smirk

Sad but true!