Category: random musings

  • The Tyranny of Resilience and the New Normal

    The Tyranny of Resilience and the New Normal

    In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic there is a word and a short phrase that are both in very common usage. All too often they are used in unhelpful and arguably incorrect ways. Elasticity has Limits Resilience has an interesting etymology, coming from the Latin ‘resilire’, ‘to recoil or rebound’. It came to encompass […]

  • The Most Dangerous Idea in History

    The Most Dangerous Idea in History

    In the modern world we often throw around the word meme to mean some comic image, video or idea that has become associated with a concept, but the word has a different origin. “an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.” This […]

  • Python Script To Copy a Playlist and Linked Files

    Most tools for copying files onto MP3 players (often actually a phone these days) work on the basis that you copy your entire music catalogue and then make playlists linking to various files on it. It can be a trickier process to copy your favourite selected audio files – the ones specifically used in your […]

  • Fred Carroll (1945 – 2015)

    A picture of my father, Fred Carroll, a zoologist by education, an archaeologist by career, who died this week. I unfortunately only met him once as an adult but was very glad for that, and that we corresponded subsequently. I sent him a number of pictures of Aimee and Matilda which delighted him. He was […]

  • Straight Edge Razors

    Straight Edge Razors

    As most men, and many women, will know, over the last decade or more the ubiquitous disposable razor head has just kept increasing the blade count. This supposedly produces an excellent close shave but even if that is taken as a given there are a number of problems, for instance the blades are expensive and […]

  • Zen and the art of Ingress

    Ingress is an augmented reality game from Google. It features portals, points of significance in people’s lives: statues, buildings etc. and two teams. The teams vie for control of portals by capturing them for their colour. They then form links between three portals in a triangle to colour it as a field for their team. […]

  • Of Wired, Wireless, Sky+ and 5GHz, and the Linksys ea6300 router

    This is partly a ramble, partly a product review, and partly a howto, and mainly an aide memoire. It will naturally therefore be unlikely to succeed perfectly at any of those, but if you have questions, place them in a comment. We moved into this house just under two years ago, and when we moved […]

  • My Cousin

    Here is a story in the Belfast Telegraph about my rather brave cousin Diane McCaughan showing cancer who is boss.

  • Heaven gets an Audit

    This is a whimsical storyline I knocked out this morning. If you don’t know much about HE (Higher Education) or the QAA it may not mean anything to you. Indeed, you might need to know a little bit about the Metatron. and some other Judeo/Christian theology to follow this. Absolutely no offence is intended to […]

  • Email, should the “Old Ways” quietly die?

    I was having an enjoyable early Summer BBQ chat with Mark Kerr and Jonathan (Noodles) McDowell a few weeks ago. We know each other from the days of Fidonet’s greatest glory. Fidonet still exists, but back then the internet did not have a presence in normal people’s lives, academics I worked with at Queen’s only […]