Easy to digest world news, Betty White, Jamie Foxx

What do the items in the title have in common? Not much. But they all feature in this entry.

“In April’s elections, prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said he would introduce sweeping measures to ease the burden of household debt. And now he has put the country’s krona where his mouth is. The writeoff of €24,000 per mortgage will reduce household debt by 13% according to the government’s website.”
(Iceland writes €24,000 off every mortgage, Irish Examiner)

A referendum later this month proposes to ban Swiss-based businesses from paying anyone a salary more than 12 times that of the lowest paid staff.
(Swiss rise up to fight income gap, Globe and Mail)

An article featured beside one of the above is about Miley Cyrus and her karaoke #1 hit Wrecking Ball. I didn’t click it – you’ll have to get those details for yourself – but here is something that is probably even better.


Should I go full ADHD and put up some music, too? Maybe later – for now I’m keeping a few tracks to myself. Mezcal, dear reader?

Posted in L'autre bout du monde, Life, m.Staff-carboN at December 9th, 2013. No Comments.

Grumpy Cat

grumpy row row rowGrumpy Cat has an agent and its owners earn a low six figure income from its stardom. I wonder if they took a million photographs of her (it really is a she) and will keep feeding us them after she’s gone to meet her maker. Or, if she is locked up somewhere as not to get hit by a speeding van full of screaming children. 21st century, what else can you teach us about earning a good income with minimal effort?

Posted in Life at December 9th, 2013. 1 Comment.

At this hour

Usually at this hour I’d be scrolling through some Facebook page, tired from the day, pushing back sleep until exhaustion ultimately wins its way for me. But I’ve closed my account for the time being, and instead here I am. What should we do with this early morning, when everything is still possible?

Posted in Life at December 9th, 2013. No Comments.

The greatest show on earth

It dawned on me today that I’ve followed almost the entire medical school education of Ozge through her blog. I read about study strategies, notes, old medical books, and the daily grind. I knew that a lot of study went into medical school, but in reality I didn’t have much of a real-life idea until reading about it on regular basis.


Medicine and science are so advanced, we know not our own ignorance more than ever. This breeds all kinds of dangerous egos, ones fed by access to technologies that we the users feel an extension of our own intelligence. But science is becoming a sort of voodoo practice against which groups rally with pitchforks – all because general lack of understanding. We want technology, medicine and to explore the universe, but as a whole put up roadblocks for those able to deliver it.

Margaret Atwood explains in Payback the ill sentiments towards the grain-mill owner and his family; the mill being one of the first large scale business service industries that could rob without you knowing it, for who could tell exactly how much flower was due from one bag of grain? When those delivering the solutions don’t struggle financially, or worse, are well-to-do, the suspicions and rumours start a life of their own.


So here is the simple game plan:

1. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. [And motives of others.] (Christopher Hitchens)
2. Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. (Horace Mann)

Ozge tells in one of her early posts how when she was growing up, she pretended that reading books gave her superpowers – a wonderfully simple rendering of a big idea.

A nod to the canon.

613 shades of sad

End-of-night fix. (But I might go and make toast before bed.)
Please enjoy responsibly.

613 by Asaf Avidan on Grooveshark

On occasions our sea will swallow
613 shades of sad
And occasionally we’ll be just shallow
Enough for them to see the things we had
20,000 different leagues of sorrow
They will surface but we’ll let them drown
And the moon will lift our holy bodies
And we’ll live as one

With the rate and the weight that I pound you
You will tell me that you understand
Every shell I’ll propel just to spite you
You will break it and you’ll turn to sand

Posted in Life, m.Staff-carboN at October 10th, 2013. No Comments.

One day

For you from Israel, dear reader.

Posted in L'autre bout du monde, Life, m.Staff-carboN at October 5th, 2013. No Comments.

Always talk to strangers

In Beyond Fear I wrote: “Many children are taught never to talk to strangers, an extreme precaution with minimal security benefit.”

In talks, I’m even more direct. I think “don’t talk to strangers” is just about the worst possible advice you can give a child. Most people are friendly and helpful, and if a child is in distress, asking the help of a stranger is probably the best possible thing he can do.

Full article by Bruce Schneier.

I found the above after searching for “always talk to strangers.” The author is an IT security expert and I thought it interesting that he’s interested in security on a social scale. Now that I think about it, it’s not all that strange since most IT scale security breaches involve a good deal of social engineering and understanding human nature.

Posted in General, Life, Science at September 16th, 2013. No Comments.

Late morning

earl grey, happy cola, boy with a coin

Earl grey, happy cola and ‘boy with a coin’ [8] on the stereo [8] to start the day.

Posted in General, Life, m.Staff-carboN at September 12th, 2013. No Comments.