You give me road rage

In which I’m racing to the best days.

When you are faced by the madness caused by crazy people you have two options, you can put up with the madness and let it slide or try to do something about it. For the most part I am of the former camp. I find it much easier to roll my eyes and be like a queen with power over ice.

I have to internalise this pent up rage on a daily basis whilst driving to work, if I didn’t it would eat me up and lead me to going a little bit Falling Down. I even have the glasses.
A poster depicting an older man standing on a concrete platform, wearing a business outfit, holding a briefcase and a shotgun. Above in black letters it reads: "Michael Douglas". Below in large white letters over a red background it reads: "Falling Down". Beneath that with the film credits, it reads in small white letters: "A Joel Schumacher Film". In the background are skyscrapers and a smog filled sky.
Still it does get to me, sitting in the car paying for the privilege of going nowhere as the dead dino-juice gases emit from the metal boxes around me. There are a number of wrongs that I would love to right.
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Fear itself

In which there is only the heat death of the universe to worry about.

There are two great fears I have. Everyone should be scared of something big, the kind of worry that threatens to change your life if it came true or you had to face it. Before I tell you what they are consider this quote.aa

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This quote is from one of the great leaders of the 20th century but it is a lie. It’s a great big whopping cake of a fib. There’s plenty of things to be scared of. I’m not including spiders or heights in this, they can easily dealt with by a rolled up magazine or not climbing a mountain. Plus they are perfectly understandable, spiders can be poisonous and falling from a few hundred feet is not conducive to having a good day. Yet these aren’t fears. They are worries.
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Tell me lies

In which the truth is harder than the fiction.

I’ve written from some exotic places, like the Maldives and Greece, but today I’m writing away on a tour bus of Boston.

This is the first post I’ve made about the lying and telling the truth, and also the first time I shall have a rant about something. See lying is easy, and I say that as a 6’7” tall, dark and handsome astrophysicist. Unlike my career of choice, fibbing is not rocket science…and that this is the second time I have posted this.

Lying is essential to our own survival. It’s a cover for our fears, betrayals, neuroses and selfishness. A way of pretending that we appear better than we act, a way of convincing ourselves of an alternative reality where there are rainbows, and butterflies, and everyone sings and no one ever cries except tears of joy and that happens all the time because everything is so frakking wonderful. And there are unicorns.

Like Neo’s spoon, this is all a lie.

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Dealing with people on lunch

In which I try to maintain my dignity while being blocked by old people.

After sitting next to someone on the train who thought it socially acceptable to play a noisy version of solitaire on their phone it’s time for me to reconsider running for Supreme Ruler of the World again. This way I can take action against those that irritate me by trebucheting them off the coast of Scotland into the ocean.

It can be difficult to create a law banning stupid people, especially through our current government as it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas, so I need to add a small amendment to existing laws and see what I can get away with. Thankfully I’ve just been out to lunch and know exactly what I want to ban.

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I don’t need any advice

In which I would advise you to not listen.

I like giving advice, because as this blog shows, I like the sound of my own voice. Let’s be honest who doesn’t? It’s a natural thing to try to rise above the general mumbling of the masses to assert our influence over others.

Due to this most advice is completely inane.

  • “Look on the bright side”
  • “Things will get better”
  • “Don’t press the big red button”

As much as we like telling others what we think, we seem to be incapable of listening to any good advice provided by others.

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Putting up a political fence

In which I listen to what has been said and take it on board.

The events of the last few days have made me realise that there are many things I care about, but some I shouldn’t care about so much about. I’ve been either misguided or mistaken that my viewpoint and anger is valid if I am on the losing side, I should now shut up and put up and accept it.

I didn’t accept it, and I’ve not in the past. Even in the future I won’t privately accept it. Now things are different, I’ve found myself caring about arguing with others than my own family. I have a finite amount of energy and I no longer wish to expend it arguing on Facebook. Continue reading “Putting up a political fence”

A not so scary view of the future

In which the future is like now, but with more crazy.

The future is a scary place full of strange unknowns. If history is the study of the past to stop the same mistakes happening then maybe it’s a failure, not only do the same mistake keep recurring but we manage to find new and amazing ways to mess everything up.

What if you could travel to the future? What would you be able to do? Everytime you thought you had changed something for the better there  would be unseen consequences that managed to speed up the hell-bound cart.

Still maybe I could try and predict the future, what harm can it do? In the last year the President of the United States said the ‘n’ word, rainbow flags were raised as others came down, and Donald Trump decided he wanted to build a wall round Mexico.

How could I predict anything crazier? Continue reading “A not so scary view of the future”

5 things that make Britain awesome

In which I turn up the volume to Rule Britannia and make a cup of tea.

I’ve  had a number of discussions recently about Britain and what Britishness is. The current issue is what makes a Brit a Brit, and whether or not it is compatible with being English or European. Mrs G (an American) is also having to teach British Values (democracy, freedom of speech, respect for the rule of law) that are not unique to this island.

Other friends have commented on certain aspects of British life, is it that all our food is bland and boiled (both of which I refute, it’s hearty and fried)? What about the way we look at class, or is it the fact that as a nation we are able to laugh at ourselves (a trait that only seems to be shared by Canadians, Australians or New Zealanders – perhaps having the Queen as Head of State gives oneself a good dose of self-deprecation).

What better way to look at it than with a list of things that seem to be Britannic specialties. So grab your warm beer and Union Jack bowler for, in no particular jingoistic order, my list of what I consider to be our most famous institutions:

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The meaning of friends

In which it is easy to define friendship.

I have few friends. Before you go all “oh that’s so sad/funny” let me add a caveat. I know a lot of people, and have known a lot of people. It’s just that I don’t class many of them as friends. Acquaintances, colleagues, contacts, companions, yes. There is nothing wrong with being one of them. What makes a friend though? What has to happen to push through simply knowing someone to it being a friendship?

Sam never left Frodo, even when he was cast away.

A real friendship is one where you are completely honest and truthful. You have complete trust in the other person. You would do anything for them without expecting any reward or praise in return. Cicero thought that as well, and he was one of the greatest philosophers.

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Presenting like a ringmaster

In which I assure the public
my production will be second to none.

Perhaps the greatest exponent of the “Wow” moment was Steve Jobs, it could be announcing the iPhone or pulling a MacBook Air from an envelope or maybe even the classic “One more thing…” showstopper. Even now, years after his passing, the WWDC conference (which is happening today) is seen as a classic example of delivering jaw dropping moments. It will be the focus of huge amounts of press coverage, with weeks of analysis and clips everywhere.

The success of the Apple presentations are all about ’emotion’, their products are not for the masses but for the ‘creators’. Like the famous 1984 ad it is about thinking differently and letting the product speak for itself. Apple don’t like to talk about specs, they like to talk about what using the product feels like.

I wish I could do presentations like this, but the sad reality is that most of the presentations we will do are more jaw-drooping than jaw dropping.

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