Brexit 3: Globalists vs Nationalists, with Stephen Fry

Another great little video from Stephen Fry. There’s a few of these now, found at the Pindex Youtube channel.

I’m going to go out on a limb here. I understand why people voted for Brexit and for Trump, thinking it would change the status quo.

It may do that, but not for the benefit of the people most in need of that change. If you read between the lines, the biggest winners from Brexit will be the hedge-fund managers currently betting against the UK.

Is Wales really too poor to be independent? –via Click on Wales

Interesting article from the Institute of Welsh Affairs. I don’t believe Wales is any less capable of standing on its own two feet as any other small nation.

However, whilst we are still part of the UK; whilst we are still beholden to a London-centric Government and the Barnett formula, we will never be allowed to flourish to the detriment of England.

In conclusion, a word of caution. Without accurate data any analysis of the Welsh economy must be treated with a degree of uncertainty, although the picture painted by the Cardiff University report of a country in penury is quite clearly overstated.

Nevertheless, in all honesty and when compared to other countries, especially the small nations of Europe, Wales is relatively poor and this needs to be addressed. Wales being a relatively poor country now in such a wealthy part of the world is one of the core arguments for independence.

Source: Is Wales really too poor to be independent? – Click on Wales

A letter to my 20-year old self…

From the day we are born until the day we die we are mostly making it up as we go along. Sure, our elders can impart wisdom all they want, but we can choose whether or not to listen to it.

As I’ve got older I’ve had the time to reflect on some things that I’ve done that, if given the chance, I wouldn’t do again. If I could write a letter to myself as a 20-year-old, this is what I would say.

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Dear me…

Well done you, you’ve landed yourself a job and the joys of a regular income. Now, don’t let it go to your head. Firstly, put £100 every month into a savings account, without fail and do not touch it on pain of death.

By the time you reach the age of 40 you’ll have £24,000 plus interest, probably closer to £30,000 thanks to the magic of compound interest, sitting in a bank account ready for any rainy days or any midlife crisis. If you can stretch to 10-15% of your pay, all the better.

On the subject of money, never borrow money –ever. Definitely don’t borrow money for your first car, or your second car and never buy a car new. Better yet, never buy a car. It’ll make you fat, miserable and skint. Get a road bike instead. If you’ve put money away in savings like I told you to, you should be able to buy somewhere to live before the housing market takes a turn for the ridiculous.

Next, whilst gadgets can be fun, sometimes useful, they’re a money pit. Learn to make the best of what you have and stop waiting for the next iteration. Put your money in investment funds instead. Open-ended investment companies are magic. Yes, there will be a crash in 2008 caused by sub-prime mortgages in the US, but it’ll pass and the stock market will recover in time.

Money aside, if I can impart one piece of wisdom, one thing to live your life by, it’s this. Our minds have a wonderful way of filtering out the mundane and the routine. If you are not careful you’ll wake up one day wondering where the time went.

We only have one shot at life, but it ticks by one second at a time –use it wisely. The things you’ve wanted to do, whether that be to learn a language; learn to code; move to a different country…don’t wait. If you leave now you’ll get to miss the UK imploding under the weight of a decision it made in 2016 that it was never equipped to make.

Most importantly, your instincts are usually correct. If something doesn’t feel right, there’s probably a good reason.

‘Swedish death cleaning’ is the new decluttering trend –via TreeHugger

Several years ago, I said to my mother in frustration, “It would be a nightmare to have to deal with all this stuff if you died tomorrow.” She looked at me, stunned. Up until then, I suspect she’d assumed that everyone appreciated her junk-treasures as much as she did. What ensued, mercifully, was a house purge. Mom removed much of her stuff and ceased her weekly pilgrimages to the thrift store, avoiding temptation.

Source: ‘Swedish death cleaning’ is the new decluttering trend | TreeHugger

What an excellent article. Before buying anything else, perhaps it’s time to think of the people who will have to sort through our junk after we’ve gone?

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here – The New York Times

The current worldwide loss of biodiversity is popularly known as the sixth extinction: the sixth time in world history that a large number of species have disappeared in unusually rapid succession, caused this time not by asteroids or ice ages but by humans. When we think about losing biodiversity, we tend to think of the last northern white rhinos protected by armed guards, of polar bears on dwindling ice floes. Extinction is a visceral tragedy, universally understood: There is no coming back from it. The guilt of letting a unique species vanish is eternal.

The food chain is collapsing from the bottom. First it’s the insects, then the birds & small mammals. It won’t be long before it’s the large mammals like us.

Siri Shortcuts…

Wow, I love these things. As someone deeply embedded in Apple’s ecosystem and with a HomePod sat opposite me on the table I’m always on the lookout for things I can get Siri to do for me.

The new Shortcuts app, which you may have seen on the App Store as Workflow (before Apple bought it) was released with iOS 12. After downloading it I set it aside whilst trying to figure out what I can get it to do.

Thanks to the handy guide above I’ve got a shortcut telling me how long I have to wait for a few milestones I have on the calendar up ahead, but now I’ve been inspired. What else can I get it to do?

Honest Trailers – Jurassic Park 3

Alan!

Having watched Jurassic Park 3 at the cinema many years ago, my over-riding memory of the experience was irritation at a cast of largely inept characters who somehow manage to escape the jaws of death each and every time.

However, over the years my opinion has softened. I now look at it fondly, knowing the depths the franchise has sunk to since.