My Brain and 2am

So, at 2 this morning, my brain woke me up with the most brilliant idea on increasing the efficiency of data storage space that you will have ever heard.

Martin was so impressed with it that he didn’t even know what to say, although I did have to employ the accompanying ants on a matchstick comparison to explain the idea. Actually he may have been speechless because of that.

But seriously now, absolutely brilliant idea.

You know how we store physical data on a disk or card, just like you can put ants on a matchstick, right? Where ants are the data and the matchsticks are the storage device, right?

So what you do, is you make the data go from one part of the storage device to another, or in other words, you make the ants jump from one matchstick to another, and while the ants are in the air, you can use the now empty spot on the matchstick to put another ant on it!

Of course in order to keep this system going, in the nanosecond before the first ant lands the extra ant that you stuck on will now have to jump to the other matchstick, basically meaning you will have to keep the ants jumping from one matchstick to the next, ensuring that you have empty space on your matchsticks to stick your extra ants on.

If you do that with all the ants, at any give time you will have (for instance) 6 ants jumping from a to be or from b to a, and 3 extra ants occupying their previously occupied spots on each matchstick, also making six ants, and hey presto, where once you could only keep 6 ants on 2 matchsticks, by making shrewd use of the time it takes an ant to jump from a to b you can now store 12 ants!

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is my brain at 2 in the morning.

Dear People That Explain Things*,

Can you please, if you insist in making a video, also write shit down? For serious?

Because that video that takes me 5 minutes to listen to? If you wrote that shit down, it would take me under 10 seconds to read.

So, the amount of time I have to waste because your slow arse can’t talk at the speed I can read at is getting really horrendous, seeing as just about everyone and his father now goes “OOOOOO LET’S DO A VIDEO TUTORIAL!!!!”.

Fine, do a video tutorial. By all means, I’m sure there are people that prefer them because they learn better by listening. Just write that shit the fuck down too so that I don’t have to sit here wishing I could speed your voice up because I could have read this explanation and another 20 pages by the time you get to your first breath in between sentences.

We all learn in different ways. Some of us learn by hearing, some of us learn by seeing, some of us learn by doing and some of us learn by reading.

I learn by reading. Your voice is no match for my reading speed. Also, sorry peeps, but not all of you have voices that are conducive to learning.

So, if you insist on being New World Forward Thinking and use video tutorials to explain stuff? Just provide a transcript. By the time you’ve gone through your jolly little “oh hello I’m so glad you could join us” spiel, I’ll have read it and turned you off.

Write, people, write. Talking is slowwwwwwwww.
*I’m not talking about stuff you need to show people in order to teach them, like how to hold a guitar, which end is up on a bodhran and how to hold your knife and fork. Videos for that stuff is good.

I Die A Slow Death

Lately there have been some problems with the availability of thyroid medication. So far I’ve been reasonably lucky in that the short while that my usual meds weren’t available, the same brand meds in a different dosage were. However, changing brands and even changing dosage size tablets are not advised as they do cause problems. Thyroid medication has an extremely narrow therapeutic band.

Thyroid medication is cheap. Even if I had to pay for it myself, I’d be able to keep myself alive on about 100 – 200 euros or so a year in thyroid medication. That is why it is also not an interesting medication for companies to have in their portfolio. It’s simply too bloody cheap to be of any commercial use.

The fact that the availability of thyroid medication is under threat is a worry. Because not being able to take the medication has some nasty effects. Especially the last one in this list:

Blood pressure irregularities
Low body temperature, feeling perpetually cold
Fatigue
Depression
Memory problems
Elevated cholesterol, treatment-resistant high cholesterol
Weight gain
Infertility
Miscarriage
Stillbirth
Premature labor
Menstrual irregularities
Loss or reduction of sex drive
Muscle weakness
Constipation
Joint or muscle pain
Hair loss
Swollen hands, feet and face
Growth of thyroid nodules, increasing goiter size
Increased risk of heart disease
Increased risk of infection
Myxedema coma and death

Hypothyroidism is often viewed as a “simple” disease, because once you’re stabilised (something that still seems to elude me) you are able to function more or less as normal, and therefore not viewed as something quite all that serious. But lets be clear here. If I stop taking my medication, or have to stop taking my medication because it’s not available, I will die. A slow death, I grant you that. But the disease I have _will_ kill me if left untreated.

So that petition I linked to up there? Life blood my friends, life blood.

“But they starts with thinking about people as things…”

“There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example,” said Oats.

“And what do they think? Against it, are they?” said Granny Weatherwax.

“It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray.”

“Nope.”

“Pardon?”

“There’s no grays, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”

“It’s a lot more complicated than that—”

“No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”

“Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes—”

“But they starts with thinking about people as things…”

 

from
Carpe Jugulum
by
Terry Pratchett

Daar zit je dan

Daar zit je dan, als liefhebbende vrouw, liefhebbende dochter en zoon. Dan doe je iets waarvan je nooit gedacht had dat je dat zou (moeten) doen. Dan laat je een rechter langskomen om vast te stellen dat je man en vader opgesloten moet worden.

In je hoofd weet je dat je het beste voor hem doet. Dat zijn ontsnappingen hem en anderen in gevaar brengen. Dat de lieve agenten die al die tijd – eigenlijk ongeoorloofd – hun best hebben gedaan om hem onbeschadigd weer in het tehuis te brengen het ook niet verdienen om door een 71-jarige demente bejaarde geschopt en geslagen te worden.

Dat hij beschermd moet worden tegen zichzelf. Omdat hij zichzelf allang niet meer is. Dat de verzorging beschermd moet worden tegen hem, omdat deze stevige, zware 71-jarige demente bejaarde nog zo sterk is als een beer en die lieve meiden en jongens zo aan de kant zou zetten of tegen de grond zou werken.

En je hart? Je hart breekt. Want ook al is hij allang niet meer wie hij was, toch is hij nog steeds je man, je vader. Die toch altijd zo zijn best gedaan heeft om de beste man en vader te zijn die hij kon zijn. En dan moet daar een rechter komen. En die moet met hem praten. En die besluit dan uiteindelijk dat hij daar nooit meer weg mag.

Het telefoontje “de Rechterlijke Machtiging is afgegeven”. Zowel een pak van het hart, als hartbrekend. Zowel een opluchting als een klap in het gezicht. Een verwachte klap in het gezicht doet ook nog steeds zeer. Misschien wel meer, omdat je het aan ziet komen en niet af kan en mag wenden.

Zijn wereld is allang de onze niet meer. En de laatste controle over zijn leven die hij had – weglopen naar “huis” – is hem nu ook afgenomen. Dat hebben wij gedaan. En dat moesten wij doen. En het is goed. Maar zo voelt het niet. En zo zal het nooit voelen.

Open letter to CatWorld UK

Dear CatWorld UK,

I must say, your system to unsubscribe from your newsletter is incredibly efficient. So far, I have only tried to make you stop sending me the newsletters at least 7 times, but your system is so efficient that it completely ignores me.

Or perhaps your system thinks it knows better than I do what I want to receive in my inbox. After al, I’ve only tried to unsubscribe at least 7 times (probably more, as I try every time you send me a newsletter), so I can’t be that dedicated to unsubscribing, can I?

No really, I have to give you points for effort. Not quite sure what effort, but certainly for trying (and succeeding) to make me believe that you’re no more than common spammers.

Really good job CatWorld UK. No, seriously, I have to give it to you. You really don’t take no for an answer.

To be fair, I’m now at the point that even if I were still breeding cats (something that I stopped oh… 7 years ago?), I would be staying as far away from your publication as was humanly possible.

 

Good job Catworld UK, good job…

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