Below are all my thoughts listed in published order with the most recent at the top.   They’re best read in published order from this post, then you can use the nav buttons at the bottom of each post to read through them in order, as some posts refer to, or are built upon, previous posts.   But, wha’evah you choose, it’s entirely up to you and you can read them in any random style that you feel like.

If you’re looking for something in particular there’s the left side menus with the search bar at the top, a tag cloud at the bottom, and ‘The Latest Things’ section somewhere in the middle for the most recent 10 posts.

Otherwise, feel free to ramble on around without the light on and get lost in my crazy world.

And, if you should have any thoughts of your own you’d like to add, or any complaints, suggestions, any thing at all — other than spam — then contact me and i promise to ‘ave a tiny little fink about wha’evah it is you has to say, init!

You can also get updated on new posts by following me on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

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Will I Live to See My Utopia? — P. Djèlí Clark

Inspired by the TV show Watchmen.   You can read it over at Uncanny.

An interesting and thought provoking essay by one of my favourite writers.   Djèlí is a historian by day and he provides lots of links for you to learn things with.

And for those of you who haven’t watched Watchmen yet, then seriously get the fuck out from under that rock you’ve been living under and turn the computer on and find it.   Seriously good TV.

#5t4n5 #watchmen #tv

Dopamine Nation — Anna Lembke

I recently discovered Anna when she appeared on the two podcasts below.   So i immediately got hold of this book and decided to put all my other reading on hold and dive straight in: some times i feel some things are just that important.

So having listened to the two podcasts was there anything more to be learned from the book?


Without a doubt, both podcasts were great in their own unique ways, Rich and Michael approach this topic from two very different angles and flavour their podcasts accordingly, and when it comes to the book i think that the reader will find their own bag within it.

One thing Anna isn’t within this book is judging and preachy: she’s not telling anyone what to do or what not to do.   Anna simply lays out a bunch of case histories and how the human propensity to seek pleasure and minimise pain within this age of abundance is what is ultimately causing so many problems.   The reader can make their own mind up as to where they are on this wild and crazy spectrum of addiction that is plaguing our age and species, and also what they may wish to do about it.

Super good and definitely a book to put on the shelf next to The Pleasure Trap: if you haven’t read that then seriously, get reading that too.

But, whether you wish to take the time to read Dopamine Nation or not, i do hope you’ll take the time to listen to the podcasts: both are different, so please don’t just listen to one.

Rich Roll Podcast

Finding Mastery

The Rich Roll one is available on video if you prefer it that way:

#5t4n5 #addiction #drugs #dopamine #books #reading #annalembke

Cycling Safely

Some thoughts about an old BBC article:   Readers’ radical solutions to protect cyclists

While i agree with some of the points made, i really don’t think that list is very good for keeping people safe on bicycles.

Having been a life long cyclist, and spent over 12 years living and cycling in London, i think i’m fairly well qualified to weigh in on the cycling safety debate.

How to keep safe while cycling:

1. Do not wear headphones.   Listening to music, podcasts, etc., is one of the quickest ways to get you in trouble on a bicycle.   Your ears serve as a second set of eyes, you need to be attentive to what is behind you and listening carefully is like having eyes in the back of your head.

2. Wear bright colours.   Hi viz vests can slip over the top of whatever you’re wearing and can be removed quickly and shoved into a pocket when you get to where you’re going.   Remember, you cannot be bright enough, pile on the dayglo during daylight hours (there’s a clue in the name dayglo) but once it gets dark you need lots of white and reflective stuff beacause, surprise, surprise, dayglo does not work at night, if it did it would be called ‘niteglo’.   Also to remember is that other road users need to see your signals, so if you’re wearing dark gloves and sleeves then they probably won’t see you signalling even in daylight and especially at night, so make your arms and hands stand out as well.

3. Be aware that vehicles do have blind spots.   If you don’t understand this, just go and stand near a busy junction and watch articulated vehicles turning and see how they behave and how the mirrors lose sight of the side of the vehicle when they’re turning, and watch how the back wheels cut the corner.   Don’t put yourself anywhere near a big lorry at a junction, even if they’re not indicating, the driver just may have forgotten to indicate.   Remember also, with large vehicles you as a cyclist cannot see what’s on the other side of them, so be fucking careful!!!   Holding back when large vehicles are around may add a minute or two to your journey, but it can save your life.

4. Use lights at night.   Bright ones.   Several.   At least two front and two back ones.   Super bright modern LED bike lights are not very expensive and run great on rechargeable batteries.   Fill your bike up with light if you cycle in the dark.   My best advice for lights is to go on eBay and buy two Cree T6 front lights with 18650 batteries.   Most come with a free back light that runs on 2 aaa batteries.   18650 batteries are great and can be recharged lots of times if you use an intelligent charger.   A good charger is well worth the money because it looks after your batteries and doesn’t cook them making them last for a very long time.   I don’t recommend rechargeable lights, the kind with built in batteries, as they can run out of charge and then you’re left with no light.   If you have battery powered lights you can take several spare batteries just in case.   On a long ride at night i can easily get through 7 18650 batteries across 3 Cree T6 lamps.   One rechargeable bike light would be useless for me.

5. Be confident and assertive — where appropriate (see warning on lorries above)!   There really is nothing worse on the road than a dithering, mincing, cyclist.   Vehicle drivers should be left in no doubt whatsoever of your intentions.   Ok, i probably do take this one a bit too far as i have been known to play chicken with cars, never lorries, but i don’t recommend it for the faint hearted.   But my point is that drivers really do not want to kill or injure you, if you make them fully aware of what you’re doing most drivers will do their utmost to avoid you.   And it’s not just about signalling, taking the correct, dominant road position for your intention is as important as signalling is.   There is absolutely no point in signalling to go right at the next junction if you stay cycling in the gutter on the left hand side, you are inviting vehicles to overtake you by your road position.

6. Buy a tax disc holder for your bicycle and put a tax disc in it.   Apparently there’s lots of car drivers who think that the reason so many people are injured on bicycles is simply because they don’t have a tax disc.   I’m obviously being facetious here, but it’s in the BBC article linked to above and sadly there doesn’t seem to be anything facetious in Alexander, Birmingham’s remarks.   Let’s get something straight; no one pays road tax.   There is no such thing as road tax.   What vehicles owners pay is ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’, which is charged on a level appropriate to the gas guzzling nature of the vehicle in question.   I pay ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ on my moped, and to be honest, i get treated no differently by car, van, bus or lorry drivers on that than i do on a bicycle.   So **** off with your road tax comments!!!   Surely it would be better to just scrap VED altogether and put the price of petrol and diesel up.   At least that way those who pollute the most, pay the most, and the government would save millions by not employing all those people at DVLA to administer a stealth tax that causes so much bad feelings between road users.

7. More congestion charging zones.   Any cyclist who remembers the centre of London pre-zone, will tell you how bad it was.   Most people wouldn’t cycle there because it really was incredibly dangerous.   Then came the congestion charging and the traffic dropped massively and drivers were less stressed out and grumpy and cycling through the city was very easy and relatively safe in comparison to what it had been.   If more cities and towns brought in congestion charging — and used the money made to fund better public transport and cycle lanes — things would be a lot safer and healthier for everyone.   It would also help the country to meet our carbon limits.

8. If you’re just pottering around town then ride a bicycle that you can sit up straight on (Dutch style).   They’re far better for your back than being hunched over the handle bars, but most importantly, if you’re sat up straight then you can see very clearly over the tops of cars and they can see you.   Being bent over your handle bars limits your field of vision massively, and it hides you behind vehicles: all the dayglo in the world ain’t gonna help if you’re hidden from sight.   So get your bicycle a long stem for your handle bars and sit up properly.   You only need to be low and aero if you’re doing some serious training, not for riding around town.

9. Turn your phone off!!!!!!!   You do not need pointless distractions while cycling.   Don’t worry, the text messages, tweets and facebook updates will arrive when you switch it back on, and people can call back later when it’s safer for you to answer.

10. Keep your bike in good running order, and know how to use it properly.   You do not need something going drastically wrong with your bicycle, like your chain coming off or getting your trouser leg stuck in the chain in the middle of a junction surrounded by moving vehicles.

And that’s my ten most important cycling safety things.

Have fun cycling safely.

#5t4n5#bicycles #cycling #bikes #gettingfitter #roads #transport #fitness #health

Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV.

This week in politics we were given a very good example of Dunning–Kruger effect.

On top of the Dunning-Kruger we also get to see extreme Narcissistic Personality Disorder in action, with Trump deciding that this test would be almost impossible for anyone else to pass.

If the president of the usa is — by his own admission — finding a cognitive impairment test, “very difficult”, and finds it hard to believe that most other people wouldn’t be able to pass it then please, please, someone, anyone, remove this clown from office.

That some people are still believing that he’s a great president and will vote for him again just shows that democracy is a load of bollox: when you give idiots the vote they’ll vote for idiots.

And so, in this age of fake news, we have the president of the usa performing his own fake news for our entertainment dollar.

Please watch his face and right hand as he recites his pre-arranged “Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV.”

Now consider how everything was arranged for this interview:

I shall say no more.


#5t4n5 #donaldtrump #personwomanmancameratv #politics #fakenews

Modern Slavery at Waitrose

So yesterday morning, Sunday 22nd December, i thought i’d go out for a ride on my scooter — weather being nice and everything.

So off i went to Sidmouth, as it’s quite a fun ride from Exmouth going the back lane way over Peak Hill.

I planned on getting there just after 10am so i could pop into Waitrose and grab a free coffee before it all got busy.   Alas, it was not to be.   I had forgotten about all the mindless, senseless, automaton, baby jesus freaks running around in their mad, last minute, buying frenzies because they’d forgotten the fucking stuffing mix and aunty Jane would starve to death if they didn’t get out and buy some at 10am on Sunday morning.

It was so busy Waitrose had even draughted in the boy scouts to guide people to empty parking spaces as they became available, and also the air cadets to collect all the trolleys as all the mad people threw them madly into the air in their mad dashes to be away from the madding, fucking crowd — i kid you fucking not!!!

By the time i’d got through the crazy busy store, having bought some nice things i can’t buy at Tesco in Exmouth, i proceeded to queue for the free coffee at the machine.   Yes folks, a queue had formed at 10.30am in Waitrose.   And it was a queue of 5 people, plus me, and more people then queued behind me.

Normally i wouldn’t bother waiting in such a queue, but i’d rode 12.5 miles on my scooter in the middle of winter — albeit a nice day — to get to Sidmouth; and, if you ask me — which no one did — i was the one in that fucking queue that deserved that free fucking coffee the most.

Needless to say, the coffee machine was not having a happy morning.   When anyone finally made it to the front of the queue they proceeded to apologise to those in the queue behind them about the coffee machine taking ages to make their coffee: “It’s never usually like this.” they said.

And the thought occurred to me:

In the internet of things, and intelligent devices, i wonder, should coffee machines get a tea break?

It struck me that at baby jesus time when everyone is all good will and shit and over eating and seriously hating the whole fucking experience but they go along with it any way because that’s what they’re supposed to do — init — that no one cared about this poor little coffee machine being so utterly abused by the hoi polloi and all and sundry of Sidmouth as they all lose their collective fucking minds and binge shop for baby fucking jesus like it’s the last fucking birthday he’ll ever fucking have.

So yeah, spare a thought for all your intelligent machines, and even the retarded ones, at this time of year.   Buy them a present and make sure they get a fucking break from your family’s incessant, mindless demands.

And yes, i do consider the Waitrose coffee machine to be intelligent.   It can make a fairly decent fucking coffee from whole beans, grinds them all by itself and everything and shit — that’s pretty fucking intelligent compared to a dog.   I don’t see dogs making a fresh ground cup of coffee and plenty of people claim they’re intelligent and if you abused one like you abuse intelligent machines then you’d be arrested good and proper.

So why is it ok to enslave, torture and abuse an intelligent machine in this way — at christmas for fucks sake — but it’s not ok to upset someone’s doggie?

So yeah, give the coffee machines a tea break — and stay the fuck out of Waitrose when i’m visiting Sidmouth.


#5t4n5 #waitrose #ai #coffee

Marie Antoinette’s Big Fuck Up

This follows on from “Scottish Privilege” and “£4.50 Doughnuts”, so if you haven’t read them already then go and do so first — else i’ll get really grumpy or something, and you wouldn’t like me when i’m really grumpy.

In English speaking countries there’s an urban myth that during the French revolution someone mentioned to Queen Marie Antoinette that the peasants were starving and she reputedly responded with “Let them eat cake.”

Of course, we love that one in England; anything to diss the French will always cheer us up, no end.   Anyone who thinks frogs and slugs are food seriously needs to try eating some cake instead.

However, in French, her reputed statement was “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” which means: “Then let them eat brioche.”   You can read all about the whole episode by clicking here.

If you did click there and read the wiki on it you’ll soon get to thinking that she didn’t actually say it, but that it was a pure propaganda stunt by the peasants to stir up animosity against the royalty.   Or maybe it was just some bored English bloke deciding to have another bash at our favourite neighbours.

Anyways, history lesson over and fast forward to the UK under the bootheels of the Tory party austerity measures.   Are the ruling classes of the UK going to make the same mistake as the French monarchy made and see the peasants rising up against them and chopping their heads off, or are they going to do something different?

Yes, you guessed it, they’re going for a different approach: that of aspiration.

After all, the last thing the poor peasants of the UK need to hear from Mandy Android is this:

Firstly, the ignorant, mono sylabic, tabloid oiks — which make up the vast majority of the UK population — wouldn’t know what the fuck that meant; and secondly, even if they did manage to translate it correctly, they wouldn’t be too impressed anyway as they don’t know what a brioche is — coz mcdonalds don’t sell ’em, init.

But they eat doughnuts.   Everyone likes doughnuts, especially the poor, downtrodden masses of the UK.   I checked while in Tesco yesterday and they’re still 79p for 5 from the in store bakery.   Probably cheaper at Lidl and Aldi, but i’m way too classy to be seen in those type of places with the sort that frequent them.

So instead of the government handing out barrow fulls of Brioche to the hungry masses, or simply giving them enough benefits to afford to buy their own brioche, they have deliberately fucked up their benefit payments and created a country where the poorest have to sit at home staring forlornly at their 68″ plasma tv screens while watching rich cunts shoving £4.50 doughnuts into their faces while they have to rely on whatever tinned and packet shite the food bank gave them yesterday.

Obviously, this is far better for the peasants than simply giving them brioche as Marie may, or may not have, suggested.

Why is it far better, you may ask?

Well, because it gives the peasants something to aspire to.   Think about it.   What else, other than their 68″ plasma TV screens and 12 hours of day time TV, do these people have to look forward to every day?   If you dangle the carrot of aspiration in front of them, of being just like Judy and getting to go to London to buy £4.50 doughnuts, then they’ll soon be getting off their arses, getting really good jobs and jumping on trains every weekend to get at those doughnuts.

It just makes so much sense.   It certainly worked for Margaret Thatcher who used ‘buy-your-own-council-house’ as her carrot of aspiration for the oiks, which got them all out from in front of their TV’s and getting jobs so that they could get a mortgage and be slaves to their jobs until their mortgages were paid off because they’d now be homeless if they didn’t pay the mortgage.

The oiks didn’t seem to concern themselves with the fact that they could have continued living a job free lifestyle, watching day time TV and been guaranteed to be able to live in their council house for the rest of their lives if they didn’t buy it because housing benefit would always cover the rent.   No, they chased that carrot of aspiration all the way into corporate slavery and worked themselves into an early grave and their houses were sold to the highest bidder to pay for their old people’s home care bill.   The highest bidder being a buy-to-let property magnet who now rents those houses back to poor people on short term 6 month leases at 5 times the rent the original council house would currently be rented to them for if it were still a council house.

So yeah, aspiration.   Do you dream of being wealthy enough, or even pretending to be wealthy enough, to buy £4.50 doughnuts?   If you’ve already bought your own council house then maybe this is the next aspirational step for you.   In the meanwhile it’ll keep the masses downtrodden as they drool at the thought of getting one of those doughnuts one day instead of rising up and overthrowing those that keep them downtrodden and eating slightly stale, food bank doughnuts instead.

Seriously, people, quit aspiring to the shit they advertise to you in product placements within Judy Murray stories that aren’t worth publishing.   It’s all designed to keep you enslaved to the system.   If Marie had known then what the ruling classes of France know now then she would have opened a few tourists shops at the Palace of Versailles and offered expensive tat to the peasants to give them something to aspire to affording — which is exactly what the French government are doing at the Palace of Versailles right now.

Instead of tearing down the gates of Versailles, storming the palace, stuffing your face in the kitchens and nicking whatever valuables you could fit in your pockets; you can now aspire to buy a ticket — starting at 20 euros — to walk through open gates, wander around anywhere you’ve got a ticket for (look but don’t touch), pay a load more euro to eat brioche and drink coffee in the cafe and then spend even more euros buying a shit load of tourist tat on your way out.   Which doesn’t leave much change from 200 euros for a peasant family.   But at least you won’t have to put up with Judy Murray as they don’t take Scottish play money.

Anyway, fuck aspiring to pay for it, revolution was much more fun and much more cheaper.   Storm the doors of the boutique doughnut shops and help yourselves — the police won’t stop you as they’re too busy with all the climate change demonstrations.

#5t4n5 #doughnuts #privilege #socialaspiration

£4.50 Dougnuts

No, i just can’t let this one go.

After my previous post on ‘Sottish Privilege’ in which i have a little rant about Judy ‘my-son-can-bat-a-ball-better-than-your-son-can’ Murray and her obscene financial excesses, i decided to dig a little deeper into what makes a doughnut cost £4.50.

So apparently, what makes these doughnuts so fucking special is that they’re made in Reading.

They make them in Reading, fresh every day, and then ship them into London through all that poluted traffic, adding to the already overloaded congestion and pollution that London suffers from while delivering these daily to their 10 London shops, so you can have a super fresh doughnut experience.

I presume that they don’t do this because there’s anything special about Reading — trust me, i’ve watched ‘Beautiful People’ — but because its cheaper to make them there and then ship them into their 10 London shops than it is to make them truly fresh in their shops in London.

Surely, at £4.50, you’d expect someone to stand in front of you and make it especially for you from 100% organic certified ingredients that have been lovingly fertilised with unicorn shit and pixie wee and watered with rainbow tears, but no, you just get a doughnut made in Reading sometime last night from ingredients that i can’t find published anywhere on their website.

One would think that if they were truly proud of their obscenely expensive boutique doughnuts they’d publish a full ingredient list on their website, but no, they don’t even state what kind of oil they use other than its some kind of vegetable.

But, not to worry, if you want to save some money you can buy a box of 6 for £24.   Yeah, it’s actually really real, me and Judy ain’t making this shit up.   They’ve got 10 shops in London, so one can only presume that there’s plenty of people, fucked in the head enough, to be buying them.   Although, when you think about it, all that pollution from delivery vans delivering to 10 different shops every day in London does have most people fucked in the head enough to be paying £4.50 for one single doughnut.

So, anyway, i thought i’d look at Tesco and see what they can do for £4.50 in the way of nice cakey things…   So, for £4.50, at Tesco, i can get 990g of mini gingerbread men, that’s basically a whole kilogram (let’s not quibble over 10g).   Yeah, really, a whole fucking army of your very own mini gingerbread men for £4.50.   So Judy and her friend, i’m presuming she was buying two doughnuts to share one with a friend, but maybe she’s just a greedy person and was hoping to devour them both herself.   After all, who the fuck am i to be judging the feeding habits of a nation who eat deep fried, battered pizzas with chips as a snack…

So, if, and it is a big if, we presume one of her £4.50 doughnuts was for a friend, then Judy and her imaginary friend could have, instead, gone to Tesco and got a whole army of mini gingerbread men each and played Warhammer with them and when you killed your opponents you’d get to eat them too — now that’d be so much more fun than 2 fancy, made in Reading, doughnuts.

Tesco in store bakery also sells doughnuts fresh baked every day, ‘in store’ — not shipped half way across England — @ 79p for 5.   Yes, a whole pack of 5 fresh baked doughnuts for 79p.   So you can have 28 1/2 doughnuts for £4.50.   So Judy, and her maybe imaginary friend, could have had 57 doughnuts between them and had such a mental sugar rush that a big fight (that Conor McGregor would have been proud of) in the middle of the street would have ensued over who got the last one — now that would have been headline news worthy of any tabloid and even possibly made the BBC front page.

Moving on: for other sources of cheap doughnuts, simply pop along to your local food bank and wait until someone donates a packet of doughnuts and you’ll get them for nothing.   And if you’re really lucky, they’ll be from some rich, Scotch cunt who paid £4.50 each for two and couldn’t manage the second one after their Pizza Crunch breakfast so decided to give it away to the peasants.

There should be a [sic] somewhere in the previous sentence, but i didn’t put it in because i felt it destroyed the flow of the piece, so i’ll leave it to you to think about where it should go.   Answers on a postcard.   And for the fuckwits who can’t make out what i mean by [sic], this whole thing is wasted on you anyway because you obviously suffer from Dunning-Kruger effect, and right about now you’ll be getting all fucking righteous about everything and attempting to engage me in a tedious exchange of emails in the vain hope of educating me out of my ignorance — and stupidity — while all the while not realising it is you, yourself, who is the utter fuckwit here who is so fuckwitted that any attempt at educating you is a total fucking waste of resources and time: that’s what eating pizza crunch suppers does to your brain.

And people call Margaret Thatcher evil — at least she didn’t allow boutique doughnuts on her watch while the oi palloi went hungry.

Fuck it, it’s 7:04 and Tesco has been open for over an hour.   You see the sacrifices i make so that you can have cutting edge journalism with your breakfast?   So, anyway, it’s well past time for their in store bakery to have my 28 1/2 doughnuts and army of mini gingerbread men ready for a dining room table top battle — at least that’s my day sorted and £9 well spent.


And no, i’m most certainly not finished with this topic.   Click here for the next episode.

#5t4n5 #scottish #doughnuts #privilege