Thursday 7 July, 2022


Taken two days ago. For some reason we’ve had more butterflies in our garden this year. No idea why.

Quote of the Day

”More than 220 Americans were killed by guns over the holiday. Seven of them were in my hometown.“

  • Maya Sulkin, writing here.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Liam O’Flynn, Seán Keane, Paddy Glackin, Arty McGlynn & Paul Brady | Gradam Ceoil TG4 2007


The Humours of Carrigaholt (Reel 0:00), Mayor Harrison’s Fedora (Reel 1:13) & Tommy Peoples’ (Reel 2:26)

Long Read of the Day

Why are British politicians so rotten?

Perceptive essay by Michael Crick, one of the sharpest observers of British politics over many years. His answer to his own question is that the secretive way parliamentary candidates are chosen lies at the root of the problem.

Whereas American parties choose their candidates under the intense public scrutiny of primary elections, Britain’s parliamentary selections are conducted with great secrecy. They are rarely reported on these days; many places don’t have a local paper anymore, while those that do survive don’t regard candidate selections as particularly newsworthy.

Yet they are a vital part of British politics. Local parties aren’t just picking the MPs of tomorrow, but the ministers, Cabinet ministers and whips of future decades — the pool of people from which governments are formed. If parties regularly choose incompetent, lazy and stupid MPs, then weak and inept governments will follow: the sort of governments populated by the likes of Chris Pincher; the sort of governments that make a man accused of sexual misconduct a deputy chief whip. That, ultimately, is why I’ve started a new project to report on the selection process for every candidate who might have a chance of becoming an MP…

My Commonplace booklet

Minecraft for Adjunct Professors

Nice satire by Ross Bullen…

Getting Started

First, you need to decide between Creative Mode and Survival Mode. In Creative Mode, you are like a god, the lord and master of all you see, with an infinite number of items and resources at your disposal. Creative Mode is only available for tenured professors. Everybody else has to play in Survival Mode. You will also need to choose a difficulty level. Your options are Peaceful, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Adjunct Professor. Let’s select that last one and see what happens.

Your Character Spawns

Your character could spawn in any biome, but since you selected Adjunct Professor Mode, there is a 90 percent chance you will appear in the bathroom of a Subway restaurant where you are grading essays using a malfunctioning hand dryer as a desk and trying to answer panicky student emails on a nine-year-old iPhone. If you chose to begin with a Bonus Chest, it should be in one of the adjacent bathroom stalls. Look inside to find useful items that will help you on your quest, including more essays to grade, half a meatball sub, and a PhD in the History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz…

Lovely stuff — unless you’re an Adjunct Prof.

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