Olympics 2012

Great athletes are profundity in motion. They enable abstractions like power and grace and control to become not only incarnate but televisable. To be a top athlete, performing, is to be that exquisite hybrid of animal and angel that we average unbeautiful watchers have such a hard time seeing in ourselves.

-David Foster Wallace

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War Games

I’ve been leaving toy soldiers around Aberdeen.

I thought it might be interesting to experience life in a city with a strong military presence, miniature though that may be.

It’s not interesting though, it’s terrifying.



He imagined the scene at the gates of heaven to be not unlike that at the finish line of a long and grueling marathon: everyone high-fiving, hugging, collapsing, elated that it’s over, yes, it’s finally over, pouring cups of water over one another’s heads and saying, Holy shit, dude, that was fucking brutal. I am never doing that again.

-Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy

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2011: My Year in Review

January: Started a Twitter account pretending to be Boots – minor PR scandal.

February: Moved in with my girlfriend.

March: Best Man at a wedding in Florida.

April: Sold something (which had been given to me as a gift) on ebay.

May: Started writing friendly messages for strangers again.

June: Given a rubber dinghy for my 23rd birthday.

July: Bought my first car.

August: Performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. Experienced heartburn for the first time.

September: Parents moved to Australia.

October: Dressed as an amoeba for Halloween after two years of planning.

November: Grew an unpopular beard.

December: Went to an art gallery. Saw a sculpture of a dead dog wearing a party hat.

Happy New Year!

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Albyn Hospital

Last night, while walking past the BMI Albyn Hospital in Aberdeen, I spotted this worrying note on a car windscreen.

I’m not sure if the note is an official communiqué from BMI Healthcare, “the UK’s Number 1 private hospital group”, but it does raise some interesting questions. Mainly, what are Medical Gases? I found the answer on Wikipedia:

Oxygen: Oxygen may be used for patients requiring supplemental oxygen via a mask.

Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous Oxide is supplied to various surgical suites for its anaesthetic functions during pre-operative procedures.

Nitrogen: Nitrogen is typically used to power surgical equipment during various procedures.

Carbon Dioxide: Typically used to inflate or suspend tissues during surgery.

Medical Gas Test Mixtures: Often used for patient diagnostics such as lung function testing or blood gas analysis.

Medical Gases sound quite important, don’t they?

After I read the note I had a look at the ‘illegally parked’ car. The note implies that the car was blocking access to the hospital car park but as far as I could tell it wasn’t blocking anything. While I was investigating, a nurse drove out of the car park without a problem, as if to prove my point.  I understand that delivery trucks are probably slightly larger than the average nurse’s car, but even if the delivery driver had found it impossible to access the hospital car park couldn’t they have just parked further away and wheeled the gas in? I was surprised that a professional Medical Gas courier would have decided to give up on a delivery – especially when the running of a hospital depended on it.

So how is Aberdeen’s Albyn Hospital going to cope without a Medical Gas supply? Will they be forced to perform operations without anaesthetic or fully functioning surgical equipment? Will patients who require supplemental oxygen be left gasping? Will lung function and blood go un-analysed?

I’ve written to the hospital to find out, but in the meantime I’ve cancelled my vasectomy.

[Bonus points if you noticed that ‘receive’ is misspelled.]

[And ‘illegaly’ obviously. Obviously.]


BBC Complaint

Dear Mr Dryburgh,

Thanks for contacting us about ‘Saturday Kitchen Live’ on 03 September. I understand you believe one of the chefs incorrectly identified a female lobster as male.

The term ‘bad boy’ has become a common slag* term used to describe a thing that’s impressive. This is what was meant. The chef wasn’t referring to the sex of the lobster.

However, I appreciate your concerns and I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your complaint in our audience logs. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

BBC Complaints

[*I believe the BBC meant to write ‘slang’ here. Instead, they have used the word ‘slag’, which is offensive and has caused me to write another complaint. Thanks to Natassia for pointing this out.]