Peeling Spuds – The Quick Way

PotatoesWe Irish love our spuds. But if you live in a typically large Irish family, it means there are quite a lot of the buggers to peel when preparing dinner. Which could take an awfully long time…..until now!

So when you’re preparing dinner next Sunday, take a look at this YouTube video which shows an ingenious way how to peel a bag of spuds in 60 seconds using a hose, a bucket, and an industrial drill.

KLM Tweet Exemplifies Dutch Racism And Arrogance

KLM Mexico Jibe

This is the tweet that has set the twittersphere alight with anger over the Dutch win against Mexico. What was supposedly meant as a joke has turned into a PR disaster for the Dutch national airline, KLM. It’s a lesson on how social media can instantly ruin a brand with just one click.

The tweet was deleted without apology or explanation after outraged fans began retweeting it in anger. Among the offended was Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, who managed to swear twice in the space of 140 characters to criticize the airline and vow never to fly on it again.

Mexican Outrage KLM

It quickly sparked a social media storm of criticism with many saying it was racist.

“Planning your exit out of South America soon, slave traders,” said one angry Twitter user of the picture.

But it’s not funny. It’s typical Dutch arrogance masked as “humour”. Of course, many Cloggies (and yes, if they’re gonna use a sombrero, then I’m within my right to continue calling them cloggies) simply do not even recognise the racist stereotyping, as evidenced by this reply on Twitter

KLM Nadine Koppers Response

It’s offensive, politically incorrect and opportunistic. It only serves to highlight the ingrained, but hugely suppressed, racism that exists in a country that has regularly failed to publically acknowledge or apologise for its historical hand in the slave trading industry and whom, to this very day, preys on minorities in its own country every chance they get demanding that they “conform” to the Dutch way of life.

In fact, once a year they even revel in their slaver past. Take “Zwarte Piet” (Black Pete) for example. A blackened slave helper who is the “cheeky” and “mischievous” helper of the Dutch Sinterklaas – they are the Dutch equivalent of Santa’s helpers. Of course, the Dutch think it perfectly normal to have the remnants of the slave era as perfectly acceptable form of endearment for their children.

If these are the values that the Dutch and their government insist that newcomers should integrate with, and that way of life is comfortable with openly offending other races, nationalities, religions and reverting to stereotypes, then its no wonder that immigrants to the Netherlands generally prefer to retain their own people oriented values, rather than adopting those of an arrogant fool.

KLM has clearly stepped on a landmine. Will it greatly impact the airline? Probably not, and the rebuke on Twitter will probably not do anything to reverse the insularly suppressed racism that exists in the Netherlands, but at least the cat is now out of the bag. I’ve always believed that the Dutch are closet racists. This myth of a tolerant society is exactly that, a myth. Live here long enough and you’ll discover a hotbed of hatred for anyone who does not conform or follow their rules – usually manifested in a form of “Clogic”™.

As for the football? For me personally, I’m waiting for the Argentina game to see the Dutch get their just-desserts.

KLM Tweet Screengrab

Science Saturday – Nature By Numbers

Science Saturday - Fibonacci SequenceIt’s been a while since I posted a Science Saturday article, but what better way to re-start the series than with a bang. And have I got something really really good to start us off with.

Filmmaker Cristóbal Vila illustrates the mathematical principles that underpin life and the essence of Nature in this short animation inspired by numbers, geometry, and the natural world. He explains the theory behind each sequence on his website.

The video starts off with an explanation behind the Fibonacci sequence, which is the principle behind the shape of shells, in this case a Nautilus. Vila readily admits to taking “artistic license” with the relationship between the golden ratio and the structure of the nautilus.

The video then goes on to explain about the Golden Rule or Divine Proportion and the interaction between it and the irrational number, Phi, often written as φ (and not to be confused with Pi, better known as π.) Phi plays a major role in the arrangement of sunflowers seeds, flower petals and even in shaping the eyes of insects and the meanderings of rivers for source to mouth. There are lots written about the golden ratio in nature and if you’re interested in learning more, then take a look at this essay by Samuel Arbesman.

Hope you enjoyed learning about the mathematics behind Nature provides all around us every day, and a special thanks to my friend Amber who shared this with me.

Game Of Thrones Medley

Game of Thrones ParodyHerself and I are HUGE fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones series. We’re hooked, and rather than watching it each week, we prefer to gorge ourselves on a marathon viewing over a few nights instead. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to keep up with the various plotlines and sub-plots.

And clearly the guys at The Warp Zone are just as enamoured with Game of Thrones as herself and I as they dress up in all the garb and sing their hearts out in a Titanium, Roar, Monster and Demons inspired parody of the best show currently on the telly.

Watch and enjoy.

D-Day Landings – Then And Now

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings. On June 6th 1944 the landings, also known universally as D-Day marked the beginning of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France during WW2.

Reuters photographer Chris Helgren compiled archive pictures taken during the invasion and went back to the same places to photograph them as they appear today to commemorate the occasion.

The most striking thing for me when I looked at the photo’s is the contrast between the past and the present. How today’s generation are oblivious to the death and suffering that was endured in the footsteps of their forebears and how, given enough time, the world rebuilt and moved on.

Given the conflicts currently ongoing in Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, to name but three, there’s no doubt that our future generations will no doubt find themselves pondering the same thoughts and discussing the utter futility of war.

To view more of Chris Helgen’s photo’s click here.

Normandy then and now 1Normandy then and now 2Normandy then and now 5Normandy then and now 6Normandy then and now 7Normandy then and now 4 Normandy then and now 3 Normandy then and now 8