Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you. Sorry the content has been slow at times, but that will likely continue due to family and paid writing commitments. Will still add stuff when I have the time though.

I hope you all get to spend time with the people you want to be with over Christmas and the New Year. Shaun

Young people who have attempted suicide – it’s not serious enough to get help

The tweet above from Natasha Devon is 100% accurate. We are now at the point in the UK where even if a child has tried to kill themselves they cannot get any official mental health assistance. It used to be that actually attempting suicide, such as physically taking tablets, was enough to get a few sessions of counselling which was rarely enough to help, but now we have reached a point where there literally is nothing.

An adult can still get help, but not a child which for a first-world country is a disgrace. I have direct experience of this and am in a situation where the full force of this government’s disgraceful lack of efforts in children’s mental health is apparent every day, and I despair on so many levels at what is happening. It’s so so sad.

‘nom nom’

ADULTS who think it is quirky and fun to use words like ‘sleeps’ and ‘holibobs’ have been told to just stop it.

Other phrases that should never be spoken by anyone over the age of 20 include ‘yummy’ and ‘nom nom’… More at The Daily Mash.

Sarcastic- yes, completely true- yes.


Its creators had forbidden the car from slamming on the brakes in an emergency maneuver, even if it detected “a squishy thing” — Uber’s term for a human or an animal, sources told Business Insider. And the NSTB report said that Uber had deliberately disabled self-driving braking.

The car’s creators had also disabled the Volvo’s own emergency braking factory settings, the report found and insiders confirmed to Business Insider… More at BI.

The tech may be at fault, but as ever this is a story about human failure. A quite shocking story.

How to be right


In the bestselling How To Be Right, James provides a hilarious and invigorating guide to talking to people with faulty opinions. With chapters on every lightning-rod issue, James shows how people have been fooled into thinking the way they do, and in each case outlines the key questions to ask to reveal fallacies, inconsistencies and double standards.

If you ever get cornered by ardent Brexiteers, Daily Mail disciples or little England patriots, this book is your conversation survival guide.

I am about a third the way through, but it is already proving to be an excellent read and much more interesting than I expected. Yes, I am an ardent remainer and a bit left wing, but there’s a lot of sense written here.

The office of the future?

An extension of the same thinking that gave the Pacific chair a more welcoming look and feel, Soft Work puts the same premium on a casual aesthetic to suggest a lifestyle in which work and relaxation aren’t at polar odds, but present in nearly every public space we frequent: cafes, airport lounges, hotel lobbies, and corporate and co-working spaces of all kinds. The name of the new collection, too, doesn’t just imply softer seating, but an aesthetic softness that Barber Osgerby and Vitra are betting will overtake the next wave of office design–and maybe a subliminal cue to all of those tech and (ahem) software companies with large campuses that are likely to adopt it… More here.

It would be easy to look at a design like this and suspect it to be impractical, but it could work. I use a MacBook on my lap at home and have done so for hundreds of hours of freelance writing, and I find it perfectly comfortable.

At work, I sit at a desk in rows and find the entire setting restrictive, uncomfortable and far from ideal for doing good work.

The Humble Cappuccino

Firstly, it isn’t about the caffeine. This is simply my favourite drink to greet the day, of which I’ll consume one each weekday morning and the occasional cappuccino riot on a weekend may be a few more than that, because… well… it’s the weekend. Some of this will be tweaking grind settings or recipes, and/or simply because “that was so good I think I’ll have another”… More here.

No better drink in the world.