(Don’t) Tell Me About It

I’m a big fan of old people, they’re brilliant. They’ve survived a lot of shit, so they deserve respect. But there is something that irritates me, and it’s quite universal by the sounds of it:

Their gory detail of ailments and surgeries.

They love it! Nothing excites them more than telling you about their neighbour Isa’s knee surgery, or the helpful yet sweaty support of their orthopaedic tights.

I’ve listened to anĀ in-depth explanation of how a relativeĀ had been constipated for two weeks, the consequent surgery and a description of “the results”, all while at the dinner table. There was beef gravy available, but my roast remained dry that day.

Without fail, I hear more detail than I want to. As a generation that doesn’t do the “Facebook inner thoughts 24/7 365 broadcast” approach, I would have thought they would be a bit more reluctant to divulge personal information.

Not when it comes to health issues, it seems.

Where does this morbid fascination come from? Is there a point in the ageing process where a switch goes off in your head and you think “Know what’s cool? Varicose Veins”!

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Nature Crowdsourcing

This is a really interesting project from Nerds for Nature:

On September 8, 2013, 3,111 acres around the summit of Mt. Diablo went up in flames. While the charred landcape can appear alarming, fire is actually a natural part of the mountain’s ecology, and many plants actually require fire to reproduce. We’re trying to monitor how the landscape is changing and recovering after the fire by taking pictures from fixed locations for 1 year after the fire.

People are asked to take photos from fixed areas around the location. I think it’s a great use of crowdsourcing – I’d definitely take part if there was something that like that where I live.

Unwelcome Train Buddies

I’m currently on a train carriage that looks like this:

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We just pulled up to a station where five people got on the carriage. One of them sat right beside me.

Right. Beside. Me.

The train, from my seat, now looks like this:

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And yet someone is now on the seat next to me. She is elbowing me in the side as I type this.

Are these people creatures of habit? Is that her “regular” seat? Does she ache for the body warmth an (angry) stranger on the train will provide? Or is she just thick?

For anyone who does a daily commute, you will know what it’s like being squashed together in a big can twice a day every day. And you will know the unbridled joy when there’s a quiet train and space to move in. There’s etiquette. Simple etiquette. If everyone pays attention, we can all have the space we need.

What’s so hard about that?

People just ignore this, though. It keeps happening! Either they’re right beside you or right across from you so you both have no leg room, even when they can sit diagonally and you’ll both be happy.

Listen, general public. Personal space is a big thing, stop ignoring it. If there are a multitude of free seats, don’t fuck it up by sitting next to someone when you don’t have to.

Think of it like a urinal, nobody wants neighbours when there’s no need to.

If it was a urinal, I’d probably piss on your shoes.