Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Date: December 2011

Thinking out loud about democracy and its vilification

Three things recently that caught my attention.

First, Family Guy writer Patrick Meighan’s account of his arrest at Occupy LA on 30 November, outlining the tactics employed by police to break up the peaceful protest. Though he backtracks a little at the end, refusing to fully condemn those responsible (a cop-out, and a shame), his story is powerful stuff:

As we sat there, encircled, a separate team of LAPD officers used knives to slice open every personal tent in the park. They forcibly removed anyone sleeping inside, and then yanked out and destroyed any personal property inside those tents, scattering the contents across the park. They then did the same with the communal property of the Occupy LA movement… Note that these were the objects described in subsequent mainstream press reports as “30 tons of garbage” that was “abandoned” by Occupy LA: personal property forcibly stolen from us, destroyed in front of our eyes and then left for maintenance workers to dispose of while we were sent to prison.


Science channels explode onto YouTube

I've said it before: these are perfect tools for the classroom. I'm the kid who learned more from TV about maths and science (and appreciating them) than I ever did at school. I'm surely not the only one. #link

Louis CK answers fans' questions on Reddit

Dude is really embracing new technology, and he understands more about the web than he thinks he does. I ponied up for his stand-up special too; looking forward to watching it (can't laugh now, throat's still too sore). #link

20 predictions for the next 25 years

Some of these are just bullshit pie-in-the-sky futurism, but many others are just pragmatic abstractions of things already happening today (look how much has already happened this year, for instance). #link


"By 2050, three-quarters of the world’s population will be urban. That means more -- and much bigger -- metropolises." #link

CSS Font Stack

If it's not obvious what this is from first glance, it would take too long to explain it to you. #link

Robot Roundup

It's kind of shocking to think about the amount of things (outside of industrial processes) that have been robotised as a matter of course. It's sneaking up on us, in a way. #link

My Robot Nation

Build your own unique robot, replicated to order. The prices are a bit steep at the moment, but this kind of thing is going to explode. #link

Giving the FBI What It Wants

A digital media academic takes the extreme approach when he learns he's being watched by the Feds. I understand what he's doing, but he's very much missing the point, and doing a disservice to those who don't have his technical nouse. #link

Binge watching contemporary TV

Dan Hill five years ago, being very prescient. Binge watching, timeshifting, whatever you call it -- between the DVR and box sets, it's 90% of our home viewing now. #link

Scoring a Three with Mugger

An interview with the notorious Black Flag roadie who eventually became a partner in SST Records and is now, many years later, a clean-cut family man. Go figure. #link

Weeknotes #526-532

I should probably start calling these Monthnotes, shouldn’t I? Anyway, let’s review the last few weeks.

The highlights: Michael D winning the presidency, even though I voted for Norris / Seeing The Silence of the Lambs for the first time (and loving it) / The Dark Crystal at this year’s Horrorthon / Wearing sunglasses on the first day of November / James Gleick talking about The Information at the Science Gallery / CHIKARA‘s High Noon iPPV rekindling my love of wrestling / Digging Bill Orcutt‘s mindbending acoustic blues / Reginald D Hunter at Vicar Street (very different from the panel shows) / Finally dinging three stone (and dropping a trouser size).