Bookmarked Do the benefits of ice baths or cold water immersion outweigh the risks? by Shelby Traynor (ABC News)

 Alice has been doing ice baths twice a week for the past four months, and the effect still hasn’t worn off.

“It’s such a mental thing,” she says.

“For someone who’s an over-thinker … being in the ice forces me into feeling rather than thinking, because you have to feel, because it’s cold!”

Source: Are ice baths good for you? Dr Norman Swan investigates by taking the plunge By Shelby Traynor for the Health Report

The ABC Health Report dives into the ice bath. They explore the research into the supposed benefits to the immune system or muscle recovery.

Nick Cave has also shared his thoughts on ice baths, although his are more natural, rather than a tub full of ice on a beach:

In icy water, with our adrenaline and endorphins running riot, we are returned to our innocent, primordial selves via an internal ecstatic screaming to be born defiantly afresh. We become tiny creatures in the shock of nature, and, Freya, we are _made_ happy!

Source: The Red Hand Files – Issue #288 – What makes you happy? by Nick Cave

Liked Increasing your ‘serendipity surface’ by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (

Expecting your career, social life, or significant relationship to develop in new, unexpected ways when you do the same things over and over again is, after all, how Einstein defined insanity. Increase your serendipity surface!

Source: Increasing your ‘serendipity surface’ by Doug Belshaw

Bookmarked You Are What You Read, Even If You Don’t Always Remember It (

I cannot remember the blog posts I’ve read any more than the meals I’ve eaten; even so, they’ve made me.

It’s a good reminder to be mindful of my content diet — you are what you eat read, even if you don’t always remember it.

Source: You Are What You Read, Even If You Don’t Always Remember It by Jim Nielsen

In a short post, Jim Nielsen reflects upon the purpose of reading, that being to expand your thinking. This thinking was in part inspired by Dave Rupert’s discussion of ideas over facts and how we check these.

The goal of a book isn’t to get to the last page, it’s to expand your thinking.

Source: How do you verify that? by Dave Rupert

This reminds me of something Amy Burvall once suggested:

“in order to connect dots, one must first have the dots”

Source: #rawthought: On Ditching the (Dangerous) Dichotomy Between Content Knowledge and Creativity by Amy Burvall)

The challenge that both Nielsen and Rupert touch on is that we are not always conscious or critical of the ideas (or dots) as we consume them, even so they make us who we are:

I cannot remember the blog posts I’ve read any more than the meals I’ve eaten; even so, they’ve made me.

It’s a good reminder to be mindful of my content diet — you are what you eat read, even if you don’t always remember it.

Source: You Are What You Read, Even If You Don’t Always Remember It by Jim Nielsen

This is based on a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

For me, the notion of unconscious ideas harks back to something J. Hillis Miller once said about the ethics of reading:

As we read we compose, without thinking about it, a kind of running commentary or marginal jotting that adds more words to the words on the page. There is always already writing as the accompaniment to reading.

Source: ‘The Obligation to Write’ by J. Hillis Miller

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The terms of nostalgia are always defined by the present day; they reflect ideals that may seem out of reach except by going backward, but which still uphold convention. Nostalgia in 2024 for 1990s television or goth/emo music, for example, fetishizes the ways in which those pop-cultural realms fetishized weirdness and rebellion; yet it doesn’t suggest ways in which weirdness or rebellion might actually transform the world. The Hellmouth in Buffy remains at least partially closed; the black mascara of the goth is removable. I Saw the TV Glow presents these manufactured signs of difference as hints of something deeper that will require much more than a horror-movie storyline or a wailed pop chorus to fully enact. While looking fondly to these signifiers, it asks for more. That’s why, for all of its fun strangeness, this film is ultimately more serious — more political — than it might seem at first.

Source: Returning to the past to battle nostalgia (and other demons) by Ann Powers

Bookmarked My Post-cPanel Toolkit by ReverendReverend (

I spend less and less time in cPanel managing my online presence. I’ve moved bavatuesdays off cPanel 10+ years ago given my blog demanded a bit more juice than shared hosting could provide resource-wise. But once my go-to site went off cPanel, all the other projects I’d created with WordPress over the years were beginning to break due to major version updates and plugin/theme incompatibilities. It’s a trail of web tears if you let it go too far, so I’ve been converting as many of those sites as possible to static HTML over the years.

Jim Groom reflects upon his post-CPanel toolkit. I was particularly intrigued by the comments on email:

After DNS, one of the features folks might need is email. But email on shared hosting has always been a bad choice, and that is increasingly becoming the case, so much so that Reclaim is strongly considering discontinuing shared e-mail support for all shared hosting accounts. Why is hosting email on shared hosting a bad? Well, because there are tons of spam houses out there that monitor and block servers that send out what they consider spam (which is not always the case), which leaves small hosting companies like us playing whack-a-mole on the regular just to keep basic email working. And being a small company we have none of the leverage of a Office 365 or Gmail, so it’s truly a losing battle to ensure email running well on shared hosting. In short: don’t run email on your shared hosting cPanel server. And if you are anathema to the free services like Gmail  and want to get serious out security and taking ownership then take a look at Proton Email.

I wonder and worry when my old “Sunday Drive” blog will just stay in the garage and not even get registered anymore?

Watched Looking for Alibrandi (film) by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Rewatching Looking for Alibrandi, I feel that there are films, such as Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, that manage to transport your back to a particular time and place through the soundtrack. I feel that this is different to say Donnie Darko whose soundtrack feels like it is designed to construct a particular past.
Watched American Sniper by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
American Sniper, based on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (2012) by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice, provides an insight into the conflicted nature of and sacrifices associated with war and challenges with returning back to society.
Liked When your smartphone tries to be too smart by Tim HarfordTim Harford (

Donald Norman argues that a well-designed product should make functions visible and intuitive: users should be able to grasp how it works, what their options are and get feedback about the results of their actions. That is all very wise, but our modern devices have managed to become so intuitive and versatile by concealing from us how they really operate. Laying bare the true complexity of the supercomputers in our pockets would boggle the mind. We cannot be exposed to how these things really work, lest we lose our grasp on reality. (See also: ChatGPT.)


The First World War is the fourth in my Adventures in Time series, and in many ways was the most exciting to write. It’s a colossal, epic tale, telling the story of the war from the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in the summer of 1914 to the moment the guns fell silent on the Western Front on 11 November 1918.

We often remember the First World War as a muddy, bloody, tragic waste, and in many ways it was. But purely as a story, it could hardly be bettered. The cast of characters includes everybody from Kaiser Wilhelm II, Edith Cavell, Rasputin and the Red Baron to Wilfred Owen, T. E. Lawrence and J. R. R. Tolkien.

There are some breathtakingly dramatic moments: the German attack on Scarborough, the sinking of the Lusitania, the first day of the Somme and the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. There are Sikhs and Cossacks, dashing air aces and footballing Tommies.

And at its heart, as in all the Adventures in Time, are the stories of ordinary people themselves: teenage heroines and plucky Boy Scouts, plunged into a clash of empires that would change the course of history for ever.

THE FIRST WORLD WAR – Adven­tures in Time

With The First World War – Adven­tures in Time, Dominic Sandbrook carves his way through the First World War, zooming in and out throughout. I think that what makes this a ‘children’s book’ is that Sandbrook does not get bogged down in nuisance and complexity. Instead, the book picks out some interesting bits and pieces, such as Franz Ferdinand shooting 275,000 animals, including kangaroos, taxis driving soldiers to the Battle of the Marne, and coffee made from sand, that make it more than a jump from one battle to the next.

What I enjoyed the most about the book is Sandbrooks ability to pick particular individuals and situations that helps us appreciate the human side of the war. In some part this approach reminded me of Anthony Hill’s Soldier Boy and the fictional recreation of the past.

I think that it is a useful book in grasping the main parts of the First World War and offers a useful jumping off point for readers who then want to explore various elements further.

The Rest Is History Club”
in The Rest Is History | Membership ()

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Unlearning Exercises shares a set of collective “unlearning exercises” to make way for a culture of equality, difference and fairness in art organizations; and aims to inspire active critical investigation of normative structures and practices in order to become aware and get rid of taken-for-granted “truths” and values.

“Doug Belshaw” in Life has no instruction manual – Open Thinkering ()

Replied to Creating a Catalogue in Google Sheets by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (

I was recently asked to have a look at spreadsheet that listed all the guides and videos located in a support folder as a reference. This folder also included a number of folders within folders, which created a level of complexity.
The current workflow involved using an Add-on File Cabinet from the …

I recently discovered that Awesome Tables’ Filing Cabinet Add-on has been deprecated, this broke the catalogue I had created with Google Sheets.

Message from Awesome Tables about the move to a paid add-onI searched online for any further explanation on the change, but was simply sent to Awesome Tables support page.

I started exploring other options online and short of paying for API connectors, I could not really find anything. I subsequently turned to CoPilot, wondering what it might give me. Surprisingly, it gave me a basic script for everything that I needed.

function listFilesInFoldersGEN() {
  var folders = [
    {folderId: 'URL', sheetName: 'General'},  
    // Add more folders as needed
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
  for (var i = 0; i < folders.length; i++) {
    var folderId = folders[i].folderId;
    var sheetName = folders[i].sheetName;
    var folder = DriveApp.getFolderById(folderId);
    var sheet = spreadsheet.getSheetByName(sheetName);
    if (!sheet) {
      sheet = spreadsheet.insertSheet(sheetName);
    // Save the existing data
    var range = sheet.getDataRange();
    var values = range.getValues();
    try {
      sheet.appendRow(["Name", "Date", "Size", "URL", "Folder"]);
      listFilesInFolderRecursiveGEN(folder, sheet, folder.getName());
    } catch (e) {
      // If an error occurs, revert to the saved data

      // Log the error
      var errorMessage = 'Error: ' + e.toString();
      // Send an email
      var emailAddresses = ['', '']; 
      // Enter your email address here
      var subject = 'Error in Support Catalogue - General script';
      var body = errorMessage;
      MailApp.sendEmail(emailAddress, subject, body);

function listFilesInFolderRecursiveGEN(folder, sheet, path) {
  var files = folder.getFiles();
  while (files.hasNext()) {
    var file =;
    sheet.appendRow([file.getName(), file.getDateCreated(), file.getSize(), file.getUrl(), path]);
  var subfolders = folder.getFolders();
  while (subfolders.hasNext()) {
    var subfolder =;
    listFilesInFolderRecursiveGEN(subfolder, sheet, path + '/' + subfolder.getName());

After a bit of back and forward, I had a new working catalogue which I provided to the team to provide feedback on.

Bookmarked The Case for Running AI/ML Models Locally by New community features for Google Chat and an update on Currents (

Will running AI/ML models locally be the right choice for everyone? Probably not.

Cloud services offer unbeatable convenience and scalability. But for learners, tinkerers, privacy/security sticklers, and those looking to optimize costs, going the local route is an intriguing option worth considering. The hands-on experience could pay major dividends in understanding how to develop and deploy AI effectively.

The Case for Running AI/ML Models Locally by Ian O’Byrne

I am really intrigued by Ian O’Byrne’s export of his blog to markdown and development of his own local AI/ML models. Another example of becoming ever informed in a changing world.

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This incident instructed me on the fragile and capricious nature of the creative spirit and reminded me of the necessity of constant daily work. I think of it when I struggle with my own vacillating creativity. Because deep in my heart, I know there is always something to write about, but there is also always nothing – and terrifyingly little air between.

Nick Cave ISSUE #286 / MAY 2024

Listened Chris Aldrich on Cybernetic Communications from

Chris Aldrich has the most multi-disciplinary resume I’ve ever seen, with a background that includes biomedics, electrical engineering, entertainment, genetics, theoretical mathematics, and more. Chris describes himself as a modern-day cybernetician, and in this conversation we discuss cybernetics and communications, differences between oral and literary cultures, and indigenous traditions and mnemonics, among many other things.

The Informed Life Chris Aldrich on Cybernetic Communications

This is a fascinating conversation about memory, history and the changing of practices over time. I am intrigued by the discussion of ‘memory palaces’. I often find myself remembering where I was when I was listening to a book or a podcast, I am assuming that the memory palace is this in reverse. I also feel that Aldrich is someone who could easily speak for hours on these matters, unpacking each thread. As he says in closing:

Always leave ‘em wanting more.

Bookmarked Oblongification of education (code acts in education)

Ishiguro’s notion of the “oblong professor” is useful because it helps to deflate all of the magical thinking that accompanies AI in education. It’s hard to get excited about an oblong.

Sure, AI might be useful for certain purposes, but a lot of the current promises could also lead to real problems that need serious consideration before activating autopedagogic tutors in classrooms. Currently, AI is being promoted to solve a huge range of complex issues in education.

But AI tutors are simplified models of the very complex, situated work of pedagogy. We shouldn’t expect so much from oblongs.

Oblongification of education by Ben Williamson


Ben Williamson questions the promises of AI tutors. Borrowing Kazuo Ishiguro’s use of “screen professors” and “oblongs”, he describes AI as the “Oblongification of education”.

For me, this touches on Dave Cormier’s point about the ‘left-overs’ after structured problem-solving.

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Enhance the accessibility of your course images with our intuitive tool. Designed to effortlessly generate alt text and detailed descriptions, as well as extract text from slides and images that are not accessible, our tool simplifies the creation of inclusive content. Just upload your image and hit ‘Create Image Details.’ Within seconds, you’ll see the generated content appear on the right side of the screen. Need to tailor the descriptions further? Easily add more specifics with the ‘Add Details’ option and generate updated descriptions to perfectly meet your needs.

Source: Image Accessibility Creator

“Doug Belshaw” in How to easily generate image descriptions and alt text | Thought Shrapnel ()