Stephen Fry on God

Gay Byrne interviewed Stephen Fry for RTÉ programme, “The Meaning Of Life”. The full episode goes out on Sunday evening.

While the video above has gone viral in Ireland (and maybe further afield), if you haven’t seen the Intelligence Squared debate on the motion that, “The Catholic Church a force for good in the world.” it’s well worth watching. Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens decisively argue against the motion.

There’s also a short video of Stephen’s contribution to the debate if you don’t want to sit through the two hour video above.

Restoring From Physical Media

dancing in the street

Remember DVDs? Last night while looking for the original photo of this dancing in the street photo I was horrified to find an empty directory!

Empty Directories

I had no idea when they were deleted. I searched my backups but of course the directories had been synced a long time ago and they were gone. I checked Backblaze and there was no sign of them. I even checked Google Plus for their backups but still no sign of them. I must have deleted them more than two years ago.

I hate that. I have multiple copies of every photo just because this might happen and yet it wasn’t enough! My backups sync every night so any deletes were synced within twenty four hours.

Almost. Later, I remembered that I had backed up photos to DVDs before I started using multiple drives and Backblaze. They were up in the attic!

DVDs

It didn’t take long to get them, the first DVD worked and my photos from The St. Patrick’s Festival in 2006 were restored, but the photos from April 20th were on the second DVD. The second DVD didn’t work. Nooooo!

The rest of the photos did survive their stay in my cold, damp attic and were restored. I’m thinking now about monthly offline backups to a drive I’ll plug in occasionally.

Do I have any photos from April 20th, 2006? I remember the day well because I was in St. Finbarr’s Hospital with my wife helping a family member. While the others waited I went outside to take photos of a derelict building at the back of the hospital grounds. People passed me going to work while I was take pictures of the daisies, flowers and old architecture. Soon enough a security guard showed up but he just asked me to stop taking photos. I do have a few photos. We called to a friend later in the day and I got some shots of her cat so that’s here too. :)

What’s the take home message from all this?

  • You can never have too many backups.
  • You need versioned backups (of a few days at least) in case you notice a mistake a few days later after your backups have been synced.
  • You need an offline backup that’s synced periodically.
  • You need cloud backup that will keep your files safe for a length of time after they’re deleted. Backblaze holds on to your files for thirty days after they’re deleted!
  • When you export files from Lightroom, Photoshop or whatever graphics app you use, always make sure you export a full size original version, not just a web version.

I’m sad that those files are gone, but glad I have a few reminders of an eventful day.

Creating narratives to stay sane

Halo

One of my favourite podcasts is You are not so smart and the Halo effect episode last month brings together parts of David McRaney’s books and previous shows in a very entertaining two and a half hours plus.

Frankly, the halo effect scares the hell out of me. It’s impossible to be objective when judging others. No matter how hard you try, if one aspect of a person annoys you then you’ll unfairly judge the rest of their personality or ability.

Go listen to the podcast. It’s great.

PS. yes I noticed the scratched vandalism on the picture above, did you?

oh, to be creative!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say everyone creative has good taste because that’s subjective but otherwise I think you’ll enjoy this:

It was more recently made into another video that has gone viral in the last couple of days but I prefer the older one.

The quote is taken from an interview with Ira Glass on storytelling. It’s in four parts. Here’s the first part:

All You Need Is Kill

Edge of Tomorrow

If you’ve seen the film, “Edge of Tomorrow” you need to read the book on which it is based. All You Need Is Kill is set in Japan, the main character is a Japanese man named Keiji Kiriya while Rita Vrataski is still an American special forces, The Full Metal Bitch.

There are a few differences between film and book but the same basic idea is there which I’ll refrain from talking about just in case you’ve never heard of or seen “Edge of Tomorrow”. The ending is completely different however and I’m not happy with it. Suddenly everything changed with only a one line explanation. If you don’t care about spoilers here’s a discussion about it. The book is also a little short, around 200 pages. The author could have used a few extra pages to build up to why the ending had to happen that way.

If you enjoyed the movie, you need to read the book. You can find multiple versions on amazon.com but the UK site unfortunately only has the paperback version.