Found This Week #53

Photo Of The Week

This week I attended Beast FEaST 2017 at the University of Birmingham. BEAST, or the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre, is a 100+ speaker theatre currently inhabiting Bramall Hall in the University of Birmingham. I had the pleasure of attending 2 concerts in/at BEAST and a series of presentations in the BEASTdome (pictured above), a 30+ channel system within the dome on the top floor of Bramall Hall.

Check out my other photos from BEASTFEaST 2017 and the Swansea Laptop Orchestra presentation on Flickr.

In this week’s post: Binge eating, time reversal sound waves, AI motivation, emotions, silent retreats, quantum machines, the sound of saturn, life swapping, Jerzy Gregorek and chips!

Each Friday I share some of the best things I encounter, from the internet mostly but also from real life! Hopefully what I find interesting will also be interesting to you :-)


Just one more bite…

The next time I binge on chocolate and Netflix, I’ll take solace in the fact that we are not the only beings in the animal kingdom whose eyes are too big for their bellies, as the saying goes. Case in point, watch this great white shark eat a dead whale, which apparently took over 18 hours and the shark had to swim upside down because its belly was so full! Happy Friday! :-)

Time Reversal Sound Waves

Check out this video of physicists using lasers and sound waves to knock down pin pointed lego figures. Its like a pool trick shot but with sound waves and maths.

AI Motivation

Meet Inspirobot, an “AI” that generates random motivational type quotes with accompanying naff background images.

Hilarity usually ensues.

(Thanks to my friend Rory for sharing this one)


The positive lexicography project aims to catalog the many words and phrases in many languages that describe emotions and/or contextual emotional situations that have no direct English equivalent or translation. This BBC Future article lists some popular and interesting ones like Wabi-sabi and Gigil. Check out the interactive visualisation site to filter phrases by language and themes, which includes some Irish sayings. I hadn’t heard Suaimhneas Croí in years!

10 Day Silent Meditation Retreat

Brian Hazard’s account of his experience of a 10 day silent meditation retreat is a fantastic read. I’m still trying to get the hang of a 10 minute meditation, this retreat sounds like the olympics of meditation, but fascinating and transformative also.

The Sound of Saturn

You may have heard about Cassini’s ring dive this week. NASA sent the Cassini probe in between Saturn and its rings. They also released audio captured from the probe during its ring dive.

Life Swapping Against Racism

Narrative 4 is a non-profit which aims to use storytelling to “inspire fearless hope through radical empathy”. The organisation employ a technique whereby two groups from either side of a dispute/position are brought together and partnered up. Each partner presents their counterpart’s story to the group in the first person.

This BBC article and video describes how the life swapping process was used in Fargo to help lessen racial tensions between Fargo’s native population and the African and middle eastern refugees and immigrants settling in the area. According to research, the technique isn’t perfect but does enable more empathy and recognition from both groups, which can’t be a bad thing. Narrative 4 was cofounded by Irish author Colm McCann.

How McDonalds Chips Are Made

Turns out those beautiful, crispy pieces of potato heaven aren’t that beautiful.

Easy Choices — Hard Life, Hard Choices — Easy Life

The Tim Ferris podcast is so great, no matter what the subject matter or domain of the guest, there are always a few nuggets of wisdom to take away from each episode, at the very least.

Every now and then however, there’s an episode that pushes the bar even higher, and the episode with Jerzy Gregorek is one of them. Not only do Jerzy’s captivating storytelling chops rival those of Cal Fussman, his life advice, wisdom and outlook match those of Derek Sivers, not to mention the fitness and health content of the interview. It’s one that you wish didn’t end.

Cool Thing Of The Week: Mr. Mash

Heat a potato masher to 1000 degrees and mush things with it. You know you want to watch it:

See you next week :-)

P.S. If you liked this post, please recommend it, thanks! :-)

About Me

I’m a web consultant, contract web developer, technical project manager & photographer originally from Cork, now based in Swansea. I offer my clients strategy, planning & technical delivery services, remotely & in person. I also offer freelance CTO services to companies in need of technical bootstrapping or reinvention. If you think I can help you in your business, check out my details on