Exit Interview by Web Form

What I didn’t put in the box marked “What would you do to make {Company X} better?”:

“I would make the box where I get to type what I would do to make {Company X} better bigger”.

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Indifference

A new report from Unicef shows that over 1.5 million children a year die because of unclean water. That’s around 1 every 20 seconds. A 9/11 every 16 hours. Around the same rate as the Holocaust.

We know how to make water clean. We even know how to make it clean cheaply in most cases, in fact so cheap that we flush gallons of the stuff away without a second thought. Yes it gets harder in deserts, remote locations and countries that lack all sorts of basic infrastructure, but none of it is beyond the wit of man. No, there are only two things that stop us from fixing this before the year is out:

1. The cruelty of the people in charge of many of these regions, who would rather consolidate their power than help ordinary people.
2. Our indifference (and I do mean ‘our’, yours and mine).

We can’t do anything about the first one today. But the second we can. So go make a donation today. You could do it directly, via someone like PlanUSA. If you prefer a more long-term, ‘teach a man to fish’ approach find someone who provides microcredit. Or just go to an Oxfam site and donate, and let them do the thinking. I’m trying to find a suitable organization to give to in the UK (so they can get a tax credit on my donation) – once I do I’ll give them a fiver. That will literally make no difference to me, but could save a child’s life. Imagine that.

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Right-Clicking in OS X

Following my recent traumas with our MacBook I’ve been sent my old Dell by work. It might have no battery life, a cracked case, a power supply that doesn’t work in the UK, a screen that’s fading to nothing, less memory than my iPod Shuffle, but it’s served me well for over 4 years so I’m happy. And hey, the hard drive and keyboard are both in good condition, as they’re newer than the rest of the machine.

Now Macs are often criticized for only having one mouse button. To misquote Peter Cook in the Pete and Dud Tarzan sketch, “I have nothing against your left mouse button. The trouble is, neither do you” I too thought this, and think it still for the desktop (that’s why I have a Microsoft Wireless Mouse with 5 buttons, which allows me all sorts of essential Expose goodness too). But on laptops I’m converted; the Mac way is better.

But, and it’s a but of J-Lonic proportions, only if it’s a newer Mac laptop, specifically anything with the special right-click feature. This interprets two fingers on the trackpad along with a click as being a right-click, and is so much better than having a separate button that, were such things in the line of being routinely funny, this wouldn’t even be funny. Combine it with two fingers moved up and down to indicate the desire to scroll (contrasted with the British signal of two fingers moved up and down to indicate your desire for someone else to remove themselves from your presence in a sexual manner) and the Mac wins hands (and indeed, fingers) down.

I still like my Dell though. It hurts so good.

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Armpits

Did you know that under ideal conditions a single cell of the phytoplanktonic cyanobacterium Gomphosphaeria K├╝tzing 1836 could reproduce to cover the entire world armpit deep in its progeny in only 4.5 days? That’s our armpits, by the way, not Gomphosphaeria’s; even if it had armpits, which it doesn’t, they’d be so close to the ground that you could probably smear me thinly enough to bury the Earth to that height. But I’d rather you didn’t.

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