Red Alert

Achill, Ireland

It’s been stormy the whole Christmas period from a very bumpy landing at Dublin airport to being without electricity most of Christmas Eve. Tonight looks like being the worst of it. Winds are blowing like hell at the moment and it’s much worse in other parts of Ireland.
Happy Christmas!


At times like this, one needs a great weather app. All of the obvious and most reviewed ones are pretty useless when it comes to showing the forecast for wind. So after trying all of the top ones, I downloaded Quite brilliant for showing predicted wind speeds and directions. The only quibble is that the meteorological forecast is in Norwegian.

Flogging passports

Business, Economy, Finance, Thought Provoking, Travel

The FT’s Tim Harford takes on the cost of EU citizenship.

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

I hardly think that €650,000 cheapens the EU passport. For the typical British citizen, the message Malta is sending is that the passport in your pocket is worth more than your house and your pension pot put together. Which may not be far wrong: take a typical UK citizen, dump her in Calcutta or Dar es Salaam and see how she gets on. EU citizenship is more valuable than most EU citizens realise.

Multiple Sclerosis breakthrough?

Health, Thought Provoking

Encouraging news from Canada on treating this debilitating disease. Not sure how fast this treatment will become available as the profile motive doesn’t seem to be very strong in this approach.

Eliminating MS completely and watching patients improve surprised both Freedman and Dr. Harold Atkins, a bone-marrow transplant expert, who started the study. The two originally set out to monitor the development of the disease and find a way to treat it. Their theory was this: Wipe out the entire immune system, reboot it with a transplant of the patient’s own bone marrow and wait for MS to regenerate.

“We thought we might be able to intercept one of the signals that initiates the disease and that would then give us a clue on how to treat it,” Freedman said. He jokes that they “had, in effect, failed because the disease never came back. No one expected to see zero disease activity after the transplant.”

Full article here.