🚶‍♂️ everywhere, everywhen.

welcome to sam’s brain drain, a weekly collection of thumb-stopping things to tap, read, & watch.

estimated reading time: 5m 36s.

☺️ happy monday.

there are just 3401 hours left until 2020.

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p.s. this uses stripe, so ya bet it’s secure af.

on the agenda this week: brexit, amsterdam, and farm machines.

📄 a note on brexit:

i can already see your eyes glazing over.

i feel you.

we’re all tired of hearing, reading and seeing news about brexit.

at this point it almost seems like a fictitious event that may or may not happen. october 31st could be a catastrophic day for britain, in the event of a continued willingness to crash out in a ‘no-deal’ brexit.

i won’t lie—as a dual citizen of both britain & ireland—i have some skin in the game.

i’m selfishly concerned for my friends & family that live there and also for the everyday british citizen that now realises just how bad brexit will be for everyone involved.

people have little choice but to accept the actions of a few ambulatory douchebags that have crippled a country with their anti-globalist demagoguery.

that being said, i’m not here to talk about the origins of brexit—or any potential solutions—but rather talk about what may happen just 80 days from now.

this leaked government document outlines all of the potential challenges for government, consumers and business within the first day, fortnight and month.

what’s being done to mitigate these potentially disastrous consequences?

sajid javid, chancellor of the exchequer, has made a fresh £2bn available in a boost to the uk treasury to prepare the public for october 31st (sky news).

these funds are earmarked for:

  • 500 extra border force officers

  • avoiding delays in processing uk passport applications;

  • improving transport around ports and managing traffic disruption in kent;

  • ensuring continuing supplies of vital medicines and medical products;

  • an information campaign to help the public and businesses be prepared

a large part of the brexit campaign revolved around this (false) claim on the brexit bus:

we send the eu £350 million a week, let’s fund our nhs instead. vote leave

it seems almost comical now given that preparations for a no-deal brexit are now costing almost £600 million per week. news this week broke that there is a new, £300 million, government tender to supply planes tasked with air-lifting vital supplies into the uk in a no-brexit scenario.

trucks loaded with food and medicine could be flown in on cargo planes as part of ministers' plan to beat queues at dover in the event of a no-deal.

- the telegraph

the contract asks for companies who can transport goods that are "identified by the government as being critical to the preservation of human and animal welfare”.

as pointed out by edwin hayward on twitter, air-freight will not nearly be enough to sustain levels of imports pre- & post-brexit:

i accidentally stumbled upon this genius solution, however:


📚 word of the week:

everywhen”:

meaning “always, or at any or all times”. everywhen usually appears in the phrase “everywhere and everywhen.”

particularly beautiful, i thought.

time stood still (that moment was eternal) and it was placeless (ubiquitous, everywhere and everywhen).
- roy bhaskar, the philosoph of metareality, 2002


🤪 mildly humorous:


🧠 brain candy:

🚴‍♀️ amsterdam wasn’t always amsterdam:

the famed “bike capital” of the world was once as congested and car-choked as the worst western cities. so how did it became so renowned for its livability and sustainability? the simple answer: by narrowing roads and ending free parking.

after world war ii, amsterdam adopted the dominant vision of urbanism — elevated highways, wide boulevards, skyscrapers, and the car as the vehicle of the future. the seductive lifestyle of the automobile enticed dutch planners and politicians to demolish entire neighborhoods and pave wide roads. of course, amsterdam rapidly started facing problems all too familiar in american cities — growing congestion and pollution, increasing injuries and fatalities from crashes, and diminishing quality and quantity of public space, sequestered for the storage of private vehicles.

it wasn’t until the 1980s that a perfect storm of events — strong advocacy, violent citizen protests, and an oil embargo — forced amsterdam planners and politicians to advance an agile, car-reduction policy. for example, an intensive, neighborhood-based traffic-calming plan was implemented. the city also built out sidewalks and narrowed residential streets to tight, one-way lanes with humps, keeping speeds at 19 mph or slower.

read more.

🏠 housing crisis grips ireland:

we’ve made it to the new york times! oh wait…

for generations, the irish took for granted that affordable, plentiful housing was the bedrock of their economic security and government policy. not long ago, ireland had one of the world’s highest rates of homeownership.

the last several years have torn up those assumptions, leaving the country in the grip of a worsening housing crisis. homeownership has dropped, evictions and homelessness have climbed sharply, surging demand for rental units has led to a shortage, and soaring rents are fodder for daily conversation, political campaigns and street protests.

in the last few years, dublin has become one of the world’s 10 most expensive places to rent, ahead of cities like tokyo, sydney and singapore. deutsche bank reported in may that typical rent for a midrange, two-bedroom apartment in dublin was $2,018 a month, 23 percent more than in 2014 — the biggest increase of any city in the top tier.

read more.

🏙 blueprints for civilisation:

using wikis and digital fabrication tools, ted fellow marcin jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000):

the global village construction set (gvcs) is a modular, diy, low-cost, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts. we’re developing open source industrial machines that can be made at a fraction of commercial costs, and sharing our designs online for free.

watch the ted talk or read more.


that’s all for this week. i hope you hold me accountable to keep this interesting 😝.

😌 see you next monday!


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👋 read some more of my posts:

🇺🇸 a note on death.

🧠 life's ebb & flow.

⏰ 176 days to the year 2020.

🎉 something new.

💡 rising from the ashes, again.

⚡️ the power of aligned incentives.


🎉 get social:

instagram: @sam.travel

twitter: @sammcallister

email me: smcallis[at]gmail.com

website: sammcallister.me