James Foley

week in review 2023-50

Back in Ireland this week for the Christmas break and getting into that end of year wrap-up frame of mind.

Notes on the week

Flew out of Amsterdam a week later than planned due to Elle’s neck injury, thankfully it’s starting to show proper progress and she no longer needs help putting on socks! I’ll never understand the stress people experience in airports, especially people travelling on their own, and it seemed like there were a lot of flustered people that day. The airport wasn’t even that busy, so I don’t know what was going on. Waiting at the gate I spotted a mother and her kid having a meltdown, the kid had insisted on carrying their own boarding card and somewhere along the way had lost it. I could relate to both.

I watched the Ronnie O’Sullivan documentary, “At the Edge of Everything”. Even if you don’t know a thing about Snooker it’s a compelling watch. O’Sullivan is the greatest player in the history of the game, still at the top well into his forties and has battled demons, a tough upbringing and crippling mental health problems throughout his career. I didn’t expect to be moved so deeply by a sports documentary, but this film - the last act especially - is outstanding.

Being home whilst Elle is still in The Netherlands for a few more days means we’ve been talking on the phone a lot more, and this has lead to us encountering the strangest thing. When she calls me, her phone number is different every single time. Not only does the number change, but the country code the call is originating from! So far we’ve had The Netherlands (weird, but at least understandable), The UK, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Czechia and Lithuania! Thankfully due to work I’m fairly well positioned to get to the bottom of any weird telco things. Will have to report back if we ever figure this out.

How mechanical watches work

OMG.LOL - An oasis on the internt

Inside the OpenAI Meltdown

The Star Raker Space Plane


Levy Rosman - aka GothamChess

Making Noisy SVGs

Sci-Fi Interfaces - Hackers (1995)


I was chatting to my Mother last night about books - she’s the most voracious reader I’ve ever come across - and we got talking about all the great books that we’ve wanted to read but never got around to. Coming out of it, I’ve decided to pick one of the literary greats for each month of 2024 to get through. Maybe she’ll join me (but it might be hard to find a book she hasn’t read) and we can have a little chat every month, should be fun!

Finished ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ tonight too, what fantastic book. Heartwarming, entertaining and dripping in style, I loved every minute spent with Count Rostov and the rest of the cast of the Metropol Hotel.


Kara is Tech Journalism royalty, so it’s no surprise that her podcast is consistently brilliant, but I’ve been really enjoying it lately. Her coverage (across written and spoken word) of the Sam Altman drama was top-notch.

Laufey is so good and so chill, and I just stumbled across this little Christmas EP she released that features a collaboration with Dodie Clark.