Five Things #48

“A film equal parts horror and comedy and one that would fall flat if either side hadn’t been up to muster. In that sense it’s wholly unique and might be better off staying that way.” Jack Beresford looks back at how Arachnophobia became the perfect creepy crawly horror comedy.

Solid reasoning is difficult and logical fallacies abound to trip us up and send us down, often insane, rabbit holes. Mark Manson has a refreshingly direct list of 8 logical fallacies that mess us all up, and why they matter.

From its name, to its hazy origins, to its drug interactions, there’s a lot going on beneath that thick rind. Dan Nosowitz explains why grapefruit is one of the weirdest fruits on the planet.

Another Brexit deadline is missed and Johnson blusters some more. Chris Grey notes that, regardless of the outcome of the current negotiations, there will be more because Britain is in for the long haul.

Andrew Anthony goes walking in an autumn wonderland and finds awe in deepest Surrey.

Brexit: the Digby Jones Jobs Lost Index

Back in 2016, Lord Digby Jones, a vocal proponent of Brexit, inanely asserted that “There’s not going to be any economic pain. If there are job losses, they will be very few”.

As late as January 2019 he was still maintaining “not a single job” would be lost because of Brexit.

In a darkly humorous move, Yorkshire Bylines have come up with the Digby Jones Jobs Lost Index.

It’s a list that keeps on growing.

All’s fair in love and (cod) war

Flanders will use charter from 1666 to guarantee post-Brexit fishing rights

The Flemish government argues it can invoke a charter that dates back to 1666 to secure its right to fish in U.K. waters if there’s no deal on fisheries before the end of the Brexit transition period.

It turns out that King Charles II granted “eternal access” to fifty fishermen from Bruges way back in 1666.

It sounds like a joke, but a spokesperson for Flemish Fisheries Minister, Hilde Crevits has claimed that the charted “has been confirmed by a U.K. lawyer in 1820.”

That’s a mere ten years before Belgium was founded.

After seeking legal guidance, the government of Flanders has sent a copy of the charter to the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

One of the things I love about living in Belgium is the surrealism of the country’s politics.

Brexit Bonus

Andrew Page notes that:

One of the challenges facing Leavers during the EU referendum campaign was to provide evidence of cast-iron, certain, undeniable benefits of Brexit.

And they’re still struggling. In the four years since the referendum, no-one has yet managed to come up with a single solid benefit of Brexit and appear to have given up trying.

Helpfully, therefore, Page has come up with 25 unquestionable benefits of Brexit.

It almost makes the whole mess seem worthwhile.

Five Things #41

The Ransom of Miss Coraline Connelly by Alix E. Harrow is a fun short story about parenting.

The best (but still imperfect) way of preventing Facebook from tracking everything you do online is to delete Facebook. If you can’t do that, then check out Matt Burgess’ advice on how to stop Facebook from tracking everything you do (sort of).

“Western stars who have managed to break China and Hong Kong successfully are a rare breed. In fact there’s probably only one person who has found success as a major action star in China, as well as in the west.” Tom Jolliffe takes a look at the career of Cynthia Rothrock: The First Lady of International Action.

A quarter of a century ago today, the MP3 was born. Eamonn Forde argues that this, not the invention of vinyl, was the most revolutionary format in musical history. The MP3 at 25: How a digital file dynamited the music industry.

Steve Peers reminds us that at least some of those advocating the hardest of Brexits have the lowest amount of integrity. Tory Brexiters turn against the deal they helped secure.

So much for cutting red tape

Remember when Brexiters were constantly complaining about EU red tape? So now there’s this:

Under extraordinary proposals, truckers driving on designated roads to Dover and the Eurotunnel at Folkestone will need a digital, 24-hour “Kent access permit” which would be issued to them in advance of travel if they can confirm they have the required paperwork to take their goods across the border.

Chris Yarsley, policy manager for Road Infrastructure at Logistics UK, said the “Kent permit” plan was tantamount to creating an “internal U.K. border.” Drivers who don’t have one would face £300 fines and their lorries could be impounded if they don’t pay.

It used to be that a haulier could drive from Newcastle to Spain with no more than a cursory check in Calais. Under these proposals, a British haulier can’t even drive into Kent.

Or are we supposed to believe that a Brexit Border is somehow a good thing?