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A Friend Gets a New Roommate


A friend of mine recently bought an Amazon Echo*. There is a woman in the Echo who responds to commands and questions. Her name is Alexa. She has a very pleasant voice and is generally very accommodating. I thought for a long time that she lived in an apartment on the east coast and was constantly on stand-by waiting for a person’s commands and questions. Apparently, this is not true. My wife quickly dispelled that idea and now I know Alexa’s responses are computer generated from somewhere. (Ye gads, what will they come up with next?)


My friend really likes her Alexa. I asked her why and she replied with three responses.

“First, she is good company.


Second, she listens to what I say.


Third, she doesn’t talk back.”


What more could you ask for in a new roommate?


*Amazon Echo is a smart speaker product from Amazon that combines voice recognition "intelligent assistant" capabilities with speaker functionality in a cylindrical speaker form factor.

Irish Again Obsessing About the Existence of Fairies, Wee Folk and Selkies


In reading the Irish newspapers on the internet, I have discovered that one of the most popular conversation topics in Dublin pubs these days revolve around the existence of fairies, wee folk and selkies. There has been considerable debate and discussion throughout the pubs. It comes down to this, are there really selkies, wee folk and fairies?


I, myself have been thinking about this very topic and decided to consult a good friend of mine who is a highly educated Irish professor. He is an expert in Irish history and folklore with academic credentials above reproach. I am afraid I must side with my friend. His position on the matter is as follows, “As I see it, these entities are a figment of the Irish imagination, unless of course they aren’t.”

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