Monthly Archives: August 2007


OK, so I know that it is very shallow of me, but I can’t help feeling a teeny bit jealous of Phil.    

Posted in Computers and Internet | Leave a comment


I notice that the last entry I wrote on the blog was on the 28th. This is just a note to say that I’m still here, but that things are a trifle busy. Nothing untoward, but I also need to wait … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Computer Workstation Ergonomics

Jeff Atwood, over at Coding Horror, has a useful summary of best practice when it comes to computer workstation ergonomics. I have to admit, I don’t have the same position as the drawings show – I’m hunched over the keyboard … Continue reading

Posted in Health and wellness | 2 Comments

Geek Humour

While it’s clearly a joke, the phrases uttered by the "designers" of this world-shattering piece of software are terrifyingly like the sort of crap marketing-speak that I’ve come to know and loathe.      Nicely done.

Posted in Computers and Internet | Leave a comment


Geoff Manaugh, over at BLDGBLOG, has an interview with Michael Cook about drains illustrated with some spectacular photographs. Do go and read it and enjoy the view. 

Posted in Architecture | Leave a comment

I Weep

Oh, Education, where art thou?     (hat tip to A Gentleman’s C for the link) 

Posted in Society | 3 Comments

Eight Random Facts

I’ve been tagged by one of the memes currently doing the rounds of the Blogosphere. The vessel by which the meme reached me is J. Carter Wood, over at Obscene Desserts. The meme challenges me to name eight random facts about … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Real India and Gated Villas

A news story with Ballardian overtones in today’s Observer about members of India’s professional class protesting over the fact that the dust, heat and squalor of India is seeping into their gated communities. Some typically Ballardian motifs are on display: the … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

The Power of Machines

Dan Dennett has a typically thought-provoking article in Technology Review looking at chess playing machines. One of the machines is IBM’s Deep Blue; the other machine has trillions of moving parts at the molecular level – the brain of Garry Kasparov. … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Leave a comment

Out-of-Body Experiences

Vaughan, over at Mind Hacks, points us towards some experiments aimed at either inducing the sensation of being located out of one’s body or having one’s body image extended to incorporate inanimate objects. I’ve tried the Ramachandran experiment, and can attest … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | 2 Comments

The Dead of Night

The Guardian has published an edited extract from a book called The Family That Couldn’t Sleep – A Venetian Medical Mystery, written by DT Max. Simultaneously fascinating and horrifying, it’s well worth reading. Oh, and the Guardian‘s links to the … Continue reading

Posted in Health and wellness | Leave a comment

The Political Compass

Where do you fall on the Political Compass? It seems as though (with an Economic Left/Right score of -6.50 and a Social Libertarian/Authoritarian score of -7.49) I’m closer to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama than I am to Tony Blair … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a comment

Be Careful Out There

Job seekers using the online service have been targeted by a particularly vicious trojan. I expect that variations will shortly follow. Be careful about that odd email inviting you to download a toolbar extension for your web browser…  

Posted in Computers and Internet | Leave a comment

The Amazing Randi

The very wonderful and Canadian National Treasure known as James Randi recently paid a visit to Google HQ where his stream of consciousness was videoed.        

Posted in Science | Leave a comment

Science and the Islamic World

That’s the main title of an excellent article, written by Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy, in Physics Today. He is chair and professor in the department of physics at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he has taught for 34 years, and … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Leave a comment

Darwin Award Entrant

Here’s a story about a teenager who is clearly aiming to get a Darwin Award. I find it slightly worrying that he was as old as fourteen. I had learned by the time I was seven that it was not … Continue reading

Posted in Health and wellness | Leave a comment

A Question of Identity

That’s the title of a fascinating article, written by Bob Harrison, about what makes a person. I see that he refers to the book Reasons and Persons by the philosopher Derek Parfit. It just so happens that I have that book sitting … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Leave a comment

The Enemies of Reason

I see that the second part of Richard Dawkins’ The Enemies of Reason is now up on Google Video. I despair at the gullibility of my species.

Posted in Folklore | Leave a comment

Dark Road

And continuing on the music theme… I see that the wonderful Annie Lennox will have a new album out on October 1st: Songs of Mass Destruction. I shiver in anticipation (as Frankie says) already… 

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Bluebeard’s Castle

I watched parts of last night’s Prom concert, which was broadcast on BBC Four. I can’t say that I cared much for what I heard of Thomas Adès’ music, even though he is apparently "enjoying spectacular success this year".   The … Continue reading

Posted in Music | 5 Comments