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Archive for November, 2005

To sleep: perchance to dream

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

It’s funny, I’d jotted down a note to write about sleep earlier today then suddenly came across an article in Psychology Today, Stirring Sound of Stress:

Ever wake up five minutes before your alarm rings? This mysterious phenomenon isn’t just bizarre coincidence. We are all equipped with our own internal alarm clocks and, best of all, they even have snooze buttons.

But how can we set our own wake up calls? “I am convinced that eventually there will be a psychological technique to strengthen the ability to set the internal alarm clock,” Born says. Cognitive self-instruction, in which a person drills himself in his plans for the next day, may wind the alarm, he says. For now, however, hang on to that little dream machine beside your bed.

I’ve always done this; just before dropping off to sleep I’ll decide what time I want to wake and bingo, I wake at that time, no matter how late I get to bed.

And I wondered, does anyone else do this?

Making extended posts more accessible in WordPress

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Ever since reading that using the “more” button in the WordPress dashboard results in accessibility issues I’ve been meaning to find a way round it. But with so many other things to fix (resizable fonts!), I’d put it on the back burner and stopped writing extended posts. Then tonight I fell upon a solution by accident.

First up, why is it a problem? Well, the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) state that

If more than one link on a page shares the same link text, all those links should point to the same resource. Such consistency will help page design as well as accessibility.

If a page on this blog has, say, 10 posts and two or more of those posts contain extended text, then two or more of those posts will have a “more” link leading to two different places.

Reading Bruce Lawson‘s post, “WordPress PHP help wanted“, a comment from Derek Featherstone led me to try this method and by jingo it works. (more…)

A competition, a Mac toy and an update

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Educating Tippler : Em is running a guess the song title competition. Don’t do as I did, eyes-a-shining, keyboard at the ready, a google page ready to burn – he just wants ONE song title per person. Dammit.

Flickr Savr is a screensaver for the Mac using Flickr photos. It’s still in beta and being Macless, I can’t test it but it seems that you can set criteria such as user name, tags, contacts, etc. [Via Trois Couleurs.]

An update to the paper postRobert J Lang’s delicious Origami site (from Ian) and how to create an origami cd holder.

J’ai le cafard

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

It’s always tickled me that the French phrase avoir le cafard (to be down in the dumps, have a case of the blues) literally means to “have the cockroach”. Which is a neat segue neatly into a collection of animated short films by this year’s students at the Arles Ecole d’Enseignement supérieur spécialisées en infographie [via MetaFilter].

You can watch or download the films from here and there’s more information about the students on this page. I’m trying to go back and watch films from previous years but the site navigation sucks, it hasn’t been coded for Firefox and is currently hanging and about to crash methinks. Anyway, don’t let that stop you enjoying the work, there are some gems in there.

Favourites so far are Edna by Thomas Guisiano and Matthieu Rey – Charlie Chaplin (literally) in the movies and the much darker Cafard by Paul Jacamon, Thomas Léonard and Guillaume Marques. I’m off to watch some more.

Leontine's face

Update: There’s a lovely little film called Léontine by Claire Courtois and Fabienne Mouillac which has its own website , including a gallery of stills, storyboard extracts, a lot of sketches and colour research. Excellent.

There’s also a page of links to some of the other films that might be easier to navigate.

Staying with the school site, here are links to films from previous years:

Other means of navigation: If you’re on the student page and see a thumbnail of a film that looks interesting, you can click on that thumbnail to get the names of the student filmmaker(s) in the right hand side of the screen. If you then click on one of the + d’infos buttons under each student, you’ll see a popup window. Click on the fim thumbnail there and it’ll take you to the film. I take it they’re not hoping to win any prizes for web design?

Later that night…
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones – I’ve just realised that there’s an English version of the site too.

I didn’t mean it, honest

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

It’s a rugby fest chez Daisy today – England v Manu Samoa, Wales v Australia and finally France v South Africa. A perfect activity for a cold but *sob* snow-free day in Surrey.

Picture of Shane Williams, Gavin Henson and Martin Williams wearing the controversial new black strip
Picture courtesy BBC

It’s very strange to see Wales play in the new black strip. Apparently it’s to celebrate 125 years of Welsh rugby. The more cynical among us would view it more as a money making exercise by the WRU. But I’m feeling a little bit like Blue Witch at the moment, having one of her spells gone wrong. Because on more than one occasion in the past I’ve jokingly said that I wished we wore something more like the sexy black New Zealand strip or the lovely colours of the Springboks.

I’m sorry, please bring back the red.

Just one thing

Friday, November 25th, 2005

I want to go home.

Thanks to Andrew at Wonderful Electric for alerting me to the fact that the above is *ahem* an old news story. To the googler who arrived via this search, hope I haven’t given you false hope. Let’s hope they’re closed on Monday, eh?

Is it that time of year already?

Friday, November 25th, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating [via Celia]

The one with the paper links

Friday, November 25th, 2005

Sheet of A4 paper, the detailed shape of a man cut from it

Via Pixeldiva, the wonderful paper art of Peter Callesen. This Danish artist also works in ice.

From the Times: Ultimate paper plane takes to skies

A TEAM of young scientists has created what they believe to be the perfect paper plane.

It can fly more than 100ft (30m) and remain aloft for about 20 seconds. Most importantly, it is easy to make. The plane, named Avenger, has been judged by academics to contain the ideal balance between complex aerodynamic principles and simplicity of design. Its looks may also have helped: the delta wing is reminiscent of Concorde.

Maybe you’d like to build your own or make some paper toys

For the more ambitious, here’s how to build a paper Mac, build origami dinosaurs and insects and even a blog dedicated to all things creative with paper.

Update #1: how to create an origami cd holder

Update #2: From IanRobert J Lang’s wonderful origami site.

Memories of a hot date with ‘im indoors

Thursday, November 24th, 2005
  • Choosing to wear a long black velvet skirt and top and then catching sight of yourself shuffling along the carpet while trying to put knee-length suede boots on will bring to mind the look made famous by Morticia and result in a hasty wardrobe reshuffle to find something in another colour.
  • Poking yourself in they eye while taking off that velvet top will result in a watery eye and a nice little scratch across the eyebrow that no makeup will cover.
  • Damn, eyelash curlers hurt!
  • I still poke my tongue out while applying mascara.
  • Punjabi food is delicious.
  • Very loud Punjabi music is not.
  • Very nice Punjabi staff can be persuaded to lower the volume considerably if you ask nicely.
  • Corner shops open late at night are a very good source of illicit chocolate bars.
  • Damn, the weather has turned cold!
  • Apparently I make “the best coffee in the world”.
  • I’m still addicted to Lost and very glad we got home in time to tape it.
  • Tonight’s supper is the much less exotic but nicely warming “comfort food in a bowl” – Nick Nairn’s leek and potato soup. Yum.

Guts v Balls

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

The difference in definition between “guts” and “balls”

Guts… is arriving home late after a night out with the guys, being assaulted by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to ask:

“Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?”

Balls… is coming home late after a night out with the guys, smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass and having the balls to say:

“You’re next fatty.”

[via non blogging Jane]

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