home

Archive for June, 2006

Beautiful China

Friday, June 30th, 2006

A stepped hillside in China, stunning greens and browns contrast against the blue of the canals dug into the side of the hill.

Feng Jiang is a PhD student at the University of York (and is a fire marshall!) and takes the most stunning photographs of China.

Is anyone else itching to knock up some code and get those beautiful pictures in a gallery to showcase them better?

Those of us who can only dream of taking such pictures could take a look at this PhotoShop tutorial, The Elegant Studio Shot, one of many pages from Tommy Maloney’s photoshopLab I’ll be investigating this weekend.

This week Alex invited me to join the Flickr group Name That Film. I’m on my second entry so far, feel free to join in and have a guess. Long time readers should find it easy. No, really. Blindingly obvious, I’d say (but then I’m useless at identifying films from stills so I’ll hush my mouth).

Talking of Flickr groups, there are some lovely pictures in Dogs with an attitude and Dog expressions (current favourite is Mommmmm, make him stop staring at me…).

Talking of dogs, anyone want to learn to play the piano? Let the Piano Pooch show you the way.

Oh and what not to name your dog (while you’re there check out the rest of Infrequently asked questions).

Right, I’m off to make some salad for supper. Mmm….

Quote of the day, #37

Friday, June 30th, 2006

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”
Alfred Hitchcock

Filed under “Padding while I get my blogging arse in gear”.

She is gone

Monday, June 26th, 2006

A beautiful white rose for Meg
Photo by Agnieszka K. at Stock Xchng

Not an hour ago I was throwing notes into a future post, tying up a “sunshine” theme with Gia’s photographs, the British weather (Wimbledon day one = rain, rain and more rain) and people who bring sunshine into our lives.

Then I got an email from Stu(art) with the dreadful news that Meg died this weekend.

Meg was one of the kindest, most generous and giving people on the planet. Like Stu, we had the odd “heated discussion” on US politics (heh, the quickest way to wind Meg up was to post something rapidly anti-shrub, especially if you weren’t even American) but it never got in the way of our mutal admiration society and I will always treasure the honour of a spot on the House of Mandarin Quilt.

How can we become so attached to people we haven’t met in real life? I don’t know. But I do know that Meg will be missed by many across the world.

Here’s a poem by David Harkins that I think Meg would have loved.

She is gone

You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

My sympathies to Meg’s family and friends across the world.

Time wasters #1

Monday, June 26th, 2006

It’s Sunday night, there’s nowt on the tellybox and you’re in the mood for a little light entertainment. How about Etymologic “The toughest word game on the internet”. You’re presented with 10 randomly selected etymology or word definition puzzles to solve, such as:

Whence comes the phrase on tenterhooks, which means in a state of uneasy suspense or anxiety?

  • USA, 20th Century. In meat packing, beef is aged (tenderized) by hanging on extremely sharp, large steel hooks.
  • USA, 19th Century. On the Chautauqua speakers circuit, the tent canvasses were raised using large hooks called tenter hooks.
  • An English adulteration of the French, tendre, to touch. In needlework, if a stitcher frequently pricked her finger, she was said to be using tendre hooks, rather than straight needles.
  • English. From clothweaving. The first few strands used to start a new fabric bolt are stretched precariously on small hooks or bent nails, called tenter hooks.

Failing that, you could learn to write your name in Elvish in ten minutes.

Finally, I’ve a suspicion that this is a setup but it does make me thank the good Lord that we were too poor to afford video cameras when I was a child.

Gulp

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Spoof or not, these are scary videos.

Is that the ghost of a young girl sitting on a gravestone?

A ghost crossing the road?

Hiding under a train?

You might miss this one but it’s worth a look, footage from security cameras at the London Dungeon.

And finally…

Of bones, boners and an embarrassed pre-med student worried that his girlfriend has broken his lap taffy. Bless.

The Koala and the Little Lizard

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Koala standing alert in tree
Photo by Bethany Turner at Stock Xchng

A koala is sitting up a gumtree smoking a joint when a little lizard walks past and looks up and says “Hey Koala! What are you doing?”

The koala says: “Smoking a joint, come up and have some.”

So the little lizard climbs up and sits next to the koala and they have a few joints.

After a while the little lizard says his mouth is ‘dry’ and is going to get a drink from the river.

But the little lizard is so stoned that he leans too far over and falls into the river.

A crocodile sees this and swims over to the little lizard and helps him to the side, then asks the little lizard: “What’s the matter with you?”

The little lizard explains to the crocodile that he was sitting smoking a joint with the koala in the tree, got too stoned and then fell into the river while taking a drink.

The crocodile says he has to check this out and walks into the rain forest, finds the tree where the koala is sitting finishing a joint, and he looks up and says “Hey you!”

So the koala looks down at him and says…
(more…)

Sweet ma.gnolia

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

I signed up to Ma.gnolia months ago but after importing my bookmarks from del.icio.us, admiring the beauty of the design I (blush) kind of forgot to go back very often. But I went back this week and have to confess that the girlie in me still loves the design, it’s just such a pretty place to be. Yes, it’s a tad slower than del.icio.us but I think I can live with that. The interface is a bit clumsy too – I was going to explain the problems but Jim Ramsey sums it up rather well:

If I want to see more than the 3 bookmarks on my homepage I have to click on “View All” which takes me to another page. And then, if I want to add a tag to one of my bookmarks, I have to click “Edit Details,” which takes me to another page where I enter the tag and click “Save” which changes the page to show the current details for that bookmark.

Then, if I want to go back to my list of bookmarks, and click on “Bookmarks” in the top nav and I go back to the homepage, which only has my last 3 bookmarks, and I have to start all over again!

But it’s so pretty! So I’ve decided to stick with Ma.gnolia for a while, have installed Barry Price’s Ma.gnolia plugin 0.1 (if your host supports PHP5 you can use the more recent 0.2 version) and the link feed will display over there in the far right hand sidebar.

I’d love to keep the links here permanently (port them to an archive page after a certain period of time/number of links?) but I’ve no idea how to go about it. Any suggestions happily accepted.

Oh and while I remember, does anyone know what font is used in the Ma.gnolia logo?

Links for 2006-06-25

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

A (wo)man with a mission

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

I think I just discovered my purpose in life : editing Wikipedia articles to correct the use of England when it should be the United Kingdom and (far more rarely), the use of the UK when it should be England.

1 down, 6 gazillion to go.

If only we could fix the output of BBC Radio 4 so easily.
(more…)

Links for 2006-06-24

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Spotlight on...

Delicious links

These links are updated frequently thoroughout the day. Should you miss any they're all stored on my Delicious pages.

What I'm listening to