Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Naked Scientists

by Captain Oates

Naked Scientists
I have recently subscribed to the Naked Scientists podcast, and am busy listening through the back catalogue.

It is a science based radio show on BBC local radio stations in the Eastern counties. The presenters are based mainly in Cambridge, and their aim is to make science accessible for all.

Episodes are roughly an hour long and generally have interesting/topical themes, with high profile guest speakers along with the regular 2-3 presenters.

Well worth a listen...

WinXP tip?

by Dom Corrigan

I've got a couple of internet shortcuts in my XP "Quick Launch" bar. Is there a way to force these to open in either a new window of my default browser, or to start a new copy of the browser running and to open in that, rather than to start in any already open browser?

I imagine Michael Jennings is the sort of fellow who would get to the bottom of this sort of thing in a jiffy. Bogol, God love him, has also demonstrated astonishing knowledge of this sort of thing in the past.

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Good Lord! Number 1 in a series of 1

by Dom Corrigan

I assure you that the email reproduced below is genuine, and was not intended as a joke.

So what is to blame for this "unfortunate incident"? Cultural differences, stupidity, or an unpleasant prank? You decide in the comments.

Dear All

There has been an unfortunate incident in the Department today after someone used the urinals in house 19 mistakenly thinking it was a toilet. Urinals cannot cope with solid waste and have become blocked. The resulting smell and mess is currently being dealt with.
While I am sure this was an unfortunate misunderstanding, the message is that urinals are not toilets. We have separate toilets for everyone to use.

Many thanks
(name removed)

Administrative Officer
Department of Land Economy

Wednesday, 23 November 2005

Beautiful ads

by Dom Corrigan

This Sony ad, featuring 250,000 balls, is simple and somewhat mesmorising. It reminds me, for some reason, of the famous Honda "Cog" advert.

The other one that always stops me in my tracks is the Orange "dancers" advertisement. Shame in this case that the message is so at odds with my recent experience of the company.

My point is that I wonder whether I find these compelling and even beautiful in some ways (but let's not get carried away) because they are completely CGI free. Or maybe because they glory in everyday things?

I wonder what Brian thinks.

UPDATE. Link fixed.

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

A monkey washing a cat

by Charles Pooter

This post does exactly what it says on the tin:

(Via B3ta)

Saturday, 19 November 2005

Morris Dancing

by Ted Hoffman

This morning a group of Morris Dancers were prancing around the center of the West Midlands town where I live. It is so obvious as to be hardly worth pointing out that Morris Dancing is both ridiculous and sinister. Today's dancing was made all the more unnerving by the presence of a bearded man dressed in a long black cape, of whom I surreptitiously took this picture.

Looking like a character from 'The Wicker Man' this chap hovered around the crowd collecting money with the aid of a black wooden horse puppet on his right arm. Seconds later the man, pretending the horse had a life of its own, viciously attacked me.

The quality of the 2 pictures is not quite what I aimed for, aside from my less than brilliant skills as a photographer they were taken undercover on an inexpensive mobile phone.

Thursday, 17 November 2005

Apple Day

by Dom Corrigan

I bought, or rather I was bought, the DVD of "No Direction Home"
the Bob Dylan documentary, and watched 45 minutes of it. It is interesting enough, and Dylan himself stops acting the "cosmic" idiot I've seen on film before, but what is interesting is the influence of Apple Inc. in the film's production, which the UK Press had led me to believe was essentially entirely down to the BBC's Arena programme.

Anyway, since lots of the posts here at LMWN have been of a rather technical bent, I felt it was time to get back to the simple life. So I strolled down to the Apple Day event about a month ago in Cambridge Botanic Gardens.

Apples are fascinating and, by the sound of it, pretty tricky to grow. I was looking forwards to two things: cider and apples. Locally produced ciders were available to try and buy in the tent in front of the glasshouse...

...and it would have been discourteous to the tradesmen not to have tried the full spectrum of their wears. I was somewhat dismayed, to see this most English of product being sold in Euros, as well as Pounds Sterling. In accordance with tradition, cider cannot be drunk without the aid of a park bench.

The highlight of the day, though, was the apple tasting. Armed with my tasting notes. The range of not only different tastes, but different textures and colours of flesh, is astonishing.

What's particularly interesting is the origin of different types of apple. Many come from the UK, of course, where we are apple mad. But our old colonies are particularly good for fine apples too.

Experts from all over the world are on hand to identify the varieties of apple that one might find growing at the bottom of our gardens. The best of each type brought along are laid out. I'm not one that goes in much for "nature's harvest", but what a view...

Not long now to the next event to look forward to. Always happy to put up fellow Englishmen or Cantabs, if they're interested.

Monday, 7 November 2005

Quote of the day

by Ted Hoffman

Even amongst other smug left wing comedians Mark Steel stands out as being particularly irritating, but that doesn't stop this quip from Have I Got News For You being pretty good. I may have paraphrased slightly.

"You have to admire David Blunkett, he has overcome such massive adversity in his life, to become one of the most horrible bastards in the country"


by Ted Hoffman

Samizdata have coined a few new words in their time, though they are probably only used in a few circles. I like this new one, named after the apparently very bright David Willetts.

Willetts, n. [pron. whil-itz] A policy proposal that is exactly twice as complicated as the problem that it is designed to solve.

Friday, 4 November 2005

Fainting Goats

by Ted Hoffman

link . . .