Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seen in an electronics store

I think I have been here too long. I knew instantly what they meant, and was not at all surprised to see the black and white keyboard.

(You can also see it at this site.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Monday, March 15, 2010


I have been watching foreign language YouTube videos, inspired by one a friend sent me: this one (although I'm not entirely sure I should call it foreign language). That led me to the original (which is almost as good! I mean bad!), and from there I moved on to a video which contained a mysterious button-pushing woman with a floating chandelier, a lineup of multi-coloured (but uniformly dull) suits, and an amazing portable music player. Aside from the portable music player, that one left me feeling baffled – but also entertained. (In an intellectual way, of course. Everybody knows that if you enjoy foreign videos you must be an intellectual.)

To finish off, I listened to some foreign music, and was surprised.

Yes, surprised is the right word, I think.

Over six million people have seen that last video since it was uploaded four years ago (and I can totally see why) but somehow it had passed me by.

Had you seen it?

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Today I downloaded some (free) photography apps for my iPhone, and played around with them a little. I took some pictures at a local park to see what I could do with them. These are the results. The subject matter is some concrete seats, an upside-down concrete panda, and some shadows. After taking the pictures I played around with them using PS Mobile, which I think will be the most useful, Lofi, which I also enjoyed but which I think is suitable for some pictures but not others, and DashOfColor, which I had fun with but which shrunk the pictures so dramatically they don't really work on the web. I can't find any setting to change that, so my butterfly is very small. It looks good on the iPhone, but less good on the computer.

Also, when I resized a picture in PS Mobile and then tried to do something with it in Lofi, Lofi crashed. It does not like resized pictures, apparently.

What are your favourite iPhone photography apps? I've only just discovered these, and would welcome ideas.

Here are my favourite results: the shadows, in Lofi, the seats, also in Lofi, and the panda, in PS Mobile. The butterfly is at the end, annoyingly small.

I feel all arty, now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I talked to my lovely sister-in-law today, mother of two young adrenaline junkies. The youngest boy is having a birthday next weekend, and she told me he'd wanted to go to some water park with all his friends, which would have been very expensive. He has been once before, and was particularly enamored of the water slide.

My brother's solution was to buy several cheap inflatable lilos, line them up into a slide (I'm supposing on planks or something similar), throw a big tarpaulin over the whole thing, and stick a hose at the top end. Apparently he's made it quite steep.

The boys have been using this contraption extensively in preparation for the birthday party. They have adapted it so that instead of landing in the grass, the aim is to go so fast they bounce off the fence. The party promises to be very, very messy, and possibly dangerous.

No wonder those kids think their dad is a genius!

Friday, March 05, 2010

I just can't stop being an English teacher

"I installed several of them in one gulp, including AdBlock—a great though dubiously ethical way to keep lots of tabs open without slowing down your computer." (Slate)

Shouldn't that be 'ethically dubious'? 'Dubiously ethical' sounds like how devil-worshippers would feel if they were inadvertently doing something good.