Because I forget stuff. Part of

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September 2007

Posts made in September 2007

Reader Diet

According to Google Reader I’m currently subscribed to 162 different feeds. That figure comes after I’ve just pruned away at the subscriptions because there was basically no way i could keep up—anything not updated in a while, on second thoughts uninteresting, or simply too high volume has gone). 162 doesn’t sound a lot but it’s still probably too many; I’ll have to keep trimming as I notice which ones are actually never getting read. If you really like you can get a glimpse into this stream of information (well, most of it), by looking at my shared blogrolled page (actually called Blogrolled because I had hoped to be able to get out a simple list of site URLs, but that doesn’t seem possible at first glance).

An Edifice

This post has been a long time in the preparation. The idea for it has been gestating as a (very brief) draft for around a year or more. Recent events have finally brought it into the light of day. It’s taken some quite significant (for the medium) additional time after deciding to release it for me to fully write it, trying to form each part of my thoughts into a coherent whole and gathering various resources and references. Take heed of the warning—compared to almost anything else around here it’s long.

I’m not that necessarily much of an architecture nut, more of a building person, if that makes sense. I like castles of course, and I appreciate some buildings are wonderful but I wouldn’t say I go around drooling. I do think heritage is important though, and that we shouldn’t be too quick to discard everything today’s trend says is bad, lest tomorrow’s people miss it (something which, for instance, this fairly recent Financial Times article—which briefly mentions the subject of this post—takes up). We should be particularly careful of doing so in the name of (financially driven) “progress”. Tearing things apart is an easy option, often much easier than utilising what is there, but it is only after doing so that you realise you must still find some replacement that not only matches but betters what you had—and that what you had is now lost forever. Perhaps a combination of these things is why I believe Gateshead should not lose its car park.

Continue reading the rest of this post

Encrypted Post 2007-09-26


Decrypt Text (If you're: Friends)

Red Light (Please)

I’ve mentioned it before, along with the fact I’m not alone. Those bloody stupid pedestrian signals at road crossings. Jeremy Keith still doesn’t like them. Just look at the sign he has a photo of: Sign on traffic signals: Your red/green man signal is on the pole next to you (Photo by adactio, Creative Commons Attribution License).

Feline Secrets

I don’t seem to have linked to it before (though it’s linked to in the Links List No it’s not, I just thought it was) but PostSecret is one of those things which show how the internet can be used for things which are quite unique. I have mentioned LOLCats before, which shows how the internet can be wonderfully silly. Of course, the obvious thing to do (in a wish I thought of that way) is to combine the two: lolsecretz.

Arrrr Missed It

Arh be 3 days late, but missed mentioning Talk Like A Pirate Day. I assure you there was some pirate talk went on!


I have to confess I’d never heard of Schmap (basically a bunch of interactive city guides) until I got an email via Flickr asking permission to use one of my creative commons licensed photos (Schmap is Google Ad supported and the license doesn’t allow commercial use, so they needed to ask). Seems it got included. It’s hard to be excited or proud about that though when one wonders about the selection criteria. There’s the distinct feeling someone did a fairly broad search for whatever they could find, and didn’t necessarily take much notice of what they ended up with. For instance, not only is my photo probably not the best shot of St Nicholas Cathedral (the place it’s used to illustrate) but the photo used to illustrate the castle is actually of Ravensworth Castle… Ah well, there it is.

Have I Failed To Notice Anything Important?

Anyone with something like organisation probably wouldn’t end up going to London and back two days in a row, but that’s how these things go. Getting somewhat (pleasantly) distracted when I got back off the trains at last probably didn’t help. That sort of wrote of the next day too. So, as I basically give up trying to catch up on most news, I wonder if I missed anything…

Osculating Science

This post was inspired by a Science Musings post, it’s just some very quick thoughts I had in response (despite it’s inspiration, and the fact this derives from it, I’m quite reluctant to link to that post as its most lyrical passages seem to have been lifted stratight from this Musings per jasmine post :-/ As Tom from Science Musings points out in the comments, it’s actually the other way around, sort of…). Anyway, my point was supposed to be that science, and the knowledge of the way the world works it gives, doesn’t necessarily distract from the beauty of the world. Yes, in the context of a kiss it’s not particularly important. The thing is that people often assume scientists can’t realise that. More, they assume that because we might understand the molecular structure of that honey that it somehow takes away from the fact that it tastes damn delicious. This, when you stop to think for a moment, is clearly ridiculous. Scientists like honey, and enjoy kissing as much as anyone. We however get more, for we get to see the beauty of those molecules, the connections between the glory of nature. Just because we have some idea how the rainbow is formed doesn’t make it any less pretty—it makes it greater, for we can ponder, should we choose, how such an enchanting thing can come from photons twinkling through some raindrops.

I recommend you check out the incomparable Richard Feynman on this point, who waxed so much more wonderfully than I on just that subject, somewhere I can’t be bothered to look up right now. Mmm, kiss…


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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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