"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Monday, January 30, 2006


Pretty well done I thought, a welcome return. Didn't really engage with the plot but summertime Oxford is extremely easy on the eye at the dog end of January...

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Lethal Standby Button

Sorry to do the first environmental post of the new year - freaking out about this was one of the Fitzroy themes of 2005, and I'm sure it will continue this year. Amongst all the news of shrinking ice-caps etc, this news item made me very depressed about our incapacity to do anything about the environment. If we are struggling to do something about the TV Standby button, what hope have we got?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What's the best day for setting your auction to finish on ebay?

Read this somewhere but have forgotten, does anybody know?

Also - *still* haven't been able to get on that surname distribution site. Tried last night but no dice.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I was just telling someone in the office about the German work 'ohrwurm', or earworm, used to describe one of those annoying tunes that gets stuck in your head all day against your wishes. I checked it out on Wikepedia (to find out what the German word was), and discovered Maim That Tune, a service that offers alternative tunes that, whilst annoying in themselves, will drive the original earworm from your head...

Song Search by Tapping

Read about Songtapper in Metro this morning. Apparently, if you tap out the rhythm of a tune on your spacebar it identifies the song. Although in common with all my posts these days, I can't seem to get into the actual application...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Freecycle revisited

Had another look at the local freecycle site. It works via yahoo groups (do they all do this?) which offer a "daily digest" email option so your mailbox doesn't get too bombarded. Quite interesting, though haven't been tempted by anything on offer yet and don't have anything I want to get rid of at the moment.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Surname Distribution Profiler

This project by UCL showing geographic distribution of UK surnames looks potentially interesting. Unfortunately, it was on BBC News so is now down due to heavy traffic.

Bicycle refurbishment

There's a bike refurbishment place opened up at Waverley station. I think these schemes are excellent.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Google Analytics

Just found out aboutGoogle Analytics. Temporarily closed to new subscribers, but looks useful - let's find out if anyone else reads Fitzrovian...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Seven Basic Plots

I got this very interesting book for Christmas. A colossal work, which I'm only 100 pages into, but already full of nuggets. The guy has spent the last 30 years consuming the world's literature and films, and distilling ever story from the Odyssey to Star Wars into one a small number of plot structures. I don't buy it all - but some of the links and commonalities he makes are very striking.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ogre to Slay? Outsource It To Chinese

The full article's not available, unfortunately, but the gist of it is that lazy, well-off American kids are paying Chinese kids to play the boring early levels of online games for them until the point where it gets interesting and their character has lots of power/money/rayguns or whatever happens in these things.