|JezUK Ltd - The Coffee Grounds|
For greying types in their early-to-mid-40s like myself, Jeremy Brett is our Sherlock Holmes and rather terrific he was too. Natalie and I went to see the production he and Edward Hardwicke toured with at the Hull New Theatre. He really was quite astonishing to watch live - every tick, each flare of the nostril seemed entirely spontaneous and natural. Slightly before Brett seized the role and made it his own, Tom Baker, fresh from his life altering spell as Doctor Who, was also a rather splendid Holmes. It's a shame he didn't get the chance to do more. In comics, Edginton and Culbard's adaptations of the four novels are splendid. For audio Holmes on the go, these readings recorded by Peter Cushing in the early 70s are a delight. If you've read every Holmes story three times and still want more, Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk takes no liberties and isn't half-bad at all.
As we skimmed through Spaghetti junction yesterday, Harry speculated as to how old it was. He pitched at ten years, while I volunteered I thought it opened in the early 70s. And, bish bosh, today is the 41st anniversary of the opening of the Gravelly Hill Interchange. I once had dinner with one of the construction engineers at a Japanese restaurant in Singapore. He was out there digging a tunnel. That makes me sound much more sophisticated and jetsetting than, in reality, I am.
"Interestingly enough, I did have breakfast with Alex Garland this morning," he told Collider. "It's not off the agenda." He being Karl Urban (quite possibly the world's greatest genre-flick actor) and it being a Dredd (quite possibly the best genre-flick of this century) sequel.
A few thoughts about RSS news readers from someone who thinks about them way more than you probably do. In other news, I'm trying out The Old Reader.
Outside an ice cream van chimes just as the rain splats once more against the skylights.
I'm off to ride a bike that goes nowhere, then have another run at sorting out some software that helps you ride your bike somewhere.
The Deep The World's Only Submarium! I have no idea what that means but it sounds ace. I should visit Hull again, haven't been back there for years.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is an irritation of the patellar ligament at the tibial tuberosity. It is characterized by painful lumps just below the knee and is most often seen in young adolescents. Risk factors may include excess weight and overzealous conditioning (running and jumping), but adolescent bone growth is at the root of it.
Email from the school telling us that [our] son was given a letter this morning with strict instructions to deliver it to you, please ask him for it. A copy of the letter was attached the email too. Since we now have the letter, well ahead of the end of the school day, I can only conclude this some kind of test. Can Year 8 boys successfully transport a piece of paper, an important piece of paper, from school to home and then remember to give it to us?
The letter isn't actually that important. It's essentially a reminder that the school trip is in a couple of weeks, a list of what to bring, and of what not to bring. Is is a test.
I know it's childish, but I do snigger every time the Met Office is a Warning of Wind.
Leave a cashpoint this morning, I dropped something out of my wallet. I was alerted to this by a private hire driver, who communicated with me the only way he knew how.
Waiting outside the gym with Harry when the door opens and virtually the entire British Womens Artistic Squad walked passed. They look bigger than they do on the telly. Except for Rebecca Tunney. She's tiny.
[Add a comment]
Lasted 49.28 seconds on Super Hexagon. It was like time stood still. Contemplating declaring victory and retiring.
Trying out the new Android Studio. Immediate impression is it's just like Intelli-J but dark grey. Second impression is oh, it has the new Gradle build stuff. It's a keeper then.
Clippy.js - Sometimes you look at a piece of software and you just sigh.
Just seen Phillip Schofield off the telly on his way to work on the telly. Whoever was chauffeuring him this morning (did you see what I did there) is a really, really bad and dangerous driver and should find other employment. And be given a good shoeing. I watched him overtake a cyclist so slowly and closely the guy on the bike could have easily collected Schofield's autograph on the way past. Having barely cleared the bike, chauffeur-boy immediately turned left across the cyclist into the This Morning studios. That's the kind of manoeuvre that puts people in hospital.
I’m trying out NewsBlur.
Harry's injured his knee. Please kick my pushy parent arse.
Tried to read an article on cassette tapes - Can not play media
Last Bat-Time, Last Bat-Channel - The strange case of Bill Finger's last Batman story.
Been up since half past four this morning, at work for ten hours, now off to a gig. It'll be FAB!
Think I finally sorted the last kink in the CycleStreets App sat-nav mode yesterday morning. I've set things up so that if you go off track it automatically replans the route for you. Problem was itwas sometimes doing that even when you didn't go off course. Not disasterous, but as the euphemism has it "sub-optimal". I finally realised the calculation I was doing to try and determine how far along the current part of the route you were, the along track distance, was just doing completely the wrong thing. Specifically, I was trying to work out if you were off the end of the current route segment, perhaps because you'd missed a turning or you'd just turned round and pedalled off in the other direction.
I've let the whole thing sit for several weeks, which in the end turned out to be a good thing, because if I'd chased it at the time I would almost have certainly carried on being wrong and probably just go wronger. Yesterday morning, after drawing a few little diagrams and realising some of my test data would give those particular results because the Earth isn't flat, the right calculation was suddenly startlingly clear. Pleasing.
More maps - Greg's Map of undersea cables. There are cables across the Pacific! That's astonishing. Here's West Midlands life expectancy by train station. The station in Moseley closed in 1941, so no idea how long we get to live. Perhaps that's why a former local councillor campaigned so hard to get it reopened?
Mowed the grass. It is my one contribution to garden maintenance. Actually starting to enjoy it. I'm nearly 44 you know.
Email from my son. In full, it reads Thanks for the Merder!!!!!
Just lasted 30.11 seconds on a game of Super Hexagon. It is what "casual games" should be, not yet another tedious Bejeweled variation.
Spark Meet Gasoline (Works in Progress). Kristin Hersh has a captivatingly otherworldly voice, gently more so now than then.
11 Most Absurd Inventions Created By MacGyver - Items: Obedient dog, bottle of sulfuric acid, yardstick, jar. Result: Catapult to launch acid into a position where it can burn binding ropes.
Image Duplicator - I call the assumption that making something BIG makes it Art Lichtenstein's Law. But the more I delve into this, the more I reserve special contempt for the gallerists and dealers who promote this cultural annexation - who are happy to display the results of this kind of copying in places like the Tate, our cathedrals of culture, as pinnacles of artistic excellence that deserve to be lionised.
Judge Minty extended audio - suspected vintage comicbook seller on McMahon Skedway
Email this morning from my online dogfood shop of choice began "Hello Pet Parents!" If their service wasn't so good, I'd go elsewhere immediately.
Going to a gig next week. Haven't been out and about for ages. Excited.
Text from Yodel telling me my package has been delivered to "a safe place". In fact it was dumped on my doorstep. As I opened the door, I saw the van leaving with the driver in deep conversation on his phone.
Super Hexagon - a minimal action game by Terry Cavanagh. Simple. Hypnotic. Fiendish.
Dan solves a problem with Android Preferences' shonky encapsulation. Good work. Nobody likes shonkiness.
Sort algorithms explained through the medium of folk dance. Illuminating.
The leader of Birmingham city council says entire services face the axe, yet Eric Pickles refuses to negotiate. You often get the impression the *only* thing Eric Pickles wants councils to do is collect the bins. Weekly, of course. It's everyman's right to have his bins collected weekly, and every council's duty to do so.
Down from infinity/Up to infinity - First proof that infinitely many prime numbers come in pairs
On Friday they filmed part of an episode of Doctors at our gymnastics club. (Doctors is a daytime soap which, I assume, is a bit like Casualty but with fewer explosions and car crashes. Do they still have explosions on Casualty?) The storyline centres, apparently, around a pushy parent who wants her teenage daughter to be a superstar gymnast. I have been considering recently whether I am, we are pushy parents. Both our kids are decent sportsmen, really quite decent. Daniel's a swimmer. Over the weekend he swam a regional qualifying time in the 200m breaststroke. He trains four times a week. He also plays hockey. At school, he's been running for the school team in the 800m, and in his first competitive race won by about 20 seconds. He's also very keen to try and make the cricket team. Harry does tumbling gymnastics. On Sunday, he qualified in first place for the National Championships. He also trains four times a week. He also plays hockey. He swims now and again too. Both have been taking part in organised sport since they were very small, and clearly they couldn't do that unless we weren't willing to pay for it, transport them around the place, sit on poolside/in a gym for hours at a time. Did we/do we push them? I don't know, but I don't think so. Many of the kids Daniel will race against in the regional championships will be training 15 or 20 hours a week in 6 or 7 sessions. He does about ten hours. Harry too, generally trains around ten hours a week, when twenty is more normal for what are called 'elite gymnasts'. Daniel could have switched to a different club to get more swimming, and was invited to, but he didn't want to. Tumbling clubs are rather thinner on the ground so that option wasn't available, but I don't think Harry would take it if it was. So, from a time-spent-doing-it perspective, I don't think we do fall into the 'pushy' category. Perhaps we're just not quite as pushy. Actually, I don't think most of the parents of the kids doing those hours are pushy. The ones I've met, in both swimming and gymnastics, aren't. Some of them, a minority, are ambitious certainly, but not what I would describe as pushy. But do we facilitate, encourage, enable? I guess we all do.
The largest known prime is 257885161-1. That is quite large - 17425170 digits long.
It's particularly in relation to Harry I think about this. That's not to do down Daniel - it's to do with the nature of their sports. Swimming is a pretty big sport - lots of kids swim, it isn't hard to find a club, there's plenty of opportunity to compete at whatever your level is, you can tune it to suit you, and you can participate right through your life. If your circumstances change, you can drop your training down or even stop, because you can always come back to it again, at any time, at any age, and be able to take part and compete. Gymnastics isn't like that. It's a minority sport, and tumbling is the minority sport within the minority sport. Gymnastics is hard, really hard - it takes years to build up the strength and to learn the skills. If you stop, then that's pretty much it, you can't go back and if you try you probably won't ever return to the level you were at before. Because tumbling is so small, there are only two ways to go - a bit of a laugh or aim for the top.
Incoming awesome shelves - Chris' Toilet Library
The hockey I mentioned - that's two hours on Sunday mornings. That's pretty standard for kids hockey. Some kids are naturally better than others, but they should all be able to play reasonably well. There are no elite hockey players somewhere doing 20 hours a week on the astroturf. Hockey, or rugby, or quite a lot of football, you can do one session a week, be pretty decent and have a good time. By some stroke of something or other, my kids preferred sports take significant time.
These are your legs. Theses are your legs on exercise.
Our gymnastics club only has a small tumbling section and it does shoot for the top. Consequently when Harry was invited to join the squad, we thought about it pretty hard - although a seven year old really isn't able to make an informed decision. Participating in competitive sport is a commitment - a whole family commitment. That's why it's "our" gymnastics club and "our" swimming club. Because we all have to be on board, or it just can't work. Is that pushing? If the kids were in the Scouts, would I be chewing this over in the same way. Or what if they did piano? Learning the piano has "tiger mother" written all over it, doesn't it? Help me here. Maybe the whole thing is amplified by the smallness of tumbling. I know a two kids, one in Birmingham, one in London, who fence. They were both on the fringes of the national squad, and one of them was selected for and took part in an international competion. I don't know any other active fencers. Right now, there are only a handful of 9 and 10 year old kids who can make the qualifying standard for the tumbling championships. Maybe they're just big fish in a small pond? But I still might be pushy. Arg.
Taking Law to the Lawless until death - Judge Minty.
Codename MAT. I wonder what happened to Derek Brewster. His was obviously a programmer of some skill. Could string a story together too - he wrote some really solid adventure games.
Caught the 5:50 out of new New Street this morning, serviced by the 390 157 Chad Varah. That's a name that's so wildly outside Virgin's usual practice for its Pendelinos, that despite just wanting to sleep the journey away, I was compelled to look it up. And blimey, the Reverend Prebendary Edward Chad Varah was a fascinating bloke - not inclined to become a priest but made a massive go of it, founded The Samaritans, worked on The Eagle, patron of The Terence Higgins Trust, and on the advisory board of top shelf mag Forum. Not bad.
Went large to avoid the Lichtenstein cup.
You may not know Archie Goodwin's work. You should check some of it out.
Microsoft doesn't sound like a fun place to work.
Weekend was good. Trust yours was too.
Moon Dust From Apollo 11 Lost In Storage For Years. I carried around a few micrograms of lunar regolith in wallet for several years, until I was asked to give it back. Not that it would have been good for anything - we pyrolised the shit out of it. Or would have done, had there been any present.
X-Pac, now performing again as the 1-2-3 Kid, has managed to recreate his relationship with wrestling audiences, at least in Chikara where he gets a storming reception each time he works.
Ouya Teardown: What is inside a cheap Android device? Not a great deal.
Scarborough Station has a Travel Centre, ticket office, touch-screen ticket machines and the Pumpkin Cafe. The main building has a large waiting room. Platforms 3-5 are partly covered, as is platform 1, which features the longest railway bench in the world. Facilities sound great. Rather want to go and sit on that bench. Wait a moment - the most significant thing about the station is relegated to a subclause in the third sentence? A Pumpkin Cafe gets better billing that the longest station bench in the world? It's a pretty decent Wikipedia entry, but guys, c'mon! Rethink your priorities.
Big weekend of children's sport. Fingers crossed, eh?
The Moseley Folk Festival has announced its full line up for this summer and, well, it's a little underwhelming. The undercard appeals, but I'm not getting a buzz off the headliners.
Email from ticket agency to tell me the British Trampoline and Tumbling Championships is the first weekend of July. I've had it in my calendar for months. The question now is do I buy my tickets straightaway or wait until Monday by which time Harry should have qualified? Suddenly all nervous. As a weekend's entertainment it's dead cheap and you'll see things that'll make your eyes pop out, so if you're free do consider it.
The Trocadero Theatre, opened as the Arch Street Opera House in 1870, is a historic theater, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Looks like a good fun venue.
Breaking: Bike infrastructure debate officially over - In Manhatten, segregated bike lanes reduced traffic accidents for all road users by collosal margins, boost retail sales by 50%, smooth traffic flow. What's not to love?
Prepare for 'post-crypto world', warns godfather of encryption. Not that we'll notice. I've been digitally signing my emails for about ten years. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people who've sent me signed emails. None of the major webmail providers offer signing. Outlook doesn't do it. It's not baked into the iOS or Android mail client (although at least they no longer choke on signatures). If we aren't routinely or even aware of one of the most useful applications of cryptography (if we signed emails as a matter of course and followed the chains of trust, phishing and probably most spam could be more or less eliminated), then we should we care?
Darryl Cunningham's new comic, about Ayn Rand, is being serialised on Activate. According to Darryl, the correct way to pronounce Ayn Rand rhymes Ayn with Mine.
I think we should care. Start by signing your emails.
A list of the films shown on Alex Cox's Moviedrome. Cox's Bill the Galactic Hero Kickstarter was funded. Fab.
Can you pass Jon's #include test?
To find out about WWW: telnet info.cern.ch