Friday, December 26, 2008

Recommended Reading

I got Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" for Christmas.

I didn't really know much about Doctorow before I read this, apart from his appearances in XKCD, and mentions of his name in the same breath as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. However the premise of the book - tech savvy kids fight back when the DHS labels them as potential terrorists - sounded intriguing.

I read the first chapter after my Christmas dinner whilst in the reading room, and the only thing that stopped me starting chapter two was The New Doctor, and A Matter of Loaf and Death.

So last night I thought I'd just read a few chapters, and then have an early night.

I finished the book at 4am this morning.

You hear the phrases "unputdownable", or "I couldn't put it down" about books all the time, but this is only the second time I've experienced it (the last time was Nick McDonell's Twelve).

I highly recommend getting this book. And if you are feeling the pinch, you can even download it for free completely legitimately.

Spread the word


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blue Rage!

Something that annoyed me the last two Christmases, and has now started to annoy me again is blue Christmas lights.

Seems fairly harmless enough. Just one of many colours of lights that people use for the large light displays on the front of their house, right?


There are two real problems with these blue lights, particularly when they are the only colour of light being used.

1) Emergency services
For some reason, these blue lights are the same blue as used by ambulances, police cars and fire engines. And if the house has any sort of obstruction outside streetlamps, trees or telegraph poles) the flicker of blue is just enough to add an extra thing to worry about when driving conditions are bad. Am I speeding? Do my lights work? Will I have to brake/swerve suddenly? etc...

2) My eyes!
The blue they have chosen also hurts my eyes. Its so far along the spectrum its bordering on UV and the frequency of light makes my eyes twitch. Grrr!

So in short, either dump these lights, or mix them with other colours to save my poor nerves and eyeballs!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Parenting fail

Disclaimer: this post is nothing to do with Shannon Matthews or Baby P.

I haven't had much to blog about for a while, so I thought I'd better post something to avoid rusting up completely. Here is a little tale about my neighbours, and their wonderful parenting skills.

As I left my home the other day, the couple I live next door to, were having a shouting match in the garden. He was standing in the doorway of their home. She was standing three or four metres away by the gate with their two young children.

Apparently the back story was that he had jokingly told the children that they were to have "wee and poo" for dinner that night. They thought this was hilarious.

She did not and proceeded to scream at him (in their presence), "You cant fucking tell them they're having wee and poo for dinner! They'll fucking repeat that shit at school!"