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Entries from August 2007

The Sony Reader: An Illustrated Primer

August 29th, 2007 · 40 Comments

The device that set off such a furore on this blog about The Death of Publishers and also resulted in a feature in the Bookseller has finally arrived in my hands. While I’ve only been using it for a week, I think it would be useful to share some first impressions of the Sony Reader [...]

Tags: book · future · review · tech

8 Days Later

August 28th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Did you know that the UK’s statutory holiday entitlement is increasing to 24 days on 1st October, and then 28 days a year after that? Because I sure as hell didn’t. For the majority of people in the UK, that’s an extra eight days holiday every year. Another eight 3-day weekends, or almost two whole [...]

Tags: politics

The Videogame Straitjacket

August 25th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Like many others, when I was kid, two of the games I had the most fun with were Lego and Meccano. It would be trite to go into the reasons why, and it’s enough to say that construction kits like these offer kids a unique place to use their imagination to build anything they want, [...]

Tags: adrian · arg · edu · games

All Souls: The toughest test you’ll ever take

August 24th, 2007 · 20 Comments

If you’ve ever visited Oxford, chances are that you’ll spend some time in Radcliffe Square, admiring the University Library and the round Radcliffe Camera building. Along the east side of the the square is a long wall with a black metal gate set into it; people often poke their heads in to see an immaculate [...]

Tags: edu · oxford

Blind Light

August 24th, 2007 · No Comments

Imagine walking in a mist so thick that you can’t see further than an outstretched arm. That’s what it was like to be inside Anthony Gormley’s Blind Light exhibit in the South Bank Centre.
It’s a very odd experience. There are 24 other people walking around inside the exhibit, which is about 10 meters squared, and [...]

Tags: adrian

The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate

August 19th, 2007 · No Comments

One of my favourite authors is Ted Chiang. I’m not entirely sure what Ted does with his time, since over the course of seventeen years, he’s written fewer than a dozen short stories, the sum of which would easily fit into a typical novel. Of course, this has nothing to do with the quality of [...]

Tags: adrian · book · review · sf

After Our Time

August 12th, 2007 · No Comments

After listening to an edition of In Our Time about the Jacobite Rebellion, I found myself writing yet another post on this weblog inspired by that wonderful Radio 4 programme. As I was finishing it, I thought that with all the posts I was making relating to In Our Time, I should really make a [...]

Tags: adrian · bbc · radio · web

The Strength of Weak Ties

August 9th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Anyone who’s read about social networks and the ‘tipping point’ will know how important the connections between people are. It’s not enough to look at just the number and the individuals in the connections though – you have to look at their strength. While reading an article (I forget which) about social networks, I spotted [...]

Tags: science · web

Food Miles

August 8th, 2007 · 7 Comments

Sometimes, when I come across a particularly interesting article, I try to find the research paper that it’s based on. I don’t always read the entire paper (in fact, I normally skip over huge chunks) but it’s always instructive to see the results and analysis as the original author wrote them; it’s not rare for [...]

Tags: adrian · bio · politics · science

Homemade scales

August 6th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Last month, I mentioned that I was selling a lot of stuff using eBay – mostly games, but also DVDs, books, phones, etc. By using the Royal Mail’s online postage printer, I was able to avoid visiting the Post Office. The only problem is that I don’t have my own scales.
For most items, you don’t [...]

Tags: adrian