Archive for the ‘miscellaneous’ Category

The ultimate Christmas present

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

For the person who has everything, a customised Muppet for only $90

I tried to make one that looks like me but it came out looking a bit like Boris Johnson.

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MacUpdate Back to School promo

Friday, August 29th, 2008
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MacUpdate have released their latest software bundle and it focuses on tools of use to students.

Among the titles of particular interest to anyone writing or researching essays and dissertations are DevonAgent, which is quite a useful tool for online research (I’ve found it great for finding links between different topics) and BookEnds which helps compile bibliographies.
A word processor, Mellel, offers an alternative to Word that promises to be helpful in compiling long documents with different sections.

As more bundles are sold, other programs get unlocked and MacJournal has just become available – another useful tool this time for keeping notes and ideas.

Highly recommended – all these titles would cost $600 (£300+) but are available for just $49.99 (£25+)

Click the ad below for more details or visit the MacUpdate promo page.

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Chinese Cooking

Monday, August 25th, 2008

After the Olympics closing ceremony yesterday, my friend Qin cooked me dinner – quite an honour! I thought I’d capture the moment so that anyone could follow along at home:

In case you’re wondering, it tasted lovely. 🙂

Proof that McDonald’s beverages are undrinkable

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

A story in The Guardian that Fox News channels in the USA have started selling McDonald’s the opportunity to have their iced coffee on morning programmes comes with this interesting bit of info:

Two cups of coffee, their cubes of ice glinting in the studio lights, now daily stand before the channel’s morning presenters. The presenters conspicuously do not drink from the cups, which is just as well – the cups contain a bogus fluid and fake ice to prevent the cubes melting.

From my recollection, in the UK McDonald’s tea has always contained an undrinkable fluid so it’s nice to see some consistency.

What replaces oil?

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

This is one of those questions that keeps me up at night. I don’t mean ‘what are the alternatives to oil’ but something far more puzzling…

All these billions of barrels of oil that have been sucked out of the ocean bed and deep beneath the ground must leave holes behind, right?

So what do they fill the holes with?

There… that’s stumped you, hasn’t it?

Assistance provided

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

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Spotted on Brighton pier. Remember, it’s dangerous to swim or dive unless someone from security is helping…

My MA thesis Wordled…

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

This is rather nice. Wordle is a web tool that takes a bunch of text and converts it in to something akin to a tag cloud, with word size based on the frequency they occur.

Here’s my 2001 MA thesis on polysemy in advertising:

Click on the thumbnail to try it out yourself, and take a look at these created from the subtitles for various episodes of Doctor Who.

Percentage wars

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Anna Pickard in The Observer:

Marvellously, The Apprentice brings with it a welcome return of moronic businessisms, as candidates trot out trite examples of things that sound fine in brightly coloured motivational books, but idiotic when tumbling out of mouths.

A favourite is the search for the highest percentage. You may have thought that the highest percentage would be 100, but that would be naive and non-managerial.

For some time, it has not been enough to give 100 per cent effort. To impress, nothing less than 110 per cent is necessary. Or 150 per cent. Or 200 per cent. Percentage wars have broken out and 1,000 per cent is bandied about.

At this point, the notion of percentage flies out of the window and the contestants find themselves stuck in a ‘who can think of the biggest number’ competition. These are, apparently, some of the best new business minds in the country. Which terrifies me 38,476 per cent.

What does no tip signify?

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
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I’m going to New York in April so this handy little guide (via Passive Aggressive Notes) is well-timed. But if a 10% tip indicates you hate the server and they suck, then what does no tip signify?

What a weird system…

Reading level

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

cash advance

Apparently…