Mission:Explore Food - Crowd Fund It!

Updated on Sunday, November 6, 2022

My brother is part of the Geography Collective, the team that make the Mission:Explore site and books. The first book won the Hay Festival and National Trust Outdoor Book of the Year in 2011. 

The latest in the series, Mission:Explore Food, is being crowd funded at PleaseFund.us. There are a variety of levels to choose from, most of which will get you a copy of the book and your name in print. You can also get yourself included as an illustration (or surprise a friend). This is going to be a great book for kids and the young at heart. Check out the sample pages (PDF) and sign up as a backer today.

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Better Paperless

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Better Paperless

I've just spent several hours scanning and then shredding tedious statements, medical documents and other nasty paperwork. This is even after I've gone paperless with as many companies as possible. Very tedious, not to mention a monumental waste of time and money.

The companies that are paperless vary in what gets stored, for how long and in what format. And if I ever need some statement from years ago I may not even still have an account. I seem to change medical insurance at least twice a year at the moment. 

How about a common standard for pushing paperless whatevers out to a third party storage service? These could go directly to Evernote, SugarSync, etc and bypass the post-scan-shred cycle of doom. Just send a PDF, a date, a summary and maybe a service type. Make it easy (or mandatory) to opt in when signing up to each new bank account, health insurer, wireless carrier, etc. Make the world a slightly greener and slightly less boring place. 

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Better Paperless #etc #paperless #evernote #sugarsync We should have a standard to send junk-ish mail directly to the cloud service of your choice. )

LEGO, now for Girls

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

LEGO.com Friends - LEGO for Girls

LEGO Friends is “The new LEGO theme – for girls!

So I guess the current sets not for girls include Alien Conquest, Architecture, Atlantis, Cars 2, City, Creator, Harry Potter, Hero Factory, Heroica, Kingdoms, Mindstorms, Ninjago, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pharaoh’s Quest, Prince of Persia, Racers, Spongebob Squarepants, Star Wars, Technic, Toy Story and World Racers.

I know they’ve tried this before, but still, how about LEGO Vikings: The new LEGO theme – for Danes!

Misogynistic plastic peddling marketing weasels.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: LEGO, now for Girls #etc #lego #girls #denmark Should there be LEGO sets marketed as being specifically for girls? )

Section 8.2.3.2

Updated on Saturday, October 1, 2022

The installation of a kitchen in premises where the number of staff exceeds twenty requires that proper hearing arrangements for those who like pies of high quality are made.

8.2.3.2 Installation of kitchen or food preparation facilities The installation of a kitchen in premises where the number of staff exceeds twenty requires that proper heating arrangements for those who like pies of high quality are made. Where the number of staff exceeds 50 this should be an aga. (See Chapter 2, paras 2:5 and 2:6.)

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Section 8.2.3.2 #etc #pies The installation of a kitchen ... requires that proper heating arrangements for those who like pies of high quality are made. )

Grape Plasma

Updated on Saturday, September 24, 2022

Gill found these instructions for making plasma in a microwave by carefully cutting up a grape and then nuking it. I finally got around to trying it yesterday, and it’s awesome. Even better than microwaving a light bulb in a glass of water. Check it out:

Making plasma in a microwave!

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Grape Plasma #etc #grape #plasma #microwave #video Video of grape plasma in a microwave (be careful if you try this from home). )

Cycling again…

Updated on Sunday, October 23, 2022

From Bernal Hill to The Presidio and back

…after a five year break and while it’s true that you don’t forget how, your knees can stop being quite so flexible. I’m eyeing up the dog’s glucosamine laced treats quite enviously.

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Cam of Fortune!

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

We are working on a concept for a new game show. The working title is

Many thanks for sending us your outline for 'CAM OF FORTUNE'. Please bear with us while we consider your proposal, we will get back to you just as soon as we can...

Thank you for sending in your programme proposal

My first and last foray into being a TV production company. Tragic that this never got made…

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Cam of Fortune! #etc #letters #cam #cams #channel4 A proposal for the ultimate STEM game show, unfortunately rejected by Channel 4. )

Toys

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Kate has a VTech Move & Crawl ball. From the name you can guess it’s supposed to help encourage crawling. Actually she was terrified of it for a couple of days, and now she likes to pick it up and interrogate it.

vtech-move-crawl-ball

I can’t wait for her to get bored and move on to a BigTrak. The ball is going to get some spray paint and be reincarnated as Sargent Major Zero:

sargent-major-zerojpg

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Toys #etc #vtech #bigtrack #terrahawks My abandoned plan to turn a VTech Move & Crawl ball into Sargent Major Zero. )

Circles

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

 A Circle

I just got on Google+, and the Circles concept definitely moves the ball forward, but my heart sinks a little at having yet another disconnected social identity. It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again – social networking needs to be an open, core internet standard like email. You can live on Facebook, Google, Twitter, wherever but your social graph should be independent of any specific service.

I don’t mean this in any (well, OK, a little) granola crunching open source way. Companies should compete to the death on their social graph implementation and added value. But the actual data on who your friends are should belong to you and should be both portable and interoperable. I should be able to friend someone on Google from within Facebook and share core items in both directions. If I get fed up of Facebook I should be able to move my graph and central identity elsewhere.

We’ve got OpenSocial, strangely not mentioned in the same breath as Google+, and Open Graph which is open for things but not people. Also FOAF, XUP, and other possible foundational standards. Of course the barriers here aren’t technical.

Altly wants to be Pepsi to Facebook’s Coke. I’m waiting to see what it tastes like, but it doesn’t sound like they’re itching to change the game.

Diaspora is an interesting project, but running instances (pods) of a social network is the wrong level of abstraction.

Of course ‘owning’ the graph is tremendously valuable and it’s hard to see Facebook giving this up anytime soon. If Google really don’t want to be evil they should use Google+ to liberate us from the tyranny of walled social gardens. Unless it turns out to be another Buzz or Wave in which case it’s down to us.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Circles #etc #google #facebook #twitter #socialgraph #opengraph #opensocial #foaf #xup #altly #diaspora #buzz #wave Did the Google+ Circles concept revolutionize social networking, and what we should have instead. )

International Date Line Longitude, Latitude Coordinates

Updated on Thursday, June 30, 2022

International Date Line

I’ve been working on an update to Catfood Earth. Several people have asked me to draw the International Date Line on the time zones layer but I’ve struggled to find a decent source for the coordinates of the line segments. I finally ended up manually digitizing the version of the line that appears on Wikipedia. The original is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported so I’m making the coordinates below available under the same license:

Longitude Latitude
180.0000 90.0000
180.0000 75.0000
-169.2500 67.7356
-169.2500 65.0189
170.0500 52.6863
180.0000 47.8353
180.0000 -0.9000
-159.6500 -0.9000
-159.6500 2.9000
-161.8500 2.9000
-161.8500 5.0000
-155.9500 5.0000
-150.6500 -7.8000
-150.6500 -10.0000
-156.0500 -10.0000
-156.0500 -7.8000
-178.0500 -7.80000
-172.7500 -15.0000
-172.7500 -45.0000
180.0000 -51.1815
180.0000 -90.0000

This looks great for Catfood Earth. Please take the coordinates with a pinch of salt if you’re designing a cruise missile guidance system or something.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: International Date Line Longitude, Latitude Coordinates #etc #internationaldataline Longitude and Latitude Coordinates for plotting the International Date Line, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. )