Phone Farewell

Sunrise, Polwarth, 23 November 2022

The first photo I posted from my iPhone 7 was a sunset, so here’s the last one, a sunrise from a week ago. The battery was on the way out and it had developed other quirks, so now I’ve got an iPhone 12 Mini, only two years old, which makes it the newest phone I’ve owned in a decade. The refurbished price of the things is getting a bit crazy, but then so’s everything.

30 November 2022 · Journal


I was floundering around on Friday night with some verses on floating-point operations per second, as you do. Flops is such a fun word to play with…

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20 November 2022 · Infotech

Toast of the Toun

Colonial America is a myth.

Voter ID in Britain is “far worse than any US state”. How the U.K. became one of the poorest countries in Western Europe.

After the Halloween horror in Korea, here are ten tips for surviving a crowd crush.

How Ukraine won the battle for Kyiv. There’s a harrowing 90-minute documentary on Mariupol: The People’s Story on iPlayer at the moment. It’s devastating to see the human impact, and to have the story of its destruction laid out all at once.

Doctors using AI catch breast cancer more often than either does alone.

The icy village where you must remove your appendix.

I binged on Fern Brady’s stuff on iPlayer last year, before she became the breakout star of the latest series of Taskmaster. Fern Brady Goes Viral has sadly dropped out of view for the time being, but there are excerpts on YouTube. Here’s a podcast featuring Brady on autistic meltdowns, understanding emotions and being the black sheep.

All 125 times a professor said “beef” in one lecture.

Crumbs. “A prankster spun a web of deception about the inventor of the electric toaster … one Scottish primary school organised a day of activities in his memory” [via Mefi]. Our kids have been at Scottish primary schools during the timespan of this hoax. This is all too close to home (appliances).

20 November 2022 · Weblog


In the space of a few weeks, Twitter has been taken over and brought to the brink of collapse. Welcome to hell, Elon. Like Trump, Musk reveals a vapid mind super-charged by wealth and ego. Elon. Trump. Resentment. Elon and Jack aren’t competitors, they’re collaborating. Musk doesn’t have a degree in Physics, or any technical field (archived). A recent OED Word of the Day was twitteration (n., a state of nervous excitement or agitation; anxiety, perturbation), reflecting the widespread sense that the site’s days are numbered.

If you’re looking to flip the bird the bird and embrace the mammoth, here’s a useful tool for finding some of the people you’ve been following on Twitter. It’s a couple of weeks since I set up a new account on a Mastodon server. Second time lucky, I hope—the first one I joined years ago now redirects to a porn site, which isn’t a great sign.

20 November 2022 · Net Culture

Moai on Fire

Treat your to-do list like a river.

The king of reloading.

The man who doodled his abode.

The most visited website in every country.

The end of the DSLR.

The endlessness of Spotify.

Growing old online.

Sorry, we wrecked the economy.

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24 October 2022 · Weblog


When digging through some old files of forum and workshop comments from my most active years on the OEDILF, I unearthed some throwaway verses that were worth cleaning up and putting on display, like old glass bottle-stoppers dug out of the mud.

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9 October 2022 · 1 Comment · Whatever

Rhetorical Questions

While the UK succumbs to self-imposed political, economic and regulatory destruction, the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to repel Russia’s increasingly desperate attempts to bring literal destruction to their country.

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2 October 2022 · Events

Smooth Criminals

How to nurture a personal library.

How catchy, disposable songs came to dominate the music industry.

How do good conversations work?

How bout dat moonwalk?

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2 October 2022 · Weblog

Don’t Camp Outdoors

The trip to Rose Cottage is Cal Flyn’s account of a trip to Swona, a remote Scottish island that was abandoned in 1974. A herd of cattle has been running wild there for decades. Videos of a visit to Swona in 2000 and a history of the island capture its peaceful desolation. If you’re ever sailing due west of Burwick in Orkney, why not stop by for a visit yersel’? A Metafilter post.

2 October 2022 · Environment

One in the Breech

It started with a tweet highlighting an episode from On the Air, a series of short animations from BBC Northern Ireland of talk radio from The Gerry Anderson Show dating back to the 2000s. The hypno-hen soon went viral, and now the late broadcaster’s family have set up a website in his honour.

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2 October 2022 · Comedy