A couple of years ago I fished a large chunk of wood out of the river. It had a very satisfactory heft, oblongularity and poise. A piece of timber solid not only in body, but in character. In short: a perfect doorstep. I spotted it floating in a weir and thought ‘that would make a fine doorstep’. We shan’t dwell on the story of how I hoisted it out of the river and, in exchange, lost my brand new, favourite, and first ever, pair of sunglasses.

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One of my new year’s resolutions is to try and be more intentional about the way I lead my life. That includes a close look at habits and deeply wired-in behaviours. Last year I had the epiphany that whilst chocolate, ginger nuts, IRN BRU and sugary comestibles were very enticing and almost unthinkable to give up, I’m far better off without them in my life. I’ve known this for at least 15 years, but last summer I actually did something about it.

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Snowing now, is it?

My wife sent me an email. It conveyed words to the effect:

It is snowing!

I replied:

Is it now

We make a point of sending each other grammatically ambigious emails.

And that made me realise that in the sentence

“Now it is snowing”

has at least two levels of word-order to contend with.

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Working with colleagues spread across Massachusetts, New York, California, Oxfordshire, London, Britanny, Victoria, Lower Saxony (and that’s when they’re not travelling) means that face-to-face conversations aren’t universally available. Instant messaging is good because it’s the next-best thing to direct contact. With geographical distance comes timezone distance. Before the invention of immediate communication this was a self-correcting problem (most people can’t shout over more than two timezones). Of course, when one simply has to type into a computer (caps-lock for shouting) one must be sensitive to the timezone of one’s correspondent.

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On November 30th 2016, the login feature of FolkTuneFinder.com will be removed, and you will no longer be able to use favourites and group tunelists. One month ago I wrote the a blog post about sign-in on FolkTuneFinder and placed a message on the site. I also put word out on the FolkTuneFinder Facebook page. Since then I have recieved only two messages. There are 5,367 accounts on FolkTuneFinder. Some of them are spam, but some of them are real users who log in and use favourites.

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The Royal Mint are launching a new pound coin. It’s The most secure coin in the world according to their website. I saw it linked from BBC news. The site looks good. It’s all about how businesses should look out for the new coin and adjust their security practices. It goes into some detail about just quite how secure this coin is. They’ve obviously put a lot of thought, time and energy into the micro-lettering and latent image.

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Skint 2016

Skint is a weekend of music and dancing, with workshops, bals and sessions all run by volunteers. I’m on the committee. This year’s Skint was a joy. I am immensely grateful to everyone who came and made it what it was, which, as I’ve said, a joy. These are not the best photos in the world, but they are mine. Bundpolska Workshop. Hands up who’s here for the first time.

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Summary I want to remove the ‘favourites’ / ‘bookmarks’ feature (and then the ability to log in altogether). I would make sure that no-one lost their ‘favourites’ lists and could transfer them elsewhere. What do you think? Email me at joe@folktunefinder.com , but preferably read the whole piece first! FolkTuneFinder is used by up to 10,000 people per month. It’s enough to make me feel like it’s worth running keeping it going, and I hope I always will.

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Oak Bees

We found an oak in the corner of a field in Oxfordshire. In the tree we found a colony of bees. The bees were making the most of a warm day with an abundance of wild flowers. From the rate they were coming and going I estimated the colony to be about the size of my bees. The hollow must be a cubic foot or more. I hope they’re ready for winter.

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Conferences in 2016

I sometimes to go to conferences. Sometimes I talk. Sometimes I listen. Sometimes both. What? What?? Why? What did/will I say? PIDAPalooza Reykjavík, November 2016 Discussing persistent identifiers for research objects. To share experience and best practice about the use of persistent identifiers. It's difficult when people don't use PIDs to talk about things that have them. I still have to look for them. Here's how. Crossref LIVE London, November 2016 The Crossref annual meeting.

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