People like taking photos of themselves in the mirror, it seems. Especially with iPhones. The trouble with taking a photo in a mirror is that the image is obviously mirrored. Here’s my idea. An iPhone, or other phone with a prominent logo on the back, can do some basic shape recognition to decide whether or not there’s a logo reflected in the mirror. It can then decide whether it’s taking a photo in a mirror or not and automatically flip the image if needed.

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I strike a match to light my oven or stove, and blow it out within a few seconds. Most of the match is un-burned. Why not dip the match at both ends so that it can be used twice? And you wouldn’t have to get your fingers mucky: it’s not hard to avoid holding it by the end.

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I’m a bit of a puritan. I don’t like hundreds of ornate tools. But a few things help. TextMate is quite good. It’s not free but I consider it worth paying for. http://macromates.com/ F.lux adjusts the colour temperature of your monitor according to the time of day. I generally have my monitor set quite yellow and low-brightness anyway. Free. http://stereopsis.com/flux/ ShiftIt allows you to arrange windows into non-overlapping pre-defined layouts with keyboard shortcuts.

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I’ve been looking into Redis. I wondered about storing integers as keys and values rather than plain old strings. After asking on Stackoverflow, I did my own experiments. It looks like it is possible to use any byte string as a key. For my application’s case it actually didn’t make that much difference storing the strings or the integers. I imagine that the structure in Redis undergoes some kind of alignment anyway, so there may be some pre-wasted bytes anyway.

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There are few events more sought after and exclusive than the annual Balancing of the Squash. This happens in a secret location, late at night, early in November. This ritual has roots in the ancient culture of a secret society known as ‘the Box of the Torch’. Tonight the participants excelled both themselves and in some cases, each other. It’s a legume.

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Day of the Dead

Today is Day of the Dead. The Hurly-Burly-Bright-And-Early Band was out in force this evening celebrating. Or rather, mourning the passing of the Summer. Exactly six months to the day (give or take) since May Day. My pipe is at a worrying angle.

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Cooking with Wood

After success with a pizza, I’ve decided to try cooking in my wood burning stove. Little steps. Today I tried melting some cheese over some gnocchi. A good start. If I’m honest, this wasn’t anything more than melting some cheese. Next time I might actually cook something. And that’s pepper not ash in the last photo.

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It’s that time of year again. This winter I am working for a company with offices in the middle of a country estate. To get home you have to walk through a copse and over a sheep field. I enjoy walking in the dark immensely. I have always enjoyed it. I like to the extent that I find flashlights genuinely offensive in the dark (until you’ve dropped something). When I’m out in the dark and quiet I feel like the space that I inhabit expands a little.

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I’ve seen a number of special computer keyboards. These include, for example, five-finger units that require learning special ‘chords’. The idea of a one-handed keyboard is enticing but I don’t like the sound of having to learn specific combinations. What about re-using existing knowledge? Anyone who touch-types knows that each letter belongs to a given finger. I wondered what would happen if you restricted the keyboard to just one row (i.

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The Gribbin

There’s no hiding musicianship. Lock it up, put it in a box, or — crucially — ply it with significant quantities of drink … still it will shine through. There’s something immutable about musicianship that means that a bottle of Pimms and and half a bottle of whiskey later, it still keeps on playing. It was in circumstances such as these that The Gribbin came together for the first — and last — time.

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