When visiting Umefolk recently we came across a snow castle in the city centre. It would have been impossible not to have a go…

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Play the MP3 and imagine this. I recorded it walking through the musicians.

A weekend festival, with a 25 year heritage and massive following, is drawing to a close. Hundreds and hundreds of people must have passed through its doors. Headliners such as Garmana and Hoven Droven have drawn in crowds, impromptu sessions have brought out nyckelharpa players, and a large variety of players from all over north-east Europe have entertained and captivated. The event is winding up, and on the dance floor Anton and about 30 young people are playing for the final dance…

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Umea and Umefolk

I spent the last week at Umefolk, a folk music festival in Umeå in the north of Sweden. We met Anton Teljebäck, who runs the festival, at a small festival in the UK and he invited us. Umefolk is well established (the first was in 1986), and Anton was keen to spread the word further afield. We are no strangers to Scandanavian music in Oxford. There is a budding session which has found its feet in the last few months, run by Ed Pritchard, who plays a nyckelharpa amongst other things.

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I’ve just been on a call with a client. They have Strauss or somesuch a hold music. Orchestral waltzes. The person on the other end picked up exactly at the end of a phrase. It was perfect. My idea: On-hold music programmed with meta-information that stores the exact timecodes of cadences and the end of phrases. When the person who is being waited on picks up the phone, the system keeps playing the music until the next point.

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I am sorry to announce that the 0736 service to Manchester Piccadilly is delayed by approximately 40 minutes due to engineering works. I am extremely sorry for the severe disruption to the service. Luckily I wasn’t trying to get to Manchester Piccadilly, but from the reaction on the platform someone was. This well-spoken automatic pre-recorded announcement was clear, and told us everything we immediately needed to know. It was spoken courteously in perfect Recieved Pronunciation.

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I love Spotify. I refuse to participate in the ‘social networking’ aspect of things. Indeed I find the idea of assuming I want everyone knowing what I listen to, and the assumption that I want to see what other people are listening to mildly offensive. That’s ok, I don’t mind being offended. That said, here is a list of songs (not a playlist) which use the gradual onset of distortion to great effect.

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I have a couple of WordPress installations running on Apache (on a non-80) port, and I’m reverse proxying them through nginx. Somewhere along the line WordPress is getting its knickers in a twist about the port not being the same as it expects. This results in WordPress going into an infinite redirect loop. To solve this, I put this in the nginx virtual server config: proxy_set_header Host $host; Fixed.

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I’m not normally given to taking photos of my commute, but in the case of the snow I made an exception.

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I’ve just been bitten by scoping in Python. If you gave me this code and asked me what it did, I’d probably guess that it was a trick question and look carefully at it. What would you say? def demo(): number = 100 one = number / 100 numbers = [one, one+1, one+2] big_numbers = [number * 100 for number in numbers] bigger_numbers = [big_number * 100 for big_number in big_numbers] print number  

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Whilst going over (and deleting) unwanted content on Facebook, I came across a few bits and pieces. I miss busking. Found this old post from 4th August 2007. Day five of ‘my’ Fringe, and the thought police are out in force. It feels like day two to me, but a lot has happened (including a technical rehearsal that finished at midnight, a street urchin and a stand-up routine about health and safety).

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