Tuesday, November 29, 2005

And a kitchen sink

A while back I wrote about how I saw a guy carrying a bathroom sink on the tube.. Well tonight I recieved the first ever edition *shocked look* of the London Loop (so new it doesn't seem to have a website, but it's basically from the TfL), anyways I found this very funny, so I thought I'd share:

Handed into TfL's lost property office this year

  • Mobile phones 10,614
  • Umbrellas 7,026
  • Spectacles 6,118
  • Lawnmowers 1
  • Wedding dress 1
  • False teeth, limbs, eyes 77
  • Theatrical coffins 1
  • Stuffed eagles 1
  • Jars of bull's sperm 1
  • Dead bats in a container 3
  • Human skulls in a bag 2
  • Kitchen sink 1

I mean, seriously... 3 dead bats in a container! 3 of those got handed in!


Monday, November 28, 2005

Google Ads

Just a small warning for everyone, I'm going to be playing around with Google Ads for the next few weeks, this is more to get myself familiar with how they work (it's actually research for a site idea myself and a couple of others are playing with), so feel free to ignore!

If you think they're getting annoying or you notice something weird, let me know and I'll pull it off the blog. (it'll most likely be me just playing around with different formats/settings)


Sunday, November 27, 2005


I've heard from a few people that there's been difficulty in commenting on my blog, the comment spam filter that Blogger uses doesn't seem to really be up to scratch... As such, I'm turning off the filter and I'll just have to manually delete any spam that appears...

Thanks to those who have been trying to comment! There I was thinking no one was actually interested enough in my posts to discuss it... :-D


Caring for Your Introvert

The path

I was trolling through the website of one of my favourite authors (Neal Stephenson) when I came across this cool article 'Caring for your Introvert' (it's not written by Neal Stephenson, but by some other guy, it's just how I came across it :-P)

Anyways, go read it, it's cool! Specially liked these quotes:

"I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

"are driven to distraction by the semi-internal dialogue extroverts tend to conduct. Introverts don't outwardly complain, instead roll their eyes and silently curse the darkness."

I'm not sure if I'd be classified as an introvert, last time I took the Myers-Briggs test in university I kind of confounded the psych lecturers (the word 'unclassifiable' was used)... Anyways, I identified a lot with that article on Introverts, especially about feeling comfortable by myself with my own thoughts. :-D

That's it... ain't got anything more for you... go read the article... I could ask whether you classify yourself as an introvert, but you won't answer anyway, so go be quiet and read the article


Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Well I've now finished my assignment for London Archaeology, and it was quite interesting... More from actually putting into practice the techniques of 'how to find out about the history of a place'. At least for me.

Some extra stuff that I found out that wasn't relevant to the assignment:
  • Shakespeare wrote his first play in Shoreditch which appeared in a theatre called 'The Theatre' (later renamed to Curtain Theatre after the road it was built next to)
  • Curtain Road was named that because it's where the defensive 'curtain' wall of London was located... (Not the other way round)
  • There has been a reformed French church in Shoreditch, which got converted into a Jewish Synagogue and is now a Muslim Mosque (over the last 400 years)
  • Truman Brewery became big in London, because it's rivals beer (served to the 'commoners' at a Royal celebration) caused a riot, and Truman's had to be brought in to quell the unrest...

I'll upload the report in a few days and post a link for anyone interested in reading it... Oh and in case you haven't realised, it was actually on 'Old Truman Brewery' and touched on some of the history of Brick Lane....


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Future emails

Forbes has got an interesting experiment going on, where you can send yourself a future email, thought it was such an interesting idea, that I'd give it a go... Here's what I'm sending myself, 20 years in the future:

Hi, this is you speaking... (sorry Red Dwarf reference, did they ever make that movie?)

This is when I'm still engaged to ..., working at ..., and looking forward to a bright and happy future with the love of my life.. I really hope it works out!

So what does a 28 year old say to a 48 year old? I feel alive now, hope I always will, I love spending nights cuddling up to ..., I watch all sorts of odd shows and keep track of technology (rss has made it big in the geek world but not yet in the mainstream..) I've almost finished that short archaeology course (remember that?)

I'm hoping that we'll have kids, a few... but I'm scared of bringing them into this world, and of that responsibility of looking after them, emotionally, financially and physically... Hope I'll be a good dad.

Now to give you a laugh (because the future rarely turns out how you expect), here's what I think will happen by 2025:

  • space joy flights will become a normal thing for the rich (though probably just as a special occasion thing), not full on space just into the stratosphere or LEO (low earth orbit)
  • a permanent base on the moon? maybe.. dunno about that, I'd like it to happen but more likely to be trialing use of research/resource gathering.
  • islamic terrorist activity, it'll of been resolved one way or the other, most likely recognition of various political groups and 'peace roadmaps' will be worked out, but because it's been going on so it may be questionable as to whether it can ever end... But they said the same about the IRA.

That's about all I can think of for the moment... Keep smiling, give ... and the kids a hug from me :-)

what would you send yourself?


spotted from: Gadgetopia

Ed: had a bad title, was too busy writing that letter!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


CryptoKids "America's Future Codemakers & Codebreakers"

now why wasn't this around when I was young! Okay I know I'm a serious geek for saying this, but COOL! :-)

Found on: Shneier on Security

How to write an EULA

Illegal Art Exhibit Contract

spotted on: Scoble

Hi there

Noticed that I've been getting a few hits from A Serendipitous Intention (also known as Emily Hambridge's blog). Just thought I'd put in a short post to say Hi & Welcome!

So I thought I'd give you all a brief run down of what you can find in this blog, so that if you decide to read some of my older posts & possibly keep track of what I've got to say (ie: subscribe to the rss feed), you'll have an idea what to expect...

Who am I?
I'm a software developer from Australia, who about a year and a half ago decided he'd had enough of this working malarky and decided to quit his job and go travel the world...

As a consequence large sections of what I've written in this here blog are about places I've been, and things I've seen, since arriving in the UK though, I've kind of started to settle down (though we are planning on a massive trip after the wedding!)

So what do you actually write about?
This is the hard question to answer, I can write about some seriously geeky things or possibly some deep and thoughtful posts about life and where I'm at or then again there's stories about my humourous efforts a baking...

The point is, I write about me and my life, whatever it is that is happening around me and grabs my attention, hopefully some of it will give you a laugh or maybe look at the world in a different way...

So anyways... Welcome have a look around if you desire, leave a comment and keep smiling!


Friday, November 11, 2005

What's in that burger?

The British Heart Foundation has been sticking posters up all over London showing all the gruesome ingredients in junk food... Here's a nice article about it..

"The campaign comes as a BHF survey found that 36 per cent of youngsters aged eight to 14 could not correctly identify the main ingredient of chips as potato.
Almost one in 10 thought hot chips were made of oil, with others suggesting eggs, flour and apples."

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I baked a cake yesterday..

It was supposed to be a deliciously soft moist chocolate cake..

Instead it turned out like a flat piece of brown rubber..


London Archaeology

Getting educated

Just recently I signed up for a short course on London Archaeology at City University this was in part because I've always been interested in Archaeology, along with just wanting to learn something (preferably in an area not related to what I do for a living) besides which I've never been very good at doing nothing!

What I thought to learn

When signing up for this course, I was never really sure what kind of things I'd learn/do over the course of those 10 weeks, perhaps:

  • Be Indiana Jones like and go traipsing through secret underground caverns in the centre of London
  • Getting down and dirty through the mud at an actual dig, trying to find those rare artifacts (some actual hands on experience)
  • Perhaps just learning about the history of London, from the prehistoric until now..

What I didn't expect to learn was the actual process of how modern archaeology works, and the history, not of London (though we have learnt some of that); but of archaeology itself...

I'm going to make this bit short as I'm sure that people's attention span isn't that long (and I've spent longer getting to this spot than I originally thought), so without further ado...

State of Archaeology in London

Archaeology in London is now a legal requirement for any development process, not sure of the exact wording in the books, but in essence:

Developers must cover the cost of any archaeological investigation/recording/retrieval that their development may disturb

What does this mean?
Well aside from it making sure that possible archaeological evidence is found and properly maintained (ie: you're not dumping a huge building on top of a beautiful roman mosaic floor or the remains of a temple), it has also pushed the financial burden of said investigation and process away from the government and squarely into the hands of the person/company that would be doing the damage...

Not a bad thing..?

I agree, actually making it a requirement in law is brilliant! Except for 2 things... The first is contained in the above statement..

Economic burden:
Say you've purchased an old old house that is falling apart, and you decide that rather than fixing up the house the best use of that land is to knock down the house and build a new one, perhaps even you've borrowed money because you're going to build a beautiful 3 story house/apartment block and the money you make from this is going to pay for your retirement! Yay!

You've spoken to the archaeologists and they've said (by giving you a desk based assessment) "nah not much likely to be here." So you've worked out your budget, you've borrowed your money, you've got your terms and conditions and as long as you can have it ready within 1 year, you'll of paid of that loan and be laughing to the bank.

The workmen come in and after demolishing that house start to dig away... and they hit something, it's a coffin (after calling the police and finding out, no it's not a new grave, at least not in the last 1000 years), the archaeologist come along and say "oh, sorry... we were wrong, the romans had their cemeteries outside of the town, this is a new found cemetery! Fantasic! We're going to need 2 years to excavate these coffins because the weight of the apartment will damage anything left insitu"

Suddenly you've hit the problem of rather than the development taking 1 year (with known costs), it's going to take 3 years, and you're going to have to come up with the money to cover the costs of a dozen archaeologists working on the site for 2 years along with termination of the contracts with the builders/plumbers/electricians/etc...

So you declare bankruptcy and now you're in financial direstraits and this possible archaeological find is just left there, there isn't even money to produce a report saying "we found a grave, with evidence to suggest further graves in region x. All graves are being left in situ"...

no one wins under such a circumstance, of course it's an extreme example but it can happen. This is compounded (at least in terms of the negatives to the archaeological side of things), by the Thatcher efforts a privatisation, namely she privatised the Archaeological Services which of course means that the archaeologists are now bound to the developers, with all the caveats and terms in the contracts that they will enforce.

to be continued.... (have a think for yourselves as to what are the effects of having the archaeologists privatised and having to both bid for the contract and accept the contracts terms and conditions)


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Drop bears!

One of my favourite comics (Bunny) had a fantastic Aussie reference today: out of drop bear repellent"



quote of the day

"Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad."
- Norm Papernick

Thoughts on sport

Being thinking today about how the type of sport a country is a big follower of can affect the cultural identity of that place (or you could say the culture makes it more likely that the sport will become popular)...

For example, take soccer... I saw an add today which said something along the lines of "Take the opportunity when it comes your way, you've usually only got one shot!" (or something like that).. With the obvious reference being to soccer which is such a low scoring game that every shot at goal counts, such pressure on a single moment. Is that an indication of a European approach to life? (in a very general sense) are there a load of brits out there looking and waiting for their one and only chance, and ready to go for it?

Conversely look at AFL.. It's a fairly high scoring game, where anything can happen.. the game isn't over until that siren goes! You've always got another chance to get back to the top, no matter how far down you are... You could be 17 points in the lead with only 2 minutes to go in the game, but those 2 minutes can be enough time for the other team to score 3 goals and take the lead from you. Is this where the 'Anzac spirit' of never giving up comes from? or is it just a manifestation of it?

I don't know, maybe it's all bollocks and it's just sport, or I could be onto something there...

Either way, that's my thoughts for today. :-)