11 Mar 2009

The whys and wherefores are here.

Holy Trinity Tesco

…even the quiet village of Lyddle End was not immune. When the Church was forced to sell the property due to its own financial collapse, it was bought by one of the few international retailers remaining. However, it did not last.

People had been badly affected by the collapse. It led to a huge backlash against faceless corporations and many people turned to the more traditional, local, retailers. When the Holy Trinity store proved to be no longer financially viable it was shutdown.

The village council decided to leave the site untouched as a reminder of the hubris of an earlier age.

Holy Trinity Tesco Holy Trinity Tesco
Holy Trinity Tesco Holy Trinity Tesco
17 Jan 2009

With PaperCamp happening tomorrow, alongside BookCamp, I have spent some time this week thinking about paper.

The thought that caught my interest was how graphs can be represented with paper – not on paper, but with paper.

To cut a rambling story short, I’ve written a tool that takes a set of pie-chart data and produces a series of outlines that can be cut out and assembled to create a 3D model of the chart.

pie_outline pie_grid pie_slices


Prototype Paper Pie Chart

Having a physical embodiment of the raw data means you can touch it, feel it, grope it; whatever helps you understand it.

I think I’ll leave it there for now; it’s late, I have an early train to catch and I’ve used the word grope.

Update: as I mention in the comments, you can get your own custom paper pie chart from here.

3 Feb 2008

Ben, a 7-year old: What do you call Darth Vader kissing Luke Skywalker?
Me: I have no idea.
Ben: Luke Darth Vader
Me: What?
Ben: in complete hysterics
Me: What?!
Ben’s Dad: Don’t ask. It only gets more random from here.
Me: What?!!

29 Apr 2007

I blame Roo. Having had a look at some of his Perplex City cards last week, today I went and got some of my own from Season 2.

Here are today’s stats:

  • 3 packs bought – initially I bought 2, but when Jo went back to the till to buy another book, I added another pack.
  • 18 puzzle cards and 3 ‘warm-up’ sudoku and hitori cards.
  • 15 cards solved – particularly pleased with #161.
  • 4320 points gained.
  • Ranked 1124 at the time of writing.
  • Close to solving the 16th card (#164) – I know the reference, just not sure how to get an answer to fit.
  • Unsure where to begin with the 17th card (#235).
  • 18th card available for swaps (#004).

This is an addiction. I am an addict. I need more cards.

[ update: for a list of my available swaps, check out the list. ]

18 Apr 2007

In the mildly alarming, if not surprising, news that inflation has jumped to %3.1 last month, I find a small glimmer of humour. A requirement of “the system” is that the Bank of England’s governor sends the government an open letter when this type of thing happens[1]. In this instance, because he was brought up well by his parents, Gordon Brown[2] wrote a nice letter back[3].

I can imagine the scene. Gordon has dictated the letter to a civil servant who has duly typed it up for him. It has then been presented back to Gordon to sign, who, being the busy man he is, signs it with whatever he has in his hand.

Given the look of his signature, I really do wonder what he was doing at the time… perhaps trying very hard to keep the colouring in-between the lines?

Gordon Brown

[1]Specifically, it was the fact that the inflation rate was 1% above or below the target rate of 2%. ^

[2]Gordon got to respond in his role as Chancellor, not PM-in-waiting. ^

[3]The letters are link to from the BBC News article. ^