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Go North

My 7-yr old neighbour just spent some time wandering around our lounge, exploring.

He found the electric floor-sweeper and spent 5 minutes cleaning my floor.

We found out that it spits out dirt if it flips upside down but Marcus found a way of twirling the stick as he cleaned it all back up.

He asked to have it when I was done with it.

Meeting unreal people

In July, the BBC morning news programme did a short feature on Facebook.

A psychologist was concerned that people were spending time in a compelling "virtual world" rather than interacting with people in the "real" world.

Frank taped the segment for me to see how long it'd take before I started shouting at the TV.

La la la!

I was playing with a 7-yr old neighbour on my front lawn one summery day, making origami animals, when he noticed my bare ankle.

"You have to shave your legs," he said.

The next American President

I found the addictive via OpenID. Registered users post any claim that other users can vote and comment on. I thought Jyte had great potential to explore people's attitudes.

I had a question I sometimes ask at dinner parties and thought that Jyte was a good place to ask a wider audience: What order would these be accepted as the American President: a black man, a white woman, a Jewish man, a homosexual man?

After a couple of days, I was surprised to the see the votes regarding claims regarding Jewish people. Read on for the results after 88 votes.

Confessions of a chat addict

I bought the NewScientist today because of its lead article "Why your brain is primed for addiction." I have my own theory about addiction and wondered how it compared to actual research.

The article included case studies about various addicted people. One was of a 16-year old boy who spends 70 hours a week (mostly at night) online, socialising. The author writes: "he has few friends in the real world" (my emphasis) and ends with "he denies he is addicted to his computer."


I'd like to yell at the author: "he's not addicted to his computer, you bozo!"

What makes art valuable

In 2003 I wrote a list of eleven factors I think influence people when they're buying art.

In order of decreasing importance, the list begins with Artist. The work Medium is half-way through.

It ends with the least-important factor: "Is it a good picture?"

It's a very cynical list but I still think it's pretty accurate. I wrote it after my experiences of trying to get work into major and minor exhibitions.

Right hand, meet the left hand

CEEFAX, the BBC's teletext service, today has a news story about hospital closures before a story about building new hospitals. I’m not sure what's worse to explain what’s happening with hospitals here - incompetence or a scam.

Why I love programming

It may surprise you that the word "elegant" often crops up amongst programmers when discussing software.

"Elegant" is used to describe a clear, simple and well-formed programming solution. It may be hard for some to understand but programming can be a joy. I often think about it as swimming effortlessly and expertly through deep clear blue water - each move and turn is a corresponding nifty solution.

It's good to share

This week Sir Michael Bichard's report was published following an investigation on how Ian Huntley could get a job as a school caretaker despite previous sex allegations.

Humberside Police had deleted Huntley's records - initially claiming that this was done to comply with their interpretation of the Data Protection Act - whilst Cambridgeshire Constabulary were criticised for errors which meant that background checks were not carried out when Huntley applied for the job.