3 August 2011

If you want to learn about history, watch Monty Python

One thing that always gets me about Monty Python’s movies is their historical accuracy. No, really. Yes, they are comedy, and yes there are ridiculous situations. But the Python team always played their comedy straight, and part of that was placing everything in a context full of accurate detail. For example, consider medieval combat. The Hollywood version has people running around, leaping onto horses, swords clashing at high speed, and so on. ... Read more

31 July 2011

Trials of parronthood

My mid-morning coffee was just interrupted by an unexpected parakeet-related problem. I went to offer Chestina and Lola a bath, and saw that Chestina’s tail was matted with blood. She shook it, obviously in some discomfort. This isn’t an uncommon situation in birds. Growing feathers have a hollow shaft which carries blood through them. If the shaft cracks, bleeding results. The recommended procedure is to pluck the broken feather from the bird. ... Read more

29 July 2011

Nintendo announces major losses

The news for Nintendo is bleak. Sales are down 50% year-to-year. They posted a first quarter loss of $327 million. They’ve dropped their profit forecast by 82%. And they’ve slashed the price of the 3DS 32% in dollars (even more in yen). As a gamer with a DSi XL and a Wii, none of this particularly surprises me. Nintendo have made a series of disastrous mis-steps. Problem #1 is that they gave up on serious gamers. ... Read more

26 July 2011

Learning from the Google+ suspensions

With all the anger over the Google+ mass suspensions, I’ve seen quite a few people post that they’re going elsewhere. Rainyday Superstar has suggested that she might go use Tumblr more. Other people are talking about Diaspora, DreamWidth, even (gag!) staying with Facebook. I think those people are all failing to see the big picture. Google’s behavior towards its users is a surprise only because we’ve come to expect better from Google. ... Read more

25 July 2011

Relax and enjoy your shoes

People who have worked with me in the past will be aware that I’ve never been a big fan of shoes. For pretty much my whole professional career I would arrive at the office, take off my shoes, and wear just socks for most of the day. It helped that at my first post-graduation job, my manager went a step further and was barefoot most of the day. I’ve always felt that if we were meant to wear shoes indoors, we wouldn’t spend money on carpet. ... Read more

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