Author Archives: colin

When I read Shetlandic


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Two simple rules for avoiding a #shirtstorm

I’m going to assume for argument’s sake that it’s your choice if you’re a gentleman and want to flaunt your moobs or your coccyx. However, the zeroth?rule of cleavage, before anything you might see in glossy magazines, is?any cleavage you … Continue reading

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The opera-a-week challenge

New game for 2014: see an opera a week. Some rules spring to mind: Cinema showings and DVDs count, but CDs don’t. Concert and semi-staged performances count. Plays in Ancient Greek count. Musicals don’t count. Carmen is an opera for … Continue reading

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Doo. Dee doo. Dee da doo… dee doo. (Doodly doodly doodly doodly doodly.)

The late Christopher Longuet-Higgins invented a musical shoe, which could tap along to arbitrary pieces of music that were played to it. I wonder how easy it would be to write a tool that took music and rendered it into … Continue reading

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On memorability

A few years ago, round about when the LHC was due to start up, at a beer festival, we were trying to remember the members of the Cabinet. This was jolly hard and remembering who was in John Major’s last … Continue reading

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Parliamentary arithmetic

I think I understand the Tory party’s thinking now. They’re using a special non-contradictory arithmetic where if you start with zero, and add x, you can get out any number you like. Worked example: Take the number of UKIP MPs … Continue reading

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Artisanal search engine optimization

Also, now that I need it again, the way of turning a table in a MySQL database into UTF-8 is described in this post here.

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I am going I am going

Basques: are they two-for-one at Noa Noa?

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Irregular verb

Basque: can you get one in Zara?

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Molly and Polly / Are two of a kind / They look both the same / When they’re seen from behind / But when they turn round / It’s easy to see / That it’s Molly with an M / And Polly with a P

That came back to me in a flash from more than thirty years ago earlier this week. What if television programming for small children included little songs about integration by substitution, the appendices to Kennedy’s Latin Primer, or the ribosomally-encoded … Continue reading

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