Making cofee

My friends Heidi and John have just put their short film “How to Make Cofee” in the can and ready for review. It’s an impressive piece of on-the-fly documentary film making, made under extreme conditions. At 5am. Before running a marathon. In a rented appartment that didn’t have the promised kitchenette equipment. Great example of the use of initiative.

In some ways it feels like a response to my earlier film, “Making an Honest Cup of Tea”, although they’re really showing off by doing the whole cofee thing in one take. Fancy Shmancy.

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Pictures?

In my continued test of Word 2007′s new blogging feature, I’m having a go at inserting a picture that points to a URL. It’s a little odd that here in Word it just shows up as a small 100×100 image. Here’s hoping it scales up to “real size” once it posts.

And on the subject of “here’s hoping” it would be great to be able to assign my blog categories from here in Word. I can’t find a way if there is one. But I guess that’s the beginning of the slippery slope of throwing everything in. I should be happy that the feature has got this far. It’s pretty cool having the familiarity of Word to do this.

<Update: Well, I tried two methods of inserting an image tag that points to an image on Flickr, both of which failed. The first one looked like it had worked, but I was deceived. I went to the Insert tab in Word 2007, hit Picture, and typed in the URL to the image I wanted in the File Name field. Word did go off and fetch the image, but it made a duplicate of it locally, which meant that I had to publish that embedded image somewhere when I tried to post. And publishing images seems to be broken. The other method I tried was just typing in the <img> tag with an href to the photo. Looks like Word replace the less then and greater then signs with lt; and gt; respectively. Hopefully this is a bug. >

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Podcasts I’m enjoying

I’ve switched jobs within my company and now “enjoy” a three hour commute to Cambridge and back a couple of days a week. The drive is a pain in the butt, quite literally. Enough so that I’ve swapped my Audi A4, with its cool but lower-back-straining bucket seats, for a Prius, which has much more comfortable, elevated seats.

One of the advantages of the commute, though, is getting time to listen. I used to commute into central London pretty regularly in a previous life, and I’ve always missed just being able to sit and consume media, in text or audio form, with no other distraction and nothing that “needs doing”. And I’m not the kind of person that can listen to a lot of unfamiliar noise, particularly radio chat, when I’m checking e-mail or doing anything at work that requires any concentration.

I’ve filled this listening time with podcasts. I’ve found that the list of shows that I listen to regularly are primarily broadcast weekly. I can’t keep up with new daily shows and I hate missing any. Here are my favorites:

Penny Arcade is most well known for their comics, but for a few weeks they got into podcasting. These have pretty much dried up now, but while they lasted they were pretty hysterical if you’re into gaming. “Gabe” and “Tycho’s” goal was pretty ambitious, though, so maybe it was bound to be difficult to keep going. Their goal was to sit down at the beginning of an hour long session, go through recent gaming news and then map out a full idea for a 3 panel comic that they’d do in the next few days. Great to hear the creative process at work.

The BBC1 Newsnight
podcast is a bit of an anomaly, since Newsnight is actually a TV show, but this is an audio cast only. It works well, though, and I don’t find myself missing the moving pictures. It’s also great Monday morning listening that lets me catch up with some of the previous week’s news with a bit of depth.

The Chequered Flag is a show about Formula One racing from BBC Radio 5 that does a post-mortem straight after a race. This podcast is another great Monday morning listen, since the races happen on Sunday. Provided I’ve actually had time to watch the race. Otherwise it’s a bit of a spoiler.

The Now Show is a topical comedy show from Radio 4. I find it about 60% hit and 40% miss, which is actually quite good for this kind of thing. It’s mostly based on UK news and politics, so it may be about 5% hit and 95% miss if you’re from “overseas”. Their podcast is here in iTunes.

Morning Becomes Eclectic is a pretty huge show on the West coast of the US. Hosted by Nic Harcourt from LA it gets in some great new bands. Good way of getting to new music, as is KEXP’s Music That Matters show, from Seattle.

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Word’s Blogging Feature

Word 2007 can apparently post to a Blog. This is a test of that claim. Hopefully this text will make it from this page in Word to my blog relatively unscathed. It looks like I should expect a few weird bugs since this is beta code, but here goes anyway.

< Update: As Joe points out in his blog entry, some text encoding still isn’t happening correctly. So I had to get rid of the “smart” apostrophe from the title by turning off an option in the Autocorrect dialog box. It was showing some weird characters that included the symbol for the Euro. Very strange. Now I’m using dumb apostrophes only. >

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