Knitted graffiti

I understand that Knitta, Please recently tagged downtown Seattle with their knitting, on trees, street signs, lampposts and door handles. I love this idea. Reminds me of clean graffiti.

Knitta, Please – Houston, TX

“A tag crew of knitters, bombing the inner city with vibrant, stitched works of art, wrapped around everything from beer bottles on easy nights to public monuments and utility poles on more ambitious outings.”

PC & Mac

This isn’t a revenge movie, as such. Apple’s closed system is part of what makes its experience more straighforward and reliable in many scenarios. By controlling all aspects of use they can insist on a level of quality and simplicity that isn’t possible when there are many companies involved, each of which have different goals or customers in mind.

But there are disadvantages to the tight connection they insist on having between one music app (iTunes) and one music player (iPod)…

Game time. The facts.

I’ve been playing Zelda on the Wii pretty much since we bought this excellent console a few days after its UK release. Call that two months, or 8 weeks. it’s the only game I’ve been playing in that time.

Zelda keeps track of the amount of time I’ve been playing. According to it that stands at just over 28 hours of exploration, puzzles and swordplay.

28 hours over 8 weeks makes it about 3.5 hours a week. That’s about what I can manage with a one year old and early starts for a long commute. I wish it was longer, but I get so much out of time with my family that I don’t really care that it isn’t.

I figure I’m just over half way through Zelda (what can I say? I like the exploration part!) which means it’s going to take me just under another couple of months to finish. Which puts me into April.

It shocked me that one game takes me four months to complete. That’s three games a year! When there are so many cool games coming out every month how do I keep up with only three games a year!?! I’ve got Okami waiting in the wings. Then there’s going to be Super Mario Galaxy. That’s my whole year’s budget already scheduled!

I guess the straight forward answer is that I make hard choices to play the best games that fit me, and ignore those games that are getting rave reviews but I know I won’t ultimately get deeply drawn into. I sort of know what those games look like. More to follow on that.

Please identify the usability problems

Sorry. Looks like the video which was here has been pulled.

Thanks to Gavin.
Stick with the subtitles. It really gets quite funny.

Now, the questions is, what would you, as developer of technology products, do to help this guy out? Undo? Some kind of history list? Some way of auto-page-turning? A help book?

The International Style

Maddie has tended to avoid pulling down books from the shelves in our hallway. I guess she hasn’t found them that interesting, besides which she’s usually crawling past at too high a speed to notice them, as she makes her way to the front door to find out who just rung our doorbell.

Finally the other day she made a careful selection of one book. Philip Johnson’s seminal coverage of the 1932 “International Style” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition that brought Modernism to America, and for good or bad, led to Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe following there soon after.

That’s my girl.

The International Style: Books: Philip Johnson,Henry-Russell Hitchcock

Too late for our glasses

Shannon and I have suffered brutally from some rock-hard water at our house. We’ve been through 3 or 4 sets of glasses in the few years that we’ve lived here, each of which has succumbed to a gradual fog of limescale which appears on its surface after only a month or so. We tried vinegar, which didn’t seem to work successfully, and then just got into the habit of buying sets of 6 glasses for £2.00 or something ridiculous from our local Tesco home store.

Now we’ve installed a water softener, and can already tell it’s positive effects on our glassware.

So this tip for cleaning your knackered glasses has come too late for us. Maybe it can save you, though…

How to clean cloudy drinking glasses – Lifehacker
“The secret? White toothpaste–“The cheaper, the better,” according to the author, who prefers the dollar-store variety. Just apply some to the glass, scrub it with a toothbrush, and rinse. Presto: shiny, clear, like-new glassware.”


I’ve started looking for a few pictures to take to use as desktop wallpapers on my PC. Mostly this involves taking macros, or images with a consistent pattern or texture.

I took the one above on the banks of the Thames, just near the London Eye. I feel stupid, naturally, taking it. The message on it says I should feel stupid. It says “I know I’m a cool little bit of graffiti. Can you resist taking a shot of me even though doing it will make you feel like a tourist”. I feel so dirty.

I quite like this one, too.

The mess around the American Consulate

Although I quite like this shot, with the subtle black arrow on a black block, the area around the American Consulate in London is quite a mess. This is one of many blocks, barriers and boxes that amount to some sort of anti-van security.

We took Maddie to get her US passport here about a year ago. The inside is not better then the out. A building that was clearly designed to impress sometime in the early 70s now just looks sad and dated. There’s a lot of BAD marble and brass on the inside, and an entrance hall that (possibly) impressed once now looks sad, filled out with unforeseen security junk and very poor signage.

It’s sad to see these “first experiences” for new visitors to other countries. I’m sure out consulates oversees are not faring much worse with their post-9/11 remakes.