Friday, December 31, 2004


An & is actually a combination of an "e" and a "t", to form the latin "et", as in "And". Well, who knew? Cool.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Co-op was the first supermarket to label things in Braile

Till TriviaAs far as I know they are also the first supermarket to display trivia on their tills while you queue.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Every cornflake is unique

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Ukrainian judges wear gaudy medallions.

JudgesAnd some cool robes.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Matt Dillon is in the "Fairytale of New York" video

He takes Shane McGowen down to the cells at the start.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Lying in a face up position.

Supine is the opposite of prone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ruching is a French term which means "gathering, ruffling or pleating"

I'd never heard the term before, but today it has been thrust into my face twice.

Firstly while watching the What Not To Wear Christmas Special, I was informed that "ruching over the stomach ... disguises a less than perfect belly".

That was nice, but didn't really explain what ruching was, and Trinny and Susannah pointing vaguely at this woman's top weren't making it any clearer.

I probably would have let it go if it wasn't for QVC reinforcing the point that "ruching is very flattering".

So I've been forced to google it. The results aren't great since the main sources are quilting websites and I think the term has a different meaning in clothing.

My conclusion is that I think it's just a fancy word for pleating.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

George Orwell is a pen name.

His real name is Eric Arthur Blair.

Monday, December 20, 2004

William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas Day 1066

But Norman guards on hearing the shouting that was part of the the corronation ceremony, thought that a riot was taking place and started burning swathes of London to the ground.


Factoid curtesy of Simon Sharma's History of Britain.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

There are 46 Mr. Men

There are 46 Mr. Men.

There are only two with glasses - Mr. Clever and Mr. Brave.

Friday, December 17, 2004

A Nebulizer is a device used to convert liquid medication to a fine mist that can be inhaled.

My girlfriend spent 30 minutes on one this morning until her blood oxygen level improved and her lips turned back from blue to red.

Google Definition.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

There is something screwey about scripting in Photoshop CS

I have a script that aligns some text layers in a PSD.

It works great in all my test cases.

I then get a customer PSD and it doesn't work, it messes everything up.

Debugging claims that Photoshop thinks it is doing exactly what I tell it.

Deleting the layers and re-creating them exactly as they were fixes the problem.

It would be nice if my new knowledge today was the underlying cause of this behaviour, but alas it is not.

All I have discovered today is that Photoshop is inconsistent and that I am not as clever as I think I am.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Children really, utterly believe in Father Christmas

Father Christmas was at our nursery today.

There was a four or five year old girl there with her younger sister.

The tots mostly looked confused or cried when Santa arrived, but this young lady's eyes were burning with a fervour I would normally associate with religious head cases.

She believed, completely and wholeheartedly, that Father Christmas had come to see her.

It was amazing to watch.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Two year olds have active imaginations

My daughter is brighter than even I gave her credit for.

She took her cup of water into the next room and ran back in bringing her potty (now full) and informed me that her dolly had done a wee.


Monday, December 13, 2004

Children's Passport Photos

A two year old child stood upright on the seat, will just about appear in the correct head position for a passport photograph in a standard booth.

The fact that they are unlikely to be very recognizable on said passport towards the end its life is neither here nor there.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Max and Paddy are the first characters you see in That Peter Kay Thing

But they don't speak until much later.

Even Max's car is the same.

Max and Paddy rule. Or at least they did until they got their own series.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Story Makers

I have long suspected that this might be the case, but today I have confirmed my suspicions.

The names of the Story Makers are all English poets.

Milton, Byron and Shelley are fairly obvious but until now I had been thrown off the scent by Webster and Rossetti.

As a side note, their surnames are all Wordsworth.

Anyway, hurray for Google and the Wikipedia. I can watch with peace of mind now.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Bookmarks in Perforce

OK so this is a bit niche.

I've been using perforce for source control at work for about 3 years now. And every day I curse as I laboriously navigate the directory structure to get to where I want.

Today I have just discovered bookmarks. They were cunningly hidden in full view on the main toolbar.

From now on when I want to get to the current code directory I'll just hit ALT-F1.

I am overjoyed and frustrated all at once.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

mod_rewrite rules don't start with a preceding /

No matter how much you want to put them in, they just aren't right.

RewriteRule ^/fish$ /chip.html [L]
RewriteRule ^fish$ /chip.html [L]

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Firefox browser does not have the same resize behaviour as any other windows app.

Grab the resize handle in the bottom right hand corner of a Windows app.

Resize the window to the left until the mouse passes the left hand edge of the window.

Move the mouse back right.

Observe that the window does not start expanding rightwards until the mouse has travelled back to meet the right hand edge.

Try it again in Firefox.

Observe that the window starts to expand rightwards as soon as the mouse starts moving right.

Gosh that was nerdy.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I can change the colour scheme of my mobile phone.

I never noticed before, but you can change the colour scheme of the UI on my Samsung mobile phone.

All the schemes apart from the default are vile, but that's hadly the point is it?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

You learn something new every day

Or so they say.

More specifically, someone said it to me today and I had a little think about if that was true or not.

Have I in fact, learned something new today?

The answer, curiously, is yes. Today I learned that UK number plates are uniformly coloured black on yellow at the rear, and black on white on the front.

It's not the most earth shattering revelation ever and it can be discovered by simple observation (which is who I came to it on a boring motorway drive), nonetheless it is a fact that I was not previously equipped with.

So in the spirit of scientific enquiry, I have decided to document at least one new thing that I learn each day.