today's miscellanea

23 March 2004

random things i thought were interesting but haven’t got around to posting about:

  • the ly dectector, a bookmarklet that spots all the ly word endings on a page, find out if you suffer from excessively overly usingly adverbly words.
  • how plr works, i have no idea why the fact that authors get paid every time i take out a library book fascinates me but it does. i’m surprised that public lending rights royalties are still calculated using sample libraries when every book i’ve had out of a library since about 1990 has been recorded through a computer system. i’m also surprised that the royalties amount to as much as 2p per borrowing (there’s a limit of £6k per author to stop catherine cookson’s estate from emptying the money pot before anyone else gets a look in.) also a guardian article from a couple of years ago about how library reader’s tastes are about 30 years behind book buyers tastes. it fails to mention the probability that the library books are getting read whereas the bought books are just getting coffee tabled.
  • of no use to anyone who doesn’t live round here but my council’s website is getting more and more useful. i just found out that i can look at planning applications online which could save me from running across roads and down alleyways to inspect yellow notices tied to lampposts but probably won’t. i’ve never yet found anything to object to but i like the pretence that i know what’s going on around me. other things i’ve done with my council website include swapping my wheelie bin for a smaller one, reporting blocked drains and broken streetlights (both of which actually got fixed!). i could probably have done all that on the phone but i wouldn’t have done. nice to know they do something useful with my council tax occassionally.
  • for my mum: here’s what my tumbling blocks cushion is like. i ought to get on and finish it!
  • [untitled]( pages/untitled1.html) - urban landscapes without the text, they look very odd, somehow calmer, but as someone who thrives on reading material they seem like something out of a spooky science fiction nightmare. this reminds me, rather tangentially, of a remark made on a bbc4 documentary about tetris a few weeks back: an american commented on how grey moscow was when he first visited in the late 1980s as it was lacking commercial branding, advertising hoardings etc. i’ve no desire to live in a grey city but i’m not sure mcdonalds red and yellow is what i’m after to brighten my life up.