Tuesday, 27 April 2010


May Day in Oxford, going to Magdalen to watch the choir sing. Cycling home to find you still in bed and joining you there.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Kensington Sunday

Today I went to Nancy's and was fed (as per usual) and we shopped her wardrobe. I borrowed her crinoline (performance soon). Then I had brunch with Jeff (with a bloody caesar) and we went and had a poke around a bookstore. I saw a little book of illustrations (Toronto houses attached to bodies as heads in black and white line drawing) and was very taken with it. Perhaps I will go back and buy it, I don't know. I am trying to cut down on possessions in anticipation of impending move. Then I went and made myself a brontosaurus t-shirt, and bought some frilly undies to wear with the crinoline, and got some maple smoked bacon from the nice butcher's in Kensington.

It's my favourite neighbourhood in Toronto.

At home I talked to Richard and Sarah and Toph - and in the meanwhile I changed the buttons on my blue top. The original blue buttons were boring. It looks much nicer with mother-of-pearl.

Sometimes small things like that give me a huge amount of satisfaction.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Once upon a time...

[Angela, Kim & Victoria @ the 1st EUSDS Swing Ball, 23rd May, 2004, Edinburgh]

Saturday, 17 April 2010

oldie but goodie

I've been struggling with myself with varying degrees of success for a week now.
Alternatively I could say that I've been struggling with myself with varying degrees of failure.
Either way I confess myself to be flummoxed and resigned.
So I'm slobbing around the house eating too much pasta.

Then I came across this joke on my old blog:

patient: i've got a strawberry stuck up my arse.
doctor: i've got some cream for that.

Strangely comforting, and worth repeating, I think.

When I first started a blog about four years ago I was in the habit of writing frequently and almost entirely to myself. In the process I realized that people actually sometimes read my blog, and to be honest it surprises me to this day. I would like to say that I keep this up as a personal reminder for the future but in reality now when I write I am (much more than before) aware of a hidden readership. The fact that keeping blogs and reading blogs have taken off massively in these four years have also contributed to my heightened sense of awareness. I now practice self-censorship much more than before.

Plus in the last ten months or so the main event in my life has been something that I'm not quite ready to talk about, and once I get out of the habit of speaking my mind, it becomes hard to pick up again.

So for now we'll stick to jokes re: strawberries up behinds.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Franciscan Monks & their Favourite Dessert

[more little people at minimiam]

Two Handsome Lads

Meet my two handsome friends: Big T and Big B. Big T likes fluffy bunny slippers, and Big B prefers grey top hats and pink bow ties.

Monday, 12 April 2010

The Tin Eye (reverse image search)

Been meaning to show you one of the cool things I came across the other day via Dan (head geek of GeekHouse). Clarice posted this image on Fb, and wondered if anyone knew where the source image came from:

My first guess was Brueghel because the style looked similar. I thought it might have been a detail from one of his more complex paintings. I quickly did a Google image search of Brueghel and browsed his paintings but it felt like looking for a needle in a haystack. I popped onto gchat and asked Dan if such a thing as a reverse image search engine exists. Why yes, he said, and pointed me to the Tin Eye.

Within a second of plugging in this album cover, the Tin Eye had correctly identified that it is in fact The Concert in an Egg by Hieronymus Bosch - and it managed to do this despite the fact that the album cover is cropped and confused with the addition of text overlay.

Cool, huh?

I think Tin Eye can also be used for source attribution. I read a lot of blogs and often see images reposted by bloggers. Some bloggers point to a source (frequently a line specifying 'via' or 'reposted from') but these 'sources' often then point to other 'sources'. It's very difficult to find out who originally owned these images. The Tin Eye can be useful in this instance because I could just plug the image in and see what it comes up with. Today I experimented with this image:

Unfortunately this didn't work as well as I had hoped. It turned up 40 results and by just looking at the web addresses I couldn't tell which ones might be the original source. So still a little bit of looking for a needle in a haystack, but it does sometimes manage to track down the origin site. Eventually I did a Google search with 'what the fuck have you done installation.' Turns out someone else had been asking the same question and according to the comment section of his post, the installation is by one Philippe Lhomme, and photographed by Michael Roulier.

It took a little bit of detective work to find this out - especially on Roulier's portfolio site, scrolling through many many photographs to come upon the right one.

Ideally images would always come tagged with its point of origin but this is sadly not the case right now. I often drag images I like on to my desktop and save them in my digital 'scrapbook' but to be honest, I have no idea where any of them come from, or who authored them.

I do find it interesting that people have a sense of the importance of attribution on the internet via links to one another (retweet, repost, etc.) - though this is of course several hundred steps short of the rigour with which print media practises attribution. I am interested to see how these conventions will play out, i.e. whether internet attribution will take on a specific format, if technological intervention will make it easier (images which are auto-tagged every time it's copied or linked, for instance), and of course, how our conception of originality and intellectual property will continue to evolve.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sometimes I have difficulty finding my trousers...

No, of course I don't. But I have been really into taking self-portraits lately and here's one with me wearing Richard's red hoodie.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


I am, amongst my acquaintances, one of the few non-users of recreational drugs who fully supports legalization. I suppose this can be taken several ways. One is to say that I am non-biased, i.e. my support of legalization derives not from personal interest but from rational consideration. A second way to look at it is that I have no first-hand knowledge of drugs and therefore should not comment. To this my response would be: how many supporters of criminalization have first-hand knowledge of drugs?

In any case, this leads to interesting debates.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Monday, 5 April 2010


Tiarnan pointed me to these infographics and I am totally into the idea of visual representations of data. It always struck me as strange when we were in school how people didn't like graphing in math class - to me a parabola is more or less the same except the data is a bit more abstract... I think I might have to try and make some of these. I also saw something similar at the Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA - a Corpse Bride size comparison chart of all the characters... which I loved.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Two batteries

Yesterday I got myself all readied to take photos out doors. I hopped a fence to get at these fire escape staircases on the side of a building, and got the camera and tripod all set up. Then I realized that I had forgotten the camera battery because I had taken it out to charge earlier in the day. Damn.

Dave says I need two batteries. I'm seeing the wisdom in that now.