elvum: (Default)
Your narrator has boarded a steam-liner at Liverpool, and is travelling across the Atlantic to Canadia.

In which passengers of various nationalities are examined. )
elvum: (Default)
By reading this paragraph, you agree that all legal claims made in the .sig of any corporate email you may send me in the future are null and void. Also, you owe me a beer. This contract applies to your kids, too.
elvum: (doctor)
This morning I woke up with a mildly sprained ankle. This confused me, because I didn't have it when I went to sleep. Luckily I am a DOCTOR (of Physics) so I quickly diagnosed myself as incapable of doing anything beyond lying on the sofa, perhaps uttering a febrile moan from time to time, and dispatched [livejournal.com profile] terpsichore1980 in search of tea, breakfast, cold compresses, peeled grapes, etc. I still hope to make it to the [livejournal.com profile] pieoff later, where I will sit on the sofa, uttering febrile moans and dispatching [livejournal.com profile] terpsichore1980 in search of pie, pie, more pie, etc.

This is certainly one of the weirdest sleep-related injuries I've inflicted upon myself though. Expressions of sympathy, proposed mechanisms, etc, welcome. :-)
elvum: (Default)
When I was up in Edinburgh, I purchased the most marvellous book from a second-hand book shop. "Round the Empire" by George R Parkin

Portrait of Sir George Parkin and family.As a book, it is absolutely fascinating, and probably reveals a great deal about the mentality of the British towards their Empire at the end of the 19th Century. (The book was published in 1893.) It is a book for British children, describing to them the Empire to which the author expects many of them to emigrate.

As the Right Hon. the Earl of Rosebery KG puts it in his preface, "it is on the character of each child that grows into manhood within British limits that the future of our Empire rests. If we and they are narrow and selfish, averse to labour, impatient of necessary burdens, factious and self-indulgent: if we see in publiuc affairs not our Empire but our country, not our country but our parish, and in our parish our house, the Empire is doomed. For its maintenance requires work and sacrifice and intelligence."

Since the copyright expired in 1992, no doubt casting Sir George's descendents into destitution as the royalties dried up, I have no compunction about posting some of the more interesting excerpts here, unexpurgated. But behind cut tags, for the benefit of those bored or offended by late-Victorian imperialism and the attitudes and language used to express it.

In which the marvels of modern technologies, and their abilities to shrink the world, are described. )

A plea

Aug. 23rd, 2007 10:21 pm
elvum: (Default)
Dear Mr Paul Greengrass, Director of the popular film, "The Bourne Ultimatum", and Mr Oliver Wood, Director of Photography of the popular film, "The Bourne Ultimatum". Please to be learning how to use a tripod. Also, sack your focus pullers. That is all.
elvum: (Default)
I would recommend this article on Kuro5hin to anyone who holds an opinion on copyright, and the necessity or otherwise of its reform.


May. 24th, 2007 02:04 pm
elvum: (Default)
http://www.changethedefinition.com/ - great marketing campaign guys, but do you really want to start redefining the English language by petition? Trying to "change attitudes" by redefining the language is a bit too Orwellian if you ask me.


Apr. 30th, 2007 05:38 pm
elvum: (Default)
Today I achieved one of my lifetime ambitions: to remove the lid from a yoghurt pot without disturbing the fragile membrane of yoghurt clinging to it.

(Simultaneously my mother may have achieved one of her lifetime ambitions, albeit in absentia: for me to eat yoghurt voluntarily.)
elvum: (Default)
I wonder what they're *really* building at West Croydon Bus Station?

Beret Alert

Mar. 9th, 2007 08:01 pm
elvum: (Default)
Greetings from Cla'am, where I stand at the back of a deconsecrated church while a string quartet plays a musical interpretation of ten cabbies-in-training reciting their chosen routes across London. Simultaneously. I so need a beret. And perhaps a moustache.


Feb. 27th, 2007 11:22 am
elvum: (Default)
Now free with promotional boxes of tea-bags at a supermarket near you...

elvum: (Default)

I need help - please think up some cool original subjects for time-lapse photography. Suggestions so far include:
  • Candles burning.
  • Ice Cream melting (inadvisable viewing for people who enjoy ice cream, apparently).
  • Snails.
elvum: (Default)
Can anyone out there recommend a reasonably advanced teddy bear? One which takes batteries and has sensors to detect when it's being hugged/held/carried/posed etc. Less than about £200.
elvum: (Default)
Waking up with only a mild hangover from [livejournal.com profile] gaspodog's stag do the night before, I perambulated trammishly towards central croydon and the beautiful sixties pile of concrete that is the Croydon Register Office. Arriving fifteen minutes early, I made my way towards a hat in the nearby gardens that turned out to have a [livejournal.com profile] stagknight supporting it. Eventually [livejournal.com profile] gaspodog and [livejournal.com profile] shuripentu arrived, and we went in. After some faff and paperwork, the ceremony began.

The Superintendent Registrar was quite possibly the coolest guy working for Croydon Council, despite taking about seven attempts to get [livejournal.com profile] shuripentu's chosen name right. He subsequently redeemed himself by saying things like "you may now give the bride a short kiss". Obviously you can't waste time smooching when they've got another happy couple due in fifteen. After the ceremony they replaced the register with a fake register and the signing pen with a fake signing pen and allowed me to take photos of them pretending to sign it. Then we went to the Clocktower Cafe for tea, and then to Nando's for a sumptuous wedding banquet. (I had a double chicken burger and sweetcorn.) So long as you don't mind your bubbly being Coke and not Champagne, you really can't beat them for value...

As an artistic challenge, in keeping with the minimalist theme of the not-a-wedding, I determined to photograph it in precisely four photos. This was subsequently increased to five by bridal fiat. The photos have now been made private at [livejournal.com profile] shuripentu's request.
elvum: (Default)
From an idea that we came up with while playing Guitar Hero II at [livejournal.com profile] terpsichore1980's and my New Year party: Working Class Hero. Wield your pickaxe (controller) working double shifts down t'pit. Raise the axe above your head to engage Strike Power, which eliminates your income but increases your status in the Union, allowing you to strike at venues of increasing importance and unlock new chants and slogans. The game ends with an epic face-off against Margaret Thatcher: it's pickaxe versus handbag, and there can be but one survivor.
elvum: (Default)
So, off to visit the family over Christmas again. Over the last few months I seem to have been on the trains quite a lot - almost like student days again - and it's been interesting to compare them. I think that GNER probably win overall. The free tea and coffee in first class are served in china cups, all the trains I traveled on had a perfectly adequate WiFi service and the food in the restaurant car is barely overpriced given its high quality (about the standard of your average London restaurant). Southern, those other brave pioneers of on-train WiFi have managed to provide only a near-useless service, sadly, although it is currently free. And First Great Western, my conveyors as I write this? They are the true heirs of British Rail, in my humble opinion - creaking seventies trains belching black smoke, incomprehensible Tannoy announcements, unpleasant instant coffee and dry sandwiches, and free stand-up comedy in the "quiet" carriage whenever someone's phone goes off. Oh, and no WiFi at all...

A Merry Christmas to you all. :-)
elvum: (Default)
Anyone in the UK want three months' free DVD rental from lovefilm.com? They're alright customer-service wise and pretty speedy with the whole "sending you DVDs" thing. It's one of those deals where they start charging your credit card if you don't cancel in time. First to comment positively gets the magic voucher code.
elvum: (Default)

Sundial on the Old Bridge
Originally uploaded by elvum.

Spent a weekend in Berwick-upon-Tweed with [livejournal.com profile] terpsichore1980. Here's some photos in lieu of the post I haven't made.


elvum: (Default)

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