Tryptophanic Thanksgiving Turkey-fest

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Well, Mr Worley – of previous culinary fame – rather outdid himself on Friday evening: with a stupendous Thanksgiving feast…

Smoked Turkey (yes, that’s right) from “Bubba’s” (the Arkansas Cafe in Spitalfield Market); baked sweet potatoes, greens and, well, more turkey breast.

To follow – pumpkin pie with sweet cream!

After a long week or three of late nights, early mornings and hard days; several courses of food and a bottle or several of wine, we were all feeling a little “tryptophanic” – ie drowsy. Apparently Turkey meat contains a ‘sleeping drug’, although wikipedia rather dashes this excuse…

Next year – given enough space, a fireproof house and a arteries of steel – it’s got to be the deep fried turkey!

Thanks again to Ian, Karen and Doug for a great evening 🙂

Captain Elke and the Pirates

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On Saturday we all visited Elke on her narrow boat to “help” her move it from Victoria Park to Islington.

Manon, Alice and Eliza were the “pirates” and Elke was, obviously, the Captain.

There’s something rather amazing about travelling by water – especially on such a glorious autumn day: sunny, crisp and still. The girls sat at the front of the boat as we slid along the canal, pointing out birds (coots, geese, other ones) as well as seeing London from a different perspective and pace. It was quite a shock to the system after 5 hours on board to get into the rush of traffic on City Road.

Spelling with pictures

I found this while looking for logo ideas for JustTheOne.org and thanks to a link on LifeHacker I found this site. Here’s the output – letters taken from Flickr…

j U S Tt T logo High pressure E is for everyone... St-Roch N is for Vin E

Excllent.

There’s also a service that creates ‘letters’ from satellite images via Google Earth. The image can only be seen via their server, so click for a (slow) rendition of ‘justtheone’ (Geogreetings.com).

“Just the One”: November 28, 2006


Venue details.

So, with Christmas approaching we’re seizing the opportunity to have the last drinks we could without having to call them “Christmas Drinks”.

Time, then, for another “just the one” gathering – a chance to meet and catch up on life, jobs, business, tech toys and whatever else takes your fancy. The last one was in August so lots will have happened since then…

I’ve had a quick chat with the venue and it seems that we’re safe from antler-wearing Christmas parties (for now!) so there’s no need for any weird outfits. Unless you want to of course.

So – to summarise:

Venue: St Chads
Date: 28 November (Tues)
Time: 1830hours onwards.

Let me know if you’re coming – looking forward to seeing y’all.

UPDATE: ooooh – we’ve now got a website – www.justtheone.org. It’s remarkable for adding nothing at all to this info, except for a link to the mailman list management interface. We’ve also, obviously, got a list. If we’ve missed you in error please just subscribe. Any queries to the ListOwner. 🙂

Dirty politics hurts real people: Massa v Dickert

Ye gods – some things make you weep.

In the main stories of Democrat gains in the US Senate and House mid-term elections, one sad story of manipulation and bullying is just hitting the headlines – besmirching someone of good character along the way.

Sanford Dickert – a humourous, generous, dedicated, dynamo of a man – has been working in US politics for a while: using the power of the web and online community to further the Democrat cause. He’s behind Political Gastronomica.

He’s also starring (reluctantly) in a battle with Eric Massa to get paid wages he’s contractually owed and to clear his name after some rather unpleasant name-calling.

Sanford’s weblog has details of the case but it’s most succinctly covered in his own statement.

Hopefully this will be resolved soon. While I’m sure that Sanford’s concern – in the ‘google age’ – is that some mud will stick, my own view is that the record will show that poor judgement, salacious allegations and welching on contracts go to the heart of a person’s character (or lack of). Whether you consider that these attributes are plus points or negative for a political career will depend upon your level of cynicism.

Like.com: First True Visual Image Search?

Herewith a further step in visual merchandising.

The Like.com engine takes both text and images as queries, something no one else does. To return results based on an image query, Like.com compares a “visual signature” for the query image to possible results. The visual signature is simply a mathematical representatioin of the image using 10,000 variables. If enough variables are identical, Like.com decides the images are similar.

What this means – If you see an image on the web, like a watch that Paris Hilton is wearing in the picture to the left, and use it as an image query, Like.com will return results showing watches that look very similar.

This could be deployed by retailers like ASOS.com to take actual celebrity images (say from a film premiere or suchlike) and their users can search not only for the ‘editorialised’ product but also the watch, handbag, shoes etc.

Editorial-led sites could also now offer merchandising by linking the search capability to the stock held either by a third party or an affiliate…

Complex and limiting taxonomies and product categorisations could disappear and give customers mouse-able and rapid access to product.

While it won’t sweep away navigation or searching this is a new capability for marketers to consider.

OpenDNS

OpenDNS | Providing A Safer And Faster DNS

I’ve just tried this on my laptop and can immediately notice a very positive difference – especially sitting here on a client’s wireless network.

With connectivity coming out of one’s ears the real slow-down on the web today is slow or unresponsive DNS servers. Leaving these settings to your ISP’s overstretched or out-of-touch servers has never been ideal.

OpenDNS uses the sheer volume of users to effectively build a web cache, leading to a faster experience for many sites. In addition they are able to flag phishing sites to their whole user-ship and finally they offer some re-routing to sites after spelling mistakes and transposition errors.

Neat. Free. Effective.

There are great instructions for routers by brand (if you have access) and desktop settings/walkthroughs where you’re just improving your own browsing experience.