A reasonable search didn’t find this one, even with help from the hint. Either it’s been consumed by the wild undergrowth or else I just couldn’t lay an eye on it.
Came down to the river to launch my partner’s brother on a swimming expedition (pictured putting on his wetsuit) downstream and to triple-check access to my nearby new cache GC8YZKJ. Recent logs about the cache being submerged made me worry and I spent some time looking too-close to the water’s edge, but as soon as I expanded my search I caught sight of it immediately. TFTC!
This is incredibly cool. Using (mostly) common household tools and chemicals and a significant amount of effort, Ben (who already built himself a home electron microscope, as you do) demonstrates how you can etch a hologram directly into chocolate, resulting in a completely edible hologram. I’d never even thought before about the fact that a hologram could be embossed into almost any opaque surface before, so this blew my mind. In hindsight it makes perfect sense, but it still looks like magic to see it done.
Oxford has many things, but it doesn’t have a zoo. But for a few years in the 1930s, it did, and it’s a fascinating story that starts with marmalade and ends with a geocache.
With thanks to John Amor, whose book Gosford Hill & Oxford Zoo (ISBN 978-0-9544474-5-8) answered my initial research questions, and to the Bodleian Libraries for giving me the resources to go deeper. Also thanks to my Alphamattic teammates for listening to me talk about a different bit of Oxford history and encouraging me to make this video.
Music: Don’t Turn Around, by Ivan Chew (ramblinglibrarian), used under a CC-Attribution-NonCommercial license.
Some footage of Oxford provided by Steve B (@bigantvideo), used under the Pexels license.
Uses photos taken prior to 1925 of unknown provenance or subsequently released into the public domain.
Parts of this video were filmed during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Appropriate social distancing practices were applied.
Hi. My name is Ethan Zuckerman. From 2011-2020, I enjoyed working in this office. I led a research group at the Media Lab called the Center for Civic Media, and I taught here and in Comparative Media Studies and Writing. I resigned in the summer of 2019, but stayed at the lab to help my students graduate and find jobs and to wind down our grants. When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, I left campus and came back on August 14 to clean out my office and to leave you this note.
I’m leaving the note because the previous occupant left me a note of sorts. I was working here late one night. I looked up above my desk and saw a visegrip pliers attached to part of the HVAC system. I climbed up to investigate and found a brief note telling the MIT facilities department that the air conditioning had been disabled (using the vice grips, I presume) as part of a research project and that one should contact him with any questions.
That helped explain one of the peculiarities of the office. When I moved in, attached to the window was a contraption that swallowed the window handle and could be operated with red or green buttons attached to a small circuitboard. Press the green button and the window would open very, very slowly. Red would close it equally slowly. I wondered whether the mysterious researcher might be able to remove it and reattach the window handle. So I emailed him.
I’m reminded of that time eleven years ago that I looked up the person who’d gotten my (recycled) university username and emailed them. Except Ethan’s note, passed on to the next person to occupy his former office at MIT, is much cooler. And not just because it speaks so eloquently to the quirky and bizarre culture of the place (Aber’s got its own weird culture too, y’know!) but because it passes on a slice of engineering history that its previous owner lived with, but perhaps never truly understood. A fun read.
Thanks! I wasn’t able to find all the bits when I archived it so I assumed it had been muggled; thanks to Oxford Stone for tidying up the bits I failed to!
Needed new UPS batteries.
Almost bought from @insight_uk but they require registration to checkout.
Purchased from @SourceUPSLtd instead.
Moral: having no “guest checkout” costs you business.
In a “daily tip” a couple of days ago, the excellent Chris Ferdinandi recommended an approach to loading CSS asynchronously based on a refined technique by Scott Jehl. The short of it is that you load your stylesheets like this:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/path/to/my.css" media="print" onload="this.media='all'">
You see what that’s doing? It’s loading the stylesheet for the print medium, but then when the document finishes loading it’s switching the media type from “print” to “all”. Because it didn’t apply to begin with the stylesheet isn’t render-blocking. You can use this to delay secondary styles so the page essentials can load at full speed.
I don’t like this approach. I mean: I love the elegance… I just don’t like the implications.
In principle, it’s this:
- Link your stylesheet from within a
<noscript lazyload>(if you’re a standards purist, you might prefer to use a
<noscript>blocks and reinject them. In modern browsers, this is as simple as e.g.
If you need support for Internet Explorer, you need a little more work, because Internet Explorer doesn’t expose
<noscript> blocks to the DOM in a helpful way. There are a variety of possible workarounds; I’ve implemented one but not put too much thought into it because I rarely have to
think about Internet Explorer these days.
In any case, I’ve implemented a proof of concept/demonstration if you’d like to see it in action: just take a look and view source (or read the page) for details. Or view the source alone via this gist.
This week, with help from Robin and JTA, I built a TropicTemple Tall XXL climbing frame in the garden of our new house. Manufacturer Fatmoose provided us with a pallet-load of lumber and a sack of accessories, delivered to our driveway, based on a design Ruth and I customised using their website, and we assembled it on-site over the course of around three days. The video above is a timelapse taken from our kitchen window using a tablet I set up for that purpose, interspersed with close-up snippets of us assembling it and of the children testing it out.
I’ve also built a Virtual Tour so you can explore the playframe using your computer, phone, or VR headset. Take a look!
The video is also available via:
Well, it’s been a long while since I saw an intact Dogfort vs. Catfort!
After dropping the kids off at their respective summer camp activities for the day, my car advised me that, owing to traffic, I ought to consider taking the B4044 most of the way home rather than the usual A-roads. Sure, I thought… that takes me through Farmoor where I think there might be caches I haven’t found! I parked not at the nearby car park but in a layby in Filchampstead to enjoy a walk along the nearby footpath first.
Coordinates were spot on and cache was easy to spot despite camouflage. Re-hid slightly deeper. TFTC!
You know that strange moment when you see your old coworkers on YouTube doing a cover of an Adam and the Ants song? No: just me?
Still good to see the Bodleian put a fun spin on promoting their lockdown-friendly reader services. For some reason they’ve marked this video “not embeddable” (?) in their YouTube settings, so I’ve “fixed” the copy above for you.