All posts made the week commencing Sunday 17 Sep., 2000:

Census 2001 will be held on Sunday 29th 2001. The census legislation goes into methodology and everything. Fascinating.

Premise: Tea would be easier to carry if it wasn't so runny. So: What we need is something that you put in your drink that sort of floats on top and makes it go all gloopy, then dissolves in a couple of minutes (by which time you've got back to your desk) in the heat of the tea. (Or maybe a lid, I suppose, at a push.)

Yeah baby, the flawed dictionary is back! Because we missed it too.

Thursday == Upsideclown-day. James' pen didn't work, and good grief look what happened. Today, my friend, You haven't got a chance.

If I'm not as coherant over the next few weeks, I'd like you to know why:

I sleep about eight hours a night, more or less. Closer to seven recently, but that's still too much. Imagine: I go to bed at 11 (yeah, and read for a bit), wake at 7 (listen to the news). I could head down and sleep at 1, wake and up immediately at 7.30. That is 2.5 extra hours of life a day. That's 17.5 a week -- 37.9 days every year. Over a month extra a year!

So there's the motive. The method? I have a fixed getting up time, then I stabilise my time asleep at, say, eight hours. I never, but never, go to bed before the time at which I'd have eight hours sleep. I might go to bed later, but never before.

Now I reduce this time by five minutes a night (week nights only) and the rate is low enough such that my body keeps up, reducing my non-REM sleep and my half-sleep time. I start today: I get up at 7am, so I will not go to bed before 10.30pm, and I'll keep this steady till Monday. Then I start. At 25 minutes a week, I'll be on on just under 7 hours sleep by this time next month. A fortnight of extra life, every single year. Already! Wow.

I know this works because I did it before, five years ago. I got down from nine to only six and a half hours a night. Then I got ill for about two weeks, hallucinated really badly and had to sleep fourteen hours a day. No connection, I'm sure.

It absolutely stuns me what can be found on the www: Songs that contain the word "monkey", in what appears to be alphabetical order.

A little meta info you never really needed|wanted to know...

First kottke unshifted me onto his Recommended Links list, and being one of the two sites (the other being Robotwisdom) I checked daily for a long time: let's say I'm pleased.

Then next I hear that Lance Arthur when interviewed at waferbaby mentioned Dirk when asked where he spent his online hours. And being some of Dirk's earliest publicity when I was but a www virgin (practically).

These kind of people inspired me, and I still feel new here. I try not to think about what people would[n't] like to read or take part in weblog conversations or even make posts like this. And I wouldn't, usually. But then today I got a piece of fanmail and I'm touched -- that someone likes what I write. Wow. Thanks. My #1 fan.

Is that my biggest fan, or my first fan?

I heard they're watering it down, you know. (And in fact the way the rumours spread makes fascinating reading. Memes, &c.)

I went to see a talk presented by the Upstart Network at university, and from time to time they send me junk mail. Including, today, the most biased questionnaire in the world (you'll be impressed). The last question:

If you had to choose between them, which of the following two employers would you work for?

  • Employer A
    £35,000 annual salary + gym/pensions/healthcare package ONLY
  • Employer B
    £34,000 annual salary + gym/pensions/healthcare package PLUS membership of a company that provides you with a talented account manager who can organise any projects on your behalf, saving an average 3 or 4 hours a week in admin, chores and organisation time. Anything from expertly organising flat searches, house moves, club guest lists, travel and restaurant bookings, parties, car buying and servicing, present buying etc. - anything that helps manage a hectic professional life!

I wonder.

I can state without much explanation that the London Underground map is a remarkable invention. But divorcing the map from the geography of the overground leads to misconceptions (like thinking it's a good idea to go two stops and change once to get to a station you could have walked to in two minutes).

So, my flatmates and I were talking on the way into work (God, we're so young professional) about how to encode additional information in the map. Is it possible to indicate by, say, the colour intensity of the station the (overground) proximity to other stations? Hm. Well.

Consider a true map of London. Now consider crumpling this map so that it's all scrunched up, but a top down view is the same as the tube map, but on a different scale. Leaving aside whether this transform is possible, this yields what we're after. As long as the crumpled true map only bends on a station (ie no peaks or trough on a line between nearest stations), then we could say 0% colour intensity was at the lowest point of the crumpled map and 100% was at the top, and show this on the tube map. Task achieved.

["But how would you read it?" I hear you cry. The greater the colour intensity difference the further apart the stations. You also take the distance on the tube map into account: the closer the colour intensities the closer the true distance is to that of the tube map. I've a feeling it would actually be quite intuitive.]

But is this possible? I can think about it like this: Imagine the tube map as a mesh of triangles (each vertex being a station), and the same for the true map (essentially we're joining each station to its six nearest). As long as each station does not cross a line between two other closest stations then we can transform this mesh into whatever we like. So it is.

Maybe. I'm not sure about the last step -- but shifting questions onto other questions. I like this.

So many things to say, but -- so -- tired --

The most addictive game in the world is currently installed on my spanking new Palm. I can't find the game homepage, but I can find a Java applet of SFCave. Prepare to have your time sapped away.

I want eShades. But they need a cooler name -- something with the whole VDU kind of vibe.

I'm not even going to pullquote from today's Upsideclown, you're going to have to read it yourself. Mind you, I think the title says it all. Proudly presenting Neil's Your Mother Sucks Cocks In Hell!