Well, my dissertation is finally handed in, so I have resurfaced briefly — until exams set in at least. I am now faced with roughly 2000 blog entries to read, hundreds of emails to catch up on and all sorts of interesting things going on all around! I’m trying to decide whether to just unbold everything and carry on, assuming that I’ve missed the boat on any of the last month’s developments and that anything important will crop up again. This doesn’t feel quite right, but it may well be the only way!

In other news, the final year project, which resulted in the above-mentioned dissertation, brought a lot of interesting concepts to light. The research carried out into planning and the flexible planning methodology developed are both very interesting. I’m currently trying to work out how best to disseminate the work and ideas, so if you have any suggestions, please comment 🙂

Also, on the personal front, Elly & I have found a house up north and had an offer accepted. Thus, extended periods of silence here might be due to exam stress, relocation hassle, the new assignment, graduating or alien invasion. Amuse yourselves making up excuses for me whilst I’m gone 😉

This is an interesting use of PledgeBank. The current UK government (that was voted in with only 36% of the vote…) is trying to introduce biometric ID cards. Currently in the UK it is perfectly legal to have no form of ID at all and so there is a great deal of opposition from other political parties and the public. The pledge I’m talking about is one that someone called Stef has started:

“I will refuse to register for an ID card but only if 3,000,000 people will sign up”

I think it’s interesting to see how this kind of thing will play out — it’s like petitions, but not showing mere support but also vowing to take similar action if enough of your peers do. Kind of a technological tool for peer pressure.

I’ll be watching this pledge to see how it does. Oh and if you agree, please go pledge yourself!

UPDATE: The original pledge has been replaced with this new one

Molly passed me a musical baton, so of course I cannot resist this meme any longer!

Total volume of music files on my computer:
Well, on this exact computer, nothing at all! It’s an old IBM Thinkpad and the speakers are probably shot, so I haven’t got sound working. On various computers dotted around the house, there’s probably around 10Gb of my music, especially if you include what’s on Elly’s oldschool Jukebox (which I got her before iPods really happened…).

The last CD I bought was:
The Best of Johnny Clegg & Savuka :: In My African Dream

Song playing right now:
“I Still Do” — The Cranberries

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
Like Molly, I find this question difficult. There are so many songs that mean a lot to me! Specific artists and albums and songs form most of my memory mechanism for periods of my life. So the list you get now is at least indicative of what matters to me right now.

  1. “Desert Rose” — Sting
  2. “When I Grow Up” — Garbage (or, in the same slot, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”)
  3. “Scatterlings of Africa” — Johnny Clegg & Savuka
  4. “Paint It Black” — The Rolling Stones
  5. “Yellow” — Coldplay

Five people to whom Im passing the baton:

  1. Elly
  2. Simon
  3. Andy
  4. Ping
  5. Scott

Ping has written a rip-roaring statistical demolition of the claims that gay foster parents are more likely to abuse children in their care than straight parents. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom for his subsequent relevations as well.

Every day, I am so grateful for people like Ping who will stick up for those whose situation they do not share, but nevertheless understand. Thank you to Ping and everyone else who does the same.

Strangely, there’s nothing quite like the smell of laser toner at 5.30 in the morning.

Yes, this dissertation-writing malarkey is starting to take its toll. We’ll try get back to normal around here sometime soon, I promise.

Since I’m primarily a web user rather than a designer, my reaction to the Adobe-Macromedia acquisition is not “Oh no ! What will happen to my tools?”, but more along the lines of a recent UserFriendly: Does the web really need more Flash & PDF??