Daily Archives:May 31st, 2008

Watch the birdie!

My friend Phil Endecott has a webcam in the bird box on the side of his house, where some bluetits have made their nest.

You can see them here, where you’ll also find a great sequence of photos and movies of some of the more exciting moments in their lives so far.

Great stuff.

Infinite knowledge

The fact that I have both an iPod Touch and a Nokia E61 in my pocket means that, over the last year or two, I’ve come to assume that I can find out almost anything wherever I am. At lunch today, out in the garden, the word ‘sardonic’ came up in conversation, and I wondered about its etymology. Could it have something to do with Sardinia? Was the population of the island once noted for its cynicism? Here’s the answer, by the way, which was trivial to find out while sipping a glass of Rioja in the sunshine.

This is made much easier since most of the places I go to look things up are now easily-accessible icons on my iTouch screen:

iTouch icons

Another example – Rose has decided, after avoiding clothes shopping as much as possible for the last couple of decades, to do a little catching up. But she won’t buy anything without my encouragement and approval, especially since prices seem to have risen somewhat in that period.

The upshot is that I’ve spent a lot of time in the “husband’s chair” in women’s clothing stores recently, and have been grateful for having the web at my fingertips. In one store today, I liked the music that was playing, and by typing a few words of the lyrics into Google was able to discover the name of the song and artist. What’s more, since the Apple Store opposite had wifi, I was able to buy and download a copy of the song from iTunes before Rose came out of the fitting room. All without getting out of the chair. All without using a PC – in fact simply using the kit in the pockets of my shorts.

And I pondered just how fast the world had changed.

Quality or quantity?

As I, and many of my friends, become more frequent posters to Twitter or Facebook, I suspect the frequency of blog posts decreases somewhat. Is this a good thing? Wheat and chaff, and all that?

Do longer and more thoughtful posts now make it onto blogs for the benefit of posterity while shorter and more trivial stuff that once polluted the RSS stream is now swept swiftly away in the flow of tweets? Or is this post evidence to the contrary?

Answers to ‘quentinsf’ on the social network of your choice… 🙂

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser