Fennel and brown shrimp salad from Sparrow

2 Rennell Street, London SE13 7HD

Why does it take so long to mend an escalator?

There are 409 escalators on the London Underground. At present about 95 per cent of them are operational at any one time. Statistics come with a whiff of smoke and a flash of mirrors. Numbers are a distraction when the grind of a necessary escalator is silenced. They do, however, tell you that one dead escalator in twenty is more of a nuisance than you would have guessed, and they put what is demanded of public-service escalators into focus.

Posting to my weblog in the rain.

If I were to build a task management product, high on the list of features would be a solid implementation of Markdown.


This is a small command-line program for OS X that moves files or folders to the trash.

Thanks, Google!

It’s now clear that the demise of the Google Reader was first really loud warning that you can’t rely on a publicly traded, profit-driven Silicon Valley tech company to deliver content.

A Spectre is Haunting Unicode

In 1978 Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry established the encoding that would later be known as JIS X 0208, which still serves as an important reference for all Japanese encodings. However, after the JIS standard was released people noticed something strange – several of the added characters had no obvious sources, and nobody could tell what they meant or how they should be pronounced. Nobody was sure where they came from. These are what came to be known as the ghost characters (幽霊文字).


ArdaCraft seeks to recreate J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in one of the largest and most detailed Minecraft maps ever created.

Why we love the Shipping Forecast

To many it’s a reassuring, poetic reminder of our island nation. To those whose work depends on the high seas, it can be a lifeline. In the words of one yachtsman: “It’s more than just a shipping forecast – It’s iconic and beautiful”.

Charming animated short explaining the Shipping Forecast.

I suspect the upcoming changes to the Twitter API are going to break my Bash scripts, one way or another.

The Life and Slow Death of London’s Pie and Mash Shops

The rules are as follows: It’s a “shop.” Never a “restaurant.” Mash has no butter. Gravy is forbidden. Ask for either, and in Cooke’s words, “You are gone.” Pie and mash is served with a fork and spoon. Request a knife and it’s not unlikely that you’ll be told to fuck off.

/thx David

Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall on the importance of material exploration and experience design

I liked this bit:

I’ve always been interested in technologies that are widespread and a bit boring. A good example of this is the pager motor. It’s the component inside your phone that makes it vibrate. There are about 3 billion smartphones running right now, and if you think about every mobile phone that has been manufactured since about 2000, they all had pager motors in them, which means on Earth there must be 10 billion motors of this kind. They almost never burn out and are incredibly efficient. They’re amazingly well made pieces of technology.

How to Start Knitting (and Learn to Love It)

I do, however, want to dispel the notion that some people aren’t “crafty” and therefore can’t knit. Anyone can! It doesn’t take some special crafting gene, and you don’t need superhuman dexterity (or even a lot of patience). You just need to follow a few basic rules and, most important, you have to want it.

12 years ago today I signed up to a website called twttr.