It was the chicken’s day off

Reading time: 2 minutes

This from razorhead’s blog which I stumbled on the other day and is well worth a read.

There are five types of road crossing in use on UK roads:

  1. Refuge: these are the islands in the centre of the road usually demarked by illuminated keep left/right signs which have be battered by cars that managed neither.
  2. Zebra: marked by black and white stripes across the road, sometimes accompanied by Belisha Beacons and in 1951 marked the horribly cute reference to animals.
  3. PELICAN: he name derives from a pseudo-acronym for ‘Pedestrian Light Controlled’, with the ‘o’ changed to an ‘a’ in deference to the bird. These feature a green or red cross/don’t cross figure on the signal on the opposite side of the road.
  4. PUFFIN: these differ from pelican crossing by having the red/green man on the control box where the pedestrian presses the button to cross. There is no ‘blinking-green-man’ phase, but are fitted with extra sub-surface sensors to extend the crossing time if there is high demand or cancel the demand if the pedestrian moves away.
  5. Toucan: are similar to puffin crossings but cyclists are also permitted to use them. The name is contrived from ‘Two Can Cross’.
  6. Pegasus: similar to a pelican but feature a high mounted button for horse-riders. The red/green man is replaced by a red/green horse.

Don’t just do it… B&Q it!

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Congratulations to British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur who a few moments ago tonight sailed her boat (the B&Q) in to the history books.

She sets a new solo round the world sailing record of 71 days 14 hours, knocking a day and a half off the previous record set last year by French sailor Francis Joyon.

What an inspirational and mindblowing achievement!

Looks like there’s going to be quite a party in Falmouth when she pitches up 🙂

Where the dill grows

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On lordshiplane.co.uk the following from a book titled East Dulwich by John D Beasley:

In A View of Dulwich, Peckham and Camberwell around 1300 Rosemary Warhurst records that in 1340 there was a hamlet called Est Dilewissh where William Mabuhs, a marshall, sold houses, gardens, arable lands, heath and enclosures to John Leverich. This was near a lane called Grenelane. East Dulwich remained a rural area until the second half of the nineteenth century.

It doesn’t say whether the name East Dulwich comes from Est Dilewissh or simply by being east of Dulwich.

Tagging tags tagging tags tagging tags

Reading time: 2 minutes

In today’s Online section in the Guardian there’s a piece by Jim McClellan on the success of Flickr (a photo sharing and organising website). According to co-founder Caterina Fake, in less than a year its membership has already reached 245,000 and grows at a rate of 5-10% a week.

McClellan discusses the possibilities brought about by Flickr and other social software services on the web, many of which use folksonomies – people-generated tags or metadata – including the impact of del.icio.us and technorati amongst others. These sites help us to organise our own experience of the web as well as brining us together with other people around common themes and interests.

What I’ve been wondering is how sustainable these services are once they break in to the mainstream (if they haven’t already done so). I can’t help thinking each will reach a critical mass where there is too much tagged content to cope with to be useful beyond the personal and “closely” social.

In the same way blogs offer a valuable filter on the labyrinthine plethora of information on the internet (and the “blogosphere” itself), services such as del.icio.us and technorati offer a chance to put a filter on the filters.

What happens next? Is someone already inventing the filters’ filters’ filter?

Microsooooooooooft takes on Google

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Today Microsoft launches MSN Search which it hopes will give Larry and Sergei a run for their money.

Looks like the folks behind it have taken a leaf out of the minimalist design book, and the results are delivered in a very familiar style to Google’s.

However good it is, personally it would take an awful lot to make me switch.

Even though I don’t always get what I think I want from Google, it’s built up one hell of a lot of loyalty points with me over the last few years (I think that alone will help keep them ahead of the rest for quite a while).

I wonder what effect this will have on the way we buy houses

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The UK Land Registry have made all Land Register and Title Plan information since 2001 available on the internet.

For £2 you can find out how much your neighbour paid for their gaff.

You can’t search by someone’s name, but if you know their house number and street name you can find out the price paid for any UK property.

The site also allows people to see a property’s boundaries and any restrictions put on its use.

Handy.