Sunday Roast: there’s always room in your life for a sackbut

Credit for todays Roast title goes to the godhead, who deserves eternal props for recent road-trips. I can’t remember the exact sequence of events that led to such a quote-worthy line, but it did have something to do with five archaeologists being stuck in a car for a total of 11 hours, listening to a surreal mix of death metal, 80’s classics, Destinies Child, and singing loudly (and surprisingly tunefully) along to Ah Ha. One of those weekends that don’t sound funny when described but, to those that lived them, were priceless. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. It was a bit of a come down to go back to the office on Monday and the 9-5 grind. I enjoy my work but if nothing else, the conference reminded me that I really need to do something that stretches my brain a bit more.

Still I have a cunning plan in that direction, so all will be well 😉

Since I failed so dismally to bring you a roast last week, let’s see what I can do to make this week extra special, shall we?

And to start, one of those items I wish I could tag as “you couldn’t make this stuff up” – a Texas mayor resigns because she stole her neighbours dog

The British Library is digitising a raft of 19th Century literature to make it more accessible. Great. Lovely. And DRM’d from here to kingdom come thanks to the partnership with Microsoft, unless I miss my guess

Bill Thompson does a great job, as always, explaining the prevalence of surveillance in our digital world. I’m starting to get the knack of his articles as well; the first four/five paragraphs are the ‘news’, but it’s the later half where the stuff actually gets interesting and prompts a healthy reality check.

Something to persuade my mum that tattoos aren’t that bad? They could be used to deliver more effective vaccines. Thanks to the closing line that there may well be a role in the “routine vaccination of animals”, I have visions of Fido and Tiddles displaying some pretty ink…

The BBC has announced that their iPlayer will work on Macs in 2008. Finally! It has been bugging me to the point of yelling at the screen each time they show their bloody advert saying “iPlayer: making the un-missable, un-missable”. Grrr

The British sent 57bn text messages last year. That is a lot. For me, I blame Twitter. My bill last month was a whole £19.18! :O

As anyone who’s tried to get a digital map out of the Ordnance Survey will know, unless you’re in an academic setting (and to a less extent, even then), the licenses are fiendishly complex and expensive. Seems that finally the government is throwing its toys out of the pram over this. At last! I understand the OS is a company and has invested a lot of time, money and effort into these maps but do they have to be so damn trixy?!

British troops in Afghanistan are to blog their experiences. I find this interesting in how it ties into museum exhibits about the war. I’m less clear on the appropriateness of it.

Seeing as how pointless crass commercial hallmark holiday Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us once more, here is how geeks work. It’s not stalking, it’s an expression of devotion 😛

One of the many gems shared at ArchCamp 4 last week: Strange Maps. There’s a whole research topic right there on how people represent the world in which they live…

You don’t realise quite how busy the British waters are, till you see it displayed graphically (and in real time)

Two differing POVs on Google’s new Social Graph API. Both pertinent, both well argued, and both from people whose opinion I respect.

I have linked to these guys before, but when we got sharing links down the pub the other week, Neko reminded me about Temple ov thee Lemur, and in particular urban fox hunting. Tee hee hee…

I woke up this morning with a craving for pancakes. Not just any pancakes, but Scotch Pancakes. I always like the idea of pancakes, but the British kind just don’t work for me some reason when I cook them myself, and American style ones also don’t float my boat. Don’t me wrong, they are nice, just not… right. So I figured I would revisit my heritage and try my hand at Scotch Pancakes, which are more correctly griddle cakes… This is the recipe I used and damn, but they’re good! So stupidly easy and tasty. Mmmm, it might become a Sunday morning tradition, me thinks

Neil Gaiman is going to make one of his books available, online, for free (for a month). Which book? You choose. I’m torn between American Gods which was a book I adored but think might be just too big and weird for people new to Gaiman, Stardust (which is much better than the film, of course), and one of the other titles I am less familiar with and, consequently, think could benefit from some free-book-love.

This Flickr set is great – tattoos that people have relating to their (science) research. I’d be intrigued as to a similar pattern in Archaeologists. My experiences from Liverpool would indicate that at least the Egyptologists could be relied upon – getting tramp-stamped with an Eye of Horus or an Ankh was practically a rite of passage. Even my foot tattoo has thematic roots in the doodles I used to draw in direct response to the rock art of Megalithic Europe.

Have a dose of Google Horror

And to cleanse the palette, some movie trailers from the last couple of weeks:
Son of Rambow


Smart People

Dark Knight (in lego). Definitely one of those “some people have too much time on their hands” things, but genius none the less!

And now, as I’ve endured, and finally finished, Stargate: Atlantis (season one) I am going to go watch Stargate: SG1 (season 9). Yay for yummy Michael Shanks and Ben Browder!

14 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: there’s always room in your life for a sackbut

  1. A fellow Liverpool graduate of the AnHist/Arch flavour, and I also noticed that anyone with a shred of interest in Egypt ended up with the obligatory ankh or eye! I always fancied something Assyrian or a nice fancy block of cuneiform just to be different, but in the end I couldn’t decide and didn’t bother getting anything.

    And mmm… scotch pancakes, thanks – you’ve set me off on a craving!

  2. The Ministry of Defence has agreed to lift restrictions on the use of recording equipment in combat zones

    I’m sure the Official Secrets Act still applies here though so what they submit will be censored. I’d like to see it though.

    In my humble opinion, the best book for Neil Gaiman to put up for free is probably Fragile Things or Smoke and Mirrors – a nice easy foray into the weird and wonderful world of Gaiman and there are some fantastic stories in both books.

    As for “pointless crass commercial hallmark holiday”… well, geeks need to feel loved too! just send emails instead of killing trees to send cards to someone who probably doesn’t fancy you and if they did they might not know you feel the same way if you sent it anonymously! 😀

  3. Dangflammit – the strikeout tags didn’t work and there appears to be little to no punctuation in that last sentence… 🙁 Apologies.

  4. he he he ‘Danglflammit’.

    The google horror vid was very cool! I found the science tattoos as well. I’m wondering what to have done next….

    As for which book Gaiman should put up- I agree with fulnic- the short stories are a good ‘intro’.

  5. Swan – oooh, we Liverpool Alumni do get around, don’t we? Isn’t the internet a small world! I will stress I only did Egyptology modules out of sufference. Our entire Middle Eastern department upped and went on sabbatical in my last year so none of the modules I wanted to do were running. Dagnabbit! Then again, that led to me doing the dissertation I did, which led to Southampton, which led to much fun, so I can’t complain too much. Cunieform would make a better tattoo though! And if you’re craving Scotch Pancakes, go make. They’re not that tricky.

    fulnic – let me know what punctuation you want and where and I can do a sneaky edit for you if it would make you feel better 🙂 And yes, silly anonymous Valentine’s cards. I’ve only received two Valentine’s cards in my life, which is embarrasing to admit. One from my mother (*rolleyes* I was only 9) and one from a girl in the shop I used to work out. Very flattering, but sadly not exactly what I was looking for.

    Neko – I found the science tattoos because of you actually. You sent me something on, I finally looked at them, and voila!

  6. oooh and as for valentines cards… be careful what you say Mrs… unless you want a repeat of the Pony incident at Christmas….

    (wanders off to plan the most fun way to send cas valentines cards at work, and wonders if she can find someone to go SING something at Cas….)

  7. It’s all fine Cas, thank you for the offer of an edit but every now and then I’m clearly retarded and so my only presence should reflect this.

    Oh and you have my sympathies for the lack of Valentines cards. I’ll send you an anonymous one… doh!

  8. Corporate love day ,bah hum bug (poor poor Bitter,Bitter single lonely me ) , i’ve got the day off so im gonna spend it watching a combination of Zombie and Monster movies … the perfect counter measure to my most hated of “holidays”

  9. I’ve always liked the idea of an anti-Valentine’s Day party, but that would just reveal how bitter I really am. 😀

  10. See thats more like it a Holiday in honor of the she-wolf that looked after Romulus and Remius … Happy Lupercalia folks

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