Writing from September 2004

1 bed flat for sale in Hackney

Strand Building courtyardI'm selling my 1 bedroom flat in Hackney, London. It's a very nice flat, in a very nice art deco style building, in a very convenient location. So if you know anyone looking to buy a flat then send them to this page. Thanks!

In Personal on 7 September 2004. 4 comments. Permalink

Morning News interview with Alex Ross

There's a great interview with Alex Ross, music critic of the New Yorker over at The Morning News. I'd normally just whack a link in the link blog but there's so much good stuff here worth quoting. It's hard to pick the best paragraph, but this one about how to get into classical music from popular tastes is a good one, given I wish I knew more about classical:

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In Music on 9 September 2004. Permalink

Movable Type 3 problems

Both problems have now been solved.

At the weekend I finally upgraded to Movable Type 3.11, and it is indeed nice and shiny and lovely. However, I'm having a couple of problems with it, which I'm posting here on the off-chance anyone reading this can solve them. I link to my posts on the MT support forum where I describe them more fully.

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In Movable Type on 14 September 2004. Permalink

Movable Type 3 problems solved

Mainly so that anyone Googling for solutions to these problems is satisfied, those handy folk on the Movable Type support forum have solved the problems I was having.

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In Movable Type on 15 September 2004. Permalink

Andrew O’Hagan on the Republican convention

The current London Review of Books carries a calmly horrifying report from the US Republican party convention by Andrew O'Hagan. Two passages worth quoting, beginning with the opening paragraph, a relentless account of the state of America:

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In Misc on 21 September 2004. 9 comments. Permalink

Encoding with the very latest LAME in iTunes

A couple of years back I wrote about how to encode MP3s using the LAME encoder, which is (or can be) superior to iTunes' built-in option. This all got rather simpler last year with a newer version of the iTunes-LAME Encoder software.

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In Mac on 23 September 2004. 2 comments. Permalink

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

To be honest I was a little disappointed by Amusing Ourselves to Death, although this may have been due to high hopes raised by having heard the book mentioned a lot. Much of it seemed either blindingly obvious, or like the moanings of a killjoy who can't bear that TV is entertaining and that people don't listen to long speeches any more. However, it's still very much worth a read for its main point: TV is good at entertainment and anything that tries to rise about that level will fail and be worse than useless. Serious TV is thinly disguised entertainment and there is little need for authorities to censor the media when we so willingly take in the froth that's fed us. Given that this was written pre-internet, many of its ideas could do with updating to critique a whole new media -- it sounds strangely quaint the few times it mentions "computers". Postman's How to Watch TV News (UK, US) is probably a good read too.

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In Books, Television on 26 September 2004. 29 comments. Permalink

Walking on the right

A few years back, a couple of weeks after I began my stay in Houston, Texas, I met someone who joked that he thought I must be British because he'd driven past me and noticed I was walking on the left of the sidewalk. I was a bit taken aback as I hadn't been aware that there was a convention of walking on the right in America (or Texas? or Houston?) as if everyone was a car. And it must have been coincidence that I happened to be walking on the left when he'd passed.

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In Misc on 26 September 2004. 25 comments. Permalink