January 16th, 2005


Best use of LJ-bing-down-time

flick wrote a song

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember how
Our LJs used to make us smile.
And I knew if Brad had his chance,
That he could make those servers dance,
And maybe we'd be blogging for a while.

But InterNap made LJ shiver,
There were no pages to deliver,
No gossip on our browsers
About who lost their trousers...

I can't remember if I cried
When I saw my page request denied
But I had to face the world outside,
The day that LJ died.

Bye bye to the power supply
'Where's my LJ?' 'Oh, my LJ!' was the worldwide cry
And even Brad left a slashdot reply
Saying 'We'll get a UPS stand by!'
'We'll get a UPS stand by!'

(it goes on, and continues to be great)

What I did on my Livejournal Holidays

By andrewducker aged 32 1/2

After discovering it was going to be down for a while, I logged onto IRC and checked out the LJ discussion, to find out if they knew anything we didn't.

Having ascertained that the answer was 'no', I then had a bath and then headed into town with Lilian to grab some remaining Kitten-needs (like a catnip scratching post and a litter-tray-scoop). I then threw her onto a bus headed to the airport and met eduard_green in town to go looking for LCD monitors, printers and MP3 players.

That took a couple of hours, following which I headed to Glasgow to see Sarah - an old friend who I lived with about 8 years ago (yes, that's a scary amount of time for me too!). I hadn't seen her for 18 months and had no idea that she'd (a) split up with her husband (b) moved to Glasgow and (c) got herself a new job as a counsellor.

Despite the rain there were no problems getting to Glasgow and finding my way to a small station in the suburbs. I arrived first (15 whole minutes early) and was warned that everyone that was coming was either a counsellor or in a relationship with a counsellor. What I _wasn't_ warned was that they were also all women (yes, including the partners) - it's funny what people think to mention, and complimentary that Sarah knew that I wouldn't even blink (although it did amuse me by the 5th time someone arrived and their partner _also_ turned out to be a woman).

Anyway, there was a flat blessing - a fairly simple shamanic ritual - that I managed to not only keep a straight face during but also got into the spirit of. Not that I believe in it, but it was a fun 15 minutes, and seemed to make people happy. It also finished with each person there lighting a candle and making a wish for the home - mine being "May you be peaceful and contented, but not _too_ peaceful and contented"

There was then lots of sitting about, chatting, drinking and eating - with occasional shop-talk by the counsellors. Very interesting people, with some great attitudes about life. And I talked to a woman who works with groups wanting to do ecological regeneration - helping them to get grants, planning permission, etc. who told me of a couple of nice green places to visit. Now I just have to get someone to show me The Necropolis.

Being in the style of an experiment

I've been reading about del.icio.us for a while and wondering what all the fuss is about.

It's a bookmarking service, which isn't even a slightly new idea, but at the same time it seems nice and simple to use, and offers some very nice facilites, including the ability to syndicate links and to search for links based on tags.

I was pointed towards this discussion of what the service is good for, which included a link to this beginners guide, which is well worth a read. I also found Oishii, which lists the most popular bookmarks over the last while. It looks like a cool tech toy, and something I'd like to play with. The official guide is here and very easy to get to grips with.

As I've been thinking for a while about separating out my links from the rest of my journal, and leaving what's left as an 'actual' journal, this seemed like a good way of both doing it. Therefore, once I've got the hang of it, expect a new journal to appear with all my links in it, and this place to become a link-free zone. Well, there will still be links, but only when feel like I've got something to say about them, rather than just a pointer to them.

Pollution Problems

We are all seeing rather less of the Sun, according to scientists who have been looking at five decades of sunlight measurements.

They have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface has been gradually falling.

Paradoxically, the decline in sunlight may mean that global warming is a far greater threat to society than previously thought.

Comparing Israeli sunlight records from the 1950s with current ones, Dr Stanhill was astonished to find a large fall in solar radiation.

"There was a staggering 22% drop in the sunlight, and that really amazed me." Intrigued, he searched records from all around the world, and found the same story almost everywhere he looked.

Sunlight was falling by 10% over the USA, nearly 30% in parts of the former Soviet Union, and even by 16% in parts of the British Isles.

It was only recently, when his conclusions were confirmed by Australian scientists using a completely different method to estimate solar radiation, that climate scientists at last woke up to the reality of global dimming.

Burning coal, oil and wood, whether in cars, power stations or cooking fires, produces not only invisible carbon dioxide - the principal greenhouse gas responsible for global warming - but also tiny airborne particles of soot, ash, sulphur compounds and other pollutants.

This visible air pollution reflects sunlight back into space, preventing it reaching the surface. But the pollution also changes the optical properties of clouds.

But perhaps the most alarming aspect of global dimming is that it may have led scientists to underestimate the true power of the greenhouse effect.

They know how much extra energy is being trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by the extra carbon dioxide we have placed there.

What has been surprising is that this extra energy has so far resulted in a temperature rise of just 0.6 degree Celsius.

This has led many scientists to conclude that the present-day climate is less sensitive to the effects of carbon dioxide than it was, say, during the ice age, when a similar rise in CO2 led to a temperature rise of six degrees Celsius.

But it now appears the warming from greenhouse gases has been offset by a strong cooling effect from dimming - in effect two of our pollutants have been cancelling each other out.

As things stand, CO2 levels are projected to rise strongly over coming decades, whereas there are encouraging signs that particle pollution is at last being brought under control.

"That means we'll get reducing cooling and increased heating at the same time and that's a problem for us," says Dr Cox.

That means a temperature rise of 10 degrees Celsius by 2100 could be on the cards, giving the UK a climate like that of North Africa, and rendering many parts of the world uninhabitable.

Whole article here