October 11th, 2009


I wonder if this is apocryphal

There was once a skyscraper, decades ago, where people complained that the elevator was too slow. The workers complained to the managers, and the managers complained to the building's owners. The complaints grew in intensity. Finally, the landlord of the building knew they must act.

So they called in a research team to figure out what to do. And the research team measured everything - how many stops the elevators had to make, what speeds could be safely managed, the algorithm by which a press of a button sent an elevator to a particular floor. They also looked at sociological factors, such as what people did while they waited for the elevator to arrive.

After all this study, the research team made a recommendation - put in mirrors by the elevators. And the building's owner did. And all complaints about the slow speed of the elevator vanished. Because now people had something to do while they waited - they could look at themselves.

And this research had such an impact that it spread, so that nowadays most skyscrapers have mirrors near their elevators. The novelty has never worn off, even though, at this point, an entire generation of office workers have grown up with mirrors next to the elevators.


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Bathroom update

They think it's all over....it's not quite.

So, everything is in - and then we discover that the cold water tank is only about 6 inches above the shower head, the pressure is near zero, and thus the thermostatic valve is shutting the shower off all the time because the hot water pressure is massively higher than the cold.

The plumbers couldn't believe we were still using a cold tank when there's no hot tank any more.  The previous people had the hot tank replaced with a combi boiler, but didn't get it followed through.  It'd cost a grand to actually get it all ripped out and replastered - so that's a job for next year.  Fortunately it'll only cost £120 to put in a bypass, so they're going to do that next week, at which point I'll have decent pressure through the whole flat, which will be lovely.  And we'll finally be able to have the shower I've been looking forward to for two weeks.

(Don't panic - old shower room still works, so I can stay clean until then.)

Old Skool!

I spent an hour playing Star Guard from beginning to end.

It's a great fun old school platform shooter:

Star Guard - Level 3 from Sparky on Vimeo.

And well worth your time if you like that kind of thing.

The absolute best part of it is that there's no limit on the number of times you can die - your score won't be as high, but at no point will the game pointlessly send you back to the beginning of the level because you failed to achieve something.

Having said that, the end of game bad buy is an utter bastard, and I died 123 times before I worked out how to kill him.  Still, the game up to that point is addictively fun.