Category: History

Witchfinders Direct

From CBBC. Given the dearth of decent original material on “adult” TV, perhaps we should all start working shift and stay at home during the day.

Colossus Is Back Baby!

No, I haven’t put all that weight back on again. This is the Colossus that cracked German ciphers during WWII, rebuilt over an incredible 14 years in Bletchley Park. Valves an’ all!

I’m going to London in February to buy a whole new set of clothes, so poor old T is going to be dragged all the way to Milton Keynes. :)


Jakob Nielsen’s Dishonesty

I’ve always disliked Nielsen’s holie-than-thou attitude and painful-to-look-at website, so I’m only too delighted to highlight his admission that in 1997 he suppressed research that demonstrated that users respond to dialog-box style ads on websites.

Now hold your horses before you dive in to defend his honour. Yes he’s admitted it now, and there’s no denying that that’s a step forward. But ask yourself, when did you start admiring him, recently or ten years ago? Would you now, with the same information?

Neilsen is a dinosaur. Move on people.

Did you know?

That the phrase “By Hook or by Crook” originated when William the Conqueror swore that he would take Waterford by Hook Head to the east of the harbour, or Crook head to the west. I didn’t (until a few weeks ago).

World’s Smallest Park

Click the image for a Wikipedia explanation. I love the idea of the minature ferris wheel being delivered by a regular-sized crane!

Mills End Park

From Google Earth Community, via Digg.

IBM 704

IBM 704

Shorpy: This network of black magnetic beads, smaller than a postage stamp, is one of a number of input-output “memory” units in the new “704” electronic calculator built by International Business Machines. This particular “memory” unit of the 704 instantaneously strips all information off a slow-moving punch card, stores the data momentarily in the form of magnetic charges, and passes along the individual items, one at a time, to a lightning-fast calculating section, which can handle around 10 million operations an hour, theoretically replacing 3,000 hand-operated adding machines. Orders are in for over thirty 704’s, which I.B.M. will rent at some $20,000 a month each.

Creation Museum’s ‘Adam’ runs porn site

You couldn’t make it up.

WTOL-TV Toledo: The man picked by the Creation Museum to play Adam leads quite a different life outside the Garden of Eden. Records show that Eric Linden owns a pornographic web site called “Bedroom Acrobat.”

Useless Info #1: Tesco’s Name

I’m renowned for my vast stocks of useless information, so thus begins the first in a series of useless fact posts. Probably the last too, given my proclivity for “first in a series” posts. Maybe this could be the first in a series of posts about my first in a series posts… hmm….

Aaaanyway, I was gazing into space in a traffic jam at Mahon Point the other day, as I’m sure we all do regularly, and it occurred to me that I had no idea what the name on the sign my gaze happened to fall on actually means. TESCO. This happens quite regularly, but this time I actually looked it up, and if Wikipedia is to be believed on this occasion, here’s the explanation:

The Tesco brand first appeared in 1924. The name came about after Jack Cohen bought a large shipment of tea from T.E. Stockwell. He made new labels by using the first three letters of the supplier’s name (TES) and the first two letters of his surname (CO) forming the word “TESCO”.

So there you have it. Boring, but you’ll still tell people in the pub the next time the name comes up. And your bonus fact today, which I have to confess prompts a confused WTF moment for me, is:

Group profit before tax was £2.653 billion for the 52 week period and £2.648 billion after tax.

£5m tax on £2.6b? I know my grasp of high finance is shite, but again: WTF?