24 March 2010


That's the name of my fountain pen, I found out today.

And I FINALLY found someone who is able to locate and order in a replacement nib from France.


19 March 2010

Straight-talking London

I was half an hour late for an appointment today because there were severe delays on the Picadilly Line.  The announcement said that this was "due to a person under a train at Wood Green station".

Not "problem", not "accident", but "person under a train".

Right.  That's a bit too vivid for me bright and early in the morning.

It's the second time I have come across this.  The first time, I had read it on a notice board like »this and it left me disturbed for the night.  Apparently between the tube and rail, there is at least one occurrence in the UK every day.

Postscript: I have just read about an iPhone app that expedites refund applications for tube delay.  I didn't know that TfL offer »refunds for tube delays of more than 15 minutes that are within their control.  Maybe that's why they are so blunt.  Sorry, not our fault this time.  Don't bother with the refund.

11 March 2010

More fractals

Photo credits: Simon Tatham

The fascinating results you get when you graphically map how the Newton method finds an approximation to multiple roots, and homes in on them.

From the »very simple and readable NYT column on mathematics by Steven Strogatz.  During the languid days of being a data-entry clerk in between high school and university, I devoured a couple of pop math books from the library.  The interest has remained since.

09 March 2010

Tragedy of the commons

If the shared printer runs out of paper, is it the responsibility of the last person who caused it to run out to refill it, or is it that of the unlucky person who next tries to print?

Today I refilled it and also taped up the annoying cover which keeps falling off. Then someone returned my favorite sock which I had left behind in the dryer.

It's nice when people take the trouble.

(But humans tend to try to get away with doing as little as possible. We're all a bit shitty that way.)

Of course there will be great presidents again

And so in the end, after scoring clients and conquering the world, this is what we become.

Here is another »endearing letter.  I wish I could see it in its original handwriting and stationery.

The stegosaurus veg

Ok, that's just the »romanesco sitting on my takeout box.

But if I were teaching my kid about dinosaurs, I would serve this fascinating creature on his dinner plate. (It's quite tasty actually.) And while we are at it, we might as well learn about »fractals and »logarithmic spirals too.

04 March 2010

Royal Photographic Society port talk

Andrew Ritchie, director of »my residence college, looks on as Rosemary Wilman, the President of »RPS, gives a port talk. I decided to keep him underexposed as I quite liked the light.

The quick brown fox

Was not jumping over the lazy dog. It was scurrying along my pavement at night in such a sad state, with a big patch of missing fur on its side.


01 March 2010

Helmet heartthrob

paul smith
While the other gals were ogling over Chanel bags (one or two which are no doubt quite worthy of ogling), I was eyeing this at Selfridges.

But actually, my dream helmets are these ones from »Les Atelier Ruby.

And oh yes, having access to a bike would be nice.