Daily archives: October 8, 2010

links for 2010-10-08

  • The Census cuts non-religious people in half!

    The census data on religion produced by the 2001 census gave a wholly misleading picture of the religiosity of the UK, cutting the number of non-religious people in half.

    Why this matters

    If you say you’re religious on the census and don’t really mean it, then you are treated by some sections of the media, churches, and even government policymakers as if you are a fully-fledged believer.

  • A coder has built an interface for e-book reader browsers that lets you play text-based adventure games from the 1980s.

    Before computer games arrived on the scene, kids amused themselves with choose-your-own-adventure books that allowed you to explore fantastic worlds that were described without the aid of fancy graphics.

    As computers became a little more powerful, these were translated into text-only adventure games that retained the spartan aesthetic, but allowed the player a little more control over their exploration of the world. For example, you'd type "north" to move north, where you'd then "look" around a scene before deciding how to interact further.

    (tags: kindle)
  • I love hollowed out books. They make excellent hiding places or they can be used as unique and tricky double gift wrap. "Ah-ha, it's a book wrapped up in a book!" I've built hollowed-out books before, using the time-honored, frustrating, and very time-consuming hobby-knife method. This time, I decided to speed things up (by hours!) using my Dremel Multi-Max oscillating tool.
  • Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

    Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

    A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Art of Tea

As the next Irwin tale is tentatively titled A Death in Didsbury, I shall be spending some time over the next few weeks down here trying to soak up local flavour. I’m currently in The Art Of Tea on Barlow Moor Road, making the most of their free WiFi and casting about for inspiration.

I remember when this was a bookshop with a mod inspired sign, which started selling drinks as an extra earner. Now it’s flipped. The bookshop still exists in the rear of the building, along with the picture framers, but the last time I was here the lights were off in the back room so I didn’t venture in. Maybe when I’ve finished my green tea I’ll go for a browse.