geekery - Archive Articles

The story behind www.ismubarakstillpresident.com

On “teh internets” there is a meme that exists, known as the Single Serving Site, where the URL poses a question, and the website replies with a blank page and a single word answer. Last Thursday I sent out a

Feb
13
2011
Plans to resurrect the ZX Spectrum?
Plans to resurrect the ZX Spectrum?

Plans to resurrect the ZX Spectrum?

Any geek of a certain age is going to squeal when they hear that the 1980s icon, the ZX Spectrum is about to make a comeback. According to a report in the Telegraph via @Peter_Watts, the company that was once

Feb
06
2011

Flickr’s use of the NoFollow tag in weblinks

<web geek mode activated> Some years ago, Google introduced the rel=”nofollow” tag that can be added the links on websites.  The idea being that websites with user submitted content could mark any submitted links as being untrusted so while Google’s

Jan
23
2011

How school kids draw pictures of scientists

Some fairly young school kids were taken on a visit to Fermilab, the USA’s equivalent to Europe’s CERN particle research facility. Before they went though, they were asked to draw a picture of a “scientist” and describe the person –

Jun
26
2010

The Night the IgNobel Awards Came to London

Off to that bastion of learning that is Imperial College in London last night for the annual IgNobel tour – which is swiftly becoming one of my annual highlights.

Mar
19
2010
The Patent Elevator and Observatory – of 1856
The Patent Elevator and Observatory – of 1856

The Patent Elevator and Observatory – of 1856

An interesting article from a copy of the Illustrated London News of October 1856 that I recently acquired – on a mobile elevating platform that would have been used to peer over the walls of a city being besieged by

Mar
02
2010

Dr Scott’s Electric Hair Brush – from Oct 1882

Whenever a new energy or force was discovered in the past, it wasn’t long before someone tried to see if it could be used as a medical treatment. As most things can treat something though, it wouldn’t be long before

Feb
23
2010

Secret rooms in the British Museum

I was at the LSE’s Literary Festival at the weekend, of which more in a day or two, but I couldn’t resist posting a couple of photos that resulted from from some exploratory work after I left the event. At

Feb
15
2010

The Ig Nobel Awards come to London

The Ig Nobel awards – an annual award for real science that seems just a bit weird when you first hear about it – also hosts a series of shows around the UK, and the London tour details have been

Feb
08
2010

Underground Maps Unravelled

This event is being held at Southend on Sea – but I thought it would interest people in London. — An exhibition by Maxwell Roberts Since revolutionising map design in 1933, Henry Beck’s iconic London Underground diagram has set the

Feb
04
2010
Want to own your very own Dr Who Cyberman?
Want to own your very own Dr Who Cyberman?

Want to own your very own Dr Who Cyberman?

However, I was still rather excited to see that Bonhams is going to sell off some of the BBC's Dr Who memorabilia - which usually means public viewing days to have a look at the goodies.

Feb
03
2010

Le Morte d’Teletext

It has been announced that ITV’s Teletext will close today (Tue 15th Dec), and not in January as expected. When I was somewhat younger, many an hour would be spent scouring the pages of Ceefax and Teletext for the latest

Dec
15
2009

Homocea – The Victorian cure for both ends of your body?

As regular readers may recall, one of my hobbies is collecting old copies of the Illustrated London News, partly for the news and partly for the adverts. A delivery of more newspapers arrived, and these two adverts practically leapt off

Oct
22
2009

Windows Error Message at London Bridge

There is an internet tradition of capturing photos of windows error messages in unusual and very public locations. Today I finally saw my first one in real life, and as a value added bonus, the screen was displaying an advert

Oct
11
2009

A talk by Tim Berners-Lee at the Science Museum

Many conferences are presented by a speaker who then has a moderately sized screen upon which the ubiquitous, and often quite boring PowerPoint slides are projected. To go to a cinema and watch a bunch of PowerPoint slides being projected

Sep
15
2009

BBC News scraps the “international focus” front page

A small change has been made to the BBC News homepage which is actually a bit irritating. Cosmetically, all they have done is remove a very small button, but that button had a function that belied its size – namely

Jun
11
2009

There is a leopard in my living room

I needed to take out a second mortgage today as I was about to embark upon the replacement of an ink cartridge for my printer. I dutifully noted down the make and model of the printer and after a detour

May
26
2009

The Rubik’s Cube Solving Robot

I want one!

May
05
2009

Hiding from the Raffia-Mafia*

Today I am, as I am often wont to do, sitting in my local branch of Starbucks working away on my laptop. I am dressed as I usually dress, namely in casual clothes, I have my laptop computer in front

Apr
01
2009

Battlestar Helvetica – When Two Cults Mix

Mar
30
2009
The Iranian Concorde
The Iranian Concorde

The Iranian Concorde

Quite some time ago, I was wandering past the Iran Air travel shop in Picadilly and noticed in their front window was a scale model of a Concorde plane, decorated with the Iran Air branding.

Feb
28
2009

Where is this?

Can you identify this bit of London architecture? Highlight the “hidden text” in the black box below for your answer. It is the Docklands Teleport, a satellite broadcast center in North Woolwich.

Feb
14
2009

It’s illegal to use a slide on the snow

I was reading the LordsoftheBlog and posted a comment from there onto another chat site – commenting on the rather polite way the Lords reacted when part of the ceiling collapsed in the 1980s. Another chap over there then asked

Feb
05
2009

Consequences of the “Great Snow Crisis”

My internet at home is slow today – so I checked various thingymajigs and noticed that there are about double the normal number of Wi-Fi routers switched on and in range compared to an average daytime – and all of

Feb
03
2009