Happy bloggiversary to me.

stormy petrel

It’s five years since I started Heraclitean Fire — or Stormy Petrel, as it was then called — using a Python-based Slashdot clone called ‘Squishdot’. Which was probably a silly idea even then, and was only because I had set up a wiki using a free hosting service that was based on Zope… but still, it’s amazing how much blogging software has moved on since then. That was my first attempt to get my head around CSS. Oh what larks.


Apologies for the lack of posts

If I’d been better blogger recently you might have got my thoughts about things like the weirdness of the US healthcare debate (you’d think that the aim of universal healthcare was laughably naive starry-eyed utopianism, rather than something that every other wealthy country has already achieved), Manchester United’s prospects for the season (I’m worried they’ll be short of goals if Rooney gets crocked), the Ashes (I’m thrilled we won, but it was a funny old topsy-turvy series), and the appearance of a variant, yellow-winged form of the Jersey Tiger moth in the garden.

So you haven’t missed much, really.

I don’t actually have anything in particular to say now, I just had a twinge of guilt about the lack of blogging. I’m currently drinking a cup of coffee and preparing to upgrade the OS on my computer — something I realised I was excited about not so much because of the software itself but because it’s named after the most beautiful and coolest of the big cats.


Testing, testing.

Well, I think I’ve come up with a slightly better way of getting my blog posts on Facebook. Basically I want to feed full posts to people’s feed-readers but excerpts to Facebook (because I don’t want people commenting on Facebook instead of here).

So I’ve set up the Feed Wrangler plugin to add an excerpt-only feed which I can just feed to Facebook. It’s a bit of a stupid hack but then Facebook is stupid that way. Now I’ll just have to see if it works.

EDIT: testing again. sigh.


Hello everyone

Apologies for the lack of blogging recently. Hopefully you all use RSS readers so you haven’t been wasting time checking to see if I’ve posted anything new.

A part of the reason is that I think Twitter has been cannibalising my blog posting a bit. For example, the peregrine I saw over the park a few days ago would certainly have merited a blog post if I hadn’t already scratched that itch by tweeting about it. The fact that I could replace a blog post with 140 characters might imply that my blog posts are about 20 times longer than they should be, but never mind.


Anyway, you’re all just going to have to live without my thoughts on Manchester United, chiffchaffs, stock doves, Irish republican terrorism, Slumdog Millionaire, hay fever, the iPhone, Welsh rarebit and whatever else I’ve been not posting about lately. It’s not much of a loss.


Some site housekeeping stuff

The very observant among you may notice that my separate book page has disappeared. That’s because I’ve increasingly been blogging about all the books I read anyway, so it just meant I was duplicating the information. And since I started posting to Goodreads, the situation is even more ridiculous, with me effectively posting the same text in three different places, all formatted slightly differently.

So, with a slight twinge of regret, because even if it was a bit pointless, I was quite pleased with that page from a design/coding point of view… I have killed it.

Other bits of minor news: I have started posting to twitter as @HeracliteanFire. And if you really want to follow my every online move, all this stuff — Flickr, delicious, twitter,, Goodreads, this blog and my photoblog — gets aggregated on FriendFeed.


Links of the year 2008

A not very methodical selection of about 50 links from the 300 or so I posted last year.

amazing camera — Anne of Green Gables
beachobatics — Billys and Charleys — Björk on television
cat playing the theramin — Chicago storefront churches — collapsing USA — CSS Homer — curators at work

Detroit dancing
financial meltdown — forehead wrinkles — fossil bird
Galileo’s magic trick — ghost slugs

hairy women — head-tracking 3D display — hermit in glass house — historical voting
ingenious glasses — interviewed chief — ironclad
Japanese typewriters — Jefferson’s Bible

kitten eating broccoli — knitted viscera
lakes on Titan — landscape design
male strippers — medieval watermarks

Native Americans — new Pope
photos of TV — psychology of suicide
railway signal — restless stereographs — robot dog — robotic prosthetic

search photos by colour — sheep stomach lamp — sign names — snails on face — solargraphs — spooky metronomes — springtime on Mars — a stupid name
transsexual toilets

unbuilt London
vest test — Victorian egg-diving — video editing magic
wandering oak boulder — Welsh roadsign — Wikipedia — wooden mirror