Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Little things

Few days ago, this poster caught my sight:

I mean, that thickening can be seen on the key above its tooth is very typical here. Every skeleton key I had seen, was peculiar in the same way. To give you an idea of that prevalence, here are my keys below:

I'm not sure if this is indeed an English tradition (I didn't manage to find an unequivocal proof), but all my keys in Russia had been shaped ordinary.

As far as I understand, this thickening prevents a key from warping in a keyhole.

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Mind the gap"

On New Year's Eve, journeys on Tube and buses will be free. But on Christmas, there was no service, all stations closed.

Hardly one can find a more concise explanation of the difference in celebrations customs.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to dump properly

Depending on your local infrastructure, being greener and cleaner can be easier or harder.

If you have a special waste container near your house to dump recycled rubbish like paper, tin, glass, foil etc. you have nothing to worry about. Even special collectors for textile and shoes may present, though they look more like pillboxes or air raid shelters:

Usually those containers are for all types of litter to be recycled and you can just dump it making no distinction. But sometimes your nearest collectors are separated to accumulate different types of rubbish. In that case, they are usually numerous and look like train - even coloured and transparent glass don't share common "glass" container:

* clickable

So, you are to sort your litter either on your kitchen in real time (which requires space) or when you come to containers (which is not very pleasant). On the other hand, acting this way makes you even greener than you expected.

In our case, we had no recycled point like above in a walking distance. Well, actually, we had two of them nearby in a distance that is absolute okay to walk but only when you do not carry rubbish bags (the distance you are ready to travel with such a load is significantly shorter).

So, we used special litter boxes like that:

* Near that green one, a smaller standard litter box can be seen. Rubbish in those standard boxes is not recycled

The green litter box above is for all types of rubbish, but sometimes you can spot boxes designed specially for newspapers and paper cups:

Anyway, neither of those are convenient to use on a regular basis, when you're not a walking-by pedestrian who has just finished drinking his take-away coffee, but when you arrived with a whole bag to be dumped. The openings, as you can see, are not big so some bottles and non-standard cans can't be squeezed through easily. Still, while the only alternative available was to walk about 10 minutes to nearest containers, we were accepting the inevitable.

But recently, our council supplied us with special transparent bags bearing recycle marks for dustmen to treat them properly:

Now all we need is to fill those bags and then just left them on the pavement to be collected by rubbish tracks running regularly through the street - the same way we deal with usual rubbish. Many of you can consider this a bit weird - for us, it was also a bit awkward to leave trash bags on the pavement the beginning. I even wrote an email to council if it was really right way - but bags dumped that way are really collected on time (if there is no any strike in progress, of course).

Monday, December 21, 2009


The weather was rubbish today, making buses very slow. On the bright side, throughout our journey we were enjoying stunning views like those:



Friday, December 18, 2009

Breaking the silence

Sorry for delay with postings - I had started a twitter a while ago and then immediately faced that usual problem of it soaking all my thoughts quickly before they get a chance of turning into blog post. I'll improve, but still you can follow me if interested.

Today's news:

a) It snowed. Fortunately, it's still above zero.

b) I've discovered original Banksy's piece almost around the corner:

Apparently, it had been there from September. A good reason to be more curious about your borough.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Global cooling

Turning back to Frankenstein, I came accross the fact that this book was started at year 1816 which was memorable enough to earn its own name, Year Without a Summer.

Can't help sharing this link with all those climate scandals and contexts.

By the way, speaking about climate, here is a footer of email that I've received recently:

"Okay, we all are trying to be green, but hey, you're cutting corners off!"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"One nation under CCTV"

Yesterday I spotted a vehicle with a strange message on it:

Later at home, I've looked through company website. Alas, behind that promising orwellian name, commonplace mobile networking solutions were offered. Nevertheless I remained excited and only after I while I understood that the definition which is so unusual and full of contiguities for a newcomer's ear is used to mark expert witnesses, 3rd party analysts providing expertise to the court.

Still, some pieces close to the intuitive interpretation can be found.

Yesterday's encounter

Project Chanology is still alive.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today's findings

Carefully selected background:

Oxford st. street artist:

Another commuter: