A nice toolboard for my workshop (by )

As an exercise in her art class, Sarah made some pictures by cutting out shapes in coloured paper:

The pictures

Coincidentally, at about this time, I was thinking that I ought to screw a bit of wood to the wall in my workshop and hang tools from it to make them more accessible, and to store them more compactly than having them sitting on a shelf (which is the worst way of using a shelf EVER). So I was delighted when Sarah announced that she'd thought her pictures could be stuck to a piece of wood to make me a toolboard...

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Biopsy II (by )

Mum was supposed to be in the all clear then a few weeks ago just before she came to stay with us she had a routine check up and a second lump was found in her other breast. A follow up on it showed that it has grown and tomorrow at about two o'clock she is going for another biopsy to find out exactly what the damage is.

The annoying thing is that the lump is apparent on ultra sounds from when they where dealing with the first lump so surelly it could/should have been dealt with at the same time reducing the amount of physical and emotional strain on my mother?

Earshot 2 (by )

Last night I took part in a poetry night this was the second Earshot that I have read at - there has only ever been two and it was also the second time I have read my poetry in public. I shook the whole time I read. I picked two poems one called Ice which discribes the life cycle of a romantic relationship using ice in its various guises as extended metaphors - this went down so well that I people coming up to me to say what they loved about it. The second poem was one for me and was my Programmers Lament which I think only I understood. I am going for the one scientific poem on arty deep one - I know that no one gets the scientific ones but I think they are my better poetry!

Anyway the upstart of this was that the judges where apparently divided as to who should get the trophy and as always I missed the top spot and Clare from my writting class took home the trophy for her darkly funny poems about Opps I killed My Mother/Husband/Children.

Again I was reading what is termed page poetry at an event which is trying to bridge the gap between performance poetry and page poetry - I consider poetry to be primarially an oral tradition so I find the distinct odd but basically I'm serious subjects in a non-comedic/dramatised style where the Performance poets are serious(or not) subjects done comedic or dramatically.

I'm not sure you can really compare the two styles and as the night contained prose writing too I didnt envy the judges. But then I am going to be biased having missed out so narrowly 🙂

Still I feel that this marks the beginning of the next major stage of my writting career - not sure how but I got to see and speak to people involved in glastonbury's poetry tent, various litrature festivals and those doing the creative writing courses at the University here. However I still feel a bit of a frued as I wouldn't say I'm a poet as I struggle to get most poetry - the 'poems' I writ are written becuase they appear in my head and I need to get them out of there.

Backups and Archives (by )

I'm always slightly frustrated in my attempts to create efficient backup and archival systems for my stuff; because the way filesystems are managed works against me.

The contents of my disks boil down into a few different categories, for backup purposes:

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Building a Web of Trust is fun (by )

Well, I've now done two ORG keysignings: the original one at Imperial College Union and another one at OpenTech.

Both worked out quite well - they've both been informal ones, where pre-registration of your key on the Wiki page is optional; at an appointed time and place, a bunch of strangers meet up and look at each other's legal proofs of ID and details of their digital identity, then go home and issue cryptographically signed statements that they think the legal ID and the digital ID match. Which, as I have mentioned before, is just one way of building trust webs. Anonymous check-my-ID keysignings copy a real-world statement of identity into a digital identity framework, which is scaleable since total strangers can sign each other's keys. Verifying digital identities based on pseudonyms involves linking a reputation to a digital identity, which is a little slower to scale since it takes time to check a reputation (generally, you can only do it for people you have formed a relationship with, even if it's just reading their blog), but in many ways more valuable.

So, I'd like to keep organising key signings, until people stop turning up!

My hunch is that, after a few parties, everyone in the region who wants to attend one will have, and will then be thoroughly rooted in the local web of trust. So attendance will drop off, as the only people who keep coming will be people who want to come and meet up and chat anyway (even if they've already swapped signatures with everyone else present) - and new people who create an identity and want to link it into the Web (and perhaps meet other local cyphergeeks).

London's certainly big enough to provide a suitable population, I think, if I organise bi-weekly or monthly regular signings at a nominated public location; I'm in London at the beginning of every other week for the foreseeable future, so I'm going to propose that I establish a routine!

But I'm also keen to get more involved in the Bristol and Glocuester geek scenes, too, what with it actually being near where I live. Perhaps just monthly. I'll see what interest I can raise...

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