The perils of an over active imagination

So. We had an earthquake. We woke up in the middle of the night to the most godawful rumbling and rattling. The following conversation ensued:

Me: What on earth is that?

Mrs Offmessage: No idea. The house is shaking though. Could it be an earthquake?

Me: Earthquake? Unlikely

Mrs Offmessage: What is it then? I don’t like it.

Me: It’s very windy. Maybe it’s the wind?

Mrs Offmessage: Doing that?

Me: Well… Yes… Could be. The wind could be hitting the resonant frequency of the house.

(Mrs Offmessage looks sceptical)

Me: You know, like when bridges collapse

(Mrs Offmessage continues to look sceptical)

Me: It would have to be blowing from a particular direction I guess

(Mrs Offmessage rolls over)

Me: That narrow path down the side of the house could cause a funnel effect…


At least I wasn’t in bed with Ian, I guess

Love me ’til my heart stops

I love youtube; particularly as a music discovery service.  I don’t think I’ve talked about this enough here so here’s the first in (hopefully) a more concerted effort to post music videos to this blog.

This is the track I was looking for when I first discovered exactly how good youtube is for music.  It wasn’t there at the time, it was the other things I found that made me realise. Thankfully someone has posted it since and for your delectation here is one of the highlights of Talking Heads career done by David Byrne plus small orchestra on Later a few years ago. This must be the place (naïve melody).

Black is the new green

Must admit that I didn’t notice this story when it first broke (despite having over 4,000 diggs!), but there’s an interesting thought that if Google were to invert the colours of it’s pages (with a black background) it would save approximately 750MWh (Mega Watt hours) of energy per year.

This sounds fantastic (it sounded more fantastic before the migration from CRT to LCD got factored in and the savings were 3,000MWh). But. A note of caution. The average electricity consumption of a UK household is just shy of 4MWh per year, meaning that even Google can only save the electricity of 192 UK homes. Rather stops you worrying about energy consumption in your web design. Still, black is the new green makes for a nice slogan. Those interested in the power consumption of different colours (on CRTs) can find out more from the US Gov.

Interesting that blackle (a black page Google custom search) has gained a lot of traction among the eco/ethical crowd. If I’m honest it looks like a fairly cynical ploy; host AdSense on a standard version of Google and tout yourselves as ethical. Given the energy savings that such a site offers in reality it’s just another way of getting traffic to your ads – nothing more, nothing less. 469kWh saved to date (as I write this post). Approximately 10% of one UK household. I’m betting the ad revenue would pay for a whole lot more electricity (or solar panels, or wind turbines) than that.