Is it as fun as it used to be?

Archive for the ‘Interesting Stuff’ Category

James Johnston to Hannah Suffel, 27th April 1851


The honour of a devoted heart now beating with hope now trembling with anxiety is offered to you – is yours. Reject it; scorn it, it is yours – I do not write to tell you that I can love you that I wish to love you that I ask the privilege to love you, I write simply to tell you that I do love you and that which a passion so ardent a feeling so profound that in spite of all the obstacles which interpose, I have been compelled to venture this declaration.

To say that you are beautiful, graceful, accomplished – that you are fair and lovely – that you are admirable in all that makes women admired is but to echo the words or embody the thoughts of all around you – All acknowledge your attractions but I feel them and I cannot be so false to my own heart as to conceal the emotions from the object to which they tend.

Lady my position is humble but not so are my aspirations and my hopes for I have dared to love you – I have not the gift of fortune yet I am seeking what the wealth of the universe could purchase from me – Your love let it be still as it has been the bright star of my destiny. Let it be the goal of my ambition and you shall see how bravely I will endeavor to deserve what I will aspire to the favour that can give unbounded happiness to.

Your devoted admirer

James Johnston

They were married eight months later.

James hand wrote this himself, in startlingly good penmanship. The letter is frequently on display at [Upper Canada Village]( — ‘Upper Canada’ is an old name for the province of Ontario Canada.

They were my great-great-great-grandparents (maybe another great in there). I have no real information beyond that, other than, I suppose, they had at least one child :-)

Written by hutch

December 30, 2008 at 7:20 pm

The Hockey Pond

Arni Mikelsons and his company Northern Village, has produced a video called The Hockey Pond in support of The Friends of the Earth’s campaign to combat global warming. Friends of the Earth have issued a press release, Kyoto Anniversary – Canada Delaying the Kyoto Game featuring the video.

One month ago, Arni Mikelsons tried to play hockey on Guelph Lake. But what is usually frozen in mid-January was open water. Arni videoed his attempt, which can be viewed here, to tell the tale of that day. What you will see is Arni, his dog, and a demonstration of how to paddle a canoe with a hockey stick.

“It’s not right to have open water in my hockey pond,” said Arni Mikelsons. “While governments bicker, deny and continue to study future options, global warming is already affecting the lives of Canadians. I want action by my government. Cut the brawling and delays. Honour Canada’s Kyoto Promise.”

It is well worth a look (it is funny) either on Northern Village’s site or even Youtube.

Written by hutch

February 19, 2007 at 9:32 am

BLDGBLOG: The cantilevered void house

Written by hutch

September 10, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Extemporaneous Speaking

Martin Fowler:: Extemporaneous

Most of my public talks these days use a third mode – extemporary speaking. In this style I begin with little more than a rough outline of my talk, and compose everything else as I go.

This is generally how I ‘perform’ any presentations that I do. There is a trick — how do you stay interesting?

One tip that’s been useful to me was one that someone else told me came from Tony Benn. Essentially this says to cover three main points in your talk, and let each main point have three main sub-points. I’ve often found this to be a useful starting point for the structure of a talk.

Okay, but I think this isn’t necessary. I blathered on once for almost two and a half hours with three points on a card. Did it work. Maybe. I was the last speaker and I was the only thing between the audience and free beer (well.. actually it was a lot of free booze, in the most general sense). Nobody left. Hmm. Next time I think I’ll bring the bar into the room… If the audience is willing to put up with me, why shouldn’t I put up with them?

Those people I worked with… they were really polite.

Written by hutch

August 18, 2006 at 10:50 pm

Mail-in Authentication

Don Park usually has something interesting to say. He is worth checking out.

This particular post concerns using email to provide authentication tokens to a webapplication.

This is an idea that I find interesting. There are some technicalities raised but I thing these can we dealt with.

Written by hutch

August 18, 2006 at 10:34 pm

David Seah

There’s something going on here (David Seah). Have a look at some of his paper based managements techniques.

Written by hutch

August 18, 2006 at 10:06 pm

Aerial Photographs of Mexico City

Aerial Photographs of Mexico City (English)

Wow! Fascinating photos by a helicopter pilot.

Written by hutch

February 9, 2006 at 10:00 am

The Blog | Frances Moore Lappe: Thomas Friedman, Are You Listening? | The Huffington Post

The Blog | Frances Moore Lappe: Thomas Friedman, Are You Listening? | The Huffington Post

Your 41-weeks-as-a-Times-best-seller The World is Flat celebrates revolutions in transportation and communications that have “leveled the playing field” so poor people are now rushing on to it. In this interconnected world, technology-generated economic growth is their salvation.

But an extensive New Economics Foundation study released to catch the eye of the uber-elites’ World Economic Forum in Davos has demolished your thesis with one stunning finding: For every $100 of growth in per person income during the go-go 1990s a measly 60 cents ended up easing the plight of the world’s poorest people. Compare this to the 1980s, supposedly a dismal decade for development and before your imagined “world flattening”: Then, $100 in per person income growth meant $2.20 for the billion-plus people living on less than a dollar a day.

You can stop celebrating: In just one decade there’s been a 73 percent drop in benefit for the poorest.

These findings sink yet another cliché. “Rising tides lift all boats,” we’ve been told, but the foundation’s policy director and co-author of the report Andrew Simms noted the obvious: “…millions of the poor have no boats at all to rise in.”

Written by hutch

February 3, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Satellite picture shows Africa’s dying lake

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Satellite picture shows Africa’s dying lake

Lake Chad is disappearing. Satellite images published this week showed that you could walk across an expanse of what was once one of the world’s largest lakes without getting your feet wet. In the past four decades the lake has shrivelled from 23,000 sq km (14,300 sq m) to just 900 sq km, a retreat that will force the redrawing of maps because the water no longer reaches Nigeria, Niger or Cameroon, and is now entirely within the borders of Chad.

You want to see what this means? There are several aerial photos of Lake Chad on this page. Click on 1963 then on 1997.

Written by hutch

February 3, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Stone Pages Archaeo News: Throwing new light on the purpose of Stonehenge

Stone Pages Archaeo News: Throwing new light on the purpose of Stonehenge

“Our latest research developed out of a trip to Madagascar, surprisingly,” says Professor Mike Parker Pearson, of the University of Sheffield. “A Malagasy colleague of mine paid a return visit to Stonehenge, took one look and said it was ‘blindingly obvious’ what it was for – that it was built for the ancestors.”

It was explained that in Madagascar, monuments were built in stone for the ancestors and in organic matter for the living. This presented an interesting hypothesis – that the monuments at Stonehenge were linked to the nearby sites of Durrington Walls and Woodhenge. “It put forward the idea that Stonehenge was part of a wider complex, linked by the River Avon,” says Parker Pearson, “which gave us a series of predictions. If they were linked by a ceremonial purpose, there should be an avenue from the Durrington Walls site to the river, as there is from Stonehenge, and the two should be contemporary.”

Madagascar? Have a peek at this article… good pondering-stuff there.

Written by hutch

February 3, 2006 at 5:44 pm

Posted in Interesting Stuff


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