The four values of Robin Hood

Do you know what the four values of Robin Hood are? I’ve asked a few people, and they tend to come up with robbing the rich to pay the poor, and then struggle a bit.

According to, they are

  • championing the community;
  • promoting sustainable living;
  • capturing myths and magic and
  • respecting the past to influence and inspire the future.

Urgh. I can only guess robbing the rich falls under “championing the community.”

Search terms

One of the most interesting things about running a blog is seeing how people who had no intention of reading what you have to say and know nothing about you ended up landing on your web page.

At the start of the year, I was briefly the top of list on Google when you searched for “Facebook,” which was bizarre.

I’ve had several hundred people land on my when trying to figure out how to make pear crumble. (Pipped to the post by a website called, a slightly odd website that includes a section on how your star sign should influence your interior design tastes.)

I’m still high up on the list if you google “gay rubber
But I’ve not had anything quite so strange as Jeremy Hargreaves for a while.

Right brain / left brain

Have a look at this.

The way the dancer turns depends on how your brain works. I can see her turning both ways, but I can’t control it at all. When she was loading frame by frame, she was spinning anti-clockwise. I blink, and she starts turning in the other direction. I don’t think I’m any the wiser. (Via)

Extreme weather

Roundabout lunchtime today, the weather station recorded an extreme wind speed in excess of 180kmh.

A brief google suggests that’s the sort of speeds associated with hurricanes, and if we’d had wind like that in my garden, it would probably have to be because the surrounding houses had blown away

An alternative suggestion is that the guys currently building our conservatory were exploring the lower garden on their lunchbreak.

They’ve been quite entertaining to watch during the day, whenever I’ve gone into the kitchen to make a cuppa, or twitched the bedroom curtains to see how high the walls are now.

At one point, they seemed to be having a competition to see who could hold the maximum paper cups in one hand.

There was also a brief but entertaining period whilst an apprentice to tried and make a big bit of rubbish fit in the skip. Sawing it backwards and jumping on it featured. I was watching in case I ended up having to call an ambulance.

I don’t mind. They seem to have got a huge amount done, and seem to have almost finished building the walls.

This week’s project

Distracting myself a little from frantic general election planning, I’ve been installing a wee weather station at the bottom of the garden.

It’s the cheapest available (as far as I can tell!) that measures lots of different things, and communicates with a PC for logging the data. It’s a Lacrosse WS-2300.


The site I chose for the sensors was the best available, but there are a number of flaws. Firstly there is nowhere anywhere near our house that’s suitable for a wind meter. We’re surrounded by trees, and there’s a huge hill on one side. Even sticking it on the roof wouldn’t do, as the tree in front of our house is taller than the highest point on the house. And the roof would also not be all that convenient for access when it comes to replacing batteries. So wherever it goes, it won’t be terribly accurate as the shadowing from buildings, trees or hills will funnel the weather and shelter it from the lower breezes.

The other issue I thought about when installing was that the fence post I’m using is a little too close to the compost bin, which is rotting away merrily and producing quite a lot of heat.

It’s become clearer from today’s temperature readings, which are about 10 degrees too high, compared to other nearby people’s observations, the forecast, and my other outdoor thermometers, that the thermometer is in full sun. I will either have to move it, or make a Stevenson screen.
The software it came with has fairly serious limitations, so for the last day or so I have been using Weather Display on a free trial, which has been uploading to a webpage. Weather Display has thousands of features, most of which have very limited application. The screens are a complete eyesore, and the website it generates is an affront to the eyes, and web standards (huge images covered in text, for starters.) See for yourself.

I’ve been experimenting with a Mac application called Weather Tracker, which says it should work with the weather station I have but that isn’t quite right…

Have been happily uploading data to Weather Underground, too.