dc: Me, in a pub.  (Sideways)
I remember when Google Maps first appeared I said I would never use it for somewhere I didn't know well myself. That kind of still applies, although Street View makes up for a lot of its deficiencies, since whatever the map shows, the pictures record pretty much what's there. (Though an unfortunately parked van did foil my use of it to identify a particular restaurant's location once.) Still, though, if I really want a good idea about street layout in an area I don't know, I would rather use Streetmap, which is much more accurate.

What baffles me is when Google Maps decides to rename a road. Not talking about small streets or lanes here, either. The first time I came across this was in 2005 when I discovered Google Maps was under the impression that Great Western Road (one of the main arterial routes into Glasgow) was called “Inverquhomery Road” — a street name you won't find anywhere in the city.

They're at it again. Checking up on the location of a place in Bloomsbury, I discovered that Google Maps thinks that the road running south from Russell Square to the junction with High Holborn and Kingsway is called Northampton Row.

Seriously, WTF?

dc: QR Code (QR code)
One of the things which made Eastercon go very smoothly for me was not having to worry too much about what I ate. I did have to be wary of anything with too much fibre, which to be honest isn't that difficult in a hotel like that, but I picked up some lactase pills in Birmingham and made good use of them over the weekend. It made a huge difference to how well I felt over the course of the weekend, since getting completely lactose-free food in a hotel is not usually easy. This is something I shall do again at future cons.

I think I mentioned before that Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London was a good read, urban fantasy with a very well-presented London sense of humour (in particular, he's nailed the way policemen talk, it's beautifully done); the sequel, Moon Over Soho, is just as good. Can't wait for the next book in the series, which I think should be published in November, if I recall correctly.

I am not sure whether I should be excited or nervous about the discovery that a film of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is in the works. On the whole, I think nervous, especially since it's apparently going to star George Clooney (I am assuming as Napoleon Solo, though I don't know for sure; wonder who would be Ilya Kuryakin...).

Back to books, and another rather good read is S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers. It's 2025, and a dastardly plot is under way to destabilise the British Raj... which is ruled from Delhi. In this world, a cometary impact took out chunks of the northern hemisphere and caused major climatic upsets. The Raj is the major power in the world, its main competitors Greater Nippon and a deeply unpleasant Russian Empire. France outre-mer is a potential ally. There's no real surprises in the way the story is resolved, it is pretty much a straightforward, old-fashioned adventure with no pretensions to being deeply thought provoking, but it is well-told (in particular, the action sequences are well-done). Plus, analytical engines and dirigibles!

There's just been an ad on TV mentioning a luxury weekend break in a converted jail... I don't think I've eaten any strange mushrooms...
dc: Me, in a pub.  (Default)
This is something I have been curious about for a while. If you go through Queen Street Station, you will often see yellow cones indicating that the floor is wet (especially on platforms 8 & 9, since there's often water dripping down near the lift shafts). These cones indicate the floor is wet in two languages: English and Spanish.

Why Spanish? I could see arguments for Gaelic (an indigenous language, and the station's signs are in English and Gaelic — Queen Street handles the West Highland Line, after all). I could see arguments for Italian, or Chinese, or an Indian language; Polish, even. But Spanish? There are Spanish people in Glasgow, but I don't think there is a particularly sizeable Spanish community. It seems odd.


Oct. 15th, 2008 12:02 pm
dc: Me, in a pub.  (Dalek)
OK, it took me longer than expected to get into town today.[*] So, first thing I had to do was find a toilet, which was no problem. I am leaving the place, which has a narrow entrance, when this other guy comes hurtling in. I step back a little to let him by, but he freezes, turns around and runs away.


[* I misplaced a health centre. Don't ask... I think certain aspects of my internal filesystem have got slightly messed up. *sigh*]

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