Why twitter's interesting

Just had an interesting conversation with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Channel 4 Newsreader. It started when he commented:

For which he obviously got some flack, as it was shortly followed by:

which then turned into a brief but interesting conversation between he & I:

Not profound, maybe not fascinating, but an unusual & interesting way to give some direct feedback and get the ideas of someone I'd not otherwise have a chance to.

(Some of the appropriate content can be found via¬s=&tag=&lang=all&from=&to=&ref=&near=&within=15&units=mi&since=2009-04-03&until=2009-04-03&rpp=15 - but I can't work the search engine well enough to get the exact & full conversation)
  • Current Music
    Planet Rock

No idea

why this dropped into my mind while taking a shower earlier; possibly something to do with the rythmn of the extractor fan.

Some of you will be familiar with the traditional British kids' variant which starts with the same line.

While shepherds washed their socks by night
To get them clean and nice
The bloke from the laundrette dropped by
And gave them this advice:

Rinse no! He said
For there's a red
Sock in with all the white
Your laundry is now pink throughout
Due to this oversight.
  • Current Mood
    weird odd

Levels of Liberal Linguistic Logic & Lunacy

1) Refusing ever to leave the UK because the water tastes funny elsewhere (distinct, on various axes, from holidaying in the UK for financial, environmental or other reasons)

2) Travelling overseas, but TALKING ENGLISH IN A VERY LOUD AND CLEAR VOICE, 'cos the locals should speak english and are just being stubborn, damnit.

3) Holidaying strictly in anglophonic (yes I made that up, I think) countries because you only speak english and feel guilty that you can't speak local anywhere else.

4) Holidaying only in various Western European countries because you happened to learn a bit of the language at school.

5) Sticking to Western Europe but venturing into a few more countries where the languages kinda sound a bit like the ones you already learned, possibly also picking up the "$newLanguage in 24 hours" audiobook.

6) Venturing further afield, possibly to Greece or Russia where the alphabet's a bit different and the language family's quite distinct.

7) Trying to learn an ideographic language with new cultural references & up to three new alphabets to get your head around, with the vague idea you might go there sometime. This level may also just qualify as nuts.

So, yeah... I've been wandering around these levels over most of my life, with a current linguistic score somewhere as follows:

English (UK): Mother tongue, give or take my ability to get my tongue in a complete knot.

French: Fluent; studied since I was about 8; numerous holidays, exchanges, and a year of my degree spent in Paris.

Spanish: Learned as a regular GCSE and used on occasional holiday.

Latin: Studied at school to a fairly low level.

Norwegian: Learned a few words when I went on holiday at about 9? Forgotten all, I think.

Welsh: Used to be able to pronounce most of it right and sing the national anthem. Never knew what much of it meant.

German: Fluent. Studied in my final year at school and during my Uni degree; studied a year of my degree in Karlsruhe.

Irish: Fascinated by the language and mythology, utterly baffled by the pronunciation, got nowhere reasonably fast.

Italian: Learned a few words for recent holidays. Still have a habit of speaking Spanish instead.

Japanese: Learned a little specialist vocab for Aikido and food. Learning more recently after getting fascinated and deciding to make it this year's hobby (not intended as an insult). webcowgirl's ability to speak Mandarin & Japanese in restaurants is also quite inspiring.

Portuguese: Learned a little prior to a recent holiday. Still bemused by the fact that weekdays don't have names.

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Ideas for LJ apps to write

Would anyone use these if I wrote them?

(ETA Looks like LoudTwitter can be persuaded to post to groups.)

1) Tweet2LJ
This app allows a user to automatically post their tweets to a specified group in their LJ account (LoudTwitter only allows public posting).

It may in future allow users to post two streams; one in "real time", one in "batch mode".

It will need to log into LJ and extract a group list.

It will need to log into LJ to post.

It will need to memorise, or have specified:
The journal name
The journal password
The twitter account

For locked twitter streams, it will also require the twitter password!

It will need to know, or calculate, the "last sent" time for a batch.

2) Crowd Control
A related app is a "group self-organiser".

An LJ user may nominate a group on their journal as self-organising.

Users *on the primary user's friend list* will be able to add or remove themselves from
this group.

They can log into the hosting website by using their LJ username, which will be converted to an OpenID and authenticated against the LJ site. (The friends DO NOT need to supply their passwords to the hosting site).

The hosting site will then modify those groups via the LJ API (

For each primary user, the system will need to store:
- Username
- journal password
- group(s) to allow self-organisation on

The system MUST NOT allow users/friends to see or deduce their membership of other groups, or the membership lists of the self-organising groups.