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Pellatt Road

In East Dulwich there is a Pellatt Road. I still don’t know how to pronounce it; a simple “pellet” seems most statesmanly. I’ve wondered where that name came from. It struck me as a person’s name, probably. I started looking, and found an MP for Southwark who died a little before a plot called Friern Farm near the village of Dulwich in Surrey was bought up and replaced with a tidy horseshoe of early Victorian streets, one of which was named Pellatt Road.

Men in evening wear slapping one another on the back

The latest issue of the All My Stars newsletter got me reading about Crash (1996). It was obviously a very contraversial film, that much I remember. There was some monocle-popping from Francis Ford Coppola on the Cannes jury; he refused to present the award that the film went on to win. What’s funny though is that the film won the Special Jury Prize, not just the Jury Prize. What’s the difference?

Pubs in London with outdoor heaters

I was forwarded a PDF that began life as a Google Doc, before it was overwhelmed by demand. Crowd-sourced, guerrilla resources often spring up like this in times of difficulty. Perhaps I should be less surprised at how quickly Londoners have acted to work out where to get a pint without exposing yourself to the virus or the freezing cold. PDFs are notoriusly inconvenient to quickly reference, so I’m mirroring here.

History of the Bible

I read The History of the Bible this weekend and enjoyed it a lot. I have a little collection of books about theology now, not because of any interest in faith but because I think it’s an interesting vein of history and culture. The bible is so often quoted, wittingly or unwittingly, in popular culture and everyday speech. Here are some good excerpts from the book. The first I’ve included because I like the readings of the Old Testament that give God a personality.

Rewatching Pixar short films

I rewatched lots of Pixar shorts the other night. So much of Pixar’s storytelling is fixating on parenting, growing up, child development. Also it seems like each Pixar short is some kind of experiment in animation or storytelling. A great example is Piper, the story of a sandpiper on a beach learning to find shells in the sand. The animation of the surf, and the sand with all its different consistencies and levels of water saturation is amazing.

Boys State

We watched Boys State this week. It’s a documentary that follows a cohort of Texan teenage boys going through an intense one-week political bootcamp at the Texas state capitol. They’re divided randomly into two parties*, given lessons in the state constitution, and then they run a compressed set of elections for party chairmen, gubernatorial candidates, and ultimately for state governor. I really enjoyed it, though I felt myself predictably enamoured with the charismatic and thoughtful liberals Steven and René.

Week Notes - 7th September 2020

Ideally all the books in the API should stay in the store even if they haven’t been included on any of the named shelves in the last Goodreads scrape. When a new scrape is run it would add any books that don’t appear, shift any books that are in the store but don’t appear in the latest scrape to a no-shelf status (representing books I know about but have no relation with, I guess).

Accessible Buzzfeed

This article was originally published on the BuzzFeed Tech Blog Header image by Devin Argenta Last month, external accessibility experts certified buzzfeed.com as compliant with the best accessibility practices for the web. That simple statement, ripped straight from the headlines of a boilerplate internal email, does not do justice to the two-year process that brought us to that point. Nor does it embody what the achievement means to our team, especially myself, on a personal level.

Swimming Notes

The swimmable water in Iona harbour, because I don’t have a photo of my pool I’ve grown up with a Pavlovian connection between swimming pools and chocolate bars. When I was a kid I was often taken to the local swimming baths and would stage a successful whinging campaign afterwards to be given 50p for a chocolate bar from the vending machine in the lobby of the baths.

Scraps from the Isle of Mull

Machair behind the dunes at Salen Bay, Mull A few weeks ago I went camping in Scotland. Below are some scraps I wrote down while I was on the Isle of Mull. There are significant magnetic anomalies around the islands of St. Kilda. The name St. Kilda is an oddity: there is no such saint. One theory is that it comes from “sunt kelda”, Norse for sweet wellwater.