allochthonous: (the great outdoors)
STILL NO CONTRACT. But the snow is snowing vigorously and I have high hopes that some of my friends will be having snow days so we can schedule a snowball fight this afternoon. At heart I am still a six-year-old when it comes to the white stuff.

In the meantime, I can't get enough of the #upgoerfive trend on twitter. Inspired by xkcd's Up-Goer Five in which Randal Monroe describes a Saturn V rocket using only the thousand (whoops, ten hundred) most commonly-used words in English, people are now describing what they do using the same ten hundred words. Most interesting are the scientists' (this one by a someone who's researching Titan is great) but it's actually surpisingly difficult even for those of us with slightly more prosaic jobs. Trying to do mine without climate, weather, disaster or sea is tricky, but it does bring a certain clarity (think I used the word "change" enough?).

The world is getting warmer and this means lots of things are changing. Some places are getting hotter and some colder, and some are getting more rain and some less. All these changes can make living in these places harder. I help people work out how they can change the way they live and the way they do things so that they can live in a world where things change more quickly and there may be less food and water. This is sometimes hard because we don't know exactly how and when things will change, but it is important because everyone in the world will feel these changes and will have to learn how to live and do things in a different way.

Anyway, there is a text editor here where you can try your own. Would love to see what people come up with (especially [personal profile] particle_person...).

ETA There's a good collection by scientists here - thinking boxes and space buses abound.
allochthonous: (we make the golden journey)
Strange occurences over at the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forums. They used to be a superb trip-planning resource, and whether you wanted to find out if the Caspian Sea ferry took horses (seriously. The consensus was that it probably didn't, but you could try offering a bribe.) or whether the buses from Bangkok to Phnom Penh were running or not due to flooding, someone would have the answer within an hour or two at most (usually after sniffily telling you to next time search the forum before asking your questions - it was useful but not necessarily friendly). The Central Asia forum was absolutely invaluable for up-to-date visa information (not to mention locating the relevant embassies) and I would've wasted an awful lot of time without it. There's almost nowhere else like it on the web; certainly not covering the slightly more obscure destinations.

After unilaterally closing all the forums over Christmas and new year with no warning, the moderators are now reopening them a branch at a time, with all the old posts and PMs deleted. They claim they will be gradually restoring the old posts, but a lot of the community threads appear to have gone for good (I never posted there, but lots of the regulars are livid) and all new posts are being moderated, which given the posting cvolume, leads to very weird and disjointed threads. It seems a very odd decision by the BBC (who now have a controlling stake in Lonely Planet, I believe) given how popular the forums were, and it'll be a colossal shame if all the old posts aren't restored, as there is a tonne of useful stuff on there.  On a personal level, the absence of the Eastern Europe/Caucasus forum is a real pain in the arse, as I was just gearing up into full research mode. Bad form, BBC.

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