Tag Archives: fun

My delicious.com bookmarks for December 25th through January 9th

  • The Myth of Japan’s Failure – "Japan has succeeded in delivering an increasingly affluent lifestyle to its people despite the financial crash. In the fullness of time, it is likely that this era will be viewed as an outstanding success story."
  • Man Embraces Useless Machines, and Absurdity Ensues – Technology: making life simpler.
  • Merry – Sat here with my newborn son and wife, with all my family staying nearby, this post rang bells. It's sometimes important to realise what you have.

Egypt: Alexandria

The funny thing about Alexandria is that the all the things that it’s famous for are no longer in one piece; it’s a city famous for what it was.

First stop are some Roman ruins, a small but well preserved amphitheatre. One spooky part is a spot in the middle where your voice gets amplified, you hear back anything you say with a slight delay.

Next stop: catacombs. These were the tombs of a rich, egyptianised Roman. Most interesting was some of the art work which combined Roman and Egyptian style, sometimes with errors (deliberate or accidental?), such as only three jars next to the mummy (there are supposed to be four for the internal organs of the deceased) and the dead having head-gear normally reserved for gods.

Last stop of the city tour was the fort right on the sea front. Built by Muhammad Ali — not the boxer — to keep out the Turks (unsuccessfully) it’s mainly interesting because it was built partly out of the original Pharos lighthouse — one of the original seven wonders which fell down in the 13th century during an earth quake.

Next we head out of town toward the hotel, but by avoiding a low bridge the bus gets lost. It takes us down lots of small streets, past various small, local markets and through neighbourhoods that see few tourists. The novelty eventually wears thin as the supposed thirty minute drive ends up taking nearer ninety.

And that was my very quick tour of the city. In the morning I was heading back to Cairo.

iPod vs Zune for the UK

iPod vs Zune

I just read Daniel Eran Dilger’s “Winter 2007 Buyer?s Guide: Microsoft Zune 8 vs iPod Nano” but I felt that it was missing something very important for readers outside the United States.

So to fill that void here is my attempt. I have not actually used any of the new Zunes or iPods but I don’t necessarily feel that this has any material impact on the final result1.

The iPod is a small, well made music player with many features albeit less than some of its competitors. It succeeds in doing what it does very well.

The Zune, on the other hand, is not available outside the US. A positive corollary of this is that it’s easy to carry, taking practically no space at all in bags and pockets, and it’s difficult to damage. Another plus is that the person sitting opposite you on the tube can’t use one at high volumes and annoy you with a tinny bass-line and their unashamed bad taste in music.

But, ultimately, the fact that it doesn’t exist has to count against the Zune and so my recommendation for the 2007 Christmas shopping season is Apple’s iPod.

  1. Full disclosure: my review is only slightly more biased towards Apple than RoughlyDrafted. []

Corsica: Sermano to Corte

The first day of walking was to take me from Sermano to Corte. I was driven to the start by taxi along the scary, narrow lanes that surround Corte.

Walk from Sermano to Corte, Corsica

It doesn’t take long before things start to go wrong. Crossing a stream I manage to put my whole foot in the water, fortunately only fleetingly and so I am not completely waterlogged.

A little while later I take what I think must be a wrong turning. By the time I get to the bottom I try to compensate for the error, but am still not able to see the “path on the left after a bridge.” On returning to the path I exited earlier I quickly cross a small bridge and there on the left is a path. I was right all along!

Walk from Sermano to Corte, Corsica

The karma shortly turned against me, as the path led me to a stream that I crossed and found no more path! There was supposed to be a wide, cobbled path but I never found it, instead falling back on battling my way directly up the forested hill. I have a number of scratches to prove it.

Walk from Sermano to Corte, Corsica

I never found out whether I took the right path at the top of the hill.

Luckily it was only the first couple of hours that I made such mistakes. The nearest I got to making a mistake again was in the afternoon when the guide suggested I walk through a hole in a fence. I found no hole and instead followed the way marked path. I think this path must have been blocked off when the guide had been written.

I stopped briefly in a couple of villages. In the one I stopped for lunch, I compared notes with a French hiker. The path she had taken from Corte was not well sign-posted. Given how easily I had gone wrong with a well waymarked path it’s just as well I took the path I did!

Walk from Sermano to Corte, Corsica

The afternoon was comparatively straight-forward. A lot of lose rocks (no fun to walk on) but few gradients and even they were not steep. Just my tiring feet holding me back!

Tomorrow I leave Corte and head west towards Calacuccia.