undyingking: (Default)
Heard recently that the govt is going ahead with bringing in a subsidy for domestic solar hot water systems, whereby you get paid 18p or so per kWh of heat that you generate (as well as saving off your gas bill, of course).

It's estimated that a typical 20-tube installation on a south-facing roof will pull down somewhere around £400-500 for you per year through this subsidy: not bad.

There is a snag, though, which is that the subsidy isn't payable for installations on houses with combi boilers: only for those with the more traditional cylinder-plus-boiler setup. Not because there is any technical drawback to using solar-heated feed to a combi, or efficiency penalty, or anything like that: that's not an issue. It's simply a policy decision.

This is probably a bit galling for anyone who thought they were being nice and eco-friendly by installing a combi boiler, as previous govts persistently urged us all to do. But fair enough, maybe they are thinking that encouraging solar adaptation of older boiler systems is going to clean up more of the low-hanging carbon-emission fruit.

But this is where the title of this post comes in. It'll cost you about £3000 (say) to rip out your lovely efficient new combi boiler and replace it with a cylinder-plus-boiler system. With the subsidy guaranteed to rise with inflation for 20 years, you'd repay that and be quids in before too long.

Hmm.
undyingking: (Default)
Heard recently that the govt is going ahead with bringing in a subsidy for domestic solar hot water systems, whereby you get paid 18p or so per kWh of heat that you generate (as well as saving off your gas bill, of course).

It's estimated that a typical 20-tube installation on a south-facing roof will pull down somewhere around £400-500 for you per year through this subsidy: not bad.

There is a snag, though, which is that the subsidy isn't payable for installations on houses with combi boilers: only for those with the more traditional cylinder-plus-boiler setup. Not because there is any technical drawback to using solar-heated feed to a combi, or efficiency penalty, or anything like that: that's not an issue. It's simply a policy decision.

This is probably a bit galling for anyone who thought they were being nice and eco-friendly by installing a combi boiler, as previous govts persistently urged us all to do. But fair enough, maybe they are thinking that encouraging solar adaptation of older boiler systems is going to clean up more of the low-hanging carbon-emission fruit.

But this is where the title of this post comes in. It'll cost you about £3000 (say) to rip out your lovely efficient new combi boiler and replace it with a cylinder-plus-boiler system. With the subsidy guaranteed to rise with inflation for 20 years, you'd repay that and be quids in before too long.

Hmm.

Dale Farm

Sep. 14th, 2011 11:15 am
undyingking: (Default)
The eviction of the Travellers at Dale Farm is fairly local to me, so it's been on our news pretty much every day for the last however long.

One curious aspect of the coverage, though, is that I don't think I've once heard a TV reporter point out that the land actually belongs to the Travellers themselves: they are being evicted from their own land, which they bought some time before settling it. Whether deliberately or not, the impression has firmly been given that they are squatting/trespassing there – which is quite untrue.

(Was that a surprise to you? If so, that supports my point.)

Given that it's their land, the issue at hand is that they are using it for residential purposes without having planning permission for the change of use. This planning permission would be denied, because the land is in the green belt. But don't think that means it's leafy verdant lungs of the countryside: it was a disused scrapyard when they bought it. It would be hard to argue that using it for residence purposes is any kind of degradation. Planning premission has been granted retrospectively, or the breach tolerated, in any number of such cases – that didn't involve Travellers.

It seems to me that the council are pushing the issue (at considerable expense) not for any practical reason, but because they think kicking Travellers out will play well with the Basildon electorate. And they are probably right.

(Interestingly, if the govt's current plans go through, there will be an enforced predisposition in favour of housing development, even on green belt land. I assume the Travellers could then apply anew for planning permission, and would have to be granted it. That would render this exercise an even more absurd waste of money.)

Dale Farm

Sep. 14th, 2011 11:15 am
undyingking: (Default)
The eviction of the Travellers at Dale Farm is fairly local to me, so it's been on our news pretty much every day for the last however long.

One curious aspect of the coverage, though, is that I don't think I've once heard a TV reporter point out that the land actually belongs to the Travellers themselves: they are being evicted from their own land, which they bought some time before settling it. Whether deliberately or not, the impression has firmly been given that they are squatting/trespassing there – which is quite untrue.

(Was that a surprise to you? If so, that supports my point.)

Given that it's their land, the issue at hand is that they are using it for residential purposes without having planning permission for the change of use. This planning permission would be denied, because the land is in the green belt. But don't think that means it's leafy verdant lungs of the countryside: it was a disused scrapyard when they bought it. It would be hard to argue that using it for residence purposes is any kind of degradation. Planning premission has been granted retrospectively, or the breach tolerated, in any number of such cases – that didn't involve Travellers.

It seems to me that the council are pushing the issue (at considerable expense) not for any practical reason, but because they think kicking Travellers out will play well with the Basildon electorate. And they are probably right.

(Interestingly, if the govt's current plans go through, there will be an enforced predisposition in favour of housing development, even on green belt land. I assume the Travellers could then apply anew for planning permission, and would have to be granted it. That would render this exercise an even more absurd waste of money.)
undyingking: (Default)
You've probably heard about the recent round of Arts Council England cuts in the regular funding they dish out. One group that has been particularly vocal about the effects is poetry publishing: three small publishers have had their funding removed altogether.

Now I must admit that I had no idea the govt was directly funding poetry publishers in the first place. And I don't think this is either necessary or desirable. It's not just poetry: I don't think they should be subsidizing any kind of publishing. This is not because I'm some sort of barbarous philistine... it just seems an inappropriate area of activity by the state.

I'm all in favour of the state encouraging arts participation and consumption. So funding of theatres, writers in residence, school visits, workshops, and so on: no problem. But publishing itself seems to me quite a different case. Anyone can publish their own poetry (or fiction, or whatever) practically for free on the internet. Why should the state be (effectively) paying for hard copies to be printed out and distributed?

I can see writers saying that publishers serve an important gatekeeping function -- their selection of a particular work for publication is an imprimatur of good quality, as against an internet that's full of all sorts of rubbish. I'm happy to believe that, but I don't think that poetry is such an important industry that it requires governmental oversight of this process. If people care enough about it, then sites will be established that sort out the good from the bad, as there are in a host of other comparable industries.

Another argument is that publishers help writers achieve a wider audience, with their marketing skills and distribution contacts, and hence increased sales that allow them to devote more time to writing. I'm sure that's true too. But again, I don't think the country will really be harmed if only those writers who sell commercially can afford to do it full-time, and those who don't sell have to restrict themselves to a hobby activity. That is, after all, how it was for the centuries prior to the establishment of the Arts Council: and I think a pretty reasonable quantity of good stuff somehow managed to get written.

Your thoughts?
undyingking: (Default)
You've probably heard about the recent round of Arts Council England cuts in the regular funding they dish out. One group that has been particularly vocal about the effects is poetry publishing: three small publishers have had their funding removed altogether.

Now I must admit that I had no idea the govt was directly funding poetry publishers in the first place. And I don't think this is either necessary or desirable. It's not just poetry: I don't think they should be subsidizing any kind of publishing. This is not because I'm some sort of barbarous philistine... it just seems an inappropriate area of activity by the state.

I'm all in favour of the state encouraging arts participation and consumption. So funding of theatres, writers in residence, school visits, workshops, and so on: no problem. But publishing itself seems to me quite a different case. Anyone can publish their own poetry (or fiction, or whatever) practically for free on the internet. Why should the state be (effectively) paying for hard copies to be printed out and distributed?

I can see writers saying that publishers serve an important gatekeeping function -- their selection of a particular work for publication is an imprimatur of good quality, as against an internet that's full of all sorts of rubbish. I'm happy to believe that, but I don't think that poetry is such an important industry that it requires governmental oversight of this process. If people care enough about it, then sites will be established that sort out the good from the bad, as there are in a host of other comparable industries.

Another argument is that publishers help writers achieve a wider audience, with their marketing skills and distribution contacts, and hence increased sales that allow them to devote more time to writing. I'm sure that's true too. But again, I don't think the country will really be harmed if only those writers who sell commercially can afford to do it full-time, and those who don't sell have to restrict themselves to a hobby activity. That is, after all, how it was for the centuries prior to the establishment of the Arts Council: and I think a pretty reasonable quantity of good stuff somehow managed to get written.

Your thoughts?
undyingking: (Default)
It struck me recently, while listening to various enthusiastic people in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere enthusing about the prospect of ganing democracy, that they were likely to be in for a disappointment.

Getting rid of dictators is all very well, but actually they are a symptom rather than an embodiment of the problem. The problem is an oligarchy which concentrates almost all the power and wealth of the country into the hands of a select few. These people -- military top brass, industrialists, financiers -- have not been touched by the removal of ben Ali and Mubarak: they still control just as much of Tunisia and Egypt as they did before, and so the chances of anything materially improving for the poor and underprivileged of the countries is pretty remote.

You may think that democracy allows the people to elect a populist government which can address these imbalances of power and wealth. Maybe so in theory -- but in practice that seems impossible, other than at the level of tinkering. Brazil has had a populist government for the last eight years, which has promulagated a number of redistributive measures, but the most it's managed to achieve is to prevent inquality from worsening as sharply as in other comparable economies. In Venezuela the populist government has all but declared war on the oligarchs, with similarly limited success: they remain as powerful as ever. And of course there are countless examples of politicans being elected as populists but then turning into puppets of the oligarchs once in power. This is not because populist politicans are uniformly incompetent or easily bought-off (although some of them are, of course) -- rather that the oligarchs already hold sufficient of the cards that they can make it functionally impossible for an opposed government to materially harm their position.

In the UK and other first-world nations we may feel comfortably superior to all this, as we have a democracy that's well established, rather than being in the unfortunate situation of setting one up from scratch in the face of insurmountable opposition. But I would argue that in fact we aren't much better off -- we just don't realize it. In this country too, power is held by industrialists and financiers, who can force the policies they desire onto governments of whichever party. This is not conspiracy-theory ranting -- there are countless obvious examples, with today's governmental rubber-stamping of Murdoch's takeover of BSkyB, even while another arm of his empire is unwillingly revealing the most egregious invasions of privacy, only the latest.

Now obviously it's easy to make comments along the lines of "if voting could change anything, it would be illegal", or take the other line and point out that "democracy is the worst governmental system possible, apart from all the others that have been tried". Or indeed "I'm all right, Jack; pull up the ladder." Cynical defeatism seems inadequate, though. I know a few people who believe that armed revolution is the only solution (cf. Cuba) -- that power can only really be taken at gunpoint. It'll be interesting to see if the nascent democracy movements in the Arab world are prepared to buy into that notion.
undyingking: (Default)
It struck me recently, while listening to various enthusiastic people in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere enthusing about the prospect of ganing democracy, that they were likely to be in for a disappointment.

Getting rid of dictators is all very well, but actually they are a symptom rather than an embodiment of the problem. The problem is an oligarchy which concentrates almost all the power and wealth of the country into the hands of a select few. These people -- military top brass, industrialists, financiers -- have not been touched by the removal of ben Ali and Mubarak: they still control just as much of Tunisia and Egypt as they did before, and so the chances of anything materially improving for the poor and underprivileged of the countries is pretty remote.

You may think that democracy allows the people to elect a populist government which can address these imbalances of power and wealth. Maybe so in theory -- but in practice that seems impossible, other than at the level of tinkering. Brazil has had a populist government for the last eight years, which has promulagated a number of redistributive measures, but the most it's managed to achieve is to prevent inquality from worsening as sharply as in other comparable economies. In Venezuela the populist government has all but declared war on the oligarchs, with similarly limited success: they remain as powerful as ever. And of course there are countless examples of politicans being elected as populists but then turning into puppets of the oligarchs once in power. This is not because populist politicans are uniformly incompetent or easily bought-off (although some of them are, of course) -- rather that the oligarchs already hold sufficient of the cards that they can make it functionally impossible for an opposed government to materially harm their position.

In the UK and other first-world nations we may feel comfortably superior to all this, as we have a democracy that's well established, rather than being in the unfortunate situation of setting one up from scratch in the face of insurmountable opposition. But I would argue that in fact we aren't much better off -- we just don't realize it. In this country too, power is held by industrialists and financiers, who can force the policies they desire onto governments of whichever party. This is not conspiracy-theory ranting -- there are countless obvious examples, with today's governmental rubber-stamping of Murdoch's takeover of BSkyB, even while another arm of his empire is unwillingly revealing the most egregious invasions of privacy, only the latest.

Now obviously it's easy to make comments along the lines of "if voting could change anything, it would be illegal", or take the other line and point out that "democracy is the worst governmental system possible, apart from all the others that have been tried". Or indeed "I'm all right, Jack; pull up the ladder." Cynical defeatism seems inadequate, though. I know a few people who believe that armed revolution is the only solution (cf. Cuba) -- that power can only really be taken at gunpoint. It'll be interesting to see if the nascent democracy movements in the Arab world are prepared to buy into that notion.
undyingking: (Default)
Our new MP has only been in office a fortnight, and already there's a satirical blog devoted to reproducing his exploits as a lego figurine.

I'm not sure he should be supporting that particular pub, the Victoria, though -- that's just round the corner from me, and it was closed after repeated protest from the neighbours about racket, fighting, vandalism etc.
undyingking: (Default)
Our new MP has only been in office a fortnight, and already there's a satirical blog devoted to reproducing his exploits as a lego figurine.

I'm not sure he should be supporting that particular pub, the Victoria, though -- that's just round the corner from me, and it was closed after repeated protest from the neighbours about racket, fighting, vandalism etc.
undyingking: (Default)
After the best part of three years in power, which saw his initial honeymoon period dissolve into a rather incoherent mess, culminating in leading his team to the brink of a disastrous wipeout, he's finally got the push. The final straw was the emergence of two new leaders whose eccentric negotiation style and none-too-subtle undermining made his job untenable: but, although many of those who worked under him loved him dearly and remain fiercely loyal, it has to be admitted that he really had lost the confidence of the wider public. I think the most common verdict will be something like: shame it didn't work out, but you really weren't up to the job when it came to the crunch. Goodbye, dear leader.

And in other, unrelated news, Gordon Brown is resigning as Labour leader.
undyingking: (Default)
After the best part of three years in power, which saw his initial honeymoon period dissolve into a rather incoherent mess, culminating in leading his team to the brink of a disastrous wipeout, he's finally got the push. The final straw was the emergence of two new leaders whose eccentric negotiation style and none-too-subtle undermining made his job untenable: but, although many of those who worked under him loved him dearly and remain fiercely loyal, it has to be admitted that he really had lost the confidence of the wider public. I think the most common verdict will be something like: shame it didn't work out, but you really weren't up to the job when it came to the crunch. Goodbye, dear leader.

And in other, unrelated news, Gordon Brown is resigning as Labour leader.

Bish bash

May. 9th, 2010 09:08 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Did anyone else catch the 4-part 'Tutu Talks' on BBC4 the other week? It was a series of round-the-table discussions between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and assorted African academics, journalists, politicians, NGO workers etc, under the following titles (which don't very well reflect the themes of the actual discussions -- the summaries here are better): Is Africa about to become rich? Are women strong enough to lead Africa? Is Africa better off without help from the West? and Is God a help or a hindrance to Africa?

This was quite dull TV in a way, because it was basically just a bunch of people sitting round a table opining, and also they tended to pretty much agree about everything -- the range of viewpoints wasn't very wide. But all the same I found it interesting, because to hear the thoughts and feelings of Africans (black and white) on these issues was rather refreshing: the assumptions, axioms, lines of conclusion etc were sometimes quite different to what I'm used to from the Western point of view.

Most interesting though was Tutu himself (referred to affectionately by the other participants as 'Bish' or 'Arch'), who chaired and guided the conversations. I've always been a great admirer of his, and it was impressive to see his skill at shaping, summarizing, prompting and generally managing the groups -- as well as the humanity and decency that he brought to the whole project. He's nearly 80 now, and I guess it may not be too many years before he's forced to retreat into old age, as Nelson Mandela has. This will be a great loss not just for South Africa.

Bish bash

May. 9th, 2010 09:08 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Did anyone else catch the 4-part 'Tutu Talks' on BBC4 the other week? It was a series of round-the-table discussions between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and assorted African academics, journalists, politicians, NGO workers etc, under the following titles (which don't very well reflect the themes of the actual discussions -- the summaries here are better): Is Africa about to become rich? Are women strong enough to lead Africa? Is Africa better off without help from the West? and Is God a help or a hindrance to Africa?

This was quite dull TV in a way, because it was basically just a bunch of people sitting round a table opining, and also they tended to pretty much agree about everything -- the range of viewpoints wasn't very wide. But all the same I found it interesting, because to hear the thoughts and feelings of Africans (black and white) on these issues was rather refreshing: the assumptions, axioms, lines of conclusion etc were sometimes quite different to what I'm used to from the Western point of view.

Most interesting though was Tutu himself (referred to affectionately by the other participants as 'Bish' or 'Arch'), who chaired and guided the conversations. I've always been a great admirer of his, and it was impressive to see his skill at shaping, summarizing, prompting and generally managing the groups -- as well as the humanity and decency that he brought to the whole project. He's nearly 80 now, and I guess it may not be too many years before he's forced to retreat into old age, as Nelson Mandela has. This will be a great loss not just for South Africa.
undyingking: (Default)
David CameronIggle Piggle
undyingking: (Default)
I was expecting the Is the BNP racist? site to be along the lines of Has the LHC destroyed the Earth? – but no, instead it's an attempt to wrest the top Google spot for that question from the BNP's own apologia page.

So not really very funny, but worth linking to I think -- maybe you will do so too.
undyingking: (Default)
(Also known as, closing some tabs.)
  • Democracy Club -- an organization formed to help make the next UK general election more open and accountable, by crowdsourcing info. Affiliated with mySociety and other such. I've signed up -- recommend you do so too, if you are concerned about our political system and want to do more than just whinge.
  • Emails from Crazy People -- what it says. Some are funnier than others.
  • FlickrPoet -- enter the text of a poem (or any text really), it grabs images form Flickr to illustrate it. Can be quite thought-provoking, or at least mildly distracting. A neat implementation of a simple idea.
  • LJ statistics -- I think only for people with paid-for accounts. A useful set of charts showing people viewing your journal (for real or via their friends' page), comments, RSS readers and so on. Not something I'd hugely missed before, but still nice to have it now.
  • Great Christmas decoration -- on Snopes, so you may have already seen it a squillion times. But I laughed.
  • Drench -- a clever, well-implemented Flash game. Warning: can be quite addictive. The design of the "gameishness" of it is not quite right, but the actual play is very good.
  • Dean Ashton retires -- a couple of weeks ago now, but I'm still brooding on it. Feeling sorry for him, but (selfishly) more so for West Ham, who have been robbed of a player who seemed likely to become a club great. A strong and wily targetman, deadly finisher from close and from medium range, and an extremely good provider / manufacturer of scoring opportunities for his teammates too. All he was lacking really was pace over the ground. I just hope we get sacks full of compensation from the FA, as it was in training for an England game that Shaun Wright-Phillips crocked him.
  • Boozecats -- what if cats were booze, or possibly vice versa? A strange idea, but it turns out to be quite visually appealing.
  • Visualizing and predicting prime numbers -- this is a really great data visualization, via the excellent Infosthetics blog. The idea of using it to predict primes is a bit hokey (compare the Wheel of Primes), but it looks terrific.
  • CYOA -- another one from Infosthetics, it includes a number of very visually appealing ways of diagramming a Chose Your Own Adventure, and a discussion of their structures.
  • Harry Keeler on plotting -- Keeler was a rather interesting mystery author of the mid-C20, responsible for such titles as The Case of the Two-Headed Idiot, I Killed Lincoln at 10:13!, The Crimson Cube and The Man with the Magic Eardrums. This article outlines his particular method of constructing what he called web-work plots, and the diagrams thereto. You can read some of his actual fiction here.
  • Oscar Wilde on The Soul of Man under Socialism -- a thought-provoking essay, reminding one that Wilde wasn't just an entertainer. Some questionable reasoning, but very readable of course.
  • Wordnik -- there are heaps of online dictionaries, but this is something different -- it includes recent tweets and Flickr postings, and lots of usage examples. OK, not really very useful, but great fun to browse.
Lots of fairly random stuff there! -- it'd be interesting to know which (if any) of it you found interesting yourself. Do please comment and say!
undyingking: (Default)
You probably know by now that I'm a sucker for this sort of toy. It's a quiz that matches your opinions with those of the parties standing in the European elections, but the fun apect is that it will tell you not just about your own country but also about parties in other countries. So I can see for example that my own closest opinion matches are the German Greens, the French Socialists and Plaid Cymru. Not much use to me here, unfortunately.

It's also interesting to see that the pro- / anti-EU spectrum bears, on a Europe-wide scale, very little relationship to the left- / right-wing spread. There are socialist parties, conservative parties and green parties, ranging from fiercely pro-EU to vehemently anti-. Social-democratic parties are generally pro-EU, as are liberal parties of left and right, and self-defining anti-EU parties are generally right-wing, but that's about it.

And, either amusingly or depressingly depending on your point of view, it analyses the Labour policy platform as currently being well to the right of the Tories. There you go.
undyingking: (Default)
We went to see Coraline yesterday -- this was my first encounter with this new-fangled extra dimension, or at least my first encounter with it that didn't involve red / green glasses.

I thought it was quite impressive actually, a heap better than the old methods of rendering 3D. No idea how it works, and I came out of the show with a very stiff neck, but that might not be its fault.

I'm not sure the film really gained much from the extra dimension -- there were plenty of nice 3D effects, but mostly just for decorative purposes. I don't think you would feel cheated if you just saw it in old-style planovision.

As for Coraline itself, I enjoyed it. Not the most wonderful film ever, and plenty of things to find fault with if so motivated, but generally a fun afternoon out. Although I'm glad I wasn't accompanying an 8-year-old, as the certificate suggested -- I suspect they would have woken up with screaming nightmares for several years after. Not because the film is especially gruesome or terrifying -- it isn't -- but because its imagery and forceful plot aspects are very well chosen to key into childhood fears. Nice work!


In less good news, we've just learnt that the BNP are for the first time running candidates in our local elections. With the general mood of disgust against all politicians, they might make some headway. (One of our councillors has written a stern letter to the PM complaining about MPs letting the party down.) The Tories have been trying to make these elections into a referendum on the government, to deflect attention form their woeful record on local issues -- they may find this strategy bites them on the bum, if the BNP end up taking a chunk of their vote. But if they get representation, we will all be the losers...


Back to fun 3D things again, friend Phillip just pointed me at Photosynth, a Microsoft site that assembles your photos into a 3D view which you can navigate around. It needs you to install Silverlight (MS's Flash competitor) if you don't have it already. But worth looking at, because it really is clever at joining the images together, and the navigation interface is neat and works well. Phillip's set is here.
undyingking: (Default)
I had a very early start to today, so need to restore some sanity by closing a few tabs on things that have interested me lately.
  • Million Dollar Babies -- art made by collaging cut-up dollar bills. But much better than that description sounds -- you can click through the several pieces using the discreet Next button.
    "I love all the process. For some of the collages we track how many scraps of paper are glued down. I see that sort of accounting as an interesting extension of the material. When “Liberty” is complete, for example, we’ll be able give statistics on each of her 13 panels individually, and also say that the whole thing took 1234 bills cut into 54,234 pieces, or whatever, and here’s all the scraps we didn’t use."
  • Pokemon Explained -- a terrific article explaining how the majority of the Pokemon TV show makes more sense if one realizes that Ash's bike crash put him into a coma, and the subsequent episodes are a dream. Sadly I suspect this will mean anything only to about one person reading my LJ -- but it really is a work of warped genius, believe me.
    "It also explains how a child can go off on his own into a world full of dangerous and untamed animals, and why town has the same police officer and every Pokemon centre has the exact same nurse. Joy and Jenny he knew from his hometown, and they act as a safety net or anchor, allowing him to feel safe no matter where he goes. Joy and Jenny represent stability. The professors represent Ash’s ideals, which is why Gary became a professor. The fantasy also explains why every time he enters a new region, virtually no one has heard of him, despite his conquests."
  • Bible Diagrams is another work of genius, although slightly more mainstream. It's a collection of diagrams showing a wide assortment of data from the Bible. Here's one about the chronology of the books of the Old Testament, for example. The best thing is puzzling out, for each new diagram, what on earth the symbol convention is. More by the same author on other subjects, such as Star Wars.
    "Author's note: It is a major challenge to present material that does not offend one group or another. Not only is there the division between the traditionalist and non-traditionalist, but among the historians there are competing viewpoints as to the dating or historicity of events. This website tries to include as many perspectives as possible so that they can be compared with each other; no viewpoint should be considered to be preferred in the diagrams."
  • The League of Movable Type -- at the moment web fonts aren't supported in any significant way, but who knows what the future may bring. Flaminia is quite interesting in its own right as a basis for sign-reading experiments.
    "We're not asking type designers and type foundries to sacrifice profit, we're asking them to contribute to a greater cause, to create a community where we not only have a high design standard for print and web alike, but also a community where we're able to share our creations, knowledge, and expertise with our peers and the world."
  • OECD Regional Statistics -- a terrific resource for charting various social and economic indicators across the OECD countries, at a large or small regional level. OK, maybe I'm one of only about ten people in the world who would be excited by this... I could easily waste hours on this site.
    "Regions in OECD countries are classified on two territorial levels to facilitate greater comparability of regions at the same territorial level. The lower level (TL3) consists of 1 681 small regions. All the regions are defined within national borders and in most of the cases correspond to administrative regions."

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