What is this page all about?

There are certain questions that I often find myself asking, but someow never remember the answers. The problem I’ve always had whenever I rediscover those answers is… where can I make a note of this so that I’ll know where to come the next time I forget? This page attempts to solve that problem.

What’s that birdsong that I hear every springtime - alternating notes in a minor third?

It’s a great tit.

What’s that bird I took a video of in our front garden?

  • It’s called a goldcrest
  • It makes a call that sounds like a little baby chick - just a tiny little “peep!”
  • More info here
  • My video here

What’s that funny article about javascript frameworks and libraries?

It’s this one by @jjperezaguinaga.

What’s that band from Dublin called?

Fontaines DC

Where is our cyberdojo?

Cyber-Dojo Clare Sal pairing Python Fizzbuzz: UDR21P, See Dropbox\Events\ClareSalPairing Cyberdojo coderdojo

Exploit of a mom / SQL Mom / Little Bobby Tables / Drop Table (xkcd comic)

SQL Mom / Little Bobby Tables

From here

Is it worth the time? (xkcd comic)

xkcd comic talking about the value of automating vs the time it takes

Is it worth the time?

From here

The lucky 10,000 (xkcd comic)

You’re one of today’s lucky ten thousand! The diet coke and mentos thing.

lucky ten thousand

From here

The sudo !! xkcd comic

Sudo make me a sandwich

From here

I can’t find the xkcd original for this next one, which is my favourite… so maybe this was someone else’s edit of xkcd? I found it here.


Incidentally that reddit page led me here, which looks like fun.

What do dock leaves look like?

They sometimes have green/brown flowers that grow straight up vertically on stalks




What’s that term that gets used in relation to TDD and which people often remark on the lack of, when interviewing candidates and pairing with them?

Answer: Sliming (verb: to slime).

What’s the name of the US city famous for Mardi Gras, that was tragically affected by Hurricane Katrina?

It’s New Orleans. This won’t make much sense to anyone else, but because it has a three-letter prefix to its name, I routinely get it confused with Los Angeles and Las Vegas, even though they have very little else in common.

Who’s that woman that has that website with that funny thing about appearing smart in meetings?

Sarah Cooper: 10 tricks for appearing smart during meetings.

When was Maisie born?


What’s that thing that isn’t endoscopy or colonoscopy?

Sigmoidoscopy (like a colonoscopy but camera only looks at only the lower part of the colon.

Where’s that lost thing I can’t find?

Try inhere, or finding-things.md in clare-tech

Try here or sign into tinyurl account and see stats in there.

What’s the name of that Japanese plastic instrument that works a little like a theramin?


Brilliant otamatone version of Africa.

Great otamatone version of September.

Pumped up Kicks!

Oh dear, I’d better stop or I’ll be here all day.

What was that giant slide called?

It was a very big, straight, undulating slide with several parallel lanes (so not a helmet smelter).

It was at Prestatyn in the 1970s. I always think it was called the Ummagumma, which seems to be some kind of childhood confusion related to Pink Floyd’s album (which my dad owned) and the word “Undulator” (although that’s not what the slide was called - but it did undulate).

Anyway, it was called the Astroglide.

It’s mentioned here in Coasterpedia. Here’s a picture of an equivalent slide at Margate:


What are those really creepy American dolls called?

  • The ones that stand in the corner and have no faces.
  • It seems they’re sometimes called time out dolls and sometimes called corner dolls. More here.s=21

Where are all my good photos / pictures / images for talks / presentations?

See TW-Stuff-Organising-Images-Workshops

Where is the video for How I Got Over by Mahalia Jackson?

  • SmoothChords Video is in iphone photos (select Videos)
  • The Mahalia recording the video is based on is this one

What’s that thing called in my shoulder where it feels like it dislocates very briefly and then pops back in again? I keep thinking it’s called velux.

Joint subluxation.

Where did I write down the story of the great slate robbery 1965?

Writing-Current\Other Stuff\Diaries\Random Memories

What are the bats at Whincop?

Geoff had a bat survey done, and I thought he told me they were hirondelle bats, but that doesn’t seem to be a thing according to Google (although there seems to be a French term “hirondelle de nuit” which translates as “night swallow” and means bat??). Maybe I misheard him or he misremembered?

The owls there now (2021) are tawny owls, aka screech owls.

What’s that Douglas Adams train station biscuit story?

See here. It’s very funny.

What’s the difference between “acute” and “chronic” in medical terminology?

  • Acute is short-lived
  • Chronic is long-term

What are those small red spots called that look a bit like red freckles?

Campbell De Morgan spots

What are the five rules of life?

  • Use your goat
  • Be firm but fair
  • The way to a woman’s stomach is through her stomach
  • Just because you understand it doesn’t mean you have to like it
  • Never fall in love with a straight woman

What’s that story about somebody stoned in an art gallery with the president of Ireland?

It’s this (not an art gallery but I can see why my brain visualised it as such).

what do those punctuating guitar chords in Baxter Drury’s Miami remind me of?

  • Money, by Pink Floyd

Who was that guy who reckoned he was some kind of secret service agent who worked with aliens?

The cult leader who persuaded two teenage boys to help him murder someone by telling them he knew aliens and was planning to take over an area of California and destroy the golden gate bridge (?) in the process. His wife married him while he was in prison and is convinced that one day they will set up home somewhere and have a landing pad for all the aliens to visit in their ships…

What’s that track that’s sampled by Massive Attack in Safe From Harm?

Stratus by Billy Cobham. I love it because it has a particular kind of live energy that makes me wish I could be there on stage with them.

What are those cute but rare animals from Australia?


What’s Laura’s dog called?


What’s that hight street bank sign that always made me think of swearing?

Ing Direct.

What’s that law that you says you should be cautious when using metrics and measurements?

Goodhart’s Law:

  • Anything you measure and start to use as a target can be gamed
  • Also as Woody Zuill quoted recently, “If you try to improve the performance of a system of people, machines, and procedures by setting numerical goals for the improvement of individual parts of the system, the system will defeat your efforts and you will pay a price where you least expect it.” - Myron Tribus

What is a “heuristic”?

  • A rule of thumb.
  • A pattern.
  • A learnt behaviour, that I can do without thinking
    • In the book Thinking Fast and Slow, heuristics are described as the things our brain does quickly without thought

What is a “taxonomy”?

  • A classification
  • A categorisation
  • Often a list of categories that describe a particular thing
  • eg Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning:


Who are those two bands I think sound alike?

I particularly noticed the similarity between:

What did Danny say about uppers vs downers in Withnail and I?

The Camberwell Carrot scene in Withnail and I:

Danny: “Sit down man, find your neutral space. You have done something to your brain. You have made it high. If I lay 10 mills of diazipan on you, you will do something else to your brain, you will make it low. Why trust one drug rather than the other? That’s politics ain’t it.”

Where is the video of toddlers falling over in a hurdles race?

  • Link to original
  • My doctored version + talk notes are linked to from clare-tech, in finding-things.md (available to Clare only, but check my youTube cos I do plan to put it there at some point)

What’s that book about the danger of algorithms and data engineering?

Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neill

Where is our Wedding Wordpress website?

  • Not Whincop Wedding - Woolpack Wedding.
  • We got married on 7/9/19 (ceremony) and 9/9/19 (the boring bit).

What was that rhyme my grandad used to say?

Eerie Ayrie Iggery Um. Filthsome Foulsome Dicksome John Squeamy Squirmy Irishman* Squingulum Squangulum BUCK!!

*Not nice at all.

What’s that song with lyrics that sound exactly like two different phrases?

Think of us kissing, by Hamish Hawk

Still amidst all the hissing
I'm remembering kissing the angel with the incredible piercing
While you're on brand names and acquisitions
Feckless sex dreams with cowards' omissions

I couldn’t tell whether the last line was talking about “feckless extremes” or not (turns out not).

What are those two songs that have really similar lines?

  1. One day like this, by Elbow - the line “One day like this a year would see me right”

  2. No more, by Steve Mason and Javed Bashir - the line “All aboard I don’t see right”

Where’s that post by Geepaw on Mastodon on ChatGPT and AI?


What’s the name of that singer whose name begins with N I can never remember?

Nadine Shah.