1. i don’t even know what this is any more

  2. So, last night Hampton and I sat down and rather on a whim, watched The Resident, a 2011 film with Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. We didn’t know much about the film, aside from the fact that it was a direct-to-DVD in the US and got a limited release here in the UK. The brief introduction on its Wikipedia page said it was a “horror”. That little word is usually enough to get us to watch a random film.

    To briefly describe the plot without giving too much away, it’s about a young ER doctor who’s looking for an apartment in Brooklyn. She finds the perfect place with a gorgeous view, but creepy things start happening, suggesting she might not be alone in her apartment.

    The acting was pretty good. Jeffrey Dean Morgan played his part well, and Hilary Swank was a very believable “woman-in-distress”. I never felt frustrated at the actions she was taking (well, maybe once or twice). The script was also well-written - including a really nice scene near Brooklyn Bridge Park. I think we were both surprised at, despite being a British film directed by a Finn, how well the atmosphere of New York was captured.

    Despite all this, there was something missing. It was difficult to pinpoint exactly what it was. Maybe the fact that it wasn’t particularly original? It felt a tad old-hat. But still, it was a perfectly competent horror/thriller. I’m surprised it was direct-to-DVD in the US.

  3. 1) There were a lot of interesting speakers with important things to say

    2) The entertainment on the Saturday night (Amateur Transplants, Chris Cox, Jon Ronson on Insane Clown Posse and, of course, Tim Minchin) was incredible

    3) Being around people who think the same as you is very comforting. I understand where a big part of the “community” joy of religion is found.

    4) Meeting new people from around the globe (well, one guy from Sweden and some guys from London)

  4. On 1st October 2010, we went back to Midsummer House (2*) for a tasting menu. We last went in 2009 for our wedding celebration. Man, they do awesome food. My favourite course? So hard to say. The sweetbreads were amazing, as was the scallop. Oh, and the lemon and thyme ice-cream with the gingered kumquats. Amazing!

    But the best? The layered shot. The bottom was maple syrup and jack daniels, the middle was egg yolks, and the top was chive cream. We did it in one - and holy moly it was incredible. I wish I could eat it every day…

  5. I tried becoming an editor on Wikipedia twice. Once was a while ago - maybe in 2006/07. I stopped, for various reasons. After attending Wikimania in Gdansk this year, I decided to give it another go. The staff seemed friendly, the atmosphere of the conference was very open, and the overall message seemed to be that we need to encourage more editors to join the site.

    So, on the back of that, I decided to give editing another go. Unfortunately, I’ve had the exact same problem I had when I decided to edit in 2006/07. There’s a lack of help for new people on the site. Older editors often delete your work without constructive criticism. If a reason is given, it’s accompanied by a link to an incomprehensible set of instructions on how to edit.

    Now, I completely understand how there are rules to be followed - style constraints, notability guidelines, etc. But twice I have felt completely neglected - and perhaps even encouraged to leave - by the behaviour of editors on Wikipedia.

    Unfortunately, it really highlights an issue I had with the screening of the movie “Truth In Numbers?” at Wikimania 2010. The audience (made up chiefly of Wikipedia editors) laughed every time a critic of the site called the community elitist or exclusive. There was an assumption that the critics were loonies for even thinking such a thing.

    Sadly, guys, I’ve had two experiences where the community has been less than welcoming. I doubt I’ll be trying a third time.

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