Dye yarn

I tried my hand at dyeing yarn with Wilton’s gel food coloring recently. I tried two methods, one on the stovetop and one in the microwave.

The (100% wool) yarn I started with was fluffy. After being in a water bath with vinegar, it was no longer fluffy. But it took color really well, and quickly.

The one in the microwave ended up purplish, which was logical since I used the violet food coloring. I found that (as I suspected) my microwave is less than optimal, and it took several more minutes in the microwave on high than in the original instructions.

The one on the stovetop, I actually used two pots with different colors to get a more fancy yarn. Burgundy and green. (Suitable for the Christmas period, no?) The two pots meant that yarn hung between the pots, so it ended up dripping quite a lot on the stove.

If I only had used one color on the stovetop, there would hardly have been any difference. Now, the stovetop was messier. But time-wise the microwave was preferable to the stovetop.

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Color palettes

Nifty – if you’ve got an image in mind and want to see what the colour palette would be…

Color thief – I think this is my favourite. It is javascript based, drag-drop, and super easy to use. The one downside is that you can’t immediately see the codes of the colors that come out of it. But fairly accurate and gives a great representation of the colours in the images.

Image palette – a bit more clunky. You can either upload or use an url for the images. Not as attractive as Color thief, but you get the codes you need for re-use more easily. Still pretty accurate.

Pictaculous – Somewhat similar in style as Color thief, but you upload the images. It does not give as broad palette, and therefore it doesn’t feel as accurate to me. But the colours that come out does visually represent the image, although maybe not to the same depth that Color thief does.

 

2048

Have you heard of the game 2048? It is addictive.

And then come the rip-offs – some are funny, like the BBC Sherlock edition. Or even more difficult, like the Tetris version.

You can also make your own version of the game – I made an Alphabet one.  And then I thought of the possible royal twists – The longest reigning British monarchs for example.  Or this Royal Heirs edition, and the complementary Monarchs, going from shortest “reign” to longest.

(I was originally going to make it all European, but there is one monarchy short in Europe for that, so I included Thailand. Since Alois hasn’t taken completely over in Liechtenstein, I still have him down as a heir.)

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, oh my…

The news that Twitter is rolling out new profiles is not happy news to me. Especially since they will end up looking like Facebook profiles.

Mashable argues that it might not be a huge problem, since most of Twitter’s existing users probably already read/send their tweets through various applications – and not on the main site.

I actually don’t have a problem with the idea of a redesign in itself. But why would you want to make your site look just like another site?

And especially one that I am growing less and less fond of as a user.

I am really expecting the “popular tweets” to overrun the regular timeline of Twitter any day now.

Dear Twitter, Facebook, and Google,
I know my mind. I follow the people I want to follow because they’re interesting.

I don’t necessarily have to interact with the people I follow to want to read what they post. If I follow them, and don’t hide them from my timeline, I want to read their posts.

I don’t need to know what they “Like” in my feeds. I want to know what they share with me. (As a childless person, I don’t care that a gazillion of my friends like a shop that sells baby/children’s clothing online…Or as someone trying to eat healthy, that a friend of mine liked a page for ecological chocolate… )

Similarly with Google+ – not that I use it awfully much. After the disastrous disappearance of one Google service I loved, I try to get attached to more of them than strictly necessary. There is a “What’s Hot and Recommended” box that keeps popping up in all my circles. Why can’t this be a separate thing and not take up space on every circle?

Serendipity is well and good, but not when it comes to my regular “social media needs”. I know what I would like to be informed about – because I initiated the contact with the person in the first place.

Linguistic question

20140206-102805.jpgIn Norwegian, an umbrella is called paraply. It takes its name from the French (presumably) parapluie. It means defence against the rain.

A parasol is designed to use as defence against the sun.

This lady in front of me today was using her umbrella to protect herself against the snow. I wonder if there is a phrase for that. Or if (since) snow is cold rain it therefore uses the same phrase?

Amazon’s Recommended for you feature

Here’s something I wish Amazon’s “recommended for you” lists could do*:

– Allow me to mark authors, actors, musicians, etc. whose publications I’d like to follow. And put the material from these on my list. Easy, and in one place. Not having to go everywhere to figure out when all the authors I like have new books out.

– Allow me to, similarly, mark authors, actors, musicians, etc. whose publications I don’t particularly want to follow and avoid putting their material on my recommendation list.

This entry brought to you by “Just because I’ve said I liked, and owned Stargate, doesn’t mean I particularly care for the StarTrek exploits, or any other Sci-Fi television series.” “Just because I liked Ocean’s 11, doesn’t mean I want to buy Tom Cruise’s films.”

I do like the slightly random feel of the list, and I have encountered some stuff on them that I wouldn’t normally do, so the above would be about improving the existing ones.

Also, I’m still missing the “Unrated” option on “Improve your recommendations” that they took away a couple of years ago. Anyone have a trick to this one?

*)If Amazon can already do this, than please let me know.

Virtual cleaning

apps

I was updating my iPad, when I realized that I am constantly updating a lot of apps. The majority of which I never use, and which are rather pointless to keep permanently. I could just delete them, and then, should I need them  – it is possible to download  again.

Especially since downloading an app twice takes less time than continuing to update it again and again.

Case in point – if I am going somewhere, I like to download guides for the place I am going. When I was in Brussels last year, I downloaded a Brussels guide app.

Since I have no plans to go to Brussels again soon, it really makes no sense to keep updating the app. If I do go to Brussels, I can just download the app again, or I can find another one.

Similar with the three different London apps I have.

And, apart from that – there is all the apps I downloaded because they sounded nifty. But I haven’t used them. I’ve had iPhone/iPad for a while, and if I haven’t used the app, odds are that I am not going to do so either.

Goodbye Khan Academy app. You sounded really good on paper, but I have yet to open you.

I have realized that I can’t just keep adding apps that I never use, and October seems a really good time to start.

Anyone else do similar purges?

Google Reader, again.

So, I’m still partially using GoogleReader and hanging on as long as possible. Wired had a post up on Google’s reasoning behind it, and what they want us to use instead…

The answer is Google Now and Google+… but from what I read about those two – and know from experience with Google+, I am inclined to agree with Richard Dickson who posted the following in the comment section on the article.

“I don’t want to read what Google thinks I want to read. I want to read what I want to read. I used Google Reader as a way to check on all the sites I read without having to bookmark and visit every single one. I kept up with webcomics. And it did all that by me just clicking a button and subscribing, not by having to “teach” it and wading through recommendations I wasn’t really interested in.”

– Richard Dickson

The reason for why I don’t want to go Google+ or GoogleNow is the same reason for why I don’t follow the blogs/webcomics/whatnot on Facebook. Facebook as it is today (as opposed to when I started using it) only selects a small minutiae of what I want to read. That is both from friends I have added and from pages I have liked. They select what they think I want to read, instead of going by the logic that what I have added or liked *is* what I want to read. As a result, I am liking as few things as possible on Facebook, and adding them to an RSS reader instead – so that the things that are only on Facebook might be able to get through.

But I’m trying to get used to feedly. I really am.