Flickrfs is a virtual filesystem which mounts on your linux machine like any other partition. Once mounted, it retrieves information about your photos hosted on your flickr account, and shows them as files. You can now easily copy photos from your local machine to this mount, and it will automatically upload them to your flickr account. Similary, you can copy the files from your mount to your local machine, and it will download your images from flickr.
Binder clips can also be used for:
- Holding wounds closed until the airlift arrives
- Holding eyes closed during scary movie scenes
- Holding eyes open during the Ludovico Technique
- Fun ear fashion
- Temporary rock-climbing carabiners seriously go on try it
- Holding sheets of paper together
- Male contraception “in a pinch”
- Add duct tape for a DIY eyelash curler!
You get the idea. Two years ago, I was faffing around in my San Diego condo. I was alone, because Cassie and I had not yet moved in together, so my evenings were spent in solitary domesticity. A “lovingly” detailed description of one of these evenings is here.
I had some beer in the fridge. I’m not a big solo drinker, so they’d been there for a while. It was the remains of my CostCo Mexican Beers variety pack, with Corona, Sol, Tecate and Dos Equis (they also do Dos Equus, but that has been known to cause nudity and horse mutilation). There were also a couple of bottles of Karl Strauss Woodie Gold (lovely stuff). They wouldn’t stand up because of the non-variability of the shelves, and the gaps between the wires, so I lay them down. When I stacked them they rolled apart, so I just grabbed a binder clip and attached it to the wire shelf – it fit nicely, and stopped the bottles rolling.
I snapped a pic with my then-new-but-now-retired Palm Centro, uploaded it to Flickr, and pretty much forgot about it.
… time passes …
One day, I got an email from Shaun Usher, the editor of the fascinating and highly recommended scanned vintage correspondence blog Letters of Note, asking if he could use my letter from Douglas Adams on the site. I wrote back and agreed readily, although it’s not really a letter of note – no revelations are made, no advice is given, and I didn’t go on to become an author myself. Adams’ love of the Biggles books is a matter of record elsewhere, I think. Nice to be thought of though.
I don’t think the letter was ever used in the end, but Shaun must have been browsing around, because on August 16th he tweeted a link to the binder clip photo. There was a flurry of re-tweeting, the photo got a bit of interest, and several people made the photo a favorite.
In late September, Adam Pash from the tips and tricks blog Lifehacker ran a post with a list of uses for binder clips. Having been reminded of my own use, I posted the photo as a comment. A couple of days later, Adam ran another post highlighting the comment, and the Flickr views took off like a rocket.
Take a look at the stats – 157,000+ views!
The day after Lifehacker featured it, someone posted it on Reddit. That gave another big boost to the ratings, and ever since there’s been a trickle of interest, from Argentina, Japan and all over. It is the most popular photo I’ve ever taken, and the most “interesting” in the Flickr sense (views, favorites, comments etc). Just for a sense of scale, my next most interesting photo is some people in costume at Comic Con which got 3000 views, followed by an old scanned photo of my Star Wars toys (sensing a theme?) with 426 views, my ex-dog when he was a puppy, the Adams letter, and some cool British vintage cars.
The comments on the photo, and on the various posts which link to it, fall into a few main categories:
- “Why not stand them up?”
- “Glad to see someone drinking good beer.”
- “Why are you drinking pissy Mexican beer?”
- “Beer doesn’t last that long in my fridge!”
- “You shouldn’t lay beer down its bad theres plastic and bacteria in the cap and the air spoils it and its not wine and you shouldn’t do it.”
- “Whatever, attention-grabbing smartass.”
It’s funny to see so much debate about beer, how to store it, assumptions about my reasons for taking the photo, and remarks about the whole binder-clips-are-the-new-duct-tape-is-the-new-AOL-disk thing. It was a cameraphone snap of a quick solution, and I have to tell you…
…it doesn’t actually work that well. I had to add another clip to make it more stable, but it’s not very scalable, and the clips rust, and the bottles have to be the same size. But I don’t mean to be a snark. It’s nice and novel to be “famous” on the internet for 1.5 minutes. It makes me wonder how people who get more attention more regularly (ie pretty much everyone else) cope with it all.
This post was floating around in my drafts for ages. Then recently I’ve just got around to sorting out my photos, so the attending slide show is ready.
I’m not your regular hairy bloke. That’s not to say that I’m an ethereal blonde-eyelashed Eloi, but I definitely have trouble growing a beard. When things of that nature startedÂ growing, I wondered for a while what would happen if I left it. Another kid at school did just that and ended up with just two bunches of bristles, on on each side of his chin, which brought to mind (just now) Wells’ description of the Martians:
In a group round the mouth were sixteen slender, almost whiplike tentacles, arranged in two bunches of eight each.
That put paid to any thoughts of seeing what my face would look like unshaven. Even any attempts to grow sideburns resulted in some sparse and gappy growths which petered out as they approached the hair proper.
In 2002 I got the part of Benedick in a production of Much Ado About Nothing. One of Benedick’s traits is that he is a bit rough around the edges, rougher especially than his fresh-faced friend Claudio, to whom he refers disparagingly as “my Lord Lackbeard“. Unfortunately, my friend Mike, who played Claudio, doesn’t so much have 5 o’clock shadow as 9am shadow, whereas I had trouble sprouting something visible in three days. We didn’t want to use false beards, or dodgy dabbed makeup, so we just kind of worked around it. He’s shorter than me, so I guess it worked alright. Lovely voice too.
Time passed once more.
In 2007, Cassie wanted to see what I would look like with a beard. A reasonable request, I guess. Check out the capabilities of the new catch. So, in the month before Xmas, I stopped shaving. When I travelled to LA and she saw the result, she was pleased I had tried, let’s put it that way, and on Xmas Day after most of the festivities in Orinda, I repaired to the guest bathroom to end the experiment. The purification was documented here.
As you can see, it was only a passing fancy, not worth pursuing.
My slow follicles do have advantages. I don’t need to shave every day; twice a week is sufficient. This means I can spend more time on it and make it a grooming ritual rather than a hasty necessity. I use my Dad’s old razor, a metal Simplex safety razor which takes standard blades (actual blades, not cartridges). I’ve been fascinated with this since I was a child. He didn’t use it as far as I know; I think (and hope) that it belonged to his father. I remember playing with it as a child, pretending to shave – without a blade in it of course that would be crazy ha!
I bought a pack of Derby blades from Amazon – $15 for 100 blades. Amazing value, considering each one lasts for about 4 shaves. It could be more if I sat it in mineral oil after use. I have a badger-hair brush from the tobacco shop on Victoria Street. For soap, I go between a quickly rubbed-in cream when I’m in a hurry, or this wonderful West Indian Lime soap from Trufitt and Hill. It smells amazing, has this iridescent texture, and the current jar has lasted well over a year so far.
I’m not the most image-obsessed man around, but I do like these small efforts. And it seems so much more elegant than a plastic hunk of markup sold by CGI and yelling – although I probably wouldn’t think that if I had to shave everyday. Doing things the old way is fun when you’re not forced into it. Like making soap. Or cooking.