Martin D-15 Spruce Custom Acoustic Guitar

Having successfully sold two of my electric guitars, the plan was to go and spend the money on a bigger, better guitar.

I've been trying to get on with finishing my guitar that I started to build over a year and half ago, only to find that I've screwed up bending the sides, which is disheartening after the six or so hours spent on them just getting them the right shape and thickness.

So, not having a car at the moment, I went into London to trawl the usual places. It was simulataneously disheartening and quite cheering to think that on the one hand my playing just cannot justify the expense and on the other, that I already have a fantastic selection of guitars to play at home. Then I go and spoil it all by spotting this advert from the american Musician's Friend. This guitar works out at £400 (without shipping and taxes etc.), it would be £799 in the UK, not that I want one, oh no. More wine Howard?...


blummy - The bookmarklet management bookmarklet

blummy - The bookmarklet management bookmarklet lets you access all those little scripts and bookmarklets. nice.


tough learning

a physicist talks about learning difficult things.


Apple - QuickTime - Download - Standalone QuickTime Player

Apple - QuickTime - Download - Standalone QuickTime Player without iTunes, because believe it or not, mp3s, mp4 and aac all sound wearing and boring on the ear after a while, even ones from iTunes.


goopyween - a photoset on Flickr



better than x-raying sweets for razor blades


Mr. Clean. Cleans Your Whole House and Everything in It.

For cleaning whiteboards - I believe Flash sells a similar product - the squeegie thing - found via lifehackers.


mareike gast...BROKENSHELVES

I like.

Russell Beattie- Quick Idea: Portable How-To Videos

You still need instructional designers, but maybe now is the time to move into directing rather than coding onsite help.

via signal vs noise


Ofstedgoogle primary school map mash-up

Ofsted on the Map - have I mentioned I love google maps? Here you enter a postcode and the map gives you the local schools with links to their ofsted reports. Still feel an unsettling stomach churn at the though of ofsted, but the power of google maps is too great to ignore.

How to Cut Quill Pens from Feathers

I was only thinking about making Quill Pens from Feathers the other day - I remember as a child making quill pens with my Dad, having fingers covered in Royal Blue Quink and that hard scratchy sound as the nib hits the paper.


Meet the Life Hackers

An interesting, content-rich article about the distractions we give ourselves at work in the name of multitasking.


Logging car activity

find myself strangely drawn to the idea of logging car activity.


Cribcandy - a thumbnail bookmark blog with the best stuff for your home

lovely things



arrows and space, lots of space...


guitar for sale - one carefull owner

after trying to sell my thinline tele on loot a few times, I've bit the bullet (truss rod joke here) (truss pun joke here) and put it on ebay to finance my next purchase.

my Fury Bandit guitar is up as well.

That next guitar is going to have to be amazing to make up for selling these.

Less as a competitive advantage: My 10 minutes at Web 2.0 - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Dear IBM,

please read this and weep.

pretty please.


Collaborative writing software online with Writeboard. Write, share, revise, compare.

another interesting product from 37 signals as they skip, hop and jump in front of the competition.


What Is Web v02

Have read this today, and whilst I can see where it's heading, I still don't see enough differentiation between the emerging and the existing technologies and business models to make the clear distinction needed to declare it version 2.
But then I am feeling a bit thick today.


Supremely Decadent Chocolate Cloud Cake

Another one for the list:

Nigella Lawson

The cake itself is as richly and rewardingly sustaining: a melting, dark, flourless, chocolate base, the sort that sinks damply on cooling; the fallen centre then cloudily filled with softly whipped cream and sprinkled with cocoa powder. As Richard Sax says 'intensity, then relief, in each bite'.

250g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
125g unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
175g caster sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)
grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
23cm springform cake tin

for the cream topping:
500ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
half teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180�C/gas mark 4.

Line the bottom of the cake tin with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.

Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g of the caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.

When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here. Whip the cream until it's soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.
Serves 8-12

A Niki Note: Don't whip your cream too early, as it tends to deflate and not hold its shape and want to run off the sides, which really isn't the effect we're going for here. I had to scrape off nearly half and whip mine again just before serving because I'd tried to be too organised and whipped my cream first thing in the morning.