Led down a rabbithole

So I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts Talk the Talk and they mentioned Google Ngram which searches an incredibly large selection of books and then graphs how many times they were used over time.
Inevitably, given how many things are on my to-do list at the moment, I spent way too much time typing in random words from Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and other fandoms to see what came up. Muggle was used as early as the 1800s and TARDIS spiked in the 1820s.

Naturally this piqued my interest and I had to test out some knitting words.

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Knitting and embroidery are significantly more widely used than crochet.
Tunisian crochet and loom knitting turned up no results.
Finger knitting started to turn up in 1960 and machine knitting started in 1880 with a huge spike in usage around 1940.

Then I fell down the rabbit hole and started comparing needle types, sock construction, colour work, basically all the knitting specific words I could think of.

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At first glance it looks like toe up is more well used than cuff down. Then I dug a little deeper and looked at the books with references to Toe Up. I went through 3 pages and not one reference to knitting.
I don’t think this graph will be able to settle the toe up vs cuff down debate!

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That really sharp spike of DPN in 1960? “Diphosphopyridine nucleotide (DPN) : DPN, formerly known as coenzyme I,* contains one residue each of adenine and nicotinic acid amide, and two each of ribose and phosphoric acid.”
So again, nothing to do with knitting just pure coincidence. Maybe don’t talk about lending your DPNs to a scientist. They might just get very confused.

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Without DPN to skew the graph axis, it becomes clearer that circular needles entered the scene around 1860 and double pointed needles around 1940. I tried guessing what correlations there could be with words like circular knitting, knitting in the round, world war, and measles but none of them had a similar spike. I had a vague idea that I could just stumble on a spurious correlation but it wasn’t to be.

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Fair Isle has been around since the 1800s, but Intarsia appeared in 1850 and Entrelac slightly later in 1905. Or at least the word has been in usage since those times.

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And then just for fun I typed in three different spellings of polka-dots just to see which usage is most popular.

Turns out polkadots it is.
There you go! I still like polka-dots. It appeals to me aesthetically.

Graphs are fun!

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For when you need food but also need to not leave the couch (A Menulog How To Guide)

You know those Saturday nights when you’re watching 30 Rock, watching Tina Fey eating constantly so you get hungry and there’s nothing in the fridge, and leaving the couch is really way too much effort. That’s when you get to order food without talking to anyone. Ahhh definitely bliss.

I’m already pretty sure I’m addicted to my phone. I do everything on it, from keeping track of whether I’ve taken medications , to paying bills, keeping up with my song a week challenge, managing my etsy store, plus I just downloaded Stash2Go that I’m still figuring out, but will probably rave about in a couple of weeks.

Well another app which I’m finding has changed my life is the menulog app. Say goodbye to trying and struggling to pronounce chinese food on the phone, and having to talk to anyone to get food delivered to your door – there’s now a free app to do all of this for you.
I used to have this ‘thing’ about talking to strangers on the phone, being a receptionist for a year cured that to a certain extent. I still prefer to not talk to people if I can help it.

It’s dead easy to get food delivered and only leave your couch once.
I already had the menulog app on my phone so I put in my post code and then made the difficult decision about what type of food.

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I had a hankering for Chinese food so I found the Panda House. I surfed through the menu and tapped on what I wanted (predictably the order included some lemon chicken).
When I had enough food in my cart to feed a small army or one hungry Bek I checked out.
And because they have PayPal I still didn’t have to leave the couch to get my credit card from my wallet. I’ve deliberately not memorised my new card. It’s safer for my bank balance that way.

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I then got an sms saying they had my order, and then 45 minutes later I had Chinese food in my belly. Well after I hobbled to the front door – that’s the leaving the couch part. But once I was safe and sound and back on the couch it was the perfect Saturday night. 30 Rock, Chinese food, knitting, couch, and cider.
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This photo is why my food posts are few and far between these days.

*Full disclaimer – Menulog gave me food to write this post. Well they gave me credit to buy food. Same difference. But rest assured lovely readers even if the food wasn’t free I would still recommend this app and endorse it as an easy and delicious experience. You’d have to be a stronger lady than I am to pass up free food.

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#SOTW – Blood Red Shoes

My signed Blood Red Shoes album arrived this week – YAY!!!

These guys are absolutely top of my most played bands that I’ve never seen live. Seriously I was bored recently and made a list. Well not actually wrote a list, but printed a list of my top 500 played bands and highlighted the ones that I had seen.
I’ve been scrobbling music to Last.FM for nearly 4 years now, and when I joined it sucked in my iTunes play counts so it probably has at least 8 years of my music listening history. If you want to music stalk me I am here.

It will tell you that I’ve listened to Blood Red Shoes 60 times in the last 7 days and have 1.145 total plays. So yeah I like all their music, and really like their new album enough to get a signed copy shipped directly from the UK.

So go, listen to the lovely grungy punky awesome music.

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Of chvrches and wolf & cub

I recall seeing wolf & cub with about 15 other people at v fest 08 (or 09 my memory is hazy).
They were playing at the same time as Madness and The Kills.
I was running around like a mad thing between three stages.

And so I listened to their album a bit that year and had since forgotten about them.

Until I was skimming through the triple j playlist and saw that they had a new song out. So I added it to a playlist and it hasn’t left my head since.

I did almost the same thing with chvrches. As they’re highly tipped for laneway and there’s been a bit of buzz about them I thought I’d give them a listen. I wasn’t all that interested.
But again skimming through the triple j playlist I listened to Guns and have been hooked.

Serious ear worms both of them.
And the best part of looking at the triple j playlist is you still stay in touch with what other people are listening to, without hearing the songs you don’t want to listen to. Or the songs that they play 5 times a day.

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Stuck in my head – wolf parade

I don’t get a lot of phone calls. And the people who do call all have their own special ringtones so I know who’s calling.
HeWhoFishes has Trail of Dead, although for the longest time he had Eartha Kitt – Girl from Ipanema
Midnitemoose has Cold War Kids – We Used To Vacation.
Hedgehog-onalog (my even though im not actually married to her brother i still call her my sis-in-law) has Hot Hot Heat – Bandages
My littlest brother has Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone
My middle brother has The Temper Trap – Fader
My Dad has Glen Miller – In the Mood
My Mum has Grandmaster Flash – The Message.

Mostly I choose ringtones because I saw that band with that person. That’s the case for the first 4 people on that list.
The last three are a bit more random. Mostly because to choose a song that reminds me of them would require me to put The Beegees (mum) or country music (my middle brother) as ringtones. Fortunately I’m quite partial to Glen Miller.

But my ringtone for everyone else is currently Wolf Parade – Shine A Light.
This week I’ve had more phone calls than all of last month combined. Real estate agents, valuers, and our mortgage broker all want to speak to me.

So every few hours I hear the opening bars of Shine A Light. Even while I was writing this post (because I do the majority of blogging on my iPhone) I heard the opening bars.

And it’s only now on reflection I think I should change it.
I’m not sure “waiting for something that will never arrive” is the vibes I want to be sending into the universe.

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Stuck in my head – the duke spirit

Every time I read a review about an album, or hear an interesting band name, or Shazam a song, I will find an album and make it a playlist.
Then I forget to listen to them.

So this week I started making an effort to listen to all of them.

It didn’t go to well.
I got two albums in before listening to The Duke Spirit on repeat.

I have also had the latest Editors album on repeat. It comes with a commentary which is pretty cool. I’m still undecided about the album though. I’m trying to give it a chance but it’s not the Tom Smith I know.

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I have a new phone, so it needs a case, and now I have spare cases for a good home

I have a new phone! The phone company called me and said would I like to change plans to one with more data and get an iPhone 5 as well and I said ok. I don’t mind paying less a month and getting a new phone.
Plus new phone means an excuse to buy new cases.
I don’t quite understand my obsession with pretty cases, but I spent a few hours looking and trying not to purchase all the cases.

I stumbled across head case designs and they were just too cute not to share. And I may have bought 1 or 3 of them.
(The picture links to the eBay page)

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These are the three I bought. No doubt you’ll see them in selfies soon enough.

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Of course this means I now have a surplus of iPhone 4S cases which need a good home. So if you have an iPhone 4 or 4S and are interested in any of my cases (below) shoot me a comment or an email and let me know which one you’re after.
I would particularly like my tardis to find a loving home.

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Stuck in my head – The Shins

Well if you have a look at my most played artists for this week you won’t find the shins.

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We had a stereo on board, which we could both plug our phones into and there was no one around.
So when HeWhoFishes was out on the dingy I did leap at the opportunity to sing and dance around like the crazy lady I am.
And I wasn’t dancing to the shins.

But when we weren’t being nostalgic and listening to Jebediah, and I was enjoying the solitude of being away from society and on a boat, I was listening to this song.

(And just to rub it in, here’s my photo collage which I use as my work computer background. One of the reasons I use hipstamatic, Instagram, and the a beautiful mess apps is not so all my photos look twee [which I do like] but it makes it easier to put into collages because they all use the same dimensions. My work computer has no fancy unworkrelated software so I resize the photos to 7cm using microsoft word and then copy and paste them into paint. Then I can chop and change photos as I like )

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Late to the podcast party

I’ve just discovered that I can listen to podcasts at work! Well rather, I’ve discovered Stitcher which means I don’t have to plug my phone into my computer.
This technology has apparently been around for a while because I’ve lost a bit of geek cred thinking this was a new concept.

Pod With No Name is the reason I discovered this ‘new’ technology. The fabulous @sebsharp has been plugging this podcast for ages and for good reason. It was an entertaining half hour of Australian accents and hilarity.

After that I thought about what to listen to next. So I typed in Doctor Who.
I checked out a few different podcasts, giving them a 2 minute chance to impress, but only listened to Doctor Who: Radio Free Skaro all the way through.
I liked the way it felt like I was hanging out with people who talked the way I did and loved doctor who the same way I do.
In real life I only have one person who I can chat with about all things who and that’s my little brother. Who is very awesome but it’s nice to have more than one opinion on things.

(On a side note I am superduper excited to be seeing Doctor Who at the cinema on Saturday night!!!!)

So then I thought I’d see what popped up when I typed in knitting.
There is a heap of knitting podcasts which again I gave the 2 minute test to.
I listened to Jane and Jen knit funny, which was quite entertaining.

And then I found Electric Sheep.
If you haven’t listened to her podcast before I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I have listened to all the back catalogue that stitcher will allow. She has a wicked sense of humour and I have snorted my tea once or twice whilst listening.

I have messaged my boyfriend about a pub next to a yarn store that we need to go when we’re in Europe next year from her recommendation.
I’ve been inspired to make infused gin again. (I have made lavender infused gin before but I don’t think I posted about it, nevertheless it was delicious.)
I have now made a cardigan which she spoke about which was going to be today’s blog post, but I’ve blabbed on about podcasts for long enough already.

My partner got home from work while I was sitting on the couch listening to her Christmas Panto and I was laughing so hard he thought I was broken or drunk or both.

So if you have never listened to a podcast before, or have never listened to Electric Sheep, both have the Beks Stamp of Approval.

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