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This Blogging Month: April

This month has been busy in every sense of the word! I’ve surpassed 500 posts and 100,000 words, which makes me question what exactly it is I’m doing with my life! But the fact that I’ve once again had the highest number of hits ever – well over 75,000 – makes me feel a little happier. I’ve had visitors from as far afield as Japan, Thailand, Denmark, and Singapore. So hello to all of those people. I’ve made a slight loss in terms of advertising revenues this month, but given that I’ve been well-above target for the previous months of the year, it’s not a big problem. I actually made a 12% profit in the end (see the comment for more details).

The most popular post of the month was my comment on American patriotism.

I’ve finally got round to doing away completely with the awkward post footers, moving the icons (including a new comment one) up to the top, and adding a new ‘bug’ to the end of posts which have comments, which I feel is, all in all, a more satisfactory solution to the problem. I updated the site guide to reflect these changes, as well.

The sad death of the Pope was marked by the first use of my black website header, designed for such occasions, which stayed in place from the announcement of the death until after the funeral. It’s not a feature I want to be making particularly heavy use of, but I think it’s important that such a facility is available.

You may have noticed that on reviews I’ve written this month, the Amazon.co.uk link has become rather less subtle, with quite a big box showing you the current price and so forth as well as a picture of the cover. This isn’t so much a change in the policy of this site as it is a change in Amazon’s referral system, which now provides me with these boxes rather than cover-pictures. They do have certain advantages: Firstly, they’re much easier to get on the site, and secondly, they give you far more information (such as the price) in addition to the picture. Because they’re bigger, they also force me to be rather more verbose in my review style.

Earlier in the month I had a little bit of a tinker with the colour scheme, so as to make the site a bit more blue and purple (and less grey). I also reworked the individual post pages a little, to give greater prominence to your comments (they were in that silly little font before, which made me look even more self-important than I already appear through my style of writing). I hope you like the changes (if you were eagle-eyed enough to spot them), and I hope that giving the comments section greater prominence will encourage more people to engage in healthy debate about the drivel I so often spout.

I’ve tided the post categories up a touch, so that there is now a separate category for book reviews, and the LBSC and A-Level categories (which were non-sensical and virtually unpopulated respectively) have been removed. Some older posts have been re-categorised, too.

That’s pretty much all that’s gone on this month. There is, of course, a lot of on-going election posting, and don’t forget that you can access my election-only page at sjhoward.co.uk/election2005. And that’s April!

This 553rd post was filed under: Site Updates.

Labour aggravates aliens

It would appear that it’s not just earthlings worried about the prospect of a third Labour term…

Though, being illegal aliens, you’d think they’d be more worried about the Conservative prospects.

This 552nd post was filed under: Election 2005.

Swing Update

Today’s swing figure:

» 1.95% swing to the Conservatives «

The lack of any new polls today means that the only change in the swing is due to the changing relativity of the age of the polls. Nothing exactly groundbreaking.

More interesting is the Indy’s exposé of yet another Labour lie – voting Lib Dem (which the Indy is almost certain to tell us to do) would not ‘let the Tories in by the back door’. It would take a swing from Labour to the Lib Dems of over 23% for that to happen. But hey, what’s one more lie if it makes people vote Labour?

This 551st post was filed under: Election 2005.

Su Doku

A revolution in newspaper puzzling has occurred, and I’m part of it…

I’m addicted to Su Doku. If you don’t read the Indy, Times, Telegraph or Mail, then this revolution may have passed you by, so catch up with the lovely article in today’s Indy: The Puzzle that Ate the World. And yes, I did buy the Indy in preference to the Grauniad today just to experience Britain’s first Super Du Doku. I’m making fair progress with it, but it’ll be a while till I’m done, I expect.

I also have the first Times Su Doku book (right), which seems slightly pointless given that I could have bought the program for only slightly more cash and have had an endless supply of the puzzles. But there’s something more satisfying about doing them from the book. I may well get the program, though, before long… I don’t know if I can resist! I’ve got the demo already…

If there’s one thing about the whole Su Doku saga that amuses me most, it’s that the readers of the Mail can’t cope with a puzzle with such a complicated name (!) – they, instead, are presented with Number Crunch Codenumber (see here). Poor peeps.

Anyway, if you want a go at some Su Soku Doku (who says I can’t spell?!), the Times have their puzzles online here, and the Torygraph have theirs here. You could also download the demo version of the program. Or buy the book.

But give it a go, and you will be addicted. Please don’t blame me!

This 550th post was filed under: News and Comment, Reviews.


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