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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sights of London: Baker Street

Note: High resolution images of all of the following photos are available. Click on the photos to view their higher resolution images.

I grew up loving English classics and Sherlock Holmes is definitely one of my all-time favourites. Naturally, one of the places on top of my "to-visit-in-London list" was Baker Street.

Baker Street Plaque

The home of Sherlock Holmes was said to be 221b Baker Street. However, according to Wikipedia, Number 221 never actually existed during the famous detective's time. Back then, Baker Street only went up to about 100. When Number-Two-Twenty-One actually came into existence, it was made into a Sherlock Holmes museum and has been attracting visitors from all over the world ever since.

221b Baker Street

Getting to Baker Street was a piece of cake (no pun intended) -- there's a Tube station (also called Baker Street) at its mouth. For your information, Baker Street is within London Underground Zone 1, so a ride from central London should cost £1.80.

Baker Street Underground

Above ground, you'll be greeted with signboards.

Outside Baker Street Station
Madam Tussauds' wax museum is also not far away.

Once on Baker Street, just look for 221.

221b Baker Street Entrance

Well, actually I still managed to lose my way that day. For 15 minutes or so.

Anyway, after a while, I immediately knew I was at the right place. Sherlock Holmes's silhouette began to appear literally everywhere. Cafés, bars, dry cleaners, restaurants, all sported the side profile with a pipe.

Sherlock Holmes Bar

Sherlock Holmes Dry Cleaners

Sherlock Holmes Food and Beverages

221 itself was unsuspecting. Other than the rather distracting Museum signboard, everything looked perfectly ordinary. It was as if Sherlock Holmes was still alive and was living among the ordinary, not yet becoming a legend.

221 Baker Street Pano

I was a little less fortunate that day. It was a Saturday evening and the museum was closed.

221 Baker Street

Yet I was still satisfied to be able to knock on the door of the world's most famous detective.

Dear Detective
A mock-up of a police notice, asking Sherlock Holmes for help on solving a seemingly complicated murder case.

Man with Pipe Tiles
A pose beside Baker Street Underground station's escalator. Took me multiple tries to get this right -- hundreds of people went pass me and gave me different kinds of looks.

What an honour.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Owl Order is Still Alive

Sorry for being missing in action for such a long time without anything as much as a notice, but I promise, I'll be back.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Top of Google

It's official. This very blog, despite its embarrassingly low visitor count, has made the top of Google search results for "owl order".

I never would have known this if not for my friend Googling "owl order" up to visit my blog. I have a strange feeling he's not the only person doing it.

In addition, I've also made it to the top of Microsoft bing's search engine results.

However, I'm still stuck at the second page of Yahoo!'s result. Strange, I remember seeing better news just few hours ago...

Friday, 9 July 2010

Web Gadgets: JavaScript Analogue Clock

Last time, I shared a JavaScript clock, mainly as a suggestion to replace the widely used Flash-based clocks.

Today, I'm sharing yet another clock I wrote, but this time, it's the needle-based analogue clock, not the much-simpler-and-lamer number-based digital one.

As usual, feel free to copy the code below and use it. Remember, blogger only allows JavaScript in proper "HTML/JavaScript" gadgets, so this gadget will not work in regular blogposts.
<style type="text/css">
.dot {position:absolute;font-weight:bold;}
.sec {position:absolute;opacity:0.4;font-weight:bold;}
<div style="position:relative;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;width:160px;height:180px;" id="labelcontainer">
<span style="position:absolute;top:80px;left:80px;font-weight:bold;">.</span></div>
<script type="text/javascript">
for (var i=1;i!=8;i++)
document.getElementById('labelcontainer').innerHTML+="<span id='hr"+i+"' class='dot'>.</span>";
for (var i=1;i!=14;i++)
document.getElementById('labelcontainer').innerHTML+="<span id='min"+i+"' class='dot'>.</span>";
for (var i=1;i!=3;i++)
document.getElementById('labelcontainer').innerHTML+="<span id='sec"+i+"' class='sec'>.</span>";
for (var i=1;i!=13;i++)
document.getElementById('labelcontainer').innerHTML+="<span class='dot' style='font-weight:bold;opacity:0.4;top:"+y_coor(i*5,80,80)+"px;left:"+x_coor(i*5,80,80)+"px;'>."+"</span>";

function updatesec()
var now=new Date();
for (var i=1;i!=3;i++)

function updatemin()
var now=new Date();
for (var i=1;i!=14;i++)
for (var i=1;i!=8;i++)

function x_coor(sec,radius,offset)
return (Math.sin(sec*0.10472)*radius+offset);

function y_coor(sec,radius,offset)
return (offset-Math.cos(sec*0.10472)*radius);
And a sample for you!

Note that this clock contains no image -- the only thing used is the period character (AKA full-stop). And oh, it may not work on Internet Explorer (unless you have IE9 or newer), so try using a third party browser like Mozilla Firefox instead.

Have fun with it!