Are you watching The Repair Shop? You should be.

I don’t have any data things to relate today, just a recommendation.

The Repair Shop is…”reality tv”, very light, about the heirloom restorers who work at the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Singleton, West Sussex. I LURVE it. I love to watch people make and fix things. It’s the only kind of reality TV I can stomach.

It is hokey, but it’s awfully sweet to see how attached people are to the material things of their family history. I have absolutely nothing like that from my family, and Andy has only one or two things. I want to be best friends and have tea with the ladies who fix teddy bears. I want to to ask ask Suzie Fletcher, who fixes leather, if she wants to be my girlfriend (whooooo! Leather! Wheee!)

Mostly, it’s nice and wholesome and it is very, very reassuring to me at the moment that broken things might be repaired.

It also makes me think about material culture and the things that are worth treasuring.

By way of getting something visual on this post that I don’t have to steal off the inter webs, here is my attempt to save something–I made Andy candy corn socks for Halloween a few years ago, but an evil moth got in and at holes in them. So I darned them. I am pleased with them.

Hey, Jay Blades, if you need a fabric restorer, look me up.

I maybe should have just cut the toes off and re-knit the toes but he’s wearing them, so….if it rocks, we use it.

In which I draw to learn Celsius because I’m kinda pathetic that way

I was part of the Gen X world who experienced that brief moment in time when the US educational system decided it was going to become like a normal country and start using metric. I absolutely loved it. It made so much sense, and to this day, I can move readily between volume, distance, and weight measures quite readily.

The problem has *always* been Celsius. It means nothing to me. I don’t mean doing the conversion. I can do that. It’s just in reading or conversation, I just don’t have a sense of whether a measurement in Celsius is relatively hot or relatively cold. I have always felt very bad about this, and always assumed someday I’d have a better grasp of it. But it hasn’t come.

One of my most wonderful students Dustin Wong who has traveled at lot but is I believe originally from Singapore overhead me describe this problem, and he said to me “Fahrenheit means nothing to me.” Since I’m pretty sure Dustin is 40 times smarter than me (Dustin actually has a legit shot at TRULY being the Smartest urbanist in the room), his comment made me feel much better.

I was stuck at the cancer center waiting and waiting and waiting for my imaging appointment and I decided to take myself in hand and try to learn what Celsius means relative to my own understanding of temperature (what I call “the Lisadex”) and Fahrenheit. Also, I decided to do a silly font because waiting at the cancer center is depressing and blows.

The result follows:

Empire compared for no reason

I couldn’t really find a dataset I wanted to fiddle with this week, and I’m feeling rotten, so I just did a little drawing of some empires. Now, I just Googled around for some general timelines, and I think one reason why the Mayan Empire is so long is the way people have constructed the definition of the Mayan Empire, but it’s still old. It might be that it is more like 3,000 (like Egyptian) but…I did what I did.

Mostly, I got kind of interested in the over-emphasis that the Roman Emperors get. If you include Byzantium, yes, the time period is long, but I guess I still don’t see Byzantine leaders studied and storied as much the emperors of the western empire. The Republic by this accounting actually held out at little bit longer. The Emperor period seems longer I think just because there are so many Emperors, largely because they murdered each other left and right.

Anyhoodily I’m sure there empire in SE Asia and throughout Africa that deserve a bar here, these are just the ones that popped into my head when I was drawing this morning. (Keep in mind, these are compared for no reason other than I am stuck in bed feeling like garbage today.

If you have one you want to me do, feel free to email me.