Things to learn, enjoy and teach

If I can dredge up the energy (it’s been a long day, so what’s new?) I’ll try to answer this set of questions, via the Vox newsletter, with a slightly less serious twist than they suggest. So, three by three: what are three things you want to learn, three things you want to do, and three things you can teach others to do? (There are lots of people’s answers at the link.)

Three things I want to learn.

1. How to write code to build a website and lots of nice things on it.

2. How to enjoy social occasions.

3. To write well.

Three things I want to do.

1. See my children be happy (probably does not count as too vicarious)

2. Enjoy something.

3. Go to Philadelphia to see Frank, Susan, Peter and John. (This will cover (2), now I come to think of it.)

Three things I can teach others to do.

1. Edit a piece of writing.

2. Set up a blog (so long as does not involve (1) in part (1) ).

3. Listen.

Your turn.

Watch this Space this Summer

via email:

The National Theatre’s free summer festival, Watch This Space, is back, bringing an unparalleled programme of outdoor entertainment (and a lovely lawn) to London’s South Bank. This year there’s the chance to see international world premieres, as well as a sparkling mix of street theatre, bands, club nights, dance, cabaret and spectacle. Join us in Theatre Square from 6 July to 1 September.

First up: Friday 6th to Sunday 8th July. "As the Tour de France races through London, the opening weekend of Watch This Space celebrates the joy of cycling. The Bicycle Ballet forms the centrepiece of the weekend, plus a wealth of unicycling, bicycling and tricycling acts. Stunning Magnum photography lights up the Lyttelton Fly Tower in the evening. The first leg of the Tour de France passes behind the National Theatre on Sunday at 10.30am."

Overlooking the Thames, the chilled surroundings of the Terrace Café provide the perfect backdrop for late nights of musical eclecticism with Bring & Share, the original DIY Disco. So get digging and bring along your vinyl, CDs and mp3s for the B&S DJs to mix into their anything-goes sets. 10pm – 1am, Fridays and Saturdays in the Terrace Café.

Venting one’s spleen

Sometimes one receives some really rather inventive insults. This is the best I’ve seen for a long time, so I thought you might like it too. Rather handy for that special occasion when one is so cross that one is lost for words:

“a lack-luster pedantic me-too character based on following the stampede”.

Widget tracking across the web

A company called comScore has annunced the launch of Widget Metrix, a service to track the usage of widgets (data files that can be embedded into a site’s HTML code and are typically displayed in a small viewing pane on the site). Widgets are used to display customized or personalized content on a web site or blog, for example to share photos or music recommendations, or links to Amazon recommendations, ads, badges and many others. You can get them free from all kinds of sources, not least Google and Yahoo! Facebook also recently announced that it was opening doors to third-party widget developers.

Widgets, however, do increase the time it takes the reader to download a blog or website. I have a reasonably fast broadband connection, but even so I find it can take minutes or even forever for a widget-laden blog to appear on my screen. But clearly, companies are realising that tracking widgets will lead to commercial opportunities, not least on the mushrooming social network sites Facebook, MySpace, Bebo et al., though comScore is apparently the only company tracking them as a business service. It will not be alone for much longer, probably.