Something New Every Day

A record of doing a new thing every day in 2011

Chilli sandwiches (156/365) Sunday June 5, 2011

It was getting late in the day and I still hadn’t done anything new. Looking in the fridge I had some birds-eye chillis, so I decided to do something experimental and make a sandwich with one of them (plus some false-meat ham and pickle).

I was a bit worried that it was going to be horrible - even though I love hot food - but actually it was delicious. It was quite fiery but definitely not too hot (for me), and complemented the pickle really well. Definitely will have it again.

Home made mini-scones (155/365) Saturday June 4, 2011

Hilary was on her way back from her walking holiday in Cornwall, so I thought I’d have a Cornish cream tea ready for her when she got home.

I’d not made scones before, and they turned out pretty well despite only finding a star-shaped pastry cutter which made for a non-traditional shape. With some butter, jam and clotted cream they were just what was needed after a 12 hour train journey the length of England.

Joining the semantic web (154/365) Friday June 3, 2011

Following the announcement on the big 3 (2?) search engines about trying to standardise structured data in web pages via, I thought I’d join the party and add some data to Josie’s website.

One of the standard schemas is for a painting, so it was pretty easy to add the appropriate markup to each page on the website that shows an image. For example, the HTML for the image page of William Blake/Johnny Depp was amended to add a few extra attributes:

<span itemscope itemtype=””>
<div class=”imageContainer”>
<a href=”/gallery/image.aspx/icons/Juno” id=”ctl00_MainContent_imageLink”><img src=”/gallery/images/current/WilliamBlake.jpg” id=”ctl00_MainContent_mainImage” itemprop=”image”   alt=”William Blake” /></a>
<h1 class=”imageTitle” itemprop=”name”>William Blake</h1
<div class=”imageDescription” itemprop=”description”>37 x 66cm oil on canvas 2010</div>
<div class=”imageAuthor” itemprop=”author”>Josie McCoy</div>

It will be very interesting to see if the initiative takes hold any more than the existing structured data formats that already exist. I guess if there are clear benefits in terms of search rankings, they almost certainly will.

Added Twitter Follow button to website (153/365) Thursday June 2, 2011

After noticing Twitter had released code to add a “follow” button to your website, I thought that would be a good thing to learn about on the train home. Turned out it was easy enough, and it didn’t take long to to get one up and running on my Brave Location site.

Actually I’m getting a little sick of social networking buttons taking over every website at the moment, but I’ll leave that rant for another day.

Bodean BBQ Restaurant (152/365) Wednesday June 1, 2011

Continuing on our quest to go to every lunch place in Soho before it’s too late, on Vijay’s suggestion we went to Bodean’s BBQ Restaurant.

It’s a real meat-eaters place, and the burgers were massive. Me and Vijay had double-stacked veggie burgers and chips, which left us very full all afternoon. If you’re in the mood for a big, unhealthy but tasty lunch, this is definitely the place for you.

Lunch at Vitao (151/365) Tuesday May 31, 2011

We trying to make the most of Soho before we move offices soon, so we went to another new place for lunch - Vitao on Wardour Street.

It’s a healthy vegetarian sort of place, and decent value (for Soho). There was a selection of dhals, rice dishes and salads which was all pretty decent.

Supposedly they have had all sorts of celebrities eat there, but there was no sign of them when we went in.

Allendale Swift (150/365) Monday May 30, 2011

I didn’t feel like doing much on a wet Bank Holiday Monday, but thought I should at least leave the house once and headed into Hexham for a pint and some lunch.

I ended up in Wetherspoons as usual and tried a new beer - Allendale Swift. The brewery is a local one, Allendale being a small town up in the hills, and it was a decent beer without being particularly memorable.

Wrote a Bing Translate Chrome Extension (149/365) Sunday May 29, 2011

One of the great things about working at Bing in London is working with interesting people from all around the world. Obviously when they post things on Facebook sometimes they are in their native language so not so easy for this poor linguist to understand.

Now IE8/9 has a built-in context menu to let you highlight the text and get Bing Translate to translate it, but I mostly use Chrome as my browser nowadays. Therefore I decided to build my own Chrome Extension to do exactly the same.

It was pretty easy as Bing Translate has a nice service endpoint which returns JSON, and Chrome allows you to add extensions on the right-click context menu. It’s simple and does the job, and after paying $5.00 to Google to join their developer program I’ve shared it for everyone to download on the Chrome web store.

If you give it a go, let me know what you think.

Thai Fried Bananas (148/365) Saturday May 28, 2011

I’m home alone this weekend as Hilary is on a walking holiday in Cornwall, so I didn’t want to make a great effort cooking before watching the Champions League Final. So I thought I’d try something new and quick, and cooked some Thai Fried Bananas.

I found a very simple recipe online, in which basically you fry the bananas in butter and then sprinkle with sugar when brown. Very easy and very tasty.

Installed WP7 7.1 Tools (147/365) Friday May 27, 2011

I finally updated my Bedside Clock app (again) and I’m hoping it will pass the vigorous Marketplace testing, so I thought it was a good time to play with the new development tools for the upcoming “Mango” release.

The new APIs look interesting, but with the phones not being updated for a while it’s a little bit of a mute point right now. However, the emulator upgrade looks good, especially being able to use the accelerometer and location.