On the trail of Admiral Cloudesley Shovell

The remarkably named Sir Cloudesley Shovell was by the time of his death in 1707, Admiral of the British Fleet. His ship HMS Association, went down off the Scilly Isles on the 22nd October (Julian calendar) and all hands where lost. Three more ships struck the rocks that night and over 1500 sailors died in what became one of the worst maritime disasters in British Naval history. It was a seemingly avoidable event. The fleet was returning to England and was in home waters. The cause of the disas...

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The State of Temporal Standards

If you work with temporal data on the web then you may be interested in a couple of proposals currently going through the specifications bodies. In the next few years we could see an extension to the venerable ISO8601 specification and even a new temporal API for JavaScript. ISO 8601 and EDTF There are many standards for encoding temporal data but the vast majority of these have been derived from ISO8601. The specification offers a variety of encoding options so it's rare to see an implementat...

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The Last Encore 2016

The 2016 Last Encore music project has come to a close. When I first spoke about it back in January I remarked that it had been a "rough few weeks for music". Little did we know what was to come. The final playlist came in at for over 22 hours of music from over 340 artists. This is the fifth and probably final year of this particular project. Celebrity deaths are in the zeitgeist so it might be time to move on. It's hard to take a project about mortality...

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The Ceremony of the Keys

The Ceremony of the Keys is a remarkable tradition that takes place every evening at the Tower of London. At exactly 9:53pm the Chief Yeoman Warder, accompanied by members of the Queen's Guard, secure the gates of the tower for the evening.  The ceremony is remarkable for two reasons. Firstly it's brevity - it takes no more than seven minutes from beginning to end. And secondly it's endurance - the ceremony has taken place every evening without fail for over 760 years. In the morning the ceremo...

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