Archive for March, 2009

We’re independent, honest

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

McDonald’s courts long-term jobless

Spokesman for Leeds Metropolitan University on the radio: “Macdonalds paid us to perform an independent study…”

Bollocks they did.

If you were paid for it, it’s not independent. Getting money for something is the exact definition of “dependent”. Call it impartial, unbiased or neutral if you like. It might even be true. But “independent” actually means something real and verifiable that backs up your claim to be impartial. It doesn’t mean “we’re unbiased because we say so, honest”, and when you start using the word as a free pass to avoid scrutiny, you go from being possibly biased to actually lying about the fact. Which is not good for your credibility as a research group. Stop polluting our language, you tossers.

Deploying a Rails app without a database using Capistrano

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

So you’ve got a simple-but-devastatingly-clever Rails app that doesn’t use a database, you’ve dutifully added the line to config/environment.rb to disable the ActiveRecord framework, and now you’re ready to unleash it to the world, using Capistrano for deployment. But when you run ‘cap deploy:cold’, it merrily tries to run database migrations and fails with “uninitialized constant ActiveRecord”. How do you make Capistrano behave?

A simple question, with a simple answer, but one which is curiously absent from the internet. Googlejuice ahoy!

Stick this at the bottom of config/deploy.rb:

namespace :deploy do
	desc "Override deploy:cold to NOT run migrations - there's no database"
	task :cold do

Paris Hilton And Her Monkey

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

So February Album Writing Month is over for another year, and I’ve been completely slacking by not posting songs up here. But to kick things off, here’s a song which I wrote way back in the mists of 2008, but went unrecorded for a good while after that. It pioneered the soon-to-be-ubiquitous trend of writing songs titled after the subject lines of spam, and this recording comes courtesy of the New Year’s Eve open mic at the Old Bookbinders, Oxford.

Download matt_westcott_-_paris_hilton_and_her_monkey_-_bookbinders.mp3