July 15, 2014

The Toxteth Jellyfish

I live on the edge of Toxteth, a borough of Liverpool. It is "best" known as the location of the riots in 1981 - you can see the Rialto (a landmark point in the unrest) from my front door.

It's more gentrified these days, particularly the town side of Upper Parliament Street, although it still suffered a little in the 2011 flare-up.

I pass through it pretty often, but generally only the through-routes and during the day. Having heard many scare stories over the years, it was with a little trepidation (though not enough to force me onto the main roads) that I ventured off on foot through the side streets as dusk descended.

It was much more animated than I expected. Not busy, but markedly more people out and about than I'd expect, given the time of day. Both walking somewhere, and pottering about in their front gardens or just sitting on the stoop. Very much Jane Jacobs' "eyes on the street".

I was a few minutes early as I neared my destination, and I wondered if those eyes would become suspicious if I ended up loitering, given it was outside an empty shop.

Turning the final corner, I saw there were three other people hanging around there already. As I approached I greeted them with what sounded like a secret service code phrase - "Are you here jellyfish spotting?". They were.

I'd assumed I'd be the only person out to see tonight's unveiling. I'm not quite sure why, this is Liverpool after all. By five-past ten, when the shutters had opened and we could see the luminescent jellyfish in their tanks, the group had swelled to about twenty - arty types; a few dog walkers; drivers pulled up to see what was happening; a couple of mothers, with their young kids, in their dressing gowns, obviously being allowed up late to come and see the show. I even ended up discussing laser-cutting techniques with an artist who'd actually sent us an email about it in the time since I'd left my flat!

The jelly fish are there for The Physical Possibility of Inspiring Imagination in the Mind of Somebody Living, a Biennial artwork by Walter Hugo and Zoniel.

I don't know if it will inspire imagination, but it was great to see so many people drawn into the depths of Toxteth so late in the evening.

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October 11, 2008

A Sign for the Times?

Signpost reading 'Keep Crossing Fingers'

This sign is on Leece Street, and I pass it almost every time I head home from the centre of Liverpool. There are more dotted around the city, part of the Biennial I think, but this one seems particularly appropriate given the current world events.


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June 23, 2008

Implementing RFC1149

It's been twelve years since I started writing TCP/IP stacks (the underlying protocol that governs how all the computers on the Internet talk to each other) and finally I've had the opportunity to create an implementation (albeit parital) of RFC1149.

This will be of little interest to almost everyone who reads this blog, but it made a small part of me disproportionately proud. However, a quick search on google shows that I wasn't the first and their implementation is much more complete than mine.


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June 04, 2008

Sage Advice

(via Euan)

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April 30, 2008

False Friends

I was supposed to be going to bed an hour ago, but was just having a leaf through the Lonely Planet guide to wind down before turning in. We're planning a trip to Modena in mid-May to check out some of the car-related sights - Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, De Tomaso... are all based in the Modena area. So, obviously, rather than wind-down, I've ended up opening the laptop and have been poking around an assortment of websites about all sorts of interesting-sounding little museums.

Quite a few of the museums can be visited only by appointment, which has introduced me to my latest false friend - richiesta.

A false friend is a word that sounds like an easy translation from one language to the other, but which isn't what you'd expect. For example, stufa doesn't mean stuffed, it means stove.

So when it says "le visite alla Fabbrica Maserati sono possibili su richiesta" it doesn't mean that "visits to the Maserati factory are only possible for the richest", it actually means that visits are only "by request".


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January 26, 2008

Interesting Advertising

Looking through this list of inspired adverts reminded me of a photo I took on the banks of the river just before Christmas.

Photo of a car trapped in a bubble with artificial snow

Just by chance I happened upon this full-size rally car trapped in a plastic bubble, complete with fake snow being blown round it. I'm not sure exactly why they'd set it up down by the river - it's not the busiest of areas this time of year, and so it was a bit isolated, but it was definitely different and intriguing.


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November 08, 2007

It Might Be True, But it Wasn't Really Appropriate

I think today's 30-in-30 should be to revise the difference between these two verbs:

To wash. lavo - I wash
To work. lavoro - I work

That will help me avoid conversations such as the one with the barista at the caffetteria opposite our apartment when Rebecca and I dropped in for a quick espresso...

barista: Are you not at work today?
Rebecca: I'm working later on, at the restaurant round the corner
barista: And you?
Not knowing how to say "I work for myself", I wanted to point out that the "office" was just across the road...
Me: I wash in the apartment

Posted by Adrian at 03:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 16, 2007

It Is a Small World

Recently I noticed a few big white igloos had appeared on Parker's Piece, a patch of parkland in the centre of Cambridge. I wondered what they were for, but didn't think much more of them and the next time I cycled past they'd gone.

When I went to the Arduino Workshop I picked up a little electronic toy that artist Mark Dixon was giving away. They flashed tiny LEDs when they detected mobile phone activity - he'd had 5000 made for an art installation but as that had now ended he was giving them to anyone who was interested.

It's been a handy little device - I've had it sat next to my laptop ever since and it warned me of incoming text messages or phonecalls without disturbing the rest of the office (and meant I could listen to music on my headphones without missing a call).

Until today I hadn't gotten round to visiting the accompanying website. I was amused to find a video of the igloos on Parker's Piece being covered in these gadgets. Strange how these random events sometimes tie themselves back together.


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June 06, 2007

Cannes Comes to Cambridge?

Tomorrow night, a collection of short films made by the Cambridge Film Network are being shown at the Boxtree pub (just behind the Grafton Centre). The films were all screened at this year's Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival, so it'll be almost like being at Cannes yourself (or something...).

I'm not sure if I can make it along, but it's a great opportunity to see One Little Step, the musical I raved about recently. Oh, and I might feature in Guilty - they filmed a confession of mine, but I don't know if it made the final film.

Full details of the event after the jump...

Cannes comes to Cambridge at The Boxtree
Thursday 14th June from 8:30pm
Napier Street, Cambridge (behind the Grafton Centre)

Fresh from a funky new refurb, the Boxtree Bar and Brasserie is bringing the French Riviera with a local twist to film lovers in the area on June 14th. Teaming up with the Cambridge Filmmakers Network, the Boxtree will be hosting an evening of short films produced by members of the CFN, all of which were recently screened in the short film corner of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Films screening are:

One Little Step
Directed by Emily Blickem

With a spirit full of music and heart aching to love, a young woman finds enchantment amongst the tarnished glitter of a seaside town.

Charlie can't help dreaming. In her head, she has a life filled with sunshine and song. The truth - a seaside summer job at a crazy golf course - is dreary and grey in comparison. Then there's a boy, Jake, a sculptor, crafting Charlie's castles in the air from the sand on the beach. But will she take a chance, take one little step, and open herself up to love?
Filmed in Great Yarmouth, home of sun, sea and sand sculpting, One Little Step is a magical musical to melt your heart.

Blood on His Hands
Directed by Justin Coleman

On the eve of a historic trial, James Taylor must choose whether a man accused for his brother?s murder should be sentenced to the death penalty. As he contemplates his verdict, and the events leading up to his brother?s death, it becomes clear that the wrong man is in the dock.

The Horsemen
Directed by Kate Madison

The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as you've never seen them before. This short comedy looks at the effect these four men can unintentionally have, especially on the poor waitress caught in the middle when they meet up in a country pub to discuss work.

Directed by Nic Cornwall

Do you have secret? A secret that deep down inside that gives you a twinge of guilt or possibly a little glow of pleasure? Would it help to get it off your chest? Imagine if you could tell your story and no-one would know it was you.

Guilty is a short abstract documentary based on anonymous confessions from members of the public.

More about these films at www.madandbad.co.uk.


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March 09, 2007

Media I Consume


Things have been a bit quiet round here lately, largely because I've been busy working: adding printing to tedium, and consulting for Motorola on a mobile phone UI project.

Those projects aren't at quite such a manic level now, but I've been struggling to find anything useful to write here. Lots of ideas for posts, but an inability to get the words flowing.

In an attempt to kickstart things, I'm stealing a meme from Euan. Without further ado, this is what my media consuption looks like:

Web: I've never really done much "random web surfing", but I do spend an awful lot of my time using a web browser. There are a few hundred RSS feeds in my newsreader which let me keep up-to-date with a huge number of blogs. Through them I find around half-a-dozen jumping off points into the web each day. That's more than enough!

Music: Music is almost omnipresent in my life: on the radio in the shower; Internet radio or iTunes streaming from my mp3 collection when I'm at a computer; and more mp3s in my car stereo. My music collection (all purchased, mostly on CD and then ripped to mp3) runs to around 11,000 tracks, and includes all sorts of stuff. last.fm is probably the best place to head to get an idea of what I listen to.

TV: I watch very little TV. These days a lot of what I watch has been downloaded via BitTorrent, but only as a form of poor-man's Tivo/Sky+. I do have a soft spot for documentaries or factual programmes - particularly music-, architecture- or environment-related. The main thing I watch live is football, if Liverpool are involved. So that's Match of the Day, or the Champions League games when they're not on Sky.

Communication: I'm not best at this, as anyone who converses with me via email will no doubt know. I've got all the right tools - phone, mobile phone, email, IM, Skype... but have a tendency to get engrossed in other things and not respond as quickly as I should. I think there are always a few "email so-and-so" tasks on my todo list - it's a constant battle to get to where replying to email is one of those less-than-five-minutes-so-just-do-it tasks...

Movies: Although I enjoy going to the cinema, I rarely get hung-up on what I want to watch. I often have a few things I'd like to see if I go, but won't worry if I don't make it to see them. And I much prefer seeing them at the cinema, rather than at home. Watching DVDs or films on TV somehow feels too much like I could be doing something more productive.

Magazines: I don't find the time to read any these days. I still keep a subscription to evo but have at present two issues lying unopened in my in-tray. Apart from maybe Inc. magazine (their renewal system made it easier for my subscription to lapse), I can quite happily live without reading any other magazines.

Books: I don't get as much time to read books as I'd like. At least now Amazon let me keep most of my unread pile virtual. I made a conscious decision to read more a few months back, and since then have been making better progress (largely at the expense of magazines). I now often read for a while before bed, which works well to help me wind-down after an evening of work.

Newspapers: Reading the paper is an occasional weekend indulgence. I do enjoy working my way through the Weekend FT; or the Guardian or Observer. The only other time I'm likely to buy a paper is if I've got a long train or plane journey ahead.

Radio: Now that I've got my entire CD collection always with me, I don't listen to the radio in the car much. Radio One is always on when I'm having a shower, although Chris Moyles really annoys me during the week. If I'm at my computer it's a toss-up between listening to mp3s or streaming radio - usually BBC 6Music or Norman Jay's show on BBC London.


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June 15, 2006

My Wikipedia Contrail

Matt Web tried typing "en.wikipedia.org/wiki" into his web browser address bar to see what came up (basically it'll show which Wikipedia pages you've visited recently).

He's published his list here, and is interested in seeing other people's lists. So here's mine. Following Matt's lead, if you hover over any of the links you'll get a brief note about why I was looking for that...

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April 04, 2006

The Simpsons...

These days I'd usually just link to this with del.icio.us, but I quite fancied trying out the embeddable video player from YouTube...

The trailer for The Simpson's movie is out!

If you can see a picture of Homer above, then clicking on the play button in the middle of the image should start the movie playing. If you can't see Homer then you might have more luck on the YouTube page itself.

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February 03, 2006

Thoughts On The Junction's "Bins and Benches"

Over the last couple of days I've been brainstorming ideas for a new name for PeerBackup. On Monday I decided that it might help to get out of the house for a bit - change of scenery... remove the distraction of the Internet...

As it was a bright sunny day, I thought the square at the Cambridge Leisure retail park would be a suitable location and would let me see what the Bins and Benches public art installation from the Junction is like. Only seven months or so after saying I'd report back with my thoughts on them.

I'd been a bit underwhelmed by the looks of the when I first saw them - there's a definite home-made look to them, but then they have been hand made, and are definitely sturdy enough to survive out on the streets. I was quite surprised to find that, on the bench I sat on for my lunch at least, they haven't been vandalised at all. I'd have thought a wooden bench would have had initials carved into it, or written on in marker pen, but they were surprisingly clean and tidy.

That seems to sum up my feeling overall with this artwork. What should be a playful piece, encouraging interaction with its surroundings and its fellow inhabitants somehow falls so short. All the promise and enthusiasm for the work has seeped away - the area of the Junction website about the art is out of date and the artist's website is unavailable as I write.

The bins and benches themselves are also rather inert. In the hour that I was sat for my lunch, only one bin made any movement; lurching amusingly across the cobbles like an unstable Dalek. As they seem to be solar-powered, maybe a sunny winter day isn't good enough for them. Hopefully they become more animated in the summer months, when there will be more people lingering in the piazza.

What they lacked in movement, they made up in noise. They are very chatty objects, for the first half-hour or so calling to each other in morse; and then the singing started. Either that or my bench was fed up of me sitting on it and wanted to voice its disapproval... I managed to catch some of the performance on my mobile phone, so if you've got Real Player (or something that can cope with .3gp files) you can have a listen here.

Overall, I still like the idea of the "bins and benches", but I think the implementation could benefit from a bit more work. How about sticking a webcam on the Junction somewhere, and providing time-lapse movies of the installation? Encourage people to discuss their experiences of the work on the website, and print the URL onto the benches so people can find one from the other. Let local artists customise the looks, or just give them each a different coat of paint so people notice their movements more easily.

Or better still, include some technology in the benches themselves to let people interact with them. With a bluetooth module they could appear as "RedBench", "BlueBench" if you searched for Bluetooth devices on your phone... and then people could send them messages, or pictures, which could then be relayed to the website. Or fed into some Eliza-like software so they could talk back.

Click here to see a few photos I took of the artwork.

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October 21, 2005

Mike's Friday Music Fun

The answer is a bit puerile, but this silly music quiz amused me much more than it should have.

If you want any more songs to help work out then answer, you could also have:

  • Jackie Wilson - The Sweetest Feeling (or even Reet Petite for that matter)
  • The Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
  • The La's - There She Goes

And far too many more. I'll stop now.

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October 05, 2005

Keep An Eye Out For New Red Phoneboxes In Cambridge

We Make Money Not Art report on a new project coming to Cambridge - Public booths for regrets.

"Six to ten purpose-built mobile computer stations publicly located in and around Cambridge collect anonymously submitted regrets from the public to comprise a sociological database of contemporary remorse"

I wonder how easy they'll be to spot?

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August 26, 2005

The Underground Canvas

Parallel Worlds is a cool digital art project. They attach a projector onto the side of a tube train and then as the train travels through the tunnels images are projected onto the walls of the tunnel, so to passengers it seems like there are fish swimming alongside, or tree roots dangling from the roof of the tunnel. I love this light-hearted and fun hi-jacking of the public space.


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July 04, 2005

Touch Me

On Friday, Rebecca and I took a trip down to London to see the Touch Me exhibition at the V&A, after I'd read about it over at we make money not art.

Naturally, with a title like Touch Me, it was a very hands-on exhibition, with lots of things to play with - well worth a visit.

I'd already read about quite a few of the pieces online, but it was good to experience them "in the flesh". I think that rather than compete with the existing write-ups, I'll just provide links with the odd comment of my own:

  • The Watt? light. This wasn't working when we were there unfortunately, but we had a nice chat to one of the curators who came over to help us with it. Such an interactive and hi-tech exhibition provides quite a challenge to the museum, as they have to maintain what are often fairly fragile and unique pieces with a limited amount of access to the knowledge that actually created them. Particularly difficult when you have to cope with rampaging hordes of school children...
  • Intimate memory clothing
  • The lonely home bench. As I'd seen this online beforehand, I wasn't surprised when it suddenly moved - I can't say the same for all the other visitors!
  • Thups. Cups that you carry on your thumb. If you want some, you can buy them in the shop at the end...
  • Multi-sensorial radio. This was just strange. I liked the tactile feel of the rubber seating, but it was hard to work out how the rest of it worked - I just didn't connect with what it was trying to do.
  • Sexiest juicer in the galaxy. Unfortunately, it wasn't being demonstrated like it is in the photo in the link...
  • Sfera alarm clock - I guess it wouldn't work quite as well for someone who sleeps on the top bunk!

To my mind, they weren't the more interesting exhibits...

I finally got to have a go on the laser mobile keyboard that I blogged about ages ago. Although it was quite impressive that you could type on any flat surface, my attempts to type "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" were frustrating. My right hand kept wandering off the home keys, seemingly wanting to come to rest one key left of where it should be, and the lack of tactile feedback made it hard to tell if you'd hit a key or not. With some practice, I was getting more accurate, but I'm not convinced you'd get quick enough to prefer it if a keypad with physical keys and predictive text were available instead.

The Drift Table was a cool coffee table with a little viewport in the centre. Looking through the viewport gave you an aerial view of part of the UK, and you could cause the view to drift across the landscape by pressing on different sides of the table. A little display on the side let you know where abouts you were looking. Frivolous and fun.

My favourite piece was the PainStation. This is a great game; it reminded me of the game in James Bond where Bond and the villain battle it out whilst getting increasing electric shocks. You play Pong while holding your free hand down over a grille. If you miss the ball then your free hand either gets a blast of heat; or whipped with some rubber tubing; or given an electric shock. Rebecca was much better at returning the ball, so I got the majority of the punishments - however, when she got whipped for the first time she took her hand off the grille, and so lost the game! I want one of these for my next party!

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June 07, 2005

Smithers, Release The Bins!

I see that the moving sculpture of bins and benches at the Junction is due to be unveiled (or is that unleashed?) on Thursday.

I'll keep an eye out next time I go to the cinema and let you know what I think of them.

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May 17, 2005

Toy Racer

The combination of a mobile phone which takes video and birthday presents of a radio-controlled Gallardo and a smoke machine seem to result in the simulation of tyre-smoking doughnuts...

Real Player and Quicktime both seem to cope with the video okay (it's a .3gp format file)

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May 11, 2005

Star Wars Revelations

Sorry, I can't reveal anything about the forthcoming Episode III, but while you're waiting for its release you should go and download...


Forty-odd minutes of superbly done fan fiction. I'm not enough of a Star Wars geek to know if there are any flaws in it, but it really felt like watching a Star Wars film - even down to things like the fades between scenes.

I think I might have to download the DVD versions now...

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October 29, 2004

Loop's light pooL

I do like the idea of this light emitting duvet set. One of my background (and therefore hardly started) projects has involved similar ideas - using a simulated dawn to wake you up rather than the sharp shock of an alarm clock.

I've been wondering whether it would waken you up more fully, and whether it would be a more sympathetic method of awakening?

The Light Sleeper is probably more effective than the variable-colour uplighter that I've been designing, given that it's much closer to the sleeper. I do wonder how it's powered though.

Update: Durr. I thought it seemed familiar. Looking at the exhibitions page shows that Light Sleeper was exhibited at the V&A's Brilliant exhibition that I went to back in March...

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September 21, 2004

If Turing Had Built Pong

*** PONGMECHANIK *** - a version of the classic video game Pong, but this one uses electric motors and string rather than a TV and telephone exchange relays rather than a computer chip. If only Turing hadn't had to spend time cracking the Enigma code, maybe we'd have had these to play in the late 40s...

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August 21, 2004

An Ink-Spray Printer

Hektor is a printer which uses spray paint in place of ink, and walls (or any vertical surface) instead of paper. They also point to the StreetWriter and GraffitiWriter projects at the Institute for Applied Autonomy.

I need to befriend some hardware geeks so I can play around with some of this stuff!

Posted by Adrian at 02:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 12, 2004

Beware The Banana Phone!

The perils of the ear worm.

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Oh No!

You can play Lemmings in your web browser!!! Let's Go!

(Via diamond geezer)

Posted by Adrian at 10:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

You've Never Had It So Good

Probably. Find out how far up (or down) the rich-list you are with Channel 4's Rich-o-meter.

I, however, have had it significantly better. It's not hard to beat my current earning level, but I was surprised to see that even by today's standards I was well withing the top 3% when I worked at Microsoft.

(Via The Ministry Blog)

Posted by Adrian at 12:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 13, 2004

I'm MP For Preston

Okay, not really. I'm just most like the MP for Preston. Shame I didn't really enjoy my stay in Preston in the summer of 1993.

Posted by Adrian at 11:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 06, 2004

Where Is My Bathroom?

I was expecting to find it featured in Eurobad '74; and was a little reassured that some of the bathrooms that are there are worse.

I hope someone told this lady that that's the shower, and not the phone!

(via Good Experience)

Posted by Adrian at 09:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 24, 2004

Blonga? Clog?

Mike, currently troubled by hosting problems, is guesting over at Sashinka and has started the Weblog Conga!

Never one to pass up on some dancing, whatever kind it is (although I'm still resisting with the line dancing...), I'm tagging on the current end of the line just in time for us to start getting out of sync :-)

Ma-i-a hi, Ma-i-a hu, Ma-i-a ho, Ma-i-a ha-ha...

Join in! Instructions here

Update: Jon is next in the line

Update 2: I hadn't seen the video, or heard the song, but a quick google located The Linden Tree, a LiveJournal community about O-zone, and they pointed me to video for Dragostea din tei.

Posted by Adrian at 11:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 18, 2004

New Grand Theft Auto?

And to think I still haven't bought GTA: Vice City, there's now Grand Theft Auto: Lego City ;-)

Posted by Adrian at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2004

The Trailer Is Out For Pixar's New Film

The Incredibles. I can't wait.

Posted by Adrian at 06:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 06, 2004


Now this would look cool in my back garden!

Posted by Adrian at 10:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 30, 2004

A Benefit Of Developing Phone Software

Developing mobile phone software usually means you end up with an assortment of handsets and SIMs in your possession. This obviously increases the likelihood of receiving a text message sent to the wrong number, such as the one that just arrived at one of the test phones:

Misdirected text: Did I just see you going down the a1?
My reply (on behalf of the test SIM, obviously): I doubt it. I've been hiding in a drawer for the past few weeks.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to want to join in the fun...

Posted by Adrian at 02:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 23, 2004

Baby Racer

So this is how I should've gotten out of my speeding ticket. If only.

(Via Damien's Irishperson in Exile Diary)

Posted by Adrian at 10:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 29, 2004

Don't Look Down

Some fantastic views of Ice Climbing in Pyrenees Spain and 360° view from the top of Everest.

You need Quicktime to view them, but you can then pan round and zoom in yourself. Breathtaking.

Posted by Adrian at 03:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Truth About Geeks

From Critical Section - Engineering Conversions...

  • If something is physically impossible, then it is really hard.
  • If something is possible but you don't know how to do it, then it is hard. Even if, once you knew how to do it, it wouldn't take much time or work.
  • If you know how to do something, it is easy. Even if it takes a long time and requires lots of work.
  • If you know how to do something and it won't take long, then it is done.
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March 25, 2004

Girls, Geeks Can Help You With Fashion

Scientists calculate how high heels can go

(via kottke.org)

Posted by Adrian at 12:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Coming Soon To A Bathroom Near You

Although I keep pondering remodelling my bathroom (I'm refraining from removing the brown tiles there from when I moved in because that would expose the even worse pink tiles underneath...), I'm not sure I'll have space for, or need, a urinal.

So, luckily, I don't have to work out whether I think that this mouth-shaped urinal is amusing and fun, or something which reminds me of the Rolling Stones logo; and I definitely don't want to be thinking of Mick Jagger's mouth at that point...

Posted by Adrian at 11:07 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 19, 2004

Not At All Wasteful Of Bandwidth

I mean, you get to see what time it is... just check the Human Clock.

(via Good Experience)

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March 18, 2004

The Birth Of The Smiley

Given that there've been some ramblings about smileys recently, I thought it was worth pointing to how it all started. None of your silly little pictures there, just good old-fashioned ASCII ;-)

Posted by Adrian at 08:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 17, 2004

Fashion Tips For Geeks

I guess one benefit of the rise of home videoconferencing is that geeks will be forced to come to terms with their personal hygiene. Well, they will if this how to look better with your iSight camera article is an indicator of things to come.

Shame it still recommends wearing black ;-)

Posted by Adrian at 10:12 AM

March 16, 2004

It's A Good Job I'm Working From Home Today

And not just because I seem to be getting more surfing done than coding. The Art Of Kissing, and particularly with the pithy comments from Ms. Little.Red.Boat has had me creased up.

Parts two and three are further up the page.

Posted by Adrian at 02:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2004

Not The Usual

A departure from the usual sort of McFilter content, but some things are too lovely not to share. (Be sure to scroll up for parts 2 - 4)

Posted by Adrian at 02:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

If You're Wondering How To Get Viagra...

...and are thinking of replying to one of those really insightful people who keeps emailing you about it, I mean, how did they know?, but you're concerned about exactly what happens when you apply...

Then wonder no more, John Hargrave has found out.

Posted by Adrian at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2004

Oh How True

Dr. Fun on wireless networking.

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January 28, 2004

The Value Of Traffic Webcams

The snow has started an exodus which seems to have gridlocked the Cambridge Business Park, and at times like these it's useful to be able to have a quick look at the conditions of the nearby roads using things like the Milton Road & A14/A10 jamcam or the A14 jamcam east of A10/A14 roundabout.

Bit of a shame that the snow is conspiring to ruin the party so that the west-facing camera is currently providing images like...

The wonders of technology.

Posted by Adrian at 04:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 19, 2004

Warning: Reading This In The Office Is Not A Recognised Substitute For Real Work

Wacky warning labels

Some of these must be the manufacturers having a laugh... mustn't they?

(Via Sleeve Notes)

Posted by Adrian at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

The Cost of Christmas

The true cost of Christmas has risen by nearly 19% this year. How do I know? Well, the nice people at the PNC Bank have worked out how much it would cost to buy all the presents mentioned in the song The Twelve Days Of Christmas for their
Christmas Price Index - the price of swans has soared over the past year...

Posted by Adrian at 02:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2003

Make Your Own Pop-up Cards

RobertSabuda.com: Simple Pop-Ups You Can Make! gives step-by-step instructions (complete with lots of photos along the way) of how to make an assortment of pop-ups like the ones in those books you had when you were little.

Don't expect me to be putting this information to use for my Christmas cards mind, I'm just storing it for future reference.

(Via Designweenie).

Posted by Adrian at 01:38 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

December 02, 2003

That Explains It

World's Worst Inventions #1 - The Testicles. Bring on the rest of the series!

Posted by Adrian at 04:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 30, 2003

NoiseMonkey - The Real Music News

NoiseMonkey - Manufactured Music News

Posted by Adrian at 01:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2003

Pop Junkie And Proud

Although I'm sure I could've got a few more if I'd thought about it. 81.5% isn't too bad...

(Via D.I.I.E.D.)

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October 31, 2003

Suitably Spooky Stuff

The Extreme Pumpkin Photo Gallery.

Posted by Adrian at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2003

30 is just a number

As I've been telling my mates from school who are starting to turn 30, it's just a number, it doesn't mean you're getting old or anything.

You need to read what today's kids think of the computer games you used to play for it to really hit you ;-)

Posted by Adrian at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 24, 2003

And I Thought Geek Was Losing Its Negative Connotations

Or is that "I hoped..." ;-)

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century :: THIS is why I dropped out of engineering

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October 22, 2003

Join In If You Know The Words

I'd like to teach the world to blog,
And furnish it with posts,
With trackback pings,
And blogging rings,
And links from host to host...

Actually, I don't really want to teach the world to blog, and the world isn't paying any attention to me when I suggest it anyhow. But I happened upon the first line accidentally earlier on, and passed the time on my bike ride home coming up with the rest.

I'll let someone else come up with the next verse :-)

Posted by Adrian at 06:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2003

I am your density!

What is Your Destiny? by Valcion
DestinyLegendary Hero
Date when you fufill your destinySeptember 26, 2011
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Okay, so 37 isn't that young, but it's a lot earlier than I was hoping. Still, at least I get to be a Lengendary Hero, although given the date it could be a flaming-Sambuca-related incident at Jo's 38th birthday party...

Update: Aha! Just realised that the date is when I fulfill my destiny, not when I die. So it's just downhill from age 37 then...

Posted by Adrian at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Art Of Parenthood

The Joys Of Parenthood... I think I'm most worried about number 5, although an Integrale could be classed as a "practical 5-door saloon", I'm not sure I'm ready for her to be abused in such a way. Which is obviously why I've not gotten married and had kids yet, I'm waiting until I can afford a spare-car-to-take-the-kid(s)-in...

(Via Troubled Diva)

Posted by Adrian at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 01, 2003

One In Four?!?!!!

Frankly, I'm ashamed.

I'll let my subconscious ponder over this Album Cover Challenge before I submit my answers and see if I can get any more than the current fifteen.

(Via Troubled Diva)

Posted by Adrian at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2003

Here You Go Stefan...

For someone who chose his first year Uni courses based on how many essays he wouldn't have to write, I'm doing quite a bit of writing these days...

None of these nowhere (now here): 8 Reasons you should blog even if no one reads it! are why I started blogging, but touch on some of the reasons why I've taken to it, I think. So my no. 9 is "as an extended bookmark list cum notebook." A title and a URL just weren't enough to remind me why I'd bookmarked something, six months down the line, and blogs make adding a brief note about things is so easy.

(Via Steven Vore)

Posted by Adrian at 04:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2003

Achieving a healthy, wholesome life

Thanks to this 1950s guide to "Keeping Fit - A Health Exhibit For Men And Boys".

"The sex instinct in a boy or man makes him want to act, dare, possess, strive. When controlled and directed, it gives ENERGY, ENDURANCE, FITNESS"

And all this time I was trying to get energy, endurance and fitness by playing football and rowing. If only I'd known...

(Via Troubled Diva [even if he is a wuss and blows his Sambuca out before drinking it] ;-)

Posted by Adrian at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2003

Is it still Friday afternoon?

Neil's obviously bored atm... hot on the heels of this gallery of lovingly modified cars comes this hilarious illustration of how techies differ from real people


Posted by Adrian at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2003

More relevant than the Buffalo Guys

During some blog-surfing (for want of a better phrase) today I came across speaking as a parent, and it's quite an interesting read, even for a non-parent like myself.

And Robin (for he writes speakingasaparent) has just posted a link to Diamond Geezer's lament on searches and blogs and complains that he doesn't get hits from people searching for "a+site+about+how+to+raise+a+family+with+dignity+and+due+respect+for+the+environment”.

So I thought I'd help him out by searching for that very phrase, but unfortunately he doesn't feature in the top 100 (I got bored then, there's only so much I can achieve with insomnia ;-) despite being much more relevant than The Buffalo Guys who were number 100 (although when I just went to get their URL and tried the search again, they now aren't in the top 160... weird).

Maybe he can take some solace in the fact that they'll be wondering why their referral logs now include someone who searched for "a+site+about+how+to+raise+a+family+with+dignity+and+due+respect+for+the+environment” and decided to visit them.

My strangest search referrers so far? I think "2003 current new born baby email contacts in uk" is pretty out there, and the person interested in "adding another name on a mobile home title over the intenet" (sic) was, I'm pretty sure, sadly disappointed.

Posted by Adrian at 02:02 AM | Comments (3)

September 11, 2003

He's behiiiiiind you!!!

I know, it's a bit early for panto, but I couldn't resist. I must remember to check out the links from kottke.org more often or I might miss such gems as Stealth Disco.

Posted by Adrian at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2003

All you ever wanted to know about pubs

and how to behave in them

Posted by Adrian at 05:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 05, 2003

Nelly Bongo

It's Getting Bongo Rock in Here. I guess that's what could've happened if The Incredible Bongo Band had influenced R'n'B rather than Hip Hop ;-)

(Via Troubled Diva)

Posted by Adrian at 03:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 03, 2003

Is that bench following me?

The Junction (an art and music venue in Cambridge) has announced a cool public art project. They've got seven proposals for a hi-tech art installation outside the Junction building, and (I think) are going to put it to public vote. The proposals include a huge mirrorball on the top of the roof, which the John Travolta in me thinks would be cool, and an electronic billboard populated with pics taken by Cambridge residents on their camera phones.

But the best idea is the "flock" of powered, singing bins and benches! How cool is that? Street furniture which is sentient, and reorganises itself!

I'm looking forward to seeing what they go with.

Posted by Adrian at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2003

I'm in the wrong timezone

That explains why I'm feeling so tired (it's nothing to do with being away for the weekend and then engaging in sporting activities every night this week...) and also explain why, despite our latest motivational-explain-how-we're-going-to-conquer-the-world meeting this morning, there's a distinct air of apathy in the place - it's actually Friday and that means it's
National Slackers Day :-)

Posted by Adrian at 04:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The real history of the Internet

The Lemon: History Of The Internet

"Blogging invented. Promises to change the way people bore strangers with banal anecdotes about their pets."

Note to self: Get a pet so I can blog about it... ;-)

Posted by Adrian at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2003

I'm a peacock

According to LondonMark in his post The art of laughing.

He doesn't mention anything about having colourful feathers stuck in my arse, luckily. And those of you who've seen my shirt collection can pipe down at the back too!

Posted by Adrian at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2003

So that's why models in magazines always look a bit artificial

It's because they are. I hadn't realised just how artificial though, but these before and after shots show how much changes!

Real beauty is in the imperfections.

Posted by Adrian at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2003

Inspiring corporate cultural change

Do you think the Royal Mail's "I saw this and thought of you" would be a good mechanism for cultural change in the workplace? Would someone get the message if you sent them one of these motivational posters? I guess you'd have to send this one to everyone else though...

Posted by Adrian at 05:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 31, 2003

Things you didn't know about sports cars!

20Q is a cool AI system that guesses things in a "20 questions"-stylee. And it guessed what I was thinking of, which was a car (quelle surprise).

At the end of the game, it tells you some other facts that it "knows" about your choice, so for a sports car...

"Uncommon Knowledge about a sports car
Does it have a hole in it? I say No.
Can it jump? I say Yes.
Can you get information by using it? I say Yes.
Is it a root vegetable? I say Probably.
Is it colorless? I say Yes.
Would you like to be one? I say Probably.
Does it live in the ocean? I say Probably.
Is it black? I say No.
Does it come from a plant? I say Probably.
Can it be used to write? I say Probably.
Can you smell it? I say No.
Is it addictive? I say Yes.
Does it have an exo-skeleton? I say Yes.
Is it a type of dog? I say Yes.
Does it live near water? I say Probably.
Is it made of plastic? I say Yes."

So there you go, sports cars are really plastic dogs and can't come in black :-)

(via kottke.org)

Posted by Adrian at 03:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2003

Would these make my house too geeky?

9th Exhibition - Housewares - blik Invader Surface Graphics. I guess the answer has to be yes. Which is a shame, as I kinda like them... Full-blown-geek-abode narrowly averted.

(Via Designweenie).

Posted by Adrian at 01:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2003

A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square

But unfortunatly it was just someone getting a phonecall.

The British Library has just licensed its library of birdsong to be used for ringtones. Pity it only works on the newer mobiles, or I could get Mum one for her birthday...

Posted by Adrian at 01:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2003

July 08, 2003

Much whooping!

Technorati Rocks! Well, let me qualify that, it rocks if you're a sad, self-obsessed, blogging geek ;-) The first person-I've-never-met-before has linked to my blog, and so my Technorati-link-list is now two! Hello Geoff! Just for the record, I'm not a university student (any more, and didn't go to Cambridge when I was).

And from Geoff's blog I found this interesting link to mapAmobile, who seem to be providing a similar (but much cheaper) service to Verilocation. The next-big-thing(tm) from 2000 is finally appearing - mobile phone location services, although I'd be more interested in ones that used my location to tell me about local services, maybe it's possible to link things into GeoURL...

Posted by Adrian at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 06, 2003

The Internet gets a touch of sanity...

The internet is shit - eleven nuggets of common sense in an increasingly online world ;-)

"maybe we'll stop aimlessly surfing for something amusing when we could actually be doing something fun."

(Via Ben Hammersley)

Posted by Adrian at 02:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 24, 2003

Phew, only 28.00789% geek

Although that makes me a Total Geek apparently. I think if I read Lord of the Rings and got into Star Trek I could do much better...

The Geek Test

Posted by Adrian at 10:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 14, 2003

70s cars aplenty (and ice-cream eating squirrels)

Yes, it's the Public Information Films - don't be an ambler gambler, always obey the two second rule, and many, many more...

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Remember, these products aren't available in shops...

Mainly because all these adverts are from the 80s! All American unfortunately, but still good fun.

(Via the Good Experience newsletter)

Posted by Adrian at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 07, 2003

If you thought the new Electric 6 video was good...

Then this version of what it should have looked like will blow you away :-)

(via Huh?)

Update: Seeing as I still get lots of google hits for this, and because I still think it's cool, and finally, because the link above doesn't work anymore, try here instead, or just have a Kazaa for "blair bush gaybar" or something.

Posted by Adrian at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2003

The animals are revolting!

Cows With Guns

(via Burnt Toast)

Posted by Adrian at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2003

Talking of pubs...

Ben Hammersley posted a link to the UpMyStreet Pub Crawl on his blog yesterday.

It's cool. You put in the postcode you want to start at, the number of pubs to visit, and the maximum distance between pubs, then it generates a pub crawl for you. Now it just needs to be able to download the route to your mobile, so it can keep you on track as you get further into the crawl ;-) Or, how about it tacks on a kebab/pizza/burger/chips shop/van at the end...

Posted by Adrian at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 24, 2003

I fear I might be watching this

Going through my server log looking to see if anyone is interested in me (how sad am I... at least I'm nicely relaxed on the sofa in the lounge, the joys of WiFi and a laptop :-) I came across a referrer from a website that had picked up on my link to www.dynamicobjects.com...

So that means that there's another page which will give me the people who've linked to me!

At present it says "Ouch! No results found". Expect much whooping when I notice my first linker :-D

Posted by Adrian at 11:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2003

Google rank

I must be getting sucked into this blogging lark... after Russell Beattie told of the GoogleDance last month (basically the reindexing of Google) and wanted to see if he was the number one Russell, out of curiousity I did a search on "adrian mcewen". I've done it before, and not really featured anywhere, but at the minute I'm number 3 of "about 5090" :-D There's a long way to go before I'm the number 1 Adrian though... I don't feature on any of the first 50 pages.

McFilter is number 2 of 224, which is quite cool - I didn't know if it'd have been indexed yet.

Posted by Adrian at 03:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2003

You are in an open space...

...around you you can see . Or something.

More ways to waste time... now I can find webpages that are geographically relevant

Posted by Adrian at 03:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack