Posts from 2013
Tue Dec 31 2013

A rather surprising 1,000+ tweets this year, it would seem! Fortunately I have my scapel to hand… As usual, edited “highlights” of my year on Twitter… Well, first ambition of 2013 achieved. Times crossword 25,361 completed correctly without looking at any answers. (Sun Jan 06 19:01:19 ) I love waking up to see a snowy scene outside the window. Roads are still black, but trees and grass have turned white overnight! (Mon Jan 14 06:42:46 ) I managed to put on 3kg (half a stone) over Christmas. No wonder climbing this week was such hard work! (Fri Jan 18 13:47:24 […]

Thu Dec 19 2013

I went to see Gravity recently – what an immense film. It’s definitely a slow burner – as has already been commented on, it’s something like 10 minutes before the first cut. But it is beautiful to watch. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are superb. Most of the screen time is devoted to Bullock, playing Dr Ryan Stone, an engineer on her first space flight doing some work on Hubble. A satellite explosion causes a chain reaction of space debris, which destroys Hubble, detaches Stone from the space shuttle/Hubble, and kills the rest of the crew except for Matt Kowalski […]

Tue Dec 17 2013

Well, only 14 days to go, so I think I’ll review how I’ve done this year now! Continue climbing regularly, 10 times over the year, and improve by a grade (to 6b+, think) – ✔ ✘ Both a tick and a cross! I only managed 8 times according to my climbing log, but I did manage a 6b+, and started lead climbing. Take a photo got every day – ✘ I managed it up to the start of October, at which point I made the decision to stop the 365 project and just continue on an ad-hoc basis. I’ve posted […]

Fri Oct 25 2013

Well, the Practical Photography Photo School is over (although the next one has started straight away), so I thought that I would collate my 6 homework assignments in one place! Module 1: Landscapes Bridge over Ure Taken in Ripon, just after sunset. Tripod, 50mm lens. Grade: Bronze Comments: Image is underexposed Image isn’t sharp enough Composition needs more attention Module 2: Portraits A Selfie?! With the homework deadline looming, I could only find one willing model who’d put up with my endless experimentation – me! Taken at 9.30pm(!), ISO 400, 50mm lens at f/4.0, 1/25s fired with a remote shutter […]

Mon Oct 21 2013

GCHQ ran another recruitment campaign/competition this year (2013), called “Can You Find It.” I had a stab at it, and though I’d record the puzzles and solutions. I’ll hold off publishing until the competition closes on the 21st October. Puzzle 1 AWVLI QIQVT QOSQO ELGCV IIQWD LCUQE EOENN WWOAO LTDNU QTGAW TSMDO QTLAO QSDCH PQQIQ DQQTQ OOTUD BNIQH BHHTD UTEET FDUEA UMORE SQEQE MLTME TIREC LICAI QATUN QRALT ENEIN RKG This is transposition cipher, with “Q”s substituted for blanks. The big clue is in the frequency/histogram of the letters, which matches normal english, except for Q. It’s 143 characters, which […]

Thu Oct 03 2013

I think, with a slightly heavy heart, I need to draw my 365 project to a end. One of my principles is ending well, and  I would rather finish it definitely than have it just flicker out. For the past two a a bit years, I have had a picture to assign every day – that’s about 870, but over the last couple of months the advertised day has slipped further from the photographed date – so I’d find myself taking 5 at the weekend, and using these for the following 5 days. This was never my intention, and I […]

Sat Sep 21 2013

I love geeky jokes – these ones are all thanks to the Grove Boooks newsletter. Incidentally Grove Books are awesome – theology bookettes on almost any subject you may care to think of. To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. A photon checks into a hotel and the porter asks him if he has any luggage. The photon replies: “No, I’m travelling light.” “Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?” A TCP packet walks into […]

Sun Sep 01 2013

It’s fab having a 2 year old around – they are so funny. Couple of humurous recent ‘conversations’: Me: I don’t want you two to get into an argument 2yo: But I want to get into an argio Me: No! 2yo: I want to get into an argio, please can we build an argio? 2yo: Is (9yo) brushing his hair? Mum: I doubt it! I’ve never brushed your hair in the mornings. Does that make me a deficient mother! 2yo: No, I don’t think so Mum: Oh, thank you! 2yo: That’s my welcome 9yo: What’s the time Dad? 2yo (interjecting):  […]

Sat Aug 24 2013

One of the things that being a parent has shown me is how disconnected my thinking can be. As a parent of 2 I have an utter disconnection between my expectation of their behaviour and relationship, and my entire experience to date of siblings (mine own and others). So, when No. 1 came along, he’s very much his own person, but with elements of me and A. clearly visible. No. 2 comes along, he’s also his own person, with elements of me and A. clearly visible, but is completely different from No. 1. I don’t know why I was/am surprised […]

Thu Jul 18 2013

I’ve been thinking about the assertion that everybody has 15 minutes of Fame. I’m sure this isn’t true, but it’s actually quite hard to disprove. If you find a counter-example, then they automatically become famous for not being famous – a bit like a googlewhack. I wondered if you could get anywhere mathematically? We know the world has approximately 7 billion people – let’s assume that this is static for now. This means for you need 7,000,000,000 x 0.25 fame hours, or 1,750 million fame hours, or 199,772 fame years for everyone to be famous for 15 minutes. However, the […]