Blog Archive — Page 34

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  • Six Inches!

    Six inches of snow this morning! Settled! In March! In Bournemouth! That just… doesn’t happen.

    This morning was convoluted. Went to my normal spot to be picked up, car pool had got the train instead. Got drenched. Caught bus into town, bought umbrella. Waited 15 minutes. Got bus to station, bought coffee, caught train. Waded through snow for 35 minutes. Finally rolled up at work at… 10:15. Woohoo!

  • Defence Industry Still Insufficiently Cool

    Right, so, I watched Iron Man again, and came away with the same three conclusions. To whit:

    1. Pepper Potts is totally hot.

    2. Samuel L Jackson is, indeed, a badass.

    3. The defence industry in the real world is insufficiently cool.

    Warning, maths and geek-faggotry ahead.

    So, I am thinking. This is Lockheed Martin’s HULC exoskeleton, that allows the user to comfortably carry 200 lb. Let’s give a liberal 50 lb of that to the battery, so 150 lb to play with.

    A liberal estimate of body surface area might be 2 metres squared, and let’s stick that up to 3 metres squared to count for clothing, padding etc.

    So 150 lb over 3 metres squared is 50 lb/m^2, or 22.6 kg/m^2. Titanium has a density of 4.54 g/cm^3, 4540 kg/m^3. So we could coat the entire body in 22.6/4540 = 5 mm thick titanium. That’s gotta be pretty effective against small arms fire if nothing else, and there must be a hundred things better at stopping bullets than titanium. (Fabric composite materials like kevlar? Ceramics?)

    tl;dr can has power suits now plzkthx?

  • Vaccination Complete!

    Vaccinations over and done with! I am now resistant to:

    • Polio
    • Tetanus
    • Diptheria
    • Typhoid
    • Hepatitis A
    • Meningitis A, C, W & Y
    • AIDS
    • Cancer
    • Fire
    • Zombies
    • Acts of God.

    Unfortunately, I still appear to be weak to:

    • Wind
    • Rain
    • Caffeine
    • People shoving sharp things into random bits of me.

  • Thought for the Day: Watching Pots

    “A watched pot never boils.”

    What the hell? Of course it boils. In exactly the same time as it would if it were unobserved. What, is there some kind of quantum thing going on here?

    No, the only time a watched pot wouldn’t boil is if you were the bastard lovechild of Cyclops and Iceman. Now imagine the personality that bastard lovechild would have.

    …Now imagine Cyclops and Iceman making sweet, sweet love. That, ladies and gentlemen, was your thought for today.

    I’m off to douse my brain in bleach now.

  • A False Sense of Difference

    Travelling alone, riding a cross-country train into the darkness of evening, enraptured by music and by story, I experience a strange feeling that something is different, something has fundamentally changed. Wrapped up in fantasies, I revel in what pathetic part of my wanderlust I am allowed to exorcise.

    But yet, nothing has changed. I go home, I make dinner, tomorrow I get up and have breakfast and drive to work. How strange, then, that my brain seems convinced otherwise…

  • Gunboat (Early Preview)

    As part of my irrational desire to teach myself OpenGL programming, I’m making a game that’s (currently at least) called Gunboat. It’s a fairly slow-paced 2D shooter that has the player in command of a ship, protecting a harbour from an attacking fleet.

    There’s not that much of a game there at the moment (nothing happens if you beat all the enemies, nothing happens if you die…) but you can move around and shoot a few waves of enemies.

    If anyone would like to play around with it, you can get it from here. Some degree of geek-fu is required to get it running, as there isn’t an easy-to-use installer yet.

    Comments / suggestions / bug reports / flames welcome!

  • Dreaming of a White Candlemas

    Candles burn in the windows of the flat, dividing the warmth of the inside from the darkness and the snow that still coats the ground outside.

    Today, after being out of the house an hour, I’d travelled about a hundred yards. All in all, two and a half hours were spent getting to work, and all the while Twitter regailed me of the tales of those lucky buggers who got to work from home!

    Still, having survived the day, I am now full of pig and cider, and busy celebrating a holiday that I’m probably Pagan enough to celebrate the alleged pre-Christian roots of.

    This incoherent brainfart was brought to you by Henry Weston’s Vintage Special Reserve.

  • The Thousandth Obama-Related Blog Entry You Will Read Today

    A black man is the leader of the free world. Not only that, but one in whose inaugration speech favourably mentioned Islam, atheism and scientific reasoning.

    I think we might be on the right track after all.

    Or rather, I think they might. Because I’m not American. Before very long, Britain will go to the polls too, and our next great leader will be… Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Nick Clegg. Excuse me while I am not overflowing with passion.

    Granted, the American presidential race exemplifies the same kind “personality before policy” (or hair before policy?) thinking that we grew to hate in Blair, at least there’s something to get worked up about. Obama’s inaugration had an audience of millions. Actually there, in person. Imagine that in London? Turn up a bit late and you’ll be watching it from about… Camden.

    So in summary: I’m more excited about the democratic process in someone else’s country than my own. I think British politics needs a heck of a lot more excitement, or possibly that I need to emigrate.

  • A Weird Combination

    In last night’s dream, courtesy of no alarm-clock wake-up this morning:

    • My cousin-once-removed-in-law (?) actually being my daughter
    • Not having a baby seat on my bike, so lashing her to the cross-bar to ride into town
    • A big party to celebrate Eric giving birth
    • Nick’s parents living in a castle with huge grounds
    • Me running around said grounds in sunglasses and a pair of shorts
    • Being laughed at for said attire by people in a gift shop
    • Hundreds of people turning up for a medieval banquet
    • A multi-bird roast, carved by Phil Broadhead and a former Prince of England turned evil
    • Buxom wenches
    • The undead
    • Said undead being despatched by someone-or-other whilst I was in the bathroom
    • Everyone rejoicing and saying I’d got rid of the undead
    • Me waking up, intent on blogging the dream, but discovering that I couldn’t type properly and every word I tried to type came out as something completely different
    • Eric telling me not to worry, because I’d remember it anyway.

    And I did! Hurrah.

    Joseph has slept in ‘til 9:30 and counting in order to facilitate this dream. I’m thankful! And quite confused.

  • The City of Bath, and its DOS Prompt

    I had a very strange dream last night.

    To begin with, all the Southampton geeks decided to move en masse to Bath - Joseph not included, apparently. We took up an entire flat block, and Eric and I had a ground floor flat with a cellar, which, after one particularly rainy day, flooded completely right up to ground level. I had some argument with the insurance inspectors, then some completely unrelated argument with Thirza (for some reason).

    Then the ground started rumbling so I went outside. Some local Bath resident explained to me that it was just the TARDIS taking off, and that happened all the time. On a hill behind the city, a gigantic DOS prompt balefully flickered “C:>”.

    Also, Bath had a Spanish Quarter, and the two platforms of the local station were divided according to social class of passenger rather than direction of travel.

    Then, I think, we went to war against someone. It all gets a bit blurry at that point…