Thursday, 30 October 2008

Page Layout

It seems the last template I was using didn't handle photographs too well, so I have temporarily switched to this more minimalist approach. If anyone can recommend some good templates that are compatible with Blogger, please leave a comment.

Geek Humour

I appreciate that not everyone will find "geek humour" funny. I'm sure to many it's an acquired taste. But being the confirmed geek that I am, I like it a lot. Anyone who can make a joke out of computers, coding, maths etc and make it funny is worthy of praise in my book. I thought I'd share some good examples I have come across in the past. If you're not a geek you might want to skip this post.


A creative use of C there I think you'll agree.

xkcd is always a great source for geek humour, I urge you to subscribe. I have many favourites, too many to list here, so settle for this one and browse the archive at your leisure.


A classic if you're a Linux user, baffling if not.

OK, this one is a little more mainstream. But perhaps only geeks will realise how frighteningly real the "marketing speak" is.


You just can't talk about geek humour with out mentioning Star Wars at least once. There are lots of great examples out there, so get Googling. Here is my current favourite.


And finally, one for all the electronic heads out there. This literally made me "lol". So sue me.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Photos That Changed The World

I was at a friend's house recently whilst he was taking a picture of the tiny baby of a friend of his, clutching his son's hand. I have not seen how it turned out, hopefully he'll allow me to reproduce it here in a future post sometime.

Anyway, it reminded me of a picture I saw several years ago that really stuck with me. It was a photograph taken by a surgeon who was in the process of performing a Spina Bifida operation in utero. It is often called "The Baby Hand". So when I had a few moments free, I Googled it. I have linked to it below.


The site I found it on is rather good. Photos That Changed the World is pretty much self explanatory. Perhaps a better title would be "Landmark Photos" as I cannot always agree that they changed the world. Also some of the comments leave a lot to be desired but don't let that put you off, it is well worth a visit.

Many of the pictures are a little heavy, so I'll stick to the baby ones here. The following picture may not seem remarkable. Taken via an endoscope, it shows an unborn fetus. Perhaps you'll agree it's quite remarkable when you learn it was taken in 1965.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Headless Chicken

Sorry folks, I know it's been a bit quiet again here lately. Personal issues combined with a heavy work load have had me running around like a headless chicken and prevented me going anywhere near the blog in the last while. That should all change next week, so please bear with me until then. Thank you.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Email Subscription Issue

It has come to my attention that, if your are subscribed to my blog via email, that any videos that I embed are not being displayed. I will of course work to rectify that, but in the meantime you may wish to alter your subscription and use a feed reader like I talk about here.

Alternatively you can always click on the title of the email to be brought to the relevant page on the site proper.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Searchme

I'm not trying to turn in to a reviewer of search engines or anything but after I looked at Cuil last August, it would be unfair not to mention another search engine I have have discovered that I really like.

Searchme is not a new way to search but rather a nice new way of viewing the results. Rather than be given a snippet of a web page featuring your search terms as a result, Searchme gives you a visual representation of the page it has found. As their own blurb says...

Searchme lets you see what you're searching for. As you start typing, categories appear that relate to your query. Choose a category, and you'll see pictures of web pages that answer your search.

I do like the fact that the 'iPodesque' interface makes it very easy to flick through and view the pages of sites before you actually click-through.

It is only in beta at the moment, but I can see Searchme becoming very popular.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Music For Drummers

I know this is totally staged and that it was more than likely recorded in a studio with electronic gadgetry rather than household items, but it made me smile. It's also really hard not to tap your feet as well.

This is "Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers".

Monday, 20 October 2008

Furture Me

I came across a strange site today. Not strange exactly, the concept is straightforward enough, an electronic time capsule. But somehow it unsettled me slightly, and I'm not sure why.

Future Me is a site that allows you to send yourself an email that will be delivered on a future date of your choosing. OK so far. You can choose then whether or not that email is private or public but anonymous. If you choose public, then other users of the site can browse the content of your email without seeing your address etc.

It was when I came to read some of the emails that I got a bit of a shock. Some are funny but many are desperately sad. People pleading with their future selves to have gotten them out of the terrible mess they were in. Poverty and abuse were common themes. Now maybe I'm feeling a little over sensitive today or perhaps I just randomly happened across the bad examples, I don't know. Either way, it completely put me off writing my own. If I haven't put you off, you can view some for yourself here.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Geograph Tops One Million

The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland. It's been going several years now and has recently reached the 1,000,000th picture mark. As I've said before, the idea is brilliantly simple, which more than likely contributes to it's success.

If you think you can contribute and are happy to grant a Creative Commons licence on your submissions, allowing them to be reused and enjoyed by future generations, then go for it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Drawing On Experience

I wish I could draw. I always have. Although I have created some pictures in the past that I am truly proud of (I really should post some here), I spend hours correcting and amending them until I'm happy. It would be bliss to just create and be confident that you're going to get the effect you were after.

Caricatures would be an ultimate aim. Take this one of Angelina Jolie from this site. The artist has nailed it in my opinion. A skill I'd love to have.


Or how about this study of a Woman from the Inside Out. I like that real "scribblely" style, and it's nice to see how the layers builds up.

How confident would you have to be in order to do this, one mistake would mean re-painting everything.

Another great example of seeing a piece in progress is the following video. Another time lapse piece. This time a superbly drawn Scarlett Johannson.


If you'd like to have a go at something like this but can't afford the high price that something like Photoshop goes for, might I recommend SUMO Paint which is free and runs in a browser window and yet offers everything you need.

Finally, one more video. Not only a great cartoonist, but a wicked sense of humour as well. Enjoy!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Why, That's Delightful!

I thought I'd use today's post to talk about another blog that I'm an avid reader of. Why, That's Delightful is written by Graham Linehan. Graham as co-creator and co-writer of Father Ted, co-writer of Black Books and creator, writer and director of The IT Crowd works on some of my favourite sit-coms and his natural humour easily extends to his blog. Unlike many "celebrity" blogs, Graham not only welcomes comments on his posts but often takes part in discussion with his readers.

A recent post made me laugh out loud when Graham warned us all to watch out, that it was October that Santa visits all the people on his ‘naughty’ list! It was accompanied by the following picture. Shocking indeed.

Friday, 10 October 2008

SongBlitz - U2 Edition

So you think you know all there is to know about U2? How about you try taking a quiz. The excellent music site JamsBio has launched a U2 version of their SongBlitz quiz. The idea is to match the U2 song that plays up to the album it came from. With three levels of expertise, it's more challenging than it sounds.

Try it yourself here.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Word Of iPod

Some people have too much time on their hands it's true. But occasionally that yields something as simple and yet sublime as this.

Word of iPod - Tale of Love

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Downtime

I know I have not having posted for a few days. Not only did I have the death of my father and his funeral to arrange but then I lost my Internet connection for most of yesterday due to BT maintenance work.

However, normal service should now be resumed. Watch this space.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Interfaces

I am fascinated by interfaces. It is not uncommon for developers to work long and hard on an excellent piece of software or a feature rich website only to have it marred by a poor interface. The huge outcry over the "new" Facebook seems to be mostly focused on the change in interface. Whilst it is true that we the users are slow to change when it comes to our ideas of an interface, for instance since moving from a CLI to a GUI in the 90's nothing has really changed since, it does not mean that there aren't other ideas out there.

For instance, how about a website where clicking is not required. Don't Click It is just that. It started as an abstract idea but now seems to be suggesting itself as a real alternative. I have to say despite my best intentions, the urge to click is still great.

Another example is the Dynamic Graphics Project's attempt to introduce real world physics to the desktop interface. The following video is a demonstration.


Other examples using multi-point touch technology are shown here being demonstrated by Jeff Han of Perceptive Pixel.


It seems the old mouse could soon be replaced.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Happy Birthday Willow

As I usually do, I'd like today to take time out today to wish Willow a happy birthday. Of all the Greshlets that passed that week, I sadly knew Willow the least, having only met her once about two weeks before the accident. They say first impressions last and it is certainly true with that little firecracker.

Willow gave the impression she had been around before and had somehow hung on to all her worldly knowledge. She was wise and fantastically witty.

Sleep well little one. Is túisce a éagann an óige mar aon leis an mhaith!
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