Saturday, 31 January 2009

Her Morning Elegance

A beautiful song, a beautifully shot video and a beautiful girl. Sometimes you can have it all. This is Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Blog Birthday

Hey, the blog has reached the twelve month mark. This time last year I made the first post.


I'm chuffed that the readership is slowly growing and thank each of you for taking the time to read. Hopefully the rise will continue. Please help me spread the word by commenting and using the links at the bottom of each post to re-publish to other sites such as Facebook, StumbleUpon etc.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Misguided Focus

I have kept quiet on here recently concerning the events surrounding my very good friend Nigel 'Gresh' Gresham. But I need to express myself now. I don't particularly want to go in to the details of the case itself. It has been widely reported on, although not always accurately. I don't really want to talk about the verdict, no matter how unjust I think it is. It is the surviving children that have long been my concern and now more so than ever before.

None of us can easily put ourselves in another's situation. Especially when that situation is utterly unimaginable in it's own right. This situation is (mercifully) unique. But surely the children are being lost in the mix here. Their interests are paramount, but it seems to me that over the last while they have not been listened to well enough by any party, including the courts.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Malfunction Junction

I'm away today and so can't make a detailed post, but just thought I'd quickly share this with you as it made the geek in me smile and I hope it does you too. It comes from the great Malfunction Junction, and if I have to explain it you just aren't geeky enough. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Songsmith

So Microsoft had this brilliant idea. Budding songwriters or performers can record themselves singing and have some clever bit of software generate a backing track based on a style of the user's choosing. From the website of Microsoft Songsmith.

Ever sing in the car? Maybe in the shower? You know who you are. Admit it, you like to sing, and you like music. Ever thought of writing your own music? Most people never get a chance to try... but we want to give everyone a piece of the songwriting experience, so we’ve developed Songsmith, an application that lets you create a complete song just by singing! Are we going to turn you into an award-winning songwriter overnight? Of course not. But Songsmith will give you a way to create something authentically musical and authentically yours, even if you don’t know the first thing about chords or music theory.

But that isn't the real genius. That belongs to the folks that had the idea to put some classic hits through it to see how it can "reinvent" them. Take Wonderwall for example. Techno?


Or Creep by Radiohead. I'm lost for words!


Finally, Roxanne by The Police. OK, they told it was Reggae, I get it.


Search Youtube for more, or better still, create your own. You cannot do any worse.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Panoramio Success

As I'm sure you remember I recently told you that I had created a Panoramio account and had uploaded some photos. Well I'm delighted to be able tell you that two (the first of many I hope) have been selected to appear in the Panoramio layer in Google Earth.

There was a GE update yesterday which I wasn't in time for, so it will be next month now before they actually appear, but the confirmation was good enough for me. To access the layer, load Google Earth and tick the Panoramio layer under Geographic Web in the layers section as below.

As ever, my pictures can be found here.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

My New Phone

I was due an upgrade on my phone yesterday, and so went along to along to collect the new device I had chosen. I'm very pleased. I love my gadgets and so my previous phone (the SPV M700) had way more features than most would find useful. This meant the new phone would have a lot to live up to. It has!

The SPV M700 has served me well but I have had a few of gripes with it. Windows Mobile is just too fiddly on a screen that small, which means you need the supplied stylus. Fine, not a problem, but the iPhone has shown us that is just not sexy enough. The other thing that that Apple have made sexy is "G-sensing" technology. If you turn a device on it's side and nothing happens, you are a social outcast. Finally, the M700 is a brick. I know they packed a lot into it, but come on. Oh and mine was white which caused much hilarity among some of my friends.

All reasons why the HTC Touch HD is just the dog's dangly bits. I may well write a proper review at some point, but I'm too busy playing at the moment. In the meantime, HTC have a full run down here.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Geek Poem

Please forgive me, I read this poem a few weeks ago and made a note of it but have now lost the original source. If you wrote it, or know who did, please leave me a comment so I can give the proper credit.

Following on from my geek humour post back in October, this poem is another great example. I should probably explain from the outset that especially in UNIX and coding parlance, certain ASCII characters have nicknames. As examples, an ! is not an exclamation mark but a bang. A * is not an asterisk but a splat etc. So somebody wrote this.

<>!*''#
^"`$$-
!*=@$_
%*<>~#4
&[]../
|{,,SYSTEM HALTED

Need help? It's probably better if you read it aloud like this.

Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,
Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,
Percent splat waka waka tilde number four,
Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,
Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma
CRASH.

Friday, 9 January 2009

It's Life Jim...

Well it looks as though my first attempt at germination is not a total failure. As you can see from the picture below, a tiny shoot has appeared. Not bad for only two weeks since planting. Sadly that is only from one pot but I'm not too concerned. It means I can concentrate on this one with the knowledge that I have plenty of seeds left.


You can also see that I have replaced the rather crude plastic bags with a purpose made germination tray. It was very cheap and is far more suited I think. As always, you can click to enlarge the photos.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Is Tú Mo Ghrá

Not only the other half of me, but my inspiration, motivation, friend and lover.

Thank you for standing beside me, without you I would have crumbled long ago. Happy Birthday my darling, I love you so very much, more now than ever. Is tú mo ghrá.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Reverse Speech

If, like me, you're a fan of music and perhaps a child of the 70's you will be familiar with the concept of backmasking. It was a much debated technique where some hidden messages were placed within songs that could only be heard when the song was played backwards. Some were dismissed as coincidence and some were damned as clear evidence that anyone involved in Rock 'n' Roll was a devil worshipper. If you would like to hear some examples, trot on over to Jeff Milner's site.

However, the concept of Reverse Speech has moved on considerably since then. A gentleman by the name of David Oates says that reverse speech is a naturally occurring phenomena that we all experience. He believes that it is the voice of our sub-conscious.

If human speech is recorded and played backwards, mixed amongst the gibberish at regular intervals can be heard very clear statements. These statements usually appear in short sentence form and are nearly always related to the forward speech. It appears constantly throughout language, so much so in fact, that it is believed to be a natural part of our speech processes.

He goes on to describe...

language is bi-level, forward and reverse. As the human brain constructs the sounds of speech, it forms those sounds in such a way that two messages are delivered simultaneously. One forwards, which is the conscious mind speaking, and the other in reverse, which is the unconscious mind speaking.

Oates postulates that a lie may be revealed when reversed. If pertinent facts are left out of forward speech these may also be spoken in reverse. His website certainly contains many examples. Some quite compelling and others not so. Either way, it's an interesting theory which certainly arouses curiosity.

But perhaps this is the most disturbing reverse speech message of all. You decide...WARNING: Bad Language.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tidbits About Hobbits

Before I begin this post can I just say how sorry I am that I neglected to mention J.R.R. Tolkien's birthday on the 3rd January. Very remiss of me.

You may remember that back in April, I posted about Guillermo del Toro being given the job of directing some Lord of the Rings prequels.

Well rumours are rife as to the exact nature of the films and to their release dates and it is very difficult to actually get hold of any facts. However I can tell you that the rumours that the first release has been delayed until 2012 are untrue. Straight from GDT himself. More info about the upcoming films and some interesting insights into the production process can be found at BilboHobbit.com.

Thank God You're A Man

An advertising campaign for a beer from Israel called Goldstar has caused a bit of a stir. These "beer flowcharts" often appear in gents toilets, and carry the phrase "Thank God You're A Man". Now, I suppose you could take the view that they are sexist and re-enforce stereotypes. Or you you could just appreciate that women are much more complicated than men and laugh at us. It's your choice. Credit to Ads Of The World where I found them. As always, click to enlarge.



Sunday, 4 January 2009

Panoramio

Now that I have my new camera (I know I haven't told you all about it yet, I will, don't worry) I thought that I'd create a Panoramio account. Several of my friends already use it and seem to find it useful. Like Flickr it is a site for uploading and organising your photos but because Panoramio is owned by Google it has the added benefit of the ability to Geotag your pictures.

This means that they can be geographically placed and view in applications such as Google Earth. In fact there is even a Panoramio layer in GE that contains photos that have been selected by the team.

I thought I'd start with a couple of pictures I took on a recent trip to Bournemouth. I'll let you know if I get selected, but in the meantime you can view my uploads here.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Taking Down The Decorations

Well this evening we took down the Christmas decorations. This always leaves me with a mixed feeling of sadness and relief. I thought I'd also remove the Christmas look from the blog as well as it looks a little daft now that we're well in to the new year. I really think that the blog could do with a custom made, bespoke look and I'm working on that. But in the meantime, I'm happy with this one.

I know my posts have been a little sparse of late but one of my new year's resolutions aims to fix that, so please bear with me.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy 2009

2008 wasn't a particularly good year for me, my family nor some of my friends. I'm wishing and hoping that 2009 will be better and I hope it also brings you all whatever you want from life. Happy New Year!
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