Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Oh, The Temptation

Apparently this is a recreation of a famous experiment from 1960's. I'm not sure if the results say more about the children or the organisers, but there is no denying it is funny. I can really feel their pain and I don't even like marshmallow.


Oh, The Temptation from Steve V on Vimeo.
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Sunday, 27 September 2009

COMBO & A Welcome

It seems my recent post got quite a bit of attention (all extremely positive I have to say) and as a result e-clecticism has a whole new batch of readers now. Whether you subscribe to my RSS feed, receive email notifications, connect via Google's Friend Connect, follow via my Facebook page or just pop by the site now and again, you're all very welcome. I hope you find something here you like and please feel free to leave a comment or two. It lets me know you're still there. :-)

The following video is rather nice although it is repeated for some strange reason. I can only begin to imagine the time and effort that went on to this, but the result is superb.


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Saturday, 26 September 2009

All The Single Babies

At the risk of turning e-clecticism into Britain's Funniest Home Videos I just had to share the following with you. It makes me laugh every time I watch it. I hope it brings a smile to your face too.



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Friday, 25 September 2009

A Letter To My Father

The Bonding - Father and son take a walk
Hello Dad, it is a year today since you passed away. I really can’t believe that. Sometimes it feels as though you have been gone so long that I struggle to picture your face or hear your voice and other times it seems like it was only yesterday that you were here to give me advice or simply a hug. I miss you terribly and certainly a lot has happened since I last saw you.

I really managed to mess up some things over the last year. I won’t go in to detail here but I am not proud of some of the things that have happened. Hopefully those matters are improving now; but I hope it was not wrong of me to, at times, be glad that you were not here to see what went on? Sorry. I know if I could turn back time, I would. Thankfully, other things have happened that have been very good. Your grandchildren are fine and I know that you would be very proud of all of them, as you always were. Oh how I wish you could be here to see 1's big day next year. It will be a day of very mixed feelings for me. Your death hit 2 the hardest I think. But then she always had a special connection with you. She'll be OK though, she is very like us and she gets more so each year. 3 and 4 are reassuringly just as you would remember them. They all keep me from going insane but contribute to my insanity at the same time.

Every single day I have that reoccurring mental battle. The one where I hate myself for not having spent what would become our last precious hours differently, but then I berate myself as I know deep down that they could not have been any different. I was away when you were taken ill. I hope you understood that I just couldn't be anywhere else at that time. By the time I got to see you, it was a struggle to communicate. I hope you knew how much I loved you.You were trying so desperately hard to tell me something that last day, but the words just wouldn't come. I wish I knew what it was. You looked so confused and frail. Not the strong man and character I had known all my life, but a small bewildered shadow. It makes me sad to think of you that way, but it is so much better than to remember the pain you had been in a few days prior to that. I feel so sorry for mum because that is only how she last saw you. I hate how that is so, but I cannot change it. I just kept telling her how much better you were the next time. We all like the fact that in your whole life you only spent two weeks incapacitated. That seems proper somehow. It has become customary for mum to spend Sundays with us now, which I really like. We should have started that a long time ago whilst you were still around. I should have thought of it. I'm sure mum is as happy as she can be. I know you are on her mind as much as you are on mine, but she is comfortable with that, perhaps more so than I. I promise I'll look after her.

I'm sure you would have also been pleased to learn that I have been in contact with certain parts of the family that are new to me. I even seem a little closer to ones I have always known, and I'm grateful for that. It means I have to do some updating to the family tree that I had started, but then I really should be doing some more work on that anyway. I know you were always keen to hear about any new facts I had uncovered. We shared a lot of interests. I'm grateful for that as it gives me a connection that remains. Unfortunately many of them seem pointless to me now. It is hard to describe, but at a recent trip to the Severn Valley, I found myself in the gift shop wondering why I was there as I no longer had anyone to share it with. Likewise I cannot really bring myself to spend any time in the caravan. Photography however has a renewed resonance with me and I am more interested now than I ever was. It makes me happy that you were a keen photographer right up to the end and now it is something I can pursue in my own right. I would have loved to show you my pictures...But only the good ones.

The only trouble with being an atheist is that I don't have a faith that you're "up there" somewhere, looking out for me. But I'd like to think that if I were wrong in that respect, that you'd be proud of me. My yardstick for how well I do or how good a person I am will always be measured against you. I am who I am because of you, I guess that's why it hurts so much that you're not around.

I never said it enough whilst you were here, but I love you dad and I miss you terribly.

Jonathan

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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

I'm Yours

I have had quite a stressful time recently. For this reason I tend to grasp hold of anything that can lift me and make me smile. This video is one of those things. Jason Mraz with I'm Yours. Try playing it loud whilst you're driving. You'll struggle not to bop your head.

A big thanks to Daisy for bringing it to my attention.


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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Slideshow & Other Changes

Image representing Flickr as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
I have been making some changes to both the blog and other sites etc that I run. The main change is that I will soon be dropping my Orbsol Gallery in favour of my Flickr account. The long term plan is to consolidate everything under the e-clecticism banner but I'm making the change a gradual thing. This means though that I can now provide a slide-show of my pictures, which I have done in the right-hand menu bar, I hope you like them. However, if you are subscribed to the RSS feed for the Orbsol Gallery, you will need to change it to my new feed which you can find here. That way you'll get told when I add new pictures.


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Monday, 21 September 2009

Moonlit Timelapse

Having been experimenting with some night time long exposure photography recently, I decided to do some Internet research for some inspiration. Although the following video is off that topic slightly, I immediately fell in love with it and wanted to share it with you.

It shows a time-lapse of a moonlit snowy mountainside. The clarity of the shots and the smoothness of the animation make it a truly stunning sequence, that I watched over and over.

Ardon river and Monakh mountain in moonlight from Timelapser on Vimeo.

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Saturday, 19 September 2009

In B♭ 2.0

Short example of Image via Wikipedia
I have always been fascinated with music. Melody, chord progression, counterpoint and the like in particular. I never tire of it and when I hear a really good example, it can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

A website I have been playing with recently is a great example of how when music works, it really does work. B♭(B flat) is now in it's second incarnation. The idea is a simple. It provides us with twenty YouTube videos of different people playing various instruments. Each piece is usually without tempo but is always played in the same key (hence the title). The result is that all the pieces fit together even when they are started at different times and can stopped and restarted at will. Take a look for yourself and have a play.
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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Samsung SSD Awesomeness

This one is for the real geeks that like to drool over cool hardware.

The weakest point of any PC in terms of both reliability and speed is the hard disk. Being a mechanical device it suffers from wear and tear and it's linear design makes it slow.

The answer of course is a Solid State drive but up until recently they have been far too volatile. Samsung hope to fix that and the following video shows that they may well have cracked it.

With Christmas coming up, I may well need to revise my wish list.

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Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Waterbugs And Dragonflies

Once again the anniversary of the days we lost the Greshlets is upon us. I'm doubly sad because this time last year I was with the family sharing in a very personal time for them (for which I am very honoured) but within twelve months that is now impossible. My thoughts are very much with you my friend.

The day of the funeral will be a memory I never lose for obvious reasons. It was a day filled with both bitter and sweet moments. One thing particularly that has stayed with me was a reading of an extract from Waterbugs and Dragonflies by Doris Stickney. This is a book that deals with how to explain death to a child in terms they can understand. I have re-produced (entirely without permission, please forgive me) the passage. I hope it means something to you.

Before you comment, I am well aware of the irony that an atheist should be attracted to a piece of writing that seems to reinforce the Christian idea of an after-life.

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

'Look!' said one of the water bugs to another, 'One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose she is going?' Up, up, up it went slowly. Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return. 'That's funny!' said one water bug to another. 'Wasn't she happy here?' asked a second water bug. 'Were do you suppose she went?' wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally one of the water bugs, the leader of the colony, gathered its friends together. 'I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where she went and why.' 'We promise', they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water, and had fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly.

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by, the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs!. There they were, scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before. Then the dragonfly remembered his promise: 'The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why'.

Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly he could no longer go into the water. 'I can't return!' he said in dismay. 'At least I tried, but I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what happened to me, and where I went'.

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.


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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Fast Flip

Image representing Google Labs as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBase

Do you read the news online? If your answer is yes, you might be interested in a new application from Google. Fast Flip is a new experiment that they have let loose on us, but only in Google Labs for now. In their words...

Fast Flip is a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles. Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting. At the same time, we provide aggregation and search over many top newspapers and magazines, and the ability to share content with your friends and community. Fast Flip also personalizes the experience for you, by taking cues from selections you make to show you more content from sources, topics and journalists that you seem to like. In short, you get fast browsing, natural magazine-style navigation, recommendations from friends and other members of the community and a selection of content that is serendipitous and personalized.

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Emoticon War

I bet you didn't realise how hard emoticons worked for you. Watch this video to see the truth.

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Monday, 14 September 2009

My Life Is Average

Having spent way more time than I should reading MyLifeIsAverage.com I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you. Some made me literally LOL.

My Friends and I saw "9", on 9/9/09, ticket price? $9.99. Theatre number? 10. You don't know my disappointment.

I am Chinese, and today I was in the mall when a little kid ran up to me and kicked me, hard, in the shin. His mother rushed over and said "I'm so sorry- he's been doing this all morning. He thinks you're the bad guy from Mulan." Words can't express how much this thrilled me.

Today my boyfriend was running late leaving the house, as he was putting on his shoes by the door I jokingly said "You need to hurry up, my other boyfriend will be here any minute!" He opened the door and almost ran into the UPS man who must have over heard me because he immediately quipped "Honey, I'm home." The look on my boyfriend's face...priceless.

Today, my grandmother had problems with her credit card company. She took out her card, cut it in the shape of a hand flipping someone off, and mailed it to the company. Coolest grandma ever.

Today, I was standing in line at Starbucks. My mom, who was in a hurry, was in the car waiting on me. I proceeded to text her and say, "I'm behind 4 people in line." I immediately received the response, "Kill 3 of them."

Yesterday I was in the grocery store and I saw a little boy climbing up the shelves. I laughed at him until he looked down at me and whispered "Ssshhh! Don't tell my mom I'm spiderman!" Coolest. Kid. Ever.

Today, I was working the register at Walmart. I was checking out a family, and there was a book called "How To Be A Ninja". Whenever I scanned it, the screen said "Item Not Found". Well played ninjas, well played.


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Sunday, 13 September 2009

Musical Birds

This is another great example of something that is so simple and yet so clever. Vimeo user Jarbas Agnelli was reading a newspaper and saw a picture of birds perched on electrical wires. He cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes. The result is in the video below. Use the links below the video to find out more. Are birds secret composers? Enjoy!

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.


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Saturday, 12 September 2009

Facebook Lite

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

Do you use Facebook? Do you find it a little cluttered and crowded now with all the apps and advertising etc? Why not try out a public beta of Facebook Lite. The idea is that Facebook wants to make itself a little more like Twitter and make it much easier for you to interact with your activity stream.

Why not give it a try. You can log in to it using you existing account. You'll notice immediately that you get a much less cluttered interface and unless it is my imagination, it seems quicker too.
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Thursday, 10 September 2009

Geek Chat

Apparently women now go for geeks in a big way. (Who knew). So I'm here to offer my fellow geeks some help. Here are some geek chat-up lines that every nerd should learn. I cannot guarantee that they will work, but they made me laugh. Although that probably doesn't make me look too good.
  • You, me, here… this couldn’t be any better if I programmed the holodeck myself!
  • Honey, you’ve been looking for love in Alderaan places.
  • I may look like an Ewok, but I’m all Wookie where it counts, baby.
  • What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this when there’s a Farscape marathon on right now on the Sci Fi channel.
  • I’ve been told I have the cool sexual prowess of a Romulan.
  • Your mouth says, ‘Shields up!’, but your eyes say, ‘A hull breach is imminent.’
  • Once you make love to a man with Vulcan ears on you never go back.
  • How ’bout I slip into something more comfortable… like these STAR TREK VOYAGER pyjamas!
  • Someone must have shot you with a phaser set on ’stunning’.
  • Tell me of this thing you humans call (pause) love.
  • Forgive my Kirk-like boldness, but you wanna go back to my mom’s place and watch ‘Dr. Who’?
  • Nice Asimov.
  • With my IQ and your body we could begin a race of genetic superchildren to conquer the earth.
  • I less than three you. (I <3)
  • Would you like to be the numerator or the denominator?
  • What’s your sine? It must be pi/2 because you’re the 1.
  • You’re like an exothermic reaction; you spread your hotness everywhere!
  • You know, it’s not the length of the vector that counts; it’s how you apply the force.
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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

IT Signage

Today I'd like to share a couple of signs I came across that really should hang in every IT department. Although they are possibly only funny to geeks.




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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Font Capture

Letter written in England in 1894, showing a h...Image via Wikipedia

I'm sure you have a favourite font. I know I do. No matter what you are designing, whether it be a web page, document or a flyer for your local church fĂȘte, you have the one look that you go back to again and again.

Well what about a font that is based on your own handwriting? Would that be a good thing? Expensive thought eh? Err, no actually.

Take a trip on over to FontCapture and fill out their template, scan it and upload it to get your own personalised font based on your own handwriting for free! The resulting font will work on Windows or Mac.

I quickly created one for my handwriting which you can download here if you wish. However it was a bit rushed and I made a few mistakes and so I will probably have another go at some point.

To install your font...Windows: Either drag and drop the downloaded font file to your Windows\Fonts folder, or right click the file and choose install. Mac OS X: Double-click on the downloaded font file, then click Install Font.


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Monday, 7 September 2009

Space Painting

As some of you may know, I lived in Dublin for nearly fifteen years. One of my favourite places to visit was always Grafton Street. With it's pedestrianised thoroughfare, trendy shops and myriad of street performance artists, it was always a fascinating time. One of the regular attractions in the 90's was a chap who I now know to be Brandon McConnell. I confess I bought several of his paintings back then but I have no clue whatever happened to them. Take a look at the video below to see a beauitiful painting of a space scene created in minutes and perhaps you'll understand why he always drew a huge crowd.

Also check out his website for more great examples.



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Saturday, 5 September 2009

Ruminations

I have spent way too much time reading some of the random thoughts that people have posted to great website called Ruminations. Some are hilarious and some just make you nod in quietly agreeable way. Here are some of my favourites.
  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
  • I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually
    becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting
    90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's
    laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little
    bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the
    only one who really, really gets it.
  • LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up
    to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
  • I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people
    watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will
    they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't
    watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and
    leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'
  • I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle,
    then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
  • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still
    not know what time it is.
  • I don't write on your Facebook wall so you can comment on it. I write on your wall so you will write back on mine and make me seem more popular. Work with me here.
  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to
    answer when they call.
  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't
    want to have to restart my collection.
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Thursday, 3 September 2009

Sticky Note Experiment

What do you get when you mix lots and lots of Sticky Notes together with some folks with very little to do? See below. :-)

See more at EepyBird.com

Sticky Note Experiment by EepyBird from Eepybird on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Alicante Adventures

Unfortunately Google don't provide a whole heap of space on Blogger to host images but I'd like to share a few from my holiday in Spain that I'm particular pleased with. We had a lovely relaxing time which inevitably involved me wandering off with my camera whilst my wife made sure the pool wasn't lonely.

Experimenting with composition I liked this lonely looking sail boat. I'd like to have taken a few more shots to get the waves just right but holiday makers kept getting in the way.


I don't know whether it is because most of the Costa Blanca is desert like, but when you come across a bit of colourful vegetation it really screams at you. I have no idea what this is, but really was this vivid.


Sadly most of the really stunning scenery we came across was whilst driving and therefore it was tricky to capture it. I did eventually pull over to take this shot, only to find the car would not start again afterwards and we got stranded for nearly three hours. Luckily we were outside a rather nice restaurant, so it wasn't all bad news.


I also took some pictures that I am extra pleased with and I have added them to my gallery. You can find them here, here and here.


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Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Home Again

Well I'm back home and once again I owe you, my loyal reader, an apology. In my last post I promised that if I had a decent enough connection to the Internet whilst I was away, that I would keep up my blogging. Unfortunately I broke my word. I had an excellent connection but due to an overwhelming sense of relaxation I just couldn't get my head together enough to produce a coherent post. Well that's my story anyway.

However, I'm now back, fully refreshed and ready to get e-clecticism moving again. Thank you for bearing with me. I'll try and get some pictures of my trip up together with whole host of weird and wonderful that I have trawled the net for, just so I can reproduce it here for your pleasure and entertainment.

In the meantime, please enjoy Tainted Love like you've never seen it before.



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