More archiving pictures...

And here's an old shirt that I'm throwing out because it's got holes in and people have started making comments about it. I always feel a bit emotional at clothes that were around when my Mum was alive.



Most of this latest batch are from my first year at Uni. Looking over them coincided with the start of the academic year.



Here's the next batch.


Another of Janos's great books. Shine is a collection of 'optimistic near-future' sci-fi short stories. The fantastic Alastair Reynolds has a story in there, which lived up to his high standards. Of the people I hadn't heard of the two that stood out were Kay Kenyon with Castoff World and Madeline Ashby with Ishin.

Castoff World stuck in my mind because of the atmosphere evoked by the pair adrift in the sea with the nano-swarm. Kenyon brilliantly describes their world.

In Ishin we've got an exciting but sensitive tale, which again makes me want to read more of Ashby's work. I didn't like the fact the an otherwise sympathetic character happened to be a patent troll!


Oldfield 20 mph Speed Limit

I've just responded to the consultation on the 20 mph speed limit in Oldfield Park, voting in favour of it. In the comments section I said that I'd like to see more zebra crossings, particularly at the junction between Livingstone Road and Brougham Hayes.



The boxes left to archive:

I remember painting this when I was at St. Laurence. As you might have deduced I was keen on Karate.

Inspired by the Paul Hardcastle hit 19. A bit embarrassing now.

Drawn by my cousin Giles. This was on the door of my bedroom for a long time.



More photos...

The taxpayer should not have to pay to keep Windows free of malware

Here's John Dvorak arguing that the taxpayer should pay to keep Microsoft Windows free of malware. This would be an indirect subsidy of Microsoft, when really the solution is for users to switch to a more secure operating system such as Ubuntu. This switch is more likely to happen if Microsoft has to spend its own money on battling malware, because that puts up the price of its software.


Skipwatch 2012-09-11

Part of the ongoing record of the skip...

Inspiration for the design of Polifesto

I've decided to actually design Polifesto. I'm looking for inspiration at the moment. I took some photos and made some drawings from a café in Oxford. This is the window. Curves are hard to do on web sites. Is that true?

This is the core of the idea.

Table leg drawn on a napkin.

Here's Matt on a bridge in Oxford:

The reason I took it is that the bridge is exactly the same design as the new bridge that's been put up in Linear Park near to me in Bath. I find the design uninspiring. After seeing Victoria Bridge in Bath and the bridges over the canal in Bath, it's depressing that we can't match or exceed their beauty.

Archiving 2012-09-11

This was from a box marked, 'fragile: ornaments from piano'. This is a pentagon section box I made. My Dad a bought a job lot of laminated strips of wood. There were hundreds of them. It was perfect for me to make stuff with.

It was hinged in the middle. I'm impressed with my former self!

I really can't remember why I made this!

A creation of pure whimsy.

This is Doug's.

A whole load of stuff. In the bottom right hand corner is the shell of a firework I made.

The Sound Of A Wild Snail Eating

This is a book that my aunt gave me. The author describes her experience of being confined to her bed for years with an autoimmune disease. She is inspired by watching a snail in a terrarium next to her bed. She muses on the similarities between the life of the snail and the life that has been imposed on her. It's a precise and moving description of her experience. Enriching.



Here's one of the CDT projects I blogged about earlier:

The jaws of the device:

The jaws opened by pushing this forward with one's thumb:

The holes in the barrel are to make the device lighter:

This was one of the first things I did in CDT and I'm still very proud of it. It's an Oxo cube dispenser. It worked like Jethro Tull's seed drill. You rolled the wheel with your hand, and an Oxo cube dropped out. The slit is to see when the dispenser needs refilling.

Another CDT project. This was the one that I entered for the exam. It's a desk light. This is the closed, off position.

This is the switch. It comes on when the shade is put in the 'on' position.

Here it is in the 'on' position. You can see that by putting it in the 'on' position the switch turns the light on. The lamp is a halogen bulb just by the tube.

I made this hideous weapon. Didn't use them much. When swinging them around I was much more of a danger to myself than anyone else.

V For Vendetta

We were standing around the fire-pit, and the conversation turned to Alan Moore. I'd heard a lot about him. I'd watched V For Vendetta, but I'd never read anything of his. Jonathan went and got VfV and From Hell.

It's a brilliantly written and drawn story. I'd recommend it without reservation. From one point of view it's a clash of two political ideas, authoritarianism and anarchy, both of which I disagree with. I favour democracy. I've written before about the dearth of democracy in fiction. Perhaps it's because it's more exciting to read about things being blown up, than to read about the next meeting of the agriculture sub-committee.

So I found myself disagreeing with both V and the Leader. What would I have done? I'd probably not have the courage or ability to do much, but I'd try and be part of a non-violent democracy movement. Easy for me to say from the comfort of my armchair.

Am looking forward to the other Moore book Jonathan lent me.



I'm running out of space on Picassa (the photo sharing website that Blogger used) so I've started to use Shutterfly to store my photos. Here are batches 2012-09-03 and 2012-09-04.


Light On Snow

Told in the first person by a 30 year old recounting the experiences of her 12 year old self, Light On Snow skilfully manages to evoke deep emotions and maintain a narrative tension, using simple language and and everyday thoughts and activities.

Perhaps all the characters were 'good people'. It seems to reinforce my experience that good and bad are easy labels from a distance, but the closer you get the more complicated things are.

This is the first Anita Shreve I've read, and as I quickly gulped this one down, I look forward to reading more.