Keep Calm and Carry on Coding

I’ve had a change of name, well the blog has. It is based on the poster which displays the text “Keep calm and Carry On”, this was originally created back in 1939 by the British Government and was intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of invasion (see wikipedia) in the World War II. The new title is “Keep Calm and Carry On Coding”, it grew from a conversation about these posters one geek filled lunch time. Here’s a little hacked version of the poster based on one from wikimedia (here):

Keep Calm and Carry On Coding Poster
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What is Englishness

The Independent had a short story on what, today, it means to be English, and if there is such a thing as “Englishness”. It mentioned the Town of Ripley in Derbyshire, just next door to my home town. Apparently this is one of the most English places in England (not sure if that also means “in the world” too) so does this make me one of the most English people in the world?

I write this at the top of a hill looking over the green fields and the autumn woods – the quintessential image of England – as I try to work out what makes me English. Is it our history? It certainly plays a large part but this is always mixed up with “British” history and difficult to prise apart. Of the separate parts of Britain it is Scotland that has a very distinct identity, Wales a slightly less identity but still a recognisable culture of it’s own, England does not seem to have a clear image of its own.

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The Olympics

Just one of the venues at the Vancover Olympics
Just one of the venues at the Vancover Olympic

There is something rather special about the Olympics. There’s very few things I’d stop up until the early hours watching,but here I am watching at 3am, and keep on staying up till late.

First there’s the fact that it’s going on live, and you never quite know what’s going to happen, just in the last hour I sa several horrific looking toboggan crashes and some nasty falls in speed skating – everyone is OK though – and then there’s the cheering on of the national team, gold for the nation is something everyone can get behind, but then you also can’t help but support the participant who’s believed to have no chance but comes pushing up with a fierce determination or the person who’s on their last Olympics and just maybe win that that last medal. So many emotions from the winners and the losers, those who came so close but heartbreakingly missed their chance for Olympic glory.

Then there’s the history of the Olympics, it’s beginnings dating back around 3000 years to a time when nations again competed against each other instead of waring.

But the most important celebration should be just knowing that the world really can come together and take part in something entertaining, magnificent and peacefully.

I’m really enjoying these 2010 Winter Olympics, and looking forward to 2012 when Britain gets to hold the Summer equivalent – that’s going to be just great!

Go TeamGB!

South West US Road trip

Monument valley drive

Just back from my 18 day road trip around the south west of the US. A most enjoyable adventure.

We drove across six states in total: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada; on a 3000 mile circle (well oval) route which took in the Mohaje Desert, Route 66, Meteor Crater, Sunset Crater, the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Lake Mead, Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

There’s a small selection of images here, which were added on route. There’s many, many, more which haven’t yet been uploaded but that will no doubt be done soon. UPDATE: I’ve uploaded a lot more photos now – all geotagged… still loads left though!

Response to Turing e-petition

I’m actually quite impressed by the Prime Minister’s response to the Turing e-petition. Quite often it’s just the normal government spiel.

Alan Turing was one of the key men in the second world War and a great mathematician (and one of the first computer programmers) but he was treated with contempt just a few years after he helped break German codes at Bletchly Park – it’s good to see that, on behalf of the government, Gordan Brown recognised his achievements and apologised for his shocking treatment.

The full script is available here:

I was also impressed that they added the link to Bletchy Park asking for donations. Nice touch.

Yep, I'm still here

So, it’s been a while since I made an blog entry – what can I say, I’ve been busy…

I been working through my open university course, and relaxing at my new house. I’ve also been updating my other blog a little more, which is more of a technical one.

And I’m a double Uncle now too.

Me Tree – The family.

Just installed “PhpGedView” to my website.

It’s a really nice genealogy package built on php. You can see it here:

Most of the information has been locked down, but if you want a log in – and I know who you are – feel free to request one.

I have 153 people on my tree, most of the information is on my fathers side. It includes 43 different surnames, the earliest individual dates back from 1753!

However, when I have the time I’m planning on expanding the information about each person, because just a name from 200 years ago means almost nothing – the question is “Who were they?” and “what did they do?”

It's Christmas time.

Merry Christmas to you!

And for those who know me, here’s some Christmas present suggestions, in no particular order:

  • Coffee Table / Nest of tables
  • 32 Inch Flat screen TV
  • Bookcase/ shelving.
  • Desk (But not a computer one!)
  • Sofa bed / guest bed.
  • Rug
  • Wall clock (Quiet one, i.e. no tick noise!)
  • Electricity saving devices
  • Digital TV recorder
  • Home Cinema system
  • DAB Radio
  • Compact Hifi System
  • Copmuter camera
  • Cordless Telephone
  • Garden lounger (for relaxing and star gazing!)
  • A stupid / gadget / game / waste of time.
  • Board Game
  • Drawing lessons / tools
  • New Scientist subscription
  • Nintendo DS
  • Wii Game
  • Book
  • DVD
  • Puzzle
  • Jigsaw
  • Cinema Tickets
  • Bird Table
  • Asus MiniBook
  • Desktop computer. (But see above about desks…)

Or just anything fun.

Soon to be 30

Yes it’s not long till I’ll have travelled around the Sun 30 times.

During that time,

  • The Sun has travelled about 227 Billion kilometres around our Milky Way Galaxy.
  • I have walked about 10’000 miles around the Earth (mostly in the UK)
  • I have created almost 300 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide, not including the stuff I breathe out.
  • And I’ve been asleep for 10 years

And finally, on average, at the age of 30 I should have about 50 more years left…

But now to finish on something much more interesting: Gifts. People keep asking me for some present ideas so here’s a few of them (in no particular order):

There should be enough ideas here for everyone but if your still stuck, have a look around the of the websites I’ve linked to and buy something stupid, cool or nerdy!

Seven wonders of the WHOLE world.

Take your pick of the wonders of the world, and pick some of the most famous landmarks in the world.

To make it easier to pick, try this: does it make you think: Wow! How? Why?

This probably tells you a lot about me but I went for:

Acropolis – Old figure of civilisation
Easter island figures – mysterious people alone on a island
Great wall – Huge effort to build the structure
Hagia Sophia – An impressive temple now museum
Neuschwanstien Castle – A real fantasy castle
Stonehenge – Ancient, mysterious, amazing.
Taj Mahal – An impressive statement.

Choose wisely!