Archive for December, 2006

New Year

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

It is as many people around the world look to the turning of the year I find myself looking at how I deal with time.

The problem is this, I have a terrible sense of time. I think that this is in part due to working shift work. The rapid setting and resetting of my body clock, a person’s own internal timekeeper, often leads me to lose track of where in the day I am. It doesn’t help with the extended holiday at this time of year and the short daylight hours. No longer can I get a base idea of where I am in time by what is showing on the television as the schedules are full of ‘specials’.

It’s not just time either. I’m a terrible person for navigation. Give me a map and a compass and I can get myself to any destination, but this is just knowing how to use the tools. It has taken me a long time to get to know some form of ‘local knowledge’ and then only the basest kind. Compared to many of the people at work I would still get horrendously lost were it not for our satellite navigation system.

Modern physics tells us that space-time is one thing. It appears that it is one thing that I am hopelessly lost in.

So, as I sit here typing this, the new year less than six hours away, I don’t feel that it is a ‘new start’, I don’t think of ‘new year resolutions’, I don’t celebrate it as, for me, it is just another day.

It just means I have to remember to fill in 2007 as the year on all my paperwork.

Which will only lead to more confusion for me.


Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Honda have been coming up with some really nice adverts of late, from the ‘Hate something, Change something‘ song (which still brings a smile to my face), to the ‘Impossible dream‘. The clever thing is that they have made them easy to download, something that has fueled the ‘viral nature’ of these adverts, something that the Bravia team have also used to their advantage.

So I was very glad to see the new Honda advert. There is something about the way that Asimo walks that makes me want to giggle. It moves with poetry, and each time I see it I dream of what it might lead to – better artificial legs, the complete design of the wheelchair, and this is without going into the roles that humanoid robots might have in the future.
Until then, enjoy the video courtesy of the marketing smarts at Honda.

[quicktime width="320" height="176"][/quicktime]

[tags]Robots, advert,honda[/tags]

Tilly and the wall

Friday, December 15th, 2006

There is something to be said about surfing the music channels late at night, for it has led me to discover Tilly and the wall. Specifically their track ‘Rainbows in the dark’. Here is the video. (With a similar style to the Feeder video for ‘Just a day‘).

The first thing that I thought was that they sounded a little like ‘The Polyphonic Spree‘, so I jumped on iTunes and listened to some of their other tracks. I have to say I like them and will be buying their albums after Christmas. I would describe them better but I have a very limited musical vocabulary, I’m one of those annoying ‘I know what I like, but I can’t tell you why’ people. I wonder if my brother already has their albums as it’s the sort of music he likes.



Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Partly because I want to see how easy (or not) it is to embed Youtube into this blog and partly because I think it is funny, I present to you the Bollywood version of the ‘Thriller’ music video.  (Note, it involves plug-ins and now my brain hurts).




Thursday, December 14th, 2006

I’ve been using Twitter for a little while now, it allows you to post short snippets of text that get circulated to people who subscribe to your Twitter identity. For example, I may post that I’m making a cup of tea, everyone who has subscribed to that will get that little bit of information.

So far, so good, but it has something that makes it a little special. It integrates very smoothly with your mobile phone via SMS. I can be walking down the street and the desire to post overcomes me, I can then simply send a text message to the Twitter service and it will be pushed out to my contact’s mobile phones.

At first glance it seems utterly worthless, the posts are limited to 146 characters which makes it hard to write anything of substance. It is promoted as “A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?” and this lends itself to posts about making a cup of tea, or about how you hate tinsel. I am no better for my last Twittering was “I think, Like DG, I shall make myself a nice cup of tea before tackling WordPress install.“. Hardly ‘War and Peace’.

However, this belies the beauty of it. Once you have added a few friends (and more and more people are signing up as this meme spreads), then the inflow of short messages become like a Zen cloud of how people are feeling. Sure, Alice may be getting grumpy, but Bob is gearing up for a fun night out. You instantly become more connected to your friends even though this is a mostly one way communication.

In a world where many of our friends are our ‘blogmates’, where we are more likely to email than phone and where physically meeting people is becoming more of a rarity, Twitter allows us to feel more connected. The desire to keep in touch with friends, and to let them keep in touch with you leads to regular posting, and the less ‘important’ the post, the more you feel you are being allowed into that poster’s life.

It does spark some questions on privacy, while adults who have grown to use technologies like this are perhaps better prepared to self-censor, I worry a little about what children may divulge without considering the consequences. I also think that it is only a matter of time before someone drunkenly lets slip some ‘indiscretion’. We may have learned to not blog drunk, but with the ease of posting from a mobile phone it will be so much easier to slip. While you may make a fool of yourself at the office Christmas party, with Twitter you could reach a global audience.

I’m wondering what use other people or companies may put it to. It would be ideal for the organising of ‘flash mobs’ and on a more serious note it is an easy way to update people on the weather, local traffic and news or even sports results.

What Twitter may have unleashed is an ‘Open Source’ SMS subscription service and I am intrigued to see where it leads.
I think that Twitter is a lovely, lightweight web-app that may find surprising uses in the future.
You can see my Twitter here.


First Post

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

This is the first post on my new blog, here is where I will be blogging about pretty much anything not related to my ambulance work. This won’t stop me blogging about my ambulance stuff, but when I run out of inspiration there I may be able to post here.  Also it will let me write about things that would otherwise ‘dilute the brand’ (*shudder*) of my ambulance writing.

This place will also give me a chance to write in different styles, mainly for my own enjoyment and partly for practice.
As I fiddle around with templates, blogrolls and the like this site will change.  I’ll try not to break it too much.  First off I think I need a different header .gif…