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kiwi tunes

Inspired by Graham’s efforts, I thought I’d tell you about some rather fine music I’ve discovered round these parts (click through for more information about the albums). The New Zealand music scene is pretty varied and lively - it’s not just Crowded House (thankfully!). No idea how many NZ artists manage to get exported back home (not many, if any), but I suspect they’ve tried to send Scribe over.

I’ve been keeping track of the songs that have cropped up during my travels, and I’m planning to create a compilation album for them (like I did for the summer of 2002). This will almost certainly include The Boy With The Aubergine Hair from The 88 and Nu Steppa from One Drop East.

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Posted: 2004-05-13

blah blah blah

Well, crikey, gave a first-year lecture today. My boss couldn’t be there, so he asked me to cover for him. It was all a bit scary, and I fluffed it at the end, but I think it went reasonably okay. It was good talk practice at any rate. Bit of a mumbly bumbler though.

On a somewhat unrelated issue, I must say I’m really impressed with Wikipedia. Its a free online encyclopedia written by randoms, but quite a lot of it is rather good. I’ve been looking at A New Kind Of Science, Langton’s Ant, Algorithmic information theory, Random number and Bayesian Probability.

Time for beer and quiz.

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Posted: 2004-05-11

Science

it's certainly been eventful of late

Well, crikey. Things were pottering along quite nicely and then all sorts of ups and downs appear from nowhere. I went out to meet the other Andrew Jackson for coffee yesterday (which was good), after which we walked over to a cafe called Lido (which was also good). On the way there, however, some idiot threw an almost-full can of Speights out of a fourth floor window and it hit me on the head (which was not good - but at least it was a glancing blow. If it had hit me straight on I think it would have knocked me out).

I wandered home after Lido, still slightly stunned, only to find when I got there that I’d lost all my keys somewhere along the way (definately very not good indeed). So, wandered back in to town and met up with work folks for a beer before going to see some improvised comedy at the Bats theatre (which was pretty good) and managed to completely forget about my loss of keys. Couldn’t get in touch with my flatmates, so ended up crashing at a friends place. As well as all of this, due to overspending on my...

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Posted: 2004-05-07

clever google

Just to balance up after yesterday’s entry, I thought I’d tell you about a rather nifty new feature of Google. The search engine now has the ability to act as a calculator, so you can do stuff like this: 1+1 is….

The really clever part is that the Google calculator understands units and knows a fair number of physical constants, so you can ask it stuff like this:

2.883kg*c*(1.21 kph + 88 mph)/(2.0*pi*1 A.U.*6.3m/(s^2)) in lb

And you get the right answer. Pretty cool, in the extremely geeky sense of the word cool.

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Posted: 2004-05-05

Top Tips

silly google

I rather like this image, taken from Google News. Their news pages are generated automagically, which is bound to cause mismatches between images and text sometimes… I guess I’m just not difficult to amuse.

I’ve failed to update my weblog for a while as I’ve been working and grumping a bit.

Work is going better now, and I’ve settled back down into it after my lovely holiday. Sadly, Kim (who went to Taupo with Stewart & me) has just left to return to California (but via Australia so that’s alright). We were also working together on some fluid simulation stuff (see image for an example), which seems to have worked out rather well and will hopefully become a continuing collaboration.

And, in case you were worried that this was beginning to sound more like work than procrastination, all I can say is Don’t Panic.

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Posted: 2004-05-04

back to reality, part one

Well, I’m back in Wellington. And after a fairly long day of travel I’m just itching to get back to work tomorrow. Actually, I’m feeling fairly refreshed so work should go down okay. And I’d run out of money anyway!

So, Dunedin was nice - nothing like Edinburgh apart from some street names and few other things like a tartan shop and a statue of Rabbie Burns. No bagpipers were present. As well as hunting for Scottishisms, I went on an eco-tour and failed to see a Royal Albatross. However, I did manage to see Sea Lions, Seals and some stop-motion animated Yellow-Eyed Penguins. Also went round the Botanical Gardens, pottered about, took far too many photos, etc etc.

Today the Magic Bus took me from Dunedin to Christchurch, via the Moeraki Boulders, which are weird nearly-spherical lumps of rock that are being revealed in the hillside and falling onto the beach as the sea erodes the coastline. No-one seems to be sure how on earth these things formed. There is a theory, but nobody seems all that convinced. People speak or write about the theory in much the same way as one might use a pair of...

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Posted: 2004-04-25

Travels

 

Fighting entropy since 1993

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