Daily archives: January 7, 2004

Self Censored

Some times my brain does manage to slam on the brakes before I open my mouth.

My parents are thinking of buying a new three-piece suite to replace the leather one they’ve had for ages. I was talking to day about this, after he’d offered the old suite for our living room. (If we were to take on the suite, on top of our existing furniture, we would end up with about enough floorspace to put down a cup of coffee.) We were discussing how old said furniture was by trying to remember landmark dates. I thought, but didn’t blurt out, “Oh yes, it must be at least that old, I remember having sex with [name withheld] on one of the chairs in 1990.”

Of course, putting this post on the blog isn’t as bad as saying it over the phone.

Is it?


PongSats are table tennis balls lifted by high altitude balloons into the upper atmosphere or fired in sounding rockets. Each ball contains a student experiment.

There are plenty of ideas for PongSats, including comparing the growth of plants grown from seeds flown to the edge of space in near vacuum with seeds cultivated on terra firma.

In another experiment, a university student had a PongSat outfitted with a digital camera’s flash RAM card. By studying the flipping of zeros and ones in the memory card, the unit served as an ultra-light, inexpensive, and highly accurate cosmic ray counter.

Official siteJP Aerospace

Heaven is a place on Earth

I was going to write about what I did on Monday night, but then I didn’t get home until some time after four and was a touch hungover yesterday (I was drinking only water until midnight, but then Stu and Chris turned up and started buying me beer.) And I forgot my camera and only had the phonecam.

Luckily, lots of other people were there with digital cameras and there are a lot of pictures. I’m in this one (in the background, but my ego won’t let it slip by and the picture is of Dave and Manda, official (I just anointed them) Friends of Spinneyhead), this one (how many chins?), this one (damn, the secret’s out), this one, the one above and this one where someone mis-labelled me as Al. You can call me Al, but I’ll sulk.

Observation- It’s really hard to mosh to ‘Ace of Spades’ whilst wearing bloody great plastic angel wings.

Quote of the night- “One day you’re Prince of Darkness will come.”


The Clarkbot is a Perl script written by Rick Heller. It searches the Feedster RSS search engine for references to “Wesley Clark” To be picked up by the Clarkbot, a blog must generate an RSS Feed, and that feed must be listed with Feedster.


Of course, if too many people reference the Clarkbot then it’s all going to get a bit circular.

Edit- I want a version of the Clarkbot that I can set to ‘search term of the day’. One day it’ll be looking up all the mentions of toilet roll in blogs, the next tree frogs.

Object of desire

Back during the birth of Team Spinneyhead Ian said that I’d be providing ‘cool tech reports’. Today I thought I’d actually get round to writing one. I didn’t far past Apple’s new iPod mini. Basically a smaller, sexier iPod that only holds 4GB (about 1000 tracks). This first section of the report would have finished with me saying that I’d already ordered one. Only I can’t. Apple won’t sell me one. I figured that importing an iPod mini and the travel adaptor kit (so I can plug it in here) would be way cheaper than ordering from Apple UK as they seem to think the exchange rate is between $1.20 and $1.30 to a pound (rather than over $1.80). Also I’d get it pretty soon rather than April (given the usual slippage that would be May or June in reality). Neither Apple or any major reseller will ship an Apple product outside of the US. Here I am trying to inject money into the US economy and they’re turning me away.

January Sales

There’s another free listing day on EBay tomorrow, so that’s all I’m going to spend the day doing. I have to pay my ISP soon, and, as I actually made some money from my freelancing last year, I may have some tax due (I haven’t done my tax return yet, so I don’t actually know). I think I’m just going to empty a box of comics and list them all. It’ll help the finances and clear out the storage space.

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