UMIST / Manchester Beer Fest 2006

Beer Fest is a time for interesting events. This year, I talked to 2 lovely young ladies about their Degrees. I just how they didn’t think I was a pervert.

Still, Photos can be found on my gallery here. Apologise for there not being more photos, but the alcohol had my name on it…

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Global Eating?

I was listening on the news last night about how we are heading for a climate change disater.

Then it hit me. The answer is simple. Start taxing Beef. This may sound a bit farfetched, but let me explain. If you tax beef, demand will drop. Therefore, forests will stop being slashed and burned for land to allow cattle to grase in. Also, the reduced number of cattle will reduce the amount of green house gases produced due to cows *ahem* farting. Yes farting.

As for the fast food restaurants, they will be forced to raise their prices, meaning that less of us will eat in them. Therefore, we stop the obesity epidemic in its tracks. As usual, the comments are open for you to have your say.

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Salford Quays

Since I set up the Gallery for Amanda And Dave’s Wedding, I have been think about what else I can put in there.

September (Last Year) I took some photos of Salford Quays which I though some of them were quite good.

Maybe I should start adding photos regularly? You be the judge, the comments are open…

(To View all the photo albums, click here)

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It's all done with special effects these days.

I’m really getting in to this making a film lark with Ian. I was thinking today about the kind of effects Ian would need to create, and on the film’s budget (ie, none), how to do them. Obvoiusly, some of it will be done with the aid of software. But what about other effects that would just be to difficult to do well with computers, and with a few props, we could quite easily? Well, I went digging again and found these:

Blood and Bullets
Low Budget Special Effects Chat
No Budget Effects Homepage

Hopefully, some of the effects tips might be used in the actual production, if Ian writes the script (hint, hint)

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What's in a name?

I admit it. English is not my strongest subject. My spelling is pretty bad. I also have a difficulty understanding simple concepts like what a spinney is. I thought it was a object spinning around, but no, Ian informs me that it isn’t.

One quick search on google later reveals the definition to be “a copse that shelters game”. Ok, so I’m going to have to do a bit of thinking about what we could do for the logo. Unfortunately, as with most Google searches I do, it didn’t end there.

Next up, I found a couple of pictures of spinneys as well ( Here and Here ).

After the pictures, I noticed Spinney Records, so Ian will probably have to come up with something different for the record label of the Spinneyhead empire. (Incidentally, Ian’s first thought about Spinney Records was “Hippies!”, closely followed by “Perhaps we should try for some cross promotion?”)

Lastly, I found Spinney Abbey in East Cambridge. Ian was quick to point out they have ghost stories. I think it would be quite cool to film a horror film around Spinney Abbey, It seems to look the part, but traveling would be a bit of a pain.

Ian did have one final thought on all these spinneys and in a film: “A concert by Spinney records artists in the grounds of Spinney Abbey compered by the Spinneyhead team”.

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It's a little business, I like to call Show…

After the concert yesterday, Ian was left with the distinct idea of doing Spinneyhead presents…. Obviously, Ian needs to come up with a few film plots, then the scripts before anything else can get started.

However, to aid Ian (and all those wanna be film makers out there), I did a bit of research to see how we can go about doing this within budget (ie, speading nothing or at least very little) possibly with a bit of beg, borrowing and stealing along the way.

During my search, I found this link to create you own ILM (yes, that is ILM, not film (ILM is Industrial Light and Magic, the Lucas Arts people))

Yes, this does mean that Ian may well have a fighting chance of doing this (if he does the scripts, etc) and yes, you could become involved. I am sure Ian will post relavant details a little closer to the time…

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The problem with cars is….

they break. It is almost inevitable. After a while, time gets to them. But when they do go wrong, you would expect a national garage to be able to repair them in a timely fashion. So, for my incompetence watch, I give you Nationwide Autocentres (Stockport).

I drive an Eunos Roadster (an MX-5 variant). The car itself is 15 years old so I was expecting a few minor problems with it, so when the clutch started playing up, I was half expecting it. So I booked the car in with nationwide Autocentres to have it looked at. Apparently, the slave cylinder was leaking and the clutch needed replacing. I gave them a couple of days to get the parts and then fit them.

At this point I should point out I had arranged for the car to be dropped off with them on Monday, and the parts were due to arrive on Wednesday, so I could have them fitted by Wednesday night. With this in mind, the other car I was using was booked in to the centre in Manchester to have an MOT.

On Wednesday night, I get a call. They had fitted the parts but… they couldn’t get the gearbox back in the car. Ok, so I had to take the bus and tram in to work the following day. No biggy, just inconvient. When I had it collected, the drivers door was firmly shut… and wouldn’t open.

I managed to repair the door, and took the car out to the pub quiz. A guess what… the clutch wasn’t fixed either.

So, I book the car in for the following Tuesday. This time, they told me the fault was with the master cylinder and they needed to order the parts in (they only charged me for the parts this time). Skip a couple of days and the car was ready for collection. The clutch was perfect… it went like a dream. Shame about the 2 dents that had appeared in the front passenger side wing, oh, a black scrape mark.

I booked the car in again to have the dents taken out (at no charge). Except, they straighted out the wheel arch and touched up the chip (I supplied the touch-up paint, since they would have to order that in…) and missed the dents. So now, I’m just going to sort the car out myself. At least I stand a fighting chance of the car not coming back in a worse condition than when it went in.

The next time I need work done, I’ll be looking elsewhere.

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And now google….

For those of you who liked the register story, you might want to try out Google’s new drink, Google Gulp.

At Google our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it useful and accessible to our users. But any piece of information’s usefulness derives, to a depressing degree, from the cognitive ability of the user who’s using it. That’s why we’re pleased to announce Google Gulp (BETA)� with Auto-Drink� (LIMITED RELEASE), a line of “smart drinks” designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.

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For those of you who read my previous post, you may have spotted the source as hackaday. Hackaday is a bit of a geeky blog detailling how to build projects that you may have wanted to build for some time.

Some of the projects I like are:

The Solar Death Ray
The cheap Teleprompter (possibly for Ian to remember his lines, if he makes his film)
Build your own submarine

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