November 26th, 2011


Hot Doctor & Hot Fuzz

You can find the little Doctor Who spot produced for Children in Need 2011 over here, in which we see rather more of him than usual. =:9 (The outfit, though, succeeded as a fundraiser quite well, closing at exactly £50,000) The clip - you can start at 50 seconds in, losing only some host babble - segues into the trailer for the Christmas special, which we now know to be titled The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe. Why, yes, that is familiar sounding, isn't it.. =:)

I thought huskyteer might possibly be interested in this. ^_^ After all, who could say no to a loyalty card scheme named the Loyal Hare Force? =:D (I'll especially recommend their - regrettably seasonal - Festivity, an absolutely sublime porter that feels more of a rich, warming ale)

avon_deer noticed this excellent philosophical exploration of six famous paradoxes and non-intuitive concepts, in six minutes, narrated by David Mitchell, and produced by the Open University. Amusing, and very clearly put.

Some rather adorable bunny sculptures by Lake Shinji-ko, Shiname Prefecture. ^_^ (You'll need to be a member of lagomorphic - curiously, it's a locked entry. It's a gratifyingly active community, too!)

A study in depression found that "concreteness training" is highly effective in reducing the severity experienced.

People suffering from depression have a tendency towards unhelpful abstract thinking and over-general negative thoughts, such as viewing a single mistake as evidence that they are useless at everything. Concreteness training (CNT) is a novel and unique treatment approach that attempts to directly target this tendency. Repeated practice of CNT exercises can help people to shift their thinking style.
CNT teaches people how to be more specific when reflecting on problems. This can help them to keep difficulties in perspective, improve problem-solving and reduce worry, brooding, and depressed mood.

A new music video from The Real Tuesday Weld, whom you may recall from the terminally catchy Bathtime in Clerkenwell, Me & Mr Wolf.

Amongst Stanford's forthcoming online, free offerings is a Cryptography class, commencing in January 2012. "Professor Dan Boneh heads the applied cryptography group at the Computer Science department at Stanford University [and] is the author of over a hundred publications in the field and a recipient of the Packard Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Award, and the RSA award in mathematics. Last year Dr. Boneh received the Ishii award for industry education innovation. Professor Boneh received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and joined Stanford in 1997."

I've yet to go through them properly, but last Saturday's shots hopefully demonstrated to just some tiny degree just how rich in photographic potential this area is. ^_^ Just wandering down a small road off campus, past a semi-secret museum, afforded pastoral serenity belying the locale's proximity to the hubbub of the seasonal crowds just a mile or so to the west.

I finally got to see Hot Fuzz recently - and on the big screen! Volkswagen have been running a series of presentations around the UK, "See Film Differently", around the concept of highlighting the locations in which films are set, why those choices were made, and how integral such decisions are to the nature of a film. As a result, before the film, we got to enjoy a small presentation of stills pertaining to the production, along with some remarkably interesting background reading material in a "case file", plus free popcorn and a drink (Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Beck's, or lemonade) - they even covered the ticket itself, making the entire evening completely free. ^_^ As for the film, well, that's landed on my mental favorites shelf immediately - great fun, and so wonderfully British. =:D It's one I can say you're missing out on something, if you've not yet caught it. (Best watched with a sound system where you can crank the volume up without annoying the neighbors, oh yes)

I recently checked out the now-local Waitrose's booze section a few days ago, after completing another round at the optician. Unfortunately, I can't speak of their beer offerings, as I was immediately waylaid by the ciders. First, simply Sheppy's Vintage - about the best easily available cider. Then I noticed a couple varieties I didn't know they made: Kingston Black, and their Organic. And then I saw Orchard Pig as well.. !

Reprieve UK documents British governmental complicity in torture under Gadaffi's regime.

I see Chuck Moore's GreenArrays' GA144 processor is now shipping. It's an unconventional design (well, coming from the creator of Forth..), with each core being very simple, the emphasis being on extremely low power consumption; but with 144 of those cores, there's some significant potential. The instruction set is less about processing at the high level, more about the implementation of logic at a lower level.

As and when I finally get to return to Switzerland, there's no question - I'll have to visit the H.R.Giger museum's bar. Hopefully they'll have some worthwhile drinks on offer, too..

Rob Galbraith offers a detailed look at Nikon's new J1 & V1 mirrorless cameras, and why they're worth considering - as you'd expect, they don't offer the same quality as a full-blown DSLR, but being much the same size and weight as point & shoots, with far better image quality, and a choice of interchangeable lenses, they seem to make for a good "always on you" option, albeit at low/mid-DSLR prices.

The Little Rooster is a novel entrant into a field with.. I'd say one entrant, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone can correct me. =:) It's an alarm clock that rests by the pubic bone, and wakes you up.. pleasurably.

I see BT (the musician, not the telco) will be presenting at MacWorld in January - could be good, given his high involvement in the technical side of his music, including programming; this won't be a bobblehead affair. =:) rabitguy, foofers - will you be along? I'd love to have someone keep an eye out for any interesting photography specials at the show - if Topaz run another superb bundle offer as last time, I may well have to take advantage of that, given my initial results with the trial version of Topaz DeNoise. (Now, if only the people behind PTGui could be persuaded into a seasonal offer.. Hugin works well in many cases, but where more challenging stitches come into play, or very large panoramas, PTGui's going to pull through where Hugin will either be amusing or dead)

Interesting article Sneppid pointed out, over on Science Daily: High Childhood IQ Linked to Subsequent Illicit Drug Use, Research Suggests. It's a statistically significant finding, but not quite into the level of dramatic that the Daily Flail would require to build up a good head of righteous indignation: "When intelligence was factored in, the analysis showed that men with high IQ scores at the age of 5 were around 50% more likely to have used amphetamines, ecstasy, and several illicit drugs than those with low scores, 25 years later. The link was even stronger among women, who were more than twice as likely to have used cannabis and cocaine as those with low IQ scores."

Well, that made my day. ^_^ After spending parts of the past few weekends, and some lunchtimes, scouting around the locality for bun locations, to almost no avail (save for the one mentioned above), ambling through campus on the way back to the warren one night, kebab in paw, two buns out for some nighttime foraging themselves ran across the grass, pausing awhile, clearly in no great hurry. I didn't have the camera on me, though the lighting would've been a bit challenging anyway - but I can see myself getting back there some nights, on bun patrol, and probably getting some odd looks as I skulk around with the Bunnycam. =:D