The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit (porsupah) wrote,
The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit

Increasing shininess

A Kickstarter with a difference: cheap land mine disposal, in the unworldly form of the Mine Kafon. It's wind driven, like a gigantic tumbelweed, with a number of bamboo spokes radiating from its core, each ending in a plastic "foot", heavy enough to set off mines. When that happens, a foot or two is lost, but with the number available, it's good to keep going for maybe three or four detonations, before requiring replacement of the missing spokes. With conventional disposal running around 1200€ per mine, and the parts for this around 40€, it's well-suited for places like Afghanistan, where large numbers of mines remain, posing a constant lethal threat to people living there.

Does anyone have experience with planning RTW flights? I might finally be able to arrange a basic one in 2013, assuming things don't get turned upside-down in the meantime. Which isn't entirely impossible. =:/ It seems like a basic 6-stop could start only around 50% more than just a plain intercontinental. I'm sure I knew one or two furs down in Australia, f'rinstance.. *cough*

I don't tend to dwell on films I didn't care for - suffice to say, Hot Tub Time Machine just didn't resonate with me at all, save for one minor in-joke, where we hear "I want my two dollars!". =:) The Hangover I called an end to ten minutes in, as I didn't really want anything more to do with any of the characters we'd just been introduced to. (Yet, both seem to've reviewed perfectly well, generally. Go figure)

If you're looking for a good iOS weather app, have a look at WeatherPro HD (iPad) and WeatherPro (iPhone/iPod; not Universal apps, unfortunately). Whilst I'd still say Meteogram's UI is the best around for data visualisation, I can't recommend the quality of's forecasts, which seems routinely rather optimistic. Thus far, WeatherPro HD's, provided by a German company, MeteoGroup Deutschland GmbH, seem quite plausible. The forecast tab, for instance, offers rows of graphs for temperature, rainfall, sunlight (minutes in the hour), wind speed, pressure, and humidity. There are also tabs for rainfall radar and IR satellite, but the really geeky fun comes if you pay for a subscription - a palatable £4/year - offering high res visible satellite maps worldwide, along with temperature information, lightning, high res visible, infrared, precipitation type (rain, snow, etc), all updated every 15 mins, and covering - well, the satellites are worldwide, whilst radar's Europe and the US only. It's inexplicably fascinating, scrolling around (pinch/zoom works, too), seeing those massive cloud fronts circulate above entire countries, even continents - and then, of course, regions where "clouds" are nigh mythical.

As for 2012:

Well, I moved into a studio apartment with a fairly wonderful location, over the course of about four bus rides, back in January, and moved out in October. ^_^ The current project went from being a port in progress from Pascal to C, to being given exposure at a trade conference. The team lost one member, replaced by about as ideal an individual as possible - the author of the original code.

It was also the year I lost my father, whom I'll always miss dearly. I'm just pleased that when we visited, he was mostly cogent, and I was able to show him some of my photography on the iPad. A good friend from the previous gig lost one of his two sons, to cancer - but the fortitude with which he held up to his condition was quite inspirational. And, of course, there was Gareth, back in the City, whose hospitality and friendship I so enjoyed. So, a bit less dying next year, please.

Photographically, it's not been an especially outstanding year, I'd admit. The new/former location didn't really lend itself to great bunwatching, though I did finally discover a very convenient location to at least be in with a good chance of seeing buns. Here, the former prime spot is usually deserted, and currently occupied by the remnants of a haystack - I'm very much hoping that as we head into March and April, not only will that spot be vacated, but the buns will become rather more feisty. ^_^ We'll see. I'll be delighted when the days come again that I can't wait to get the day's shots off the card and a few choice ones up on Flickr, or even 500px. I resolve that 2013 shall see the opening of my photography prints store, and will be aiming for that to be accomplished in January. If there's any way that does well enough to start financing equipment, that'd be excellent news, but I'll keep my expectations down at the pocket money level - not to say I can't aim much higher. =:D (So, do I want a 400mm f/2.8, 200-400mm f/4, 600mm f/4, or 300-800mm f/5.6? =:)

Culturally, there were some fun higlights, such as The Magistrate, starring John Lithgow, and especially, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, reuniting almost all the original cast for a 2.5 hour condensed version of the whole thing. Grillstock I'm delighted to've attended, enjoying some great music and much good cider, in one of the most mellow atmosphered festivals you could wish for.

The weight's been heading in the right direction, since the last move, and will resume doing so on January 2 2013. ^_^ Seeing it drop steadily has been most encouraging. Summer should be a good time to call an end to that, and a good opportunity to try making another fursuit, probably along the lines of my SL self.

I shan't call them resolutions, but I'd like to have some new, actually completed works in both music composition and artwork during 2013. It's been much too long since I last drew properly, and I've certainly got a nice few nifty synths and sequencers itching to see real action on the iPad. (And how about some new writing too?)

Travel in 2012 was all rather local in scope, though at least there was plenty of that, often darting through some glorious landscapes on quiet, comfortable, and fast trains. With luck, 2013's scope will be a bit grander.

Needless to say, I'm hoping the project's conclusion, toward the end of the year, will see it left in a successful state, and with only modest degrees of mind melting involved along the way. In any event, it's been an excellent experience so far, not only in the possible reach of its effects, but the calibre of the people involved, not to mention the superb conditions, being able to work full-time from home.

Films: certainly, I saw quite a lot more in 2012 than in 2011. ^_^ That was helped by having a good little indie cinema a modest walk from the previous place, with highlights there including Impostor, and a free (sponsored by Volkswagen) screening of Hot Fuzz. ^_^ At the multiplex, probably my favorite two would have to be Brave and Prometheus, though I'm sure some titles have slipped my recall for now. (I haven't yet seen Skyfall, as I just don't seem to've found myself quite in that sort of mood for a while. They've managed okay in my absence =:)

As for the rest of 2012: tempting as it'd be to attend the great fireworks display in the city, thw crowds usually seem fairly dense. Most likely, it'll just be the three of us (housemate and another University friend) enjoying a spread of fine ciders, vodkas, and ales, accompanied by the odd flick (my choice of Curse of the Were-Rabbit was followed by the housemate's Resident Evil, which got interrupted by a sudden outbreak of Cards Against Humanity =:), and another round of home-baked rolls, this time using extra-strong Canadian wheat flour, yielding a slightly chewier bread, but still with a formidable crust. =:9 For the moment the New Year rolls around, I'd imagine we'll have Jools Holland playing - he always invites an excellent selection of musical guests.

And you? Off to any exotic locations, or just chilling with friends? (Or indeed, both!)
Tags: 2012, films, kickstarter, landmines, mine kafon, photography, round the world, the impostor, weather

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