Report of working 3D printed gun – Boing Boing

30 07 2012

Oh dear, Oh lor’!

And only this morning I replied to a comment from MM saying that people with massive brains need to be kept busy or they’ll go off and do stupid things, “just to see if it works”…

Report of working 3D printed gun – Boing Boing.

UK High Court overturns conviction for Twitter joke | Ars Technica

30 07 2012

Yegods – and I hitherto thought the US had a poorly developed sense of humour!! (I learned very early after 9/11 that US border officials have their sense of humour extracted via their left nostril, apparently leaving permanent brain damage).

What a complete and utter waste of police and court time: UK High Court overturns conviction for Twitter joke | Ars Technica.

(I’ll ignore the fact it was the police in Doncaster who, frankly, should have known better.)

Kudos however that when all the money and time had unfortunately already been wasted, sanity ultimately prevailed at the High Court…

Well THAT was a funny old day…

29 07 2012

As I get older I realise that there’s no such thing as “normal” – just varying degrees of “weird”.

Things got off to a bad start due to the normal miscommunication anyone with children will be very familiar with. It doesn’t get any better… get used to it. I’m 48 now, and my parents understand me no better today than when I was a teenager bristling with attitude and bad skin. I’d spoken briefly with my father over in Blighty on Friday and he’d said my mum was very keen to chat via Skype, as we hadn’t spoken for several weeks. (Now well into retirement, they make good use of their abundant free time and travel extensively around the UK and Europe.) This was also father-speak for “I’m uncomfortable speaking to you, male offspring, so I’ll leave that to your mother – and she’s not here right now.”

So anyway, I’d reminded him that BC is -8hrs from Yorkshire (well, 8 hours behind, and a few centuries ahead, all at the same time), and that if she really wanted to call me on Sunday, please make it after 4pm their time, which is 8am in BC. So anyway, at 8:15am the phone rang, and with bleary eyes I answered. My mum said she was surprised I’d wanted her to call so early, and wouldn’t it have been better to call a bit later?

“After 8am” had become “at 8am” somewhere along the way. No matter. I made arrangements to reconvene on Skype – keeping emigrant offspring connected to long-distance parents, the world over – and blundered my way downstairs to be regaled with tales of my sister’s exploits in Spain, and her concern at my nephew travelling to Italy with his girlfriend. (He’s almost 21 now, and she seemed to think he was in imminent danger of getting engaged.)Que Du Vent

Mrs E rescued me from falling asleep by delivering me my morning tea at the PC. Morning tea – a ritual that, should it be missed, can result in near-fatal consequences for those around me. It’s not so much a mug of tea, as a small bucket. Anyway, once my mum had run out of things to tell me, and failed to ask me anything at all about events in BC, we hung up and my day began in earnest. Well, not really. I had some thick sliced toast and marmalade, got washed, shaved, and tried to look human, then watched a film (something I’ve not done in too long).

I had a tasty, but lingering Mexican bean salad for lunch (it’s the raw onion… overdone a little), and generally wasted my limited time on this spinning globe. After lunch, we offloaded half a garage worth of empty bottles and cans at the recycling, and went “barbecue shopping” on the proceeds.

This became quite stressful as Mrs E forgot the first cardinal rule, and considered it the same as normal shopping. Barbecue shopping is the sacred domain of the male of the species. It is when he pretends that he knows all about home economics, and good choices in nutrition. Or not. A wise woman will find her “happy place” and just let the moment pass. Mrs E, on the other hand questioned why I was looking at peppered goat’s cheese. I was merely interested in it as a product, with no particular interest in actually purchasing it, I might add. And then the blue touch-paper was lit: “It’s a bit expensive, isn’t it?” Despite the fact that I had no real interest in purchasing the goat’s cheese in the first place, this was breaking the second cardinal rule “barbecues are not a particularly cost-effective way of feeding a family of four (or five with an absentee student), so ignore all the price tags”.

Knowing that calm is often restored to my fetid mind by taking photos, I took my trusty Canon for a walk. Together we perused the neighbourhood. Its gardens, its shopping centre… and its cricket match. Yup… there was a full on Sunday league match in full swing. Oh – and a beach volley ball game.

Finally it was time to start the barbie, and the womenfolk had figured it was best just to keep out of the way, since sharp objects and flames were involved. Not a bad little spread really. Grilled veggies (red peppers, sliced portabello mushrooms [OK, not technically a vegetable], courgettes, red onion), steamed sweetcorn, burgers, bangers, Maui marinaded steak and chicken. Garlic bread of course, and ciabatta for stopping the meat burning your fingers.

The dog surprised me by asking most politely for a sweetcorn of her own, and I resisted alcohol preferring instead fizzy water with a few squirts of angostura bitters.

So I sit here now drinking “False Creek Raspberry Ale” from Granville Island Brewing Co., (having sworn that beer and fruit should never mix – don’t tell anyone I know… it’s actually quite passable at 4.5%), and listening to “Que de Vent” by “Les Cowboys Fringants” from Quebec.

Now tell me that’s not odd…

MakerBot branches out from 3D printing with MixTape | Crave – CNET

27 07 2012

Wondering what to make next with that 3D printer you put together in your garage? (No – me neither, but I’m not one to judge.)

How about a retro “mix-tape”?

MakerBot branches out from 3D printing with MixTape | Crave – CNET.

If you like the idea, but don’t happen to have a 3D printer at your disposal, fear not! They can sell you the kit of parts ready to assemble too.

Eggbot prints on round and oval objects

27 07 2012

I love things like this. Where art and technology meet, have a few drinks, get jiggy and have slightly odd, but incredibly interesting children.

I also enjoyed learning that there’s an outfit called “Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories” who have some similarly fascinating oddities for sale to the inner geek in you.

Eggbot prints on round and oval objects.

The Perry Bible Fellowship – Boy Scouts

26 07 2012

Thanks to an Australian friend for finding this on The Perry Bible Fellowship.

Never let it be said that Scouting doesn’t move with the times and stay relevant to the interests of the youth…

Apple Bobbing in the Orpheum

25 07 2012

So last night Mrs E treated me to a delayed birthday present, and we went to see Fiona Apple perform in The Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.

Beautiful venue – home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (which I’ve heard tell can move you near to tears with the beauty of their renditions.)

We arrived about 20 minutes early, and I was surprised to find no queue whatsoever for entry to the venue. Did we have the date wrong? Was it the right place? The inevitable scalper outside was pushing the unlikely idea of front row seats for “cheap”, and after a minor delay while Mrs E tried to chug a 12oz frappoponcy from Starbucks, we walked in to a near empty building. Once the doors to the seating opened, I asked directions and was told that perhaps I’d like to talk to the lady’s colleague, way over on the other side. Having done as I was told, I was asked by the other lady whether we’d like to “upgrade for free” to seats downstairs by the stage. Wow – is the Pope catholic?! Of course we’d like to move from the upper balcony to 10 or so rows from the stage!!

As the clock ticked though, I began to realise that the theatre was going to be nowhere near its capacity. Weird! Fiona Apple is a very well established artist of 15+ years, touring with her fourth album, which has received critical acclaim. Her band performed a handful of numbers to get things going, lead by guitarist Blake Mills.  An entertaining mix of Chris Izaacs style slide guitar country nonsense, but also some humorous lyrics.  This from “It’ll all work out“:

I don’t feel a speck of hate
really now I’m trying to get my story straight
when you called me from the car when you were on your way
with your friend from San Francisco
that you told me was gay
well I guess he was a closet-straight
get it all out now
it’ll work out

Ms Apple came on at around 9:30, and played solid until 11:00pm. One song for the “encore” which was only noticeable as such because she announced it as “the encore”! I have to say that she is a shadow of her already skinny self as I remember seeing her first on MTv (in Belgium of all places) singing “Paper Bag“. Anorexic now and gaunt. Pehaps a drug thing? Couldn’t say, but she did not look well. Despite that, her voice was powerful, and many of the songs were delivered more vigorously than their recorded versions. A hugely enjoyable set, kicking off with “Fast as you can“. (Note how pretty she looked back then compared to her gaunt self in the photos below.) The drummer – Amy Wood – was incredibly energetic, and the signature Apple disruptive rhythms were executed flawlessly. She had great fun with Not About Love, stretching the pauses until the band creaked. Bassist Sebastian Steinberg (with both electric and upright bass at his command), and Zac Rae on keyboards rounded out the team.

The entire setlist can be found here if you’re interested.

The Vancouver Sun did a write up, and has some excellent photos.

The old ones are the best…

25 07 2012

I was looking (unsuccessfully) for a geocache this afternoon, after work.

I came across this and took a photo. It reminded me of an old playground joke, worthy of  365 SECRETS, STATS, AND SEXY FACTS!

How did the fairy get pregnant?

She sat on a toadstool.


No – not a toadstool, a toad’s tool!

Eagle Scouts stand up to the Boy Scouts of America: *UPDATED* – Boing Boing

24 07 2012

Thanks to my very good friend for bringing this to my attention.

Being a Scout matters. It’s not just about following the rules. It’s about deciding what’s right, and doing it. Usually it’s the same thing. Sometimes… not!

Personally, I’m a recipient of the Queen’s Scout Award, which is the UK equivalent of Canada’s Queen’s Venturer Award, and the BSA Eagle Scout mentioned below.

It’s a big thing. I went to Windsor Castle to parade with other awardees when I was awarded mine in 1982. My eldest daughter went to Government House, Victoria to have hers awarded by BC’s  Lieutenant Governor Steven Point. It matters. To feel strongly enough about something to hand it back is important.

I applaud my fellow Scouts in the US for taking this stance. A more “Scouty” thing to do, I can barely imagine.

Kudos. (But when are you going to let girls join? Just sayin’…)

Eagle Scouts stand up to the Boy Scouts of America: *UPDATED* – Boing Boing.

Swedish prisoner warned over flatulence protests – Telegraph

23 07 2012

So, I was researching a clue in a puzzle, regarding Swedish prisons, and came across this little gem. It’s a couple of years old, but “all noise and no fragrance” was too good not to re-post!

Swedish prisoner warned over flatulence protests – Telegraph.