Keep a tidy desktop

In which a tidy desktop is a tidy mind.

Empty, not an icon to be seen. My desktop is as vacant as Windows will allow with only a solitary Recycle Bin sitting empty and unused. Nothing gets kept on the desktop; not a shortcut, rogue text file or gif. My physical desk is as empty as possible so the electronic version reflects reality. It all comes down to organisation.

Basic organisation of anything is not hard, when you name your files properly you can quickly find what you are looking for saving you more time to do fun things like drink tea and eat biscuits. Unfortunately when it is easier to make a mess most people will resort to a lackadaisical system of bad labeling and filing. Which is why most people’s desktops are a mess of badly named files.

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Cats are fickle and stubborn

In which I attempt to understand what a cat really feels other than contempt.

There is a great video from the UK Cat Protection league on stroking your pet’s belly. Apparently they don’t like it up ’em.

The result is that even if your (apologies for the upcoming sentence, I am British so have a in depth education in entendre) pussy looks like it needs a stoke you should try to resist the urge to give it a little tickle lest something untoward happen.

The reality is that unless the cat is explicitly asking you for something then they don’t want you to do anything. Unless of course it’s the opposite, because cat’s are the most contrary animals in existence.

The danger of this video being released on YouTube is that all the cats on the internet will now want to have their tummies tickled because it’s the opposite of what you will now think. Cat’s are waging a long psychological battle against their human minions which isn’t about supremacy but the complete breakdown of human logic.
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Wanting to be the villain

In which I want to play the bad boy.

Being a somewhat occasional amatuer thespian (not to the point where I am out every night as once a week rehearsals are my limit, I like to see my family from time to time) there are a number of juicy roles to be trod on the boards.

All the roles I covet have something similar about them, the first being their musical roles. For all the will in the world I am never going to be a singer, I am more deaftone than baritone, so why would I want to play I role I can never do justice to?

It may be due to wanting to play the crazy, mad, and bad guy.

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Heroes : Professor Brian Cox

In which the universe is huge.

The radiant cheekboned one is back soon on the BBC with a show in which Professor Brian Cox explains Why are we here? How did the universe make us? Are we alone? And what is our future? And why the answers to all these questions need to be explained from the top of a mountain.

This follows on from “Wonders of Life” where he tells us that biology is basically a subset of chemistry which is of course a branch of physics, “Wonders of the Universe” where everything is massive and brilliant and huge and physics, and “Wonders of the Solar System” where everything is slightly less massive and slightly less brilliant and slightly less huge but still physics.

I imagine the answer to many of those questions will be physics.

Professor Brian Cox, speaking at the Royal Ins...
Isn’t pointing brilliant?!

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Late Review : Snow White

In which Snow White is really just the evil step-daughter.

Poor, innocent Snow White. The fairest (source: magic mirror) of all princesses yet cruelly hounded until saved by her prince. How could I have issues with her? Quite easily it seems, because the fairy tale shows ‘princesses’ are naive and stupid, jealous and cruel.

Oh, she looks cute but there is a cold heart under that dress
Before the main event it’s probably best to tackle the villain of the piece “The Wicked Queen”. The Wicked Queen is a representation of the princess’ greatest fears, that there is someone in some physical way better than you (aka fairness). A constant need of reassurance not from another person, but from a mirror.

Wicked step mother in Snow white looking in the magic mirror

“Yes, you are pretty and oh so fair” cries back a reflective piece of glass. The reflection you see is just their own self-image patting them on the back saying “well done you, you hit the genetic jackpot and came out with good looks”. And this goes on until that one day they feel that little niggle in the back of the mind that perhaps suggests there is someone ‘better’.

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The meaning of cricket

In which I try to explain why five days of slow sport is the greatest game ever.

I’ve done a good job of teaching Mrs G the rules and laws of cricket, she can tell me what a maiden is and the difference between the main forms of the game are. She’s also getting the hang of the LBW law (the cricketing litmus test – if you understand leg before you had a decent grasp of the game, a bit like the offside rule in football).

She is also slowly grasping the naming of the fielding positions (like what a “silly mid-off” is and how it differs from “third man”). This is pretty impressive considering that she comes from the relative cricketing backwater of New York. Where she struggles is not in the application of the game, but the matches themselves. Like many she doesn’t get the meaning of cricket.

No other sport I know has generated an idiom like “it’s just not cricket”, we don’t say “that’s just like football” or “going round like a Formula 1 car”. There is something about the sport that makes it special, even the laws of the game have a specific section about the “spirit” of the game. Do the rules of baseball, basketball or rugby look to codify the behaviour of the players in such a way? It’s not because cricketers are constantly treating the game with disdain but more because the way it is played is perhaps more important than the participation.

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Becoming an art critic

I which I try to convince you about art.

Art puzzles me.

Perhaps because I have a more scientific look on life I can’t get past a cigar just being a cigar.

The meaning of art is something I struggle with. If the artist has placed meaning in their work I can understand and follow that, but it is the hidden or interpreted meaning that I cannot grasp. If not explicitly stated does the esoteric story of a painting really exist, or do experts place their own thoughts onto art?

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Fantasy dinner party

In which I will be serving up scallops with a hint of pop culture.

Most of my dinner parties are fictional, I’m really struggling to remember a real-life one I’ve either attended or hosted. I’m not sure what this says about myself, perhaps I am on a list of wanted dinner guests…least wanted. So without a real one to get a bottle of wine for, I may as well host one for a bunch of imaginary diners.

Invites have been accepted and dinner is ready to be served, so please allow me to introduce my guests (if you can’t guess already):

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The voyage of Voyager

In which we send a message to the stars.

Perhaps the greatest achievement in human history is the launching of the interstellar explorers, the Voyager probes. For a species that 100 years ago was taking it’s fist forays into the skies above our ability to rapidly advance the boundaries of our reach constantly amazes me.

NASA looked to a committee, chaired by the great Carl Sagan, to decide what elements of Earth and humanity should be placed on a golden record to be sent as a potential greeting to any other life that should happen to stumble upon a device that would be but a fleck of dust in the enormity of space. In fact it is so unlikely that anyone should stumble on voyage that Carl Sagan himself said:

The record is best seen as a time capsule or a symbolic statement more than a serious attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life.

In those heady days committees actually got things done without need to placate various interested parties and the op-eds in the media. So into the darkness we have sent greetings in 55 languages, details of our solar system and our DNA, music by Beethoven and Chuck Berry and scenes from our every day lives.

Can you imagine the difficulty we would have today trying to get a similarly representative disc launched?
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Aimless Google searches

In which I look for random images.

I have a little game I like to play, it is called Image Roulette. The rules to this game are very simple, but it is an endless source of enjoyment (and as you will see potential IT policy breaches). The basic premise is to see what a simple image search on Google can produce.

I’m pretty good at Google, I even have a certificate in Power Searching from them, and I consider it a matter of pride that I can answer most things within a few different queries. I even use the advanced tools like colour and time. This is why I find it fun to play Image Roulette, because I know the odds be ever in my favour.

To play this game you simply need:

  • A device that connects to Google Image Search
  • A gullible fool to toy with

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