Sunday, 29 March 2009

Lyme Disease ePetition

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to put in place Clinical Guidelines, SPECIFIC to the United Kingdom, for the diagnosis and treatment of all patients, including children, who have acquired Lyme disease or associated Tick-borne diseases. These guidelines should be part of a national strategy to combat this increasingly common threat to health in the United Kingdom and should address the UK presentation of Lyme disease and other emerging Tick-borne Diseases.

Submitted by Gill Reese of Lyme Disease ActionDeadline to sign up by: 07 April 2009 – Signatures: 1,778

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Poor Choices By Me

Even James Mason could have done better.


28mm Renegade Early WW1 German figures gone to ground. A scenario from "Rommel’s Route to Verdun" from Tuesday night’s game using “Price of Glory” rules.

Geoff’s Journey

All-round good egg, Geoff “LiteHiker” Gafford is soon off walking from the bottom bit left bit of the UK mainland to the top right bit. He’ll be keeping his blog up to date with his progress, but even before he goes, he has almost reached his sponsorship target of £2,000 for The Multiple Sclerosis Research And Relief Fund.

Stop Making Sense

“Stop Making Sense/Talking Heads” It’s a great dvd. I love watching the band’s interactions and this breach of copyright will probably mean that the video will not last long here. Such is life. If you dance as badly as I do then get the grey suit out, pad up the shoulders and dance along like the chicken-legged performer par-excellence that is David Byrne.

Filmed more than 25 years ago, I can still find motivation in it. Isn’t that one of the wonders of art? Whatever the medium is, each individual can take away different things from it. And have a good, fun time too.

‘nuff said: press play and join the grey side …

Shopping link. Wikipedia.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Interesting Cornfields #3: Jayne Cobb

To mark the release of some 15mm sci-fi characters, here’s a replay of the great song from a great TV series (and film which was, err, aimed too much at the people who didn’t bother with the series, i.e. numpties)

And then visit this site, for a wadge of ‘motivational’ Firefly posters.

I have low standards, so life is good.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Interesting Cornfields #2: Ray Kinsella’s

Ray Kinsella

Knife Rest

I’d glued the stained matchsticks together a few weeks back, and ordered some more barbed wire from Before starting my paperwork today, I snipped off some model wire and wrapped it round the frame. A few dabs of super-glue, and it’ll be ready for staining at tea-time.

knife rest

The plate is from Osprey’s “Fortifications of the Western Front 1914-18”. A book I’d used before, and wish I’d had before starting to model my trenches.


Over the last fortnight, I’ve managed to re-line about half of my trench sections with stained and snipped coffee-stirrers (big box bought from eBay). All manual labour, takes about an evening per section. Nice and relaxing. I reckon they look better than the underlying matchstick version.


Of course, it now means that the height of the trench has been reduced, but I was always needing to revisit that with sandbags and earthworks. But that raises a storage problem, so I guess I’ll be making these in lengths that will sit on top of the trenches.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Interesting Cornfields #1: Miller’s Cornfield

Miller's Cornfield at Antietam, originally uploaded by PKM_258.

Seeing the glint of Confederate bayonets concealed in the Cornfield, Hooker halted his infantry and brought up four batteries of artillery, which fired shell and canister over the heads of the Federal infantry, covering the field. The artillery and rifle fire from both sides acted like a scythe, cutting down cornstalks and men alike.

More information:

Mitch Benn

From Radio 4. He wants your Twitter following. Here’s why you might consider it.


And a rare appearance on TV:


In summary: he shows that you don’t have to be Stephen Fry to be clever.

Government Health Warning

A name to watch out for: Derek Robertson. This man is infectious. He should carry a warning. He causes sleeplessness, and a knowledge that the answer isn’t “42”, but it is close at hand.

Derek Robertson, my colleague from LTS, reinforced what appeared to be a team message by describing technologys and computer based games that can be used to support the teaching of literacy, numeracy and much much more in schools. For me Derek is at his best when he argues for using technology to promote social inclusion and when he gives concrete examples of how to encourage responsible learning with technology. As usual Derek entertained and easily convinced the audience.
I was very pleased to see councillor Richard Stroud show video clips of the Cairngorms National Park, some were made by pupils from schools surrounding the Cairngorms mountains. He was clearly excited and enthused by the potential of Glow to support education about the National Parks. His messages were from the heart, as a councillor, as a mountaineer and skier, and as a resident in the Cairngorms National Park. He talked about this special mountain environment, highland culture, the local economy and issues of sustainability.

Source: Martin Brown

The Cairngorms on the curriculum! Well, they’ve certainly taught me a thing or twoLTS Scotland’s posting has more information.

I am saddened by the dates. I feel so left behind in all of this, and need to strive to do better. See, I told you Derek was infectious!!!

Do not click this link to Derek's blog.

I already feel the need to buy Guitar Hero and learn to play the guitar and then …. oh boy! .
(Ollie Bray at Musselburgh, and an article in the Sunday Herald explains all).

Chi McBride

Just caught last night’s “Pushing Daisies” off my tv recorder, and I keep noticing how good an actor Chi McBride is. He plays Emerson Cod. Whether a surly “uh huh”, a raised eyebrow, or a facial tweak when there is an allusion to his estranged daughter, McBride carries it off.

As to the show, well that’s just strange and innovative enough, with a great sense of style and art direction that it has me glued to the set and coming back for more. Here’s a fillet of Cod:


Friday, 20 March 2009

Small world

Head of our HR just walked past me. Do you think they're checking up on me?

Good eating at itsu

Good eating at itsu, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

I saw one of these in london near the conference but i didn't get a chance to try it. So jumped at chance when i saw one at heathrow. Miso and sushi. Yummy and healthy.

Duty Free

Duty Free, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Got through security at heathrow. T5 works well. Nice and spacious. Bought a power chimp unit and recharging phone off the supplied aa batteries.

Leaving London

Leaving London, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

I missed the closing speech as the conference was running late and a tube, train and plane to catch. Lots of exciting ideas to take home.

Gbl09.2 Terry Deary

Gbl09.2 terry deary, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Horrible histories author. The dead hand of schooling.

Gbl09.2 Jacob Habgood

Gbl09.2 jacob habgood, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Chocolate coated brocolli. Zombie division. Maths. Coming on to wiiware.

Gbl09.2 Graeme Duncan

Gbl09.2 graeme duncan, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Caspian learning. Including simulations and making own games.

Gbl09.2 Dr Richard Graham

Gbl09.2 dr richard graham, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Medical research into computer games. Thoughtful.

Park life

Park life, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

I noticed on google maps that the artillery garden was nearby. Sadly this nokia doesn't seem to be built for prolonged net usage, so a quick search and root around outside bagged me this park. It probably isn't the One as i couldn't see any weaponry (excepting the ninja cyclists). A park steeped in history indeed. And maybe this is a photo of that park. Or just some random park in EC1.

Gbl09.2 Ian Livingstone

Gbl09.2 ian livingstone, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

White dwarf 52 changed my life. Bold statement but true.

Gbl09.2 Derek Robertson

Gbl09.2 derek robertson, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

The Consolarium. Press arguments. Transferable skills.

Gbl09.2 sound stuff

Gbl09.2 sound stuff, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Sound system for conference. Shiny. I think i need an iphone. This nokia is getting tiring to use as a portable office.

Gbl09.2 Porter Tun

Gbl09.2 porter tun, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

I'm sold on "Little Big Planet" as a machinima platform. I'll look on later.

Gbl09.2 Nolan Bushnell

Gbl09.2 nolan bushnell, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Founder of Atari. Another page crammed with ideas. Superb.

Gbl09.2 Tom Watson MP

Gbl09.2 tom watson mp, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Minister for digital engagement.


Gbl09.2, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Back for day 2. Learning a lesson from yesterday, I've a bottle of water with me. With so many Scottish voices at yesterday's session, and "Highlander" on the telly last night, it's a little home from home. Heck, even the water is "Highland Spring".

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Tea-making facilities

Tea-making facilities, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Corby 6600

Corby 6600, originally uploaded by dimacleod.


Gbl09.1, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

What a day. From the flight down, the clockwork flow of travel in London - including the comical announcement from the tube driver for why he had to stop his tube in a tunnel for a few minutes. A good PC World, food street market and a laze around Finsbury Green waiting for venue to open. And what a first day!! I went to the "in practice" hall and came away with 9 pages of notes and a head buzzing with ideas. Day 2 tomorrow. Bring it on.

Conference link

Round the block

Round the block, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Found the venue, so off for a wander to find biscuits for the byob. The artillery gardens are round here somewhere close.

T5 Recall

T5 Recall, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

The panels just remind me of a scene from an Arnie movie. Great flight. Amazed at the cloud formations. All due to water vapour. Wow. (film-link)

By dawn's early light

By dawn's early light, originally uploaded by dimacleod.


Sunday, 15 March 2009

In Iron Man we trust

In Iron Man we trust, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

So i'm watching "iron man" on dvd and who pops up 47 mins in ... Yup, mr cramer advising people to sell stark industry shares.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Shopping for Civvies

I went shopping for clothes today. I managed to avoid it by dropping by work and asking if my colleagues on duty needed some help. I got to play with an EEE PC (by play, I mean hook it up to the wireless network). Then I got some d10 in Plan 9. And tabbed it out to Broomhill Road to have a look in the craftshop. 3 hours after setting out, there was nothing for it but to head to Slaters.

And I was shocked. Not at the usual wimps who can’t go shopping without their womenfolk making their clothes shopping choices for them, but that what I was wearing was (almost) fashionable. My shoes were Goretex lined (TNF Hedgehogs), my jacket a ‘soft shell’, and my t-shirt had a cartoon character on it. I wondered why I’d bothered going shopping. But I needed some smart casual clothes for next week’s conference in London, so stayed focused. My attempt to go for the Gibbs-from-NCIS look was out as they had no Dockers trousers in my size, and I wasn’t happy with the colours of the ‘sports jacket’ that they had. I went for Plan B, and am aiming for this look …

Yeah, right!

Here’s the making of …

Amazing. the last time I saw the advert, I was watching to see if the chap ‘boarding was a different fellow. He isn’t. Wow! I feel the urge to buy a hat. Visa? No. I don’t want another credit card. One is dangerous enough.

The rest of the expedition involved nipping to HMV – 50quid for series 3 of NCIS (yeah, right), and the box beside it had the same product but only 25 quid (still 8 quid dearer than online). So I didn’t bother. Nor the ever-decreasing amount of men’s clothing in Debenhams. John Lewis’s gents seemed to be based either side of a main road through the shop, with staff cutting the road perpendicularly. Burtons had a couple of items I liked (I couldn’t resist the boxers: “Grumpy by name, Grumpy by nature”). I ended up in a couple of gear shops and bought a ‘Radar’ cap. Maybe it’s fashionable?

In Stewart We Trust

When I can, I catch the “Daily Show” on a wee Freeview side-channel of UK’s Channel 4. It’s after the news on a channel which has house-building programmes and the like, so it is about the only thing I watch on that. I’d caught the build-up to  Cramer’s appearance, and I have to say that it was the most interesting piece of reporting that I have seen in a good while.

Stewart’s timing and body language was great. At one stage it looked like Cramer was going to cry. There is nothing like this on UK television, as we too seem to have “commentators” (as Cramer described himself) rather than reporters or investigative journalists.

I awoke this morning to an article on Radio 4, talking about “The Daily Show”.

At the time of writing, there are still videos on the show’s website. If you didn’t see it, watch some of the background first, and then the slug-fest.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Other Natural Empress

Lost in translation.

Google Translate

And respect to you, Mtngmail.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Samsung NC10

Samsung NC10, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Got the new mini notebook today. I don't talk about work here, but it was a good, humbling presentation. The recent purchase of my wireless router came in handy as i'm now installing software - having updated the oem software - whilst watching a concert on bbc alba.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009



After some chatter about Twitter at work, I went looking for mobile clients and found Snaptu. It works on my Nokia. Looks smart and caught up with some film news. As to Twitter. Well, not being a fan of chat rooms – I don’t do small talk, breath is too important to waste on worthless chatter. Life moves on, and I’ve just wasted precious heart-beats on the mundane daily life of other mundane folk. Pub, talk, edited highlights, agonising lowlights, set the world to rights – all missing from the inane chatter of SMS text messages.

But it is a tool. Useful in cases. Useless in other cases. It sits there in the toolbox. When I need it for work, I’ll just get the students to use the site as a character-counter, then copy/paste it into an email, or wiki page in Blackboard. Or give them a pen and a Post-it note.

I look forward to seeing what Snaptu offers next. It looks good. Does what it says on the tin. I guess that nothing more is needed from an app that lets you access other apps.