[14 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]
Was Darth Vader a 16th Century Samurai General?

Don’t you think there is a remarkable similarity between this Samurai outfit (made of polished black steel) and the outfit worn by Darth Vader?
http://www.city.sendai.jp/kyouiku/museum/syuuzou/03_buki/index.html

The five piece Samurai outfit was donated to Sendai City Museum by The House of Date [Dah-teh]. The size and style of the ornate gold crescent fitted to the helmet indicates that it would have been worn by a very senior general indeed.

There is no information on the Sendai City Museum web site to suggest that George Lucas has ever visited their museum, so it’s pure speculation …

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headline, people »

[14 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]
Was Darth Vader a 16th Century Samurai General?

Don’t you think there is a remarkable similarity between this Samurai outfit (made of polished black steel) and the outfit worn by Darth Vader?
http://www.city.sendai.jp/kyouiku/museum/syuuzou/03_buki/index.html

The five piece Samurai outfit was donated to Sendai City Museum by The House of Date [Dah-teh]. The size and style of the ornate gold crescent fitted to the helmet indicates that it would have been worn by a very senior general indeed.

There is no information on the Sendai City Museum web site to suggest that George Lucas has ever visited their museum, so it’s pure speculation …

featured, people »

[7 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]
Kate Adie’s 4 Golden Rules For Good Journalism

In early February 2016 I was fortunate enough to meet Kate Adie OBE, a well known BBC journalist.
Addressing a room of about 200 people, Kate gave an excellent account of how she progressed from being a relatively ordinary student, to her role in BBC local radio and then BBC regional television, before securing her mainstream position at BBC News. On moving from BBC local radio in the North East to what she thought was another radio job with BBC West, she was astonished to learn (on day one at BBC …

getting things done »

[1 Nov 2015 | No Comment | ]
Not a Vision

HackCambridge took place over the weekend of 31 Oct and 1 Nov 2015 with the objective of getting a bunch of geeks to contribute ideas which might help the citizens of Cambridge to lead more satisfying lives. Anybody who knows Cambridge will quickly understand that this involves (largely but not exclusively) getting cars, buses and bikes to move along the highways more efficiently.
Many serious hacks were completed and presented, and although mine was clearly tongue in cheek on the one hand, I was also trying to make a serious point. …

featured, operations »

[7 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]
Hackference Brum

What’s the connection between Geeks and Pharaohs and Lego?
It was the weekend of 2 – 4 Oct 2015 and I was at Hackference in Birmingham. The event is a combination of a conference on the Friday and a hackathon on the Saturday and Sunday, and it’s aimed at software developers and web designers amongst others. I expect that lots has been written by other attendees and so this blogpost focuses on three key things that I gained from Hackference.
Pharaohs
I was never any good at History when I was at school, …

people »

[20 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]
Barcamp Bournemouth 7

The Marshmallow Challenge
Here’s a game that I haven’t played for 20 odd years, so I decided to run it as a session at #bcbomo7 on 18 Apr 2015.

Equipped with many packets of Marshmallows and packets of Spaghetti, the teams were challenged to build the tallest possible structure they could. The rules are pretty simple:

Use only your own marshmallows, and spaghetti, and nothing else.
Do not eat the other teams’ marshmallows.
Do not cut holes in the ceiling.
Do not cook the spaghetti.
The structure may not have any external support.

We had about 30 minutes …