Where and how far away is the beer?

Two neato sites/apps spotted recently via fellow moderately-curmudgeonly-beer-drinkers’ blogs:

gmap pedometer [rhodri] — plot a course on a google map and find out how far you’ll walk. For example, on Thursday I was able to use this map to ensure that of the sixty-odd people I invited (via Facebook magic) to join me for a walk on Saturday, only one actually turned up, the rest presumably thinking “10 miles? Bugger that!”. As it was we skipped Mumbles Head and chopped it down to eight or so, but still, we look hardcore. Or foolish. My only complaint about gmap-pedometer is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to say “stop recording”, so you (yes, you, reader) could, presumably, go there now and add extra points to my walk, causing anyone coming after you to think I’d spent Saturday yomping enthusiastically from Mumbles to, say, Chicago. Untrue.

Secondly, and maybe more usefully: Beer In The Evening [smallcool] — search pubs by locality and various other (mainly binary) metrics. For example: pubs near my house that serve real ale. Hmmm, I’m sure there are really more than three, but at least it got The Park and would thus presumably help find something good, when in “a tight spot”. While in Llantrisant recently wondering if there were any nice pubs nearby serving food, a beautiful woman suggested to me that it’s a good idea to keep a copy of The Good Pub Guide or similar (eg this one on my wishlist) in your car. We were in her car so I didn’t feel inadequate or ashamed for my lack of pub-finding skills, but seeing this site makes me think that with an iPhone, such a book could be unnecessary. Plus, chicks dig iPhones. And so the ongoing quest to replace all printed media with collaboratively-generated content marches on, driven, as all human activity, by the desire to impress cute friends…

Hmmm, I think I might be overdoing it with the commas…


Ha ha ha, excellent: Type Racer [davea].

Won my first race with a measly 66 wpm; I had to type the following spookily apt quote:

Throughout my academic career, I’d given some pretty good talks. But being considered the best speaker in a computer-science department is like being known as the tallest of the Seven Dwarfs.

Randy Pausch‘s last lecture book.

Puzzle time

My Mum sent me this on a piece of paper ages ago; it’s been sitting in my office waiting for me to digitise it so I can recycle the increasingly frayed piece of paper…

Each of the following represents a short well-known (or maybe not so well-known) phrase. The puzzle is: what’s the phrase? To get your started, the first one is “5,4,3,2,1 Thunderbirds Are Go!”.

  1. 54321 TAG
  2. 200 P to PG in M
  3. 516 & NBK
  4. 6 W of H the E
  5. 3 S to H
  6. 18 VA
  7. 11 DS is the CH
  8. 5 GR
  9. 9 L of a C
  10. 24 C means PG
  11. 2 Q in a C
  12. 2 LDBs on a W
  13. 50 W to LYL (PS)
  14. 50 S of A
  15. 24 BB in a P
  16. 1001 AN
  17. LBA 40
  18. 10 D in D
  19. 8 is the SR of SF
  20. 3 M & a B
  21. 39S (JB)

Answers in the comments section? I hope I’ve read her handwriting correctly. :-)

Late April Keepalive Ping


Lots going on, but blogging sorely neglected. Partially I’ve been busy with work, partially I’ve been busy with going away.

Three Big News Items:

  1. I properly completed and submitted my MPhil thesis; more on this later (including a PDF for anyone masochistic enough to want to read it).
  2. I went to Budapest for a week; photos later. They’re on flickr now but awaiting tags and descriptions; I had done those things but lost them by not listening to the nagging voice telling me not to use crappy software that doesn’t save its state (yes I’m talking about you, kflickr). Executive summary: great city, well worth a visit.
  3. I have a new job! Starting in August, I’ll be a Research Assistant working for Harold Thimbleby on a three-year project on formal tools for analysis of and design for usability, particularly on small devices. Again, more on this later.

There’s a fourth Big News Item but I’m keeping it under my hat for now.

So, lots for me to follow up on, but for now I’d just like to draw your attention to the latest clutch of lovely photos from Bash, who’s sadly been laid low by a bad cold for the last little while.

And stuff Marigold ninja Blossom in the sun How things used to be The lone seagull flies alone

Adam, my nephew