Suz. And Naivety.

Just been having on online chat with Suz:

(15:53:41) Dan: It [an online weather forecast on a web site I run] says we should expect a wet weekend, clearing up for an overcast week.
(15:53:54) Suz: and who puts it on the web site?
(15:53:59) Dan: The BBC.
(15:53:59) Suz: i always thought it was paul
(15:54:02) Suz: oh
(15:54:06) Dan: No – it’s taken from the BBC, who take it from the MET office.
(15:54:11) Dan: It’s entirely automatic.
(15:54:28) Suz: oh i see. i wondered why paul had the time or botherdness to do it

Sweet that she thought that Paul was spending about an hour a week keeping an online calendar up-to-date manually.

How To Make Invisibility Paint

(shamelessly stolen from

How To Make Invisibility Paint
If you put invisibility paint on anything, it turns it invisible. Here’s how to make invisibility paint:

Start by taking a large tin, which must be able to hold enough paint to fill it. Take one ordinary apple (or, if you don’t have an ordinary apple, a doughnut-shaped one). Chop it up and put it in the tin.

Add a soft nutshell, a silver-looking cobweb, three white onions, a piece of paper with “Deely Bo” written on it, a pinch of September sunlight (or two pinches of August sunlight), and a sugar pencil. Blue sugar pencils are best.

At this point, you should say, “Star of stars, so far and faint, help me with this see-through paint.” You have to say it out loud, no matter how stupid it makes you look, because the paint will know if you haven’t.

Next, you crush a moth and put that in the tin, then add a slug’s eye-stalks, a snake’s skin, a tree, and the sting from a poisonous cat.

And I’m sorry about this, but you also have to add a drop of your own blood. A friend’s blood just won’t do, no matter how much of it you can get.

Three months earlier, you should have ordered from your local blacksmith a small hammer with the metal bit shaped like a pear. Hit the side of the tin seventy-seven times with this hammer. Ignore any grown-ups who complain about the noise.

Lastly, fill the tin to the brim with some nice, fresh milk.

Mix everything together with a large spoon, and bake it for two hours in hot snow.

And that’s all there is to it! Invisibility paint!

Remember, invisibility pain makes things disappear completely. Whatever it gets on will turn invisible straight away. Be careful!

Now you know how to make invisibility paint. I’ll let you figure out how to find the tin once the mixture is ready.

Fucking Car Alarm

Somebody’s parked a car opposite our house and left it there, last night. It keeps on setting off it’s own alarm (a noisy horn-and-siren affair) – about once ever two hours, for about a quarter of an hour during the night. This morning, it’s been consistently going off for the last half hour: it keeps being deactivated, but then coming back on again. Does anybody know how to break in to and deactivate one of these things?

In other news, I bumped into Matt a last week, who some of you may remember as going out with Ceris (the scary) and having lived in Ty Isa with folks like Kit and, briefly, Paul. Anyway, we were catching up, and he revealed that shortly after Kit left (Matt didn’t know that I knew Paul), somebody tipped off Enviromental Services about the state of the house, and they’ve since all evicted by the council. It’s fun to know things.

Letters After My Name

Results day today, and so I finally get to find out whether or not I get a degree in exchange for my last five years at University. And I do. I’m now entitled to put letters after my name, which is nice.

I’ve got a lower second, which is (I know) less than I’m capable of, but considering my resits and other lark last year, it’s exactly what I expected, so that’s great. Was damn pleased to see that my dissertation got a first.

Now I suppose I’d better get on with the rest of my life.

Back From Malawi

Yay! I’m back in Aberystwyth!

For my next task, I’m going to have to sift through over 7 hours of video footage of my trip, to produce DVDs for the consumption of the cycling team. Which is nice.

It feels good to be back in Aber (it feels good not to be eating nsima!). To give me a proper ‘welcome back’, and really make me feel like I’d returned, Paul greeted me by telling me that the Troma Night web site was broken and that I had lots of work to do. Thanks, Paul. Just what I needed to help cure this jetlag.

18 hours of travelling time is a great way to fuck up your system.

Anyway – you’ll all be hearing much, much more about my Malawian exploits over the next week or so, but for now, I need to start decompressing this video…

It’s Not Just A Games Console…

…it fits in your living room, detects intruders, and has a 3-year warranty!

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, go have a play with my latest software toy, Product ‘X’. Eventually, we’ll be able to replace both innovators and (more importantly) marketers with a system like this: it generates instant hype!

I might have to write an add-in for it that lets it automatically fill in patent application forms. =o)

Go play with Product ‘X’, and tell me what you think.

It’s Like An Umbrella, But It Can Be Deployed Within Minutes

This’ll be a giggle. I’ve got a little project on the go that should amuse you all for a good few minutes (we’ve all been laughing our socks off here at it this evening). Given my way, I’ll be deploying it tomorrow afternoon.

Pre-Malawi Update

Here’s the state of play before I leave Aber for awhile, in answer to all the questions that people keep on asking me and that therefore I ought to answer in a centralised manner, here, to save them from doing so (and me from repeatedly having to say the same replies):

Yes, I leave for Malawi on Wednesday the 16th on June, early in the morning. Yes, I realise that this is Claire’s 21st birthday, and for this reason we’ve re-scheduled her birthday for the more convenient Tuesday 15th (meaning that she’ll get one day longer of being 21 than most people get… except for those for whom their 21st falls before February in a leap year, or after February the year before, I suppose).

No, I’m not taking my bike: I’m acquiring one out there. Yes, I’ll be back on the 30th June, string-and-balsa aeroplanes permitting. Yes, I’m aware that (despite now no longer being illegal) long hair on men is still frowned upon in some parts of Malawi, and I’ll be concealing mine tucked-under a hat.

Yes, the side-effects of the lariam have mostly stopped, now. I still have interesting sleep patterns and really, really weird dreams (I haven’t been blogging them because they’ve all either [a] been more disturbing for those who’d read them even than the one about Matt was, or [b] because I’ve only remembered fragments of them).

Right; and on that note – I have things I need to get on with. I’ll post one more update, at least, before I leave for Malawi: other than that, I’ll be quiet on the blog front for the next fortnight.

I’m Not The Only One

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Badger badger badger,
Mushroom mushroom.

Apart from Claire, is there anybody else who doesn’t find that funny? Claire claimed that nobody does, but both Bryn and Paul laughed.

The Importance Of A Sensible Patent System In Europe

If Haydn had patented “a symphony, characterised by that sound is produced [ in extended sonata form ]”, Mozart would have been in trouble.

No ePatents
Click Here — Sign The Petition

Just thought I’d share that link with you. This is something which could eventually affect the way we all use computers. To those of you who don’t recognise these images or have no idea what I’m on about, I urge you to read about the issue of software patenting in Europe.

The difference between a patent and a copyright

Thanks for listening.

The Doctor That DOESN’T Just Tell You What You Want To Hear

I went to the doctor this morning to discuss the side-effects of the lariam tablets. I’d made the appointment just a week ago, when I was still having weird mood swings and not being able to sleep, like, at all. Since my last tablet, though, last Tuesday, I’ve been pretty much fine: nothing worse than the weird dreams, which I can cope with. I kept the appointment anyway.

“What I really want to know is,” I told the doctor, “Are the bad side effects – the ones I had in the first week – likely to come back? Is lariam one of those things that, if you get your body attuned to it, it’ll be fine from then on… or is it somewhat more random and unpredictable?”

“All I can say,” replied the doctor, and here’s the best line in the entire dialogue, “Is that if it were me, I wouldn’t be taking lariam.”

Lovely. Thanks, doc.

In any case, he’s agreed to write a prescription for a more expensive but less-controversial drug, which I can collect later in the week if my third pill (tomorrow) makes me go weird again. He seemed quite keen to switch me to it immediately, but I’ve opted to give lariam a go for a little longer yet.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Watched Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind last night with Claire and Paul. It’s an absolutely stunning film (currently ranking at #49 in the IMDB’s top 250 films list), a must-see! Go watch it! But try to know as little as you can about it before you do; it’ll only improve the expeirence.

In other news, the U.S. patent system is a joke. Seen this patent for “Method of exercising a cat”?