Holograms on Chocolate

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This is incredibly cool. Using (mostly) common household tools and chemicals and a significant amount of effort, Ben (who already built himself a home electron microscope, as you do) demonstrates how you can etch a hologram directly into chocolate, resulting in a completely edible hologram. I’d never even thought before about the fact that a hologram could be embossed into almost any opaque surface before, so this blew my mind. In hindsight it makes perfect sense, but it still looks like magic to see it done.

Note #13086

Nice: getting an unexpected parcel. ?

Unexpected parcel from Hotel Chocolat

Nicer: from Hotel Chocolat. ?

Please do not open until 20/04/2019

Less nice: not being allowed to open it until Easter. ?

Unexpected parcel from Hotel Chocolat× Please do not open until 20/04/2019×

Easter Egg Hunting, Gravity Hooking, and Geocachers You Might Know

This afternoon, like last year, we took the opportunity to spend Easter Sunday hiding one another’s Easter eggs in the woods and then running around looking for them.

Paul & Rory

For some reason, this year Rory didn’t want me to be responsible for hiding his egg (something to do with his eventually being found up a tree, last year), so I ended up hiding Adam‘s, instead. I didn’t even put much effort into it: just propped it on a branch. This turned out to be a bad hiding place because Adam walked right back past it on his way back from hiding JTA‘s egg.

Adam's egg

Paul, meanwhile, hid my egg. He did a pretty good job of it, too, and eventually had to give me a couple of clues. “It’s near Barking Up The Wrong Tree,” he said, knowing perfectly well that this was a geocache that I hadn’t yet hunted for. I pulled out my GPSr and found the cache, and then started looking for my egg in the vicinity.

Adam in a Forest

In a particularly special bit of hiding, Rory managed to hide Matt P‘s egg so well that he himself couldn’t find it again. Eventually we all had to help hunt for Matt’s lost egg. Rory had helpfully taken a photo of the egg in it’s hiding place, but this photo was ultimately useless because it depicted nothing more distinctive than “a wood”, which we were unable to see for all of the trees. I suppose that if we were trying to get to a particular spot and then ascertain that we were in the right place, it would be useful, except for that fact that being in the exact right place would probably have been pretty obvious by the time we were standing on top of an Easter egg.

Hunting for Matt's egg

Finally, Adam basically “tripped over” the hidden egg, and all was well.

Matt finds his egg!

All in all, it was a fabulous afternoon out, and a great way to work off all the calories of Ruth‘s most-excellent Easter lunch (and just in time to be able to scoff down cakes and chocolate later in the afternoon).

Ruth, JTA, and Paul near the edge of the woods

In other news:

× × × × × ×

Mystery Hot Chocolate

The week before last, I received an unusual package at work. It contained a single-serving packet of organic hot chocolate, which I later consumed (and it was delicious).

There is, however, a mystery: from whom did this care package originate. The postmark is unclear, so I’m not sure which post office handled it, but it’s hard to imagine somebody who lived in Aberystwyth spending 69p to have this delivered to me when they could have just dropped it in themselves.

The back of the envelope may be considered a clue, too:

It looks like the envelope has been re-used, which suggests that the sender was the recipient of the original package, which seems to have come from Toronto, Canada, back in March 2009.

Aside from that, all we know is that the mystery sender’s handwriting is a little sloppy.

If it’s you that sent it: thanks! But who the hell are you?

Lots Of People Visit Aberystwyth

Sloppy blogging, on my part, but I’ve been a busy boy lately and haven’t had time to say a lot. On the other hand, I’ve been twittering a little (but don’t worry, you’ll never catch me telling the world what’s on my sandwiches at lunchtime or what song I’m listening to right this second… unless, of course, it’s a dolphin steak and cream cheese sandwich or I’m listening to the 1995 Beatles Reunion Album or something else that’s actually worth remarking about).

Adam’s Big Birthday

What have I been up to, then. Well; there was Adam‘s 30th birthday, which shall probably hereafter be known as “Adam’s twenty-mmgphhnn <cough> th birthday”, which – as it seems he’s not going to say anything about, I suppose I ought to, not least because it’s an excuse to share some photos I might not otherwise have bothered to.

His birthday fell on a Troma Night, so Ruth baked a stack of muffins which were subsequently decorated by everybody who got to Troma Night before Adam did. The idea was to decorate them with “all of his favourite things”… can you begin to imagine what a stack of muffins look like when they’re iced with the BBC logo, twinkly little stars, ejaculating penises, a TARDIS, and – on one particularly well-decorated muffin (thanks Penny!) – a fabulous looking Dalek.

The Dalek is particularly impressive, yeah? I was impressed, anyway.

Andy & Sian Visit

The other thing that’s occupied plenty of my time is the string of visiting friends we’ve had in town. First up was Andy & Sian, who came up from Cardiff to open the new football stand for Aber Town, in memory of Sian’s brother, who died suddenly a few years ago.

It was great to catch up with them, eat curry with them, and play board games with them, especially as I hadn’t expected to see either of them again before the oft-promised Cardiff Is Amazing (are we still doing this, folks? how does the new proposed date sound to everybody?).

Jen & Nick Visit

Next up on the visiting queue were Jen and her new man, Nick. She’d been planning to come as part of her tour of the UK (I gather that she was at a wedding somewhere over here, too).

Nick’s a fab chap, and he and Jen make a great couple. Oh, and I got a video of Nick and Claire singing karaoke at the Inn on the Pier.

Incidentally, Jen: is this your watch? If so, you’ve left it here – where do you want me to post it?

Matt P Visits

Next up was Matt‘s visit, over Easter weekend. Claire and I hadn’t even gotten around to putting away our inflatable bed since Jen & Nick had borrowed it the previous weekend, which turned out to be convenient on account of the fact that it saved us from having to get it back out again.

Ruth organised a collaborative Easter egg hunt for us all (by which I mean; she supplied us all with Easter eggs, each with somebody else’s name on, which we had to hide) out in a nature reserve in the Rheidol Valley, which was a lot of fun. Rory‘s posted a fantastic video from the event, featuring mostly me looking like a prat as I hunt for the most obviously-hidden egg in the history of egg-hiding.

On Easter Sunday I ate too much. But I didn’t turn into a butterfly, just a big flabby ball of chocolate-muching.

And There’s More…

Andy & Faye are in Aberystwyth until tomorrow morning. Didn’t know they were here? Nor did I, until Andy was already on a train. I guess this counts as a “stealth visit.” I got to meet up with them for a smoothie after work yesterday, but couldn’t make it out to the pub with them. I invited them to Sci-Fi Night, though, but I don’t know if they’re up for that or not. In any case, you all know where to find them, now, so I feel like I’ve done my part to decloak them, in that way I do.

And I gather that Bryn will be down for the weekend as part of some variety of LUG gathering. Don’t people phone, text or blog ahead any more? What’s the world coming to?

Plenty more to say, but I’ll save it for another day.

Easter Break

I’m sitting doing some work on a web site for one of our clients, and Reb (you know, the ex-girlfriend) sends me another text message:

you around for easter? xx

As it happens, I won’t be. I could go visit my family for Easter, but this would result in two things happening:

  1. My family would eat lots of chocolate, and I wouldn’t, on account of the fact that if I did my head would explode and I would die horribley.
  2. I’d have to meet up with Reb.

I think I’ll stay in Aberystwyth. I’ve got heaps of work to do, anyway.

Kit and I ate at Burger King this evening, and each had one of their fantastic new special offer “Tex-Mex” burgers. They’re like their quarter-pounders, but with spicy cheese and spicy relish and… fresh jalapeno peppers instead of gherkins. Sweet.

Spent most of the evening playing the Alpha test of YoHoHo! Puzzle Pirates, which seems to occupy most of my time and probably my internet bandwidth at the moment. Ho hum.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #53:

Get an advent calendar! (the least said, the better)

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.